So you are about to get married. Congratulations (not!). Welcome to War. One you will be fighting for many days.
You think the way your partner eats hot chocolate fudge is adorable? The part where he leaves a bit of chocolate on his chin…Give it two years. You will want to rip his head off when you see that brown stain on his chin again.
And if he thinks that the way you talk constantly makes you chirpy and Hindi film heroinesque, trust me, he will want to throw that television remote at your head next time you want to talk to him in the middle of the Indo-Pak series about how he has stopped loving you.
Marriage is a war zone and there are four stages to this warfare.
Talking it Out: Couples in new relationships are more open to this technique of warfare. They tell each other everything that crosses their mind. Like the salt in the food was less. Or you polluted my bucket of water by putting a finger in it to check if it was hot (true story). You fight. You try to understand the other side. You don’t but you still make up. And you never go to bed fighting – the promise of seven lifetimes.
Related reading: The first year of marriage
Shut the F*** up: This stage stems from the previous one, because obviously talking it out didn’t work. So you begin to ignore. You learn to say food tastes great even in your sleep. You learn to ignore your partner using your comb.
Until one fine day, your hair stuck in your partner’s comb seems too much to bear for him and he comes out all guns blazing and you fight back with pellet guns of tears reminding him how much you have sacrificed for him – seafood over chicken, Asian over chili chicken, family, friends, international cinema and maybe even a superstar career (who knows). One teardrop for each. All this for a comb.
He shuts the f*** up and you can use the comb again in peace…for the next few days at least.
Ceasefire: Many farts, burps and redundant jokes later you look at your partner with as much love as you can muster for a sloth. Now is the time you accept each other. (Not really). But you learn to coexist with each other’s flaws. That little bit of belly under the shirt and the receding hairline. And he loves the hair on your skin in between waxing appointments (are you kidding me?). Both warring parties have exhausted their resources and are just tired of bickering, squabbling and finally agree to disagree.
Grass is greener: And then you see these other couples around you who seem so much happier until you discover their secret. All of them are having affairs on the side. You thank your stars that nobody is interested in the potbelly by your side and you go back home hand in hand into the sunset. Until he comes out of the bathroom and asks, “Did you use my comb again?”
Marriage doesn’t teach you, love. In a healthy marriage, you learn how to fight.
From brazen shouting matches to shrewd war strategy. Marriage teaches you how to erase your browsing and chat history, how to lie to your partner with a straight face. How to tear that bill for drinks for two before you reach home when you were out working late in the night.
But if you are still looking to get married do so by all means, because really on those dark dreary days when there is no one by your side you will always have this person you married. So what if they are on their laptop or phone all the time? Even that one glance away from that screen smiling at you is worth it. Watching that one movie every week and bickering over who eats more popcorn is worth it. Laughing at other couples from the bubble of your marriage is worth it.
It’s an unending war with the two parties bruised, burnt and busted. And yet they rise up from the ashes to post that one picture on social media with hundred likes. #forsevenlifetimes. And it begins all over again.
And sometimes marriage is a series of experiments, as Ruku Taneja writes.