Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
Before marriage, when every girl dreams about her wedding, I too often wondered how my marriage and the guy I'll marry would be. I pondered on all the below almost every day:
- Will my marriage be Love or Arranged (Honestly I knew the answer to this question as my parents were strictly against Love Marriage :) )
- Will the guy I'll marry charm me with his gentlemanly manners and his personality?
- Will the guy bring along a sweet little gift on our Engagement day to show how much he wants to see me happy?
- Will he surprise me with candle-lit dinner dates and flirt with me in an attempt to impress his fiance?
- Will he out of the blue call me up only to say that he missed me and exchange flirtatious texts with me in the middle of the night?
- Will he drop by my office unexpectedly only to bring up that smile on my face?
- Will he plan birthday or Valentine Day surprises for me and shower me with gifts?
- Will he plan to take me on an international destination for our honeymoon trip after knowing the place I would love to go?
- Will he click pictures of both of us and show off on FB proudly and put them with romantic captions?
- Will he shower me with flowers after marriage and treat me special as his beloved wife?
Ohh! Those thoughts were endless and romantic and wonderful and dreamy until I got engaged to my now-husband Joe.
I was all excited on our Engagement day while he appeared dull and normal during the entire ceremony. He didn't bring any present for me plus he didn't even pose well during the entire photo-session. I expected him to compliment me but there was not a single mention about how I looked all dressed up; in fact he didn't speak with me at all except for exchanging few glances acknowledging my presence. My super-excited Engagement day turned into a dull and disappointing experience of my life.
The next day he called me and asked me the same mundane questions - 'Are you in office?', 'Did you have lunch?', 'How is work?' and it annoyed me so bad. I wanted him to bring up the engagement day experience, talk about it and compliment my dress and looks which he didn't do, not a single one till the end of the 5-minute conversation we had. I was disappointed again.
A week later it was the much hyped Valentine's Day and I was anticipating his call where he would tell me about the dinner date he had planned for us. Until evening there was no call from him which implied he didn't plan on any date. I couldn't take it anymore and called him up myself asking him out on a dinner. After much contemplation we ended up deciding on a place to eat. Then 10 minutes later, he called me up and dropped a bomb on me saying he has also invited his best friend and his wife (who were married for 2 years) on our dinner date! Wasn't Valentine's day supposed to be a one-to-one kinda of a thing. We had a heated argument and 3 hours later we all 4 were seated in a fancy hotel. His best friend and his wife exchanged gifts in front of us and I placed my gift on Joe's hands eagerly awaiting a present in return after all I was his Valentine and there was none. (So he didn't buy me anything, I thought to myself) 'Hey Joe, you didn't buy anything for your fiance?', jeered his best friend's wife. "What better present could she have than me?' Joe replied smilingly which I didn't find funny at all! In fact I never felt so embarrassed ever in my life. I just wanted to leave and rush back home. They dropped me to my place and I hated V-day! "How could I ever end up with such a bore", I asked myself.
With hopes that he would improve, I myself asked him to meet few days in a week (which according to me must have been his initiative and not mine but still I thought why not I approach him). But what irked me more is that each day he would find excuses - "I'm tired", "Can we meet on a weekend", "I have work". And each day I would wonder "What kind of a species am I going to marry - who doesn't even care to date his fiance!". My heart was sinking and sinking and I didn't know what to do. I cried for hours in my room and wiped my tears hoping things would change.
And then came my birthday. As usual I ended up planning the place where we would celebrate my birthday. He again didn't even come with a present. He just took out some hours from his work and we spent some time together. I had lost all enthusiasm realizing that each of my dream-like expectation had been shattered in the most cruel way possible.
Finally the month of our wedding arrived. He allowed me to choose my own dress and accessories but didn't come along with me to shop. In fact even when he did he would stay outside while I wandered around the shop on my own. I was disappointed beyond words. He would ask me if everything was fine with me and I lied to him saying everything was perfectly fine and it was just my headache.
I came home and cried into my pillow asking myself if I am marrying the right person as he was no where closer to the guy I dreamed of. In fact he was way way far from him like they were two guys from different poles. I couldn't bear it more and ended up discussing with him, he found all of my accusations baseless and then we ended up fighting for almost a month and fought more on our wedding day. I walked down the aisle with suppressed tears and as usual he didn't pose well with me for the photographs. On our marriage night he went off to sleep saying he was tired. The next day after marriage he hardly spent any time with me as he was occupied with his family and relatives. Our honeymoon was not an international trip of my choice and a destination that he chose. I asked for Mauritius and he took me to a place what he called as "Indian-Mauritius". And we fought even on our honeymoon. Even after months of marriage he would never buy gifts, no flowers, no late night conversations, no long drives, no pictures on FB, no dinner dates, no hug when I am sick, no helping me in the kitchen and no time-spending with me. I knew it was the limit. I couldn't bear his sight anymore. His presence annoyed me more than anything. For me he was the most insensitive and heartless man I ever knew and I hated him more than anything and I told myself that he is not the guy I dreamed of and he never will be.
