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After six months of courtship, we finally tied knot in the most resplendent way our parents could manage. Ours was an arranged marriage. Since grass is always greener on the other side I too saw marriage as the ultimate recipe for a happy and secure life. I have often heard stories from my friends and cousins about their marital bliss and blues alike and in my mind wrote a little book of dos and don'ts of married life. I was determined to follow each point in the dos section and avoid the mistakes. But as soon as we were done with the wedding vows I started to realise how phoney my assumptions have been. My family, friends and loved ones waved goodbyes and kisses as we seated ourselves in the heavily decorated Honda city. Suddenly I felt alone. I was going to spend the rest of my life with a man and his family I barely knew.
In that one hour ride to my new home I felt myriad feelings. From fear to euphoria. Apprehension, contemplation, shyness, sadness, joy excitement and everything in between.
And thus begun my matrimonial expedition..
Chapter 1: The perfect spouse syndrome.
From the very next day I ventured to follow the first Do of my " golden book" that is to be the perfect wife and so did my consort. I tried to learn serious cooking ( since till now my cooking was limited to tea and Maggie noodles). He brought flowers for me. I tried to smile after a really tiring day. He tried to ignore my mistakes. I let him play his favorite video games and hang out with his friends. He took me out to dinner most weekends. I admired his achievements and he appreciated my work. Ours was THE PERFECT MARRIAGE until a time when one of us just lost it.
I think the beauty of universe lies in its imperfection. How can a marriage be this perfect. Soon enough we became our old self. Had occasional fights, misunderstandings and after the first year we learned the precious and practical wisdom.. Marriage is hard work.
Chapter 2: The realisation: Marriage is hard work.
By now we knew each other fairly well. We understood each others silence ( read anger). We could read between the lines. And we knew yes means yes but no may or may not mean no. And may be definitely meant no. We sometimes found fault with each other. Sometimes hurt each other but mostly we were still a happy couple.
Chapter 3: The theory of Relativity. ( In laws, family friends and relatives).
After a couple of years.. From here on I will use "I" and "him" more than "we" since we rarely did things together other than arguing. Our two wheeler now has multiple wheels. I felt less and less significant. Couple getaways were interpreted as disrespect to elders. Opinions of in laws and relatives started to interfere our relationship. He had many priorities now. His work, taking care of his parents, his ME time.
Chapter 4: Men are from Mars.
Male psychology is entirely different from female psychology. When men are stressed out they block everything surrounding them and go in the zone while their female counterpart prefers to share and discuss (or sulk). This part of my marital safari was more bumpy than smooth. Because at this moment I didn't quite understand this theory. I thought I had made the greatest mistake of my life as I found my husband growing cold and indifferent with each passing day. I missed my dear friend deeply. And just when I was about to give up on our relationship a miracle happened.
Chapter 5: The baby bliss and blues.
I got pregnant. And it seemed that our lives have taken a u-turn. My pregnancy hormones made me glow. I started to take care of myself. I found my long lost friend and lover in my better half.. again.
After nine months and five days we were blessed with a healthy baby boy.
I wanted to be happy.. but I wasn't.
I wanted to love my baby but I couldn't. He would cry and cry and cry for no reason sometimes. I too wanted to cry. He seemed like an alien because I COULD NOT UNDERSTAND HIM. I wanted my family and especially my husband to be with me emotionally. But they were too busy attending the new love of our life. Yes I was went through postpartum depression.
Chapter 6: Blame games.
I blamed everyone. My hormones for messing with my mood, my baby for being so difficult ( or I thought so), my parents, my in laws but most of all my husband. He in turn started blaming me for everything. Only if we could have handled it differently..
Chapter 7: Besties.
I can cross my heart and say that when I was going through my emotional low my close friends were always there to help. Whenever I needed advice or just someone to share my burden, they were always there. I would also emphasize on the fact that my mum was my best friend and my closest allie during these days. This network of family and friends helped me get out of my sulking self, do some emotional software update and reboot my system to a healthy, loving and emotionally strong person.
Chapter 8: Acceptance.
Eventually I came out of depression. It took us a little longer but my baby and I love each other like no other.
As a couple we still have our differences. But now I have come in terms with his flaws as well as mine as humans.
No relationship is perfect. And some have more dents than others but what matters at the end is how every relationship impacts us. Does it make us a better spouse, friend or a person.