Rekindling romance in a 31-year-old marriage

Romance doesn’t die in long standing marriages; sometimes it just needs a reminder…

Raksha Bharadia | Posted on 19 Jul 2016
Rekindling Romance In A Long Marriage | Bonobology

Tanya and Aakrit’s marriage is about a 100 days old, ours, 31 years. She is a topper from St. Stephens, he, a whizkid, who just featured in the Forbes Top 30 Under 30. Aakrit, by the way is my son and yes, I am proud of my two angels and I am not referring to their qualifications here. The two taught me a little something about…ahem…love and caring, something I thought I knew everything about.

The two leave home together at 9 in the morning. While Tanya returns by 5.30- 6 p.m., Aakrit makes it back only by 9 p.m. I find the sweet little ways the newlyweds express their care and love for each other adorable. For instance, at the dining table, she always serves him first before putting anything on her plate, or if the serving dish is in front of him, he serves her first. Or the way he always messages her as he leaves work or she tries to cook something for him that he loves or the way he finds something good in an overcooked pasta or an underdone pie. Many a times I see them discussing a client together. I admire how respectfully they convey their difference of opinion on matters, it reminds me of a time when Ajay and I did the same…

But getting back to my story, the other day Tanya got home late, around 8. I heard the doorbell at 11 and came out to check on the kids. Aakrit was on the phone as he walked in. He kept pacing with his shoes on, the laptop bag on his shoulders and the phone stuck to his ears. I began giving instructions to the help to lay the food and tried to catch his eye. Aakrit was busy on the phone with no eyes for us! About ten minutes passed and I began to fidget. Tanya told me to go back to my T.V show assuring me that she would take care and very gently I saw her signal Aakrit to shift the phone to the other ear as she took the laptop bag off his shoulder and placed it on the table.

He paused and mouthed thank you, with a smile. A smile that assures us that our loved ones understand our issues, a smile of relief that also acknowledges to the other ‘thank you for being there’. A smile that at once makes them ‘one’ in the dealing of the issue, even though the two I know handle different departments at work. A smile that I saw took away the heaviness of the bad day, even if only for a moment.

I looked away; it was after all a private communication between the couple. “Some little glitch ma, the entire team was on it since early evening. It seems like it is about to get fixed”, Tanya explained. I nodded and retreated to my room. I saw Ajay watching his favourite T.V show. I looked at him fondly and ran my hand through his hair. He looked at me with surprise.

31 years of marriage takes its toll. We are easy to snap at each other at the slightest irritation but we do not appreciate the sweet gestures because they know we love them! We don’t take a moment in telling them off on what they have done wrong but we do not appreciate what they do right because…shouldn’t they be doing so without goofing up? To be able to take each other for granted is one of the pillars of a long term relationship, but with it comes not extending the basic respect we would to someone we don’t take for granted, and we keep second guessing their good actions by thinking they must want something in return. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t but in that moment, we lose a chance to appreciate what they have done. And we lose chances like this day after day, for months and years.  

My little Tanya and Aakrit have brought back freshness to our relationship. The other day Ajay and I discussed going on a date night very much like our children do every alternate Friday.  I overheard the son and father discussing a bottle of special wine that they both know I love. I hushed Tanya into a corner and asked, “hmmm…want to come perfume shopping with me..?”

Romancing is so beautiful and on our second round it is even better!

(As Told To Raksha Bharadia)

Raksha Bharadia

Raksha Bharadia is a writer and editor. She has authored three books published by Rupa & Co. She has put together 13 titles in the Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul series for Westland. She has also worked as a scriptwriter with Star Plus. She has been a columnist for Femina, Ahmedabad Mirror, and DNA, Ahmedabad. Raksha has taught creative writing for a Master’s Program at CEPT, Ahmedabad. Bonobology.com is Raksha’s first significant foray in the digital space.

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