Is it imperative? Does it become a (bad) habit? Must one taste it to reject it?
Still socially relevant, or are we are better off without it?
Are they made in heaven after all?
Friendship- the founding Stone
Uhuh, nope, not made in heaven: tis a friendship between two grown-ups, an ever-evolving one.
What is it, if not a mundane knot, that goes on to unravel a lifelong companionship? These two lovers, as they are, attempt to imbue this ‘sacred and legal tie’ with the perfume of romance, and make it last by some slutty, hormonal boomerang-like monkeying around; many ifs and buts, and juggling the quotidian later, dust begins to settle, more accurately, unsettle this holy bond – albeit, stealthily. This sparkle-free dust mysteriously reappears, routinely, on the slate of marriage, and expects to be cleared up. If you see it not, a thick layer forms pretty quickly. Ignore it at the peril of arriving at that greedy black gown’s doorstep (read divorce lawyer).
If marriage is based on friendship between two consenting adults- it can and should work. Friends fight. They make up. Friends empathise, and they rally for you. Friends have your back, always. Friends also tear apart, and turn distant when they find other more interesting folk, after years of knowing you. You’ve become predictable and boring and lost your sense of humour, so friends drift apart, and away, as is the hum in the stream of things matrimonial. Later, if this friendship so merits, there’s the cajoling, the apologies, the revival of interest but in a new paradigm.
Sound advice : show the chinks in your armour early on- get them out of the way. And, never ever put your best foot forward- leave it for later. Make your ‘marriage’ rise and shine when the chips are down, because it surely will if timed thus. In any case, the longer the marriage, the harder one must work.
We’ve tried it all – including role play, and drunken nights altho one of us doesn’t care for any drink that’s alcoholic in nature. Sacrificing juice for whiskey- now that’s what i call a selfless act! What would you call it?
What i say is not new- the world out there knows that holy matrimony is only holy insofar as you work at and out its holiness.I know that, I’m married. We work hard. There are dips, and there are highs. We work through them. The romance rumbles, it blossoms, and prospers, touching new highs when apart;Distance, an imperative to keep the embers glowing, if not aroused.
The home is flooded with light, the afterglow of a fire even. Don’t let that spark go to seed, fan it consistently, go on surprise date nights, use Alexa unabashedly- let her flood your home with sweet music.
If there’s a paucity of free flowing funds- depends on how much money is needed for ‘true’ happiness, eh! Quite a lot I reckon. Look around you – most joyful companionships, legal ones, are sitting on a huge pile of, yep, you got it, green bucks. Not all though, not all.
Where there is (love) marriage, can In-laws be far behind? Can a marriage survive its In-laws? I don’t know. Uncertain tremors as I ponder on this perennial cliffhanger of a question. They say, one marries a family, not just the guy or the girl; true, especially so in India. But being able to voice one’s grief, and one’s torment to the child of the said In-laws- can provide succor and much-needed balance. If the parental space is sacrosanct, then things can get pretty vicious and nasty. Not being able to call it like it is- now that’s hard, and damaging.
We need to air the voice of dissent. The resented spouse is (usually) persecuted by the Laws, albeit often in very subtle and shrewd ways. That is sensed by the oppressed. The One being hunted needs to be able to vent. Behind closed doors. We did.
It is okay to feel resentful about the other’s parents, it’s okay to want them to not overstay. It’s also perfectly okay to want to start one’s life as adults, and live apart from the Laws. Often seen as taboo, or unmentionable, makes a marriage rather unhealthy. There’s always a way around it. Live close-by but not under the same roof, especially not managing the same kitchen, heaven forbid! Not happening.
I am all for loving and serving one’s parents- piecemeal. Be there when needed, don’t be there all the time…it’s detrimental to any relationship. In-law love flourishes in the gap between your home and theirs.
Reversal of Fortune
Leaving the In-laws where they are, let me take on the arena of our imaginary ideas about Marriage, fed by society including one’s own experience at home – let me just say, once you are in it, a lot of our hardcore beliefs are turned on their head, especially if we’ve grown up under the umbrella of our parent’s bad marriage, and more so, if it’s been a good one.
