When you enter into a solemn relationship, which has been named ‘marriage’, you have big dreams of sharing exhilarating moments of togetherness, of remaining happy and blessed.
Nobody ever thinks that this relationship would not last, human hope is so astounding that even after seeing unhappy marriages, we tell ourselves: ‘this can’t happen to me.’
Alas those promises we make, those visions we have, those reveries of heavenly life fall apart in no time… or so people think!
“Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.” — Simone Signoret
Are there any happy marriages? What is the definition of a happy marriage?
There can be as many definitions as people because what may seem unhappy to you could be just a compulsion, a family commitment, a sacrifice, which would be a part of being married.
Fawn Weaver’s words, “Marriage is like watching the color of leaves in the fall; ever changing and more stunningly beautiful with each passing day” are so entrancing!
#CASE – 1
This is an arranged marriage. The bride steps into the two-bedroom apartment of her husband, whose parents and an old, ailing grandmother share this home, which seems be a harmonious dwelling.
Slowly the bride realizes that her happiness lies in submitting to the wishes and desires of all the members of the family as her husband also thinks so.
She gets used to fulfilling all the demands and peace prevails though she has many issues.
Since she is a home maker, she has to dance to the tunes of elderly members of the house all the time, depend on her husband for all her needs, she gets no money for her personal expenses, she has no leisure, she can’t go out alone, has to coax her husband for a vacation, once a year because children need to be taken out. [Peer-group pressure] She has never mentioned the word – ‘divorce.’
Do you think they are happily married? They think so.
#CASE – 2
This is a love marriage, which seems to be like that fairy tale ‘the happily married ever after.’
This couple lives in a big mansion.
Both are financially independent, inseparable and so loving that people envy their blessings.
They enjoy exotic holidays and find great pleasure in each other’s company but they fight almost everyday. Any argument by the wife is met with physical abuse, which is condoned by her each time!
She seems to be slightly better than a slave because she can only go out with her husband, she has to accept all his decisions, domestic violence and be happy.
How she can put up the façade is an enigma. She cannot think of the word – ‘divorce.’
Do you think they are happily married? They think so!
#CASE – 3
This is an arranged marriage and the couple lives in their own apartment with their lovely, intelligent children.
Their world revolves around them, they have all the freedom in the world to take their own decisions, they care for each other and love is the core word that binds them together.
There are some issues with this couple too!
Their busy life has taken the charm out of their own love, they hardly have any sex life, their communication centers around the activities and achievements of their children and they have been drifting apart slowly.
Sometimes they wonder whether there is anything left in their life.
Should they stay together? They feel it is their responsibility to give the best of everything to their children.
They do think about divorce.
Sometimes I think about these multi-dimensional words – happiness and unhappiness!
We use them so often, so casually but rarely do we ponder about their dimensions!
Let’s face the reality:
Unhappy marriages are more a product of the mind and modern philosophy of being independent.
It is this individualistic approach towards marriage, which makes it unhappy.
It depicts the self-centeredness of human beings who want to be themselves yet seek a companion for reasons best known to them.
The institution of marriage was created to cement love, affection, responsibilities and values, which could be handed down to the coming generations too.
“In every marriage, more than a week old, there are grounds for divorce. The trick is to find, and to continue to find, grounds for marriage.” – Robert Anderson
All relationships go through initial period of uncertainty and need some time to work out well. No marriage can ever be perfect. Compromises and adjustments are an essential part of every relationship.
Some questions to contemplate:
How ego, bitterness and annoyance creep into a sacred relationship of marriage is quite uncanny.
How it can be sacrificed at the altar of Individual differences, coldness and monotony is so bizarre!
How can we think of divorcing a person with whom we have spent half of our life? Isn’t it so selfish?
This post was inspired by this thought, which has been plaguing me ever since I heard that one of my neighbors father is going to divorce her mother, a lady in her sixties and she needs a therapist to cope up with this windfall.
I know this is not the first case. I know divorce rate is rising in free, financially stable countries. I know people are developing the resilience to face such situations.
Isn’t it unfortunate that we have diminished the sacred bond that ties families? What can we expect from the youngsters who grow up in such societies? I would love to hear your views.
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