Recently, one of my friends lost his middle-aged wife. His agony has induced me to write the following lines. These are in fact five concrete suggestions for married couples to help them face the hard facts of marriage and find happiness and solace in their spouses:
1. They must enjoy the company of one another while they can, for one of them will leave this world before the other. They must relish and savour each moment and realize how important these moments of companionship are. Otherwise, an eternal regret may remain with the one who outlives the other.
2. They must learn to appreciate the qualities of one another. Each person is gifted with some positive traits. Often these gifts are appreciated in the mind. Yet this appreciation needs a frequent expression in words. It gives a tremendous boost to mutual trust and confidence.
3. They must downplay and ignore as much as possible one another's weaknesses and shortcomings. Everyone has them and at times there is no option but to patiently live with them while at the same time trying to help one's spouse in overcoming them through affection, support and patience. Love conquers everything.
4. They must spend some time with one another every day doing small talk. Each of us has a child in us which needs to be occasionally brought out. Humour and amusement relaxes one another and works wonders for a happy marital relationship.
5. They must work out a conflict resolution strategy. Differences are bound to arise whenever two people live together. This is a given. A practical strategy in this regard will keep the marriage boat afloat and sailing through rough seas.