My Silver Wedding Anniversary-A Renewal Of Vows
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Memorable Champagne Glasses-25 YEARS TOGETHER
Silver Wedding Anniversary is the first of major wedding anniversaries and therefore the 25 years of married life are celebrated with all things silver. The theme is silver and the wedding bands are sterling silver. The flowers associated with this anniversary is Iris.
My husband and I celebrated our 25 years of togetherness in marriage in June this year, and I am sharing what we have learnt individually and together about this wonderful commitment called marriage. Ours was an arranged marriage as is the custom in the Indian Christian community in the city of Bangalore where we have made our home.
A man and woman come together and in God's name read out the marriage vows in the presence of family and friends and "become one flesh". I Corinthians, Chapter 13 is often the Biblical passage read out at weddings which speaks eloquently about love. "Love never fails", and the vows exchanged ,"in sickness,and in health ,for richer ,for poorer,for better,or worse, till death do us part" .
Probably the best known reason why some men and some women are afraid to take the final step in making the commitment to one another. These days we have pre nuptial agreements and several such legal arrangements in addition to being registered as husband and wife.
My husband often jokes that he lost his freedom the minute he tied the knot. Well, truth is, "If you love something,set it free, if it comes back to you ,it is yours ,otherwise it ever was." Jonathan Livingstone writes this in Seagull and my husband & myself often quoted this to each other in the first few years of marriage. Yes, freedom is extremely necessary to pursue a job or a hobby, provided it never comes in the way of a marriage. Yes, after the euphoria of an elaborate wedding and honeymoon experience, reality stares you in the face, when you have to adjust to your husband's lifestyle, his habits and of course, your in-laws, if you have to live with them. The first couple of years can be stormy as adjustments, and ego clashes, attitude problems and bickerings take up most of your time and energy. As long as you make Christ the centre of your marriage, you benefit from learning about yourself and develop your own self and learn to see things in a different light apart from changing yourself and loving your spouse even more. You learn that forgiveness is important as much as to forget what needed to be forgiven, patience is tested to the utmost. And some spouses want to win every bout of fight, whether they are right or not,which is not a mature attitude. Giving in every time is not right either, even if you know that your spouse is wrong.
Marriage is neither made in heaven nor is it a bed of roses!
Marriage is the union of two individuals coming together, willing to share every bit of their lives without worrying what the other will say, being sensitive to each other's needs, and giving top priority to your spouse even when you live with in-laws. Being mentally, emotionally and spiritually connected in addition to sex, the physical connection, ensures that you are ready for parenting. Parenting involves both spouses and bringing up children will give you additional joy in your marital relationship if both husband and wife see eye to eye on issues. Sure, many, many differences do crop up, but being able to resolve them in the best interest of your family, means a lot of give and take, between the spouses. Yes, we lived with our in-laws for about a year before we moved out. But we lived close by and families are well knit in India, which means there is never any reason to be lonely, rather stepping on each other's toes is considered normal. Occasionally, my parents would visit as well.
A Fight A Day
Personality clashes are common in a marriage, particularly during the first two years of married life together. This is the period of adjustments and it is imperative that the couple resolves issues amicably without the involvement of others, such as family members, in-laws(generally considered outlaws at this stage), or friends. Sometimes going on holiday together helps, but leading normal life everyday brings up the same issues, so it is absolutely necessary to come to an understanding regarding issues that are a constant source of friction. Exercising patience is imperative and a mature outlook is necessary. "A fight a day keeps divorce away", is oft repeated, but not always. It just means communication is still open,so instead of pointing fingers, it would be wise to take a good, hard look at your own self and try to make necessary changes. But acceptance is the key- Instead of constantly avoiding a certain issue, where you are at fault, accept it, and then ask forgiveness from your partner and then changing that one thing about yourself will not only make your spouse happy, but in the long run, you will benefit from it as well. It could be something as simple as giving up excessive alcohol or cigarettes, or plain exercising to shed excess weight. Do not consider it nagging-it is for your own good! And nagging has no place in the institution of marriage!
Another reason for discontent usually is where one partner is spendthrift. Both spouses need to work out their economics either before or just after nuptials to know where they stand in terms of money matters. Budgeting for each month and investments have to be mutually agreed upon, so as to have a common goal of say, saving-to build your dream home or a vacation to a fancy locale. Luxuries and necessities should be identified and stuck to in the monthly budget. Some couples always have issues when it comes to choosing anything-be it a restaurant for dinner or a holiday destination. The easiest way to resolve this would be to try out each other's choices at different times.
"I Love You" A woman I recently met was complaining that her husband of 42 years never whispered or said the 3 golden words she wanted to hear. She knows her husband is the best provider and does everything for her,but not mouthing those 3 words was killing her. Well,is it necessary? What woman or man would not want to hear it said, loud and clear? But, every wife should also note that the husband is performing his duty of earning for her house and children, while the husband must realize that the wife is cooking delicious, nutritious meals to keep him and the kids healthy and happy. Each is doing their bit to run the family and keep a marriage going, because they love one other. Life is a business they run together! And profitably, too! Giving each other credit in front of children or friends or family gatherings is showing love. Yes, today, roles have changed-wives work while house husbands take care on the home front. What ever you are comfortable with and able to work out together for maximum benefit without bothering about the outside world, do it with appreciation and praise for the partner. When one is sick, additional responsibility might be the need of the hour for the other, but it is no big deal, because of the love shared and you know your spouse would do the same for you. But, know also that voicing "I Love You" does additional wonders for any marriage, whether you surprise occasionally with gifts or not. Leaving little notes of praise and affection on the refrigerator door for example, or simply letting the spouse know where you can be reached while traveling on work, shows love and care.
Being honest with each other on all issues is highly important, as also giving space for each other to grow and mature whether in hobbies or work, freedom to pursue dreams, trusting the other's judgments on all key issues, that they will always be in the best interest of the couple, and most importantly keeping communication open at all times ensures a happy, lasting enriching marriage until "death do us part".