Introduction Conflicts between life partners are very natural and common. If there are no conflicts, the family may be actually not knowing the intensity of conflicts in the main place. It is essential that each life partner knows the nitty-gritty of possible conflict points and then go about systematically reducing the conflicts totally or reducing the intensity of such conflicts. Based on a huge number of personal examples, the methods to reduce such conflicts do relate to a) Accepting your life partner as he or she is b) Getting to understand all the common interests c) Eliminating conflict points through the give and take policy d) Taking on new roles and e) Fully review each conflict and minimize effects.
Accepting your life partner as he or she is This might sound cliched, but it is true. This is a huge step in the right direction. Some thirty or forty years ago, this is exactly what happened. The boy had to just say yes. The wedding would mostly happen. The girl would have to say yes in almost ninety percent of the cases. The life partners would start from ground zero. There would be no expectations from either side. The parents of the boy would sometimes interfere so much and there would be any number of conflicts. Most of these conflicts would be solved through some process of compromise.
Times have now changed. Education of the girl, across castes and communities is huge. The expectations have grown on either side. In arranged marriages, where the men are not used to the rigours of a totally new nuclear family, conflicts arise when their expectations are not met. Wise counsel of parents on either side does solve the problem to some extent. Yet, the genesis of many a conflict arises when either partner feels cheesed off and does not find the kind of responses on the other side. The expectations could relate to grooming, dressing, behaving in social functions, savings, spending habits and what have you. Each of these conflict points can be solved only when the starting point is very clear. That is, the acceptance of the other life partner as he or she is. Once this is done, the conflicts can be easily solved.
Getting to understand all the common interests When there are seven points or areas where the husband and wife have common interests, the conflicts can be minimized through constructive action. In one case, the husband, a superb Chartered Accountant was sore that his wife was not "modern" like many of his office colleagues. She had grown up in a small but lovely town called Theni, near Madurai. But this problem was offset by common interests in listening to Carnatic music performances, watching TV, going to the huge shopping complexes to just hang around, trying out new dishes at home, maintaining very good friendships with neighbours, calling over relatives for lunch, just letting "go" on Sundays, visiting the big temples in other cities and so on. These common interests minimized the main conflict area of the man. Over a period of time, the wife, a banker understood some methods to change a bit, thanks to the timely intervention of a relative -- the cousin of the man. She changed her hairstyle, put on all modern outfits on weekends and started to speak good English, for which she attended special classes in the evenings, after work.
Very luckily, the couple had also agreed on the need to get the first child rather fast. Within fourteen months after marriage, the lady became pregnant. The husband took splendid care of his wife. The conflicts became almost zero since there was at least one female member of the family on either side to take care of the child after the peaceful delivery. Being the first grandson in a family of several grand-daughters, he was pampered no end.
The trick is to explore such common interest areas. The main advantage of such common interest areas is that the dialogue concerning these interest areas will be so huge and this automatically takes away most of the other tension.
Eliminating conflict points through the give and take policy This is not compromise at all. This is a common perception. However, there is absolutely no compromise. If the husband is lazy and does not organize things properly, there are bound to be conflicts when everything is searched. It is fine to even index flies containing vital documents, to eliminate search time. This is done in hundreds of companies. This is worth emulating at home too. For example, any single paper, like a bank receipt for money deposited physically, should be immediately put into a tray or a clip-pad. Once there is some breathing time in the night, it should be transferred immediately to the concerned file.
This never happens. The wife becomes furious when the paper is lost. Search time can be really minimized through some little effort. This is just one example. There is nothing wrong in the husband turning a bit spiritual if this is the expectation on the wife's side. This is what is called as "give and take policy". Implied in it is the respect for the life partner's wish. that comes along with the action.
Taking on new roles In certain cases, women are breadwinners. This recently happened in two families where the husbands, 42 and 44 years old, lost their jobs in the two different IT companies. One was based in Bangalore and another in Chennai. They were left wondering what to do. One had a break in Dubai after two months, thanks to his sister who is settled there. The other guy grudgingly took up a rather not-so-good job in another smaller IT organization in Chennai.
In both cases, not a single word was spoken by their wives. In fact, they always encouraged them to stay positive and the children, in the final year of their school education, also chipped in with their encouragement. There is absolutely nothing wrong in the new roles.
In these days, when the uncertain times hit you like a cricket ball, you have to be prepared for everything. Similarly, the Vice Presidents in Offices, become good husbands at home. The spend the sleepless nights taking care of children who keep crying the whole night and then work from home the next day!! The do the babysitting job fairly well. All these new changes are seen to be happening all over. When 36 months fly in a flash and the child understands all toilet habits, the roles change and the schooling of the child becomes the prime responsibility. This sort of role shift ought to happen everywhere.
Fully review each conflict and minimize effectsThis is a very wise step. In many families,. the husband and wife sit together and review how the temper tantrums on either side could have been avoided. There are sometimes elders who chip in. However, times have changed and these days, elders prefer to stay alone in their native villages or get to live in some old age home. The reasons are many. However, they are just not able to adjust to the demands of complex city life in Indian metro cities.
This review is very vital, more so, when the child grows up. It is also common to find just one child in most families. The trick is to accept this as a fact of life and then go through all the adjusting mechanisms for happiness and peace in families.
ConclusionNone of the aforesaid points is rocket science. These are simple methods that work in many families. The real world is the biggest laboratory of all learning. The confilcts between life partners can be minimized with some tact and common sense. The time to act is now.
A good article from the author. Marriage is an event which links two lives together and brings in two families near. When there is more than one brain always there will be a conflict and there will be a difference of opinions. How we address it and how we solve it is that which strengthens the bond between the two individuals. It is wife or husband, both are like two wheels of a cart. Any problem to one of the wheels the whole cart called family will collapse. So both of them should understand each other. Here the point is not who is correct and who is wrong. But how one will compliment the other is important. When the wife is very serious the husband should maintain a low profile and see that she will be cooled down and when the husband is serious the wife should maintain a low profile and wait for him to cool down. Then the family will run smooth. The conflict between them will come down.
Author has nicely written the article regarding conflicts in marriages. Most of the conflicts happen due to the difference in opinions. It's better to compromise on such issues and the effort must come from both side.
Traditionally women are expected to take care of the house and look after the kids but these days when most of the women are working it is the duty of the husband too to look after the kids and help his wife so that she may not get overloaded with the work.
Exactly. Sir, as you have correctly pointed out, since the roles have changed totally today, both life partners need to compromise on several issues and ensure that the marriage works out well.
Nothing will work out if this does not happen. All the more so,in nuclear families where the father and mother are not available to take care of the kids at crucial times. The creche arrangement can work for a very limited purpose only.