There have been bitter fights at our place for the last two days and things haven't been easy. Obviously, it's making Rahul a little insecure, but I don't know what I'm going to do about it. I'm not going to compromise on what we are fighting about, because I believe it is the very essence of my relationship with V (or indeed, anybody).
In simple words -- either I trust you or I don't. I may be friends with you even if I don't, but I will not depend upon you to get me out of a jam, I won't call you when I'm in need, I won't tell you what is really bothering me and you will never know what I really think of you. But if I do trust you, there is really nothing much that I would hold back from you. This is an old issue between V and I, and I've had to work really hard to re-build the trust after I caught him lying to me. Not again.
All the words that we threw at each other got me thinking about how strange it is that I should be married to a man who has a different notion of being married from my own. To me marriage implies
1. Absolute fidelity. I don't so much as flirt with another man. I'll be honest -- I don't waste my time flirting because I know I'll never take it anywhere else, and then the whole point of flirting is lost. It won't boost my ego and I don't believe in raising false hopes. Sleeping with somebody other than V is accordingly not an option either. I'd never forgive him if he cheated on me and I believe in practising what I preach.
2. Treating his family and friends with the degree of warmth, respect and courtesy I expect him to show my family and friends. It's often an uphill task with his family, because of past history, but I think I'd let my parents down by being disrespectful to my parents-in-law.
3. Keeping a comfortable, functional home, ensuring three warm meals a day and stocked cupboards. Ensuring clean, presentable clothes. I wanted to have a pretty house but V soon knocked that out of me. Since running after him all day is not an option I've got used to living untidily, but I do like to have the things that I use clean and working.
4. Upholding his self-respect in public. Now, I'll not claim I've always done this (but I believe I always should.) That means not bitching about him, not allowing someone else to put him down and defending his decisions as if they were my own -- I guess in a way they are, too. And by someone else I mean our parents as well, his and mine. When he left his job last year his mother was very upset and blamed me for leading him astray. I'm glad I stuck to my guns and stood behind him on this one, despite my own misgivings, because the freelancing ended up going very well eventually. Careerwise, if not financially. :)
5. Providing for the family. Since I don't earn anything worth mention any more, to me this has become ensuring that the household is functional, the money properly spent, that we all have enough of what we need.
6. Bringing up the children to respect the parents. Since he was a Wee Bhablet only two months old he has boycotted people who he thought were mistreating me. So I try not to put V down to him. In front of him, maybe, but not to him. I think that our arguements are between us, so whatever I say there are our business, but I'm never allowing The Bhablet to use that to put either V or me down. I know how regressive this sounds, but I really would rather have him respect me than like me, if I had to choose at all. Because I don't think there can be much liking without respect.
7. Tolerating each others' interests. V and I don't watch the same movies or listen to the same music. I read his books (I read anything that is handy) but he doesn't read my books and doesn't want to. He is not interested in clothes (unless it's something exotic) and I'm mad about them. But he accepts that I need The Beatles handy, that I am drawn to theatre to the extent of leaving him home to babysit of an evening while I catch a show. I accept that him standing in front of the Apple store with drool hanging to his knees is something I'll have to live with.
8. Helping out, taking an interest. I don't do the work he does, but I am interested in it. I only found out that it could interest me by asking him about it. So I may need to think a minute before I can remember what AJAX stands for (and even then get it wrong) but I can hold a non-social conversation with his clients and have done so. I wish he were more interested in whatever little bits of work I do, but it's not a huge deal to me. So long as he provides the support (both emotional and logistical) for me to be able to continue it.
9. Speaking the truth. Always, always, no matter how avoidable I think it is. I'm in the habit of telling V about every little thing I do. Conversations I had, movies I saw, people I met, emails I received, everything. That started out because I love to chatter, but I do it because I have learnt how important it is to know what your partner has been up to. An ex used to lie to me a lot. Meaningless, silly lies. He thought they would save arguements. They destroyed whatever hopes he had of building a lasting relationship with me. I mean, we are still friends and good ones, but I still take most things he tells me with a pinch of salt. Even though he lies much less now.
10. Sharing. It's a little bit of 3 and some more of 9, but I can only be with somebody who I can take everything to.
There are other things, but these things are what make up a marriage for me. What is your idea of a marriage/committed relationship? How do you define commitment?