Marriages are Made in Heaven….but so are Lightening and Thunder!

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Much has been said and written about marriages…and other demons.  It still remains the most interesting, the most challenging and the most intriguing of all human relationships.

We all have our best collection of jokes on husband-wife, inlaws (outlaws), and all of us almost always enjoy a bad joke on the subject.  There are numerous online sources, television shows and inspirations from daily life that some of us rely on for advice on managing a good relationship with our spouse.  What makes a marriage work, what are the rules defining a good and steady relationship are almost available in a ‘checklist’ in addition to learning from our family and peers and sharing their experiences for our own benefit.  Despite all that, we see each other learning new lessons and encountering different experiences.  Some of us are really lucky and some continue to struggle.  One then wonders what is it that defines a good and steady relationship and it is even more interesting to see the ever changing dynamics in the world around us.  While I find the current generation luckier than ours in terms of the freedom of choice they have in terms of selection of a spouse, I find them less tolerant and more ambitious in relationships.  I also find them less forgiving, but then I could be absolutely wrong and perhaps on the verge of what we used to define as the ‘generation’ gap.

One thing is very clear to me, for sure.  For any relationship to survive, the concept of companionship is extremely important.  Your life should not just revolve around talking only about your children, bills that need to be paid and what happened at work.  While it is important to do all the above anyways, it is still important that you do take time out to enjoy a silly movie together, go for a very random lunch/dinner and still have time to hear each other out…reading out from a book even better.  It is important to realize that while our children serve as a strong ‘bond’ for the relationship to survive, it is for our own sanity that we need to feel important and cared for, by the other man or woman in our life.

The concept of being ‘there’ for each other has never been so true especially in this relationship! You have got to take time out for each other, because when you don’t, the relationship starts slipping out of your hands, and before you realize it, you are two distant entities in a mechanical motion, almost on an ‘auto pilot’ during the course of the day.  We all focus so much on the concept of courtship before marriage that most of us tend to neglect the very critical courtship that is required to sustain a relationship.  You have got to keep the relationship going, you have got to remember to call him/her if you know there was an important incident in the day and you have got to make sure you are, at the minimum, courteous to those who matter to your spouse.  Nobody likes a constant complaining machine and nobody likes to see a constant grumpy expression all the time.  It always works both ways: you need to give respect to get respect.

I was once given an advice from my sister inlaw and I still cherish it with all my heart.  She told me never to let go of my own friends because friends are the ones who keep us going in life and I cannot agree more! I also encourage my husband to have his weekly golf on Sundays where he hangs out with his own friends and spends time on what he likes to do best. I have accepted the fact that I do not always have to share the frame in everything he enjoys because there are so many things I like to do on my own too.  You let each other be.  You have to give each other that space to have fun on their own, hopefully to realize how much more fun it is to be with you!!!  Strategy my dear, strategy!

Okay so maybe things may not always be as simple, I agree, and I have seen many near and dear ones falling prey to broken relationships and hateful exchange of baseless arguments.  Sometimes, two perfectly normal people also do not get along and that’s when you fail to understand the ‘checklists’ and why the theory fails to support the practical reality.  That is when you realize that its not just marriages that are made in heaven, but also lightening and thunder! And that is the point when good old KG flies to our rescue, and I quote from the Prophet, my favourite from Kahlil Gibran:

Love one another but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

28 responses »

  1. nice nice! i like the part about companionship and friends! Keep writing taita, love reading you writing again!

  2. Fantastically written…hits the nail right on the spot! I love the Khalil Gibran qoutations at the end…how true!

  3. Fantastic write up! I have grown much wiser after reading these inspiring thoughts!! And Many Thanks for sharing these. But one snag is the drag of demons rearing their heads soon after solumn occasion and that is something which continues to puzzle me. Perhapsn demons exist to test if we are best at partnering together?

  4. Wonderful…. cannot agree more. I believe in the same theory and many disagree with me, but it works…really!!! .. u need to give space and u need to be friends…..
    Loved this part “it is for our own sanity that we need to feel important and cared for, by the other man or woman in our life ”

    Ure a good writer.. i must say

  5. What is this about eating from “my bread” when you have a perfectly good loaf of your own? What kind of marriage this? No wonder this “Kahil Gabran” is dead; I bet he died alone with all this “beard sharing”.. was he from Karachi? You would not get this nonsense in Lahore. What next, will they will be dipping in my Food.. where will this end? No No baba, what about “kulcha” or butter Nan’s…

    • haha! Nabeel mama arent you happy your parents are not around to hear your KG bashing! hussain had something similar to say too btw!

  6. very nice shaista baji! and I guess nothing more could have related to me at this hour !Your thoughts have surely shown me a way 🙂

  7. To understand marraige for for that matter any other relationship it is important to understand that how much it is congruent to human nature. Of all the relationships that i have witnessed falling apart had their origin in growing conflict between the demands of the relationships and the human instincts.
    It is an established fact that now that in essence human beings need absolute freedom in this relative world. However, granting that absolute freedom would simply mean anarchy as at least halfof the people cannot take the responsibility of having that freedom and eventually end up usurping others’ freedom and damaging the whole fabric, and that is where society is formed to guard everyone’s interest at the macro level by setting rules, which are mandatory to obey. These rules help check the demon side of the soceity.However, when it comes to micro level or individual level, the long unfulfilled penchant for freedom keeps surfacing on our minds, and we die for that freedom. SO no matter how dear a relationship is, if its demands are too much conflict with human nature then it will rot and will give rise to rebellion; consequently the relationship will fail.
    So how marriage or any other relationship can succeed? For me the answer is “allowance”. If we can strike the fine balanc between our freedom and the demands of the relationship, lesser the deamnds, greater are the chances for truely a happy relationship. Some people would argue that at times, out of your own choice you give up your freedom for the other; yes, that happens but is very shot lived, even if one refuses to admit.
    I really liked the example of allowing husband to play golf and meet up with friends, while you do your own things that is what “Allowance” is. Any relationship should have high level of trust and security because these two things allows one to let go and be comforable with other’s freedom, if one lacks any of the two things, then one will tend to control too much so that trust and security is enhanced.
    Lastly, despite all these things, success of a relationship is a random event, it can happen anytime without any reason, and with anyone. So while one is trying deliberately hard to have a successful relationship, one also needs to pray that it works.. and sometimes that factor can become the most important one.
    (Shaista, it is not an article in response to yours’, just few additions to your arguments 🙂 keep it up, keep writing, and i will keep adding)

