True compatibility is not based on one or the other trait, but a deep physical and mental synergy, says Sensei Avinash Subramanyam
Atrue marriage or live-in relationship is a combination of physical synergy, empathy, chemical balance and auras. It also calls for a union of the senses of look, smell, taste, and touch. Unfortunately, few people even seem to consider this. Mostly, people marry because of their need to please their families. Sometimes, it’s just the hormones, or casual meetings that develop into friendship and culminate in marriage.
I have realised through experience that such marriages don’t work because a single factor like looks, intellect or sexual compatibility is not enough to fulfil a relationship. A man falls in love with a beautiful girl, but their ways of life might not match. She might be selfish and materialistic. A man with fine intellect could have bad breath. While picking up clothes, we go not just by looks but also by texture. A dish on the menu might have a nice name, and look good, but taste awful. That’s why the Chinese masters said a complete dish is one that draws you by its look, smell and taste, and the crockery it’s served in. Not that two people should like the very same things—that can get boring—but synergy should happen at a deeper level.
Here are some common problems with marriage: the man and the woman lead independent lives and marriage is just one of the many things in their scheme of things, perhaps an arrangement for sex or security. But how many actually find sexual fulfilment in marriage? For a man, satisfaction is easy. But for a woman, it works differently. How many couples have the patience to understand the sensitivities of their bodies?
In an arranged marriage, couple’s needs rarely blend. One of them expects the other to adapt and compromise— you eat my kind of food, you adapt to my family. Take a silly example like eating out at a restaurant— one will ask the other to share the dish because ‘Why waste?’
Not that love marriages are any better. During courtship you notice shortcomings but compromise. Only when you are married do you realise that the compromise is for life. As long as you know you can quit, you stay. But, the moment you know you can’t quit, you find it difficult to stay. That is a strange paradox.
How to find compatibility
Real compatibility can be achieved in three ways:
One, you become a mirror to the other person. You reflect the other’s likes and dislikes
. Two, you mutually love each other’s ways. Three, you find out and finetune the energies of two people. In budo, you can discern this from spiritual insight. A practical method for others is for the two concerned individuals to honestly share their likes and dislikes. See if they like to do the same things. It’s worth the time to out before you commit to a relationship.
Is total synergy of the body and mind between two people possible? No. You should be fine that the other person drinks, but not a bottle; that he smokes, but not a packet; that she parties, but not all week. You should like the other’s way of life at least 10 per cent each in its different facets. The only thing that is a no-no is an intimate relationship with other men and women. Make it clear that you are married and not available. Don’t let friendships destroy your marriage. Don’t indulge in verbal or physical intimacy outside of marriage if you want marriage to work.
Practise towards achieving synergy. Allow yourself to like everything the other does. Never once ask the other to do what you want, except if it is good for the other in budo or on a spiritual path. Let the other try the path for a while. Never impose; only suggest. If one is a Hindu and the other a Christian, don’t insist the children should belong to one of the two religions. Saying let one be Hindu and the other a Christian is also not a good arrangement. Marriage is not a business deal.
What must you avoid to nurture your relationship? It is, more often than not, a person’s speech and action that causes problems.
Unseen negative force
Never repel a gesture of love—a hug, kiss, handshake, ruffle of hair, smile. If a husband says “Hi, darling” and the wife reacts in a cold manner, he can get put off. If she does it often enough, he might never be able to say “Hi, darling” again. If the woman turns her face away every time her husband tries to kiss her, his body will soon resist wanting to kiss her. It’s like you can’t go near a dog that has snarled at you. Another example: I feed strays in my neighbourhood. Sometimes they bark and fight in the middle of the night in front of my door. This could wake up the neighbours. So I stop their fight by throwing water at them. These days, as soon as I open the door, they stop barking and run away.
It’s possible that a wife is upset because the husband said the food she had cooked did not taste good. If the man then extends his hand in apology, it’s ok not to accept the apology, but she shouldn’t repel the hand. Be aware of what you say and how you react. Fights separate the mind and the body from each other. Say you were hurt and he was in the wrong, don’t be vicious. Don’t be cold with your eyes. Show pain, but don’t show harshness.
Never use information told to you in trust against your spouse. If your spouse has told you about an affair before marriage, don’t misuse it when things turn sour. Say, a man breaks his wife’s favourite mug. He is initially scared to tell her but later accepts his mistake. At a later stage, when something is found broken, she shouldn’t say, “Must be your doing.” This is a threshold you should not cross in any close relationship. Information told by a friend on trust should not be revealed even if you turn enemies.
Next Week: Why you should never take your spouse for granted Way of Budo 33 True compatibility is not based on one or the other trait, but a deep physical and mental synergy, says Sensei Avinash Subramanyam A guide to the married life
Transcribed by Radhika P You can write to Sensei at: