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Indian Married Life
The undercurrents!
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
The experience of the wife

The great uncertainty The conceding: limits and parameters

Gathering respect The mystifying transformations

Socialising with the uncouth The art of imbibing a poison

The growing indifference The twilight period lasting a fortnight

The dispensable companion The small pleasures

The factor of Infidelity Enchantment at the distance

The vibes of another woman Events, and companions,

The flawed attractions The flawed contract


In many ways, the requirements of the wife are just a reflection of the needs of the husband, and in many ways, they are not. In our social conditions, a wife is not accepted as an equal partner, as understood in the English context (there also, there are peculiarities to their levels of equality, but they are of a different context). Though, depending on the intellectual acumen and also the cultural differences, there are slight differences in the marital experience of the Indian married women.

But taken on an average, women have more strenuous situations to face once married. For, the general concept is that, a girl is married to a house. And in a way that it means that she is lost to her ancestral house and is a part of the husband’s household. And in more ways than that that happens for her husband with regard to her parents, her spouse’s parents come to be in the position of her parents. And with it comes the inevitable necessity to acquire likeable and decent parents-in-law.

The great uncertainty: This is one of the greatest uncertainties that bother a girl on the eve of her marriage. For, she is expected to be secondary, not only to her husband, but also may be in a minor position in reference to many others in the new house. And generally they are only willing and happy to be so. Only thing is that the general environment should be of affection, decency and understanding.

In our country, most of the girls do have an inherent mental conditioning to the requirements that one need to do in a husband’s house. But at the same time, it is also true that many do not like this faceless state to which they are fated to endure. This is reflected in the desire of girls to go in for higher education and try to get into professions like medical practice, engineering, management, fashion designing etc. But only few can get through. So it may safely be concluded that all women do like to live a life of more dynamism than that offered by the interior of a kitchen or household. This is an understanding all the modern husbands should bear in mind and that there is nothing wrong in that.

The conceding: limits and parameters: The sublime feeling in the husband’s mind should be that another human being with all comparable emotions and vulnerabilities associated with them, such as love, delight, distress, ecstasy, fatigue etc. has joined him in his effort to cross the mighty, turbulent ocean that is life. And an attitude of concern for whatever his wife has to undergo and bear in all her life and work has to be there. There should be an understanding on the part of the husband that the lady who has entered his life is his wife and not a servant for his parents and other members of his family, who might even include his maternal or paternal uncles and aunts. This does not mean that the wife should not do any of the work required for them, only there should not be an attitude of being taken for granted. And that too, with the silent approval of the husband. And if there is any inimical attitude to his wife from the other members of the family, then it is his duty to see that such things are discouraged at once.

At the same time, it is not advisable for the wife to maintain a posture of offence to the other members of the household, whose culture, behaviour, language dialect, postures, gestures, domination etc. she may not be able to tolerate. For, once she has crossed the Rubicon, then it is in her interest, to get on with a level of participation and enjoyment in all the affairs of the husband’s family. Especially, if she is living with her in-laws.

It is her duty to see to the welfare of her husband, but at the same time if it is her husband’s will that she look after the welfare of her in-laws also, she has to do it. A level of amiability with them and other members of the family should be build up. It is true that there are many things that exist as an undercurrent in our entire social environment, which will create tensions among persons living in large families (it is not within the purview of this book to go it into those things). And if those things seem insurmountable, then she may tell her husband to move into a new place of residence. But within her husband’s house, it is better if she strives to achieve a peaceful atmosphere, otherwise, the atmosphere would be unbearable. But in most cases, the in-laws will be nice and helpful to their daughter-in-law. But, then it may not be the general case, and for all daughter-in-laws. Again it may be understood that the fault may not necessarily be theirs. The starting point of inflamed passions could be anyone. And nobody may necessarily be dubbed a villain, for each person may be acting from his or her own levels of compulsions.

The etiquette involved in dealing with in-laws need to be discussed in more elaborate details. And can be dealt with later.

There are many ways a husband can make life much easier for a wife. The first and foremost is by loving her, with deep attachment. And by loving their children. And by being a very responsible husband.

One of the important duties of the husband is to bring in income by doing work or some enterprise, which are legal. This may be a factor which can have times of plenty and also time of limitations, but if the husband is doing all that he can to arrange for the regular flow of income, then there is nothing more to be said about it. And some husbands may like their wives to participate in doing the homework of businesses, by taking care of the accounts, and doing a part of the managing of resources.

