When a woman is married for many years and the drudgery of everyday life bogs her down and on her off days when she is at her cranky self-critical best, she begins to question herself and her own decisions. Sometimes she wonders if she is fit to handle life and fantasizes about her younger days before marriage. There pops the thought “Why did I go and get married in the first place?” But rarely does she try to answer that question for herself. Whenever I catch myself in those unhelpful thought patterns I try to answer that question and it helps. It helps to be grateful for what one has, and being grateful is the easiest way to be happy.
When I met my husband back in 2003, I was 19 and he was almost 21. It was young love, but one that was motivated not just by the heart but also by the head. We both knew that it was something beyond physical attraction that got us together. I know it sounds convenient for me to say “we knew”, now that we’ve been together for 16 years, but seriously, we just knew. We had barely come out of our teenaged eggshells, but our understanding of what we wanted in a partner was quite clear. Many reasons for that. For starters, we had a huge circle of close common friends. At that age, when your friends are dating, it’s as good as you dating – you’re privy to all the details, you’re each others’ agony aunt. In theory, the sum total of the entire gang’s dating life serves as your lesson in love and life. But if that wasn’t enough, we had both been hurt before. So although we didn’t start dating with the idea of getting married one day, the unspoken intention was not to get into anything impulsively. Having known each other for a while, we knew we had that thought process in common. That and our sense of humour has kept us together in what is entirely a long-distance relationship. (He is in the Merchant Navy, a job that requires him to be at sea and away from the family for 6 months in a year.) It’s tough and a sense of humour helps. He has a habit of making light of any situation. Sometimes to my amusement and sometimes otherwise, coz what’s marriage without the “otherwise”.
During our dating years, in one of those typical conversations about “our future” (yup, that one that guys particularly hate), when I asked him what was his idea of what marriage is like, he said something surprisingly profound that has stayed with me since. He said a healthy relationship, in a marriage or not, is where the partners help each other heal and grow. Heal and grow. That was the start of a long and meaningful conversation that made me realise that behind that mischievous smile of his is wisdom that is rare. That is why I got married to him in the first place. We know we are different in many ways, but those are the differences that help us see things from a fresh perspective and heal us in difficult times. We know we are not perfect and we learn from each other to grow as individuals. Life is not to just be stuck with what you know and who you think you are, but to challenge yourself and push your limits and experience something new with your significant other that you wouldn’t have on your own. And I think we do that for each other.
That simple conversation we had many years ago kind of set the tone for our relationship, at least for me. I don’t think he even remembers he said that or that I have thought about it so much ever since, but I have a good memory – sometimes to his advantage and sometimes “otherwise” 😉
© 2020 Aanchal Nithin Prakashan All Rights Reserved.
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I wrote this article for First Moms Club. This article was published on February 15, 2019 on their official website – https://firstmomsclub.in.
First Moms Club is India’s leading community of over 1 lakh urban Indian mothers across 60 countries. FMC aims to encourage the women behind the mothers to find emotional, entrepreneurial and social identity.
Link to this article on the First Moms Club website – https://firstmomsclub.in/i-knew-then-he-was-the-man-i-wanted-to-marry/