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Why does the love in a marriage die? Why do marriages in which love still exists get broken? Is love an illusion, or is it reality?
“I cannot love anymore. I feel numb emotionally.”
I have met a friend recently who believes that she is on the brink of a divorce. They have been together since forever. It took time for me to grasp this piece of information. It was very disturbing news because they were the core people of our small group we called friends.
Her words kept ringing in my ears for long after.
“Why do people fall out of love? Love is meant to be eternal. Forever. For better or for worse. Two people decide so happily to spend their lives together. What goes so wrong that the same people decide that it is better to part ways? Was the love an illusion or the decision to part now is?” I wondered.
Going back to the discussion with my friend I realised that there are many factors that extinguish ‘love’ from a relationship.
Today’s lifestyle demands many things from people. After the honeymoon period is over and couples get into the real deal of a marriage, days become synonymous with ‘things to do lists’. The little spare moments that one gets one likes to spend it his/her own way.
For example my friend sat with a book or watched a sitcom. Her husband went out with his buddies for a drink or golf. Dinner was the only time they met. Then too, there was news to catch up on, dishes to wash and sleep to catch up on. Conversations, spending time with each other, looking forward to the other’s presence, the very things that drew them together disappear.
This term is very loosely used in relationships. I personally believe that love should not require any unwanted adjustments but practically, there is always a requirement. Moreover, Indian marriages do not happen between two people but between two families. Both men and women, have to adjust to new people, new situations and more often than not tolerate unbearable indifferences. All in the name of love.
There is a limit to which one can tolerate to adjust. When that limit is crossed somehow distance between two people grows. Interestingly, two people in love embrace the differences between them, if any. Be it a behavioural trait, a habit or whatever. It is when the third party, namely a person, the extended family and societal peer pressure interferes that differences between them no longer remain sweet but becomes bitter. Bitterness only because of the compulsion to adjust that comes with the interference of a third party. A momentary adjustment often becomes a way of life without anyone noticing. In worse case scenarios third parties also believe it their right to dictate how things should be between these two people. This is when distance come between two people.
Moreover, one partner might often fail to notice what the other is going through in the name of adjustment. This creates further riff. It creates a feeling that when it comes to the happiness of a partner and the third party, it is important to please the third party more. It seems like it does not matter if the partner is broken by the repeated demands of adjustments. Adjustments again are on an emotional level and no one notices emotions unless expressed. Most partners decide to stay quiet during emotional breakdown to avoid further chaos in an already uncomfortable situation.
First there is no quality time spent, second there is a continuous effort that needs to be made to strike a balance between the interfering factors and partner satisfaction, not to mention the daily struggles of making a living. This results in fiery clashes. It might be as simple a thing as someone forgetting to clean the dishes; but because one partner or maybe both are in a continuous state of emotional adjustment that very little thing blows out of proportion. This results in clashes for minute reasons.
The love is always there. When my friend sees my partner sleeping she always shuts his mouth. “Uncivilised!” she used to tease him on better days. But she loved this uncivilised trait always and spent hours laughing at her sleeping partner. She still packs the better share of food for her partner for his tiffin, straightens the crease in his shirt, and longs for the old days. But the hurt over the years has been so deep, the fear of being broken so strong that she refuses to express her love. Her love is always there, is always expressed, but in the unseen ways. In the clothes that she folds for him, in the way that she prepares the food customising the way he likes it, or letting him be when he wants to be alone when in fact she longs to sit wrapped in his wraps. Just like the old days.
I sat thinking a long time about them. I just prayed while I hoped that they do not part. Their love is still there, all they need to do is find each other.
Image source: Flickr, for representational purposes only