What makes a marriage tick?

1 min

We were having one of those rare weekends when my husband and I were home alone; the children had gone to visit their grandparents. So we had a whole Saturday to ourselves and our plan was to spend it at home.

We woke up later than usual, had a slow breakfast, which was rather quiet. We didn’t seem to have much to say to each other and soon settled into a quiet companionship, which spread into most of the day.

Later that afternoon, again sitting quietly as we basked outside, I found myself thinking about how the day was going. I had expected that with the children absent, who usually take most of our attention when they are around, we would have spent most of the day engaged in intense and intimate discussions. However, this never happened.

Surprisingly, I was happy with how the day was going. It seemed that, despite being in each other’s presence without necessarily talking, there was a whole lot of communication going on between us. As we crossed each other’s paths in the house doing different things, a glance here, a touch there, a small comment on a mundane topic once in a while or even a frown when the wind banged a door shut, kept us ‘talking’ the whole day.


It did make me wonder just what makes a relationship tick. Here we were enjoying each other’s company without much, at least on the surface, going on. A casual observer could easily sum our relationship as bored, which was quite the opposite.

For some couples, it seems they must be engaged in myriad activities all the time to satisfy themselves that the relationship is working. However, if something should force the activities to come to an end, like illness, the couple is unable to deal with itself. There is nothing to do.

Then there are the couples who suddenly realise they have nothing in common once their last-born leaves home. The relationship was held together by the common pursuit of bringing up the children and once that glue is removed, the relationship falls apart. It was all along a mirage.

From my experience, I think a marriage ticks when the husband and wife have a healthy appreciation of each other, where they acknowledge the good and the bad and each is willing to give it their all to make sure it works.

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