Dear Marriage,

I’ve been witness to your evolution for a long time, at close quarters and without affection. I mean, ya, as a habit you’re ok. So is smoking.

In my childhood, marriage was a symbol of stability except when cold or hot wars raged. As I grew older and financially independent, marriage was aspirational and yet something in the distant future. It often felt like an invitation to surrender the future. Finally, there was the act of marriage itself. I always wonder why I did it? All my instincts rebelled against it.

Let me be clear. I played an equal and contributory role to this whole, roles and expectations and KRAs type arrangement, little realising that work relationships and personal relationships require a different grammar. I discovered that we wanted different things after marriage, while I had romanticised that it would be just us on an island, wanting the exact same things, forever more. In time, the island got claustrophobic. We both stayed away at work for long hours. At home, we devised ways to stay out of each other’s way. The walls began to cave in. And yet, we continued in those ruins, breathing the unhealthy air and the death of affection and love. Each day and every minute was exaggerated and underscored with irritation and heaviness. We’d pretend with family and friends. The facade was so clever that even I sometimes believed in the unreality of it all … until it came to sitting at the dining table at home with no words. Just the sound of the cutlery and the heavy silence.

It’s not meant to be like this. A relationship should exalt.

Eventually, at the cost of being labeled failures, we moved apart and as with any ending, this cold turkey was distasteful.

Today, the air feels clean. I take long, deep swallows of air and smile.

Been there. Done that. Thank you very much.

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