Marital travails

Recently, I saw a tee-shirt emblazoned with the message, “Even a girl friend too has an expiry date.” This reminded me of a quip on ‘volatile love’ – “Love at first sight; divorce at next sight.” This in turn triggered a torrent of thoughts on love marriages that have ‘turned turtle’.

Sometime back, a friend’s niece got hooked into a love-laden wedlock. Post-marriage, initially, a la Aishwarya Rai, she kept rhapsodising on her newly-wedded life. Like, how singularly amazing her spouse is, how supremely awesome her in-laws are, and how thrilling her marital life is. A few years later she began eulogizing again. Not on her married life, but on her solitary life after divorce – how she is no more manacled to any rigidity, shackled to restrictions, with none to infringe on personal space and thwart her freedom.

And then, there was a girl who, soon after her love-marriage, every year, like a seasonal fruit-bearing tree, produced a child around Diwali. (As if it were some Diwali dhamaka offer). And this she attributed to her uber-romantic married life. Then after three years, she produced a child again — the third, around Diwali. Well, this product was from her second marriage.

Then there was another girl, who married someone 20 years older to her. Being over-besotted, she’d say that whenever her man was around her, she could feel the spark in her eyes/heart. But later on, all she could see/hear were thunder and lightening. Earlier, if she had gushed over how all their tastes, ideas, opinions, etc, matched; later on she groaned over how the amount of their frustration, and number of complaints against each other too matched. Worst part was when she was still busy weaving middle-age fantasies, he, having joined the senior-citizen brigade, was grappling with old-age problems. Naturally, their earlier weekends, which were spent on patronizing swanky clubs/hotels, were later on reserved for making umpteen trips to divorce court.

If aforesaid was Electra complex case, here it’s the Oedipus complex, where a buddy’s cousin, married a woman, some five years older. He would trill happily saying how he is ‘cocooned in clover’ by his wife, who cares for him like a protective mother. Soon, he discerned she was indeed a domineering mother, who always ladled out lists of dos and don’ts, kept strict vigil on him, and made him do all sundry household chores, till one day he bid final adieu to her.

Yes, early days of love-married life are truly groovy – the star-struck eyes, love-struck heart, amorous-feelings-struck mind, and euphoria-struck life! But the love saga shouldn’t culminate as “The first week the husband speaks, the wife listens. The second week, she speaks, and he listens. After few weeks, both speak and neighbours listen”!

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