1st June, 2012
People have come up with exciting ideas that have made marriage proposal an interesting experience; a man comes with a pack of puzzles, be it a photograph of the lady or both of them and they spend time together fixing it.
The man finally brings out the last missing piece which carries the question: “Will you marry me?” The lady who thought they were just having fun with the puzzles suddenly gets lost in emotion. The game turns engagement moment- the big question she would have been looking forward to finally comes like a joke. What a lovely way to propose?
Unfortunately, couples forget that their whole life together is not too different from the game of puzzle fixing. If they understood it earlier and made substantial effort to figure out who they were in relationship with and the kind of picture they were trying to create, marriage, I think would be a lot easier.
The experience of Anderson and Eve as I chose to call them is striking enough to make a lasting impression on people’s lives. He confesses that if he knew a little bit more about Eve, their marriage would have been on a higher ground. “Getting married was just like doing what you needed to do at a certain age. As I turned thirty, my instinct worked toward building a family but I sincerely had no idea what should be put in place to achieve what. Meeting Eve made the decision to settle down very easy as I thought she was an angel in human clothing; almost everything about her was good to me and she acted with apt wisdom on daily issues. I thought if I could have this bundle of joy all to myself then the world would be a haven to inhabit. As we tried to figure out how to settle after the wedding, things changed so much I needed a pair of glasses to confirm I got married to the same person. What I thought made her unique now appeared to be threatening: her swift method in decision-making started looking to me like she’s being forceful and imposing. The way she approaches issues with a flawless touch suddenly turned to a perfectionist route which accepted nothing but the whole; it’s either you are absolutely right or absolutely wrong; there were no grounds for fair attempts. Her strength hit me in the face I couldn’t help thinking she was consciously rubbing it in. Anyway, the next thing was conflict, argument and strife to prove who is right or who should be corrected. The whole mess continued until I was lucky to meet a man who told me how fortunate I was to have a woman like mine and advised how we could complement each other rather than compete. As we both considered and gave in, things started changing; filling gaps in each other’s life became fun and we became absolutely happy”.
It is good to note that fixing puzzles could be challenging, interesting or discouraging. Some puzzles appear very easy but as you start to figure it out, you get the surprise of your life. Just when you are thinking the last number, picture-bit or letter was the only one you required to make it whole, the other ones come crumbling and you are left with the option of starting all over. The day I spent my lunch break trying to fix my son’s numbers puzzle remains memorable till date. Before then, I used to think what makes them stay so long arranging simple numbers but when I experienced it, my attitude changed completely.
Mind you, a puzzle represents pieces of a whole thing and you must know exactly what the original picture looks like before you can get it right. Having a picture of the kind of marriage or relationship you want to build will help you know what pieces to bring in and at what time. Everything is not meant for the beginning of the union; there are things you can condone much later by reason of age and maturity while others need to happen fast in order to lay a solid foundation for love. Mixing these up, just like the simple puzzle game will not give the right picture.
Sometimes, I think the law of physics that brings the positive and negative ends of batteries to produce power applies in marriage as well. The earlier you see your spouse’s strength as complementing your weaknesses, the better your relationship is likely to be. We are made differently so we can better appreciate each other; if for instance; the whole human body had the same part and performed the same functions, how boring would it be? I’ve heard the saying, “variety is the spice of life” and there is truth in it.
Adjusting your life to meet the expectations and needs of your spouse will never be an easy task considering the fact that we are brought up in different settings and have gone through diverse things from birth.
If a puzzle bit is not properly fitted, you can easily notice that something is wrong with that finishing.
Fixing the puzzles of marriage/relationships as it were may be in two ways:
(1) Seeing how we can accept and respect our differences
(2) Discovering the subtle things we can do to make our relationships better.
Anyone with plans to achieve a lovely relationship must be ready to get to work. Making room for the other person to fit in is an inevitable aspect of getting the right picture. The more you create space and allow your spouse to be his/herself, the more relaxed they’ll feel and the more love they’ll be able to offer.
The bit that has to do with interesting things you can do to add flavour to relationships can sometimes be very challenging as most people have already given up on their spouses. Some say: “My wife has lost her feelings for me completely.” “Our marriage has gone so bad that we can only think of separating.” “There is really no hope of getting it right again.” “We lost it a long time ago, let’s continue to manage it like that for the sake of the children.” etc.
Your relationship might be missing vital parts like good communication, passionate sex, empathy, love/acceptance of in-laws and a host of other things but if you are determined to make it work, it can be sorted.
Working together is sure better and sweeter than leaving one person to sweat and labour to fix it all. Two heads they say is better than one but I think ‘two good heads produce unbeatable results’.