Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Keep your marriage warm

We all know that the initial spark in a relationship does wear out, what sustains long relationships is friendship, writes Vinita Alvares Fernandes

Leonard Ravenhill once quoted- “Love is blind, marriage is the eye opener.”

We all know that the initial spark in a relationship does wear out with the day in and day out trials and tribulations of married life making it routine and mundane. What does remain or rather sustain long relationships is friendship.

While relationships of yester year and relationships of today survive on absolutely different frequencies, the question is what does it take to keep relationships or marriages long lasting?

The number one — is being happy individuals

I am a firm believer that if you are not a happy person inside of you, you cannot spread happiness around you.

If you do not love and care for yourself, then you cannot love and care for anyone else.

What do very happy people have in common?

The Wall Street Journal followed up with the 12% of respondents in a WSJ-NORC survey who called them “very happy” and asked them what they were all about.

Here are some of the traits —

  • Companionship: 67% of the happiest people said that marriage was very important to them, compared to 43% of overall respondents.
  • Religion: Two-thirds of very happy people characterized themselves as moderately or very religious. The overall share: less than half.
  • Closer to death:People 60 and over accounted for 44% of the happiest group, but represented 30% of total survey respondents.
  • Gym rats: Fitness was a common interest among very happy people.

What doesn’t seem to matter to being very happy? 

Political party affiliation or avoiding following politics.

The second important factor in a partnership is, understanding what a man’s needs from a relationship and what a woman’s needs from a relationship.


 A MAN’S POINT OF VIEW —I read a book by Steve Harvey — “Act like a lady think like a man.” It was eye opening or should I say mind and heart opening to learn what men are really looking for in their partnership and how they think is a lot different from what a woman brings to the table.


Understanding -1-“For a man, few words are as menacing as those four — especially when a woman is the one saying them and he’s on the receiving end. Those four words can mean only two things to men: either we did something wrong or, worse; you really literally just want to talk. Now, we understand that we’re not the essence of perfection and there are going to be times when you’re mad at us and need to let us know it; we get that, though we don’t necessarily want to have to concentrate on an hour long angry lecture about how we screwed up. But even more, No man wants to sit around gabbing with you like we’re one of your girlfriends. Ever. It’s just not in our DNA to lounge around, sip coffee, and dab at our eyes with tissue as if we’re in an AA meeting or on some psychologist’s couch trying to get things off our chest. When men are talking, and especially when they’re listening, it’s with purpose.

We don’t vent.

We just want to fix whatever situation is upsetting the balance.

All of this is to say that we men aren’t in the talking business; we’re in the fix-it business. From the moment we come out of the womb, we’re taught to protect, profess, and provide. Communicating, nurturing, listening to problems, and trying to understand them without any obligation to fix them is simply not what boys are raised to do.”

Understanding-2- Let a little boy fall off his bike and scrape his knee—see how fast everyone tells him to get up and shake it off and stop all that doggone crying. “Be a man,” we demand. We don’t let them cry, we don’t ask them how they feel about anything, we don’t encourage them to express themselves in any meaningful way beyond showing how “manly” they are. Now that he’s grown and in a relationship, you expect that same boy who was told to keep quiet and keep it moving to be a man who can sit and listen and communicate and nurture? I’m telling you now: your expectations are off.

Opening up is not what we do.

Profess, provide, and protect—is how a man shows his love. I’m telling you right now: if you go to your man with a situation that’s fixable and he doesn’t try to fix it, he is not your man—he is not in love with you.

But it’s also all about the return, ladies. Please understand and respect the return.

Understanding-3- We respond in a way that we believe is logical, our women will inevitably respond emotionally— Most of the time, it feels to us that your response is determined not wholly by what is rational. What you like and how you like it seemingly shifts from day to day, sometimes even moment to moment. And that is not logical to us—we can’t figure it out, a lot of times, the more inexperienced of us men are going to completely screw it up.

Understanding-4- When a woman walks into the room in a visible huff; a guy who’s young and not too smart in this relationship business may ask his lady what’s wrong, and she may say, “nothing.” That fool will be the one to say, “Okay, cool.”

But the more experienced man—the one who can read his lady’s moods and tell when something is wrong—is going to ask her what’s up, and no matter how many times she says, “nothing,” he’s going to ask again and again until she starts coming clean and opens up. Even when he thinks she is done talking, he’ll push her until the issue is resolved because he can’t leave it at, “Wow, sorry that happened.” He will immediately launch into The Fix.

Understanding-5- Every now and then we’re going to have to spill our guts and reveal what’s going on in our heads. We also know that you may just want to lie in our arms and cuddle and talk it out with absolutely no resolution. We are capable of doing this, too. It’s not easy. But it can be done. But don’t be surprised if those conversations are few and far between.

Understanding -6- Of course, it would go a long way if women stopped opening the conversation with “we need to talk.” The moment you say that, our defenses go up, In fact, I think it’s a good idea that, if you just want to vent, you start the conversation with something simple, like, “Honey, look, nothing is really wrong—I just want to tell somebody something.” That’s a great opening line; it allows us to relax, take our foot down from the witness stand, put away our “fix it” tools, and actually sit and listen to what you have to say.

Note for women — it would go a long way if they respected the encryption of manhood—that we’re too focused on who we are, what we do, and how much we make to spend than a whole lot of time sitting around pondering things that can’t be fixed.


A WOMANS POINT OF VIEW —Driving to the coffee plantations from Mangalore to Coorg, I was introduced to a song by my cousin, who was suffering from a broken heart.

“Listen to the words of this song,” she said as she pumped up the volume.



A woman’s heart by Chris De Burgh —

A woman’s heart is filled with passion,
A woman’s heart is filled with lust,
If you don’t believe that these things happen,
Could be the biggest mistake that a man can make;

A woman’s night is filled with dreaming,
Of the perfect man, who may not be you,
If we don’t see what she’s been missing,
Could be the biggest mistake that a man can make;

She wants to get near to you, don’t turn her away,
She wants to get through to you, she wants to say;

Give me your night and I will show you my passion,
Give me your lust and I will drink you dry,
Give me your dreams and I will show you a lover,
Give me your heart and I will hold you close,
And I will love you till the day I die;

A woman’s day is filled with longing,
For a little romance and company,
If we don’t look or just don’t listen,
Could be the biggest mistake that a man can make;

 FINAL THOUGHTS — Dive deep, introspect and customize a list of things you can do to warm up your long-standing partnership. Keep updating the list and share with one another.

Relationships are always work in progress.

Vinita Alvares Fernandes
Vinita Alvares Fernandes is an Economics graduate, a writer and a Trinity College certified public speaker and communicator

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