Ripples of my Reflections

I think, therefore I write

Tag: Marriage (page 1 of 3)

Why am I not bored?

Having been in an incredibly long relationship and married to my childhood sweetheart, the first question many ask me is – “Are you not bored?”.  When I say no, people ask, “How can you not be?”.

I cannot understand how anyone can be bored with another person just because they have been together for a long time. For me, boredom comes with personality mismatch, not with the length of a relationship. Do you get bored with your parents just because you have known them all your life? Or do you get bored with your siblings? No. You get frustrated, annoyed. angry when conflicts arise but you don’t get bored.

Also, people change incredibly fast. I am not the same person I was last year. So no matter how many number of years you put in a relationship, you have something to work on. In fact, a long relationship means that real hard work has gone in settling the chaos so that it stays afloat. What others see might be a fairy tale but there will be skeletons laid to rest (not buried, for I believe trust is the core of a relationship) before the fairy tale was built.

So pardon me if you can’t see it, but I don’t see myself getting bored with my husband just because I have known him almost all my life. And after so much time together, if I find some personality trait of his boring, I trust myself to be able to tell it to his face and I trust him enough to do something about it. 🙂

 

Love vs Ego

One particular episode of the debate show “Neeya Naana” in Star Vijay TV is the reason behind this post. The debate was between a section of parents and daughters who disagreed over love marriage. The reasons of the disagreement were many, but there were some shocking revelations to me.

There was one parent who was of the opinion that honor killing is the right punishment for those who marry into another caste. I never thought a parent can honestly believe that his/her daughter would be better dead than marry into another caste. There was another parent whose arguments were torn apart by her daughter, but still wouldn’t agree that marrying for love could be a right thing. The daughter asked her mom – “If I commit suicide because I couldn’t marry the guy I love, is that fine with you?” And her mom’s reply was – “I would rather have you dead or remain a spinster and stay with me, than accept someone you choose.” Much ego? Shocking!

The debate had all the usual arguments from both sides and it was pretty much predictable that the parents’ ego and how the society will treat them if they accept love marriages, especially cross-caste ones, was the main problem. But the most shocking revelation for me was from the daughters who were arguing for their right to love and marry the guy they loved. At the end of the show, Gopinath, the host, asked them this – “All this said, will your parents be able to change your mind to abandon the one you love and marry you off to someone they choose?”

I expected the girls to say a big NO. However, except one, everyone answered YES, albeit hesitantly. So that’s how strong you are in your belief of love and love marriages? I agree there is an emotional blackmail quotient, there is respect for your parents, you don’t want to hurt your family etc. But what about that decision you took to be with someone for the rest of your life? If your decision is this weak, there is no mistake on your parents’ part to suspect that this is a passing cloud and think that love doesn’t last. You have no right to blame your parents for not trusting you and your choice when you cannot defend your choice even for an hour.

To be clear, I am not asking anyone to elope. I am not asking anyone to resort to absurd decisions like suicide. Can’t we stand our ground and fight for something we believe is our life, soul and breath? I agree there are some cases where eloping is the only option or else you will get killed. I agree there are some situations when you are forced to move out and marry on your own. Exceptions are always there but giving up before even trying? That was something that disturbed me after watching that show.

Having known love and faced all the usual drama that comes with a love marriage, I tell this from my personal experience – There is no excuse for abandoning a true love just because you were too cowardly to defend it. Also, there is no excuse to abandon your parents when there exists even a remote chance that you can stand there and fight for your choice of life, that someday they might understand. Do not give up of either of them so easily. They both are priceless and precious. We might not know the value now, but when you look back at your life, you better have the right regrets than the wrong ones that make you feel like you cannot live with yourself.

And parents, caste? ego? Please, we have argued enough on this. Let’s rise above these petty things, that’s all I can request for. If there is a reason for you opposing your child’s choice of love and spouse, it better be something real to do with the welfare of your child.

Until later 🙂

Forlorn beauty

I had written a post earlier about how we tend to forget what a marriage is beyond that wedding day or maybe once the honeymoon period is over. What pushed me to write that post was the number of people I met, who were once love-struck and couldn’t stay away from each other even for a minute yet turned into zombies living the routine once the wedding was over.

