Author’s encounters with husbands and wives in different stages of agony and despair, while holding matrimonial court, led her to reflect deeply on the dynamics of the relationship called "marriage". Case after case revealed that a lot goes into preparation for rituals and extravaganza associated with marriage. But, hardly a thought is spared about this delicate relationship. Girls and boys are very demanding of their companion but none is ready to pitch in. Both want their "own way" – their "own space" but are reluctant to invest in togetherness.
The real life stories revealed that you cannot have a "perfect twosome", when each individual brings his/her own imperfections. Conflicts would always be there but they can be managed. A beginning made with the preamble that marriage has to work, can make this bond beautiful. To build a pleasant relationship, a couple needs to give time to each other to adjust to the new company and to respect each other's way of life. Attempt to change the other, is surely avoidable.
Through this book, the author shares real life stories of estranged spouses; What went wrong in their relationship and where? Could the marital relationship in certain situations, have been saved?
"Perfect Marriage – Not a Mirage" also addresses endless doubts which go on in the minds of spouses at the crossroads of their relationship. But at the same time, it also demonstrates that there is no uniform code which can make a marriage work. There cannot be a perfect recipe or a rule book which can guide couples to a successful marriage.
About the Author(s)
Poonam A. Bamba was born and brought up in Delhi. Graduated with honours in Botany from Hans Raj College, Delhi and took a degree and post graduation in Law from Delhi University. She had a checkered career. Ms. Bamba practised as a lawyer in Delhi Courts, worked with the Legal Dept. of two nationalized banks and thereafter with Securities Market Regulator – Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) at Mumbai. She was Jt. Legal Advisor in SEBI before she joined Delhi Higher judicial Service in 2002.
She is presently living in Delhi.
From the Heart
1.The Bond of Marriage
Love Marriage Vs Arranged Marriage/My Choice: their Choice
Chemistry of the Bond
When Crossing Across Becomes your Cross
Caste: A Shadow
2.Perfect Marriage: Not A Mirage
Preamble: The Marriage must Work
Accept the Imperfections: Am I Perfect? Ask yourself
Petty Matters are Best Ignored
Sharing Love: Sharing Matter
Reflect Before You Snap
Leave the Baggage behind
Give Life a Chance
For Children’s Sake
Male Ego: The Sense of Possession
3.Keeping Marriage Alive: Till Death Do Us Part
Dressing the Wedding Carriage: A Day in Life Long Marriage
Keep the Flame Alive: Let Romance Never Die
Conversation Essential: Silence Kills Relationship
Green: Orange: Red: Sense the Signals of Gradual Alienation
Muddled Mind: Puzzled Heart! Solemnly we Drift Apart
Wording the Unsaid: Communicate
Magic of Hug
Small Gestures Count
Respect Feelings: Fix The Crack in Marriage-Ceiling
Rediscover Your Spouse: Explore the Inner World
Battle for Equality: Both are Right: Say No to Fight
Lack of Personal Development May Prove Fatal.
Extra Marital Flings
Light Flings Vs Adulterous Adventures
Proximity with Boss – May Prove Disastrous
Ignorance: Not Bliss
Don't Bring Official Attitude Home
Honesty: The Bedrock
4.What Ails Marriage: The Indian Peculiarities
Everything will be Alright after Marriage
Hide and Seek, What?
