My blogger friend Zephyr of kindly consented to do a Guest blog post today on my 11th Wedding Anniversary. Zephyr is a grandmother whose blog I’ve been following for some time now. Her blog posts are full of wisdom and humor, both the qualities I cherish. I feel a connect with her and sometimes her blog posts seem to speak my thoughts. She writes beautifully about relationships, parenting and social issues. Her blog is a must read for anyone looking for balanced posts, anecdotes and lovely experiences. So here goes the blog post she did for me on marriages…


Give something and get something extra!

It is not about bargains in a store but one in a relationship, especially in a marriage.

I was discussing about marriages the other day with my friend from Israel who was in town. ‘They divorce in less time than they lived together before they marry. I prefer it when they marry and then begin living together,’ she said adding that sometimes they get married after living together for five or six years harmoniously but divorce within a year after marriage! ‘They lack tolerance — this generation,’ she said shaking her head. I shook mine in agreement.

Like the L&M and me, she and her husband have been married for 35 years and like all long married couples, has gone through the thick and thin of life learning in the bargain to live and let live, albeit not without tiffs and little fights.

I never tire telling (anyone who would listen) that I deserve a Nobel Prize and an Oscar and all the top awards besides because I tolerate all the idiosyncrasies and exasperating habits of the L&M for so many years, but add in the same breath that only he could have put up with my quirks and annoying habits.

The L&M and I have nothing in common, except the brats of course and then they look like HIM! But I would not exchange him for any Mr. Perfect in the world. Who, but he would put away the washed vessels, a chore I heartily dislike – every single day? Who again, but he would never find fault with me for making some blunder, trying to gloss over it to make me feel better? Who but he would patiently grate ginger for and make tea for me, even if he doesn’t drink anything in the morning? It is another matter that he would crib about it every day. I tell him not to make my tea if he hated it so much, he would still do it because I simply need my cuppa when I wake up and he likes to see my happy face.

So when I need to cook three different kinds of vegetables because he simply loves them and can’t resist buying loads of them every day, I do it with a lot of grumbling, but when I see his face light up at the sight of the dishes, I feel good, even if I have spent two hours in the kitchen cooking them all. That’s what doing things for each other means. We do them to see our spouses happy.

Ever wondered how the earlier generation managed to bring up so many well-adjusted and happy kids? Our mothers didn’t demand equality – they were equal in more ways than the women of today.

Marriage is hard work. It is NEVER a 50:50 relationship. You can’t divide housework equally, you can’t divide responsibility half and half and you can never divide adjustments made by each other equally. The ratio ranges from 60:40 to 95:5. While the former is an ideal situation, the latter is where the relationship is abusive with one very submissive partner. And mind you, though the submissive one is largely the woman, even men are the victims. But social conditioning and other factors make them silent sufferers since any publicity would only make them the object of ridicule and not sympathy or pity.

The reason we find so many unhappy couples today is because their egos get hurt by making any compromise or giving in to the other partner however trivial the issue is. ‘Why should I give in?’ they demand. I agree that one shouldn’t give in if the demands are demeaning, unreasonable or outright cruel. But when they are a matter of just simple give and take, what is the harm? Why make a big deal of small things? If one were to go by the kind of complaints one hears from spouses, one is shocked. The issues in question are ‘not worth a pinch of salt’, as we say in Tamil.

It is so easy to start a fight over trivial things and then turn them into ego hassles which blow up in a couple’s faces before they know it and we find them standing in opposite cages in front of the judge in a divorce court.

Whether it is an arranged marriage or love marriage (including one where the couple has lived together) a sense of déjà vu sets in once the honeymoon is over. The new environs, the added responsibilities and being on their own/with their in-laws – all bring in their own set of adjustments and compromises.

Ever tried doing any of the following?

  • He likes to meet his friends once in a way and you happily tag along, even making your best efforts to enjoy it without commenting about them adversely lest he feels hurt.
  • She likes to unwind by shopping and you accompany her enthusiastically even though there is a crucial football tie on the telly  and you don’t breathe a word about it to her lest she felt guilty.
  • Invite her parents over for a fortnight because she wants them even when you are neck-deep in a project and politely listen to the old man’s boring conversation and exclaim enthusiastically at her mother’s cooking when you are hard pressed for time.
  • Go out of the way to be nice to his sister whom you are not too fond of, because he dotes on her and you love the look of happiness on his face.

