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Emotional Needs Frustration - A Nasty Example!

Discussion in 'Wednesdays with Varalotti' started by varalotti, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Emotional Needs Frustration – A Nasty Example

    Towards the end of discussing last Wednesday’s subject, some ILites expressed doubt about what would happen if the emotional needs are frustrated in a marriage. When we are assured of your daily bread, however hard we may try, we can never understand the situation of persons who are forced to starve.

    It has been estimated that on an average we, I mean those living in good countries with a decent standard of living, consume about 100 litres of water per person per day. There are some villages in interior <st1:place>Africa</st1:place> where people have to do with less than 5 litres per person per week. May be we can sympathise with them; but it is very difficult to understand their way of life.

    Same is the case with those whose marriages have completely neglected their basic emotional needs. This week I am forced to give a nasty example of that genre.

    I know many couples for whom marriage is virtually nothing. One of my clients told me that he stays away from his wife for the whole of the week and would go home only during the week-end. “This way, I preserve the relationship. Otherwise I am afraid we may fight and lose each other once and for all.”

    ‘Whatever relationship remains between you and your wife is not worth preserving.’ I wanted to holler these words but since he was my client and since I did not want to lose money for exhibiting my wisdom I just gave the blandest smile possible.

    These people do not know one thing. A frustrated emotional need is buried deep down the consciousness. It is like an earthquake waiting to happen and a vulcano raring to erupt. And when it erupts……..

    That is what happened in the case of Shiva. (not the real name). Shiva was the son of a rich merchant and had made his millions quite early in his life, apart from the several millions made by his father. Shiva and his five brothers were engaged in the family business silently minting money.

    He married Raji when he was quite young. They had a grand wedding. The marriage that followed the wedding was pretty decent. They had a boy and a girl. It was in all possible ways a picture-perfect family.

    Ten years after the marriage Shiva and Raji stopped relating to each other. Not that they fought with each other; but the relationship slowly withered away like that between friends who do not have contact.

    Shiva would get up early have some breakfast and go to the family shop. There he will stay till late in the night. He never ate food at home after that.

    Raji also had a care-free life. She would wait for Shiva to go to the shop. Then she would go around the city meeting friends, signing for new classes, shopping….

    She would return home in the afternoon when the children would have come from school. After giving them food she would go for another round of outing and would finally come home around <st1:time minute="0" hour="19">7 pm</st1:time> to settle down in front of the TV.
     
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  2. varalotti

    varalotti Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Emotional Needs Frustration - A Nasty Example

    Emotional Needs Frustration – A Nasty Example (Contd….)


    Days moved fast. For both Shiva and Raji, the other person was just a fixture in the house like the TV or the mixie. So long as the fixture is intact there was no need to worry. Of course if one of them falls ill the other would with right amount of anxiety take him or her to the doctor, make the right enquiries and then go about their own way.

    Disaster struck when a new salesgirl by name Gita joined their firm. Beauty is the word which would never come to your mind when you see Gita. She was incredibly short, lean enough to be a demonstrative specimen of malnutrition and her face was.. welll, it was a face.

    Shiva now in his late forties was quite handsome. He was fair with sharp features without any extra fat.

    Some senior salesgirl had told Gita to be always in the good books of Shiva for enhancing her career prospects. She religiously followed that advice.

    When Shiva had an attack of migraine (which he had once in a month) Gita ran up to him, applied pain balm, ordered coffee for him, called the family Doctor and gave hell to everybody around. Shiva who had never been used to that kind of fussing up with, was more than pleased.

    Then started a nasty affair.

    After having written some two hundred stories I find real life the most fascinating story written by the most creative writer around – God Himself.

    This affair had a hundred lessons buried in it.

    Shiva and Gita were in a world of their own. They never got any more physical than holding each others hands. They would be uttering sweet nothings to one another for most part of the day.

    They would have lunch together either in their shop itself or at the nearby hotel. The talking would be non-stop.

    When Raji came to know of this relationship (thanks to some jealous employees who were not exactly happy to see Gita’s quick raise in her career) she became furious and threw temper tantrums. She took the matter to the other members of the family – Shivas brothers.

    They came for Raji’s rescue. Given that kind of money they could do anything. They just fired Gita and also spent some money to ensure that she married somebody in the neighbourhood.

    Everybody including Raji heaved a sigh of relief and started going about their way. But the old Shiva had died. The new Shiva, once deprived of Gita’s friendship, was highly irritable, impatient and started behaving in funny ways. Raji thought about a psychiatric intervention but Shiva would not have anything of that sort.