Hypersensitivity of Spouse
Small Ailment: Big Issue
5.Conflicts Can Be Conquered
All in a Life Time: Conflicts are Normal
Managing the Conflicts
Watch Your Thoughts
Talk it Out
Counselling: Seeking Help in Time
Change: The Keyword
Acceptance of Reality Makes Life Easier
Count Your Blessings
Divorce: not a Panacea
Good Bye Can be Said
Abusive and Alcoholic Spouse
7.The Recent Trends
Upward Shift in Marriageable Age
Parameters of Match Making
Great Surge In Divorce Rate
Second Ride: Not a Problem
Pre Marital Sex
Sex outside Marriage
Age No Bar
Being Apart – Though Living Together
Living apart together (LAT)
Go Green in Love : Save Global Warming
Economics of Love
(Following is an extract of the content from the book)
Give life a chance
You might have reached a point in your relationship where you ask yourself, “Why should I continue?” There are spouses, who moved on to be with someone else, believing him/ her to be more sensitive, loving, understanding and caring but had much graver problems than the ones with ex-spouses, leading to bigger disappointments. This experience not only made it much tougher for them to take a decision than the last time, but also eroded them of their self-confidence. Sarita had approached the court for divorce the second time. Sarita and her first husband Vaibhav knew each other before marriage. Both were in the same college. Sarita had an affair with her class-mate Raman. But there was a break-up between the two over some triviality. Sarita became friendly with Vaibhav and his sympathy drew her close to him. By the time Sarita finished her graduation, Vaibhav proposed her. They married after going steady for about 3-4 years. Everything was going well, till an argument between the two, when Vaibhav taunted Sarita, “.... I should have known this. Raman must have left you for your wild temper. It was my mistake .......” That was it. Sarita was furious. That small remark became the turning point in their relationship. Any amount of apologising by Vaibhav did not work. Sarita was deeply hurt and could not get over that remark. Things were never the same. During counselling, Vaibhav had many grievances against Sarita, but he seemed genuinely apologetic to Sarita for his uncouth remark. Sarita shared “.... I cannot trust this man. Today he said this, tomorrow he may come out with more vulgar things....” Sarita did not feel secure in her relationship. She felt cheated; she also felt that the mutual trust between the two was now missing. Nothing could convince her to ignore that one off remark. Their relationship ultimately ended in a divorce by mutual consent. As somebody beautifully put it, if you can fight with a sibling and get back together; revolt against your parents and be accepted back in the fold again; disagree with friends and then be reconciled, what’s so unnatural about a reproach with your spouse? How many times siblings betray your faith? So, what’s so much worse when you think your spouse has betrayed you? If the life you have shared with each other has been good and meaningful, why let one mistake wipe out that association? Wouldn’t you give life another chance? Sarika with Devesh Sarika had made up her mind to remain single and enjoy her life. But that was not to be. Devesh was working in the same department of a leading private bank, in which Sarika was working. Some times, he used to drop Sarika home, on his way back. Sarika’s father was attracted by Devesh’s simplicity. He was anyway worried about Sarika, as he felt, he was aging and Sarika must get settled during his lifetime. Sarika’s father started pestering her to consider Devesh. Initially Sarika ignored her father’s suggestion, but ultimately she gave in and agreed to marry Devesh. Sarika’s father broached the topic with Devesh. Devesh had no hassles with Sarika’s “divorcee” status. Sarika’s father’s happiness knew no bounds. But Devesh’s parents were not too happy with the alliance. Ultimately, Devesh’s parents gave in and agreed. Sarika and Devesh got married at a simple ceremony, in the presence of few close friends and relatives. Everything was going fine, till the day Devesh’s mother asked Sarika to return home little early for preparing for “Karva Chauth”, the next day. Sarika expressed her inability on account of some official assignment. “For you, it may not be important. But it is Devesh’s first marriage. We agreed to simple marriage, at your insistence. That does not mean, you will have your way all the time.....” said Devesh’s mother. Sarika left for office without saying anything. But she could not be at peace with herself throughout the day. She kept cursing herself for succumbing to her father’s pressure. The more she thought about it, the more distraught, she was. She did not feel like returning home. She left office early and went to her friend’s place. Devesh reached home early as asked and was surprised not to see Sarika home. He knew that Sarika had left the office early. Devesh’s mother narrated the incident of the morning to Devesh. Devesh waited for Sarika, who returned around 8 pm and went straight to her room. On Devesh’s persuasion, she did accompany Devesh to the market, but her indifference was too evident. “Karva Chauth” was over. But that bitterness lingered in Sarika’s mind. She started comparing her association with Vaibhav to her present status in the joint family. She for a while, felt that if she had to adjust like this, she was better off with Vaibhav. Things were never the same. She lost interest in the relationship. Apparently, there was nothing wrong between Sarika and Devesh, but the warmth of a husband-wife relationship had vanished. Sarika had lost confidence that she could pull on. Devesh had no option but to agree with Sarika to seek divorce, as he realised that their relationship was heading nowhere. During counselling session, Sarika said that she had no complaints against Devesh at all; Devesh was also at a loss to understand and express as to what went so wrong; he could not give any reason for their break-up. Both said that they don’t want to lose each other, as friends. Sarika not only lost her relationship, but her confidence as well. She confided that she had developed insecurity and is