I am sure we all have heard about people—famous and otherwise—falling in love, starting a relationship, getting married and then divorcing a short time later; for some the divorce may happen within a year’s time. I could never wrap my head around how and why many relationships go sour and go south so quickly after marriage. Either both the parties were pretending to be in love before their marriage or they were incompatible to begin with, a fact they chose to ignore. Emotions ruled over reason, the couples kept on sweeping their relationship problems under the rug, instead of facing them head on, thinking, maybe, marriage will fix everything that’s not working between them. Surprise, surprise, it didn’t.
Marriages don’t fix anything; matter of fact, in situations such as this, everything goes downhill right after the wedding. The issues that the couples were trying to brush aside gradually build. Eventually, the levee holding back their problems, angst and despair breaks, and the deluge of discontent sweeps everything away in its wake.
My experience with life, love and relationships has led me to realize that a majority of us are probably wrong about how to build, forge and maintain any relationship. Over the years, I have observed people make small mistakes in their relationships, which eventually snowballs on them. Some of the mistakes they make are due to preconceived notions, a few due to pure ignorance, others due to malicious intent, and some due to lack of knowledge about how relationships work, because they entered the relationship with a vested interest. In many cases, one of the partners is a cold-hearted sociopath and they willingly sabotage the relationships they are in. Many couples make mistakes but do not take any corrective measures, to prevent any further damage, even when the mistakes are brought to their attention.
Let me adumbrate further my thoughts on this matter—why many relationships fail or run into troubled waters very soon after marriage. A few or all of my observations below might be controversial. Feel free to disagree with me, because true knowledge lies in the friction of opinions.
- To those who are about to get married, please note that, mostly, what you see is NOT what you get. In computing, there is an acronym, WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get). In the world of relationships, the same acronym becomes WYSINWYG (What you see is NOT what you get). The person you are dating/engaged to be married will not be the same person after marriage.
During courtship, everybody puts their best foot forward. It is only when you are married that the true self reveals itself. It is that true self that farts in the bed, doesn’t take a shower, burps loudly, has terrible BO, smokes and drinks, has weird fetishes and forgets to flush after taking a dump, doesn’t raise the toilet seat while peeing, has a headache when you want to get jiggy, has terrible mood swings, is a lousy cook, a control freak, a racist or bigot, etc.
- In many Indian families, the kitchen ends up being the war zone between the daughter-in-law and the mother-in-law. The rules and protocols to be followed in a kitchen are very well-defined, and anybody found non-compliant is declared persona-non-grata. In an extended family, both the daughter-in-law and the mother-in-law want to control the kitchen. This leads to various skirmishes between the two.
Eventually the son/husband is asked to intervene, and the poor chap is then caught between the rock and a hard place. He can’t take sides, has to be neutral and that irks both the parties who are at loggerheads. If you are one of those unlucky son/husband, stay away from any fight involving daughter-in-law and mother-in-law. Ask them to fix the shit themselves. They are grown up adults and need to act like one. Failure on their part to weed out the issues between themselves will slowly poison the environment and eventually destroy the family cohesion.
Made in heaven… not!
- The fairytale story of love, marriage and relationship that are a common theme in most Indian movies, television dramas and soap operas is just that… a fairy tale. Don’t for a moment think that what is shown in movies and TV dramas can be replicated in life. If you do, then I have a bridge to nowhere to sell to you. I have heard a few people state quite eloquently that their married life will be just like that of their favorite Hindi movie. Good luck with that, kiddos! Matter of fact, your marriage might very well be made in hell.
Love and lust
- Sex is overrated. Some couples decide to get hitched because they are great in bed. Bad move. You’ll run out of steam shortly after marriage. The average time of lovemaking is two minutes or five minutes, depending on which study you reference. Find a passion that you can both pursue; sex will get boring after a while. Human sex is so short that men have lost their penis bone or baculum due to atrophy.
- Let’s accept it, humans are irrational, selfish, dishonest, have a short attention span, are quickly bored and are rarely willing to work for what is worth having and keeping. What most people call love is mostly lust.
- After getting married, many women will use sex as a “weapon” against their better half. You can take that to the bank. And many men will think with their “ding-dong” and get into trouble because they cannot keep their “ding-dong” inside their pant. You can take that to the bank, too.
- The facial expression of many women/men may communicate something totally different to what is going on in his/her mind. His/her face may seem to indicate that (s)he is interested in you; however, in his/her mind (s)he might very well be thinking about dating/sleeping with your best friend sitting next to you. Don’t fall for the exterior; the interior may be dark and stinky. And be careful what you wish for.
