A Handful of Happiness

No sooner did Jay drop Zara at her home, she dialed Jenny. Despite their age difference, the two are really close to each other. Jenny is an ideal homemaker with all the qualities one would expect of a perfect wife. Zara wanted to tell Jenny the entire episode of how Jay finally convinced her to marry him with his 10 commandments of marriage.

“Hi dear! I need to share something truly exciting with you,” she confided to Jenny. “Same here. I had a dramatic day myself,” Jenny filled in.

“Go on tell me all about it,” Jenny encouraged after learning about the forthcoming engagement of her friend. Zara said, “I am sending an image of the letter he wrote to me. It consists of the 10 reasons why marriage is important for happiness.” On reading the letter, Jenny told her about how she literally banned her husband that day and made him realize the importance of relationship instead of marriage.

Before she disconnected the call, Jenny advised Zara to go to a marriage counselor. Harry and Jenny too had attended a few sessions. They realized that marriage is like an automobile which required the equal contribution of both the partners to function efficiently. The way a car cannot run with a flat tire, similarly, in case if one of the partners failed, the entire relationship would go for a toss.

Zara convinced Jay to attend pre-marriage counseling for their relationship. In the first session, they were given a set of questions. This is for all the couples planning to marry in near future. The two of them need to put their answers side by side and come to terms with their differences in case their replies do not match.

What Does Marriage Commitment Mean To You?

  1. What does commitment mean to you before you sign the marriage papers?
  2. What is that made you choose your life partner?
  3. What are the things you find most attractive about your partner?
  4. What expectations do you have of your partner in realizing your dreams?

What Are Your Life Long Goals

  1. What plans do you have regarding your career?
  2. How do you plan to serve your community? Will you do it alone or with your partner?
  3. Are there any plans on leaving a legacy after your death?

What Are Your Mutual Expectations

  1. What kind of support do you expect from a marital partner in terms of challenging times?
  2. How do you wish your partner to react during exciting times, sad times, during ailment or financial loss?
  3. Do you plan to set aside one night just for the two of you in order to catch up with each other and have fun moments?
  4. Are the two of okay with the salary differential?
  5. How do you plan to deal with each other when you reach middle age?

What Will Be Your Living Arrangements

  1. How will the two of you live?
  2. What arrangements do you have on your mind after the arrival of children?
  3. Do you plan to live close to your parents now or as they get older?

What Plans Do You Have In Terms of Children?

  1. When do you plan to start a family?
  2. What should be the age gap between your kids?
  3. What is your take on abortion?
  4. How does the two of you plan to shape your children’s values?
  5. What kind of punishments do you think would be appropriate or not appropriate?
  6. How do you plan to spend on the toys, clothes, etc. of your children?

What Are The Rules Regarding Money?

  1. What kind of bank accounts would the two of you have, separate, joint or both?
  2. What should be the agreement regarding financial expenses?
  3. Who will be the nominee of your bank account, insurance, and mutual funds?
  4. Do you plan to use a financial planner?
  5. Who will take care of the financial documentation?

How Will You Deal With Heated Conflicts?

  1. Is there any need of deciding who will make the first move to resolve fights?
  2. How do you plan to reach out to each other after heated conflicts?

After reading through the entire questionnaires, the two of them sat together. Zara was finding the whole idea tad boring now. Although it was her idea to be there, but right now Jay was more than happy with the whole scenario. He wished to know what more does one need apart from love to make the relationship last.

They discussed things related to their religious beliefs. Jay held her hands and said, “Zara, for happiness, spirituality matters the most. To me, a visit to religious places, a walk in the woods, gazing at the stars together or simply meditating in the same room would provide me immense inner peace.”

She shook her head vehemently, “Jay, this is too serious. Marriage is all about love and togetherness. Lovers always profess of undying love and declare to the entire world, “Till death do us part.” Before she could get any more dramatic, the marriage counselor entered.

Mr. Mukherjee smiled broadly, “Love is the best element for a successful marriage.” Zara gave Jay a smug smile. “However for a successful and happy marriage, love is not the only element,” this time it was Jay’s turn to give a smug look.

“Patience is the key element for a successful relationship. Mutual empathy, sincerity, transparency, and faithfulness combine the perfect recipe for a happy married life,” Mr. Mukherjee confirmed. He then explained each of the points in detail to the two of them.

Finally, at the end of the session, they had a clear picture of their future. They realized that what they were getting into was not all about the bed of roses but it was a lifetime deal. Life ahead might be a bumpy ride but they must strive to drive the vehicle of love together. All you need is a handful of happiness if a lifetime of togetherness is on your mind.

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