Identifying with my captor! My Stockholm marriage of love and lust.

“Honey! Do you not think it’s a little unbecoming of him to kick his shoes off like that and let them land anywhere? I mean, if your father did that……”

“It’s okay, Mom”, I said, chewing on a chicken leg, watching crass Seinfeld comedy while my husband loudly laughed.

My mom was obviously disgusted at us both but because I’m her child, she still managed to pull some love for me from the recesses of her uterus.

“I really think he needs to know that that’s not what you do in polite company”, she ignored the chicken leg crunching pitifully in the mouth and continued.

“Who’s the polite company here?” I asked absentmindedly, unaware of my mom’s frowns.

She shrugged her shoulders and assumed a deafening silence which I have learned to ignore for my own peace of mind. Moms can’t be convinced but they’re very easy to ignore so I normally ignore.

But the inherent superficial narcissism of a mother reacts so predictable to any gray rocking that she said after a few minutes,

“You don’t notice it because you have become just like him. You’re both slobs”.

“No, we’re not”, I laughed, “You’re so dramatic”.

At this point my mom’s favorite show was going to be on any minute so she left to watch it. I heaved a sigh of relief and continued watching TV, ten feet away from my husband who would pass crass jokes at the expense of other people and look sideways for my silent cackling at them.

I used to see so much wrong with him when we had just gotten married. And he used to too. God knows we both found enough in each other everyday that we had arguments and tiffs. Now they seem stupid. Why couldn’t I allow him to eat eggs the way he liked them? Sunny side up!

I don’t know what happens in most marriages but in mine we have become like each other in order to accommodate each other and to not feel like a martyr while doing it. He has made peace with my bedtime reading. I chose to stay quiet when he made an account on TikTok.

With time we became important to each other and our families took a backseat. Our kids became our family and then it was almost like the definition and description of family changed forever.

Slowly, imperceptibly, I have started to like munching on cereal, something I had a huge ideological difference with. “Cereal is breakfast food and loaded with sugar”, I used to say when he ate it as breakfast, lunch and dinner or any meal in between. Now he has started to taste the flavor in biryani without potatoes also.

What we considered big flaws initially as two clueless strangers who came together through the process of an arranged marriage, have become mere idiosyncrasies. I find it cute now that he is so possessive over his car. In a not so long ago past I would have considered this an obsession.

Our marriage has evolved and for the most part, it has for the better. Sure we still argue over my far left and his moderate right views but I find that refreshing. That’s the kind of argument I find stimulation and humor in. It’s enriching and brings me closer to the man I call my husband. I’m glad some arguments are in the past now. I’m glad our fiscal vision remains very different for our family but we have found a happy medium where we don’t talk about it and manage our own money. We do consult with each other before investing. We share our money too but we don’t pool it. We have realized that that’s not good for us. A few years ago I would’ve thought it annoying if he asked me why my shoes were so expensive. Now I have pragmatic answers. I don’t care about convincing him anymore. That’s not what my marriage is about. We don’t have to see eye to eye with each other all the time. We will have differences in opinion and that’s okay. Frankly, I’m not a suggestible or impressionable person and neither is he. That’s actually part of the sexual attraction too.

This isn’t an advice column so there’s no advice. But I think there’s a little advice here after all. Despite all my differences, I identify with mine and he identifies with his captor. I say this in jest because we are independent people in body and mind. But there is some truth to the Stockholm that marriage can be. Women identify with their husbands’ decisions and opinions overwhelmingly often. It’s okay but it’s not necessary. Having an occasional break up opens doors to a make up. Those are expansive periods of growth. That’s important to know too. Not every fight is a detriment to a relationship. Two opposite personalities can also find a lot of love and lust with each other. Two emancipated humans can also act like caged animals.

I finally see what my parents used to tell me. That you become close to the person you get married to not because you share similar opinions and ideas but because you share a life. That creates the bond. That makes a lot of the “letting go for the greater good” easy. This blog isn’t for women in crisis and abuse. They’re not in a marriage. Marriages aren’t coercive. That’s the aim of this blog entry. Marriages are a give and take. They aren’t changing into another person. They’re about accepting the other person and knowing that that acceptance comes through a process of time.

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