A few decades ago in India no one had heard of something called couple therapy, maybe because there was no concept of couples. Unmarried couples were, of course, rarer than unicorns. Then there was no married couple, only a huge extended family. Between relatives and their own half dozen children, a husband and wife hardly got time to exchange ten sentences in their whole lives about their personal relationship. If there were any wishes, expectations or complaints between the spouses, then those used to stay buried in their hearts forever.
No one ever said “I want to watch Rajesh Khanna’s film only with you, not with all your second cousins” or “I wish if only for a day I could go to the temple with you in place of my mother” or “I always notice when you wear a new saree” and so on.
Things have changed now and nuclear family is a norm. Couples exist everywhere. They talk, they communicate, they fight and then they communicate again. Sometimes all this ends in divorce and sometimes in couple therapy.
Both divorce and couple therapy cost the earth and sky in terms of both money and time. So how about looking for a cheaper and instant option? Retail therapy pops up in our mind here.
Post liberalisation with an upwardly mobile Indian middle class now we have malls, big departmental stores and online stores. We now buy things not because they are basic essentials but because they make us happy. That’s the therapeutic quality of retail.
Related reading: The husband who couldn’t stop buying books
Let’s see how this retail therapy can save our marriages.
1. When you’re mad at your husband
Suppose you are really mad at your husband and imagining ways of torturing him. How about keeping these thoughts on back burner for sometime and instead you visit the mall. There you can spend your husband’s money on that insanely expensive dress you had seen the other day in an exclusive designer shop. After you try out that dress at home you feel like a super model. I can guarantee after trying out that dress, you can’t imagine why you were mad at your husband because he is obviously so adorable.
2. When you forget that anniversary
Suppose you entirely forgot your anniversary. With a mad boss and mad deadlines, we are not judging you, of course. But how can you face your wife when she looks at you expectantly in the evening while giving you your gift? The best thing will be saying “Surprise! You never like the dresses I buy for you so I thought we would go together for some retail therapy. I will sit near the trial room. I promise I will not utter ‘hmmm’ but be extreme judgmental and vocal about the dresses you will try on.” That will save your skin and it is a really decent gift.
Related reading: 10 ways to apologise to your wife for forgetting important dates
3. Not just for the women
Only the wife should not get to be pampered in retail therapy. The husband needs some pampering too. An out-of-the-blue surprise trip to the mall where he can buy whatever he feels like for his man cave without any judgment from the wife will be a big treat and mood-booster for him.
4. To wind down after a tiring day
At the end of a tiring day when the whole world seems gloomy, planning to make over your home can pep you up. You are too tired for mall hopping? No issues. Some ‘Windows’ shopping or online retail therapy will lift your mood. Choosing and ordering furnishing things and furniture together while making plans about what to put where would be a great end to an otherwise bad day.
5. For instant adventure
If you two need some adventure in life but are short on time, a trip to your city’s weekly flea market would be the best idea ever. The exploration, the discoveries, the bargaining and everything else about it, is an adventure.
6. To relive student life
It is only normal to feel old and irritable sometimes. Then to relive your student days would be the best idea. A trip to a book shop with hours of browsing, chatting nonsense in the store’s café and of course finally buying some of your old favourites will be refreshing.
7. To get away from guests
Suppose your home is full of guests; your relatives, his relatives, whatever. They keep you on edge, hence you get on each other’s nerves. A trip to the mall can save you from jumping over the edge. Sneaking out like lovers, window shopping some beautiful things and buying some massage oil for later, if you know what I mean, is guaranteed to soothe you down.
For every kind of problem in marital life, retail therapy has a solution!