While the most progressive invention by mankind is the Internet, the most regressive is marriage! Srini E.
The whole concept of marriage, in my view, is flawed. It’s a lazy man’s way of “securing” his assets so that he doesn’t have to work hard to impress his mate for the rest of his life. And for this reason, I am convinced that this is a concept of convenience—invented by a man. Many women, who loved the concept, followed suit!
Come on, we know how science works, don’t we? Animals, or any living being for that matter, need to work hard for a lifetime to attract and retain their mates. I hadn’t heard of the “pollen tsunami” until I was in New Jersey a few years ago, where thousands of trees and plants release gazillions of pollen that travel hundreds of miles to cross-pollinate trees and plants of different genetic constitutions. They do it at the time of the year when the winds are strong enough to carry the pollens as far as possible to reach their potential mates far, far away—and Tinder is still talking about 20 to 30miles of reach!
THAT is the type of hard work that keeps romance alive and far-reaching. If trees work that hard, you’d have thought humans should work much harder, wouldn’t you ?
Unfortunately, a marriage yields the exact opposite result. By definition, it warrants each other’s loyalty, dedication and togetherness. And by design, security breeds complacence! So go figure.
In my view, there are only five stages in a marriage. Go on and secretly spot yours, but of course, pretend to be happily married and don’t tell anyone which stage you are in!
It’s all new and fun
For many people, a marriage is sex on tap. You have done enough of dating, dining and clubbing, and have come to the conclusion that these elaborate courting dramas for a night of fun is too much (both on your diary and wallet). Or if you are in a third world country, you are simply tired of looking for an isolated place to steal a kiss without being noticed by billions of people, half of them your relatives. So the decision is easy—get married and suddenly the world respects your privacy, plus, the tap is all yours. For many others, it is beyond sex. You really love spending time with the person and hate going back to your respective homes at the end of the day; so you naturally prefer to make your home together. And for the rest, it is curiosity. It is about experiencing a whole new change of being with another person. All arranged marriages fall in this category.
Most people don’t know that this is a trap. It won’t be new or fun for long. The sex tap will run out and spending 24 hours with the same person will be a challenge. The clever ones get out, as divorce is inexpensive and least hurtful at this stage.
It’s for a purpose
You realize that the fun part is over and you still need a reason to get up in the morning, and even worse, next to the person you are “married” to. So you need a cause, a purpose, hopefully something you both share. In many cases, a common purpose called a “child” happens to you. You are both thrilled that now you have the same purpose in life without realizing that being a parent and being a partner are mutually exclusive.
A few others forcefully create a purpose. Haven’t you heard of wives who “pick up” golf because their husbands are always at the golf course? Or husbands who attend cooking classes to keep themselves connected to their kitchen obsessed wives?
They just don’t want to admit that they are in deep shit. Divorce is difficult when you are in denial or have young children, so nobody gets out at this stage.
It’s for more than one purpose
This is the most hilarious stage. When you know you shouldn’t have created a common purpose, you actually end up creating more.
I have heard my friends tell me that all they want is just one child when they are married, or one hobby they can be good at. What they actually get depends on whether they are married or not. One of my good friends—a single woman—was a writer, always wanted to be a writer and is still a writer, and I can tell she enjoys it. And all my married friends, with two to four kids each, have tried almost everything from cooking to climbing Everest. But they are neither good at it nor enjoying any of it. Married couples are the most confused at this stage. They create more purposes that go beyond just kids or hobbies, such as real estate, a new car, kids’ education, etc. I almost puked reading a recent Facebook status posted by a (married) friend of mine: “Thank you, darling, for helping me realize that I had a thing for fast cars—can’t wait to test ride the new baby with you!”
But the good thing about this stage is that couples actually realize they are in deep shit. The thought of divorce or an affair or other distractions crop up for the first time, and those that are full of themselves actually execute the thought at this stage.
It’s just convenient
Remember “security breeds complacence”? This stage proves it. You are both are drifting away from each other at a constant pace; have nothing in common other than some of the common “purposes” you created, but it is just so convenient to do nothing about the broken relationship. There is so much to do during the day—everyday—that you only look forward to watching some television, having a good meal and sleeping peacefully at the end of the day. When this routine works every day, why fix it or change it ?
There is absolutely no need or desire to work hard to keep any romance alive at this stage. In other words, you could be lazier than the trees in New Jersey and it would be perfectly okay! Strangely, many men and women get busier than the trees in attracting anyone other than their partners—they are the only hope for new startups like Tinder or Ashley Madison.
Most divorces happen at the fag end of this stage, either because the partners are found cross-pollinating other trees or they realize that what they got out of the marriage is the exact opposite of what they had wished for originally. A very stupid call though, as a divorce at this stage is the most expensive and hurtful.
It’s too late
In short, this is when both partners are helpless. You can’t change the past or your responsibilities. You can’t divorce. You can’t have an affair. You can’t do anything about the things you can’t change, and it is all too late. So rather than looking like complete idiots, the better bet is to make it look like a smooth sail. Many of our parents are at this stage—they make it look so beautiful that you dream of a marriage like theirs. Stay with them for just a week and you’ll realize that they can’t see eye to eye, and gun control is probably the only reason either of them are alive!
Unless one is very rich and ends up with a much younger mate, divorce—at this stage—is very rare.
Now, look around you and observe the singles. They are working as hard as the trees in New Jersey regardless of their age, aren’t they? So if you ain’t married, thank your lucky stars, be on your toes, and don’t make me jealous with your cross-pollination prowess!