On our 8th anniversary last year, we shared with you in a post here 8 pivotal events which helped us shape the itinerary of our marriage. On the eve of the 9th anniversary this year, we want to share with you nine such tips or principles that helped us float on cloud nine all these years together.
Cloud#1 – Have common goals
While it is true that opposites attract and every individual should have their own goals to pursue in life, but when you in a partnership like marriage, it is important to have common goals to unite, motivate and drive the two individuals towards obtaining those common goals as a team.
We can readily confirm that in our case, one such common goal was to travel. We started our friendship and led the eventual phases of the courtship through various travelogues. Starting with Jaisalmer (India) way back in 2000, so far we have travelled together to more than 40 countries in the world and still counting. We realised very early that once you hit the road with a person in unknown destinations, you figure out very quickly how compatible you will be with that person back in the home ground. The realities in real life are different than those found during travel, but the conversations held during those travels set the foundations of how to deal with realities in real life.
Cloud#2 – Maintain individuality
All is fine and dandy that two hearts become one soul in marriage. What we miss often is the fact that marriage should be a synergy between two individuals so that 1+1 becomes 3 because the individuals need to remain strong and clear on their own self first before holding hands of the other person to accompany in this pursuit of love.
For example, we never believed in changing surnames after marriage and we decided to carry on with our own spiritual or religious beliefs or the lack of it. Once we identified what exactly would be the glue to hold us together, it was easy for us to discard ornamental attachments such as surnames and faith on age old religious beliefs.
Cloud#3 – Have the humour
Life threw it curveballs one after another, still is and will do in future. The ability to laugh at ourselves and on the face of difficulties is a must have ingredient to a long lasting relationship. There is a fine line between fooling around and seeing the lighter side of things, similarly there is a difference between being a joker and having a good sense of humour.
Cloud#4 – Allocate responsibilities
We identified what our natural skills and interests were and we allocated the responsibility for getting things done accordingly. For example, Tanusree is no less than a multi-handed dexterous goddess who can effortlessly play with fire in the kitchen and dish out many culinary delights simultaneously. Whereas, Shehzaad has gladly accepted the role of the sous-chef to take care of the basic cutting and cleaning in the kitchen. Whereas Shehzaad is a novice photography enthusiast, Tanusree has excelled in terms of photographic direction, styling, editing, scheduling and posting of all things related to this blog. While Tanusree is still taking baby steps to overcome the learner’s block, Shehzaad happily takes care of driving during road trips and also is a cycling enthusiast.
Cloud#5 – Maintain one to one
This is a key tip to bear in mind that marriage should ideally be a union between two grown up adults and not necessarily between two families, their nosy relatives, curious friends or followers. While there is an undeniable need to have the inner circle of family and friends to fall back on, it is always a wise idea to keep the challenges and conflicts between the two partners within themselves. Everyone else can only see part of the picture, can hear part of the story and will try to help or cause more damage knowingly or unknowingly. We always found out that having no intermediary between us helped us resolve issues in our own unique way. There are still areas where we need to work on and we can do that in our own time and terms.
Cloud#6 – Embrace variety
Variety is the essence of life and we always opted to try out new food, new locations, new clothes, new people, new skills, new perspectives. It was this quest not to get stale is what continuously and subconsciously drove us towards variety all around us. For example, we gladly celebrate the diversity in the UK by taking part in all major festivities. Be it Christmas, Puja or Eid – as long as there is a reason to feast and festival – we are there.
Cloud#7 – Collect and revisit memories
It doesn’t have to be confined towards having holidays and travels, memories can be made even over a meal or while doing the dishes. We never limited ourselves to set routines because that would have led to set experiences only. We experimented with our looks, our food, our decisions and some paid off while others did not. As for travelling is concerned specifically, we take photos of every detail possible and make sure we go through them later to revive the same sensations as the first time. Infact this blog is that conduit which allows us to refresh and replay our memories when we share them with you, while we go through the photos to be selected and when we write them down for you to consume.
Cloud#8 – Constructive conflict
No it was not always rosy. Being individualistic comes with its own baggage of increased risk of conflicts. We had and still have our fair share of fights, some are long and some are short. The key principle we try to maintain is not to hit under the belt i.e. focus on the expected behaviour of the other person or focus on how the other person may have felt due to the result of another person. It is always best to keep the ‘person’ outside of the conflict and keep the conflict focused on ‘behaviour’ and ‘feelings’ only. No matter how hard a person’s ego may be, feelings are supposed to be tender and vulnerable towards each other. Also, constructive conflict means no name-calling, no swearing and not bringing mention of anyone who is not present or has any role to play in the problem.
Cloud#9 – Have patience
The final tip to continue to float on cloud nine is to have patience. The sun is not always shining up there and there are always no rainbows but plenty of rain. Grey skies do appear and so do the silver linings. The deciding factor sits on how much patience we could have to wait for the ill time to pass and for the shiny rays to take over. We realised that we need to have patience both in good time and bad, and be careful before making promises during good times in a happy heart and before making decisions during bad times in an angry heart.
We thank our readers, followers, stalkers, well-wishers and ill-wishers for being there. I am sure each of us have tips to share and stories to tell such as above. We are glad to be able to share these nine drops of wisdom from our cloud nine, we now to wish enjoy some fine wine and classic dine to enter into the 10th cloud up there.
What Were We Wearing?