Start fresh. Get rid of brain-fluff, and dry-clean that area in the head which is marked:
Human Marriage – do’s and don’ts
Try not to keep a score sheet.
Well, it’s a bit like setting yoghurt, innit! You warm the milk, but do not heat it. A terracotta bowl is lined with the perfect bits of homemade yoghurt to aid the process (impossible without). The temperature has to be just so, in order to produce the most creamy, soft to the touch, white bowl of delicious curd, which mustn’t let off water. To achieve such yoghurt sounds dead easy, however it takes patience, skill and affection. Do not undermine the power of a sweet melody sung to your settling yoghurt!
What you put into that bowl – the perfectly luke-warmed milk, full-cream preferably, is what you will be served, sweetened or just as it is. The reverse will happen, if you do not attend to it in time, and leave it unattended and standing beyond its time: it sours, it curdles and can go rancid. Ultimately the expertise wielded will be yours to expedite.
You’ve permitted the rot of bitterness to creep in, and left unattended the hurts hurled in stressful times, on time. It’s all about timing isn’t it? It’s all about not waiting it out too long. It’s about taking the heat off, and holding hands every once in a while, and above all, it’s about mindfulness.
In the meantime, marriage counselors are thriving. There’s hope yet, for at least one seeks remedies.
Do Children cement marriages that aren’t rolling?
We often hear an older parent meting out good counsel, inevitably unasked for, “Have kids and all will be well dear child.”
“Kids are the solution to your failing marriage, trust me.”
“Nothing like the sound of children’s feet to fill all the cracks that your marriage seems to have developed.” How subtle, and really now, you don’t believe that for a minute! But society is watching, yours, mine, ours.
This simplistic, unreal and catastrophic advice, is telling you to walk through a summer campsite with no exit route? No, thank you!
An article in the Guardian says, “Comparing couples with and without children, researchers found that the rate of the decline in relationship satisfaction is nearly twice as steep for couples who have children than for childless couples. In the event that a pregnancy is unplanned, the parents experience even greater negative impacts on their relationship. The irony is that even as the marital satisfaction of new parents declines, the likelihood of them divorcing also declines. So, having children may make you miserable, but you’ll be miserable together.
Parents often become more distant and businesslike with each other as they attend to the details of parenting.”
Of course once the curd is well set, children are welcome, and add zing, joy and flavourful variety. They also oil the wheels of your consistently serviced and tuned up vehicle. It’s an image i find irresistible. When there’s a creak in the crank, pay attention!
However, a marriage that’s a crumbling wall, needs a slight push at its weakest, and kids will do that, unprovoked.
You’re either a man or a spouse.
You can either live it, or outlive it.
Marriages are for the weak.
Marrying your best friend heralds the end of your friendship.
Husband is the HEAD of the family and wife is the NECK that turns the head around!!
Not all true, but close.
When you’ve found companionship, and wish to tie the knot, know it’s the very beginning of a long road ahead.
You’re aboard an all-terrain vehicle.
– Share the driving, it makes it that much more pleasurable- allow each other to see the passing fields, the hills, the gorges, the rivers and lakes, in turn. Thereafter role reversal happens with ease.
– An suv is an ideal vehicle, allows room for more than just your breath on the rolled-up window panes, as the case may be.
– A happy marriage is not made in heaven- it’s pretty much a screenplay that you co-write, and co-direct, and then you spend your life, enacting. Tweaking the dialogues, edits and dynamics to suit the era you’re in, is child play if all is a cooperative undertaking.
Ask me, i’m married and we drive each other around every bend we encounter, laughing all the way. Okay, not every bend, and not all the way, but we do laugh a lot, it keeps the adrenalin on a drip!
– It’s a start-up, do not forget, and will reap dividends, eventually. I’m reaping, what seems like a version of surplus shares.