How then, can one expect marriage to be an exception to this very instinct? We fall in love to make ourselves feel better, to have a constant companion, to be supported in every stage of life. Marriage is an institution that man has created to validate such primal feelings.
I find myself battling this very basic instinct. And that is the root of my guilt. The feeling of being selfish, wanting more from life and the will to fight all odds to get there is making me doubt myself as a life partner. After all, doesn’t society promote this as a sacred bond? A pure, selfless relation where you put your partner’s well being before you?
Why do I feel bad for myself? Perhaps because I came with theoretical values that could not translate to reality. Before marriage, I convinced myself that moving back to my husband’s home is a necessary step for him. I was ready to compromise my big city life to a slow-motion existence for him. Then came the time to practice what I preached. And that’s where I couldn’t fight my instinct. I tried to be busy, be humble, even tried to pretend. But there is this voice inside me that keeps prying, scratching my wounds.
When I see women here who are physically abused by their husbands (almost 90% of them are living with drunk, useless men who hit them atleast twice a week), I often wonder whether they have that human instinct. What compels them to live in a rotting, abusive marriage ? Is there something bigger they are protecting themselves from ? It’s the outcome of an extremely conditioned nature and the fear of rejection by the society. Unlike people of a higher social status, I noticed that there is high co-dependence amongst these people. They base their life around the only support they have,’their’ people. People in the same situation, with similar issues and similar, closed mindsets. One of the ladies working at home came with a broken finger once. She said her husband did it in a fit of drunken rage. When we asked her why she did not confront him, she said that people would ostracize her for it.
As humans, for the sake of our own selfish ideas, we have messed up our religion, customs, rituals and most of all, societal norms. Can education save us? Or do we need something as radical as a revolution? When will development trickle down to those that need it the most?