Friday, March 19, 2010

365 days of married life!

After completing one year with hubby dear, it is hard to imagine that there was a life otherwise! Married life, though challenging, is also a great deal of fun. Of course, it depends greatly on whether the definition of ‘fun’ is the same for both of you!
Marriages are made in heaven – this is a sort of universal belief. I disagree with this belief a little. To make married life a success, one has to work on it down here, on earth. And to have a successful marriage requires patience, some hard work, a little reality check and an infinite amount of love!
The question is - what makes a marriage successful? Every married couple will have a different definition and rightly so. I mean, what works for you might be catastrophic for anyone else. Are there certain rules of the thumb? I guess so. In our case, I think we have broken some rules and in the process, created new ones (which is not a bad thing!).
Over these 365 days, I have learned a lot of things about marriage. I’ve learned to enjoy sharing and letting go of my private space. In the process, I’ve found our private space which is a celebration of both our personalities. I had to accommodate all his DVD collection in our room while he had to accept my collection of cartoon figures (includes Sponge Bob Square Pants, the Kungfu Panda cast, Mr. Incredible, Shrek, and frogs). And together we have bought lots of books and created a space which reflects both of us as individuals and a couple. [We grow up listening to the dictum, ‘sharing is caring’. Why do we forget it as soon as we get married?]
Personality differences should not become a bone of contention. Why is it that we consider a trait of our spouse, which is different from ours, as a sign of hostility? Differences on various things should be understood and ideally, a common ground found. Just like diversity in the workplace makes a company more appealing and appreciated, diverse personalities in a marriage help it from becoming dull. Sparks are required to spice things up, aren’t they?
We walk into marriage with a trunk full of expectations which are founded on movies and books that never go beyond the ‘happily ever after’. And why should they? Beyond these three words is reality which YOU must discover, accept and live with forever after. It’s not easy to accept reality and burst your fantasy bubble but it’s not impossible either. You must discover the qualities of your spouse and try and find your soul mate in him/her. Accept each other for who you are and bring out the best in each other. And never compare your married life with anyone, for comparison is like termite that will leave your marriage hollow.
In this one year I’ve discovered two new people; hubby dear and myself. I have learned to let go and to de-compartmentalize. I’ve found joy in simple things like browsing through books at Sunday market, watching a movie or having morning tea with him (which he makes – every single day!). I’ve accepted that theater is his passion. I’ve understood when I should act as a support system and when I should let go. I’ve become more responsible, not just as a wife but also as a daughter-in-law, a sister-in-law, a mami and a chachi. For you see, in the East we don’t just marry a person, we marry into a family and that is what contributes to marital bliss also.
My most favourite definition of marriage is from the film, ‘Shall we Dance?’ In the film Susan Sarandon gives the private detective she’s hired to spy on her husband, Richard Gere, her perspective on marriage and I quote, “All these promises that we make and break, why is it do you think that people get married? Because, we need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet..I mean what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage you’re promising to care about everything; the good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things. All of it, all the time, everyday. You’re saying your life will not go un-noticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness” unquote.
We’ve just completed one year of the good, the bad, and the mundane!