When I was writing that post, my thoughts ran to the marriages that we see in the elder generation, maybe consider a couple of generations back – Your grandparents. What about them? They never had a choice, for the most part. Their parents decided the groom/bride, the date, the location of the wedding and then how to live after the wedding too. All they were told was to do their job – which was to show up as told and live as told. Once the marriage was over, the man was to take care of his wife, procreate and continue to provide for the wife and kids for the rest of his life. While on the other hand, the woman went about the house, turning it into a home, satisfying the needs of the husband, and then the kids as they came along. Such was their life.

On the outside, it does look like a programmed life without any bugs – Even if there was ever one, the bug was quickly pushed aside with such deftness that there was never a second thought about how to live life. However, when I look closer, I see a different version than the one that we imagine their lives to be. Somewhere in between getting acquainted with a stranger and settling down in life with him/her, there blooms a sweet romance. They wouldn’t call that romance and would rather call that understanding and fulfilling one’s duties. However, I would insist on calling that romance to do justice to what they manage to build in the span of their years together.

For the sake of painting a better picture, I am giving an example here – Adit’s maternal grandparents. They had a beautiful marriage of 60+ years (I am not sure of the exact number) until recently when grandpa passed away. I have witnessed their relationship up close, even if it was only for a few months. I still cannot comprehend the enormity of what they shared. In all those years of getting to know each other and forming a routine, they had added a little more care and respect all along the way. The understanding that comes with knowing how he likes the food and the respect that come with what she needs to run the household without being told explicitly. They followed an impeccable discipline which they passed onto their 4 kids. Towards the last few years of his life, Grandpa’s memory started failing him and he had turned into a child who would ask the same question over and over. And grandma would answer the question every single time, with the same smile on her face and in the same soft tone as she always does. When he forgot things like his food and medicine timings, she cared for him as she would for an infant. When he threw silly tantrums about the clock not working or the TV behaving weirdly, she patiently told him that she will get them repaired and she did. Every single time.

themetapicture

When you see such people, it just reinstates the faith in marriage even for a person who doesn’t quite believe in the institution of marriage. They have been through it all, seen it all, and lived it all. Together. When a man is 60 years old and in a marriage, we do the Sashtiapthapoorthi*  to celebrate their time together. But would any amount of celebration do justice for a marriage that has lived for 60 years? I have often wondered why the celebration is centered around the man’s age rather than the age of the marriage he is in. Their marriage spoke volumes of trust and faith you could have in your spouse. The mutual respect shines through all those years, unblemished. Witnessing this kind of a relationship which shines with love that was never acknowledged by anyone left me in wonder. When they, who had no choice about their life partner, built such a beautiful marriage, why are we struggling to hold up a relationship, when we have all the choices in the world? Why is it that couples of this generation stand in line at family courts, when they were the ones who chose their spouses?

love-story-old-love-quote-together-Favim.com-542203

Marriages live beyond the lives of the people involved and tell their tales. Even after grandpa passed away, grandma lives in that same house with his memory for company, refusing her children’s requests to come live with them. The forlorn beauty that meets me every time I visit grandma and see the garlanded picture of grandpa is something that inspired me to write this post. And the same melody I hear from their silent love is what inspires me to love more and live more.

*Sashtiapthapoorthi is a matrimonial celebration when the man reaches 60 years old. The base for this tradition is to revive the memories and taste of the good old days for the old couple when they started their marriage because with time, they get used to living for their kids than for themselves.

Until later 🙂

Image Credits: All the images used were picked up from Google search

Are you suffering from a boring marriage?

Not all marriages are exciting and romantic, does that mean we dismiss them as a failed marriage? I don’t think so. Such marriages maybe a boring one that had lost its glory in the mad race which follows a set milestone path – Get married, Excel in work, Earn loads of money, Buy a house, Procreate, Live for the children and so on. It never ends really. We have seen so many of our previous generation marriages that follow this path without flinching or so much as a care for why they are doing the routine so meticulously. We could have seen this with our parents too. But somewhere in the looking out for each other and striving to build a strong foundation for their off springs, they found their romance and the purpose of their relationship. I still cannot fathom how they did this, but more on that in another post.

