Friday, October 7, 2011

Destroy the Marriage to Save It!

Yesterday, I met an old friend to discuss something professional.

But a cup of coffee on a lazy afternoon does wonders. He got talking about his next experiment with truth. To me it is revolutionary given the contours and context of the Indian society, that is in a transition, all right, more hastily in cities than in smaller towns and villages, where deviation is acceptable not just tolerable, but is still dominated by male chauvinist pigs.

He is trying something interesting to save his marriage. He is temporarily destroying it. The two are separating for sometime (he has no fixed time frame but six months is what he mentioned) where they have agreed to give each other some space. The space is not just an opportunity not to see each other's faces everyday as a fate accompli, but also freedom to have new partners. "We will now have open marriage" he told me. That is not an open marriage, in strict terms, because the couple stay together without the requirement to be monogamous (which those in marriage, who are not lucky enough to get this concession, that is why jealous, argue: why marry then?).

Basically, they are separating to give their marriage a chance, to explore life minus of each other to see where they stand as individuals. This also translates into exploring other options, and hope that it would resurrect their love for each other. It is true that sometimes you realise the value and role of your partner in your life in absentia. The presence can get nagging but absence might turn out to be unbearable. And they will be together again in flat few weeks.

On the other hand, this new found freedom can also reaffirm the feeling that good days between them is over, therfore the need is felt to take a break, the reason for this quasi-separation at the first place.

Some background is essential about the two. They are seeing each other since they barely hit 20s. At the age of 23-24 they moved in together in a hired flat. Family was not happy but they did not have an option. They got married two years ago and shifted to a nicer place with the promise of a great life together. They were madly in love with each other is a cliché I would use for them.

Their 'need for my space' is a recent development. So, now, they are quarrelling more often to prove 'my' point. Things that they loved about each other now irks them. The tolerance level to each others antics is far reduced. They both realise that they are not doing good to each other.

My friend asserts that they still love each other and that this experiment will do good to both of them. He is aware of the fact that this ‘good for both of them’ might not necessarily translate into they being together again. He is hopeful and mindful of the repecussions, too.

The family is aware of this decision and they are not very sure if this is the right way to deal with the situation. To be frank no one is sure, they themselves are a little shaky. They both are sure, though, to try it out. He is busy finding a house for her.

The logic is simple. They would have not gone too far the way they were behaving to each other. So might as well try this.

Who made this suggestion? “It was decided after many discussions,” he replies. I persist, who of the two suggested this as a possible option, or solution. “She,” he replies.

He is emotionally stressed. He puts up a brave face, denies unconvincingly.

They are true to their feelings and about their feelings for each other. If things are not working, they are upfront about it and are working hard to make it work.

Such disputes more often than not are ego driven. They know that. They are unhappy that the magic is gone. They want the magic back. They are willing to take great risk for it. It will be difficult to lose 'exclusive' rights within the superstructure of marriage.

So be it. Let it be.

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