Go on, substitute your own situations here and make a list, marking each as A (felt good) or B (Felt lousy and put upon). When the As outnumber the Bs, you have a happy spouse and a happy spouse means a happy family and we all know what that means. Don’t be surprised by the reactions. They sometimes can be more pleasant than you dreamt of in your wildest dreams.

Marriage is not about one-upmanship or about controlling each other. Give some, get some and if required, give some extra. It is this extra that the spouses give each other that make for enduring relationships and happy marriages.

Rachna dear, wish you and your husband of 11 years Many happy returns of the day.



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75 Thoughts on “A Special Day, A Special Post

  1. Congratulations Rachna! Many happy returns.

    Sorry, I am tied up with guests now. Will be back to read the post in full!

    Enjoy your day!

  2. A very happy anniversary to you dear Rachna and hubby!! And wishing you great time of love, companionship and happiness together! 🙂
    That’s wonderful post on relationships… gives a lot to ponder and act!! There are so many things we take for granted and small gestures go a long way!! 🙂

  3. Happy Anniversary Rachna ! Will be back to read the post … reason ditto as NRIGirl.

  4. A post to cherish, Zephyr has so nicely summed up everything. Yes A marriage is never 50:50 its always a 100.. together. We tend to say -do jism ek jaan but forget to implement it in reality.
    A very happy wedding anniversary Rachna.

  5. Wish you good luck and congrats on your 11th anniversary Rachana.. Thanks for sharing the links to the posts written by both of u on your 9th anniversary..sure u people are made for each other..

  6. Happy Anniversary Rachna. Best wishes for the many more to come. Lovely guest post! Like you said a well balanced post! Must go and read zephyr’s blog now!

  7. @Zephyr That was a lovely post by you. I did like how you explained that a husband wife relationship is never 50:50. Isn’t it true for all of us. But by giving more, we do end up getting more back in the bargain too. I remember that my mother singlehandedly handed everything related to us kids. Dad never even went inside the kitchen or did anything for the kids, yet mom did not demand anything. She had help at home and managed beautifully. They shared a loving and beautiful relationship. Lots of times, we bring our ego into the picture by pointing out that we did this so you must do that. I found that very relevant in your blog post. Thanks again for the wishes and sharing these gems with all of us :).

  8. Thank you NRIGirl, Shilpa, kavita, Tomz, Jyothi and Bhagyashree for your lovely wishes. I had a really nice day :).

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Happy anniversary

  11. Wishing you a very very happy Anniversary .. 11 years WOW .. congrtas to the both of you on this day..

    and many many manyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy more anniversaries to follow..
    ok now to the IMPORTANT question .. PARTYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY when is it 🙂 and more importantly where is my Invite 🙂 he he he he

    and so nice of your friend to do a guest post on this day


  12. Many happy returns of the day Rachna
    The guest post is balanced and brilliant

  13. What an occasion! What a post!
    A very happy anniversary!

  14. Happy anniversary Rachhna ..
    and very valuable advises …
    I can easily relate to what your friend has written..and that’s how married life works..
    have a good one..enjoy and be happy!

  15. Hi Rachana. this is my first time i am reading your Blog.thanks to Zephyr’s Guest post else i wouldnt have come across u. wishing you Happy 11th Anniv.

    @ Zephyr. a good post. Lots of points to ponder over. I guess each couple has their own ration. But the bottom line is its a two way relationship even if the ration is never 50:50.

  16. Happy Anniversary Rachna!!

    A perfect post for the occasion!

  17. My best wishes to both of you on your wedding anniversary.
    All the best

  18. @Sid Thank you bachcha :).

    @Bikram Thanks so much! Come on we waited for you at the party. When did friends ever need invites? :).

    @KParthasarthi Thank you! Indeed, Zephyr has written a brilliant post. She is always able to teach me a thing or two with her balanced views.

    @Sahana and Harman Thank you so much! Happy that you liked zephyr’s post.

    @Aabha Midha Thank you so much for your visit and wishes.

    @magiceye Welcome here and thanks for the wishes.

