Thursday, February 5, 2009

Married or just happy? :-))

A few days back, The G and I saw 'Revolutionary Road'. I wont spoil it for you guys by giving away too much, though I dont really think its worth a watch.
The movie`s dark. It left us both with ambivalent feelings.Depressed. Grateful to have each other(so far!). And scared.
Of late, I have been watching too many movies on suburban lives and it comes as a surprising revelation - they all portray the average suburban wife as oppressed under the drudgery of routine and dying to break free.
I am a suburban wife. Do I ever see myself in that light?
Well, to be very honest, sometimes. It can get pretty depressing when one has to sit at home all day - because one doesnt have a permit to go to work. More so if the one in question was a working, independant woman all her life and suddenly finds herself wholly dependant on another human being. Financially. And in every other way thinkable.
But would that be sufficient reason to drive one into the arms of any random bloke who offers a reasonable alternative?
Apparantly, going by these movies, Yes!
What,then, are the reasons that working men have, for flinging themselves at the 20-something chicks, who roam around naked, as if clothing is out of fashion?
I`m wondering here, if a decaying relationship is all it takes.
If that be so, how then, would one explain such acts of indiscretion, by people who are in seemingly loving relationships?
I know of a friend whose 6 years of marriage broke down because she found herself crazily attracted to a younger guy at work. All this while, I thought they had the perfect marriage. They did.
I have been thinking about this. Why is it considered a sacrilege for anyone to be in multiple relationships? What is so wrong? Why is it considered aberrant behaviour for one to go elsewhere in search of love, physical or intellectual stimulation of sorts, if one is not satisfied with one`s partner?
For centuries now, man has been conditioned to think of the institution of marriage as a sacrament,rather than a contract between two interested parties(though I personally believe that to be the reverse).If I were to go back in history and see where it all begun, I would know that if man was to be given a free reign, the fabric of society would fall apart. The institution of marriage was needed to create a system of rules to handle the granting of property and other rights and the protection of bloodlines.
But now, the times, they are changing.And yet,the sanctity of marriage still holds true. We continue to see it as a supreme institution, in spite of a whole lot of corrupt practices creeping in(but that`s for another post).Why?
Is it because, we as human beings have conditioned ourselves to stick to a certain set of moral values.And a breach of those would constitute aberrant behaviour on our parts? Is it because, as human beings with a functional(and overtly so!) brain, we realize that it is 'wrong' to violate the trust of another human being? In that case, what exactly is wrong and what is right? Who decides these rules for us? And why exactly?
What do you think,would happen if the institution of marriage was to be dissolved once and for all? What is the purpose of marriage?
Or do you think that it is important to honour the age-old practices(No questions asked), to stand in line, to follow, to conform, without pausing to think why?
On a different note, do you think that being in multiple relationships, married or not, is for people of a different league? That 'such' people have some inherently different qualities in them, that pushes them across the moral line? No, I`m not talking of different circumstances under which such affairs happen - Just the inherent natures of people it happens to - because then again, would it not be an inherent quality of man to choose the way he would react to Life`s circumstances?
I, for one, think that I am capable of falling in love with someone outside of the relationship I share with The G, IF my life`s circumstances were to change. My inherent nature is such.
Not that I will. Not that I think I ever will go elsewhere in search of love.
But I think I`m capable of it.
Some would not be. Are you?

p.s - Revolutionary Road wasnt about extra marital affairs, in case anyone`s wondering :-))


Anonymous said...

I think I agree with you on the latter point...there is something inherent about some people and I know for a fact that I am capable of falling in love with someone else apart from the Boy...

i really love him and I know if he ever saw this he would be very insecure...but its true...

and i never knew there could be other people like me...sometimes i just think there is something terribly wrong with me...maybe i'm not actually in as much love as i think i am!

Renu said...

very thought provoking post, will need to think a lot about it:)
marriage is important to bring a system in life and for the future of kids, and for the security in your old age and property issues also.
If one was supposed to live independently without any binding...where will it end? I think it always bring momentary happiness , may last a few year, but alwyas ened s in depression and anguish.
Long term relationships are the mainstay of our life, they bring tranquility, security and a sense of belonging.
I ahve seen many times that we feel attracted to somebody, and think we love that person, but it always wears off after some time, and then somebody else will come to or mind....the quest goes on....

I think that everybody is capable of falling in love with the other person..but its ur mind which stops you.

Serendipity said...

Oh boy! how thought provoking is this.

the thing about your friend - after 6 years of marriage---mustve been painful for the other half, but i wont judge him/her, cause sometimes, these things JUST HAPPEN.

