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Thanks to Bollywood, most of us are some kind of romantics. So, breakup hurts us, despite toxicity. Here’s why I think some ends are good.
‘Till death do us part.’ A line all of us have read in book, seen in movies and generally believed to be true. The words ’till death do us part’ signify the coming together of two people and then staying together till the end of their lives. It is the belief that people only part ways in the event of death.
How beautiful does that sound! What a warm, cosy feeling it leaves one with. The feeling of being loved, cherished, protected forever and beyond. So incredibly special. But does this always happen? Do the two people always stay together? Or is it that when reality sets in after life happens, a number of these promises fly out the window?
Looking around us, we realise that today, more than ever, marriages are breaking, relationships are crumbling and associations are dying. And we seem to live in the times when men and women are stepping away from ‘life-long’ unions to go for new ones or none at all.
Why is this on the rise? Or was it always there but was not so visible? Was it hidden under the garb of family prestige, societal pressure, fear or a sense of inertia or a mix of all?
I feel that earlier, people, especially women took things lying down because they had no option. They were dependent on men for practically everything and could not afford to/dream of living without them. So it went on. And in any case, breaking a marriage was almost unheard of, and so even the men who were not happy continued to live the way they had always done.
But today, things have changed. Somewhere people have shed the age-old hesitation, fear and the desire to look good and acceptable. They just want to lead lives that are happy and meaningful. No longer do people want to remain suppressed or subjugated. They want to get out of relationships that are stifling and lead happy lives.
This article is not about what people are doing now vis a vis what they were doing earlier. It is about why these cracks develop? Why do seemingly life long relationships die down? And why is it that people who, once were in love, no longer wish to do that?
There could be a number of reasons for that.
To begin with, there could be an intrinsic incompatibility from day one. As it is life was a struggle. And after years of pulling along, now the couple no longer wishes to carry on.
The other reason which, is more damaging and destructive to the relationship is the complete subjugation of one person by the other. It is pretty common to come across couples where one of them is dominating and controlling by nature. So they completely take over or try to control every aspect of the other one’s life.
It is as though even the amount of air the other one breathes in is tightly monitored. And when the other one happens to be adjusting, compromising person and totally in love, the controller has a field day running their lives.
The controlled is initially too much in love to notice or bother about the controlling ways of the other one, which is a mistake. Their love is so deep that they are willing to not only walk a mile for the other one but miles on end. And this imbalance is what leads to disaster.
The controller starts taking all the adjustment, the compromise for granted, actually it becomes more like a birthright. This situation has far-reaching consequences for both of them. The controller becomes totally dependent on the other one and cannot function without them.
What I understand is that there is more to this than what is apparent. The controllers are actually insecure, complex and under-confident people who need the other person desperately to live life.
But they are smart enough never to let their dependence become apparent. It is always hidden. And since they always need to hold on to the other one, they use their controlling nature to do that.
They feel that by running the other one’s life, they will be able to keep them close. And with time and age, they become even more overbearing to the extent of becoming intolerable.
It is so ironic that it is the very tactic that they have been using to hold on to the other one now starts backfiring. They end up pushing the other one away. By now the partner has begun to understand how all the adjustment and love has made their lives unbearable. It is as though being in love was perceived as being stupid, which, clearly, is not the case.
They see the price that have paid for being the way they were. These people are expected to sacrifice their very existence and that is unacceptable. And so they start pushing back by now refusing to yield to every demand, every wish.
This change when noticed by the subjugator, is trivialised and largely ignored. Then, when it becomes difficult to ignore, it is attributed to mood swings, hormonal issues or something as idiotic as the person becoming egoistic. In a nutshell, the change is brushed under the carpet.
But the thing is that it cannot be brushed under the carpet for very long. The subjugated have woken up from their slumber and now are unwilling to take anything lying down, and so now they continue to push back. As a result, a certain amount of strain starts to seep into the relationship and in an extreme situation, it may lead to a break up.
To the outside world, the break up may come as a shock, but they aren’t privy to what’s going on in the lives of the couple. Even for the subjugator, the break up may not only come as a shock but a huge betrayal too. For them, it may be like breaking promises and vows.
So my question is- If the decision to break away and finding another chance to happiness is betrayal, wasn’t the subjugation for such a long time a betrayal too?
Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Tamasha
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