In any relationship, the word ‘sorry’ is not a bad one. It is simple, yet a very effective way to patch-up.
My friend from school died so suddenly last week that the entire city was in shock. Arif Patel was only 45 and it left us all stunned. It was a wakeup call to us all that life is extremely temporal and we cannot waste any time. We cannot wait to tell the people we love that we love them and will always love them no matter what.
So many relationships I see turn into staccato habits like we discussed last week, that there must be a formula for waking up a tired monosyllabic marriage? Kind of, there are some near sure shot ways of seeing a new rejigged dawn to your relationship. Just attack the problem head-on like a project you’d do at work or at home? It’s easy to start with some conventional good old praise and woo in a good feel scenario. Even if you have to rehearse it because you’ve lost touch with charm.
Take one day at a time, and begin to talk more. If your spouse is habituated to a lack of communication begin with mundane conversations relating to chores and draw your spouse into the fold of communication. Laugh a little more and joke, however alien and artificial it sounds in the beginning. Like I said- baby steps. Promise yourself that you won’t feel rebuffed and bruised if your spouse is not too responsive to start with and just walks away?
I seriously believe ‘sorry’ is not a bad word. I know of people who think of it as a mark of failing. No, it does not make you the weaker, quite the contrary. It makes you the bigger and more gracious person. And if you are the recipient of the apology be gracious in your acceptance. Attack the problem at hand not the spouse. Try not to use an apology as an opportunity to go into a tirade of how wrong the person offering the apology was. This is where you show grace and largess rather than use this as an opportunity to make the person feel small and squish your partner.
One-upmanship has no place in a relationship. To gain brownie points, prove that you are right and lower the self-esteem of your spouse so that they become into cowered low-self-esteem yes-men is not what you are working at. Imagine having a terrorized spouse who is afraid to be the individual you loved in the first place?
To manipulate a relationship and terrorize a spouse with your greater ability to shout, be obnoxious and sulk does not make you the necessarily attractive person you envision in your fantasy of who you are. It just makes you the control freak that squelches your spouse. Creating fear with a vitriolic tongue and being unpleasant is the worst thing for any relationship.
In a marriage instead of making the partner a punching bag to expend a 'bad day' rage have a pact to make the evening a diffusion of the day’s angst. Bathe to wash off the day. Wear soft and welcoming clothes, unwind with wine and sometimes head for your favourite restaurant and a one on one conversation. Keep the conversation light, happy and very general. The weather, climate change, politics, and common people you both like. The happier and more positive the tone the more the blissful hormones will flow. Converse over non personal issues.
The day's news is an excellent opener. Mighty scams are unfolding. Equally mighty names are rolling in mire over scandals of finance, lucre, terrorism, gangsterism, tornadoes, tsunamis and the pending end of the world in a year, collisions of astronomical nature that you end up quite cheerful that there are others having their troubles too.
And having poured out the emotional over-charge you set to have a happy evening over your soul-satisfying culinary choices. Never underestimate the food comfort factor, served in choice ambience.
Always remember your courtship daze, when a bad day could evaporate into nothingness in the blissful anticipation (meagre moments even) of meeting your beloved.
The writer is a columnist, designer and brand consultant. Mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org