Browsing through the social media ,I just can’t stop admiring the beautiful pictures that people post with their better halves. From the pre wedding photo shoots to post wedding pics. From awesome designs on the digital invites to coochy cooing couple pics , people look head over heels in love. I must admit, the pictures ,especially on instagram are enviable and appear straight out of a fairy tale.
But, the moment I log out of the social media and look at real people around me, I fail to understand ,what I just saw on my social media feeds is a farce or is it the world around me?
When I bump into my colleagues, friends or relatives, I find a different world all together. Most of them seem to be struggling with their personal lives, marriages are in doldrums, some have walked out of them, some are contemplating doing that and few of them have chosen to continue ,just like they have been for so many years. Unfortunately, even for those in relationships, a break up is always around the corner and may be it comes up for discussion, or dare I say for arguments between young couples every fortnight.
Be it love marriages or arranged, college romances or office link ups, couples who have dated for six months or since forever, there doesn’t seem to be a sure shot formula for predicting success or failure of a marriage. The real life truly doesn’t seem to be in sync with the glossy made up world of social media.
Though there cannot be one single factor that rocks every marriage, on interacting with people around me , I found one factor, which seems to be common in all cases. I felt ,that most people struggling with their relationships felt SUFFOCATED in that relationship.
Not denying the fact, that when two people decide to spend their entire lives with each other, it is more about them being ‘US’ rather than ‘I’ , but, the fact is, that this loss of individuality takes the first brick off the marriage wall.
One of the integral features of a successful relationship is, that the person lets their other half be themselves. At all different stages of our lives, we grow as individuals, we change as individuals, our thought processes change, our aspirations change, to sum up, we change completely ,or better we evolve.
The moment an individual feels that his or her relationship is acting as a hindrance to him or her being themselves, the frustration creeps in. They may give up their process of evolution, but that frustration starts to show up, as then they might start expecting their partner to give up or at least compromise on his or her priorities too, and when that doesn’t happen, people start feeling cheated or short changed in their relationships.
It is important for both the partners to understand ,that their other half is an Independent entity too, let him or her be whatever they want to be ,beyond being your partner. The biggest mistake that most people make from the onset of their relationship is, that they feel the other person will NEVER CHANGE or if they do, they will change only as per the demands of the relationship. This can never happen. If a person starts doing something that he or she never did, it’s not because of your relationship, it’s just that the way you think changes with time and age. For instance, if your partner was an introvert when the relationship started, but now is an extrovert, then to exclaim that ‘You are not the same person that I had married‘ , is paradoxical to the way humans are expected to grow. It is possible ,that something might have changed in your partners personal or professional lives , that has brought about this behavioral change. Also, every change that you see in your partner is not necessarily caused by your presence in his or her life or by just your relationship, there are countless factors ,which may have lead to this.
The simple way forward is, when in a relationship, we need to be part of each other’s lives, make important decisions together and move forward together, but ,never forget that you are two independent individuals. Take a back seat and enjoy the growth of your partner, emotionally ,professionally or in any which way. It is perfectly ok, to have a different group of friends, different tastes, different priorities. It is not necessary ,that every task that you take has to be joint one, all holidays should be together, all events should co attended. It is normal for your partner to have a friend that you don’t get along with, it is normal for your partner to have a close friend of the opposite sex, if you look carefully ,it’s a mirror, you too are, or can be the same, just give that space unquestioned, and you will never regret it. If you feel ,that you cannot be part of some leg of his or her journey, let them go ahead, and trust me, if they too do the same for you, years down the line, you will find the same person, but in a different and a better avatar next to you , and that is the day the relationship will succeed.
Most of us get married even before we are thirty, by then, we had not understood or explored all our ideas, thoughts,likings,dislikings,ambitions,inhibitions,goals etc. we all end up marrying a person, who hasn’t understood himself or herself completely as yet, and to expect that you have understood the person you are tying the knot with, is naive. When you start finding answers to all above mentioned attributes, you will change, the change you may not see, but your partner surely will. This is the time, to let go of your partner ,let him or her be free, you do the same for yourself and trust me, you won’t lose. The partner may succeed or fail , achieve or miss ,whatever he or she has set out to achieve, but at the end of the journey he or she will always be truly yours. If you can stay single , even when you are married or in a relation, you will be the happiest which surely will reflect in your relationship.
The weekend has just gone by and its Monday morning again. The buzz of the alarm reminds Ameya of his responsibilities and drags him out of the bed. His wife for 15 years,Priya is already up and finishing her early morning chores. Its time for the kids to get up and get moving, its school time.
This morning is no different, infact just the replay of the previous one thousand mornings in the life of Ameya and Priya. The only thing that has changed in these mornings, is the date. Every day for them is a theatre that plays the same show, where they play their role to perfection. Their corporate jobs have acquired them and that too, to an extent where, they don’t own their time or thoughts, leave alone the time for the clichéd ‘SOUL MATE’.
Let us just blur the backgrounds and the surroundings and just look at just Ameya and Priya, as a couple. Two lovely people , who met in college,fell for each other and at some stage in their lives decided to be for each other forever. As time went by and the life progressed everything around them grew except for the intimacy between the two.
The nonsensical fun that was part of their daily routine is non-existent, the chatter,the teasing and surprises are now replaced by well seasoned and agenda based talks. Hefty conversations involving home,finances,retirement planning are now the (only) things that they talk. Earlier they didn’t need topic to have a chat, now the urgency of the topic makes them chat.
Their day starts and ends on the same bed, just a few inches from each other, but the distance between them has grown miles.What is obvious is never said and what is said , may be has no soul to it.
The ‘COUPLE’ is now two individual entities under the same roof and may be, this marks the beginning of the end of a relationship, that was meant to be till eternity.
Speaking up to a spouse of 15 years might be more difficult for Ameya or Priya , as compared to, what it was when they spoke for the first time. Then it was an all to gain and nothing to lose situation, today it could be an all to lose and nothing to gain situation.
The conversations have the solution to everything in the past, their absence today is the cause of everlasting problems. The years and responsibilities have been a catalyst in ending them, but it’s not an irreversible chemical reaction.
May be may be, just get that bedroom conversation going and suddenly it might start rolling the time back.the issues that you thought were the reason , might not even exist, the anxiety over something could have been misplaced, may be what kept you away was just the creation of your own mind.
Shun those messaging apps and adorable social media comments, just speak up.
Yess, it is difficult , but not impossible.