Sunday, September 30, 2012

Making Marriage Work

What happens when a true blue,no no,fiery red Arian marries a cool,cool Aquarian? The former is a fire sign while the latter is air.Presumably there will be fireworks.Air will add to fire's potency & the flames will go sky high.Or it could also extinguish it completely.When air adds to fire's vigor is it a good omen?And what if the opposite happens?What transpires in the Arian's mind then?Endless possibilities there.Impossible to predict.Nor could i,when i married my BH--best half,better half, bitter half or bad half--depending on my mood.Therefore let us leave speculation aside & enter the arena right where the shenanigans began.An untold story unfolds:

The journey started on 13th April 1968.Now I know what the grey cells are telling you;but believe me it is a lucky number for some.As I was saying BH was an army officer,belonging to a martial race(see Mars comes in both our resumes),and steeped in the old feudal traditions.Poor me-born & brought up in New Delhi,believing in the equality of genders!I had never been to Punjab ,while his home town was Gurdaspur.But that was nothing compared to the nitty-gritties which drove us.
I was nothing if not frank,while BH could never say things outright.This used to infuriate me no end-not that it served any purpose.I was rather impetuous,impatient & impulsive,but you could never catch him off- guard.He would react to everything at his own pace.If we came across any hurdle you would find me all worked up,but BH,he was made of steel.As cool as--I don't know;can't think of anyone as cool as him.I could go on & on,recounting the dissimilarities between us, but I don't want to bore you to death;or risk you leaving my blog for ever& ever.

Anyhow,three things saved us from falling apart:one,he was & is a perfect gentleman;second,I had been cautioned by my parents never to answer back;& third,I was,and still am,scared of fights & acrimony.My home has to be peaceful at all costs.In this way we began to tread on thin ice underlaid with mysterious landmines.


The biggest fetish that BH has is,his hatred for criticism-his own of course.He doesn't mind criticizing me! Now I am a fanatic for system & order while he--er let it go.Add to this my compulsion to call a spade a spade & you can imagine the outbursts which never failed to surprise me whenever I pointed out a mistake on his part.Similarly,he does not like anyone giving him advice.Now I don't have this vice-of giving advice right,left & center;but sometimes in favor of the family's good,it does become necessary to do so.I was foolish enough to embark on this path in the initial fiascoes,but now whenever I have this urge I couch my thoughts in the form of a question--like"Do you think it is healthy to eat a parantha for breakfast every day?Should we try something else?"I have also learnt to wrap up my critiques in palatable casings.Like,if I want to tell him to walk up straight I will instead praise so & so for his erect posture.I can see instantaneous results without any rancor.


He has another quaint habit:he expects me to agree with everything he says.Or rather expected me to;because after umpteen face-offs,this characteristic is finally on the wane.The clashes on this front were inevitable & numerous;because no matter what the topic of discussion,our views were invariably contradictory & I could not,for the life of me,pretend to agree with what I did not believe in.I am relieved that today we have fewer spats on this account.


It is really strange that in every possible way my opinions,convictions & predilections are diametrically opposed to his.Whenever small odd jobs like changing a tube light,fixing a tap or an errant toaster,need to be done;he will pick up the phone & outsource it to someone.On the other hand my first choice is to try & do it myself.Anyhow this is not such a bad habit because he does keep our home in good functioning order.


I often complain that he does not help me in household work but he is tops when it comes to filling my kitchen,fridge & pantry with all sorts of goods & goodies.He has also taken it upon himself to water the plants in our garden,fill up the room coolers & overhead tanks ,& also take out water from the Aqua guard .But apart from this,no one has ever seen him sullying his hands with any household chore.


Money matters could be a vile bone of contention between any couple but our roles are strictly demarcated.He has to earn & I have to spend.See-no overlapping or ambiguity here!I must admit that till date he has never refused me anything.But I too have never made any exorbitant demands; except for the setting up & running of Sahyog,this computer that I am working on,& a few diamonds here and there. Sahyog reminds me,though our ideas differ on so many things,he has stood staunchly behind me,in so far as the activities concerned with this mission of mine are concerned.Without his  support this would not have been possible.


Food is another risky area.Well I am not much of a cook but he,cute soul,gulps whatever is given to him.I am sure he would have even cooked for me-if only he knew where the kitchen was!


What else-yes our temperaments-now this really demanded hard labor.We were both very hot-headed to begin with but BH has brought about a colossal change in himself.I too manage to keep my temper in check.As far as being diplomatic is concerned,I have the best guru at home & am learning by & by.Whenever I am stimulated rather dangerously,I look at him to see how he is taking it,& then I simmer down.No harm done!


