Are marriages really the answer to everything?

A good post title don't you think?

Last night, my hubby asked if I was happy being in the marriage. Now -  why this question came up in the middle of the night, or what prompted him to ask this question is not important, because it will take up my time just to narrate the whole story.

But back to the question, the man I married ask. Am I happy?
Define happy.

According to the Cambridge online Dictionary -  Happy is defined as feeling, showing or causing pleasure or satisfaction.

So am I happy? When you ask about happiness -  its about positivity and I picture myself laughing and enjoying and being delirious. I have been those in so many moments in my marriage. So am I happy?

My answer to hubby was that I am content. I am satisfied with what I have and I ask nothing more. I tell him that if I sense that whatever I say or do will cause friction in the near future ( which can take place within 3 seconds to 3 months) -  I will keep my mouth shut. I find that it saves me from further friction between the two of us if someone backs away from an argument. So -  yes - I am content.

But I didn't say I was happy. Because, I don't know why.

I may have posted this somewhere -  I cannot remember. But I will say it again though.
I used to want to have someone love me for who I am and I also used to think that if I finally found the One  ( the right man who's destined for me) -  my problems will all go away, I will be free and independent from the (safe) clutches of my parents ( actually Mum), will have sex every single day ( duh! Eye roll!) and I will be soaked wet with happiness every single day of my life. I blame the bloody Bollywood movies and the Disney cartoons for making me believe in all these ( not the sex part  -  that was all the thrashy novels I read in school)

Happiness then took in other material form. If I had this phone - I will be happy ( currently I m thinking Sony Z2), if I had just the other bracelet from Pandora -  I will be happy, if I settle all my credit card debts, I will be truly happy, or if I travel the world  -  I will be the happiest in the world. If I lose weight -  all my confidence issues will disappear and I will be very very happy.

Actually -  I know that the temporary surge of happiness I feel  -  is just that. Temporary. Its not going to make me happy forever.

So why am I not able to say that I am happy?

You see, marriages are not supposed to make you happy. It is supposed to make you grow. You learn responsibilities such as being a wife, a house keeper and then later on a mother. And its not easy being a guy too. You go through a shocking realization that you are no longer single and you have to grow up, be responsible and lead the family, be the man, provide for the family and be the rock the wife depends on and the man his children will be when they watch him.

I have learnt a lot of things being married to my hubby. There are so many things -  about the Indian formalities of being in a family, that I learnt from my hubby. I learnt about being responsible of whats being said or done by me, saying the right things, doing the right things, thinking the right things - all from hubby. I married the guy who started to change his attitude so as to be  a good example for his future kids when he was just 21. So I cannot say marriage is not good. It depends entirely who you marry.

I always advocate that when someone loves you, they should love you for who you truly are, and not change you into something you are not. I still believe in that. I love my hubby -  for who he is. I have seen the good and the bad in him. I know what he is capable of when hes good and bad. I don't hate him for what I believe are his minus points, nor do I want to change him. Hes perfect as he is.

But I -  on the other hand -  have changed for him, because over the years -  I have learnt that if the two players in the game of marriage are convinced they are right and the other is wrong -  you cannot proceed on with the game.  There were no written rules on what should be said or not be said when I got married, so I had to learn the hard way. I had to argue, cry, be arrogant and silent  -  but actually it did nothing to proceed on with the game.  I then learnt -  that either you talk out the differences, or walk out from the marriage if you want to get things done in your way.

So did I lose anything on the way because I gave in here and there?  I was not the only one who gave in - my hubby did so too. You see, hes from India -  and you can expect some sort of macho traditional and cultural complications here and there -  he slowly dropped that. He came to expect that there's only so much you can do to change a person. I have always told hubby that if he wanted to marry someone perfect -  then he would have to marry himself   for I'm not perfect. So he gave up some stuffs too. He gave up being near his family to be with his best friend- me. He does not expect me to cook up a storm or have the house sparkly clean. He comes home expecting to see me smile and not angry. He wants to come to a happy home where the wife is happy and the child happy.  So what if food is not ready but hes hungry - no trouble -  lets eat out. He cannot clean, or help with the housework. He hates to get his hand dirty, so he does not wash the dishes, or do the laundry and he does not know the way around the kitchen or where things are kept. I know his limitations -  its actually not worth the time to argue over that because I know he cannot do it.

