Marriages come with their own perks and challenges. While arranged marriages can be exciting in their own way, one of the challenges is that it takes sometime to get to know the better half. This holds true for both spouses, of course. While this may seem like an obstacle initially, fret not. There are several ways you can break the ice barrier between you and your hubby and have a gala time doing so. Here's how:
1. Hang out alone as often as you can, daily
Especially if you live in a joint family. Time alone is a prerequisite for love and understanding. While spending time with your in-laws is lovely, true understanding will only manifest if you give time to create that bond with each other first. Don't restrict your hang out time to the romantic honeymoon alone. Remember, true understanding takes time and a lot of good moments spent in each other's company.
Your association began with a marital bond, so what? A friendship can also form in time, but only if you allow it to. Do not always treat each other as spouses but try to look at each other as prospective friends. Friendship is a very unconditional bond where we accept many flaws in others without much judgement. Sometimes marriage or love can be less accepting than friendship. All good love stories are based on a strong bond of friendship and if you want to understand your partner better, then do not shy away from being buddies.
3. Don't be scared of fights, or apologies
We don't mean that you should begin your marital life with all claws out. What we mean is that if you keep sweeping the little things that irritate you about each other under the carpet then rest assured, a meltdown or a breakdown will soon occur over a very tiny issue. Little fights bring lovers close, ask any lovestruck couple. So if something is blowing your fuse, don't suppress it forever, let it out. But remember as you do so that loving apologies can make anybody's heart melt. So, don't shy away from that either.
4. Don't skip that evening dinner with his friends
Or forget to invite him out with yours. Our friends are a big giveaway of the kind of people we are. Once you understand his friends you are a little closer to understanding your partner as well. So don't back away from social functions that include his friends and be sure to take him out when you are hanging out with your pals.
5. Travel down memory lane with your partner
Take a trip down childhood memories and share some of your most hilarious or poignant memories. Give an eager ear to his stories as well. People bond when they share their childhood with each other, even through stories. When you see your partner becoming a child again as he/she recalls his memories you will not only understand them but surely love them more.
6. Discuss career goals, future ambitions, dreams
Not jointly but as individuals. Try to find out what his aspirations are in terms of profession and life, and discuss yours with him too. Each of us have some vague idea of what we would like to do with our lives beyond what meets the eye. An engineer might harbour a wish to be an artist, an accountant might be an amateur filmmaker in secret, one never knows. When we learn to share our dreams and ambitions with our spouses we understand them and learn to appreciate them more.
7. Go on unplanned trips minus the luxury
Do what you used to do with your friends early on in your career when you had an extended weekend: a random, unplanned trip outside the city. But this time, with your better half. The thrill of a an unplanned trip and its challenges can be quite something. You will face various hurdles like unavailability of hotel rooms, lack of proper transport etc. As you overcome these obstacles and still manage to have fun you will definitely find a lifelong buddy in each other.
8. Don't shy away from discussing your ex-es
But refrain from unnecessary details. There is a fine line between being frank and being explicit. If you can balance it out the trust will only be strengthened between the two of you.
9. Learn to say 'no' without guilt
Couples in an arranged marriage sometimes feel the pressure to abide by several family expectations. While the family is super important (they brought you together, after all) we all have to learn to say 'no' every once a while. And this applies to each other as well. But, instead of an outright 'no', it’s best to also explain why as gently and rationally as possible. At the same time, one has to be open to a 'no' from their partner as well.
10. Give it time
Be patient. If something is not working out don't jump to the conclusion that the 'arranged' status of your marriage is to blame for it. People who have loved each other for years have run into adjustment problems once married. While one must not stick around if things seem downhill in a major way, do remember, be it love or arranged, marriage has never been a cakewalk for anyone. Like all bonds, this too needs time to strengthen.