By Ritu Garg
Spaces between togetherness— What do they hide?
Is a love-marriage between two people the beginning of love or the beginning of the end of love? This is a question that comes to mind when I reflect on the separations, divorces and disconnection that a lot of marriages are going through these days.
One agonizes that one of the most respected and accepted ways for two individuals who have liked and loved each other, leads paradoxically to a loss of love between them.
How does marriage affect the positive energy field between two people? The following realizations came to me as I reflected deeply on the change in relationship dynamics, after marriage.
1) Perhaps marriage takes the relationship from a romantic, dreamy, transcendental bond to a transactional one. The sacred adoration for each other, when meeting the realities, or profanities, if you will, of day-to-day life, alters expectations and this gap leads to disappointment and displeasure. As a result, the rhythmic alignment with each other is disturbed.
2) The living takes away time from loving. The love between a couple changes its passion and delicacy, and turns into something more like love towards the life created together, like a common house, children, social status and so on.
3) The paradox of love is that love thrives on longing and marriage changes it into belonging, which is actually the consummate purpose of love. This belonging leads to familiarity and familiarity breeds contempt, whereas absence makes the heart grow fonder.
4) Another thing that I notice is that couples love to be co-dependent when they begin, because that sounds like merging into each other, the articulation that we are one, but as the years of marriage add up, the desire of the partners to be ‘their own person’ and the desire to be independent grow simultaneously. They like to care, but some days that care may come across as a control. They like their partners to be interested in their lives, yet some days it may come across as interference. They don’t like indifference either, but they don’t like instruction. These are very fluid scales. Partners evolve differently. Their individual experiences differ. Their universes as individuals are different as well. Something which we found cute, now seems curt . Sensitivity and sensibilities change. Marriages have to rearrange with this evolution.
One of my friends said a beautiful thing that since marriage is an institution, it has to calibrate its format with changing times. The unwritten rules need to be revisited and articulated with changing times, continuing evolution, and changing experiences. An arranged marriage needs to be rearranged, a love marriage needs to be lightened of burdensome possessiveness. The relationship needs regular repair. She shared how from a very innocent and love-filled relationship, theirs became an ego-driven and unequal relationship. A relationship which had innocent transparency and empathy slowly became opaque owing to lack of communication and inability to take feedback. But her emphasis on repair and finding a new balance left a mark on my thoughts. Another one gave a beautiful perspective saying that partners should be open to dialogue and that it’s worth the effort to work on the relationship, as the pain of losing loved ones owing to lack of communication takes long to heal.
Contemplation on the following may help a couple to re-calibrate and find a new balance:
1) A marital energy field can be positively charged if both the husband and the wife reflect on the inner purpose of their togetherness. The vagaries of the secular life might lead to waxing and waning of physical and emotional balance, but this should not let their visceral connection and unity get affected.
2) Marriage is not about two egos but about the union and intimacy of two souls who have come together owing to their karmic connection. Their oneness is unique, very special, and non-replicable. Husband and wife are not competitive, rather their union is synergistic and complementary.
3) The orientation towards gender equality should be replaced by a focus on gender uniqueness. This can restore the depleted emotional energy spent harping on equality. When this uniqueness is recognized, the complaints give way to appreciation, apathy to empathy, and grudge into forgiveness.
4) In fact, I realise, as marriage hits 2 decades, and the couple starts becoming empty “nesters”, they get too into each other, while internally, they also start seeking complete individuality and entitlement. Some of the confusion comes from the millennial narrative: We are okay to be dependent, but when asked by our children, we profess to seek independence and we must not forget that confusion is okay – it’s not easy to get it right.
Remember that in order to reach their highest potential, couples need to go through a period of extreme closeness and intimacy to a period when they must turn inward, into an internal solitude, in order to grow and develop as individuals. This diminution of passion has to be put into the perspective that relationships are also dynamic entities and change is inherent in every relationship. There should be space between your togetherness. Dom Morrison nailed it as he talked about the circularity of phases: “hold me tight, put me down and leave me alone.”
Always remember, sexual intimacy is when bodies merge, not egoes—they come from a different door waiting for attention . . .
Isn’t it a lie
That partners know is other inside out
For that is the most intimate relationship
Living under one roof
Sharing one bed
Having those intimate moments of being one with each other
The absence of space
The absence of light
But isn’t that being one from the outside –
But are we one inside
That’s where the
We have lives in which we are vested together—
You know me intimately
We share life
But we don’t share the secrets
That I bought my income
That I have a piece of
That I have
we are individuals still—