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It Took Me 7 Years Of My Arranged Marriage To Realise What It Means To Be In Love

( words)
*For representational purpose only.

We have been married for 7 years now. It has almost been the same routine in 7 years. We both work till we drop dead on weekdays and on weekends, we chill out over a movie or at a restaurant. The grind begins again on Monday.

So I resigned myself to the fact that an arranged marriage is just that, arranged. When I occasionally spot a lovey-dovey couple, though I roll my eyes at the PDA, there is always a part of me that envies the kind of bonding that I see in love marriages.

I cannot help but feel that there is something missing in my married life. Call it spark, call it magic. But it feels incomplete.

I ponder over this while sipping on my coffee on rare quiet mornings like that day. That morning, a ping from my husband’s mobile alerted me that it’s a work day and day dreaming isn’t allowed. I handed over the mobile to my husband and ran to get ready for work. We were hurriedly having our breakfast and he casually said he had received an invite from his USA team and he will have to travel to USA for 6 weeks.

Everything came to a screeching halt! I could see that he was giving me more details but my mind was stuck at USA. 6 weeks. I was going to live alone for 6 weeks, manage everything for 6 weeks without him. Normally, I’m all for women empowerment and gender equality. I proudly call myself an independent girl too. All that didn’t stop me from feeling the gloom that I felt in that moment. After our wedding, we travelled a lot. To his parents' place, to my parents' place, vacations and some work related travel too.

But right then I registered the fact that we had never left each other alone for such a long time.

The process started the same day. Visa approved in a week’s time and it’s just 3 days left for his travel now. He is all prepared and ready. We had recently moved to a new gated community in the outskirts of the city. It felt foolish to stay alone for 6 weeks in a new house and new area. Fortunately, I have an option of working from home. So I started planning my own schedule for the next 6 weeks. I finally decided on going and staying with my parents during that time.

I wanted to feel elated after making that decision as I had left home ever since I had joined college and I never got a chance to spend more than a chance weekend there since then. But all I felt was, homesick. I cannot explain the feeling but I realized that I was not comfortable with the idea of staying that long with my parents anymore. And staying at my place alone felt lonely.

What my heart really wants is to travel with my better half. My brain chimed in timely and chided, “Don’t act all needy and clingy now!” Brain won the argument but heart had done enough damage by then.

Breaking my inner monologue, he suddenly hugged me and whispered, "How will I manage without you?" He looked as sad as what I felt inside. 

I calmly packed both our bags, mine to my parents' place and his to his trip but what I realized that day had a profound impact. Love is not PDA, love is not flowers and gifts, love is not just romance, love is not just cheesy posting on social media.

Love is companionship, love is respect for each other and love is allowing each other space to grow. Love is feeling that HOME is where your partner is. 

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