    @BKC Sir Thanks so much for the wishes.

  19. @Rachna it was a pleasure doing the post for your anniversary. We of the earlier generations had more equality without having to demand it simply because you can’t quantify things in a marriage. But when you begin quantifying everything including the earnings and things become yours and mine, the problems begin and one has always got to be on guard vis-a-vis the other.

  20. Congratulations Rachna and wish u many many more!
    This post by Zyphyr is after my heart..and she has written in such a beautiful way..I am going to see her blog now:)

  21. Relation between the two becomes more and more stronger with TRUST & Commitment towards each other. In absence of any one, relationship does not work for long.
    Happy Anniversary.

  22. Happy Anniversary Rachna 🙂
    May God bless you both..

    Enjoy your day!!

  23. Dear Rachna (and Gurdev), Congratulations on your anniversary! 11 years…WOW! Impressive! Keep up the good work 😉
    Your friend Zephyr wrote a wonderful post – lucky you to have her as a friend. It’s very inspirational and I agree with everything she says…experience talking 🙂
    Not only is a relationship never a 50:50, but the ratio changes with time. Sometimes I will be the one head over hills, then life will distract me , but my partner will pick the baton and keep the ‘marathon’ going 🙂 It’s like the see waves – back and forth, back and forth 🙂
    Enjoy your special day!

  24. @tomz yes, those posts are to cherish!

    @renu thank you so much! I am sure you will love reading what she writes.

    @shri ram ayyangar thank you for your visit and thoughtful comment. Definitely, trust and commitment along with mutual respect and love are crucial to the success of any relationship.

    @heyithinkthisway thank you for your visit and warm wishes.

  25. Glad to be one of many visitors on this awesome web site : appreciate & following.

    From Computer Addict

  26. ah ha BLESS YOU .. loved ur reply .. next time gate crashing for sure 🙂

  27. Here again – just as promised!

    That was a great post with helpful tips for all couples! Thank you Zephyr!

    Wishing happiness for many many many more years for you & yours Rachna!

  28. @IGBG Thanks a lot from both of us, Iliana! You are absolutely right. The ratio changes back and forth all through. Sometimes, we don’t realize but ego plays the most major role in conflicts when reason seems to go out of the window. It helps to reinforce these beliefs.

    @Always Unlucky Thanks for your kind words and welcome to my space!

    @Bikram 🙂

  29. Congratulations!

    That was put by Zephyr ever so softly. Times have surely changed and not all for good. Companionship is a vanishing virtue.

    You have chosen a marvelous image that echoes the author’s thoughts. Hands resting in a light embrace. That is it.

  30. Congratulations, Rachna!


    It’s very good, too good, over good… I have no words so blabbering! You are reminding us that experience does count!

    //The L&M and I have nothing in common//
    That’s how it is. Even if we have a few things in common, we take them for granted and only the differences get noticed more often. Whereas, before marriage, even if we don’t have anything in common, we try to prove that we have a lot of things in common. It applies more to our generation! 🙂

    //Our mothers didn’t demand equality – they were equal in more ways than the women of today.//
    I loved this statement. I am unable to think ‘how’ (I want to spend sometime thinking about this!) but I am impressed with this line. Maybe a male-chauvinistic response! Don’t know.

    I loved the following paragraph as well. It’s not an absolute numbers game. 50:50 in the end result is what one should look at, not in every minute chore. I am bowled over by your thought about men. I know many men who hide what they go through just to avoid getting ridiculed. Last few days, I have been reading a lot of posts that empathaze with men. A feel good factor! 🙂

    Disclaimer: I do like feminists. I do think they have a role to play and there is lot of work for them in our society. The question is only about “where?”. There are many women in our society who are still getting beaten up by their drunk husbands every night. It’s just that we don’t see them because we live in a different world in the same society.

    And, the number of broken marriages does “not” indicate the amount of freedom that our women have got. Winning and quitting are two different things.

  31. Rachna, Many Happy Returns! You could not have got a better gift than a guest post from Zephyr which is brilliant! BTW apologies Zephyr, for not having been to the Indiblogger meet due some sudden work!

