There was a time when I thought getting into a relationship was hard! And over the period of time I have found that surviving relationships or maintaining relationships is a harder thing to do. While the basics for getting into relationship remain the same, the basics for surviving a relationship are too many parameters put into one and not same for any two couples per se. On one hand my facebook wall has been witness to so many “Hitched”, “Married”, “Together Forever”, “Taken For Life”…. and on the other hand it has also witnessed “together wali pics vanishing overnight”, “missing relationship statuses”, “blocked contacts” and suddenly folks going “offline forever”.
And I wonder:
1. If this was supposed to be the outcome, how did they fall in love at first place? (The Silly me!)
2. Yaar, aisa kya hua hoga that they couldn’t survive the relationship? (The Curious me!)
3. Faaaak, there’s so much money that was spent on that marriage (kiske naam ka bill fatega, ab?) (The Mahajan in me!)
I feel bad deep inside for all of those couples and I can’t express how much! This has got me worried quite much lately! Because yeah “your happiness matters!”, “Self comes first”, “it has to be a healthy relationship rather than an abusive one” and blah. blah. blah.
But no one talks about the root-cause of the problem. What went wrong? Who was wrong? Why did that happen? What triggered all of this? And I have looked, observed and even talked to some of them to really understand the “WHY” part of the problem. Honestly, nobody knew the WHY! They all talked about how did the situation made them feel, what are they looking for in a relationship, what the other person didn’t get or understand about them. Nobody discussed or talked about them (read us) as one unit. When the relationship is about two, why the problem and concern is always about one?
It has led me to think a lot about relationships of today and what is baking wrong into these relationships! There are few implicit things that play a pivotal role in screwing things up!
1. The Denial of Adulting: Remember we are a generation born in late 80s and early 90s. Pampered kids at home. Our parents belong to an age (read era) where they have seen so many hardships and tough times that they in 70s or 80s grew up thinking ke “mere bachon ko koi takleef nahi honi chahiye.” (My kids should not suffer whatever so may) And in this entire process of giving us the comfort of life, luxuries and fulfilling our demands even before they reached our lips – it made us a generation of wanting more from life and expecting everything to be easy and as per us.
And when we grow up and we marry – A) we marry another kid who has been brought up just like you were B) We are shocked by the kind and number of responsibilities a married individual has to bear (irrespective of gender). And when this starts becoming a routine, we start getting pulled into it day after day – it becomes a ruckus and by inertia we really do not want the status quo of our early 25 (or 26, 27 or 28) years to be changed. For sure this inertia has some weight and can’t be dealt easily. This entire idea of leaving all of this and running into what was prevalent before wins hands down. In short, all we are trying to do here is delaying the point where we adult in real sense. This Denial of Adulting is what I call the First reason behind the broken relationships today.
2. Too many cooks: This is bitter, harsher and unfortunate part (characters) of the story – The Bride, The Groom, Bride’s mother and Groom’s mother. The way our society is – these are the first few folks of the family who bear the brunt of a break-up. While the girl and the boy become culprits and the victims both, their mothers are tagged as villains by default. But sadly though – they have no role played in this.
Unfortunately however, they way we are brought up – we belong to times when our fathers were always earning money, working on the fields and were travelling and our rapport with our mothers is beyond just love. Our mothers have been “Call a friend” for all happy, sad and turbulent times in our lives. And this behavior which has been built into our DNA is carried forward even after we are married. And the moment, we have any trouble or come across a situation which we are not able to handle – we pick up the phone or ping our Moms to share our inability to handle the same. And Mothers by default in their possessiveness of their children and immense love for them – go ahead and guide them. It’s fine, right? Absolutely!
But what is missing here – the suggestions come out of the experience that the mothers had lived in their young age (and times have considerably changed now and hence the guidance fails) and more importantly the relationship is about the 2 people (and not their mothers/family esp. while dealing the situation). Over and above there are other members of the family who also start contributing their inputs into the situation. And it becomes a mess. (beyond manage)
But a few steps can really save your love from getting destroyed forever.
1. Take deep breaths and keep your mouth shut – Whenever you think, things are not going your way and getting beyond control – first thing you do is SHUT YOURSELF UP! It diffuses the situation/tension in situation by 50%. And seeing you the other half goes the same way and sparks of fight and vengeance are Dead NOW!
2. Resist the desire to share everything with your beloved Moms (and families) – Yes we know you love them and they love you more than anyone else in the world. But that same love can hamper the communication and style of communication between you and your partner! Not good!
3. Subtract all the unsolicited advice – When it is about hook-ups, crushes and affairs, it’s ok to gather around a table and have a loud candid conversation about your relationship woes with larger audience. (May be, if that is your style). But once you are married and entering into troublesome times, first thing you do is subtract all the advice that has come your way from your single friends, bachelor siblings, long-distance wala couple. You need to subtract all that (what I call truly novice and inexperienced advice) from the equation of your own relationship. Because they have not hit the ground yet!
4.Now when it is only you, your partner and your thoughts left – Go talk. May be in first few attempts, you both remain seated quietly without exchanging any dialogue or even maintaining any eye contact. It is ok. It gets you comfortable with the plain idea of having each other around. Next is don’t wait for – he didn’t ask me first, she didn’t ask me first. The moment it feels ok to start off a conversation, START. You might not get a positive or a healthy response first few times but you have surely have his/her heart back in line with you. Brain definitely is a tougher nut (and an idiot) to crack and consecutive conversations will get that along as well. If you think, talking to your partner is getting tough – talk in slices. for 15min one day to start with, 30min after 2-3 days and get into this habit of talking to them, you will find your self and your partner too sharing stuff which you were not doing earlier.
5. Last but not the least, DROP THAT BOX OF POISON – Your Phone! Nothing is as unhealthy as that shitty piece of box. Never let your partner think your voices, your words are coming from some advice on the phone. While these thoughts might not arise under normal circumstances but when things are not going well, this is the most common thought to happen. And otherwise too, I earnestly suggest to keep your phones at bay when having a communication with your partner.
I am not promising you that this too long a post will save everything but one attempt is all what you & your love deserves. Because love is precious and it needs more than just normal efforts to stay alive in our hearts and forever. it is not a constant that will remain same and sound same, speak same, smell same and stay same. In fact it is one that changes with time through and through. It is not a milestone, it is a journey. it evolves from time to time, it deepens with time, it develops a flavor of its own and it has a charm that keeps us float. Save your love today and have your valentine forever!