All the same, id be terrified if the person I got married to fell out of love with me...
Hang in there, and enjoy this time off, your career will get back on track, look at this as one lonngg vacation - one you might nver have time to enjoy later...

Fram Actual said...

You certainly know how to grab the reader's attention, Piper. Maybe, some day, I'll write about the questions you ask from my perspective, but for now, a couple of thoughts.

I was in the Marine Corps. I once was asked if I would die for my country. My one word answer was, "yes." I knew what I was doing when I signed on the dotted line.

My thought is the same about marriage. I knew what I was doing when I signed on the dotted line. It was my promise, my pledge. Semper Fidelis, always faithful.

Circumstances change, and probably people, too. Which, I suppose, is the simple answer as to why I have been married and divorced twice. The first goodbye was my idea. The second was the young lady's suggestion. I have no formal religious influences, so that was never a factor. Other people were not part of the equation. It simply was us.

I want to allow your words to roll around inside my mind for a while. I hope other people express their viewpoints here. The varying concepts involved are fascinating.

Piper .. said...

Sunshine: I dont think it has anything to do with your love for the Boy. Its just an inherent nature you and me have. I guess I have managed to mix up two issues - there`s love. And then there`s the possibility of loving two people at one time. I dont think I`m capable of the second. And neither are you,kiddo.. :)

Renu: Very well said. I guess marriage is more of a stabilizing force. A sense of security,of belonging - which may not be possible for other relationships.

Serendipity : yup, I`m terrified too. And thus, this post. I guess its the same with every relationship. You have to constantly nuture it, feed it and give it space to grow. That`s how relationships survive.Thanks for the wishes. I`m hoping to fall back on track soon. TOEFL on the 14th(so much for V-Day!) and GRE on the 20th) :(

Fram: Thank you for sharing this with me. Circumstances not only change, they are very different for people from varying parts of the globe. I shall do a more detailed post on this soon. For now, I wouldnt let this post bother me, if I were you. These were just some incoherent ramblings of a confused mind. Too many threads in one post.I shall be more objective and deal with each individual thread in subsequent posts.

Sunshine said...

what if it was? why is it not possible to love two people at the same time...for different reasons? is that not possible?

Anonymous said...

lovely post.

And I am capable. Very capable!


DeeplyDip said...

I feel many working women might actually want to be at home and do nothing...but it's the independence to decide what we want that matters here...
Also agree with your view that how people react to different situations is also a lot to do with their inherent characters...everyone is capable of everything - it's the mind and the inherent characters that guide them from one choice to the other...
nice post...

moon said...

This is my take on relationship..i wont leave my wife , just because i found someone superior to her...that way there is no end...

i wud think of leaving my wife the day i feel it is better to live alone then in a relationship..

well again circumstances is one big issue na...

Amrita said...

to answer this "Why is it considered a sacrilege for anyone to be in multiple relationships? What is so wrong? Why is it considered aberrant behaviour for one to go elsewhere in search of love, physical or intellectual stimulation of sorts, if one is not satisfied with one`s partner?"

I feel its all about self reliance.. when u are married u take a lot from the partner.. of course u give a lot too.. but u take as much.. so the moment u breach, u kind of breach the contract - the contract of not only the love and trust, but also of the miniscules things like concern, worry and more importantly feelings... u kind of with a snap of fingers nullify all those tit bits which had made the edifice of marriage...

"What do you think,would happen if the institution of marriage was to be dissolved once and for all? What is the purpose of marriage?
Or do you think that it is important to honour the age-old practices(No questions asked), to stand in line, to follow, to conform, without pausing to think why?"
Now to answer this biggie... :D i was an anti marriage person for a pretttttttttty long time.. even my frns are amazed, i got married some 3 yrs after graduation.. while some die hard romantics who bliv bhagwan makes us in pairs are still single...

i feel.. marriage is an institution which is needed... i imagine myself unmarried and 30 sth... i wud be unfettered.. but then.. whats life with out some hiccups... wud i b happy if i did nt have my parents to take care of? no sister to fuss over? no kids to worry about? maybe sometimes.. but do u think always? its the belongingness tht comes with family thts needed... if we were all free birds... lifes all rosy dandy for gregarious ones.. but wht about the loners? wht abt those folks who need jus tht one such person to confide to.. to live it.. to share with? what about them? and wht about the times when the fountain of youth has gone? when one is 60 sth... i dont think having beer with frns wud b fun if thts wht u hav been doin since u were 20... it wud b fun if u wud sneaky sneak on ur wife and surreptiously come home and hug her from behind mouth still smelling like hell....

is nt it? i feel so...

and falling out of love.. itsssss of course possible.. but then u shd always think.. wht all u have given and taken from the person u are currently with... is it worth leaving all of it...?? and we dont leave our parents? just becos this person was brought in a bit later and not by blood... shd we b so ruthless to him/her?? i guess thts a bit heartless

Amrita said...