  32. Rachna, a very happy anniversary to you both!

    Zephyr, lovely post! Totally agree with what you’ve written. As you say, it’s not possible to quantify things in a marriage.

  33. Congratulations on you 11th anniversary. And thanks for coming up with this post.

    A marriage cannot be successful without compromises. When you marry and accept a guy/gal for his/her good nature or any other positive thing that may attract you, you also marry with the negatives of the person and you SHOULD accept that too. No one is 100% perfect and there will always be some or other kind of problems in marriage; whether from your spouse or your spouse’s family. But you have to compromise with somethings to make YOUR life happy and balanced.

  34. Came here from Zephyr and congratulations! Hope you had a lovely day and wishing you many many happy returns of the day.

  35. Congratulations Rachna! A very happy anniversary to you & many more to come! 🙂

    and such a nice post by Zephyr
    the equation 60:40 & the tilts that always happen slightly more to one side is so true. i have been married for 6 years now & could relate to what she has written here
    going to check her blog now 🙂

    and yes, going to read your prem kahani too in the add on post – now!

  36. Thank you for your visit and lovely words. Indeed, I see a relationship as something that reflects companionship, trust and communication along with mutual respect and love.

    @Bharathiraja Thanks a lot! That’s a really long and insightful comment.

    I absolutely agree that the same differences that charmed us before marriage start rattling once we settle down, and now we wish to change the very same quirks that appealed.

    About the second statement, I found it striking too. My interpretation is that my mother’s generation got a lot of things without demanding. My father deferred to her in home matters and actually gave her a complete free rein. Her word was final. With us, we have our husband’s help both in terms of parenting and otherwise. Lots of times conflicts happen because there are no longer domains that I handle or domains that he handles. We both do the inside and outside work. There is a lot more chaos here. My mother’s generation recognized how despite being a housewife, her place in the house was as important as that of dad’s. She was the life of the house, running everything efficiently and socializing effectively. Our generation struggles to work outside, manage the home, raise kids, grapples with identity issues and has too many things on the plate. With a tired body and soul at the end of the day, conflicts happen for smallest of issues. Egos come in the way of resolutions too. I am talking very general here and definitely this does not apply to all. In that sense, I felt they were happier and more equal. They knew where to give in and where to take.

    Zephyr might wish to give her views.

    Zephyr You might want to reply here.

    @Rahul Thanks a bunch!

    @manjujoglekar Thanks for your visit and wishes.

  37. @Sneha thank you so much for the wishes. Compromise is crucial in any relationship. Don’t we put up with our parents’ idiosyncrasies and they with ours? The amount of give and take is never equal but must be healthy and never parasitic in nature. What works for me might not work for you? You are your best judge because each relationship is different.

    @A-kay Thanks a lot for the visit and the wishes.

    @Sujatha Thanks so much! Read your story too :).

  38. Happy wedding anniversary Rachna… A beautiful post… and thank you for introducing me to Cyber Nag!

  39. sorry late for the party..but..rachnaaa..Many happy returns…keep the sweets ready…when we all meet..:)

  40. Zephyr I always look forward to reading your posts on relationships. There’s so much one can imbibe from them – your words of wisdom are priceless.

    You inspire us to be better Moms and wives.

    And a happy 11th to you Rachna 🙂

  41. Belated Anniversary wishes, Rachna. Zephyr’s post is so wonderful to read. Just the perfect anniversary post!

  42. @Ramesh Thanks! Sweets are ready :).

    @NRIGirl Thank you dear.

    @Purba Thanks for the wishes! I agree with your views about Zephyr’s posts.

    @wordsndreamz Thanks for the visit and the warm wishes.

  43. @Aathira Thank you for the wishes and you’re welcome :).

  44. how sweet, your story is just like the cark and ellie’s in ”UP’ and about relationships , yes if you want to live happy, make sure the better half is happy. of course you ll know better 🙂

  45. @Shilpa Garg : With familiarity comes the taking for granted and that is what breeds contempt in the ‘familiarity breeds contempt’, no the familiarity 🙂

    @Jyoti: Thanks both for the comment and for visiting my blog 🙂

    @K.Parthasarathy @ Sahana @Magiceye @USPandey: Thanks.

    @Harman: Right. Married life is not for ego tussles. Compromise is the key for success.

