Most people stuck in half and half relationships find their lives messier and unhappier than before and that’s when they may approach a marriage counsellor to set right things in their turbulent lives. What could have been for keeps is now up for sweeps. One falls out of “love” just as easily as they fell into it. This love is basically only an unmet need. It maybe emotional, physical, spiritual or anything else, and as long as someone else meets those needs, people are in bliss for that short period of time. Sometimes, everything is fine and there is no fault with the spouse, people still engage in such relationships for variety, or in other words to kill the monotony in their lives. This has more to do with an unsatisfied love life. One partner may long for the romance to come back into their lives and the other might brush it off, calling it silly. Kavita, a practising psychologist, explores the thrills and thorns of the ‘other person’ – the Third one – in a marriage, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.
For a couple in love, marriage can be the next logical step. Well, at least for some. For those who are going forward with the traditional arranged marriage, the expectation of love happening after marriage can be quite exciting. In either case, marriage brings about feelings of romance, excitement, passion and in some cases love as well. Let us be clear that love may or may not be present in arranged marriages at the time of tying the knot. There is always scope to form that special bond with time, is what most couples think as they go ahead and tie the auspicious knot.
After the initial awkwardness, most couples settle down in their lives. It is said that the first seven years of marriage are quite tough with maximum turbulence. Those who manage to surpass these seven crucial years are said to be successful and their marriage is assumed to be for keeps. But all this is largely theory as observations and interpretations vary.
Some couples are lucky if their needs are met, leading to a peaceful love life. But not all couples can boast of this. A lot of factors go into this; love is very large a term used to keep couples together. What is love? It is not just about a healthy physical relationship. It has to do more with mutual respect, caring for each other, sharing concerns and most importantly being there for each other. Without the above factors, one cannot be said to be in love. For most people romance is love, which when it begins to wane (which is perfectly normal), love goes outside the window.
Becoming parents is another dampener to a couple’s romance. The new status and responsibilities fall heavy upon the couples “Me Time” rendering the love life inactive for some time during which distances may crop in between the couple. Now, this is the time when anxiety about an inactive love life plays largely upon the vulnerable mind. The pressures of life, be it at the workplace, running a house, bringing up kids, social life and the like can hamper a couple’s love life sending it to the background. If a couple lives in such a state for some time, feelings of anger, frustration and worthlessness can crop in.
If these feelings are not brought out in a cogent manner and discussed with the view to resolve the long-standing issues, the marriage may undergo cases of cheating by either of the spouses or maybe both. It is not a wonder then when a distraught person finds solace out of marriage; he/she accepts the offer thankfully. Some even go to the extent of calling them their soul mates. It is possible to fall for another person outside of marriage if one is fighting the blues within a marriage.
In most cases, they meet the person at work, online, childhood friends, an ex, or even a neighbour. Sometimes, one falls for the most unlikely of people. One can’t help wondering, how they missed this earlier, why did they not connect before? The feelings are heady; romance is in full bloom overlooking everything else. The new partners bask in this new found togetherness and the proximity just does not seem to be enough. Intoxicated is too subtle a word during this phase.
Most people start by sharing their dull lives and lack of spark in their lives. And over time this friendship gives way to physical attraction, which then causes unrest in their relationship. Whether to go all the way or end the relationship plays upon their minds, increasing the anxiety. Guilt is one major emotion such partners have to live with as their spouses are kept in the dark about the affair. This is also the time when such relationships come under rough weather as saying no to a physical relationship may turn their entire relationship lacklustre.
Most people stuck in such half and half relationships find their lives messier and unhappier than before and that’s when they may approach a marriage counsellor to set right things in their turbulent lives. What could have been for keeps is now up for sweeps. One falls out of “love” just as easily as they fell into it. This love is basically only an unmet need. It maybe emotional, physical, spiritual or anything else, and as long as someone else meets those needs, people are in bliss for that short period of time.
Sometimes, everything is fine and there is no fault with the spouse, people still engage in such relationships for variety, or in other words to kill the monotony in their lives. This has more to do with an unsatisfied love life. One partner may long for the romance to come back into their lives and the other might brush it off, calling it silly.
Ramona (all names changed) was unhappy in her marriage with Rahul and their love life was almost zero. They lived like roommates for a few years after which Ramona met a guy at work. Arjun seemed to be perfect for Ramona. He would give her his undivided attention, take her out for movie dates, dinners and soon she was falling for him. Things were fine till she confessed to him that she had fallen in love with him. From that moment onwards, Arjun became cold and distant with Ramona. She could not understand her fault, for according to her, if one loved someone, professing the same, brought people closer. Arjun was not up for an emotional affair. He found Ramona attractive and when she had revealed the details of her unhappy marriage with Rahul, he knew what he had to do to get her. Without wasting any time, he went all out to impress her. It is another matter that she fell in love with him, which he had not bargained for. Rahul kept out of her way from then on and a heartbroken Ramona sought a marriage counsellor’s help to overcome her issues.
In another instance, Sheetal had left her husband of ten years, Ashok, to live with her lover Anand, who was seeking a divorce with his wife at that time. As Sheetal lived with him, each day found her questioning her decision. Anand was no longer cheerful and romantic with her.
In fact, he turned out to be a frustrated sadist, who beat her up every day. How she longed to go back to Ashok, but her mistake had been huge. She saw a counsellor who made her realise that self-esteem and self-worth was not dependent on how others saw you, it had more to do with how you saw yourself. Sheetal took up a job and got busy in her life. She made new friends and learned to love and respect herself as a woman. One fine day Ashok stopped by at the place where she worked and soon the two began to meet often. Soon he forgave Sheetal and the two remained friends.
The forbidden fruit might look tasty and may entice the vulnerable lot to take a bite of it to experience its bliss. For a moment’s high, losing a spouse and children is surely going to leave them with a long sigh, one that may or may not be reversible.
Photo from the Internet.