Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 17, Tuesday, September 23, 2003







room to be… just me

SUMAN sat in his room with the remote control in his hand watching nothing in particular; he was lost in his thoughts, thinking about his marriage. What went wrong, whose fault was it, who was to blame or was it just mere fate, all these questions haunted Suman. He kept on switching the channels, staring at them, unblinking, while tears rolled down his eyes. He felt like a total failure. It had been more than two weeks now that he and Rumana had been separated. His thoughts drifted to the last fight that ensued this separation.

Suman was watching television that day thoroughly enjoying his day off. Rumana came from the office and after freshening up asked him to put off the TV and spend time with her. He promised to join her right after the movie was over but she insisted he came sooner. Somehow she never had any interest in television and his fascination towards TV was always a major turn-off for her. Most of the fights they got into revolved around the small screen so many of us are addicted to. Neither of them was ready to give in and bickering and argument continued.

One thing led to another and resulted in broken plates, dishes, and hearts and ultimately, separation! It was a pity how they always fought over these trifling matters despite all the love and care they felt for each other. Suman was full of remorse now. Perhaps he should have listened to her, but it was really hard to keep up with her demands and she was becoming increasingly demanding with each passing day.

Life was becoming all the more frustrating as he was gradually losing grip over his life and most importantly, his identity. At least that's the way he felt. He could never do the things he enjoyed doing. He could never watch a movie or a song in peace; by no means was he allowed go and hang out with his friends and under no circumstances was he to go and attend a party or any occasion without her. Suman knew that his wife loved him dearly and cared for him deeply. Yet he felt suffocated, it was as if the relationship had started to choke him.

The separation continued and two years later they were divorced. Similar incidents happen in our lives, thank God all our relationships do not end in divorce! Some understand their mistakes, some try to adjust, some continue their fights and scuffles, while some learn to give the other the most needed space, the breathing space. A space where each partner can go and do what he or she likes to, there are no badgering, no botheration, just a feeling of complete satisfaction, where one can get lost in one's own private world.

Sadia, married for seven years faced similar problems as Sumon. Her husband gave her everything any girl would dream of, yet she felt that there was something missing in her life - independence, freedom, and some space to breathe. She never had any time for herself; she was not allowed to go out alone and she never did anything without the knowledge of her husband. Even if she had an e-mail account he was there to know her password. Strangled and smothered with love, you might say. To her, she had lost the right to live, be happy and even think, since the day she got married. "What are you thinking baby?" Sadia's husband would inquire if he ever saw her in a blue mood or lost in a reverie and would continue to pester her if she refused to answer. She never said anything but felt that her life was being squeezed out of her with all the love and attention. Sadia did not want anything but just wished to get only half an hour everyday all to herself to get lost in day dreaming. She just wanted to be alone and feel free.
Every individual is different and unique. Each person has his or her own likes and dislikes. Every human being has his or her own identity separate from the roles s/he plays as husband, wife or parent. It is therefore necessary that we learn to respect our spouses' privacy and feelings.

Learn to give them some space, where they can go and discover their own world, their own identity. It could be with friends, relatives or maybe no one else, just by oneself, lost in one's own world. Imagine if your spouse has nothing interesting to say. How boring your days would be with her or him.

It's healthy for men to just hang out with the guys, maybe booze a little, play cards, and go on jamming sessions once in a while on weekends. Women should also make it a point to go out shopping with friends, or hang out with the girls late after working hours, just treat themselves to a day in the parlour, read books. It is almost mandatory to give oneself a break once in a while and it's not a crime if you don't know how your child or spouse will manage one weekend without you.
At the same time you should make it a point to spend some quality family time as well, when the entire family cooks lunch together, watches a movie, or just lays on down on the roof in the cool of the night to stargaze. In the totality of it all each being should learn strike a balance in life in order to live it wisely.

To give each other a bit of space is one of the best ways to overcome conflicts in marriage and to restore love. A couple together needs some space as well. Some space where both of them can go and have some quiet time alone without the hustle and bustle of everyday life. In short, never let yourself be bogged down in a marriage. Marriage is a holy union of two spirits, two souls, so try to make the best of it, try to make it a blessing, not a curse!

By Syeda Shamin Mortada, Photo Zahidul I Khan



home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

© 2003 The Daily Star