Piper i think i posted a comment longer than the post :S :S

but it was a v-e-r-y though provoking one!!

Anonymous said...

was trying to post this comment on ur blog but it wont let me ...

"u know what i share all ur questions and like you .. i AM capable of falling in love with someone else too ... i think all of us are. (except my husband who is adamant that he never can ... not just to me but to everyone else ... even when we rationally try to talk of extra marital et al ... he's odd like that :/)

these morals/lines are set by society so that we can raise children in a stable family environment ... there are tribals - untouched by civilization - that still practice multiple partners ... there are people in 'our' world who have open relationships too ...

it really depends on how much we are brainwashed by society and its rules .... physiologically speaking, i think we're all capable of loving more than one .... guilt factor only kicks in because we are told by society that it's wrong.

worthy discussion. am glad u brought it up. u asked all the questions that every woman asks i think at some point in her life. ;)

we were gonna go watch revolutionary road this weekend but chose not to ... exactly for the reasons that you mentioned.

however, i think im gonna brave it out this weekend. :)"

Piper .. said...

Sunshine: I dunno if its possible for you,kiddo. But I know its not possible for me. Simply because I wouldnt go looking for love elsewhere, while I`m happy with The G. That is not to say that I`m happy with everything about The G. Nope. There are things that irritate me off and on. But that is not over powering enough to drive me into the arms of another. Do you get it?

Chandni: wowiiee! Am honoured to see you here! Welcome!

DeeplyDip: yeah, its about the freedom to be able to make that choice. To stay at home or work. But sometimes one may not have the option. Which might result in overwhelming frustration. Would that be reason enough to go elsewhere in search of love?
I agree with you. Different people have different ways of reacting to circumstances. Some would go ahead. Some wouldnt.

Sunder: Sometimes even if life becomes intolerable, it may not be possible to simply walk out on a marriage. Having said that, let me add that I agree with part of what you say. That I would think of walking out, the day I find the present life intolerable. But if I find anybody 'superior' to the G?? Dont get it at all. What do you mean by 'superior'? Do you mean better looking? Better physique? Better intelligence? what? Does that mean that the love for the present one is based on conditions? :) Linking it to your post on unconditional love!

Amrita: Agree with you.The reason why people think twice before jumping into so called affairs, is pbly as you put it - the moment one crosses the line, one knows that all the little things that add upto a marriage get instantly nullified. That is scary, right?
Secondly, I guess marriage may be a good idea in the long run..because it brings about a certain amount of stability in life. But think of those who have been married to the 'wrong' people, as in incompatible. What then? Is it not better to stay single and enjoy the company of multiple people, rather than drag on in a disintegrating marriage?

Roop: "it really depends on how much we are brainwashed by society and its rules .... physiologically speaking, i think we're all capable of loving more than one .... guilt factor only kicks in because we are told by society that it's wrong."

Quoted you since I couldnt put it any better. You`re right! That is exactly what I was trying to say. That given a free reign, I guess we all would love more than one at a time. But we have been conditioned to think that its all wrong! :)
Go ahead with the movie. But dont blame me. I warned ya! :)
Well, it isnt all that bad. Just a lil lengthy, that`s all.
Shall email you.

ALL: I have included too many threads in this one post. Shall dwell on each one of them in subsequent posts. Sorry about the immense confusion I`ve created!

moon said...

yes i think i am sticking to my point that Love should be conditional...

Jira said...

This is such a strong post Piper. You have raised so many subjective questions.

Marriage for most of us, is a commitment made out of love. I can never fall in love with anyone other than V, mainly because I can't even think of looking for love elsewhere. That makes all the difference I guess. If I take V out of the equation, I am sure I will like more than one person and potentially fall in love with all of them. But at any point of time, I don't think I can fall in love with more than one person. Being in one successful relationship is hard enough, and I can't even imagine being in more than one at the same time :)

For a society to strive the concept of family is important, and hence the institution of marriage.

Piper .. said...

Jira: exactly! I cant be in love with two people at the same time. But if I find myself single(god forbid!) I might. Secondly. you say for a society to thrive, the concept of family is important. And I guess you`re right. I have to agree. But I`m trying to figure out whether its only a thought that we have been conditioned to think.. :)

Bong Mom said...

Nahhh....don't too comfortable in my current relationship :)

Paanch Phoron amar ma dei ni, onion diyechilo.

Ota organic brown basmati

Piper .. said...

