1. I know why I want to marry.
  2. I am ready to give up being single and to commit to another person for life.
  3. I am mature enough to know what I want and don’t want in a partner.
  4. I understand it’s not my partner’s job to fulfill me, complete me,  rescue me or keep me happy.
  5. I  can regulate (or discipline) my self-serving impulses and put another person first.
    • I am not impulsive about seeking pleasure
    • I am willing to compromise
    • I don’t think I’m always right
    • I am sensitive to and can empathize with the feelings of others
    • I don’t easily get into arguments or fights (I can self-soothe)
    • I can try to understand another’s ( even opposing) point of view
    • I am non-judgmental
    • I understand happiness and love come by giving
    • I make a serious effort to fulfill commitments. Read more

Physically, psychologically and spiritually we go through many changes in the natural course of our lives and our marital relationship may need to adapt accordingly. Yet some basic, vital qualities are present throughout all healthy marriages. Let’s look at seven of them in relation to our potential spouse and ourselves.  Read More

Be cautious as the feeling of attraction and euphoria, which creates a sense of trust and a focus on the positive qualities, can cause one to miss serious negative traits sometimes known as  red flags.

Love with your heart and apply intelligence. Be aware of red flags.

With the current travel restrictions due to Covid-19 many couples are meeting online.

Take advantage of our Premarital Questions to get to know each other.

One word of caution about developing a relationship online is  a tendency to make assumptions and fill in the blanks about things you many not know about your potential partner. Take your time, use your heart and your intelligence.

In the video below  Archana Siddhi  devi dasi discusses her experience of getting to know her husband Karnamrita  dasa in a previous century before the advent of the internet.

Premarital Questions

couple_listening_talking_to_each_otherThis list of questions, in two sections is intended for couples to think about and discuss with each other as a means to understanding each other’s expectations and desires. It will take many sessions to read and answer all these questions.  Make sure you have sufficient time are relaxed.

Remember that this is just to help you become aware of many aspects of marriage and you may find that more questions will come up that are unique for you.  Read More

Five Reasons to Get Pre-marital Education

In our society, where divorce is a scary and pernicious reality for far too many couples, one of the wisest and most practical things a couple can do is to get premarital education.  Think about it, so much money is spent on weddings these days.  For a one day ceremony, couples spend thousands of dollars. The average cost of an American wedding was $35,329 in 2016, according to the most recent figures from the Knot (a wedding planning website).  And yet for the marriage itself, generally little attention is given to preparation for a life-long marriage, into what it takes to have an enduring, successful marriage.  In light of this, we have identified five reasons why a person should get premarital education:   Read More

A Couples Experience With Premarital Education.

 Couples Experiences With Premarital Education

The Honeymoon Stage of Marriage.

Now everything is perfect, we’re in heaven, we have so much in common, nothing about my spouse bothers me, the world looks rose colored and bright.

This is a special bonding time, enjoy it!  Just remember marriage is a journey of adventure not a resort destination.

In terms of chemistry what is happening physiologically is your bodies are producing dopamine and oxytocin the feel good, bonding hormones. This state can last from 3 to 24 months.

However, differences will gradually become more prominent and can minimize your sense of connection. You may even start to wonder what brought you together in the first place.

To maintain a healthy bond beyond the honey moon stage, some work is involved. Developing mutual tolerance, humility and respect in needed.

Click sign for bonus material.

Don't worry bumps are normal. Being aware of the this and learn how to navigate the inevitable challenges will make your journey a lot smoother.

My  spouse is starting to irritate me.

Now the oxytocin and dopamine are wearing off. You both are noticing irritating differences about each other.  One is outgoing one is introverted,  one is a filer one is a piler, one a saver one a spender.  Then there is the legendary toilet seat; does it belong up or down?

You may start to wonder what happened to that loving feeling.

Congratulations! You are moving beyond the honey moon stage and you both have the opportunity to learn to develop the qualities of  humility, patience and respect. These are essential elements of lasting love in marriage. Coincidentally, they are also essential for developing love for Krishna. Marriage is fertile ground for cultivating spiritual advancement.

Navigating differences is like learning to dance. In the beginning you step on each others’ feet but, if you keep at it, with lots of practice you will learn to move in graceful harmony.  In the words of Dr. Sue Johnson, author, and clinical psychologist, “Love is a constant process of tuning in, connecting, missing and misreading cues, disconnecting, repairing, and finding deeper connection. It is a dance of meeting and parting and finding each other again. Minute to minute and day to day.”

Couples may ignore or attempt resolutions to these annoyances in ways which are not constructive. This can lead to  resentment and power struggles, the topic of the next section.

About the issue of whether the toilet seat should go up or down; this was a minor issue for years in our marriage. Uttama had just toilet trained one of our children. I had left the seat up and our poor kid practically fell in and was afraid to go near the toilet for months. Guys, take my advice and go with gravity and put it down.

By Partha dasa

Harmonious Discord in Marriage

A dramatic paradox of marriage is that qualities which originally attract a couple, in time can become a source of irritation. Is this a hopeless flaw of the creation or an enigma beckoning our understanding?  Read More

Ahead is an important fork in the road  where you will consciously or unconsciously navigate your differences and power struggles. There are various directions you can go and it is important to make informed, educated decisions.

Click the sign below that most applies to you.

Sign 1:  Committed, but lacking skills. If this is you , do the needful to improve your marriage. If you neglect to become proactive, you may remain together, but not so happily ever after.

Sign 2: Low commitment.  If this is you, do the needful . If you neglect to improve, you could spiral down toward separation or divorce. Seek help if needed.

Sign 3: Share your success.


Trust is a foundation stone of healthy relationships. Read More

The Wealthy Marriage

Confirming the old adage that money cannot buy happiness, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, with a net worth of $137 billion, is divorcing from his wife of 25 years. On the other hand, extensive research by the Gottman Institute has shown that one of the traits of a successful marriage is affluence, but of a much different type; that of a hefty emotional bank account. Results showed, that for a marriage to endure there must be a minimum of five positive interactions to one negative.  The greater the positive ratio the more contented the marriage. Great marriages often have at least a 20:1 ratio of positive to negative interactions.

We would expect that as Vaishnavas with a philosophy expounding the highest values of compassion, kindness, equal vision and respect for all that  positive interactions would be a given. In reality we often see individuals with poor relationships either in their marriages or in their community.  Why is our practical application not in alignment with our philosophical understanding? After all, it is stated that one who engages in unalloyed devotional service automatically develops all the qualities of the demigods. (SB 5.18.12  Read More 

Commitment means that if things get difficult,  husband and wife are dedicated to constantly  improving their Heart and Soul Connection, through thick and thin.

The Nectar of Commitment

Commitment is an extremely important and powerful value. Its significance is noted in Bhagavat Gita as vyavasäyätmikä buddhi. This Sanskrit term refers to resolute determination or commitment as the active principle of spiritual life. The Grihastha ashrama is meant for devotional service for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna. In spiritual marriages this active principle of commitment becomes a sacred bond.     Read More

Marriage is like a garden.

After the seed is planted there is some work involved.

If you perform your due diligence the results are worth it. Read more 

In a world facing degrees of lock downs and isolation couples face new challenges

Dealing With Stress.

Remaining Calm and Courageous. An interview by I-FAST.

We seek to support, strengthen, educate and enliven the individuals, couples and families who are or will be involved with the grihastha ashram.