    @Aabha: I guess you are right about each couple having its own ratio, but only as long as it is out of consent and not out of compulsion or the result of being subjected to violent submission.

    @Renu: In our heart of hearts we know the dynamics of a relationships but sadly we let our heads and other opinions influence our behaviour.

  46. @SRA: Spoken like a true veteran 🙂

    @IGBG: Perfect analogy of the sea! Life can never be smooth sailing. One of the things couples lament about their spouses is: ‘You were so different!’ Don’t we all change without realising it, due to the many pressures and experiences of life? If things were to have remained static why marry another person?

    @NRIgirl: you are welcome:)

  47. @Bharathiraja: Thanks for the effusive appreciation. As my friend had commented, something happens when couples get married. Call it expectations, ego, whatever. So much so that even when they have lived together happily, they start bickering when they tie the knot. There is nothing chauvinistic about liking the second point. It is a simple truth. The women of yore held the power without becoming overpowering and in a matter-of-fact way. The third point is also stated as a matter of fact. Nothing feel good or bad about it.

    This is post is aimed at women who are confused about how they feel. They sometimes feel like a traitor to their sex by compromising, mostly because of what they read and hear from others. As long as any relationship is alive, one has to make it work. Of course as I have emphasised in a couple of places in the post, this does not apply to abusive relationships, which needs to be dealt in other ways.

    But again the question that arises here is:what do you consider abusive? The fact that your husband likes you with long hair (my L&M) or that he beats you (like countless others) or when the woman makes life a misery because her husband doesn’t have a posh job and the perks?

  48. @Rahul Bhatia: Thanks Rahul. So you didn’t come! I thought I couldn’t see you (literally)! Never mind; there is always a next time!

    @Manju: Quantification and equal bifurcation are the names of the game today 😀

    @Snena: Like I had mentioned, we should look at ourselves too. If our spouse has his/her faults, we have our own too and if they put up with them, shouldn’t we too? Also problems in a marriage are not simply caused by the in-laws, but any number of things including money and health issues.

    @Sujatha: Thanks 🙂

  49. @Rachna: Sorry dear, for replying the comments so late. I just got my strength back after two hectic days of packing and traveling.

    You have hit the nail on the head when you say that problems are not only sometimes caused by ego issues but the resolutions are prevented for the same reason too. But I really admire the women of today who manage so much so well. It is a difficult period of adjustment for both sexes.

  50. @Purba: Thanks dear. Your words of appreciation are like adrenalin coursing through my fingers and I want to do better in my next one 🙂 and hey, this post was meant for both sexes!

  51. @wordndreamz: Thank you 🙂

    @manichunter: The post is about relationships with special emphasis on married couples. So it is meant for everyone 🙂

  52. @maniac.hunter Welcome to my blog. I haven’t seen the movie Up, but I looked it up to understand your comment. It seems like a very sweet story, so thanks for the compliment. No story is a fairytale. I work hard at relationships everyday so that they stay harmonious and loving. I am sure the same applies to my husband too. Of course, we have our tiffs. In no way am I saying that I have a perfect relationship. Is there anything perfect? :). But I am happy with what I have including the imperfections.

  53. I totally agree with your friend Zephyr.
    A Very Happy Wedding Anniversary Rachna!
    I will visit her blog.

  54. congratulations Rachna!

  55. OH I am late. Nevertheless, happy anniversary Rachna 🙂

    The post was beautiful; so much to learn 🙂 Hats off to Zephyr.

  56. Thanks @rama, ashok, Insignia!

  57. Congrats Rachna…Beautiful words of wisdom by Zephyr.

  58. Hey thanks Alka :).

  59. @Zephyr, Thanks for the detailed reply-comment. You have brought out another important point now – feeling like a traitor to their gender by compromising. It’s not possible to understand all these unless you get to the root of the complicated human psychology. I have an addition here. Some women also think that they become a traitor to their family (I mean, the parents and siblings) if they respect their in-laws.

    Hmm… Another good point there. When we say we like long hairs (or mean we don’t like short hairs), it’s just like saying “I don’t like french beard” to a friend I am very close to. It’s just a matter of taste and there is no place for isms (feminism or chauvinism) there. It becomes chauvinism only when we force someone to be the way we want.