Gathering respect: There should be a very evident attitude of respect to the wife, not only when they are alone together, but also in the presence of others. There should be an attitude that her opinion is to be reckoned, in all major decisions concerning the family and business. In a way, outsiders should get a feeling that the wife is also, an intelligent being, who is a source of strength to her husband. There are men who take pain to let others know that their wives are of no use than doing the kitchen work, and once this is the attitude, he has conditioned in everybody, including his wife, then she will be more or less fit only for that. For, others will also take the cue from him, and treat her likewise. It may not be a major problem for him, and may even give him the sense of achieving a goal in having someone to attend to his menial jobs, without question.

However in the long run, when time goes on, and children all grow up and move away and old friends have disappeared, then he will find that, while others have intelligent companions in their wives, he only has a servant in his wife. Moreover, when he is physically unfit, even for a short period of time, there won’t be anyone to manage things efficiently and whoever takes over for a short period, may ultimately be seen to have an ulterior motive. He will then find, with deep regret, that whatever opportunity he had to build up in his wife, the efficiency to be a manager of own assets, has been wasted, while there would be ample examples of other women taking care of family, assets, children and the interests of their husbands with competence acquired with experience. Where the wives of his friends would be moving with ease in elegant social circles, his own wife will have the mentality of obsequiousness and servitude, even though endowed with enough and more wealth.

It may be seen that persons who are taken into account show their bearing in each and every one of their postures, and their stature will also be of that level. This applies to women also. For men of individuality, a wife with stature is a nice adornment.

The mystifying transformations: Yet, there is a reality that I need to say, possibly with a certain level of regret. At times, men of great mental stature chance to marry women from very low cultural standards. The husbands then strive to induce refinement into their wives. At times, they may learn to regret it. For, persons who have lived lives in subdued postures once allowed a chance to develop their real personalities, turnout to be entities exactly different from their subdued individuality. Here the mistake lies in not choosing a wife with a properly developed cultural personality. For, it needs to be stated that it is better to marry a wife of required cultural and intellectual qualities, than to marry a person of subdued and unclear inner quality and then train her to one’s requirements. Many men have done this and lived to regret it. For, subdued persons also have strong personality tendencies, which exhibit itself with full force only once they have been given the chance to develop. And what then comes out is anybody’s guess.

Socialising with the uncouth: One of the things that can cause deep concern in a wife who comes from cultured background is the socialising habit of her husband with persons, and groups of persons, who are considered to be of an unruly kind. In many cases, she may not be able to react to this, for these persons may slowly become the constant companions of her husband, and may be regular visitors to their home. There may be drinking parties, at home and outside. This theme is one that should be discussed in detail.

The art of imbibing a poison: In our country, as in many other things, people at large have not been able to get trained or cultivate themselves with the ways of sophisticated drinking of alcohol. Chemically, all alcohols are poisons. And ethyl alcohol, the one that we use for drinking purpose is also a poison. But if taken in minor quantities, it will induce a feeling of intoxication and the poisonous effect will not affect them, as the liver will take care of neutralising it. In minor quantities, this feeling of intoxication is not a bad thing, and may even be said to have beneficial effects. But the problem with the vast majority of the natives here, is that for them drinking in large quantities is a sort of measure of some form of manliness. It is believed that the capacity for heavy drinking indicates some sort of vitality, which in most cases is not evident in other aspects. Indulging in this sort of habits could have a lot of negative effects.

One is that it is a drain on the purse. Second is that it will have devastating effects on the various organs of the body, which may manifest only after some time. Third is that the personality of a drunkard suffers so much that it is very obvious that there is something odd about him. Fourth is that he gains a notoriety of a drunkard, which by itself will limit his effectiveness in many social activities of a higher kind. What is available to him would be the sort where decent men would only participate from at a distance. Fifth is that he would not be able to choose his companions as other intelligent men do, but would be having as companions all persons who have an irresistible urge to imbibe alcohol beyond reasonable limits. In this last aspect, it may be noted that in our country, where there is the limitations imposed by the problem of respect to communication, drinking liquor together is generally used as shortcut to break this barrier. But it, in most cases as usually happens with all shortcuts, ends up by embedding a person in the wrong society, where men who are laggards in many of their responsibilities join together.

