Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Great Expectations

Let me add a disclaimer right at the beginning and say that I am exceptionally lucky to be married to a person who I think is the best husband in the world and I am married into a family where my mother-in-law is actually like my mom- no stops pulled. However, my views below are not based on "my" marriage as a benchmark - it is based on many other marriages I see around me. So it's not as if I have said all these things below just based on one marriage, because that would not have been fair.

So this post is specifically for all the girls out there who complain about how marriage "changes" everything and about all "adjustments" that they need to make..

It looks like you girls have a lot of troubles in your life since you seem to have so much to crib about. I would suggest that you should go watch the recentmost episode of Satyamev Jayate which talked about domestic violence. I believe that would be enough to make you realize how lucky you are to be blessed with a sane husband who cares for you and with sane in-laws who might not love you as much as your parents, but who have welcomed you as their daughter nevertheless.

Of course things change after marriage! But does change have to be "bad" always?! Of course you need to "adjust" - but how many of you are having your dreams, careers, ambitions or lifestyles stifled or suppressed? My guess - none of you. Else you would not have been openly expressing your "unhappiness" on public forums. So instead of complaining about things "not being the same", think whether you *really* want things to be the same and want to be "single" again. If your answer is "yes", then take a long hard look at why you agreed to get married in the first place! I don't think the problem is marriage - the problem is that you are not grown up enough to be ready for it.

Getting married is not what all those rosy Yash Raj movies have fed you with. Marriage is like living with a roommate - for life. Of course it is not easy! It is a lot of hard work, patience and most importantly, a lot of genuine love for each other, that goes beyond who is wrong and who is right. But isn't it amazing that you now get a chance to have your "own" family with your life partner? Isn't that a very powerful and exhilerating feeling? So instead of feeling "low" about things changing, feel happy about the change and make each second count!

And by the way - let me clear a very common misconception that "love marriages are better than arranged and have less disagreements". Who are you kidding girls?! When it comes to staying together, it makes very little difference how two people initially met. In fact, I would say people are more tolerant in arranged marriages because they want to know the person better and hence have less expectations and anticipation. And also, how would you know that a love marriage is any different from an arranged one?! How many marriages have you had to be able to comment on that?! So, unless you are experienced like the characters from Ekta Kapoor's TV shows who marry ten's of times, I wonder how you can simply assume that you are having a disagreement with your partner just because it is or isn't  an arranged marriage. That is silly, really! What's worse is that because you think your marriage is not "what you expected" - you simply generalize it and assume that it's the same for everyone and actually go and preach your friends about it too. Amazingly biased and plain pessimistic!

I understand that sometimes you feel disillusioned because something upsetting happens. But then, upsetting things happen in every arena in life - in jobs, with parents and siblings and the like. Do you blame being in a certain field or a company, or being born in a certain family when that happens? No, you don't. And yet, you make it seem so easy to be hypocritical and blame "marriage" for any disappointments you believe you face in this arena. Why the double standards? Isn't it because of your expectations from marriage? And let's not forget, expectations from your partner.

Do you really want to show the world that your life patrner is incapable, insensitive and heartless? Is that really what you would want everyone to think about your "family" (he *is* your family now right?) Would you want to announce publicly that you are unhappy being married? Do you really think that getting false "sympathy" and "agreement" from people who hardly know your marriage, is worth this whole facade?

If the guy is acting weird and unreasonably, make him understand it clearly. He obviously has no right to be like that all the time. But then, do not conveniently forget that you need to respect that expectation from him too - you cannot be expecting him to make things right always. Would it really harm you to admit your mistake once in a while and make the first move, instead of expecting him to "pamper" you all the time?

If you want him to treat you like a queen, then you better be like a queen first instead of acting like a sitting-pretty little princess. A queen is demure, dignified and loves her king and their kingdom equally instead of whiling away time doing only those things that she likes. Remember that the right to expect comes from love and good actions. As Margaret Thatcher had once said - "Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't." You really can't expect a guy to treat you like a lady if you aren't one.

And for God's sake (more importantly, for your sake) please stop complaining about how marriage is an "eye opener"! Well, actually, "little baby girls" who expect attention all their life, kinda need this eye opener. So it's good that you encountered this revelation, you probably needed it direly.

और हाँ - शादी से पहले अगर किराणा खरीदने की आदत होती, तो "आटें चावल का भाव" पहले से ही पता चल गया होता :)