    Good to see so many men and women give more importance for the relationship than the ego, which has marred our society in this period of transition. At the end of the day, it’s all grey in real life. We have both good and bad people in both the genders. Noble social movements like feminism shouldn’t be hijacked by the wrong people, which would actually delay the outcome for the right people in turn.

    It was a great discussion. Thanks again for creating an opportunity to give my opinions so openly. 🙂

  60. @Aathira Somehow, your comment went to spam :(.

  61. @Rachna: Happy Anniversary..God bless your family..
    @Zephyr:Most of the times we are so lost in finding faults that we miss out on the fine nooks we snugly fit in.I’ll remember what you said about your L&M “But I would not exchange him for any Mr. Perfect in the world.”

  62. Thank you Blue Lotus

  63. Please excuse me for the late wishes Rachana, Belated happy anniversary wishes to you 🙂

    What a befitting post for the occasion so beautifully strung together in words of wisdom. I completely second the thoughts, ego divides while love balances out all equations. Today, unfortunately more stress is given to give and take of material things than love in relationships.

    Hope you had a fun day, it was nice meeting you 🙂

  64. Beautiful post! Loved the line, “Marriage is hard work.” That sums it up in a nutshell!
    Happy Anniversary!

    My name is Rajdeep and I’m aspiring to be a published author. I wrote about my parents’ 44th anniversary in a little fun post titled, “44 Reasons my Parents still ‘do'” …a play on the vows of “I do” that so many of us say but have trouble holding to.

    Enjoy at your leisure, and if you’re ever looking for a guest blogger, let me know!


  65. Thank you Arti and Raj and welcome to my space.

  66. A big thanks to Zephyr for pointing me here. I know she writes beautifully – and am thrilled to read this post, which is full of reality. Happy, happy anniversary Rachna!

  67. How I had missed this? Stumbled into ti today.
    Rachna, and Zephyr, Lovely post as usual.
    I am ticking the items metally saying” I agree” while Zephyr gives point by point, the art of adjustment. 🙂

    Adjustment it is 24*7, but the love and affection one gathers on the way stands apart. It is all worth it.

  68. I know that I am ages behind the exact date of this post, but believe me, this post is TIMELESS. This post had to be found by me today of all days because just this morning I was a wee bugged by my husband’s comments. Like all angry woman, I started anguishing about how he never cares, blah, blah . . . This post reminded me that tolerance and understanding is the key. One has to forgive, forget in order to love and live.

    The wisdom of Zephyr is priceless.

    Thanks Rachna for this post. I cannot wish you now for your 11th anniversary but I do wish you an advanced 12th anniversary and when the day comes, remember that I was the first to wish you!

    Joy always,

    • Thank you Susan for your love. Yes, this wisdom is indeed timeless. And, don’t we all go through our bouts of angst with our better halves :). And, that is when these posts bring perspective. Zephyr is indeed precious. She did this post in one day at really short notice. Thank you for your warm wishes. I will remember you on 11th December this year :).

  69. Had been meaning to read this post for so long now, some how it just skips out of my mind when I come to your blog. Now, I made it 🙂 Will wish you on that day. I enjoyed reading the post. How I only wish to follow at least half of them to have peaceful days..:)

  70. Raajee.c on December 20, 2014 at 5:47 pm said:

    Zephyr that’s a lovely special post for your friend about marital relationship. Marriage is that relation between a man and a woman in which independence is equal,dependence is mutual and obligation is reciprocal. Always treat your spouse the way you would like to be treated. If you follow this rule, your marriage will have a much greater chance for success. If you discard this rule, failure is just around the corner. Conflict is inevitable, yet how the couple manages this conflict will be essential to their success. Married life requires great adaptation and coping skills .Present generation with their education and exposure to the outside world, they acquired space and power and this has meant that the traditional relationship could not be sustained.

    • Thanks for the comment Rajee. Your first line is the essence of a marriage. If all one wants is independence any relationship will fail, why only marriage. As you have rightly pointed out, that is the reason traditional relationships are failing. Young people want a loophole through which they can exit when they don’t want to make compromises or give a little more of themselves.
      Zephyr recently posted…It’s all about relativity!My Profile

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