When a husband’s one thoughtless sentence worsened the domestic situation

(As told to Dr Sanjeev Trivedi)

My name is Shubanker. My marriage to Shruti was an arranged one and my parents liked her and her family. I was neither keen nor reluctant for the marriage because work had become a habit and was always my priority. The initial few years passed off peacefully but for minor differences over my ability to give her my attention and time. Not that I was ignoring her, but working hard and succeeding in my profession kept me awfully busy.

I thought as a provider to the family, my way of showering love and affection was to do well in life. After all, I was working hard for her and our little son.

All the men I was close to or friendly with, used to tell me not to bother much about the wife, otherwise career would take a beating. It was much later in life I realised that apart from growing prosperity, women all the time need verbal reassurance that their man loves them.

Increasing distance

With time, Shruti’s nagging kept increasing. Her favourite pastime seemed to be finding fault with me and my job. A cheerfully welcoming wife on husband’s coming back home seemed to be a movie concept. In my case, it was the sullen face of a wife complaining of neglect, without saying anything. All she would ask was what I would have for dinner. Many times I used to delay reaching home, only imagining the lack of warmth. I would sit at a pub or at a friend’s place and only after having couple of drinks would have the strength to head towards home.

Her favourite pastime seemed to be finding fault with me and my job.
Young couple argument in home

Quite naturally, I started liking alcohol more than Shruti because it used to provide me the numb head to face her. In fact I found that after a couple of drinks I was more tolerant of her and was able to behave the way she wanted me to. Though she would object to my drinking, her complaints were different. What other husbands in her circle of friends and relatives did for their families was her favourite topic. I never used to get affected by who has acquired what and this serenity also used to go against me. According to her, I was only hard working but not an achiever.

Never that idea of women

I was focused on my work and achievements and was never keen to make friends. Female fancy never appeared in my thoughts. I used to see a bit of my wife in each of them. So when I was to deal with Shyamoli who was representing her firm, which had an interest in my company, I never looked at her as a woman. Her ability to look at details impressed me. Certain things used to flash across her mind and her ideas were mostly fresh. Over coffee, we used to sort out issues, make presentations and give shape to the project we were working on.

Over coffee, we used to sort out issues, make presentations and give shape to the project we were working on.
Man with co-worker in office

Related reading: I suspected my husband was having an affair because he asked for paneer

During an outstation work related trip, after an extremely challenging day, on coming to my hotel room, I poured myself a drink. I was struggling with the plan to ensure my company’s interest was protected, at the important meeting the next day. From plan A to B to C, I kept shuffling all options and was unaware that I had drunk a bit more than I could handle. It was a routine call from Shruti and I don’t remember clearly when the conversation turned into conflict mode, but when she said that Shyamoli’s company was spoiling me, I lost my cool.

Shruti knew her and also knew that she was a decent girl who knew how to manage herself, but this statement angered me so much that I told her the difference between them was huge. I told her, “While you have been on my nerves all the time, her company is a soothing relief and you are not only being jealous of her but also abusive towards me.” This conversation was sufficient for our life to become further miserable.

Whose fault is it anyway

I feel foolish because I can’t decide what I should be doing to take corrective action to bring back the ‘relatively’ peaceful days of my marriage.

To be honest, I was bearing the flaws in my married life reasonably well. Not that I was happy but I wasn’t really complaining; but one sudden outburst dimmed the last bulb of hope in my marriage. Shruti already had many weaknesses but suspicion and taunting got added to the list. I understand that as a wife Shruti isn’t as bad as some wives are. I also don’t find myself at fault anywhere. There is no question of Shyamoli being wrong at any point. I feel foolish because I can’t decide what I should be doing to take corrective action to bring back the ‘relatively’ peaceful days of my marriage.

Related reading: Why Chachi became jealous, and how Chacha responded

Readers are invited to express the flaws they find in each individual’s handling of their lives:

  1. Who do you think is responsible for the situation, Shubhanker and Shruti have ended up in?
  2. What is your advice to Shubhanker?
  3. Do you find Shyamoli responsible in any way for the deterioration in relationship between Shubhanker and Shruti?

Readers Comments On “When a husband’s one thoughtless sentence worsened the domestic situation”

  1. Words – One has to be very careful with them. When they are uttered in anger then you will have a bigger problem at hand. So many times I have also met with couples who fought and became distant and the constant pattern with them was the anger that flowed between the two. I remember one thing that was told to me by a learned person ( and you know who that is Sanjeev Sir! ) – Men are givers – When they give to a family they have no right to ask for something in return. Giving I have learnt over the last few years is the best gift a man can have for his family. When you give without expecting anything in return Good will come back to you when you least expect it. And the moment you see that instead of feeling overjoyed give more.

    In this case if Subhanker sits down with his wife and starts with a simple sorry and holds her and comforts her and listens to her for 30 minutes without saying anything it will all come back to normal. He has to remember the key – Giver – Not expecting anything in return . If at times his wife makes unreasonable demands then he should sit down explain to her and work through why it is not possible rather than avoid and forget her.

    When a wife decides to be a home maker in today’s age she is giving up on a lot – And if we as husbands can recognize that and be there with them for every small thing then lo and behold – they become our guiding light! Such is their power!

    At the same time they will start understanding that the husband works really hard to provide for them and they will start giving him that space he needs .

    I feel in a marriage it is never too late. The day you decide to have afresh start is the day your honeymoon period starts and then goes on for the entire life if you remember that one word as a husband. Giver!

  2. The responsibility should be shared by both. Shubhankar is a workaholic,but Shruti must invite his attention by showing interest in his work. Lack of communication is there no doubt,but Shruti should take the initiative .Girls are more tolerant and patient than the boys. She could have tried her best to mold him. However both are liable for the consequences.

  3. Shruti and shubankar …both of them r responsible 4 their failed marriage…The warning signs were at the begining itself..Shubankar tud not express his love 4 . Our behaviour in the initial years of a marriage makes an everlasting impression ..especially in arranged marriage. Shubankar kept himself busy in work ..so naturally …with time sruthi bcame a nagging frustrated wife. Even when Shubankar tried to b a better husband, sruthi was not convinced . Lack of communication was there….which lead to suspicion..and it destroyed everything. Shyamoli is not 2 b blamed here

  4. Shruthi and shubankar…both of them r responsible 4 their failed marriages. Lack of communication. The warning signs were at the begining of their marriage itself. Shubankar did not express his love 4 his wife in the initial years…Shubanki cannot b held responsible 4 it.

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