I and my partner have been in a relationship seven years before we decided to enter into a marriage. Knowing each other for so long sometimes raises expectations that we sync in well all the time and have no differences.
But on the contrary, we can literally have a spat on anything and everything. Why is that so?
Few years back, we moved to a new country while we were still freshly married. We started meeting new people and made friends with a family where the husband and wife looked so much in love allllll the time.
Seeing them hugging and kissing each other at the slightest of a sweet moment made me question our relationship for a while. So I asked the wife, what is your secret formula?
Feeling proud about her relationship, she shared with me – ‘if I want something to be done, then it is me who wants it to be done, I never burden my partner with my expectations. If I want home to be clean, ‘I’ do it because ‘I’ want it’. And then there were some more words of wisdom exchanged with me listening like a sincere disciple.
I definitely tried to inculcate all the good things but I could not have a ‘no fight’ relationship. In fact, it felt suffocating not to say out things that I wanted to. After all, who else did I have in my life to vent things on? It is quite normal for our day to start with cuddles and end with cribbing (followed by cuddles again).
Months and years passed by and I stopped trying to be like anyone else.
We invited the same lovey dovey couple at our place for lunch and were shocked to hear that they were no more together. And that day I felt like – if they can have a divorce, anyone on this earth can have it.
I happened to meet the wife who wanted to have coffee together and she shared her heart out in that conversation citing how much she was forced by her husband to ‘behave’ like an ideal couple all the time. She reached a point beyond which she could not ‘act’ and gave up on him. She confessed to having fights with him too but they were supposed to keep it inside as long as they are in public and not show it at all if they are mad at each other, not even in front of friends.
While it is surely not a good thing to fight in front of friends, what she could not withstand anymore was the fake love and affection that she needed to display as demanded by her husband.
And there I had my answer.
Of course I felt sorry to hear their relationship fall apart but it also had a learning for me. Not everything from inside is same as what you see outside.
In the world of social media, we all come across posts showering love on their partner, some of which are so easy to be seen as forced. While everyone has a right to share their love and affection wherever and however they want, is it really needed to do it forcefully, just to maintain a certain kind of image?
Wishing birthdays and anniversaries to each other on social media while sitting across each other sounds funny to me which obviously can be their idea of love. But what I have stopped trusting and trying to achieve is the superficial show of love that appears absolutely unachievable between two humans who are bound to have different opinions on various topics.
It is much easier to be yourselves, be real with each other, not pile up things within yourselves, share your disappointments as much as you share your love with the person. And be in a ‘real’ relationship. That is not in any competition to appear best among any group.
All of us definitely evolve everyday as a couple and get wiser. What is dangerous here is falling in the pit of ‘wannabes at the cost of your relationship.
For example: if you have an irregularity in your body, aren’t you supposed to know the cause and fix it? On the contrary, if you try to suppress your illness in an attempt to appear well (when you are not), you are only increasing the intensity of your health issue with every passing day.
Similarly our relationships need regular fixing, venting out and getting back on track. And the last thing you need here is to appear well (when you are not).
As someone rightly said:
“Quit mowing down, what needs to be plucked up”.