Now coming back to the context, a wife from a decent background may not like the presence of men coming into the house and drinking to their limits, and beyond, in the house with her husband. Especially if they turn unruly, and start making a lot of noises after a few ounces have gone inside. Moreover the change that comes into her husband’s personality may be painful. Apart from all that, would be nuisance of cleaning up the place when all the unruly elements have gone. But beyond all this could be the deep feeling of insecurity that comes in knowing that the person, in whose security she is living, is at times in a half dazed form.

In certain cases a newly married girl may be amused by these things due to the novelty of the whole affair. But it is only a matter of a few days experience, for her to come to the conclusion that these things don’t have any of the sense of grandeur, which the drunks would be claiming all along. Moreover the revelation that much of the valuable money which could be spend on better and more healthy entertainment, and also for something of value for the whole of the family is being squandered on a pack of ruffians, would create real distress in a loyal wife.

Drinking can be practised at home, if it is done among decent companions who come not to get drunk, but for other levels of socialising and then a small whiff of it served as one serves tea. And on festive occasions also. It is good if it is used as something, which is good in small quantities, but harmful in large quantities. And not as something to lose one’s senses and behave outrageously.

In some families, along with the husband, the wife also partakes of a small amount of liquor. If it is taken by responsible persons with such sense, then it is not a problem. Otherwise, if it leads to disgraceful behaviour then it could lead to a lowering of social stature for the family. In this regard, it may be noted that beer is a drink, which can be used in homes on odd occasions.

The growing indifference: Some husbands, after a few years of marriage, develop an indifference to the company of their wife and children. They find it more interesting to spend their spare time under trees, in clubs, in social gatherings, in cinema halls, in drama theatres, in bars, in invigorating political debates and some even go in search of baser pleasures. Their wives have to continue with their daily toil of washing their clothes, feeding the children, wiping the house clean, keeping the food hot and ready for the unexpected arrival of her husband, sometimes with a few of his friends etc.

Many of these gentlemen manage to build up a reputation of a socially important person. But most of them at home treat their wives at home with scarce attention. Their whole fascination is with the theme of what their companions are doing. It may be seen that, even though many of them may seem successful in social circles of whatever level they are moving, many of them suffer from a feeling of some inadequacy, by which they feel lost if they are not right in the middle of some social commotion. These types of husbands will have long suffering wives. Somebody with some sense will have to induce into their head that they have a deeper responsibility to their wife, children and home.

Some of them go in for deep drinking in mean company. And in the deep of night come home, either in their own vehicles, if they have one, or in the vehicle of their companions, if they have it, or come swinging by on their own. It is a real tragedy for the wife to have to bear this. The nocturnal knock, the half-asleep mood and the heating of food in the cold night and all such things could make a wife’s sublime emotions of affection for her husband, evaporate.

If the wife does sense that the husband is drinking heavily with an aim of wreaking vengeance on her for something she may have inadvertently done, then it is for her to put in all her effort in cajoling her husband to open up, so that her mistake may be understood and rectified. If, instead the wife also adopts a revengeful attitude, then it may very well be the beginning of the end as far as that family is concerned. And here it must be emphasised that the wife does have a very responsible role to play.

The twilight period lasting a fortnight: One of the physiological experiences that a man can never experience is that of the menstrual period and the allied emotional and physical distress involved. It is a period, which may last a few days to a fortnight, varying from person to person. Many women may be able to take it in their stride, but even then it is a time of a certain level of discomfort. But in others it may be accompanied by severe emotional changes, making them turn highly sensitive to stress. They might react with the utmost violence at the smallest hint of disturbance. Actually, it is a time when emotional relations are highly controlled by various things such as hormones etc. In these times, it is the duty of the husband to see that their wives are not given any unreasonable stress, either physical or mental. And also, if possible, an understanding husband should help her in the heavy daily chores.

The dispensable companion: Most husbands do have feelings of deep attachment for their wives, but most of them do not know how to go about it. One of the main things that they can give their wives is companionship. But, this for many men is an impossibility. For them, a companion is a male friend, with whom they can be at ease, sharing the slimy jokes, and events in the various fields of activity. To do the same with a wife would be an unimaginable thing for many men. Some would even go to the extent of contending that a wife is someone who should show consistent respect to them, and who would obediently carry out all their wishes and commands. To bring them to the level of a companion with whom one can talk with the customary ease of expression is not thinkable. These men may be from a very ancient mould of mental status. But the fact is that such men do abound this country. To them a wife is better than a servant, but definitely not of the class of a friend. Such men do not know what they are missing.