  8. Hey there,

    Shaista I really enjoyed reading your article and I do agree with most of the stuff u mentioned. Keep writing !

  9. Hey Shaista, could’nt agree more!!! We all need to give proper kind of attention to keep a great marriage going and specially give your other half space!
    delightful article, keep them coming!!

  10. well written,partcularly happy that you mentioned the younger generation ,they really need to reassess their ideas and their expectations…life does not live upto your expectations ,you weave through the maze with the best intentions and thats all one can do ! Well marriage is one river you should dive into not expecting anything but hoping and willing to swim in it and if you drown well just pray that you can resurface(lol).love and marriage definitly possible but dont smother the other person breathing is a compulsory requirment,completly agree with my fav poet too!Oh and no rules or theories apply because I believe that each indivduals story is different just because a person is a great friend or a great person doesnot automatically give one the best spouse ,living with a person day night is a totally different ball game !But on a positive note… on a good day theres nothing like curling up with a person who knows you better than anyone in the world and doesnt care if you are not Angelina jolie!!!!!!

  11. What a lovely post Shaista, very well-written! I am so with you in regards to “space” and I think its true for every relationship.

    Keep ’em coming 🙂

  12. It’s wonderful to read your article. The topic was quite interesting and I think most of time in life the words can’t give respect to this honorable relation of life which we called MARRIAGE….It’s a relation of emotions, respect and contentment. I really admired to the advice of your Husband’s cousin.
    One think I would like to discuss here, this article is the opinion of the lady who is the part of practical and professional life simultaneously. Who has the Power of her own rights. But the majority of the Wives leaving in this wonderful country are still doing what the Husbands are saying. They don’t have their own friends, buddies or companions. They are just passing time like W-11, which passed the same stops daily whether there is stick on road or raining outside.
    I am inviting you my sister to catch and detect the views and thoughts of those unpromising and discouraging Wives of this so-called Men’s Society.
    You just start travel towards the Common Woman of this country and very early you will find out the heart-breaking views and stories of the Ordinary Wives living in this country.

    At the end, it was great effort.
    Best Wishes

  13. its great and soooo true and profound. easier said than done though… and I commend you for being able to achieve it.

    its harder for working couples as weekends are the only time they get together, and spending it apart and allowing the other his/her own space, or allowing yourself that space brings with it plenty of guilt, but it remains so important and critical.

    I love the Kahlil Gibran poetry at the end. one of my favourite pieces..

    keep writing.

  14. aahaa what a topic Shaista ji!!:)) Enlightening!! I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

    I must say that the responses from your friends above have helped the reader gain an even wider understanding on the subject; esp. comments 7, 11 & 13.

    I’d add further that it is not just the younger lot who are facing the aforementioned problems. There are many people from a generation older, who still tend to look at this institution with a great suspicion and hence being single :(. For some it is a “FEAR OF UNKNOWN” but i think it’s mainly a fear of being deprived of your true identity, i.e. your “INDIVIDUALITY”. Also, in some cases the fear of suppressing your gifted “INTELLECTUAL PERSONA” supersedes your wish to get into the ritualistic bond with another individual. On comment 13 i’d add that ironically “those unpromising and discouraging wives” could also be seen among the more fortunate, opinionated and educated lot as much as they are found among the less privileged country woman.

    Hmmm, so to ask a bachelor about his/her dream marriage, well it is, “A companionship of life time where two individuals are willing to SHARE THEIR BEINGS IN ITS ENTIREITY.” – an elusive dream or may be not!! :)Warmly

  15. A very interesting subject and I must say that you have written it in an excellent manner. This topic is a never ending issue and the more you dig in the more intricate details become. However, you have presented it in a beautiful way.
    Kudos!

  16. Very True Shaista !! For me , the best example is my sister and her family, in the present day. Ten+ years of marriage, with lots of ups and downs or crises (social or financial) but one thing that kept them together is “friendship” or “companionship” as you put it.

  17. Quite exquisite shaista, woh kehte hain na relationships ke bare me ke gulab ke phool kanton me hi khilte hain 🙂

    u prove the point that quality not quantity matters in writing!!!

  18. Jia I have a course on Marriage and Family counselling this semister. And I am enjoying reading what the professionals have to say about this topic. Your writing is beautiful, as usual. And we have a lot of things to learn from your successful marriage (MA).

    • My Dear Taita!!!! very well written…very expressive…I love it…May God give you much strength of writting.Proud to be your mother….

  19. Woman…nicely written…but at the end of it, you are just plain lucky to have found a person who makes you want to make the effort to make marriage.

  20. I have sometimes observed that two persons are perfectly good individuals in their own right but compatibility becomes an issue. I think it is important for marriages to work out the private and shared spaces as well as the “no go” areas.

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