The Tribune - Spectrum

, March 10, 2002

Life can become better with the bitter half
Chander Gupta

HAVE you been married for more than 10 years? Have one or more offspring? Has your marriage become stale? Is there conflict, tension, tension in the relationship? Is your marriage on the rocks? Has your wife become the bitter half?

If it is so, there is a strong likelihood that the blame squarely lies on (in) your head. Here are some tips on how you can bring peace back in your life and that of your family.

Stop shouting, start listening

Do you shout at your wife? Stop it. Nothing is heard in the din of shouting. Shouting is just a crude hammering on the mental anvil of your wife. Shouting can never have the desired result. Shouting exposes your own helplessness. Listen. Listen to your wife. Donít react. Mull over the words. Donít jump to a conclusion. If her words have made an adverse impact on you, mental cushioning should absorb it. Donít hit back. Odds are you understood what was not meant. What she means and what you understand may be at variance. You should confirm what she really meant by telling politely what you understood.

Never react. Listen. Encourage her to elaborate. Do not muffle her voice. Let her speak out. And let her have a say. Communicate. Speaking is only one side of communication coin. The other is listening.


Do not command, request

Are you a dictator? But who likes a dictator. Not even your wife and children will like the dictator in you. Dictators are abhorred. Do you generally give commands to your wife? Till she obeys, all is well. Once in a while she does not comply, all hell breaks loose. You just cannot digest her defiance. She is not defying her husband.

She is defying a dictator. Defying a dictator gives a sort of satisfaction. Make a request. One feels happy to accede, not concede. Is it against your manhood to make a request to your wife? Come out of that trap. Do not demand. Express your desire. Love cannot be demanded. Loyalty cannot be commanded.

Shun suspicion

Are you suspicious, jealous, prejudiced? Why do you harbour such negative things in your mind as suspicion, jealousy and prejudices. If your mind contains the poison of suspicion your actions will ooze its fumes. Suspicion is self-torturing for which you blame your wife and retaliate by inflicting injury on her.

Suspicion betrays a lack of confidence ó a lack of confidence in your wife overtly and in your own self covertly. Are you being suspicious of your wife? Nothing is more unmanly. Clear the clouds of suspicion from your mind and you will see light. Suspicion is a cancer which slowly but surely kills the relationship. Donít be jealous. If she is bright, let her shine. Your wife will not outshine you. Her shine will add to yours. Do not let prejudices blur your vision. The blurred vision sees ugliness where beauty lies.

Do not be possessive

Wife is a companion, not a possession. Enjoy the companionship. Do not make her an object. She is much more than merely maid, mistress and mother.

Recognise that Ďmuch moreí. Your wife ó a woman ó has every right to be more than a maid, mistress and mother. If you canít encourage her, at least donít discourage her. A healthy companionship with your wife can produce synergy. Possessiveness will sap your energy, companionship will multiply it.

Live and let live

This adage should be applied in marriage. This adage is most true in the relationship between man and wife. You have expectations from your wife. Do you understand that she too has expectations from you? Fulfil her expectations.

Yours will be fulfilled reciprocally. Before marrying, boy and girl swear that they cannot live without each other. After being married for a couple of years man and woman swear they cannot live with each other. Apply this adage ĎLive and let liveí.

Do not monopolise all decision-making. At least, let her decide on matters concerning her self, concerning the household and the children. Do you expect hatred to be reciprocated by love? Marriage is not merely a license for sex. The wife is not an object. Wife is a woman.A woman is a human. Marriage is a relationship. A relationship between man and woman.

These five principles (panchsheel !), if followed in letter and spirit, can restore peace and love in your life. Bitter will become better.

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