Yet, a slight digressing is needed here. The feudal content in the language does call for a dominating attitude to get a respectful subordinate. The concept of equality does not work correctly in feudal languages.

But in the case of more enlightened levels of couples, there is a theme of equality and sharing of pleasure and pain. Yet, the husband may forget the many things that are essential to the mental well-being of a wife. Especially, if she is just a housewife with no avenues to go out of the house, other than for small-time shopping.

The small pleasures that lend the sparkle: A film seen, a small shopping, a walk in the park, a visit to the seaside, a visit to the house of the parents, a small picnic, all this in the company of the husband and children could relax the wife very much. And at home, a regular friendly talk about the general themes, a reading of a book together, a joint weekly cleaning of the house etc. are all good for a healthy family life. Instead, if everyday, the husband puts on a grouchy face, and marches straight to his business or official papers and to the phone to converse his friends, then it may be said that there is no such a thing as family life. The husband would be in one world and the wife in another; each of them not knowing anything about what the other is doing. It may as well as be two entirely different persons with different lives to live. There is not need to emphasis the fact that the husband is neglecting his wife, and is naturally losing much of what a happy married life could really have given him. For, it is the small things and small pleasures that give life the cheerfulness that it desperately requires. And if the man does not want it, it is really a tragedy, for both the wife and her husband.

The factor of Infidelity: Now we come to the delicate subject of infidelity in husbands. To put it on record, it is an aspect, which is more common all over the world in men than in women. Or at least more men aim for it, than do women. In a way, it is in the nature of things, as it is more easier for men to be promiscuous than women. Moreover, the society frowns on the latter than it does on the former. And in our country, it is more or less a man’s world, when it comes to the basics; for at many levels of interaction and independent movement, there are restrictions for the women.

But it is not a habit to be cultivated; in fact, it is one of the most terrible things that a married man can do to his family, wife and children. It destroys everything that is of value to him. He is a cheat, who will go on living in the eternal fear of being cheated himself. This very factor in itself makes it a most horrid thing. For, it can poison the whole atmosphere in a family. In such a situation, every one of the members of the family, including the children, are effected by the dishonesty in the atmosphere.

Infidelity need not mean the extreme situation, where a man is living with and sleeping with another woman. It can even be in thought, like just yearning to be with another woman, taking her as a constant companion, using money for her convenience, buying her clothes, taking her around, and generally doing everything for another woman, what one should actually be doing for one’s own wife.

Enchantment at the distance: In many manners, it is easy for a woman who is not his wife, to sweep a man off his feet. The same man who is indifferent to the emotions in his wife’s eyes will chance to see many things in another woman’s eyes, even the rainbow. May be, it just the case of distance lending enchantment. But everyman should be aware of this fact, and the shallowness of the effect.

The vibes of another woman: Men should always avoid situations where they become involved with women to a greater intimacy than is good. And if they do have any level of understandings with any woman, which may go beyond the requirements of professional need, it would be a good idea if his wife were made very much aware of what all things are happening. A good level of communication between the husband and wife to the extent of discussing all the possibilities, in a lighter vein would be a good thing. By such communication between them, it would be possible to build up a team feeling between the husband and wife, to the exclusion of the third woman, who may, despite all levels of intimacy, remain an outsider to the intimacy between them, and to their family life.

Events, and companions, which lead one astray: It is easy to lead a man astray, by the wrong companions, and by bewildering circumstances that come a man’s way in his professional and social movements. When all these things do come by, the husband should always build up a conscience that would remind him of his wife at home, yearning for his company. In these things, any man would need to acquire a level of maturity, which only comes with experience. The requirement is that when one does do things, which in later years one may count as experience, an understanding of the consequences of one’s actions should be borne in mind. And this should act as a warning signal, when things may go beyond the point of no return. In this regard, I can easily bring up the stories of many men I know who destroyed their family lives, in a matter of a few months’ strange and unbelievable happenings, which they, at that time, thought was something fantastic that was happening to them.

However in later times, they were terribly regretting that such things had come to pass. In these types of things, it is not easy to enumerate the types of things that may come up that could later destroy a happy family, which had included a contented wife and admiring children. It is only good to understand that such blissful things are rare in this world, and that many persons are longing to possess such a family life. Never underestimate the value of what you have, and know that it comes with a price; the price is your eternal attention and attachment to your family. If it is thrown away by yielding to the temptation of a momentary pleasure, then it is definitely a sad thing; for once lost, it is more or less lost, and if you try to rebuild on the ruins, it may take a long time for the wounds to heal and may be the scars might still show.

