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'A responsible wife is an asset'

February 11, 2016 10:38 IST

"Women are gifted at multitasking. She can cook, work and nurture kids at the same time with efficiency. No matter how much men try, they cannot match her abilities.

"Men bring in a different set of qualities to the table, which helps balance the relationship."

Management guru Virender Kapoor tells us why he wrote the book A Wonderful Wife.

'A wonderful wife is an asset'

To sum up, men cannot do what women can and vice versa.

'Behind every successful man is a woman.' We've grown up knowing and experiencing the truth behind this statement.

In A Wonderful Wife, author and management guru Virender Kapoor convinces 12 ordinary men from various backgrounds to write about the role their wives played in their respective lives.

Through the book, the former director of Pune's Symbiosis Institute of Management and founder of Management Institute for Leadership and Excellence aims to explore the importance of women in a marriage in an attempt to rekindle the relationship between modern day couples.

In a chat with Divya Nair/Rediff.com, Kapoor says the increasing divorce rates inspired the book and he believes every couple, married or not, should read it.

Virender KapoorHow did the idea of writing a book on 'wives' occur to you?

It all started with my book, A Wonderful Boss. After it was published, I felt I should explore other relationships like that of a colleague and wife too. They are equally important.

In this day and age, where divorces are getting common, I thought it would be a nice idea to have husbands write about their wives and publish a book around it.

My aim was to rekindle the importance of a woman in a man's life -- she is a wife, mother, daughter and daughter-in-law at the same time.

There are 12 stories written by people across faiths and generations -- from someone who's married for three years to 35 years, the book spans the gamut.

How did you get people to share their stories?

I had conceptualised the book more than a year ago.

I approached at least 50 people -- friends and friends of friends -- who I thought were fit to write about their wives. Some of them refused, saying it was too personal an experience to share in a book.

Others refused because they did not know how to write or express their thoughts.

Some men volunteered immediately while some others took time.

One of the most endearing stories I received was from a gentleman who had lost his wife. I did not have the courage to ask him, but he volunteered to write for me.

When you read the book, you'll realise the important role wives play in the lives of their husbands, children and family. Each story is special.

Why do you think the wife plays an important role in a relationship/family?

Nature has gifted women with certain unique strengths. She has immense mental strength and resilience.

When a woman gets married and joins her husband's family, I envision an organ transplant. Like the new organ takes time to adjust to its new body, a wonderful woman too takes her time and eventually accommodates everything and everyone as if they were her own.

She brings in warmth, understanding and balance in the family.

A Wonderful WifeWhat are the qualities women have that men don't?

Women are gifted at multitasking. She can cook, work and nurture kids at the same time with efficiency. No matter how much men try, they cannot match her abilities.

Her maternal instincts are strong. She can sense if her kids are in trouble and attend to it. She is adaptable and can find a smooth way out of her problems.

Even if you were to move to a new city, women adjust and cope faster than most men do. They'll set up the home, find new friends and make themselves comfortable.

Men bring in a different set of qualities to the table, which helps balance the relationship.

To sum up, men cannot do what women can and vice versa.

How can men, families and organisations make a married women's life easier?

In my opinion, it is best left to each couple to decide what works best for them.

A lot of men I know are dividing the work and sharing responsibilities at home, which is good. But there are certain things that women do better than men -- like nurturing children.

Rather than division of labour, couples should understand what is best for the family and adhere accordingly. For example, should we take the foreign vacation or invest in buying a home – the answer to this should be mutually sought.

As for organisations, I feel what they can do is very limited. Some organisations have already pushed the envelope by making facilities for indoor crèche and work-from-home options for new mums.

What is the secret to a successful marriage?

Marriage involves a lot of give and take. It should always be about us and our, rather about 'me' and 'I'.

Unfortunately, modern day couples -- both men and women -- have become too selfish and are going to court more often than they should and for trivial reasons. When both individuals have an independent flourishing career, each one becomes assertive and there is lack of understanding and common responsibility.

Until a few decades ago, I remember how parents used to have a joint bank account. The wife always knew how much to spend and how to save.

Today, couples have established a divide between a 'common account' and an 'individual account'.

I believe that a responsible wife is an asset. She puts her husband and her priorities on an equal pedestal and makes a healthy, favourable decision.

Modern day couples are losing sight of many things -- they don't understand the difference between necessity and luxury.

The book, I feel will put everything in perspective for both married and independent individuals.

Why do you think divorce rates are increasing?

Young people, I have realised, do not have patience.

They pick fights for flimsy reasons -- for example the wife is upset if the mother-in-law doesn't give her a gift or she is upset if she gets a less expensive gift or the husband is upset if the wife's parents don't thank him for something he's done.

There was a time when these issues were discussed and resolved within the house.

In our times, divorce was a stigma; it was taboo. People were scared and embarrassed to even mention it. Now, these issues are argued in court and eventually end in separation.

For a healthy marriage, it is important that couples don't take a firm stand on trivial issues and widen the rift.

Understand that two people will have contrasting likes, dislikes and habits; perfect compatibility doesn't exist. They should put the relationship above everything else.

What are the qualities that make a 'wonderful wife'?

Responsibility -- towards her husband, children and family.

Adaptability -- towards new situations and people.

Warmth -- the ability to turn the four walls of a house into a beautiful home.

More advice from Virender Kapoor here

Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: Ajay Verma/Reuters