My BH is a devout disciple of Lord Shiva & Lord Hanuman but I believe more in Arya Samaj.I am not much into rituals,pilgrimages & visits to temples because I think God is omnipresent.Today he too agrees silently with my convictions.Celebration of any special day in our house is now done through a simple yagna.I really appreciate this change in him.

He is an inveterate creature of habit.Everything in his life must follow the same fixed routine.On the other hand I thrive on change.Whether it is the decor of the house,or my routine,or my hobbies;I tire of the sameness.Therefore I must push the furniture around every now & then.It was very perplexing for him in the beginning but he accepted it as a necessary evil.Not a murmur of protest ever escaped his lips.I tell you this is a big sacrifice on his part.

As i near the end of this post I myself am amazed as to how we have stuck together despite so many incompatibilities.Initially the rough protrusions of our personalities jarred raucously,resulting in friction & frustration for both of us;but we carried on.The thought of divorce never crossed our minds.Today,with the wisdom of so many years of married life behind me,I realize that we had two options:either we took umbrage at every collision;or just let it zoom over our heads & ponder how to avoid it in future.Thankfully,we chose the second option.

Some say that a human being's basic nature never changes but I say that it can,& should be moulded to suit the circumstances.But of course both the partners ought to make efforts to meet halfway.The love which results from living together over many years,grows strong because it comes after mutual acceptance of the other person's faults.After this transpires, life begins to flow smoothly & we even begin to love the other person's idiosyncrasies!What better way to end this post than with this quote:

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. 

56 comments :

  1. Wonderful post, Indu! Laced with humor and understanding.
    I agree people will change. The issue with changing people or opinions is that when you try to impose the change it results in bitterness. Change always comes over a period of living and when it comes from within the other person, it is much more moving and brings people together rather than driving them apart. Both of you have had the wisdom to do that, which is why you are capable of 'falling in love with the same person many times'

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    1. Suresh as always, you have presented the gist of the matter very succintly. Thank you!

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  2. Beautiful post Indu..first, for all the disparities, a big heartful laugh. Secondly, a very warm post for today's couples not to lose their perseverance in their journey. Thoroughly enjoyed reading the post and the message conveyed through it.

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    1. FIF your generous praise makes all my efforts worthwhile.Thanks a ton!

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  3. In my previous post i had propounded divorce-although for impossible cases.To straighten the record this post-a true one-advocates adaptation,which is far more preferable to separation.

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  4. A real great one! So many things to learn from this single post..hope we could apply them in our lives(?)
    In any case something nice to look up to!
    Thank you Indu.

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    1. Sure Amit jee,apply & reap the rewards.Thanks,you are very good for my morale!!

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  5. what a wonderful post, its so nice to read about other peoples' marital stories..makes you feel reassured about your own!

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    1. Thanks Gayatri,i am glad you enjoyed reading it.

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  6. Lovely post Indu . For a successful marriage the basic first step is understanding each others individual traits . All the fun lies in the differences :D

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    1. Jaishree i loved the last line-

      All the fun lies in the differences :D

      Life would have been so dull without these differences.

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  7. Beautiful post Indu, very well written! In this age when humans have reduced tolerance levels, its so easy to pack up and leave and in impossible situations, maybe its for the best. But that does not mean that one shouldn't put in effort! Best wishes for a beautiful life ahead! May you love growing old with each other!

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    1. First of all,i loved your heart-felt wishes.It feels very nice that i have friends whom i have never seen but who wish me so sweetly.
      Yes trying to adapt actually aids our own evolution
      & results in a maturer self.

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  8. I was smiling throughout! I see dots that connect! ;) marriage is a double edged sword, but at the same time, its an experience worth living.... and I am glad I am living it :)

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  9. Poonam welcome to jeeteraho.I am glad that you enjoyed this post.Lots of love & happiness to you in your married life!

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  10. This is the most interesting part of life to be different yet be partners for own cause. Enjoyed the read Indu:)

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    1. Yes Rahul differences do make life interesting-and challenging too!!

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  11. Your humor and sense of fun makes marriage sound so easy...but of course it is a lot of hard work as you put it.An excellent post.

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  12. Yes,marriage requires hard work no doubt,but we need to garner some fun on the way;no?
    And i loved the last bit!

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  13. Long but interesting post. Lovely final quote!

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  14. LOL..What a blog! Your sense of humor made this somber piece absolutely entertaining!
    Marriage needs adjustment, not compromise, and it also means doing all that one needs to commit in a relationship. Today a marriage brings all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring,...but,it doesn't grant the requisite patience, tolerance, and understanding...
    The last quote is awesome!Enjoyed reading this, Indu.

