Few days back I read a novel where the husband and wife separates after 2-3 years of marriage. So before leaving they divide the things bought by them. As the husband had paid for the bed and mattress minus the pillows, the TV, the music system minus the high power speakers he took all of them whereas the wife was left with the pillows, speakers and TV trolley as she had paid for it
Then the other day I was talking to a young working couple. They described their house purchases to me. “Aunty I bought this and this and aunty other things he bought”.
Surprised at the way they were describing their shopping I asked them what did they mean by I bought or he bought.
Prompt came the reply, “for half the things I paid and rest he paid. Look aunty, suppose things don’t work out between us in future and we decide to separate then we don’t want to fight over petty issues over physical possession. That is why everything is divided equally between us. Household expenditure, shopping, outings etc etc
I was shocked here was a newly married couple just on the verge of starting their new life and they were already planning for separation. What happened to lifelong commitments, marriage vows, faith and confidence in each other? Have these values become thing of past or only to be read in the books?
No doubt what they were thinking was very practical and realistic. After all both of them are financially independent, educated, progressive young people belonging to this modern era and they have equal rights over the way they spend their money and if things really go out of hand and they are not able to live together then no one should face financial loss or be in a vulnerable position BUT
Aren’t they starting their life on shaky grounds, on doubts, with preset apprehensions about the permanency of the relation,? Any thing started with negativism will surely bring about more negativity in the relation. They are already preparing themselves for separation.
That means no thought is given by them on concepts like understanding, endurance, adjustments. It sounds more like a contract to me. If things work out we will remain together else TATA BYE BYE
A little argument, a little difference of opinion and they just go their own ways.
What happened to feeling of US. It is always you and me.
Isn’t marriage supposed to be union of two persons, two families from two different cultural values, backgrounds who try to come together as one being?
By giving too much emphasis to one’s own individuality, independence they are deviating from the basic foundation of married life which rests on trust, belongingness, feeling of togetherness, feeling of being WE.
I agree that by maintaining separate financial accounts, each one is free to spend as one wish and don’t have to account to other person for the expenses. Especially in Indian society many a times when the girl wants to do something for her family, there are objections from the boy or his family. This way she can support her family or gift them without facing the wrath of the inlaws.
The young couples practice these thoughts not only in financial matters but also at each step of their married life. My relatives your relatives, my dreams your dreams, my life your life and so forth. Till the realization of being as one unit, as being We or Us sinks in them the marriage will remain on rocky grounds.
I remember there was a dialogue in old hindi movie Kora Kaagaz, where after a long separation due to lots of misunderstandings when the couple meet suddenly , the wife asked, “was it was only my mistake “ and the husband replied, “ No, some of it was yours, some of it was mine and some of it was ours”
I am neither running a moral brigade nor am I in a position to pass value judgement on any body’s behavior ( after all we live in a democratic society) and every one has a right to lead his life as he wants.
But these were some of my doubts may be from a mother’s point of view or may be from a different generation (How I hate to be called as old fashioned or from different generation) but I just can’t help it. I am unable to adhere to these values, philosophy and thinking of individualism.
I strongly advocate that one should maintain one’s individuality, one’s privacy but not to such an extent as to jeopardize the institution of marriage whose basis is togetherness.