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Marriage is hard work, never mind all the romantic ideas of ‘love’ as today our basic needs are mostly met and we need higher ones. If both partners choose to make it work, it can be a happy one.
There’s this podcast called Hidden Brain by NPR which is absolutely fascinating. They talk about the way our brains work in different situations. Like, what instigates jealousy (and the concept of schadenfreude) or, how nature and greenery bring about a positive change in our mindsets and behaviors, and so on. Recently, I was listening to a discussion on marriage where they were exploring how the concept of marriage has changed over the ages along with the fulfillment of our needs.
They explained it with the help of Maslow’s Hierarchy Principle.
Image source: By User:Factoryjoe – Mazlow’s Hierarchy of Needs.svg, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
With the satiation of our basic needs in the modern times, we now look for the fulfillment of our higher needs from our partners. Not getting that from your partner is often the reason behind many couples not getting along with each other, or feeling stifled in a marriage, despite no apparent discordance.
They said, “Don’t look at the Maslow’s diagram as only a triangle, think of it as a mountain.”
And here’s where it gets interesting. They asked the listeners to think of marriage as climbing a mountain. “When you’re on top, the view is breathtaking but the oxygen is sparse, which implies you need to take some measures before reaching this position. It comes with some preparation and hard work. Similarly, in a marriage, both the people need to prepare for the tough conditions. Only with the requisite effort do you get the reward of the scenic view from the top of a happy marriage mountain.”
A few days back, I’d read a similar article which spoke about how being in any kind of long term relationship like marriage is (in most cases) a choice that we make. It is not about love. Because the definition of love is so ambiguous and fickle. However, when we make the resolve to make something work in the long run, we choose to work for it.
How beautiful is this? And I realize how similar this is to the pursuit of an art, like writing, too. The ‘muse’ or ‘the love for the art’ or that so called ‘inspiration’ are all grand yet ambiguous words when those are compared to principles like sheer grit, hard work, and making the choice to work towards things that matter to us.
Image source: a still from the movie Dum Laga Ke Haisha
Kasturi’s debut novel, forthcoming in early 2021, had won the novel pitch competition by
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