andy-parents-behavior

The Male Gender is NOT to be blamed…

My arranged married life started sever years back with my partner. Being a little reserved person from my childhood, arranged marriage felt like throwing me into a dark well with no water. As you know, I have always had a very limited interactions with my female counterparts. Mostly professional conversations only. Even though I have an elder sister I never knew about a women’s life or the kind of expectations she would set in a relationship. My life was submerged in books and office life till she happened in my life. Contrary to this, she is an extremely extrovert person with friendly personality. We both have diagonally opposite outlook towards life. For example, she loves going out with friends during weekends. I would prefer to stay at home. She would expect me, to take her for a romantic night once in a month. I would hardly be able to do it. At times I would fail to remember our special days and buy gifts for her. She would remember everything and try to make every day memorable. I could not understand when she would get upset and what would hurt her. These are just small aspects of life. There were plenty of unmet expectations. There used to be a black and white difference in our approach towards life. Ever since we got married, we have always had arguments and fights. Some silent and many verbal. As times passed, we started feeling suffocated in this marriage. We started feeling we are not the right match for each other. All the efforts to bridge the gap of our extrovert and introvert personalities went in vain. The family is of no fault. She maintains a perfect relationship with my parents. I try to do the same with her parents. But sometimes in life, some things don’t work. It was a long, tiring battle. However, today we have decided to part away mutually and peacefully. It is tough decision for both of us. The final date of court hearing will be next week. We do not blame each other for anything. We wish peace and love in each other’s life. We have decided to settle in a foreign land, far away from any kind of societal obligations or pressures.

He paused and I smiled, with a hope of happiness to be filled in his life.

A short seven minute story of seven years of married life. The hero of the story is one of my friends. We knew each other since our childhood days. As we share a cup of coffee (I had juice since I do not like coffee), I noticed a smile and a tear on his face. He is a delightful person in himself. True that, it takes time for people to understand and accept his personality. He always said that people who are slightly off the path could only embrace his personality. May be that’s true. An hour long conversation ended with an exchange of our phone numbers and an unstated promise to be in touch.

Returning back with a heavy heart and lots of mixed emotions, I directly hit the bed. After an hour long struggle and rolling on the sides of the bed, finally sleep hit me and I dozed off. A restless sleep with a confused mind, tangled with infinite thoughts. I knew I could not rest calmly, if I do not express this on my writing board. In the middle of the night, I decided to pen down my thoughts.

I am curious, how the parents and their respective society would have trashed them for this decision. Knowing the Indian society, certainly the girl would be blamed at some point in her life. Even though, it was a mutual decision, taken respectfully, appreciating each other’s expectations and limitations. It requires a great strength to take this leap of faith in life. Kudos to the couple.

Nevertheless, a few questions remain unanswered in my mind, ‘Was there a better way, to sort out the situation?’; ‘Was there a probability that was not tried in saving the relationship?’ If taken more time, would that marriage have worked out? And the list goes on. Yet, all’s well that ends well.

In this rigid Indian society, it is constantly reaffirmed that the biggest challenge for any parent is grooming a girl child. For the obvious reasons, in the future, she is expected to adjust accordingly, while living under the wings of her husband and in-laws. Therefore, she is trained and equipped with all the necessary physical, emotional, psychological skills from her early days. She is always expected to understand the problems of the family and act accordingly. On the other hand, the boy is usually given the liberty to live his life, on his own terms. The boy is unaware of the problems of the family. Nor takes part in any of the family decisions. All the efforts are directed to fulfill his dreams. Typically, his life is spoon-fed to him.

With due respect to all the parents, I believe that we are making a fundamental blunder in our parenting style. Not just by curtailing the dreams of the girl, but also upholding a white-collar treatment for the boy. Depriving the girl of her dreams, from childhood gives her zero excitement or perseverance to see a future of happy life with her partner. The authority of trailing towards an outside life and thrusting the responsibility of earning the bread and butter for the family, keeps the boy unaware of the family or relationship issues.

The boy is unable to connect with any of the opposite gender problems and acts insensitive towards them. He is insulated from all sorts of family bonding and emotions. Subsequently, after leading such a cocooned life, for so many years, it is a disastrous step to push him into the marriage with an unknown person. How could we expect him to understand all her emotions when he is shielded from the same? How could we expect him to share his life with somebody completely unknown and live up to her expectations? How could we blame him for not understanding when there is a vacuum in his upbringing?

I would like to say that grooming a responsible and understanding male child, is more challenging than to nurture a girl child. Your child might be ready for a marriage in terms of his age, income and personalities. But is he ready to share his life and aspirations with another gender? Is he ready to accept a female in his life and fulfill her basic expectations? Is he aware of the problems that women go through in their daily lives? Can he act sensitive? If not, then your child needs time. DO NOT force him or her into a relationship when they are not ready for the challenges.

Marriage is a complex institution in itself, irrespective of whether it is love or arranged. It is nothing less than having a bitter gourd curry with a pinch of jaggery in it. And when it fails, it hurts and no one to be blamed for it. Further, no one is ready to be the first, to clean the dirt.

pause the blame game on the male fraternity of the society. At times their upbringing is different, hence they behave in a different manner. Parent’s way of nurturing, forms the foundation for the child’s entire life. As parents, we need to act sensitive to each other and create awareness about all kinds of glitches of life to our children. A conscious and cautious effort, with small tweaks in our thoughts on parenting, would indeed crown into a legacy of beautiful relationships.

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