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Making Marriage Work

(by Sonal Kulshrestha)

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What happens when a marriage that appears to be between two people that seem to share a special love, the kind that other couples measure their own against, or aspire to find one day, fails? Two things happen. One, your faith in the institution of marriage is a little bit shaken, even if you believe in your own. Second, you start to analyze, rather reanalyze, what is it that really makes a marriage work.

And what happens when the marriage that fails, is a celebrity marriage? Again two things happen. One, it simply reaffirms the common belief that celebrity marriages don't last anyways. Two, you reanalyze what makes a marriage work.

So when Hrithik Roshan, whose persona is regarded as that of a Greek God and no less, by men and women alike, announced that his wife of 13 years, Suzanne, who has been known as the 'gal' in his life from before his stardom, has decided to leave him, the reaction from his fans all over the world, was not surprising. While some said that's a celebrity marriage for you, others were left shaken with thoughts of 'if his didn't work....?'

While Hrithik- Suzanne separation announcement has no doubt become the 'hot' topic of conversation at all of our holiday parties this season and also the 'must-discuss' subject for our calls/ messages/ texts with family and friends globally, we have been pondering over the 'what makes a marriage work' question as well.

Even though Hrithik Roshan himself did not provide a reason for why his marriage is on its death bed, the speculations have been rife. Is it his roving eye? After all, he was linked to Kareena Kapoor around the 'Yaadein' days? There were rumors of him having an affair with Barbara Mori during the filming of 'Kites' (2010)? Didn't his wife move out then? Oh yes, and they said it was because of renovation going on in the house. Or is it possible that Suzanne is the one with the 'other' person in her life? After all, Hrithik said on his facebook that she is and always will be the love of his life. So maybe it is her? Is it Arjun Rampal? Oh no, he has already clarified on his twitter account that he and his wife are good friends with her. And so the conversations go.....

Whatever the reason behind the falling apart of  this high profile marriage, lets' ponder aloud what is it that makes a marriage work. But let's keep the discussion a little bit more relevant, to what pertains to us- the mere mortals. And lets' assume, the marriage that we're trying to make work is already blessed with love (a fair assumption, you'll agree). I say, four things makes a marriage work-

#1. Safegaurding the sanctity of marriage

 If definition of virtue is lack of opportunity (as some might say), that would explain celebrity marriages failing for sure, keeping in mind the opportunities galore. But that is too high level. At the most basic level, always coming across as the "married man" or "married woman" certainly provides for a strong glue. Joke around, make friends with the opposite gender, even be mildly flirtatious if that's how you must define your personality, but know your boundaries. Respect them. "Love" with another does not happen overnight. The day you realize you look forward to seeing the "other" person more than you long to return home, get out of that situation before it's too late.

#2. Little things go a long way

The best example of this came to me from a friend. Being a chai lover that I totally am, I could totally relate. This friend of mine once told her husband, very early on in their marriage, that a cup of chai first thing in the morning makes her feel like her day will go well. And since then he took it upon himself to make her that morning cup of chai that makes her day everyday. That's the trick- doing the little things. They go a long way.

#3. Partnership paves the way

It really is about being partners in crime, err, in marriage. No short-cuts. Neither a way out. Whether it involves doing chores, planning vacations, managing activities, and anything and everything to do with kids- be on the same page, or at least agree to have your own respective chapters (read areas).

#4. Family is forever

Finally, yes, family is important. What works is if each stops thinking 'your mother' or 'your father' or 'your sister' or 'your brother'. It's just 'our' family. Judge not as 'your'. Embrace as 'our'. In need and in joy. You might ask, what happens if you're not extended the same courtesy by the in-laws. Then, share your issue with your spouse. Just the issue (note- issue, not issues). However, let's not forget standing up for each other when family or kids choose to not be respectful to your spouse.

Easier said than done, you say? True. Yes, it IS easier said than done. Precisely why it's a 'work in progress' for all us. Exactly why none can claim to have aced it. Probably why some marriages don't stick too well. 

Fortunately for us, we believe and we try (sometimes naturally and effortlessly, at other times, by making very conscious effort), with one goal in our heart (often unbeknownst to us even)- Making Marriage Work!

Update: Nov 3 2014
Hrithik-Suzanne Divorce IS Final :(

On Nov 1st, the star couple Hrithik Roshan and Suzanne were officially granted divorce, almost an year after they separated. The Bandra family court granted divorce to the couple on Saturday morning. 

Also Read-

Desi Marriage

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