Run, Forrest, run!
- If you are in an abusive relationship/marriage, get out now. Actually, run! Getting a divorce is better than living in a broken marriage. Mental abuses are much worse than physical ones. I am not justifying one over the other. If (s)he abuses you and then comes and begs for forgiveness, professes his/her love for you, and says (s)he will never do it again, do not believe a single word (s)he says. (S)He will eventually hurt you again, it is just a matter of time.
- People will often quote Tennyson, “It is better to have love and lost than to have not loved at all“. However, the same people will not tell you about all the spurned lovers who have destroyed the lives of those who had rejected their advances. They will also not talk about bad marriages and bad relationships destroying people’s lives.
True love expires
- Do know that romantic love/true love may last a year, two years at most, but a well hashed out and a mutually acceptable compromise (a little give and a little take) between you and your partner can last a lifetime. And in any relationship, you’ll have to compromise and meet in the middle for it to work.
- In many cases, it is love until you lose your job, run out of cash, get old, do not cook, do not have sex, lose your great body, develop lower belly fat after birth or love handles/muffin tops, get a beer belly, etc. Well, you get the drift. After that it is just a mundane marriage of convenience. In many cases, the couples turn bitter, turn inwards and blame all that is wrong on the other person. Nobody, however, takes the step to fix what’s broken. Too much ego at stake. Don’t let that ever happen in your relationship and you should have addressed a few problems that plague many relationships.
Array index out-of-bounds
- Many men, it seems, are like a string—a set of consecutive characters. They have five primary needs—sex, sleep, sports, snacks (food) and spirits, not in any particular order. Provide them with all five, in whatever order you choose, and you will have a happy camper. Yes, I know there is more to life than that. However, to many men, that’s life.
Women, on the other hand, are like an array, a multidimensional array, actually. Their emotions, needs, and wants are neatly stored away in rows and columns deep inside their brain. And, yes, the index starts at zero; however, most men do not know it. You use the wrong index and you will retrieve the incorrect value or encounter an error, and all hell will break loose. Most men use the wrong index most of the time because, firstly, they do not know that the index starts at zero, and, secondly, that it is a multidimensional array.
- Most men will eye other women, and many men will cheat on their wives, and will use one of these excuses to justify their infidelity.
–“If I only got enough sex at home then I wouldn’t indulge in this risky behavior.“
–“My wife has just wasted herself after the birth of my first son/daughter.“
–“Man, she was just too hot and very willing.“
–“I’m no longer attracted to my wife.“
–“Tired of the same old, same old.“
I could go on, but you get the drift, I guess.
- Every person has the potential to cheat. Life is about time and pressure. Give it enough time and apply enough pressure, and you can get whatever you seek in life. Likewise, give it enough time and apply enough pressure and you can sleep with anyone you want. Do not equate pressure with a physical force. Pressure can be in many other forms, too.
Marriage, wedding and relationships
- Marriage is an “instrument” to keep the species alive. That’s all. All this mumbo-jumbo about “union of souls” are just marketing instruments to fleece money from the gullible masses by the wedding industry.
- People put more effort in their wedding than their marriage. I never did quite understand why people spend so much capital—monetary and otherwise—on their wedding and divorce, and so little on their marriage. Well, at least, the divorce lawyers are happy. Therefore, most weddings are a wonderful affair; however, many marriages end up being a damp-squib.
- Relationship/marriage needs a lot of work from the parties involved. You can either set and meet expectations or just meet disappointments. Be friends, and not a husband and wife.
- Most things in a marriage are fleeting, ephemeral or transitory. Real relationship takes real work. Before saying “I do“, ask yourself the question, are you ready to work for your marriage.
- Many people stay in a bad marriage thinking that their partners will change one day. This rarely happens. Some stay in a bad marriage because they are terrified to leave and be alone again. A few stay because they become too dependent on each other—no love but just the simple resignation to the fact that without each other they will perish very soon. Many more stay in a bad marriage because they cannot sustain themselves on their own, and some stay to just maintain their lifestyle.
- Women marry thinking their husband will change after marriage; men marry thinking she will never change, and therein lies the great divide. And the chasm is very difficult to bridge.
- By marrying, many men are willing to give up their freedom for a few minutes of pleasure. In contrast, by marrying, many women are willing to gain lifetime of control for a few minutes of sloppy lovemaking.
- All relationships are a contract. Work within the construct of that contract and everything will be fine. Make a mistake big enough that violates the contract, and you’ll be ostracized.