However, what ticked me off to write this post is the attitude with which some of us from this generation take marriage. The married couples now, anywhere from 1-5 years of being married, they made me wonder. I am generalizing here, pardon me for that, but I have seen many people, men and women alike, think of the relationship journey to be complete once the marriage is over. They fight, cry and put their lives at stake for getting married to the one they love. But once that sacred knot is tied and the honeymoon period is over, everything is set and the accomplishment gets its closure. They fall back into this routine of working for 5 days, chilling out for 2 days a week and then the same thing all over again. The little surprises, the sweet nothings, the crazy love messages all fade slowly over time. To have a real conversation that didn’t involve paying bills, buying groceries and financial planning for the future becomes a challenge that is more daunting with each passing day.

Both men and women are to blame for this, for it takes two to make or break a relationship – be it marriage or any other relation for that matter. I have seen some crazily love struck men turn into someone who has a relationship only with their mobiles or laptops after marriage. They don’t bother to help the wife with the household work, even when they can. That’s purely out of habit. Eventually, the same woman who had spent so much time dressing for her guy and planning the biggest surprise for his birthday now does not have time for him. She gets neck deep in the routine of running the household and balancing her career at the same time. She does not let go of certain things to prioritize the time spent with her husband.

While life is always a rat race, this time lost will never come back. 10-20 years into marriage, we would have become so comfortable with the monotony that things would go about the same way without a blink. But where and when the stars vanished, one would wonder! We are the generation who have come leaps and bounds from where our parents were. We are the ones who explored love as an individual emotion and not just a mandatory feeling that we must feel towards the person our parents married us to. Be it arranged or love marriage, the term relationship got redefined more with our generation’s attitude and thinking. Then why is this still happening?

Small things – A hug and a I love you every day without one eye on the TV/laptop, even a hurried kiss as we rush off to work, a phone call from the midst of nowhere just to say sweet nothings, a little birthday surprise, a sudden shopping spree, a quiet holiday without checking the mail every other minute, a little time entirely devoted to the spouse – even if it is just 10 mins, having meals together at the dining table and not in front of the TV, listening to the rants of the other, taking time to help the other with their work – be it household chore or something else, cleaning up without being told, listening to favorite songs together, a simple candle lit dinner when there’s a blackout… There are so many things that one can do, to say I love you.

rsz_marriage-quote-new

Even the simplest of the things can transform into some of the most romantic moments we have ever had, if only we take the time to notice. For example, I take it upon myself to find something to make from scratch and gift it to my husband. Not just for birthdays, but for every occasion. He has umpteen gadgets and I know he will hoard that a little more, but he can buy that for himself. But the birthday cards, the 365 jar filled with love notes, the key ring with those dangling little hearts – those he cannot buy anywhere, for they are filled with my love.

Love manifests in a million ways and more. There is no need to stick to a routine and forget ourselves. Just being there, ticking our minutes and hours away is not the job of a human being, but of an inanimate clock. We have so much love within, but very few take the time to express and explore. Others just let it gather dust and rust away in time.

In spite of all this, I find that the foundation is mutual respect on each other. The day the respect is lost is the day the marriage/relationship fails. So build on that respect, find that love which we clung to once upon a time. In fact, if we reminisce, we will find that it was not that long ago we felt that the purpose of our life is that single person and that the world revolved around him/her.

It’s time to change and to notice, all that we have been neglecting. Dust ourselves up and live a little more with our loved ones and not just with the gadgets lying around. Let’s be smart instead of our phones being so! Everyone can have a great wedding – you just need money for that, but what really counts is a great marriage.

And a successful marriage requires falling in love many times over, with the same person!

Until later 🙂

Images Courtesy: geniusquotes.org

The Promise


Copyright – Marie Gail Stratford

He stood confused in front of the huge open walled-cabinet filled with all his favorite drinks.
“Don’t do it, she won’t like it if she knew you started drinking” his heart chided him.
“She left me, I no longer care about her” his mind retaliated.
After a long look at the cabinet, he turned his back and walked out to reconcile with his wife.
Just because you’re mad at someone, it doesn’t mean you stop loving them.

Until later 🙂

Linking this write-up to FSF on Confusion @ Lillie McFerrin Writes and Friday Fictioneers, 26th September.

« Older posts