A few weeks ago, I and my husband celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary. On the dinner table that evening, my niece asked me this question:
“What is the secret of your happy marriage?”
My prompt ( and involuntary) reply was , ” tolerance “!!! She was a bit disappointed by this prosaic answer( being 18 and obviously a romantic). And so was my husband. I had to clarify my answer that: in addition to , love, friendship and camaraderie, we need a massive amount of tolerance to have an amiable relationship even after 33 years.
There is no denying that a marriage is built on love and trust. If you are lucky, you start by loving your spouse and end up being best friends. But any honest married person, man or woman cannot deny the role tolerance and acceptance plays in making this relationship durable and lasting.
You have to accept all sorts of crazy things and grow rather immune to them. For example your husband may be an early riser with all the delicacy of a bull in China shop! You are trying to catch your 7 hours and he, quite un-knowingly, is creating a racket fit to wake the dead! Or you can’t go to sleep at night and get up several times during the night, disturbing him but there is no complaint or mention of it on the breakfast table. So I would call this tolerance!
Being pleasant and friendly to each other ‘s friends and family, often falls under this heading too. There is no shortage of instances where tolerance, rather than love wins the day in the married couple ‘s life.
The fairy tales where the prince and his beloved live happily ever after is not a thing that is possible in only a fairy tale if we mix the sweet ingredient of tolerance and acceptance in the married life.
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