Over the years, your support has made Women’s Web the leading resource for women in India. Now, it is our turn to ask, how can we make this even more useful for you? Please take our short 5 minute questionnaire – your feedback is important to us!
You may have a fairytale wedding, but a successful marriage calls for many more things than Prince Charming.
I love fairy tales. They contain the most delightful characters to stoke the imagination– dancing teapots and talking mirrors and wonderful, magical sprites and what not. And they have a way of sorting themselves out most cheerily with a dreamy and splendid wedding, marked by the promise of everlasting gladness.
‘‘And they lived happily ever after.”
Who wouldn’t love a fairy tale?
But there it ends. It’s just a tale. Can we really live happily ever after? Are fairy tales truly worth cultivating in a reality? I think not. And here’s why.
The usual fairy tale is built on a-damsel-finds-her-prince-charming premise. Sure enough, it is loaded with stereotypes.
The maiden in question is acclaimed for her beauty (Where are the brains?) and desired by men far and near (object of sex appeal). By default, she has a kind, gentle nature (submissive, non-assertive, and vulnerable) and is universally liked (But, of course!). Then she courts misfortune (usually, the death of a guardian) and distress (deprived and hapless, in need of a man’s protection). Eventually, she is rescued by a noble, handsome prince (elite status, powerful man of means) who marries her (upward social mobility, economic security). And they live happily ever after (Do they?)
The happily-ever-after in a fairy tale is intended to stamp a sort of paradisiacal permanence to wedded bliss. And yet if Paradise signifies a going about in a primeval sort of nescience, a healthy marriage is anything but that.
A fairy tale idealizes romance and chivalry and all it takes to get to love. What a fairy tale doesn’t talk of is what happens in the marital relationship or what it takes to make one work. Once the witch is slain and the spell broken, the fairy tale freezes its characters in time. Quite unlike life where the real challenge begins only after the nuptials.
True, you can have a fairy tale wedding, a grand and lavish affair that people will remember for years to come. But a happily-ever-after ending is fiction since it precludes the possibility of dialogue, disagreement and confrontation – all of which are imperative in a relationship towards a better understanding of the other. With its dumbing-down of the woman, a fairy tale subordinates her to the man and devalues her say. An unequal relationship can never be a happy one, let alone ever after.
So what then is a healthy marriage? One in which the man and the woman find an equal voice. Where the needs and aspirations of both the partners matter. One founded on compatibility, mutual trust and the determination to put the relationship before personal ego, the ‘WE’ before the ‘I’.
But more importantly, one where each partner enjoys that vital, sacrosanct space to be herself or himself. A relationship that calls for a sacrifice of one’s individuality can never be a healthy one.
No doubt, acceptance of the other doesn’t come easily. Misunderstandings, fights and tears are all part of the maturing of a relationship. A fairy tale ending conveniently disregards the fact that unhappiness is as crucial to a marriage as is happiness.
Think again. What sort of a relationship would you like to be in? Happily-ever-after – All placid and gung-ho and sunshine, with doubt and regret skulking beneath. Or Heartily-ever-after – where you love yourself as much as you do your relationship and wouldn’t mind an occasional stormy weather?
I’d prefer the latter. How about you?
Pic credit: Loren Javier
New mommy on the block.
Bookworm, nature-lover and wayfarer in the suburbs of imagination.
Fascinated by the power of the written word. And the workings of the human mind. read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 might have had a box office collection of 260 crores INR and entertained Indian audiences, but it's full of problematic stereotypes.
Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2 starts with a scene in which the protagonist, Ruhaan (played by Kartik Aaryan) finds an abandoned pink suitcase in a moving cable car and thinks there is a bomb inside it.
Just then, he sees an unknown person (Kiara Advani) wave and gesture at him to convey that the suitcase is theirs. Ruhaan, with the widest possible smile, says, “Bag main bomb nahi hai, bomb ka bag hai,” (There isn’t a bomb in the bag, the bag belongs to a bomb).
Who even writes such dialogues in 2022?
Be it a working or a homemaker mother, every parent needs a support system to be able to manage their children, housework, and mental health.
Let me at the outset clarify that when I mention ‘work’ here, it includes ANY work. So, it could be the work at home done by a homemaker parent or it could be work in a professional/entrepreneurial environment.
Either way, every parent struggles to find that fine balance between ‘work’ and ‘parenting’, especially with younger kids who still need high emotional and physical support from their caretakers. And not just any balance, but more importantly, balance that lets them keep their own sanity intact!