(As told to Joie Bose)
It all didn’t begin in a very subtle manner, the disintegration of our marriage. It began with sparks and strife and abuses and this insane amount of tears! I was perpetually dissatisfied with my husband, for he always was doing things in a manner that hurt me. “I’m not doing anything purposely!” he would say and I would retort, “Oh! Hurting me comes naturally.”
I was constantly working. I immersed myself in all work that was possible. Age made me put on weight. So did depression, for I did two things out of sadness – eat and drink! Both very harmful. I couldn’t imagine how my husband was taking us growing apart! I mean, why didn’t he even try to get back to the old us? At night we didn’t make love, he used to often grab me and have sex in a rough manner. I had started hitting him whenever he came to me like that. Man, I was perpetually tired. Work was much, and so was this strife on the home front. We often went to work together. He dropped me off. Strangely enough, whenever I mentioned I had something important, he would delay dropping me. It’s strange.
Once you reach your 40s, you tend to put on weight. You tend to slow down. You tend to fall ill. My husband was perpetually ill. One day it was stomach, the next day he was feverish and on some other days his body ached somewhere. I wonder how such a diseased man can be life itself walking and indulging, being so active on social media.
He’s always on his phone
I must admit my husband is a social media addict. He is constantly updating statuses or commenting or something. He made a lady friend who was a counsellor for a popular magazine. She and he shared a special friendship, I suspect, for I had once chanced upon a message which he had sent her.
He had dreamed of her, he said. That woman, though we have many friends in common, didn’t even take my friend request. Had she been neutral, she would have had, I believe.
He was also in touch with his exes. I’m a modern woman and all this is not supposed to bother me really for I have tons of male friends who do send hearts to me on my Facebook profile picture updates. But I know that though I might talk to them perhaps in the middle of the night (we are busy in the day and all insomniacs at night) they could have been women and it wouldn’t have mattered. And whenever I pointed this out to my husband, he would either term them as liars or as gay men. I used to fight about it, but I let go.
As I let go of the fact that he mutters strange names of strange women. Or that when I’m asleep a strange buzzing of the phone on vibration mode wakes me and I can hear him walk out of the room to the toilet. I don’t know what happens. When I confronted him he said it was all a lie. That I’m emotionally abusing him. Yes, that’s when I stopped. I had my proof. ‘Emotional abuse’ was not a part of the vocabulary of a macho entrepreneur like my husband.
Dealing with the children’s anxiety
The ones who were getting most affected by this were my two boys. They had fear in their eyes. The younger one cried often. The older one prayed that his parents don’t fight. I used to feel terrible, but I had no control over these fights. And then when I let go, things became better. Well, I don’t know if that’s better or worse, but it became better for the boys.
First, I began making them sleep in our room. Kids are always happy with that. They don’t realise what happens between the couple, but the parents are fine. They slayed like protectors. They’re proud for having done their bit. They didn’t know that this is how my marriage slowly disintegrated and how my passionate boyfriend who was the envy of all my classmates became just another roommate.
So many differences we have
One day I had asked him to play the DJ and put on some music. He put on some terrible songs which were apparently the rage. Mind you, I asked him to put on sweet songs. After 20 years of being together, you would expect your guy to know your music, right? Well, not with this one. It’s like when you want Michael Learns to Rock and someone puts on Justin Bieber. It’s like when you want to watch a romantic comedy, someone gives you a sad B-grade Bollywood comedy to watch.
Another day we were invited to a party and I realised that the groups of people he got attached to were absolutely the people I abhor! The people we hung out with were different and our likes were different. We had become so different as people. He had even begun looking different. He had begun looking so much like the people I abhorred. Every day, in his actions and in his words, he had begun representing them. This realisation was gradual and came in like a slow tide. It had been months and we were not having sex. Making love was a myth.
And now I have let go
Now I don’t fight with him. I hardly talk to him. We speak. We speak about home, our boys, food, common people but what goes on in my heart he has no clue. He has many friends, he is the popular guy who everyone likes but I’m not everyone, and I don’t like him or know what goes on in his heart. I used to long for a companion who I could talk to, but seeing my girl friends around me, I have realised that each guy is worse than the next.
I used to long for a companion who I could talk to, but seeing my girl friends around me, I have realised that each guy is worse than the next.
I’m off love. I have come to terms that I will never get a Prince Charming. Not at my age. Not the way I look. I used to feel suicidal, but I’m too attached to my boys to resort to that.
But today, I make this oxymoronic statement. Perhaps many will understand my woe and perhaps many won’t. I’m married and I’m single. Does that make sense? I’m committed but I’m loveless. Is it even more absurd? A marriage is tough, but living through one when it’s disintegrating is tougher!
Oh! How I wish at times we never got married but remained lovers who would sneak out of social gatherings to be together! We nowadays look for social gatherings to sneak away from being left alone. Oh! How things change. Oh! How times change.
However, I have hope. I do hope he will come back to me. That my husband will mend his ways. I hope that he will touch me lovingly. No. No other boy has space there. It’s always has been and will be the loverboy who became the husband.