Its like making me tackle the occasional cockroach I find loitering around the kitchen. I will rather hide in the bedroom than face the cockroach. I cannot do that. Hubby knows - so he does the killing of pests at home. When you love someone or be in a relationship with someone -  you try to make your partner happy -  because I feel when they are happy, you feel happy. I am not saying you have to be on all fours and become a puppy to make your partner happy -  you just do something that you know your partner likes.

There are some people who do not know what their partner likes - for example my hubby. Hes from India where the subject "Know what your women wants" is not in their life, family or school syllabus. They are people who present new clothes for birthday and every single occasion, not a surprise trip to some place, or bunch of flowers for no reason. My hubby knows what I like, but he does not know how to surprise me. He makes me contented though. I never asked for holidays - but he brings us all to places I only read about. I thought the only place I am ever going to get on a plane to is to Chennai, India -  but in 10 years of marriage, I have been there only thrice. When we are shopping, and I ask if he can get me a brand new shoe or handbag, he does not bother about the price ( I only ask reasonably prices stuffs- lucky hubby) and he does not stinge on money like he used to in the 1st two years of our marriage. I learnt that hes very generous with money when he has enough. Even my parents know - that my hubby is not the stingy one.

When hubby had his molar extracted last Saturday, I realized how often we talked.  He couldn't talk at all and I missed it. I missed his incessant chatter. Its like a background noise that keep you going you know. I missed it. And I was irritated because of it. We talk a lot and we talk about everything. He has no other guy friend whom he can hang out, the ones he has live far away. And he hangs out only with me. That is why when my mother, Raihaan and I were away for cruise last month, I felt bad for hubby, cos he was alone. He has no other guy friends to hang out with.

Last Saturday night, we watched the Wolf of Wall Street ( watch it if you want to see naked women and sex) and halfway through the movie, I told him, " Chells, if you have that amount of obscene money, please don't divorce me. Just spend it on my liposuction and other cosmetic surgery - and I will be that woman who you can walk around with in high fi luxury places"

Hubby looked at me and laughed. He said I was crazy and that he will not divorce me or find another sexy woman. He said one is enough. Actually come to think of it, I am now not sure whether that was a compliment. Must ask him again tonight. Well regardless of whether that was a compliment or not -  I am thankful that he said I was enough.

Though I wanted someone to love me as was my initial wish, I have become this awesome guy's best friend, pool buddy, movie kaaki, confidante, personal assistant ( I do his admin work), cook, and maid. He rather be with me than anywhere else. We are totally comfortable being with each other, stretched out on the couch, being lazy and watching mindless TV, his head on my lap and vice versa when it gets too crampy watching tv in one position for a long time. I can be wrong, maybe my hubby has an affair somewhere and hes managed to hide it from me, or he will leave me or we separate. Whatever that has not happened yet -does not bother me. And if I have not seen it, it does not bother me. It may happen in the future - you never know -  but why let it bother me? It will hurt and kill me. But life goes on.

I may get irritated when I sweat or when the weather is terrible or when my back hurts when I wash the dishes -  but when all that mayhem is over and when I sit on my couch sipping away my cup of green tea -I feel peaceful. Content, satisfied, calm and sense of achievement reverberates in me.
There's a wall of pictures in my home. There are frames of the first session of photo shoot taken at Azlidas and my graduation picture. Whenever I look at them ( which is always) I feel achieved.

To sum it up - marriage is not supposed to be the answer for all the problems you had before you married, marriage is supposed to be school, and institution where you learn how to make it work. Don't get into marriage thinking its the miracle solution to all the life's problem. It can end up being THE problem.  Its never easy and its fragile. I nearly lost it not once but twice, but here I am, aware that I have the power to make or break the spell of marriage and also painfully aware that there is not going to be a third time.

So am I happy?  No - happy does not define where I am now.

I am at peace.

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