Should your spouse live 4 houses away?
In my college days my favorite professor used to say that spouse should live three-four houses away. “It is so nice to meet him or her, now and then and spend calm evenings together...then say bye to each other and go to your bed to sleep peacefully.”
In my college days my favorite professor used to say that spouse should live three-four houses away. “It is so nice to meet him or her, now and then and spend calm evenings together as the best of the best friends. Then say bye to each other with promises to meet again and go to your bed to sleep peacefully.”
At that juncture of life, when young urge and search for true love was in full bloom, that was hard to believe and difficult to comprehend. But now, after five years of marriage with a gem of person, I am able to make sense of what my witty professor wanted to communicate.
Living separately while married
You will be surprised that even though I say that my spouse is a very good person, I do agree with the professor. Marriage is such a relation that even if you get the best of the universe, you have a long list of disagreements and complaints against your life partner. The problem does not reside in the person, it is in the relation itself; it is too intimate to absorb.
As soon two persons marry, they search for compatibility. They forget that compatibility is not an attribute which can be taught or found but has to be developed by ourselves over time if we want and that too to an extent only. Moreover, for a human being it is difficult to transform after passing a certain age because a substantial part of our personality, outer and inner, has already solidified. Of course we can alter our behavior pattern, but do you buy a toaster and expect it to make juice for you? The toaster is designed to perform a certain function. Similarly, spouse is also ‘designed’ to play a certain role in your life. Rather than start learning those lessons we set off the journey of marriage with the task to change the other in order to achieve a comfort level with the new room partner. In case of husband, he wants wife to settle down with all his existing relatives and his house as butter melts in hot soup. If case of wife, she wants husband to be of the same nature and mind as ‘she’ perceived and expected him to be before marriage or what she thinks a ‘good’ husband should be. And the joy of marriage fades away within a year or a few month or sometimes just a few days.
Five years ago, I was married to a gentleman who liked clarity in thoughts and simplicity in ways of living. But soon I realized, as happens in most marriages (‘the truth’ always comes out later), that simplicity was not always a virtue. What about all the luxuries of life especially when you know you have the calibre to acquire them? Clarity of thoughts is good but sometimes it brings rigidity along and makes a person so confident of himself that he becomes self-centred.
In just a year, the other side of the coin showed up. Step by step many ‘secrets’ were revealed. Though we all know it’s always the head behind the tail yet we expect the head behind the head, when it comes to relations. Then the next four years were filled up with arguments, clarifications and accusations. Both of us criticized and worked ourselves up to teach each other ‘the right thing’. We fought. How could one allow the other to damage one’s interests. All my dreams and expectations were shattered and he always missed his beloved ‘peace’.
Now after spending five years in the battlefield of marriage I have some realizations which provide great relief to me. I am sharing these ideas with you with the hope that they could be of use to you as well:
1. Marriages are made in heaven but lived on earth.
2. Enjoy the toast if you bought a toaster and juice in case of juicer. Accept that toaster will remain toaster throughout its life. If you open up all of its parts in order to turn it into juicer, beware!! It will be of no use to you.
3. Once you have made a choice you can always extend the life-span and improve the performance of a machine and a relation by using it wisely and handling with care.
4. To teach a grown up it is sufficient to mention once or twice. If it is ignored it shows that the person is not ready to be taught yet. To teach somebody, sometimes silence works better and sometimes actions and, trust me, they are louder than our screams and shouts.
5. Compatibility is not taught but learnt, it is an effort.
6. By no means you can make other person ‘understand’ something if he or she is not willing to understand first.
7. Stop teaching, learn yourself.
8. Differences are not always meant to be sorted out; many of them can be enjoyed. And every wrong need not to be corrected.
9. Never lose your focus in life in exchange for the high hopes of marriage. Always have at least one passion in which you can absorb yourself. That is the only key to fulfillment.
10. Every relation is meant to give you some tips of life.
If you think that these ideas do not work for you, you can start saving money to buy another house in the vicinity, not for your spouse, but for yourself.
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