I have hardly seen a couple whose married life is really happy. This does not mean that they are fighting day and night but what I mean is rather, a happy married life from the point of view of compatibility between couples. You visit anywhere in the world, you will not find more than 2% people living an exceptionally happy married life.

In western world the culture is entirely different from ours. There people don’t believe in marriage being a solemn bond. For them marriage is just an agreement which, if not workable they move on after divorcing each other whereas here in India, we don’t feel that way and keep adjusting for the whole life. There are no restrictions or obligations to adhere to social rules or regulations in west whereas here we are obliged to adhere to the social, religious, cultural traditions and ethos.

Our cultural values and traditions, though logical and scientific, were molded in such a way that they lost the relevance. Our culture was to search a companion in known families and particularly the families having similar background, lifestyle, status and following similar traditions. Such selection was having more compatibility because of similarity in most of the factors of both the families. Today also we search for companion from known sources but don’t want it to be from our inner circles. In such cases the similar factors get ignored and thus becomes one of the reasons for difference of opinion amongst the married couple.

Basically, the life style of business class families or of government employees of similar position, is similar. This similarity of life style makes 50% compatibility. Remaining 50% compatibility amongst the couple depends upon the nature and family arrangement equally. Out of this family arrangement can be enquired and verified and if found similar, the compatibility raises to 75%. Now, the last 25% depends upon the nature and behavior of the couple. The behavior and nature of couple consists of personal traits and qualities.

Let us analyse the above in detail. The first part of similarities in family consists of financial position- good or very good, life style – modern or orthodox or western, family culture- joint or nuclear etc. If these factors are similar then the compatibility between couple would be higher.

The second part consists of family arrangement which means the relationship between the family members inter-se. If both families have a close bonded relationship then it works wonderfully but in case it is different than it will make difficult for the life partners to adjust.

The third aspect is most important and if we are still carrying on, it is only due to this factor. The nature and behaviour of the couple plays the most pivotal role in shaping the relationship. It is very difficult to foresee or enquire about the nature and behaviour of companion because every person behaves differently with different relations. A person may be a very good son, brother, relative or friend but how he will behave with his companion in a given condition cannot be judged. Similar is the case with the girl.   

Now the most important factor of nature and behaviour should be discussed because without that this discussion will be futile. In Indian context, mostly the girls are considered as more tolerant and adjustable due to their bringing up. From the very beginning every girl child is told to be tolerant because she has to go to her in-law’s house. Whole of the family keep reminding the girl child about this, hither and thither. Although, in modern times, we may not consider this as good but the truth is that the credit for maintaining the harmonious relationship in families goes to this very attitude only. In ideal indian society, the girl’s tolerant behaviour puts her in advantageous position over the boy because the elders always favour the girl. Families which maintain this ideal position, mostly have conducive environment and they live a quite peaceful and happy life. Wherever if the above ideal position is not maintained either the girl rebels after some time or the life becomes miserable.  

The above tolerant behaviour also makes the boy feel guilty, if he has indifferent behaviour, and he starts analysing himself and improving his nature and which makes the life happy, later on in life. Here you can say that till that time the girl suffers a lot but at the same time another point is that there is no surety that she will get better life partner, if she divorces and get married again.

In case where the girls are modern and who cannot tolerate indifferent behaviour of husband or family members live a miserable life because she reacts every time and over reacts some time. Here the responsibility to handle the situation lies on the shoulder of the husband. Those who tackle the position carefully and diligently, lives the life peacefully, if not happily. With the passage of time both of them are required to change their attitude as desired by the other. Those who fail to do so, keep suffering and live a miserable life. In such cases, it took five to ten years to mould according to the wishes of the other partner.

Another important point is the relationship amongst the family members and the couple. Initially, the reasons of fight amongst the couple are difference of opinion, habits, nature, liking disliking etc. of family members. Girls tolerate the indifferent behaviour of family members but complain about the same to husband. Those who hear calmly and pacify her succeed in maintaining a balance but those who fail to do so have to face consequences and life becomes miserable.

Making adjustments, moulding nature, sacrificing wishes is the most important part of married life in India. Everyone has to do so, if he/ she wishes to maintain the relationship.

To check the compatibility of a couple you just take a paper and pen. Start writing their priorities in life, honestly. Match the priorities to know their compatibility. This will give you better result because the priorities will mostly include all the things required to judge their relationship. Priorities or preferences in real sense e.g. for a wife preparing delicious food for husband may be a priority but for husband it may not be so. For husband spending quality time together may be more important than delicious food. While checking similarities in priorities we must take care to consider only those similarities which are absolutely matching.

Besides this liking-disliking, habits, difference of opinion with regard to various issues, nature, temperament, attitude and behaviour also matters a lot. Managing all these things becomes easier if the priorities are similar. Change in priorities occur when any new member is added to family because a space has to be created for him/her. Sometimes the space occupied by that child also create troubles due to change in priorities of a lady and the men face difficulty in adjusting with the same. Here, it is very important for a lady to manage the priorities in a sophisticated manner. Sometime the ladies start giving all the priority to the child, even at the cost of all other priorities. In such cases the problem becomes serious.

Basically, in my opinion the couple must write down their priorities and then take a decision about the level of preference to be given to each one of them. Both of them should give preference as per the likings of spouse. If it is done in this manner, I am sure that 80% issues/ problems will vanish out and the remaining will be managed in better manner due to increased compatibility and understanding.