My brother is getting married. It’s been a long ‘search’ for a bride for him, with several anxious days, and heated arguments as he rejected (I use the term ‘rejected’ very loosely here; certainly not meant to be sounding disrespectful or hurtful) one woman after another, for reasons that I could never understand. I started joking with him, if I were in his shoes, I would’ve agreed to marry atleast 50% of those women. I really found quite a few of them very pretty, and a good match for my tall and good looking brother.

But it just had to be. He had to reject all those women, till he met Priya. A one hour meeting and they both were agreeable to getting married. Over the last few weeks they have fallen in love with each other. What seemed like a gloomy situation (his not finding an woman fit enough to get married to) suddenly turned into frenzy preparing for marriage in a couple of months.

I’m sure they can both find things in each other which would make them candidates for rejection. But there is something more to a meeting of the hearts than may appear on face value. This is the essence of this article, which I’m hoping to give to Anuj and Priya, as a small gift, based on my experiences and the re-learning about life I’ve done over the years.

While this was originally thought of as a piece I would write for Anuj and Priya, it certainly would have relevance for all my readers. What I have to say below is something I am still struggling with – and still fail, even after 7 years of marriage and about similar time of courting my wife Anamika. I have learnt most of these by making mistakes over these years (in my marriage, as well as at work – same principles apply at work as well), and believe these to be true for me. Just as my brother is mature enough to understand these truths, you all may as well – however, as I wrote it, I was inspired to share this. Perhaps, these may resonate with you, and help in some ways.

We’re spiritual beings

We’re spiritual beings come together to help each other grow in our never ending/eternal spiritual journeys. There is something that needs to be worked upon or completed between two people coming together which is what brings you here together, once again.

There is enough evidence now. Dr. Brian Weiss’s books on rebirth starting with “Many Lives, Many Masters” documents the story of her patient Catherine, who was able to break through her tremendous fears and mental trauma, accidentally, in a hypno-therapy session that Dr. Weiss was conducting.

Dr. Weiss went on to work with several hundred patients and discovered two patients of his, unaware that they had been lovers several times before in past lives, and came together again. He wrote another book on the same subject of reincarnation, this time titled – “Only Love is Real”.

Living life with this consciousness makes the journey more pleasant and intentional. It ‘works’ better. So whether you believe there is truth in what Dr. Weiss says or no, we all need to keep things that ‘work’ for us.

Romanticism is not love

You and Priya will ‘fall out of love’ – for sure.

This is because you would have, as is the case with everyone – yes, almost “everyone” –  mixed ‘romanticism’ with ‘love’. Dr. Scott M Peck in his book, “Road Less Travelled” talks at length about how people suffer when their romantic notions are not responded to by their partners. All of us, he says, form romantic impressions about love and life, which do not last long. And then problems in relationships and marriages start.

Love, is beyond such romantic imaginations. There is an underlying strong basic emotion of love, which persists. One has to remain alive and aware of this.

Learn to love ‘intentionally’

Life that happens by chance leaves us asking for outside help from the stars and planets. Life that happens intentionally and with involvement, even if it is tough, is fulfilling and satisfying.

Learn to ‘love’ and ‘respect’ intentionally, and not find reasons for doing so. You could live life as if everything is random/chance, or as if its all a miracle. The latter is easier and energising.

Learn to respect each other

Learn to not only love but also ‘respect’ each other’s feelings and view points. You may disagree, but believe that there is still a view point, and see if you can think through it intellectually. This will require you to ‘grow’, ‘learn’ and ‘expand’ yourself. It will be an invitation for you to expand beyond what you imagine yourself to be. This is the ‘bane’ and the ‘beauty’ of marriage. You will have the choice to live it like a bane or beauty.

Get out of an argument, but stay ‘with’ it

Learn to ‘stay in an argument’. Yes, I think it is arrogance, and the highest form of dominance, to walk out of an argument. You may agree to disengage from the argument in the heat of the moment. Certainly, do so. Move out of the argument – nothing gets achieved between two angry people shouting at each other. But come back to basic issues of your argument and disagreements, when things are calmer, to understand each other and to ‘see’ each other’s view point. Remind yourselves, in an argument, that you may disagree but you are arguing to ‘not win’ but to discover the other point.

This is very important to understand. Arguments and disagreements, even serious ones, are natural. One has to come back, in a relaxed, agreeable state of body and mind, and argue out the differences. This is “shastrarth”, which the Indians of yore made themselves famous with and wrote philosophy, when most of the world was living like barbarians. And it is we who have forgotten it all.

Never taunt

Never taunt! Taunts do not help carry forward an argument, which is meant to resolve, and understand each other’s point of view. They are relationship destroying, and achieve nothing, except ‘one-up-manship’ (or one-up-womanship) in order to stay on top of the argument.

‘Sorry’ and ‘Thank you’ – tools to show respect

‘Sorry’ and ‘thank you’, are going to become tools for you to show respect and appreciation for each other. Learn to stay with them. They will become one of the most important tools in your communication a few years into the marriage.

Remind each other; develop your communication language

I’m sure you’ll forget all this in the midst of arguments. And this is the time to remind the other, in a gentle way. This is the heart of ‘good communication’. Unfortunately, we’re taught how to make a living, but we’re never taught ‘how to communicate’ in our schools. So, we have to learn ourselves, with external help – of books, or trainers. Some lucky ones, can reach these conclusions intuitively.