“I never knew what real happiness was until I got married. And by then it was too late.” —Max Kauffman

Few days back I met a friend of mine, she was confused and slightly worried. She was married for 10 years and recently she started hanging out with another man who made her feel special.

I asked her a very simple question – Was she happy in her marriage?

Here is what she had to narrate:

She got married 10 years back after 3 years of dating. They were actually two opposite people who for some reason connected well. While she was outgoing, he was very introvert. She liked to socialize while he preferred to enjoy solace of his room alone. Still they connected and got married.

Initially everything was happy, good sex, good chemistry, good understanding and care. But is a soft-hearted girl, affectionate and affection-seeking, someone who entered marriage expecting, if not everlasting passion, at least an enduring physical connection.

Although as the years passed, she still had feelings for her husband, she would buy him gifts, call him to ask about his whereabouts, care about him when he falls sick and take care of his likes and dislikes. She was not an ungrateful person and was grateful for what they had….At least he was not abusing her or hitting her, so that’s a silver lining. For anyone looking from the outside, they had a perfectly happy marriage.

But as with any happy situation, frustrations always tag along. She liked sex and after couple of years of marriage, it became clear that his interest in sexual pleasure had cooled. He is a very serious person, always focused on work and money and when they had a kid, the focus shifted so much on work that everything else became secondary. He himself never saw his parents holding hands, kissing in public and figured that sex is only limited to having kids. She always felt lonely in her desire to have sex, its not that they didn’t do it, but whenever they did it felt mundane for her sake only. She longed to have a session where both partners cared about each other and were involved in it. For her sex was not a routine task but a way of expressing her feelings.

Whenever she would raise this point with her husband, he would be confused. He would argue, “What does great sex have to do with happiness of a person?” This response would put her in deep thoughts, she would often wonder, “why is she caring so much about sex, why was it so important to her”. She would keep thinking, keep pushing sexual desires but eventually they would popup on an off and she became frustrated with the desire of wanting and not getting.

After battling with her feelings and desires for a long time, she approached this topic with her husband and laid it out in open. She discussed the idea of open marriage and non-monogamy. She actually gave example of having multiple kids. When you first have a kid, you feel that you will not be able to love anyone else more than your child. Then you have another kid and you feel the same for the second child as well. You love both equally…..she felt love is “additive”. There are not limits to love and if you look deep inside your heart then you will find that love is like a vast sea.

She didn’t tell me whether her husband bought this idea of “additive love” and open marriage but it got me thinking a lot myself.

Changing Norms

Who has defined the boundaries of a marriage and laid out rules. Why does marriage in 90% of occasions eventually becomes a neck choke suffocating people with the rules and norms. Why do people end up desiring things that they cannot have in marriage?

Basically I feel that a perfect marriage is when people will be allowed to live independently with understanding. Why are there rules in a marriage anyways? Why cannot two people be happy with each other and let other person be free. I think married people are just asleep, they live their entire life in a long deep sleep and maybe being asleep is what is most dangerous in a marriage. The feeling of “I want to be married, I don’t want anything to happen to my marriage, I don’t want to be alone”, these thoughts bring with them a sense of foreboding and fear that doesn’t let you imagine what would happen on the other side.

Would you rather be asleep and let your marriage fall apart or rather be awake and think out of the box to be happy.


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