Though the number has many cosmic (and even cosmetic) connotations, this month, it marks the number of years I've been married. Someone asked me what it felt like, whether the seven-year itch was a reality.
I don't know if it's that precise a delineation. I guess you can get the itch anytime, depending on the current relationship and the opportunity or temptation available. I don't even see a sea change in my relationship from this month on. What I do see is the gradual development of an understanding where words become unnecessary; I also see an acceptance, resigned, half-hearted or cheerful, of quirks and habits. I sense a rhythm in life, and I strongly sense my reluctance towards any change that breaks this rhythm.
Discovery seems to have given way to surety; conversations now start midway through thought. Arguments have become fewer and are usually along well-traversed routes: his smoking, my obsession with perfectionism in housekeeping, his busy schedules and utter ignorance of anything to do with the house, my impatience with Kaavya. Learning about each other continues, though the pace has slackened with time and the need for individual growth.
I've begun wondering if marriage is overrated in our society. How important is a stable relationship that you can take for granted? Is it worth the effort that goes into building a relationship, with all its paraphernalia of home and family? Many people of my mother's generation are of the opinion that the basis of marriage is procreation and child-rearing. Some friends remarked that 'spending time with each other' was not what marriage was about; after a certain number of years, they said, spending time alone becomes preferable. And remarks like 'this is not the man I married' or 'we've grown apart' or 'she's changed' are common enough to be almost cliched. So, are we back to the fundamental truth of human beings--to want ties and freedom at the same time?