Marriage is hard. It may not seem like it, but trust me, it is. I used to think that it’s very easy living with people we love. We enjoy spending time with each other, we love doing fun activities together, and we are very comfortable with each other. Why would we want to leave each other? Makes no sense right? While it’s easy to resonate with all these feelings when they are about your parents and siblings, things get pretty messed up when they are about a spouse.
Why Relationship With Spouse Is Different From Relationship With Parents & Siblings?
We may be more comfortable and happy around our partner than the rest of our family but living with a partner is much difficult than living with the rest of your family. Why would I say so? Well, last year while we were in Lockdown, I had to go to Pune (a city in Maharashtra, India) for some work. I didn’t want to stay in a hotel because of the whole pandemic situation so I contacted my friends instead who got married in 2017. Both the husband and wife were good friends of mine and they were happy to have me in their house. When I reached there, I felt normal for like two days. As I stayed longer, I started to sense some negativity in their relationship – like something was really off between them.
“Might be a usual husband-wife rift. I shouldn’t speak in their matter,” I thought to myself. But things were the same as more days passed by. There was unusual silence and they didn’t talk to each other like they used to. I understood that there is something serious going on. I wanted to talk to them but I didn’t know how to start. Then one day, I found the wife scrolling through an online divorce magazine, and I instantly asked – “What’s the matter?”
“Marriage Sucks” – she replied and went straight into her room. It was dinner time, we three had our dinner, and I finally started the much-needed discussion.
“You guys were such a happy and funny couple. What happened to that?” I asked.
There was pin-drop silence for like 20 seconds and the husband whispered “I don’t know. Apparently, she wants divorce. And I don’t even know what I did wrong.“
“I can’t always keep explaining to you what you did wrong. You never understand.” the wife replied.
“Maybe I can help. You guys want to share?” I asked
As I listened to their story, I figured it was the wife’s expectations from her husband that weren’t being met. It became worse as they spend the entire time together with each other in lockdown. She wanted attention, he was always on his phone. Both were working from home 9-to-5, but only she did household chores. She wanted to talk, and he was on his PS4. There was not a single big reason why she wanted a divorce, but I wouldn’t blame her for wanting separation. These might be the smallest issues but they start to get worse if left unattended and unresolved. That’s where the husband was failing. He failed to recognize the problem and always thought that she is making an issue out of nothing.
How I Helped Them Drop The Idea Of Divorce?
I explained to them that being a husband and a wife comes with responsibilities. It’s not like living with your parents or siblings. You can be in your room all day, and your parents/siblings won’t mind. But, a marriage is a whole different thing. You have to share time, responsibilities, moments of joy and sadness, household chores, and everything that falls in between. Above all, communication is the key. Incorporating things you love doing together in your daily routine. Give each other attention, express love whenever you can and show gratitude for having each other. No matter how much you love each other, a successful marriage needs working on it every single day. Share your lows and highs. Understand what another person is going through and help them go through.
This conversation wasn’t too long but I think it hit them hard and had them thinking. They were just in a place where they needed a push. They understood, cried, and promised to address the issues their marriage was facing. They also hired a counselor.
I am glad they are happily married today and expecting their first child in June 2021.
P.S. – I took their permission before posting this story. They just want names to be kept hidden.