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mailife - - Contents - By VANISHA MISHRA-VAKAOTI Pho­tos by KAMA CATCH ME

A Mar­riage as In­cred­i­ble as Wed­ding Day

When the rose petals have been tram­pled on, the pho­tog­ra­pher’s pic­tures re­ceived and shared with friends and fam­ily and the gifts opened and sorted, your wed­ding day ends and your mar­riage be­gins. So many cou­ples de­scribe the rush in which they are caught up be­fore and dur­ing their wed­ding: the plan­ning, the ne­go­ti­at­ing and the pla­cat­ing of fam­ily mem­bers who have for­got­ten that it is in­deed your wed­ding. It is only af­ter the last guests have left, the cel­e­bra­tions have ended and you firmly shut the metaphor­i­cal door on the ‘event’ can you be­gin to fo­cus on you. On this thing called mar­riage, that you have en­tered. Be­yond the ac­cu­sa­tion that many cou­ples have an ide­al­is­tic view of their wed­ding, I would fur­ther ar­gue that many of us of­ten have an ide­al­is­tic view of mar­riage, or rather what our re­la­tion­ship will be af­ter the wed­ding. That some­how our fairy­tale wed­ding will trans­late into a mag­i­cal mar­riage. Like many new­ly­weds, I found that the mag­i­cal mar­riage takes much de­lib­er­ate prac­tice. You need to wel­come and ac­cept that your re­la­tion­ship, as per­fect as it is to you, will ebb and flow. That our re­sponse to these changes is what makes a healthy re­la­tion­ship, or oth­er­wise. How do you cre­ate a life of in­ten­tion and a mar­riage that’s as in­cred­i­ble as your wed­ding day? The re­al­i­sa­tion that the re­la­tion­ship takes de­lib­er­ate nur­tur­ing is a use­ful first step. The way one would nur­ture a new friend­ship, or the in­ten­tion­al­ity with which we courted, or the way we con­sciously keep in touch with fam­ily. Mar­riage and ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships re­quire the same ef­fort, even more so be­cause of the prox­im­ity of our part­ner. So close are they that they are usu­ally are the first peo­ple we take for granted. Agree as a cou­ple that the way we check-in with our friends and fam­ily is the same way we need to check-in with each other. Some­times you might need to de­cide on fixed prac­tices that help keep you on the path of in­ten­tion­al­ity. These might in­clude ‘date nights’ or a joint ac­tiv­ity. It might be a jour­nal­ing ac­tiv­ity. My hus­band and I have kept a joint jour­nal in which we each write a line ev­ery day. We have been do­ing this since the day we were mar­ried. Hav­ing some­thing ‘fixed’ to do to­gether can be a great way of deal­ing with the busy­ness of life. If you know you have a stand­ing weekly or monthly ‘date’, you will work other events and tasks around it, rather than hav­ing to work spe­cial time into the crazi­ness of life. It also al­lows you to pri­ori­tise each other.

In ad­di­tion to set prac­tices of in­ten­tion­al­ity, you might be in­spired spon­ta­neously by some­thing around you. Events in your area, the weather, friends and fam­ily. A warm, sunny day is some­thing that we never take for granted be­cause they can be very rare. A walk along the beach, an ice-cream at the es­planade, or pack­ing up din­ner and hav­ing it out­side. The change in scenery and the break from rou­tine does won­ders for con­ver­sa­tion and re­con­nect­ing. A mix­ture of big things such as hol­i­days, fancy restau­rants and gifts can of­ten leave you feel­ing like you have done enough, but of­ten­times the lit­tle things are more mean­ing­ful and can make the dif­fer­ence be­tween a good mar­riage and a great one. A morn­ing cud­dle, a note tucked some­where it will be found or a ver­bal check-in “are we okay?” This is some­thing my hus­band and I use. It is just a quick ques­tion that can ei­ther be met with a quick re­sponse of “yes, of course”, or it can be used as an open­ing, an op­por­tu­nity to talk about some­thing that has been on your mind. Your in­ten­tional prac­tices will re­flect your per­son­al­i­ties, your likes, and dis­likes, and your val­ues. It will be in­flu­enced by your fam­ily sit­u­a­tion, the re­sources you have avail­able and other cir­cum­stances. Re­gard­less of what your prac­tice looks like, agree­ing that your re­la­tion­ship needs some de­lib­er­ate at­ten­tion and nur­tur­ing is an es­sen­tial step along this jour­ney, the first to­wards a mar­riage that is as in­cred­i­ble as your wed­ding day.

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