As we all agree marriage is not a child's play. It is a serious life-long commitment. Love is mandatory for the survival of a marriage union. In earlier generations women or in some cases men, patiently endured the love-less marriages. Though it seemed to be love-less marriages, if you look closer it was made possible because the one who endured had this tremendous unconditional love for the love-lacking-partner. This unconditional love is truly the secret for successful marriages.
A marriage begins in love and will surely thrive in love. But life's demands such as raising kids, career, family needs tend to take our focus out of love and slowly the bond begins to loosen. How a couple deal with such demands is what wrecks or saves a marriage.
Only three personals can exist in a marriage. Him, Her & God. Any number more than these three is a crowd. I always imagine a marriage to be a sandwitch with God in the middle of Him and Her. We need the assurance that there is a third bond in our marriage which keeps it whole. If it is just a Him and a Her, the bond is sure to come lose... You need three strings to make any bond stronger.
In my general observations NRI couples tend to consider others more important than their marriages. Some people put their parents in the place of their wife or husband. Some people put their career first, some give so much importance to their children that they completely ignore the views of their partners. For some it is their friends who take the first place, for some it is no one but their own self - the selfish demands which do not care for the other partner's feelings.
It is true your parents raised you with much difficulty and you are in a better position because of their selfless sacrifices. But that is no excuse to put your marriage in the second place. You are obilgated to take care of their financial needs, medical needs but anything above and beyond should be decided with mutual understanding between you and your partner.
Career is definitely important. But if it takes the first priority your marriage will surely suffer. Learn to say no to some demands at work, do not set the expectations too high with your managers, take your time to complete an assignment whenever it is possible, make use of your work hours efficiently so that you can finish most of the work during the allotted time slots without burdening yourself with over times... what is the point if you get a raise at work but can't enjoy it peacefully at home with your wife?! or husband?!
Of course raising kids is important. Remember your kids are watching how you treat their Mom/Dad. Set a good example for your kids. Show your love for your life partner. Sit back and think it over, if your daughter (or son) is treated the same way you treat your wife (or husband) by their future husband (or wife), will your heart rejoice? Will you be at peace that your child is in good hands - well taken care of? What you want for your kids, show that same kind of love and affection towards your life partner. All that matters is love. At the end of the day your kids will be proud of you and love you for the way you treated their other parent. It makes or breaks your image in them.
Sometimes your friendship with others could strain your marriage. Some friends instill negative ideas in your mind about marriage, some friends spoil your habits, some friends simply set a bad example... It is not unheard of. Allowing importance for friends over your marriage is sure to weaken your marital bond. When you are in need those friends won't show up to rescue your marriage. You will suffer alone and lose it all.
Finally, it could be YOU - who is the deal breaker - the spoil sport - the pessimist - the Eeyore. Why?! Because you love you more than you love your partner. You are such a pessimist that you always worry and miss out the present. You ignore happiness. As long as things go your way, you are fine. You don't care if your wife/husband ate or slept or happy or sad. You walk around as if the earth spins around you and nobody matters to you. This is very sad. Before you even realize it, you are sure to lose everything.
So, what do we do if our marriage is not what it should be? It is upto YOU to take up the challenge to set things right. Make it your priority to love your partner - develop this unconditional love in you. If you truly care and want to make a difference in your relationship with one another, it is extremely important to sincerely desire for the change - not in your partner - in YOU! Yes, you need to change your attitude first. Set right your thought process, your priorities. Bring God in the center and keep your partner in the first place of your marriage. It takes efforts to turn around years of abuse. But surely, if you try consistently with true intentions your partner will take notice and will change for the better.
If you are the abuser, STOP! Learn from your mistakes, Seek for help, Talk to your friends who truly care, Recommit your vows to your marriage! Don't cling on to the past. Past is gone, you can't do anything about it. Don't spoil the future by wasting your present.
If you are the endurer, move on with unconditional love! Surely your reward will be great!
Above all remember there is no perfect marriage - it is a life long process - don't miss out on what you have for what you don't have. If you try even a little, you will surely see huge improvements.
Here are some movies and books which will help in your process to make your marriage work.
Wishing you the best!
If there are specific matters you want to share, leave a note in the comments section. I will be in touch.