years into our relationship, The Hubby suddenly decided to have
some 'space' of his own. I'm not sure where it all came from,
but in retrospect, it may have had something to do with a visit
to a friend's house.
A few days
after the visit The Hubby snuggled up to me, "Wifey, don't
get me wrong here…but, I have been doing some, err…thinking
lately", he said hesitantly.
"Please don't misunderstand me…but, how do I put it? Don't
you think we need to create some space for ourselves? You know?
My personal space and your personal space, and if the child
wants, he can have his too."
was some form of telepathy, glory be to the Lord for finally
making The Hubby psychically sensitive. It was no coincidence
that I had been thinking of the same thing, albeit, for slightly
longer than that- actually, ever since we got married. But if
I was delighted to hear the suggestion from him, I didn't show
it. If you follow the advice given in the magazines for women
of substance, you'll know that while such a suggestion coming
from a woman is the pragmatic way of going about a relationship,
the same coming from a man is tantamount to confessing his infidelity
in veiled terms. My favourite Agony Aunt's advice for dealing
with such a request is to give the man the space he's begging
for, but also go find yourself a new man-friend. That 'squares'
up the relationship. I like this magazine, I tell you.
you shall have your space, only don't let me down. Can I trust
you with it?" I said in a martyred tone.
"Don't you worry dear. I shall keep it very clean."
he meant by that, but to be honest, I had not seen these streaks
of excitement in his eyes ever. I was certain there was someone
else in his life. Well, good for them, as long as I had my space.
felt like the most unburdened morning of my life. I didn't have
to make polite small talk with him about the previous night's
cricket score, didn't have to sit out in the verandah sipping
tea together when all I really wanted to do was to sleep in.
Ah, I loved my space. That evening I planned a small get-together
with all my friends he disliked. He was free that evening to
go meet up with those among his friends I disliked. Getting
our respective personal spaces also ensured that we didn't get
into unnecessary arguments. For two days, with no 'we' and 'together'
clause in our relationship, it felt SO perfect. I loved every
minute of it!
The Hubby had been unusually quiet and restrained in these last
two days. Perhaps it was too much freedom for him to handle.
Marriage makes you dull and boring; you get so used to doing
things together that you forget living life for yourself. Perhaps
The Hubby was facing one such crisis. I tried to help by keeping
two self-help books on 'dealing with excess of sudden personal
space in a relationship' on his bedside table.
But it didn't
help. The Hubby looked relentlessly woeful. Broken and wounded.
And utterly miserable. On the third day after our pact, he rattled
off nervously, "why have you stopped loving me suddenly?
What happened to you? Overnight? Did I say something? What are
you making me squirm for? You are doing everything to spite
me, aren't you? You want me to say sorry?"
dear, I don't understand this. Didn't you say you needed some
"I knew it", he suddenly said with a triumphant nod,
"it had to be because of something I said…just ignore it
As you can
see, I had obviously got it all wrong. It later turned out that
The Hubby wanted to have a little space of his own- a room to
himself, for himself. Just like his friend had in his new house.
Indeed, it had been silly of me to have imagined The Hubby capable
of thinking any deeper than that!
of the finer things in life this friend, he has recently created
a 144 square feet of physical space for himself- yes, all for
himself in his new house. Set in seasoned mahogany with a cherry
veneer, this small but cosy study is his world. It has drawers,
blinds, a chess board, models of vintage Bentley sports car
and another Edwardian one, cigar-trays, music, a well stocked
bar and few books. The only thing missing is a 'no-entry' sign
on the door aimed at keeping them noisy children and nagging
wives (okay, he has only one) and complaining maid-servants
at bay. Any man would fall for it. The Hubby wanted one for
I was. A weekend of reverie shattered, being sucked right back
into a normal space-less relationship, trying to create an extra
room in the already cramped house.
tight", I said to The Hubby, "I've shortlisted three
possible spots. One's that defunct toilet, second is the dingy
storeroom, third is the space below the staircase landing. You
decide and let me know by evening." He didn't look too
enthused by it.
hand me a list of all that you need moved in there. You have
a free hand. The more you take away from the rooms, the cosier
your study becomes, and the better it is for the house. It'll
get some room to breathe."
have an idea…if you don't mind…how about the kiddy's room…"
"What! Impossible. What happens to his stuff?", I
"Calm down please. I didn't mean the entire room, just
one half of it…", he implored like a five year old child.
I softened, but then, "that's a large room. One half is
too much. Okay, I don't see why you can't have one fourth of
it". The Hubby looked pleased. Good bargaining skills never
put to better use!
A new screen
partitions his part of the room from the kiddy's. The little
one is too young to complain. Besides, the screen is too much
of a play-thing for him. Fun is also watching the father set
up his own favourite personal physical space. To think of it,
I almost conjured up a square relationship from a linear one!
Prospective man-friends may have to wait a little longer, I'm