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I very soon realised that there is nothing called an 'unhappy marriage', it's only two unhappy people in a situation. Were we already there?
“Tu bin bataye mujhe le chal kahin… jahan tu muskuraye meri manzil wahin…”
I was listening to this song and thinking, ‘Wow! That was me!’
There was a time when nothing mattered more than love. Nothing was more important than seeing the smile on his face and hiding all worries of life from him.
Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t anything wrong with loving someone but the cost will be paid at some point. This can be avoided only if we know how to love ourselves as much as the people we love.
A couple of years back if someone asked me what I would choose between ‘my love for life’ and ‘the love of my life’, the answer would have been so simple- “My partner! My love!”
Until we had a life changing event like in all marriages.
Any big issue can be a life changing event- where our thoughts don’t match and then the usual, “I said…” and “you said…”
As usual, in between all chaos, heart-piercing words were said and unknowingly a very tragic period of our life occurred and passed.
What that tragic event was, is no longer important. And it never is when you look back. What is important is the outcome of the event.
Did the relationship survive it? What was the effect on the well being of the people involved and what decisions did they make?
Coming back to the point, the tragic moment passed, and like most mature people in love and marriage, we chose to let time heal the hurt. We decided to move on in life together, and happily work on us & our marriage
At the same time, we had to work on the ‘unsaid’. Work on concealing the scars the hurt caused.
When I sat down to reflect on the event, I realized that none of us was wrong. We both had been doing something wrong unconsciously over the past couple of years.
We both were giving up a bit and more of each other than required, for each other. We both were somewhere giving up on ourselves for the sake of “us”.
Small things that made us happy individually were being put off for a later time and gradually being replaced by finding happiness in each other.
We were making more and more time for things that we can enjoy together happily. which is a great thing. That is what makes our fondest memories of yesteryears.
But as life goes on, one realizes that we have to love ourselves first to be able to love our loved ones.
I cannot be a good parent if I am not a happy individual. I cannot give my family the positive energy it needs unless I have it in me.
Similarly, I realised that there is nothing called an unhappy marriage, it’s only two unhappy people in a situation.
So, a happy marriage needs happy people. To be happy one needs to do things right by oneself before the other. Just like during the safety instructions on an aeroplane they say, “Please put on your oxygen mask before helping someone else!”
Basic understanding, isn’t it?
To continue loving my partner, I have to first love myself and cherish life. I have to try to live each day like it is my last. Capture it by taking a moment for myself!
So I let life take me by surprise and sweep me off my feet just a bit so that I could stand on my toes and feel the wind of freedom touch my bare face.
I opened my heart and mind to feel whatever I wanted to feel.
To read what I didn’t understand!
To write what I would not have ever written!
It gave me so much happiness to enjoy my life that I radiated the same smile to my family and everyone around me.
A ‘happy me’ made my marriage happy!
For me, it worked out as I was able to be a ‘happier me’ with the person I love. I got the freedom to change and continue to do things for me and us.
Yes, there is a fine line and there is a need for constant effort to maintain the balance. And the onus of maintaining that balance isn’t always on the woman.
Okay, let’s take a moment to stop and think.
What if one ends up having to choose between ‘love for life’ and the ‘love of your life’ and both together cannot find a way to coexist?
Is it selfish to love one’s own life more than the ‘love of your life’?
If we are in love, can the depth of that love only be proven by ‘jahan tu muskuraye hai meri manzil wahin…’
Can anyone ever be truly happy if one had to choose one over the other?
Image credit: Still from short film Dryfruit Ka Halwa, YouTube
Shikha Poddar a mother & entrepreneur, born and brought up in India is a versatile feminist writer who writes in Hindi and English. She is also known for curating classical music evenings and promoting the knowledge read more...
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