“I always dreamt of a fairytale marriage to that tall, dark handsome man ten years my senior, straight off the pages of a romantic novel.”
Instead, I landed up marrying my not-so-handsome, best friend from my school days, who first came up to talk to me in Class X, asking for my notes. Later, he confessed, not the notes, he was only interested in me.
I was least inclined to marry a man my age. Those days parents expected us to marry older men. They warned us of the terrible consequences of marrying someone without the maturity and wisdom of age.
If marriages were made in heaven, they needed to be tended to on earth and a classmate unsure of his career was not what successful marriages were made of. Certainly not in my case – the only daughter of rich parents. But I was a love struck teenager, hotly pursued by boys in all forms, shapes and sizes.
“But after a series of breakups I found myself marrying a man who knew me inside out. I know now that it helps.”
He knew how the seed grew within me, how every intimate nuance could stoke a raging fire. He knew how I went through hell when my brother died and my family was shattered. When at 21, he decided to pursue higher studies, leaving me behind to deal with my shattered life, I wondered if he knew my pain. I thought he was selfish. But I also knew that he was the only one I could shout, rave and rant to. He would never judge me – and that was very comforting. I guess that’s the kind of blood bond you share with siblings. Someone who will understand why you do what you do, instead of asking for explanations.
“A childhood sweetheart can’t afford to be a judgmental husband. He tries to accept you for who you were and will always be.”
For if he ever says that you should do or this or shouldn’t, or I don’t like this I can answer back: “This is the woman you chose, this is the girl you grew up with, this is what I always have been, headstrong, flirtatious, naughty, temperamental.” I don’t mind bullying him as friends do. It’s always been an integral part of our fights, and they often end up on a funny note. Arguments are often resolved with a smile – remembering how as kids we fought over a piece of candy or a greeting card.
“Even at 40, I can easily discuss my love life with him just as I did when we were in college.”
He taught me all about love and sex. I was more comfortable learning the nuances of foreplay from a friend than a stranger in bed, chosen by my parents. Funnily, he would say it was all a learning process and I would graduate by the time I married someone else.
Even then, it did not occur to me that he was actually in love with me and wanted to make me his mate. Despite our intimate bond, he chose to stay silent as I went through my heartbreaks, running to him only for succor.
Even now that he is my husband, I still share my romantic and not-so-romantic involvements with him. I have never kept anything a secret from him – I have even invited over men I like for a cup of tea. He may be jealous at times, but is confident that I will always stick by him.
Being with each other is a sort of old habit now.
Frankly, I feel guilty. Given the shy, workaholic man that my husband is, I know he never got the opportunity to explore beyond me. I was his first and last romance. For me it was quite the opposite. He was my best buddy and I never felt the need to hide any thing from him or hold on to the so-called sanctity of the institution called marriage.
Marriage for us is journey that began when we were best buddies, school mates.
“And yet the flame between us is still alive.”
Well, this is the man with whom I watched my first porn film. Those days porn was tough to access, unless you were friends with a boy who could get a video for you. My friend did not judge me. Neither did I hesitate to discuss a taboo subject with him.
Sex for us has never been a routine, considering the hectic life we lead - he is the finance head of an MNC and I am a working journalist. There have been days when one phone call from me made him drive home from work and hit the bed and get back to office again.
I guess we still give in to the kind of impulse that drove us when we were in college and our hormones were raging!
“All said and done a friend-husband can be surprisingly forgetful.”
When I see friends flaunting their solitaires or iPhones or even cars as birthday or anniversary gifts from their loving, caring, conventional husbands who are much older to them, I can’t help but compare to my husband who always forgets our anniversary. Every year we dig out our marriage certificate to find out who is right about the date. In school he gifted me Gone with the Wind on my birthday and we celebrated together. Now he buys me Tintin, Asterix, or Agatha Christie, books that he and our son would love to read. But I don't mind.
For us it seems every day is a celebration.
Change is inevitable, adapting to it is a necessity, but life becomes beautiful and easier when you have a companion by your side. A mate with whom you can share almost anything under the sun.