Monday, April 02, 2012

Together and Apart

Reading this Slate article reminded me of Rabindranath Tagore's Shesher Kobita. The idea of living apart from the beloved to keep the romance alive was an idea, the protagonist, Amit Ray was fond of. To that end, he and his love interest Labanya end up marrying other partners and not each other - the idea being that marriage will in the end taint the purity of romance. Interesting to see an idea from a hundred years ago make a comeback with every appearance of being ahead of its time.
The Fannie Hurst quote on marriage being “sordid endurance tests, overgrown with the fungi of familiarity and contempt,” is an interesting one. My marriage is relatively new so we are yet to be overgrown with the fungi if familiarity and contempt. There is a lot both DB and I have to learn and discover about each other. There are endurance tests but I would argue that is true for any relationship between two individuals. We endure the the attitude and tantrums of our kids, the outrageous demands of our temperamental boss, the antics of our somewhat unhinged relatives and so much more. We grin and bear most of that, kvetch when we are at our wits end and so it is with marriage. 
The article cites the advantages of such an arrangement "Time together is truly quality, not cluttered with mundane chores; personal idiosyncrasies tend to be appreciated, the way they are at the start of a relationship, instead of slowly morphing into grating annoy­ances; differences in standards of neatness and tastes in music and decor don’t need to be constantly negotiated or suffered through." 

The list of reasons does not have to be exhaustive , I prefer Tagore's rationale for living apart in an intimate relationship - it is a way to extend the honeymoon period for a long time and not let romance be tainted by the sordidness of the daily grind.

2 comments:

Priyamvada_K said...

HC,
I am a strong believer of LAT for couples with children from previous marriages. Hard enough adjusting to one person. Now there are more permutations and combinations of relationships. Too much drama which kills any romance.

Only reason we are not LAT is because DH didn't want it. I argued for it a lot, and was squashed by traditionalists who believed marriage means living in the same house.

Priya.

Heartcrossings said...

Priya - Hard to convince "traditionalists" that there is value in LAT. DB and I tried a variant. We took six months to co-mingle the households. He traveled to my city to spend time with us during that period. It was the best part of our marriage. We both had our independence and looked forward to seeing each other after somewhat long absences.In hindsight, I wish we had continued that arrangement for at least a year. It would have given us the space and time to get adjusted to each other's personalities and lifestyles. Six months was not nearly enough but it was a step in the right direction..