It is no secret that today’s human beings are more harried and tormented than ever before. Their tormentors could be in the shape of expectations to live up to, or simply unwanted phone calls which refuse to die down. The level of engagement with the outer environment has increased to such an extent that it is well nigh impossible to find a quiet moment to oneself.

Being connected all the time and being under the scanner of society in many ways leaves us with much to do in order to stay afloat! Somehow, we are expected to look good at every moment, behave well constantly, and respond meticulously to stimuli of all sorts continually. Even the filling up of an online performa and the obligation to remember several passwords can be quite a demanding set of tasks for those who are forever on the run.

Married couples therefore often find themselves at the short end of a fuse with very little time left before explosions occur! They lose their tempers most often with each other and take out all their angst in the bargain. Arguments between two people who spend a lot of time together are bound to occur when the sets of mental pressures upon them are so unrelenting.

At a recent motivational session with the Indore police I was speaking on how we usually tend to shout at and lose our ‘shape’ with the very ones whom we love. All day long we remain largely composed at work and at our best behavior, especially with bosses and people of that sort. But once we arrive home at the end of a long hard day, we tend to blow our top at those who actually matter.

While these are normal human tendencies and have been noticed for decades, they have been tremendously exacerbated in recent times. More than ever before, relationships are under duress and are on the verge of collapse because of the inability of couples to understand each other and give time to each other. Their children are growing up more in the company of gadgets, and often maids, but without sufficient attention from their parents. Affairs and often the unfounded suspicion of such liaisons are increasing due to the spouse’s ease of access to the opposite sex. Marriages are breaking up with alarming frequency.

In light of this pressure cooker situation, the couples of today have to be even more empathetic towards their life partners. They have to walk the extra mile to understand and appreciate the point of view of the other, instead of snapping chords and cutting ties without reason enough. Only if all efforts fail should a separation be resorted to, and unreasonable relatives of both parties should be kept away as far as possible.

A New York Post survey points out that women are more interested in words of appreciation from their partners than gifts et al. It is the ability to listen to each other carefully and with understanding which wanes with the passage of years. Once the propellant of man-woman chemistry and the draw of physical intimacy have subsided in their intensity, an ensuring friendship is what will make two people tick along as a couple. They need to find newer ways to keep going. Even by travelling together for vacations regularly, or by going for weekend hikes, several couples have found their bond to have deepened.

In the Netflix magnum opus, The Crown, Queen Elizabeth’s relationship with Prince Phillip is shown to have undergone turbulence at various points during their very long journey, but each such episode has been followed by reconciliation and even fortification of their marriage. As the Queen points out very early in their married journey, divorce has never been an option for them.

The fact that it is an option for the rest of the world has perhaps resulted in the brittleness of many relationships. But one look at marriages which have worked superbly well for long decades, and one realizes that a sense of humour and the ability to laugh together have been binding forces. One survey even finds that having two televisions in the house has saved many marriages! Not a bad idea, actually…