Sunday, March 1, 2015

Marriages and more....

When I logged back in, I realized that I am on the same topic!!! One of our close friends here - they have been our first friends in the US - we have been friends over 14 years now celebrating every happy occasion and holding each other through every trying situation. I am fortunate to have not two but seven eight couples of such friends and we are each other's extended families when we are so far away from our own. So we were beyond shocked when one day my girlfriend calmly posted on Facebook of all the places that she is getting separated/divorced from her husband of many years. This led to many phone calls and the situation turned out to be even more horrifying than the post out of the blue. It involved possible situations of mild schizophrenia for her where she thought he was spying on her, trying to kill her; she even went to the police station to lodge an official complaint. For common ordinary folks like us who spend our lives hoping to never have to get involved in the police or law systems - and she was one of us until this complete chaotic breakdown. For the past seven years she had been consistently talking about how she is tired/stressed out/wants to quit her job but never taken any steps in that direction. She was a VP at a good company at the age of forty, two beautiful kids, one cute dog, a beautiful beautifully decorated home, a husband with a great career, awesome family vacations; they were living the American Dream until these horrific few weeks end of last year when they turned into each other's bitter enemies and she proceeded to send him a divorce notice. Things are a bit calmer now with her having quit her job and both of them trying to sort things out but the suspended divorce and the trauma of the awful phase they went through looms over them; making it harder to forgive and forget.

P and I were involved in this whole drama as it unfolded and it has left me emotionally exhausted and questioning again what is love and when does a marriage actually break down??

I think it is practically impossible to always be turned on by your partner - Fifty shades of grey is really a fiction of imagination. Yes when you are newly married it will be fifty shades type lets jump into bed every five seconds but fast forward ahead - 17+ years of married life, couple of kids, struggling/demanding careers, kids activities, lean in type unnecessary expectations put onto oneself by oneself, and weakened physical conditions lead to exhaustion and lack of patience to absorb minor annoyances with your spouse or to be generous enough to forgive lapses in judgment and attention. Mostly all of us put our best foot forward at work, with our kids teachers, our kids even, with friends, slowly we are at the stage that our parents are getting older and need more attention and patience and so at the end of the day all that amazing patience explodes in the face of one minor comment/action or lack thereof by your spouse that sets you off. Some days one is so tired that you choose to ignore and go to bed just to wake up and start all over again. Other days you find yourself taking one more step away from each other.

It is so important to exercise control over your thoughts and to curb them and channel them in the right direction before it gets too late. To open your eyes and to recognize and appreciate the things your significant other does do instead of all the things you think he doesn't. And if you can't find anything to appreciate or be grateful about, at least just hug and kiss once a day. It's putting something in the emotional bank that is going to strengthen your relationship. So that one day you don't have a horrific realization moment when everything seems overwhelming and you find you have nothing left in common with your partner and you begin to think you could totally be happier without him/her.

We have one life to live and which of us even knows how long is it going to be?? We could die tomorrow or in another seventy years. But why should we live it substandard - if we cannot change our situations we can most definitely change how we react to it and I have always found that it in turn somehow then changes the original situation. Win win in any case.

I am struggling with my own demons and in no way am I spouting all these preachy wisdom because I am perfect. It is more of a reminder to myself :) I used to love this show - Downtown abbey. One of the characters once said that bad thoughts always come in everyone's minds but as long as you do not act upon them everything is fine. So do not feel guilty for your bad thoughts, indulge in them a few if it helps create an imaginary happiness for you but then also return back to reality and think about the small things you can change to make you happy and once you are truly happy the universe falls back in the right place. So take time for yourself to read and sip coffee quietly, definitely take time out everyday to exercise - ignore overachiever comments of "if you don't run 75 miles it's no use, you won't really burn any calories" and walk if that's all you can manage to do, any consistent baby step you take in the direction of your general fitness is going to be awesome, forgive yourself daily of all the things you think you should have done but couldn't, look at your partner and realize that men all over the world are pretty much the same and as long as you are respected, loved, provided for and appreciated (and maybe there are days on which you don't feel any one of these but as long as the good days outnumber the bad and you continue to voice your feelings and talk about change, it should work), and give a little more, be a little kinder be a little more loving to the one person in your life that if all goes well will be holding your hand till the end. Love yourself and others and be happy my dears :)

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