Sandeepa: ha ha! what a perfect one liner to such an incoherent rambling post! Loved the response! :) You actually sound comfortable too! :)

Just call me 'A' said...

I know I am capable of falling in love with a person outside my marriage IF my circumstances changes...... Marriage is a funny union. It can bring out the best and the worst. I think besides discovering the 'other' person there is a lot of self discovery too. That's why some marriage are for a lifetime and some are for a few days/years.
I understand the depressed and suffocating feeling. Have been there, AM there for the same reasons you states. such is's throws everything at you.
lovely post

Unknown said...

Well doesnt this hold true for everything ? The Company we work for ...well we always harbor the nagging doubt that we could work for a better paying one.

The car we drive seems great till a better shinier more expensive car at the red light arouses lust for the bigger and shinier.We still love our car but cant stop fantasizing about the 'other'.

The home, husband everything could always be better best is so relative and achievable only at a spiritual level. There is always room for improvement.
But that need for improvement and change is all in the mind ( extraodinary circumstances excluding,where the hubby is a wife beating drunk)

There is no need for marriage if you could go on with your life having multiple sexual partners and some children in between(even the best of contraceptive methods can fail) without it affceting you adversely. The point being we cannot go on like that and at least not for very long. So the need for the institution of marriage.

And at a spiritual level we need some kind of discipline and stability to fullfill our life's purpose. And if we decide to give in to our biological needs like sex and procreation, Marriage is the best stabilizing and secure platform where we can continue to do our life's task

Jira said...

Of course we are conditioned to think like that. But even now, not everyone chooses marriage. It is a personal choice whether we chose a single partner to settle down in life, or go about life without a commitment.

In a more traditional family in india there is less scope for this choice, and getting married is pretty much taken for granted. That is wht our gandparents did, that is what our parents did and that is what we are expected to do. And we are expected try our best in making that marriage work, before looking for love elsewhere.

But if say I was born in the West, I am sure my mentality would have been different. Marriage as an institution is still revered in the west, but at least one has a choice to enter it or not. There is comparitively more freedom and less judgement about once's love life here. Still everyone accepts universally that marriage is important, and with the rght partner it can be the best thing that happens in one's adulthood.

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

Oh bravo! What an honest post...straight from the gut and heart.

Yes, I have often felt claustrophobic within the confines of married life and felt myself wading through the quagmire of the mundane humdrum of routine.

Over the years, my perspective on extra-marital affairs has changed. Do I condone them? No. But I realise that there are many shades of grey involved for there to be jus a simple right or wrong.

Piper .. said...

Just Call me A: I dont know if you`ve got me wrong or not. But I still feel the need to clarify! I think I`m capable of falling in love with another person, because I dont think I`m strong enough to face the world alone. I`m so used to having The G around, that I would be completely lost without him. I guess that`s the reason I think this way. Not because he brings out the worst in me :)

Chrysalis : Hmm..but yearning for the best and actually making that move are two different things no? Do you really think anybody would walk out of one relationship because he/she thinks she can find better prospects outside? I completely agree on the stability issue though.

Jira: Sad but True! But it is purely GENDER based, dont you think? An unmarried woman at 35 is considered a horror! People imdtly assume there`s something 'wrong' with the woman! Its difficult for a single woman to survive ack home, though I have reasons to believe otherwise - a few friends who have 'braved this storm'! :) For men, it is very different. Whereas here, society is accepting of personal choices.

M4: yup, that`s exactly what The G said. That there are too many shades of grey, to ever discuss this in a generalized form. :)Thanks for visiting me. And welcome!

Reflections said...

Thought provoking post!!!! U've put in words stuff we dont dwell on a day to day basis.

Man is capable of anything.
I'm not a murderer but I know if somebody came to harm my child & if I had a gun in my hand, I'd shoot the criminal without hesitation. The same goes for all u mention.....we are all capable of so much tht we ourselves aren't aware sometimes.

All said & done I dont thk its worth the effort to have an extra-marital affair. Its more trouble than its worth;-P

Unknown said...


My question is, first what is love? Is it just over hyped?

Second why would anyone walk out of a relationship anyway? What does one mean when one says it "did not work out/or love faded over time/i eveloved and the relationship did not etc etc etc?

Barring exceptional cases I think we should examine the reasons for the end of a relationship or extramarital affairs....what is it if not a quest for the elusive and a short gap aarangement for something missing in our lives...a lack of understanding of self and others around us....

I am just writing aloud....:)
But thanks for such an interesting discussion.

Arun.N.M. said...

Really thought provoking post. There is a theory that men are biologically polygamous while women are not. Any takers for that?