IT IS THREADS AND NOT CHAINS WHICH HOLD A MARRIAGE TOGETHER



“People stay married because they want to,
not because the doors are locked.”
- Paul Newman

December is the month of marriages. Today is 4th December… and I already had three marriages to attend back-to-back. There are many more lined-up.

Because December has always been a favourite month of marriages, we also get to hear about many marriage anniversaries in this month.

Today, one of my dear friends completed ten years of marriage. He had written a very touching tribute to his wife on FB and had ended his post with these lines:

“The world has changed in so many ways since our wedding and yet, people are
still choosing to get married. And I believe one reason is because they have seen
people like two of us demonstrate how well it can work.
Happy anniversary...Love.”

My wife and I have completed twenty-six years and, I could instantly feel the depth of my friend’s words… I left my comment:
“That last line carries the bitter truth for today's generation!!!
A lovely special day to u both dear………... May God guard you always.”

My friend, who is celebrating a decade of married life today, holds a good position in a corporate. Certainly, he has seen what’s happening around him… Young couples are just reluctant to ‘tie the knot’. Yes, they don’t want to be ‘tied down’… They don’t want to ‘lose their freedom’. So, they change their partners just as they change their clothes…. Dump the ‘used ones’ and wear the ‘fresh ones’… dump the old ones, wear the fresh ones… But, don’t keep any baggage… No guilt, no regrets!

There are others who struggle to stay married and, soon, they give up. Marriages fall apart just because, these couples find it difficult to stay together during their stormy times and make their marriages work…

Giving up seems easy; but, it’s not, they realize… It’s messy… painful.

“Chains do not hold a marriage together,” said Simone Signoret, “It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.”

I cannot agree more…

Just as my friend and his wife have realized in their ten years of togetherness, and my wife and I have realized in our twenty-six years, yes, we can relate to those ‘hundreds of delicate threads’ which have sewn us together through our good times and bad times… through our times of health and sickness. As Paul Newman said, we have stayed married because we want to, not because our doors are locked.”

It all boils down to that one word – ‘Commitment’. If the man and woman commit to their marriage, they will stay together… not to prove anyone that they are the happiest married people, but to remind themselves that they found happiness along their journey of ups and downs. Commitment, therefore, is the key… It helps all couples to stay together and make the journey worthwhile…

With commitment come the other requirements – tolerance, forgiveness, sacrifice and spirit of accommodation…

Every day, through the married journey, the challenge of ‘commitment’ stares at the couples. It’s never left to the ‘other’ person to take the first step… The first step is always left to ‘me’… Yes, if I want my marriage to work – last long and last strong – it is left to me to make the total commitment to my marriage…

My experience is that the rest follows…

An unknown author has put it, aptly:

“The first to apologize is the bravest.
The first to forgive is the strongest.
The first to forget is the happiest.”

Are these not among the ‘hundreds of delicate threads’, which help us stay together in our married lives to discover each other and find our happiness?


GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Azriel D'Souza

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