By N.K.A. Ballal, Retd. Sr. Vice-President, ITDC
A very interesting story.
Courtesy: Facebook. After seven years of marriage, my wife was a changed person. She stopped smiling, sometimes she would smile at the children.
She stopped cooking my favourite dishes and became absolutely indifferent towards me. She even would not ask how my day was ?
Fed up with her attitude, I decided that there was only one way out — “Divorce.” I called my dad and told him about my decision.
“I will give you a piece of advice,” said my dad. Remember, how your relationship started? Recall the vows you made and the vows you have managed to fulfil.
With my full heart, I, John, take you as my wife, acknowledging and accepting you and your faults and you mine.
I promise to be faithful and supportive and always make my families live happy, my top priority. I will be yours in plenty and in want, in sickness and in health, in failure and triumph.
I will dream with you, celebrate with you, walk with you through whatever our lives may bring.
Dad then continued, “Have you kept your vows? If you have not, then do it now. If nothing changes even after this, then go in for a divorce.”
“Thank you dad,” I said.
I realised that during our seven years of marriage, there were so many promises I had not kept.
While she was busy cleaning the house, I was just lying on the sofa and listening to music.
While she was cooking and thereafter washing the dishes, I was sitting and watching TV.
While she was busy taking care of the kids, I was hanging out with my friends often not getting home before 9 pm.
When I realised how bad a husband and a father I had been, I decided to “change.”
Next day afternoon, I took out my kids for a walk.
I went to a jewellery shop and bought a set my wife had been admiring for a long time.
I arranged a roof top dinner and tried my hand at cooking her favourite food and made a mess of it.
Overtime, I noticed that my wife started to smile at me often. She also welcomed me when I came back from work.
My favourite food was back on the table.
One day after eating and washing the dishes together she told me, “I missed your presence so much. I love you.”
Suddenly I realised how blessed I was to have a wife like her. And how lucky that I had spoken to my father before I had taken any stupid decision. I kissed her on her forehead and said, “I am sorry, honey.”
Remove “John” from the above story and put in any Indian name, the story remains the same for nearly 80 percent of marriages in India. Even in Indian marriages, the seven vows are chanted by the priests, but nobody listens to them. The above story had a happy ending for the simple reason that the hero decided to “change”. In India too the number of divorce cases are increasing day by day, since both parties do not want to change or compromise.
I am the only son of my parents and got married at a relatively early age of 23 ! The only thing I knew was to enjoy the pleasures of a marriage, but never knew the responsibilities of a marriage. Parents in India never teach their sons to “share”. Certain jobs are meant to be done by girls and certain jobs by boys. Mothers never teach their sons the basic cooking or cleaning. When brought up this way how can one expect the boys to change overnight?
The men are taught to take care but they conveniently forget to share. Moment a man tries to help his better half, he is branded as “jhoru ka ghulam”. Our men do not mind doing all the household chores abroad but not in India?
It is worse for working girls. The husbands expect them to come back from work and still make hot rotis for them at dinner time. Educated girls are now not accepting this and want their spouses to share their burden. Things are changing in metro towns but not in smaller and rural towns. If one is not ready to change, then be ready to suffer.
To conclude, successful and great marriages do not happen by luck or by accident. They are the result of a constant investment of time, thoughtfulness, forgiveness, affection, prayer, mutual respect and a rock solid commitment between husband and wife.