What is it about us married people? We build a cocoon that contains us, binds us, holds us together. We dream of warmth and understanding within this cocoon — a cozy cocooned life where we truly belong to each other.
We dream that our need to give and our spouse's desire to receive will be complementary.
Ah… But it never is!
We dream of our every need being understood and gladly fulfilled. We fondly believe that we can fulfill and complete the other and then we find, with dismay, that we are both sadly wanting that our relationship is one of mutual disappointment and dissatisfaction.
We devalue and disregard what we have and what we get from our marriages and our lives. Whatever we have seems barely worthwhile. It seems as though life does not recognize the value of our feelings, and continually short-changes us, no matter what we do. A gnawing dissatisfaction, an aching loneliness lives within us all and eats us from within.
And then — thanks to discussion forums like the iLand – we befriend other married folks and read in their eyes the same loneliness, the same disappointment, the same sense of betrayal. It is as though life has duped us all. Amidst plenty, we find ourselves hungry and thirsty. In the midst of our families, in the midst of what seems like a lot of intimacy, we find ourselves alone, lonely, aching for warmth and understanding.
When we read the same loneliness in the words of another person (whether married or single) ' in his/her blogs or chats ' we connect. Or rather, we like to believe that we connect. We nurture the illusion that we connect ' all of us lonely people — as if a bunch of lonely, incomplete persons together can attain completeness.
Come to think of it, this is the same illusion that brought us together with our spouses and made us get married in the first place. "Are you lonely? Do you wish you had someone you could own and belong to? Well, whaddya know!!! I feel the same way! So why don't we get together, and care for each other? We can have the time of our lives together! I'm a fun-loving, understanding partner! I shall vow to hold and cherish you till death do us part and you do likewise.”
But a few years down the marital aisle, what we have is our individual bundle of dissatisfactions. Whether it is a love marriage or an arranged marriage, it sucks.
Marriage sucks. Parenthood sucks. Working to support a family sucks. Being a housewife and mother sucks. Life sucks BIG time! I don't know why I'm doing whatever it is that I do. I don't know why I'm taking the trouble to get out of bed in the morning, every morning, morning after morning, and drag myself through endless chores. Truth, I don't give a shit. It's just that I'm habituated to living, and don't have a great reason to die.
Like the song goes:
“Seeney mein jalan, aankhon mein toofan sa kyon hai
Why is there a burning in the chest and a storm in the eyes?
Iss shaher mein har shaqs pareshaan sa kyon hai
Why is everybody in this city kind of desperate?
Dil hai tho dhadakne ka bahaana koi dhoondey
Because there is a heart, it seeks some excuse to keep beating
Aaeena hamein dekhke hairaan sa kyon hai…
Why does the mirror seem puzzled to see me?”
On the iland, you'll find this song being sung in various tunes. Some people hint at loneliness and disenchantment, and a genteel acceptance of these emotions in their lives. Others rave and rant from the treetops, and write sad poetry. Some speak in optimistic terms of how to dig their way out of this shithole, how to change life for the better. Some speak as though they have indeed dug their way out of the shithole and triumphed against life with perseverance, commonsense, and the grace of God; they sound that way until they enter the slough of despond again.
Bottomline, it's about a shithole and not a warm cozy fulfilling place. We are all in it together ' all of us lonely and misunderstood, all of us doing the best we can but unappreciated by our spouses, all of us getting a raw deal from life.
(Postscriipt: No, this isn't a personal rant. In fact, this is how it is with ALL of us, at least some of the time. What varies between individuals and between couples is how much of our lives we spend in this frame of mind, and how often this mood hits. What varies is how we express the bitterness that we feel ' what we say and what decisions we take based on this bitterness, and how much distance we put between ourselves as couples based on these feelings.)