This week, we debut our Summer Love Series. We begin with Sonia Kaur, a California native who now calls Connecticut home. She has been married for 11 years and has 5 and 2 year old boys who drive her crazy, but who she couldn’t imagine life without. She is an entrepreneur and a lover of social media and marketing. When not consumed by work and kids, she enjoys Punjabi music, iced chai, Amazon Prime, and time spent with girlfriends.
Below, Sonia shares her thoughts on love and marriage.
How would you define a “good”/”happy” marriage for a Sikh couple?
To be Sikh is to be forever learning and growing and I believe that perfectly describes marriage as well. Sikhi is our common denominator – it is what grounds us and ties us together. Everything else can change, but that will not. A good marriage is one that has a strong foundation and can adapt to changes – whether they be children, job changes or one of the many other surprises life throws at us. A happy marriage is one in which you can still look at your partner and remember why you chose one another – even if it happens rarely!
If you could give one tip to a newlywed couple about keeping a marriage thriving, what would it be?
Marriage is a partnership and your spouse is your partner. You have to be 100% committed to growing together if you want it to last. Always support each other when it counts and never purposely set out to hurt one other. If you disagree about something and one of you cares a lot more about the issue than the other, give in. It’s not a sign of weakness but rather will strengthen your relationship and make your foundation stronger.
What is the greatest challenge to keeping your marriage alive and how do you overcome it?
The greatest challenge is losing yourself in everything around you – the kids, work, social commitments. It becomes extremely easy to lose sight of one another’s needs when your plate is so full. I think the only way to overcome this is to make it a point to carve out time for each other. Of course, this will happen a lot less during certain times – like when you have a newborn or a stressful job – and that’s okay. Hiring a babysitter and going out for a 3 hour dinner won’t always make sense but watching a movie on Netflix at home after the kids go to sleep can help you accomplish the same goal.
How do you and your spouse work through disagreements?
Truce. It’s the most powerful word in our relationship and it has fixed so many of our problems. While I would love to say we followed the advice we received on one of the wish cards at our reception (“Never go to bed angry”), we did not. We recognize that sometimes we need time to cool down. The person who gets to that point first extends their hand and asks for a truce – no questions asked, no further discussion (unless necessary, of course), just a mutual deal to move on. The other person instantly realizes that it’s really not worth holding the grudge and we hug it out. Such a simple concept, but it has helped us more times than I can possibly count!
What is your favorite way to add excitement to your marriage?
Anything out of the ordinary. A new restaurant for a rare date night, going on a bike ride, binge watching Scandal on Netflix, finding a new song that we both fall in love with, having a real conversation on a long drive while our kids nap in their carseats. It’s so easy to get caught up in diapers, discipline, work pressure so anything that jolts us out of normal life and reminds us that we are still a couple gets us excited!
How do you balance being a parent and being a spouse? How do those worlds intersect and how do they collide?
Being a parent forces you to push your role of spouse to the back burner. There are days that go by that we don’t speak two words to one another that don’t have to do with the kids. There are days I resent my husband for not being the one who repeatedly goes to the baby in the middle of the night, and there are days I’m sure he resents me for throwing the kids at him as soon as he walks through the door tired from work. Becoming parents without a doubt puts stress on your previously carefree relationship. But then there are those moments when your son surprises you by solving a math problem in his head that is well beyond his years or your toddler somehow learns how to do a jakara and does it over and over with such passion, and you realize, you are the only two people in the world who get the credit for MAKING these little guys. Your eyes meet, you smile in amazement, and the resentment melts away while your bond is strengthened like never before.
When you first met Joti, Prabhjot, what did you notice and fall in love with? And what is his answer about you?
Sonia – We are one of the many couples that can thank AOL Instant Messenger for allowing us to get to know one another. I immediately fell for the “idea” of Joti. On paper, he sounded like the absolute perfect man: a confident sardar; a smart, articulate man with a good job; surrounded by a loving family; and OH so beyond romantic. For example, within hours of finding out my favorite ice cream, he had it delivered to me via Webvan from 3,000 miles away. When I met him, his smile and his hug melted me and I knew right away, even though I was only 19, that I had met my husband.
Joti – If you’ve ever seen Sonia, you would know it’s clearly her strikingly beautiful eyes that you notice instantly – the comments from many strangers would attest to that – but within your first real conversation with her, you would realize it’s also her passion, whether it be for Sikhi, family, Punjabi culture, entrepreneurism, etc., she always shows up with a full heart.