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  15. Ah yes-the subtle difference between adjustment & compromise-it needed a PANCHALI to underline this.You have made very interesting observations about marriage.
    And lastly, you made my day Panchali.

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  16. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

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  17. Thanks a lot for your appreciation friend.You are welcome to jeeteraho & i am very glad that my stuff interested you.

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  18. As Panchali has rightly observed, today marriage brings in excitement but often not the more important things like tolerance, accommodation and understanding. The earlier generation largely knew how to maintain the balance without compromising on self respect or individuality despite it appearing otherwise. That was a great treatise on marriage, Indu. Loved it.

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  19. Thank you Zephyr for your approbation-it made me feel very good.You are bang on about the difference in these two generations-today young ones are more individualistic &motivated by their own dreams.There is little space for interference & adjustment.

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  20. What a cute post! It's inspiring and humourous too.
    Here wishing you and your BH many many more years of togetherness and love.
    Btw, that's a nice quote. A great note to end this post on. :)

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    1. Divya your comment is so very heartening----love you !!

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  21. This was such an amazing posts with so many tiny lessons for all of us. There are so many of my qualities that I see in you and your husband too. I agree that for me also it is important to reach out and resolve differences. For me, difference in our qualities are actually complementary and fun most times and the times of distress we both try to help each other. But, for me marriage is sacred, important and something that I consciously work for the success of. And, I am a damned good mom and wife :). Somewhere a very important element of a marriage is self-worth and self-happiness. If we indulge in our passions and hobbies and love ourselves first and foremost, it does make us a more positive person and easier to live with. I have personally experienced this in my life. I just loved your post, and wish you many more years of wisdom and togetherness.

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  22. Thanks for a very generous praise Rachna. Yes,i too have noticed the resonance of ideas in both of us.And i too believe that you ARE a very good mom & wife.
    This line of yours about complementary traits i wanted to put down in my post, but it slipped my attention.Whereas in the beginning the differences clashed,now they fit like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

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  23. There is enough humor and drama is this post to keep me glued. I liked the straight forward way you saw things. You did not patronize nor did you made excuses for yourself. Marriage is for the mature lot :D

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  24. Ghazala thanks a lot for this endearing comment--i think my blunt nature comes through in my writing,but it can be damaging too--God save me !!!

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  25. very nicely written indu.....
    sorry for not visiting ur blog these days...
    :-P

    ANU

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    1. Hi Anu,what happened?Been very busy?
      Thanks!

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  26. Wonderful paintings! That is the kind of information that should be shared across the net. Disgrace on the seek engines for no longer positioning this publish higher! Come on over and visit my web site . Thanks =)

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  27. Thanks for your endorsement & welcome here.

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  28. You know you know best but often, he knows he knows better. Jokes aside though, I believe a happy marriage depends on how willing each partner is willing to compromise their own expectations, preconceived notions and peer pressure for the well being of the other.

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  29. KayEm you are right about expectations & preconceived notions-adhering to them bodes no good.

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  30. Indu ji


    ""The love which results from living together over many years,grows strong because it comes after mutual acceptance of the other person's faults."""

    is the truth about all happy marriages

    a lovely read
    regards and good wishes
    rajni

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  31. Indu ji

    """The love which results from living together over many years,grows strong because it comes after mutual acceptance of the other person's faults."""

    is the truth for all happy marriages
    loved reading this piece
    warm regards
    rajni

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    1. Hi Rajni,welcome to jeeteraho.Thanks a lot for your support & praise.

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  32. Lovely post, its a coincidence that even me and my hubby are Arian+Aquarian combo, and love the way we are.....Here's wishing you loads of happiness always!:)

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  33. Really?How i would love to hear your version.Come out with it one day!!!!!

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  34. Hi Indu..

    I loved the post :) And you so much sound like me. And why not, we both are Aries for God's sake and thats more than enough to bind us :D

    I firmly believe people change. Everyone changes. World changes everyone. And just like your BH, my husband is also introvert, calm and cool kinds. Actually when you compare with Aries, everyone else sounds cool only :D but I appreciate our differences. I am very thankful to God that he loves routine and monotony while I long for adventure and change. My love for 'different things' and experiences keep the fun in family and his routine-ness keeps us stable.

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  35. Surabhi welcome aboard.Yes the similarities are uncanny-that is why i linked you to this post,Even the quote is the same!
    The last sentence is so very true.
    Love n Hugs,
    indu.

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  36. A very inspiring post, Indu ji. Thank you for having me read this.

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    1. Totally my pleasure Medha,
      love n hugs.

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  37. Looks like my story from the beginning to the end:)...exactly...I am thinking of writing a post now on how I brought peace in my house:)

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    1. Hi Renu,i would love to read your version.

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