Woman of the Week : Malini Bhatia

malini-high-res

 

Who: Founder of Marriage.com, mother, business woman and world changer.

Why we love her: For her wisdom, positive and down to earth attitude, practical and supportive advice and passion to build better relationships.

Follow: Website, Facebook, Twitter , LinkedIn

Current projects :

Founder & CEO, Marriage.com

5 Favourite things: 

My family (husband and 2 daughters), spirituality, fitness, travel and coffee!

Questions:

1: What motivated you to start your site marriage.com?

My passion for supporting people through the journey of building and sustaining positive, healthy relationships, combined with my business acumen, inspired the creation of Marriage.com.

Prior to running Marriage.com,  I was wearing many different hats in my parent company which is in the consumer internet/technology space; I was involved in operations, finance and content marketing.

Before that I worked in PR and communications with companies across industries such as tech and healthcare, both in the U.S. and internationally. This experience in the tech and communications space was a great learning that provided me skills for my current venture.

I always had the desire to work in an area that added meaningful value in people’s lives and provided support to people. There was a phase in my life when people close to my heart were really suffering in their relationships which either led them to get a divorce, separate or just be married for the sake of it and live together despite no emotional or physical connection.

It was around that phase in my life when my husband and I came across the opportunity to acquire the assets of the company marriage.com (through a business network) which then operated as wedding site. Rather than focus on weddings, which is one day in a person’s life, we decided to change the focus to marriage which is a lifetime event. We rebuilt the website entirely to reflect this change in direction and strategy. A year later, we relaunched to provide expert advice, trusted resources, and positive information about all things marriage.

Marriage as an institution today needs help. Statistics show that nearly 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in a divorce. The divorce rate for first marriages is 41 percent, 60 percent of second, and 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce. Healthy marriages are important for mental and physical health of couple as well as for for children; growing up in a happy home protects children from mental, physical, educational and social problems.

Marriage.com is the first step for people seeking advice and guidance; the site is like your confidant, where you have access to insight from experts, who are verified professionals who are qualified in this area. This is ideal when you do not have the resources to seek a therapist just yet or when you are not comfortable speaking to your friends and family about these topics. It is a place where you can get advice and support without any judgement. We invite marriage experts in various areas and specialties to contribute content to the site based on their focus area. We suggest topics that would interest and benefit our audience in their relationships.

2: What was the best piece of relationship/dating advice you were ever given?

Admit your mistakes: There are sure to be misunderstandings from time to time in any relationship. Even if you love your spouse dearly, you may make mistakes.  Couples have to admit their mistakes to each other. This is a sign of love, not weakness.

It’s not what you say but how you say it: When it comes to having a healthy marriage, it’s not what you say, but how you say it. The tone of voice with which you convey your thoughts and opinions is just as important as the words you say. According to experts, the way you talk to your spouse directly reflects the health and condition of your relationship.

Little things that count: Before you get out of bed in the morning, take a few seconds for a good morning kiss. Tell your spouse that you appreciate them. It really is the little things that count – words like thank you, or please, turning off your cell phone when you are having a meal together; showing affection.

Show gratitude: Expressing gratitude to each other as often as possible can be very positive and fulfilling. Say “thank you” to your spouse. Do little things to show you care or make your day easier for your spouse.

3: What do you think is vital to a successful marriage?

Commitment: Marriages go through a ton of ups and downs and life changes, it requires commitment to make a marriage work.

Love and passion: Love is the foundation of any marriage.

Communication: Communication is very important for a healthy marriage.

Health and fitness: Healthy marriages require you to be fit and in good health.

Time: Relationships are not built without investment of time. You need to carve out and invest time with your spouse for a healthy marriage.

Respect and positivity: Respecting your spouse and a positive attitude in your marriage is key for a successful marriage

4: What do you think are the major contributing factors to marriage failures?

According to U.S. divorce statistics, the rate of divorce in America is very close to the shocking figure of 50%. With that being said, not all marriages fail for the same reason. Lack of communication, issues related to finance, infidelity, commitment, and addiction are some of the top reasons marriages fail.

