Maybe it was a statement that a friend made- she was surprized at a couple phoning each other during day. Or snide behind -the back comments that I overheard about a couple intimately dining together-
"Maybe they don't have friends? Or then they surely lack an adequate social circle."
Is it too extraordinary then to go on a date after you get hitched or married? I mean what happened to all the love and intimacy of the run up to marriage? It happens to an extent (but not hundred percent) in the Indian context where earlier generations viewed marriage as bringing up children and attending to material advance and serious family business, wary of the lighter aspects. Perhaps the times demanded it.
I'm glad to say things are different now, but need for valuable investment and that bonding of two persons as friends and lovers.
I'd recommend the richer life experience where a couple need to see an outing beyond a "social get together" but just as a "together" evening of leisure time to consciously savor each other’s company. To rekindle earlier romance or just bond as "best friends".
I strongly suggest you drop the carryover mind-set from the past that used to go " once you have kids -, as if youth went out with the seven "pheras. I’d recommend you consciously build on the fun and laughter of the "popcorn an movie" dates. After all you are as young as your heart is (emotional heart, that is).
There is an advertisement playing on TV where a pretty young wife is severely chiding her husband "work-work-work! _- that's all it is for you!" Or words to that effect and stomps away with "you work and I’ll go to my mother’s!" Is this a mirror image of today’s man? Today’s man watching this television commercial quizzes himself “is this a mirror image of my life?" and contemplates times when he had been as work-driven and she too was as busy. But they had contrived to snatch every weekend and every moment in-between to be with each other. They hadn’t needed candles and damask table covers or plush surroundings to "create romantic moods" as they did nowadays on a three or so month basis on an anniversary or birthday or a Valentine's (how trite!) day. A brown bag of sandwiches, a bus ride to a picnic spot away from the crowd that truly seemed madding; long days on a park bench seemed too short. They had so-o much to talk about, plan and laugh and tease about, he had joked we're quite getting to be Calvin and Hobbes and she had retorted "So what's wrong with Calvin and Hobbes?"
Back Then! Before Commitment Happened................
They were in love and although both had demanding jobs they snatched time any which way to be together. For, to be together was to be in paradise and they longed for the day they would be married and in paradise forever. That has happened and they are together. She happily juggles job and kitchen and star menus to be the best wife. He wants her to be proud of his achievements and is putting his all into getting a director's designation before he is thirty. But somewhere along the way, they are not even aware when, a transformation began, so insidious it was.
The Bollywood film 'Dil Dhadakne Do' by Zoya Akhtar resonates my thoughts, where you see the couple that eloped at the age of eighteen and madly in love, so apart and acrimonious that when shown the mirror they are shocked at the fact that they are now strangers to each other. In their quest to be better than the Jonses they forgot to live the romance that they ran away to enjoy?
In life, lovers preoccupations take over and see them heading their individual ways and the day comes- living in the same house- they didn’t seem to be spending much time holding hands and talking their dreams. In-fact her interactions with the maid are now more intense and for him home is where the iPad is, or perhaps the TV remote. He now talks plans with a friend or two, over a beer or two and she has felt it a society necessity to join a (eeewwww) 'kitty' where all the neighborhood 'smart' ladies "belong".
In another context many married couples seem preoccupied with individual pursuits that so prioritize time, energy and inclinations that the husband wife dialogue is a sparse few words to the effect -"can't you see I'm busy?!" Or similar sentiments. -Her PTA meet, her societal commitments or aspirations, the menu the house décor. Shopping, shopping, and more shopping, for the children, for handbags, for the fun of it! Children's birthday do's, their squabbles, servant squabbles. "Catching up “on the cell". Keeping up with the Joneses. Not surprising he finds her with a reviver cuppa and a "Do-Not-Disturb face" when he comes home. In any case he needs his "fix" -the TV remote as he surfs the news or the perennial cricket match an there's the chats on Facebook and snap-chat. Bin a tiring day He hardly turns his head when spoken to. It’s too much effort. No joke getting ahead of the competition or wading through an endless day of work-- in any case it’s her usual drone! Bored he is! Whatever happened to the picture of spouses holding hands and companionably walking through time into the sunsets of their lives?
I can just say that these scenarios quite tell their own story- that we may be losing the point of it all. -Living in, having a relationship and marriage is meant for a bonding at emotional and most other levels. A companionship more enduring than other relationships most of which are transient. In a world that is increasingly becoming lonelier, this is of significance but, as is seen it needs conscious and thoughtful resurrection through nurture. Else the love that was can dehydrate and one fine day you wake up two strangers trapped in a situation. Remember Mrs. Doubtfire where Sally Field just woke up ‘out of love’ and wanted out. No, there was no crisis, no affair, no breakdown, just a monotonous routine of kids and work that had unbeknownst to both raised walls and created two strangers.
We need to remind ourselves of the time the man or woman in our life was our priority above all others and how enriched life felt. It’s sometimes not enough to just gloss over with "But of course I love her/him!” There is absolute and complete need to say it, display it with our acts and then it’s self-propelling and rewarding experience.
There returns the electric spark and meaning and depth in our lives. A caring friend beside which all troubles look less daunting. A friend we can tell it all to! How much lighter is our tread through the tribulations life throws at us then?
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Nisha JamVwal is an author & brand consultant