not confident that she can be happy with anyone. Breaking loose – no guarantee of bliss Nobody realises that breaking loose does not mean getting happier. You never really know what’s going on in another person’s marriage or affair. You may not even know what really holds people together. The depth and complexity of this relationship can’t be trivialised. We tend to forget that there is no escape from our own imperfections, which are always with us. Adjustments with the ‘other’ would always have to be made because we carry our own baggage of imperfections. How can we have that the ‘other’ is a perfect match, when he or she also carries his/ her own burden of imperfections? Marriage has great limits. Look closely at what you are leaving, before breaking up. Whether it is so bad that no dignified person can put up with? Whether what you are heading for is a better and warmer relationship? Take a closer look. On moving out, you may face the stark reality of dealing with ex-spouses, young kids between the two of you and also getting poorer after a divorce settlement. The Grind of reality may take the sizzle out of the libido. “After ecstasy-the laundry” as the great Buddhist saying goes. “Love is like fever which comes and goes quite independently of will,” Stendhal writes in his book “Love”. Understanding this frees you from looking towards someone else’s relationship as a ‘model’ to which you may feel that your own marriage should measure up. No one reveals the complete truth. We will never know what is the cementing force between men and women? ...We don’t see them in their bedroom. We can’t understand why an outwardly horrid relationship lasts and lasts, and a nice looking relationship suddenly breaks up. There is no one truth about any relationship, much less, the marriage. You may be astonished to discover that the imperfect life and marriage you fled, is actually your sustenance. Nina and Manuel Nina and Manuel were happily married. But after some time, Nina started feeling that she has everything – a house, children, material comforts except the husband. She felt that the remoteness and self-centredness of Manuel was pulling them apart. Nina started complaining to Manuel about lack of his attention towards her and about not spending enough time with her and their kids. Manuel was going through a rough patch in his business. Initially, Manuel avoided Nina’s pricks. But this only led to further nagging by Nina. Then, a downturn in their marriage began. Nina, instead of looking inward for answers, started searching for them, outside. She found that her friend Soumya was much happier with less comforts and money. Soumya and her husband Sunil went for movies almost every weekend; they hardly missed any exhibition in town; they would try every new restaurant, which was reviewed in the latest magazine. Nina’s nagging became intense, sometimes quoting indifference towards her, and on other occasions, using children to blackmail Manuel. Manuel started avoiding returning home on time. He started looking for ways to be away longer. This in turn, led to an explosive situation at home. Ultimately, Nina found solace in an old college friend Amar, whom she bumped into at a Mall. She started sharing her grief with Amar. Steadily they drew closer. One day, Nina decided to walk out of her marriage. It was a bolt from the blue for Manuel. Amar had become friendly even with kids, so the kids also did not protest at staying with Amar. A short while later, Nina found that though Amar was a good sport for sharing hobbies like watching movies, going shopping etc., but he totally lacked in sharing household responsibilities. With that, set in another disaster. Nina consciously or unconsciously started comparing Amar with Manuel, who at least made provision for all their needs. She had never felt any financial crunch before. The more she compared the two, the more uneasy she became in her relationship with Amar. Despite restraint, she blurted out her feelings. Bickering became more common between the two; the bliss was lost sooner than Nina realised. Nina filed a petition for divorce, which shocked the life out of Amar. Amar was at a loss to understand Nina’s insistence that she can’t pull on with him. Amar, ultimately agreed for divorce by mutual consent. The kids were devastated, as they could not understand what went so wrong with their new fun loving papa. The above real life story and many such similar stories reveal that no one can tell whether the extra marital affair one has fallen for, will be ultimately fulfilling. Exceptions would always be there. But, often you will hear that such affairs prove devastating. Ephemeral romance In an instant, I could feel that outwardly Rama and Narender did not make a perfect match. Rama had fair complexion and was sharp and smart. Narender was wheatish, gentle and a simpleton. Interaction during counselling revealed that Narender didn’t match Rama’s smartness. It was Narender’s suit for restitution of conjugal rights. During counselling, I could find out that Rama’s only complaint against Narender was that, “He is so stupid that if his brother’s kids come to stay with us, he would invite them to sleep in our bedroom. It is not that he is not caring; he is too simple to ever be romantic.... He would never notice my new dress or a sexy nighty, I would wear with a purpose... .” To me, Narender simply appeared to be too shy. Rama’s story revealed her yearning for a romantic spouse, which she could not find in Narender. One needs to grow out of one’s dream that marriage is designed to make one happy ever after. Marriage is a life situation, which forces you to grow into a responsible adult. The search for that fantastic man or woman with whom you will have never ending romance should be put aside after marriage, because that fantastic man or woman often exists only in your imagination. Let us accept each other’s imperfections. The “perfect match” is a mirage. The day you come to accept this reality, your journey into the relationship called ‘marriage’ will take a higher plane in your own estimation. You would realise that your match may not be perfect but you can have a wonderful relationship – a perfect marriage.