My wife knows it all but still, I have an honest confession to make. I am a culprit of reinforcing the age-old patriarchal practice of welcoming the bride into bridegroom’s place, rather my mother’s house in my context where I currently reside. Should I be apologetic about it? What do you think? Or, am I putting in too much effort to find fault within an event that inducted a new member into the family? Well! I got married on 10 October 2018 and as the old cliche “they lived happily ever after”. I hope I do a good job as a partner and best friend to my lovely wife. Having read the previous sentence, it is very intuitive to have two words rolling in your head, “lucky girl!”. Somewhat counter-intuitive, I hope a mere expression of my intent to be a good partner should not be used to predict my honorable wife’s luck. I am a beneficiary of the concept of globalization which has allowed me to question my ideals and traditions and put in a scholarly debate with myself. Post the October event, I have come across several instances where I have had to battle a self-imposed mental entanglement, primarily originating from my conscience. Here are three stories of entanglement, “cosmic entanglement” rather.
Can we be friends?
I was in Canberra, Capital of Australia, when I received a message from a lady working in Dubai. The message read, “Can we be friends?” Having ignored her previous proposition to become friends on Facebook, this time around I indulged in a short conversation and realized that she is a friend of a friend. When I say I accepted her friend request and the rest is history, I would like to mention that I do in no way have a “friend request ego”. Four years after that fateful event we were ready to get married. I am indeed a beneficiary of Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to drop-out of Harvard, because by connecting to this new friend I had dropped-in into a relationship. My mother did have some concerns about getting married to a girl from another caste. It did require some convincing to the family on the part of the bride and the bridegroom.
Meanwhile, I received some “wise suggestions” from people connected to me about giving it a second thought when getting married to a girl who is career-driven and probably earns more than me. Well! I was flabbergasted to say the least and disturbed too that people still carried “the bug” passed on from their exposure to malignant patriarchy. Fortunately, my first mental entanglement is not related to that but with something more innate. Before we decided to get married, I was beginning to question my qualifications to be her life-partner. Why would a girl who is pretty much well settled with her job in Dubai want to be a partner of a guy who is at the start of his career and trying to keep himself afloat in testing waters? One might argue that my thoughts are associated with my deep-seated male ego which was manifested in the form of my confusion. In fact, it was simply a reflection of my bank account that would struggle to fund the activities leading up to the marriage date and had done well to fund my under-confidence.
Can we share the wardrobe?
The first-week post marriage can be an adjustment nightmare. There were quite a few events post 10 October, which made me totally oblivious to the likely effects of my wife’s big suitcase in the room whose contents had failed to find their way into the wooden wardrobe. I had yet to come to terms with sharing my personal space with my wife. The absence of common sense to make her feel welcome was not helping her efforts to assimilate. Stepping into my wife’s shoe, I can only assume the daunting task that it must have been for her to adopt a house as her own whose bricks were yet to fathom her presence. Thus, my second mental entanglement emerges from the ashes of the question: Can we share the wardrobe? If it were only about sharing a wardrobe, I would not have to mention it here but the bigger question on the board was, can I share my life with her? It was too late to think about it then, but such minute adjustments issues surely induct new vigor into the relationship. Further, I also believe my lack of sincerity to understand her context has its root in male superiority complex which must have haunted my subconscious. To make things up, I extended my apology to my wife and quickly cleared a section of the wardrobe. Thus, in creating a space in the wardrobe, I hope I reclaimed some of the lost respect and in true sense, we started sharing our lives with each other.
Can I be a good son and a good husband?
After the death of my father some fifteen years ago, my mother and I have become friends, in the truest sense of the word. I have never asked if she felt insecure with the presence of a new friend in my life, but the addition of a new member is bound to develop some friction. The adjustment issues between me and my wife were easier to settle but it did get quite tricky for me to handle when it was between the two strong female personalities in the house. These initial hiccups were enough to make me realize that I am more than just a son, I am a husband too. This leads me to my third mental entanglement; can I be a good friend to my mom while I try to build my way to becoming my wife’s best friend? It is indeed very easy to be sucked into this friction but the key to resolving is to allow some time and explain why the other is acting and behaving in a certain manner. I have read a lot about the power of communication and applied it in my field of health communications but never did I have the opportunity to do an apprenticeship in interpersonal communications at my own place.
The psychic powers
While I was struggling to come out of the three confusing thoughts, I was at my least expressive state. The short periods of introversion, while I battled my mental entanglements may have been an expression of inconfidence to deal with an extremely new scenario that was unfolding before me. My efforts to find higher ground amidst these impasses can be compared to a constitutional deadlock, meaning that I needed to seek amendments in my thought process. But importantly these amendments were first seen in my wife and mom. They had the power to read my mind. They picked up subtle changes in my mood or expression and felt the need to change the way they operated as family members. I was not surprised that mom had these psychic abilities but when my wife started to proactively address the awkwardness arising out of the friction between her and mom, I developed a great respect for her psychic abilities. It has been a great learning opportunity with regards to relationships post marriage. My mental entanglements are a by-product of a hegemonic thought process, which inspires men to consider himself to be the driver and source of a solution, when they are not.