Fast forward 3 years.
Today when he doesn't pose well for the photographs I know that it is because he is shy and feels conscious when somebody takes his pictures. So I capture him when he is not aware of while he patiently clicks my photos until I am happy with his click.
I realized that when he didn't take me on dates it is because he was not accustomed to it himself and he didn't know I enjoyed eating out some times. Today he googles places to take me out for dinner and orders my favorite food first.
He till date never treats me with gifts but when he takes me out always asks me if I wish to buy anything for myself. And when I pick my choice of dress or watch he doesn't look at the price tag instead makes the payment in the blink of the eye as long as I am happy with my choice.
Our honeymoon destination was very beautiful and when I look at the pictures now the scenic view, lush greens and sun kissed beaches, they make me wonder if it was really an Indian destination or Mauritius. I realize it was one of the best places I could ever be.
Today whenever I am adorned with a dress or jewelry he makes it a point to compliment in a single line although I would like him to be more elaborate and descriptive (I am sure he is still working on it :) )
He comes home from office smiling at me and manages to say just "Hey Honey" and it doesn't always follow with a hug or a kiss (as I would like it) but I know that it is his way of loving me.
We don't exchange texts much but when we do he always has something nice to say even though it would be maximum only 15 words. And yes sometimes he does flirt in the most witty way which I hardly imagined :)
When he sees me juggling with office and house work he is very supportive and understanding and volunteers to help me in the kitchen with whatever he can (But I avoid that as far as possible else it often ends up in double-cleaning work for me :) ) He helps me with groceries but refrains from himself buying non-veg from the market as he can't see animals being butchered although all pity inside him leaves when the cooked non-veg curry is placed in front of him. Well that is how he is :)
At night when we don't have anything much to talk to and yet when I wish to spend time with him, I ask him to narrate any movie story which he obliges lovingly and then I enjoy listening his story-telling with his arms wrapped around me. Although he is not a fan of English romantic movies (like I am), he is great at history and listening to him unfolding the historical knowledge he holds is more than amazing (even though History was my least favorite subject). Today I would love History only when my husband is the one to narrate it.
He understands that he has to listen to me when I share anything under the sun without showing boredom which he tries to do although most of the times I do make out from his face that he is bored despite he reassuring me with "No dear I am all intrigued" :)
His FB profile has hardly any pictures of ours uploaded but he would share mine whenever I upload them on my profile. I realized he is a very lazy person :)
When weekend comes he takes me to watch animation movies (which I love) even if I want to watch the same movie more than once. He understands my likeness and doesn't perceive it as annoying.
When I am down with fever or sickness, he rushes to buy medicines even in the middle of the night, massages my head, manages to boil an egg (or half boil an egg :)) and helps me in cleaning without me having to ask him - I realized that it definitely took him time to understand and I am glad he did which meant he just didn't know how to help me earlier. His attempts to help me really makes me fall in love with him again.
However most importantly, when I see him changing my daughter's diaper or dressing her up or putting on the shoes for her or entertain her in ways she wants, is the time I realize that I could never have a more loyal companion for myself and my child could never have a more doting father than him - Never!
Today when I look back I realize that somewhere I failed to understand who he really was because I was constantly comparing him with the prince of my dreams. I wanted him to change so badly that it annoyed him because he wanted me to change as per his imagination of a shy homely wife which I was not. We both were sure poles apart and we still are but we both realized that there are some things where you can let go for the person you love and there are some things which will remain important for you as long as it doesn't cost your relationship - you can always shift poles and yet maintain a healthy balance.
We stopped shifting the blames on each other and opted to have a real conversation stripping our hearts naked before each other focusing not on self but only on "our" relation. We discussed without accusing each other and we were careful not to speak in a tone and a body language which would hurt the other. I realized that he has a big ego which gets hurt when I raise my tone and he realized that little gestures and a loving tone makes me happy. He is careful never to leave me along in a fight and I ensure that I don't agitate much over petty issues triggering his temper. We prayed, we improved with each passing day and it worked. It all started to come together and we began to see each other in a completely different light appreciating each other for who we were rather than who we wanted the other to be. There still are and will be disagreements and annoyance and frustration but it will never weigh more than our marriage and our marital vows.
His love for me radiates in so many myriad ways which I never noticed before and he appreciates my love for him in the ways he has understood how I would want him to. He has grown on me with his slow and steady love and it keeps growing more with each passing day. He is the man I would love to grow old together with when I have wrinkled eyes, sagging skin and grey hair. We both wish to explore each other more as we age.
Joe sure was not at all the "Fictional" Prince of my dreams but he is definitely a lot more "Real" than that in his own way and I would never trade him even for the "imagined" Prince of my dreams :) Ours is a happily ever after where happiness is defined by us and worked upon by us.
Oh before I forget I have to tell my husband in the most random way possible that 'Red Roses' are my favorite hoping he would guess what I actually mean ;) And if he doesn't get that then I will have to tell him the best way he would understand what I want and that is,
"Joe, can you please surprise me with red roses today?" :)