5: To the women going through divorce, what advice do you have for them?

A divorce is a highly stressful, life-changing event.

Support from others is critical when you are going through a breakup or divorce. While you may feel like being alone, isolating yourself will make it tougher.

Reach out to trusted friends and family members you feel comfortable talking to. Spend time with people who support, value, and energize you. As you consider who to reach out to, choose wisely. Surround yourself with people who are positive and who truly listen to you. It’s important that you feel free to be honest about what you’re going through, without worrying about being judged, criticized, or told what to do.

Also considering using resources like marriage.com, seeing a counselor or joining a support group. The most important thing is that you have at least one place where you feel comfortable opening up.

6: How do you balance your business and marriage/ private life?

I think it is important to manage energy, not just time.

Your energy limits what you can do with your time, so it’s important to manage it wisely.  It’s important to work with a high life condition, take care of your health and personal needs. I have two young girls who are 3 and 7 with whom I spend a lot of time, spending time with my girls and husband, along with spiritual beliefs gives me the positive energy to work in my business and maintaining a good work-life balance.

7:  What do you think women need more of in life and love?

I think a good relationship requires a balance of love and respect. Couples need a healthy balance of love and one other vital thing—respect.

8:  What is your advice to a newly engaged couple in their lead up to their marriage?

A happy life with your spouse starts off at the same place for every couple. The engagement. The wedding. The honeymoon. There is passion and excitement of a new life. But then, things become real and while romance may still be there, it may not be as much. You are fatigued with work and chores, and if you have kids then you get really tired!

Money, stress, responsibilities, the future, all of it creates obstacles in the path. But you can keep some simple things in mind that only take mindfulness and energy to be happy with your loved one.

Say “Thank You” To Your Spouse: Express gratitude towards your spouse  for being who they are and their lifelong commitment to the relationship.

Be Completely Honest: Honesty is important, because the more you stuff down your true feelings, the more you’ll feel resentment — and resentment is the foundation of a toxic relationship.

Compromise, Compromise, Compromise: In any relationship, compromise is key to sustaining it in a healthy way. Couples that compromise regularly — not just the act of it, but expressing a willingness to compromise using a respectful tone and words — demonstrate that they have a connection that goes above passion and romance; it’s the essence of true love.

Play Together — And Play Alone: Couples that stay together spend time together, not out of obligation, but because they enjoy doing these things together. Studies have shown that quality time is one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to keep a marriage strong. At the same time, no couple is going to share all of the exact same interests. Healthy partners respect each other’s interests and allow their spouse to indulge in hobbies that make them happy.

9: What exciting projects do you have coming up?

Our short term goal for marriage.com is to continue doing what’s already working for us –  connecting people with expert advice and improve our platform to cover more resources, deeper information and building a stronger community to support healthy, happy marriages. We want to introduce new platforms and ways in which people consume information, add videos and enable easy access to receiving advice and help for their marriage.

Our long-term goal is to be able to provide value in every marriage. We want to take the platform to be truly global and support many languages. We want to connect people in remote parts of the world with information and advice from top therapists and experts so they can be guided and supported in the right way.

10:  What is one piece of advice you will give to your daughters when they are old enough to start dating?

My two girls are still young (3 & 7), so we still have some time. But I feel it is more important to model the advice that you give your girls. I try my best to say or do things that I would like my girls to internalize or imbibe. For example, things that I often say to them are: I look good, I am strong, I work hard, I deserve respect. I acknowledge when I am scared but I try new things, I take responsibility and apologize when I’m wrong,  I show empathy and compassion for people, I show gratitude for the good things in my life and I am starting to spend time on sports and activities that I’d like them to pursue (such as skiing and golf)

My husband and I work together to ensure our girls see that he treats me the way we want men to treat them. While I want them to be loving and respectful, I want them to expect to be treated well and to consider it unacceptable to be treated as less than or unequal.

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