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I have been married for six years.
At first, the idea of marrying a person from a different culture and language seemed romantic, but the reality was something I didn’t anticipate. Our food habits, culture, and interests did not match. My idea of a peaceful evening was to have a nice meal and go for a long walk on the beach, while my partner preferred to watch some dreadful Netflix series.
Being born and raised in India, then settling in a different country immediately after marriage came with its own pitfalls. It would be an understatement to say I was delusional when I first entered this marriage—I didn’t realise how ugly the arguments could get. I was appalled.
After getting into many brawls, I learned an important lesson: arguments can go on for as long as we’d like, but dissolving the ego can resolve it with much ease.
At first, I tried not to take the arguments to heart, but eventually, they became heartbreaking. Whenever I discussed this with anyone they would tell me that arguments are a normal part of married life, and eventually, everybody gets used to them.
But I couldn’t understand how these arguments could be considered normal. Why is it so widely accepted that a couple has to be at each other’s throats? Is “happily ever after” a myth? Or is there a deep hidden meaning behind those onslaughts?
The idea that our partners are supposed to make us happy is so deeply ingrained in our minds that we don’t realise how much it can affect us when things are not what they were promised to be.
Many people project the idea of marriage as a partnership that will complete us. It seems reassuring to have a partner who will look after us emotionally, physically, sexually, but what if that doesn’t happen?
What if we are stuck with an obnoxious person? What if we enter marriage with huge expectations and none of them get fulfilled? Life can be unpredictable at times, and I’m sure, for most of us, life doesn’t always turn out the way we plan.
It took me many meltdowns to realise there is more to marriage than what we may know.
In reality, our partner is our nearest communication portal with the universe. It’s a misconception that our partners complete us.
If there is a statement that changed my life for good, it would be this one: we can be joyful beings irrespective of how our spouses behave.
I realised I needed to seek happiness on my own—happiness that doesn’t come from the other person.
Being able to find happiness in ourselves needs to be permanent and not just a glimpse of momentary joy from the dine-outs, movies, clubbing, or drinking. If we rely on finding happiness from our partners, then that becomes an everlasting expectation.
In a way, it was my own ego that made my vision so blurred.
It was my ego that prevented me from seeing anything with clarity.
If our partners make us angry, then we need to rise above that because they will keep annoying us for the rest of our lives if we don’t.
If your partner has a mountainous ego that makes life difficult, then first, learn to dissolve your own ego to the point where nothing remains but compassion.
And if our partners make us feel loved, then it is time to rise to their level and maybe learn something from them.
Many people try to gain happiness by changing the habits of their partners. However, I am sure this will never work—not in a lifetime.
It’s an accepted notion that the one who wins the “ego” battle will dominate all aspects of married life, but that’s not true. How can ego win over boundless love? Only a person whose heart is full of compassion can truly win.
A miserable person is capable of making someone else’s life miserable only if they let them.
Although, it’s important to note that dissolving the ego doesn’t imply an “I don’t care” attitude or becoming ignorant of the situation—this can lead partners to have dual lives.
It seems as if many people tend to accept marital issues as their fate, and then they live their whole lives in constant stress, anxiety, and fear.
Why should one person lose themselves to seek approval from someone else?
We shouldn’t be suppressing our emotions to make our partners happy. It’s important that we always give each other space—to give space means to let our partners be who they are without the need to change them.
All human emotions like anger, hatred, jealousy, suffering, envy, lust, greed, or attachment can be transcended and our partners can be the guiding light to achieve that state.
Relationships do not exist to make us feel better—they are a mirror to show us who we truly are.
Be grateful if you have a difficult partner because then you know what you have to transcend for happiness. It is possible to be happy and joyful, irrespective of how your partner behaves. It requires effort, but it is achievable to be ecstatic with or without a partner.
Once you attain that state, nothing can flicker your mind, not even the most annoying person in your life.