I haven't used this warning in any of my recent posts and I am very thrilled to say it now :). This is a long post. Tread on it only if you want to venture the risk.
Of all the roles I knew I would have to take in my life, the one of a marriage 'counselor' was something I was totally unprepared for. And to be honest, among the least favorite in my list too.
So it came as a bit of a shocker to me when I received this intriguing message in my inbox a few days ago, from a friend. Short and crisp. Point was simple. Somebody who has decided to embark on a journey for a lifetime and who wanted advice on how to handle this new phase in life. Who better to answer that than somebody who can tell you exactly on how 'not' to handle things in a so called marriage.
Combine this with my love to blabber anything verbally or in the written media, and voila !! I become the new master in this session.
After reading my pages long reply, I was advised to put it up here, as apparently nobody else could have summarized it this well. As flattered as I was (honestly the irony here simply sucks! To be complimented on being good in explaining something you were accused of being bad at !), I figured I do not want to put it all up here because honestly to a certain extent it is an invasion of privacy.
However, there was one question in the reply which really intrigued me and I wanted to ponder over it. Again, it was straight forward and point blank 'Would you be open to trust someone again'?. Before I embark to find an answer to it, I would like to post a few lines here on my first reply to my friend.
The opening statement in it, I believe was as honest and frank as I could have possibly put it.
Marriage is not about being with the most perfect person. It is about being with that one imperfect person, who's every imperfectness you are absolutely happy putting up with because there is that one little aspect in him/her which makes you want to go back to them every single day.
The day you realize this truth is when you are ready to pave the path for a lifelong commitment of agreeing to live with that person under the same roof for the rest of your life.
But, and this is a very big clause here, you also need to be able to realize the difference between a pure plain imperfectness and downright brutality. No relationship is precious enough to taunt or torture the other, emotionally or physically.
Lay your cards on the table upfront, in the beginning itself. Don't wait to give any surprises after tying the knot. You are literally trapping the other person that way.
This is that one person in your life you should learn to be absolutely honest with. He or she is the one who is going to see you vulnerable, see your fears, hear your anger, wipe your tears, share your joys and have children with. This other person has every right to know what exactly they are getting into and what to expect. So ground rule.. BE HONEST, at-least with your spouse, even if you know it might kill you. Eventually these things have a way of working themselves out.
And please for the sake of harmony, it is always best to remember that this person had a life before you came into it. Friends, family, colleagues, hobbies, likes, dislikes. Don't try to change it all in a day or 10 years. Instead try to merge into.
Learn to trust. Question him/her when you feel you are getting lost. Appreciate when you feel you are trusted. Giving and taking..goes a long way. And it is always wise to remember that not every discussion has to be an argument.
This should be that one person you are happy waking up with every morning. Not somebody you detest going to bed with.
Last but not the least, forget every single bollywood masala you have ever seen in your life. These have a way of ruining your life in a way you would never expect.
No, marriage is not about having your husband calling you hundred times in a day to tell you he loves you. There will be no background music or colorfully clad beautiful ladies coming to sing and dance for you each time he does something romantic. He is not going to come home and swipe you off your feet every evening and walk around carrying you in the house. He would rather spend his time to ensure that he can provide for you and keep you happy under his roof.
For the men, no, your wife is not going to wake up every morning looking like aiswarya rai or priyanka chopra. She is going to have puffy eyes, stretch marks and frizzy hair. She is not going to walk around the entire day looking like a model in the runway. There will be days when she might even refuse to change out of her pajamas. But she would rather spend her time to maintain a neat place you can come home to every evening. To make sure you have fresh sets of clothes every morning. To ensure that you eat good food every day.
Every marriage works on one simple rule. Do not set individual expectations. Get together and make it a journey. Not a means to achieve some expectation you set when you were 18.
And yes, I know these are all easier said than done. But hey, haven't we managed to get along all these years doing things we didn't want to in the first place. Like I said, few things have a way of working themselves out. And few, let's just say is better when not worked out. It's a choice of being wanted or unwanted.
Geez..by writing all this here, I think I just aged 40 years ! Crap !
And oh..as for my answer.. I don't think I have one yet.