The Rich Vegetarian

An Examined Life

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Tag: partnership

Husband

He was a tall man, a little portly around the middle. His eyes were deep blue marbles that shone bright, not cold or hard. He had a nicely shaped head, the hair gathering gray near the temples. His face had the ruddy sheen of a healthy man, warm-blooded and passionate. When he laughed, his eyes crinkled shut, mouth open. His face was transformed, its contained expression morphing into one of simple joy, open and uninhibited.

Then he started, “My husband says…”

And my heart plain burst with the unexpected sweetness of it all.

(How wonderful it is to hear “my husband” and “my wife” in all kinds of hitherto unknown contexts.)

A Solid Case for Marriage

Since I have been married for a good long eight years, I suppose I am qualified to dispense advice on this topic. Jokes apart, here is a good reason why marriage makes sense.

As one becomes more spiritual-minded, the first thing to vanish is the notion of external security. It does not take long to realize that there is no such thing. Life is unpredictable, and basing happiness and peace of mind on size of bank accounts, inheritances, stock options, etc. is pointless. Even health is a phenomenon. You could do all the right things – eat local and organic, buy fresh produce, manage all Doshas and imbalances – and fall sick. You cannot even take pride or courage in the fact that you have a healthy constitution. So what if you enjoy good health? It does not take much for that to fly out of the window either. (I am not advocating that you neglect your health. Everyone knows that I am all about local and seasonal produce, Ayurvedic remedies and awareness in consumption. You get my point, don't you?)

It sinks in, sooner than later, that the biggest source of comfort and strength lies within. Call it whatever name you wish – God, Self, self, Nature. It is ever present, will not leave you when times are bad (even if you wish it would go away) and can be a great friend and ally through out your life.

Then why get married? If all that wonderful companionship, support, encouragement and love comes from within, then why forge a new relationship? Not to mention one that comes with all sorts of expectations of unsaid understanding, deep love, commitment – what's the charm in it? Sure, there's that thing about a physical relationship, the joy of sharing one's self inside and out with another individual, a sense of oneness with another being. But if you are fixated with that, be sure that it'll vanish pretty soon. (Side idea – getting fixated with people and events leaves you stuck and then all joy and fun vanishes too.)

How about getting married for purely practical reasons?

Marriage gave me a person who drove me around when I had no license, handed me jars from shelves too high, opened bottle caps that were screwed on too tight, and made tea when I was tired. I found someone who had no qualms in emptying the dishwasher or cleaning the toilet or giving me an opinion on houseplants. In turn, I got an opportunity to hone my cooking-for-two-or-more skills. I learned that there was a smidgen of the maternal instinct within that helped me tend to a sick partner. I found my inner semi-domestic goddess and more-than-enthusiastic baker.

Sure I could have gained all these skills with any other relationship as well but it was fun discovering them with my best friend. The love, laughter and companionship doesn't hurt either.