Remember when we first met our spouse? Some of us met our love probably as part of the arranged marriage deal. It may not be love at first sight; like, how most Bollywood movies show. But somewhere; along the path you learned to love and it was beautiful. For others, it was love at first sight. We could not get enough of each other. The long hours of phone calls, the meetings, dressing up for them. Oh! how there was butterflies in your stomach by just seeing them. During the courtship phase or early marriage we always put our ‘best foot forward’. You think falling in love was the best thing that could have ever happened to you! Those little quirky things your partner did or you noticed hardly bothered you, in fact you may have found some of those habits cute. You cannot wait to start your life together. Once married, those initial months/years is beautiful. Life could not get better than this!
Fast-forward to a couple of years to a few, you are married. Remember the time, where he/she would leave everything to come and meet you? Now you hardly talk for 5 minutes over the phone during the day. Thanks to the Indian corporate culture; for the majority of us, our jobs steal us of our time and energy. There is hardly any 9 to 5 job! On any given day it’s a good 10 hours + of work and let’s not forget the commute.
He does not take you out anymore or compliment on the new haircut. He’s just either on the phone or on a game or TV and winds up his day. She impressed you with her cooking of your favourite meal, took that extra effort to take care of you, she hardly notices you and you feel she is behind the kids all the time.
All those quirky behaviours of your partner now seem to annoy you. Where once your spouse would speak up for you is putting you down. You slowly realise the differences between you two. Your spouse’s upbringing is very different from yours. Your plan and ambition is different from that of your partner. A good example, you may be taught to save; you are always thinking of 20 years from now. Your spouse could be a ‘live-in-the moment’ person and does not even think of saving.
This creates a friction and this could be one of the many indifferences; suddenly, your marriage is shaken, this was not how you imagined it to be! This was not what was promised! The reality seems to be very different from that fantasy marriage you dreamt of.
This gradual set of events have worn you down. The pain and disappointment in your spouse is huge. The frictions have turned into fights and seems to be frequent. Some of us instead of fighting get into depression or move into quietness. We want to avoid the fights but the unhappiness does not seem to go away. We are almost like married singles; each of us doing our thing. The lack of intimacy has made it worse on the marriage. Somewhere, around this time we turn to our friends, family, confidantes, social groups not surprisingly even to google.
You don’t want a divorce, that is not how you dreamt of the marriage but not surprisingly this has sprung in your head a few times, some of your friends/ family may even have encouraged you to do so. Then, we think of the kids and to some extent the society and try sticking on to our unhappy marriage. Does this mean the end? Not necessarily!
Awakening to Joy:
‘Most people whose marriages end in divorce are not bad people. Rather, they are often people who never learned the proper tools for a happy marriage. This is where Retrouvaille can help.
Teams of couples who have experienced all four Stages of Marriage present the Retrouvaille program. Instead of giving up, they found solutions. In Retrouvaille, they learned the tools they needed to improve their communication so that they may live in a happy and harmonious marriage. They learned that marriage does not follow the Romance and “Happily Ever After” formula portrayed in literature and media. Rather, they find that there are certain learnable skills, attitudes and tools that they can use to deal with the inevitable problems of the real world and the difficult struggles that a marriage will face.
These skills, attitudes and tools give them what they need to move from the third Stage of Misery into the fourth Stage of Awakened Joy. Learning to have a relationship with unconditional acceptance and to feel valued for who you are is a mark of being in this stage of Awakening. The ability to be able to share yourself and be appreciated for being yourself is a joyful feeling.
Awakened Joy changes the way you live together, speak to each other, and interact with each other on a daily basis. It is a continued peace that comes from open and honest communication. It is the realization that while love is not perfect, just as we are not perfect, that it is in fact resilient and your relationship can be stronger than ever.
Whether you are in the Disillusionment Stage, grieving the loss of that magical Romance, or if you have moved firmly into the Misery Stage, Retrouvaille can give you the marriage help you need to ‘rebuild your marriage.’
Being happily married need not necessarily be a myth, it can be achieved. Contact us to know more.