Today we celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary and I feel it is the right time to look back and share how we have grown together as a couple.
Our marriage falls into a category that is classified as 100% arranged. Which means we had zero ideas of each other when the marriage was fixed. We had a brief talk during the pennukaanal event where we exchanged our ideologies. Lucky for us we got one year gap between the engagement and nikkah so we were not entirely strangers when we got married.
Thoughts on our marriage:
Unlike most couples for whom the first year of marriage is one among the happiest, for us, the first one and half years were filled with frequent fights. There have been instances when we would just stop talking to each other for days at a stretch. But at the end of each fight, we used to talk and find a solution together, which each of us agreed to.
Initially, we fought over the same things over and over again because we found it difficult to follow what we had agreed upon in the previous fights. But slowly both of us have learned to keep our words. So these days we rarely fight. I think, touch wood, we haven’t had a major fight for more than two years now.
I am often told that I am lucky to have a husband who helps with household chores. Well, I think this should be normal and everyone deserves an equally respecting partner, that this should be the norm. Coming to our living arrangements, since both of us believe in equality, we had not had much trouble there.
I have never been a fan of cooking (for me it is just a survival skill) and I know that my dishes are not the best. My husband does not know cooking either and it is a mere survival skill for him as well. We manage to scrape through with what we make. We cook together. Yes, that’s right I can not remember when I last cooked alone in the kitchen. We share all tasks including dishwashing. We take turns.
In all these years, we have made Biriyani (that Indian dish mandatory to be known by every daughter-in-law) only twice. We find it is way more relaxing (for us) to simply buy it from a good hotel with a good chef. We haven’t even tried because we are okay with the fact that one cannot perfect everything.
In these four years of marriage, I never had to bother about how clean the house is since we do it together. We both live in the house and hence we are both responsible for keeping it clean. We take turns in all of the household chores.
From the very beginning, my husband had made it clear that he does not want a girl with just a job, he wanted someone with a career. He does not want me to drop my job at any point. Ever since I started earning, I have contributed to family finance. Somewhere around last year, I realized that is not equality. I can’t just contribute to the household expenses, that would mean the burden of finance management ultimately would fall on his shoulders.
Since then we split our monthly bills in half. Each of us has our own savings account, so we can buy what we wish for without having to ask permission. We have one joint account that we began recently where each of us will contribute to our holiday plans.
The beauty of this way of money management and household work is that you just feel like equals automatically. And when you feel that respect comes in as well. Many times we get asked by our colleagues that why are you both struggling to build a life. You have enough ‘assets’ back home. The answer is simple- if we had not gone through this building our life together phase we would not end up where we are now.
Some of the most beautiful moments from our lives are when we just sit down on random days and talk. We talk for hours. Sometimes it might be on something that happened during the week, our childhood, or sometimes on specific topics such as religion, big data, and so on. I cherish these little coffee moments that we have. And the best part is when I get to add all these points in my discussion with colleagues and get to just widen my knowledge.
Now I feel like when we began our marriage journey the love between us was forced. Because we will get married soon, it was just evident that the next step is to love the partner. But over these years we have evolved so much that we truly love each other now. We care for the other person. That doesn’t mean we are overprotective or do everything for the other. No, we have learned to give each other space in love.
People always point out that social conditioning and upbringing are one of the main reasons why women do not get the freedom and respect they deserve even today. Now I disagree. True, the conditioning could make you think a certain way is the right way but eventually it is totally up to you to choose who you end up to me. Stop blaming social conditioning, tuck up your sleeve and decide how you want to end up in life.
Happy Anniversary to us, my dear hubby, and cheers to many more years!