The flawed attractions: In certain cases, the husband may start taking more notice of the wife’s sisters, especially younger or unmarried sisters, than is good. It is true that in Indian social conditions, the wife’s sisters are considered as one’s own sisters. And it should be so. But it would be a very unwise act to allow the husband to have uninhibited access to the charge of the wife’s sisters, as ultimately it must be understood, they are not his sisters by blood. To allow them to be taken to the film parks, picnics etc. by him, in the absence of his wife are not to be practised. And it is the duty of the husband to refrain from such actions. It is not much of a problem, if the sister is a mature person, who is not obviously dominated by her sister’s husband. But in the general Indian social conditions, along with the hierarchical language environment, they generally are subservient to the elder sister’s husband, at least in certain vernacular areas.

Moreover, if the husband takes a fancy to buying expensive dress and gifts to the sister, with scant regard to the requirements of the wife, then it would also be a thing that could have serious repercussions, leading to tensions and mental agony and sense of deep foreboding for the wife. It could even lead to a serious atmosphere of antipathy among the sisters. In some cases, the parents of the wife may even accuse her of being silly and concocting up weird fantasies. This may only make the wife more desperate. In such atmospheres, all others should understand that whether there is any substance or not in what is worrying the wife, the situations, which disturb her, should not be allowed to happen. In this regard, the husband has a grave duty to his wife. If he does not rise up to this, then he may reap the consequences in his later life.

Certain men go in search of prostitutes. For some, it is a fixation and an obsession. Others go, for their need for variety; some because they are not getting contentment from their wives; others, because they have no other access to sex. It is not the intention of this writer to pass judgements on any of these compulsions, nor does it come under the purview of this book. But in the context of husband-wife relations, it needs to be discussed as to the cumulative effect such activities can have on family as a whole, and how it will effect the wife.

First and foremost, in our country having sex with prostitutes is a very dangerous thing, mainly due to the high possibility of catching grave diseases such as AIDS, syphilis, gonorrhoea etc. The first one has no cure as yet, and the latter ones are very crippling ones, if not cured in time. Added to that, they can give a person a very negative social image. Beyond all that, once a man is infected, then the wife is the next natural victim. When a husband is sleeping with his wife, she should not regularly suffer from a terrible foreboding that each time her husband is having sex with her, he is infecting her with some appalling disease.

If there is no sense of security in the wife’s mind, then no one can blame her if she is not going to enjoy the act, and refrains from participating in it with any feeling of consent. The act of sex, which is one of the main things, that creates a feeling of oneness between the husband and wife, will turn out to be an act of mental torture. And a misgiving that he is harbouring some macabre ailment, could be a real turn off for any feelings of attraction, that usually go with the act of lovemaking.

A man can spend a lot of money for the act of fornication with commercial sex workers. It depends on what level he is getting serviced at. And once he becomes compulsive about it, then it may be like any other addiction and he would not know how to limit his spending. He will not care about the damage to his financial stability it is causing. Along with it would come his reputation as a womaniser, and that too one with cheap tastes. And then he, and along with him whole family, may see that access to many social interactions is being denied.

His wife will suffer like hell. It is not easy for a man to hide his taste for prostitutes, and the first person to sense it would naturally be his wife. And if she is not able to sense it, rest assured that there many persons would inform her, either out of compassion or out of spite. And she would know that compassion comes along with contempt. And persons, who inform her from feelings of malice, would really enjoy the sounds of marital discord.

Few women will be able to bear the thought of her husband visiting prostitutes. It reflects a lot about her inability to satisfy her husband and keep him to herself, which in itself may not be true. For, there are many men who just like to taste the forbidden, and enjoy the variety it affords.

On the man’s part, his partaking of such pleasures reflects a shallow understanding of his duties as a husband and a father. No man with a little bit of love for his wife and children would be able to bear the thought of his wife and children awaiting his presence, while he is whiling away his valuable time in search of solitary pleasures.

In other words, a husband who needs prostitutes to fulfil his needs has no reason to have a wife, for having a wife comes with a lot of responsibilities and etiquette. Yet, it also connects to his wife’s urge to retain him.

The flawed contract: Yet, as a closing remark, I must say that there are wives who use the sexual urge of their husbands as a bargaining tool; and hence spoil the whole spontaneous ecstasy in the episode. They are also misfits to be wives.

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