    Shiva still goes to the shop and Raji to her regular outings. But both appear aged by more than 15 years after this episode.

    The children were also affected in ways not easily explainable. Their daughter now adamantly refuses to marry.

    I do not think Shiva would be back to his old normal self again. Nor can Raji retain her earlier composure.

    Both of them know that some irreversible change has happened in their lives. Despair is the word that comes to my mind when I see them going about their separate ways.

    I do not blame Shiva for his excesses. At the same time we cannot tolerate his relationship with Gita, however platonic it might be, as that would only complicate things.

    Nor can I blame Raji for her reaction. A very natural reaction and any sensible woman in her place would have done precisely that.


    Something has been lost in the process, I am sure. Or, was something already lost and the loss was realised by Shiva when Gita came into his life? I do not know. Do you?
     
  3. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Sridhar,

    Like you have said, i cannot say i enjoyed reading this.....
    What a life both are leading! But is n't this true with most of the marriages.....
    akind of boredom does tend to creep in and taking each other for granted.....once the newness is lost , then emotional needs take a back seat and then all the frustrations do set in. And as long as a third person does not enter , then life goes on, but like here when Gita enters Shiva's life even if it was a platonic relationship, all hell is let loose and there is even more of a barrier, instead of bringing them closer.....
    Like you have pointed out there is no given solution, and each couple has to decide what should be the outcome of their married lives, where is it leading them, or where are they leading it, and Halt and take the necessary steps, if they want to get more out of their lives.
    This week#s episode is too frustrating with no positive hopes or ending.....and i thought you were planning something on a lighter vein!:p Come on spare us from so much of Mental Work.....and Emotional searching also!
     
  4. varalotti

    varalotti Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I am Sorry Too!

    Dear Sudha,
    I am sorry to have upset you with this heavy post. But I needed to get the information out of my system. This was torturing me for months on end and only when I downloaded it on the hapless ILites I feel relieved.
    As we all know there is no shortcut to joy. The way to joy is full of sorrows like this. I was reading Nikos Kazantzakis who writes right on the preface that every one has to bear his or her own cross. And the only way to resurrection is through crucifixion.
    Agreed, most marriages are not like that. But in many marriages the charm is lost. I just have a simple test to find out whether there is any flame left in the marital relationship.
    If the husband comes home after work, after he has not seen his wife for say, 8 or 9 hours, and he says Hi to her then the marriage is pretty much intact. If there is a silent exchange of glances, yes there is still hope. But if the husband comes home shouting about some chore to be done or something forgotten by the wife, and this happens almost every day, well, the marriage is dead.

    So long as a third person does not butt in the marriage will be seemingly intact eventhough it is not. But with the entry of an outsider, well the dead marriage is formally cremated.Thanks for bearing with me.
    regards,
    sridhar
     
  5. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I wish to share my thoughts too !

    Dear Sridhar,
    What you have posted made very heavy reading, there is no doubt about it. But it does happen in many marriages, where both the spouses become
    “ nadaipinam” with eachother as we say in tamil.
    That Shiva showed interest in plain Jane Gita, shows that he really and desparately needed a friend in the opposite sex. He did not become “off women” but only “off his wife”! He needed a friend to open out and he did just that. Ofcourse, most men refuse to think of the wives as their friends – I really wonder why ? Are they scared in their mind, that their inner weaknesses and turmoil will be known to the wife ? Our shastras say, wife is a friend, counsellor, dasi, attendant all rolled into one. Such interactions strengthen the bond between the spouses, very greatly. But sadly, that is not to be in most marriages, now.
    We are made to understand that both Shiva and Gita had honourable intentions in their relationship and this is proved by the fact that they did not take liberties except holding hands. So she was an emotional sounding board for Shiva. This role could have been played by Raji, if both Shiva and Raji had better understanding.
    I feel, we should never take our spouse for granted at any age or stage in life. There is no point in being egotistic when it comes to marital relationship. After all, you are a winner if you enjoy a happy married life. The couple growing apart does start happening in the course of a few years, but one should never allow it to take larger dimensions in life. We have to work hard, in maintaining a fairly smooth relationship always. After every small bickering or misunderstanding, it is essential to patch up then and there before it assumes gigantic proportions. I would go to the extent of suggesting that one should
    “ let go” of one’s pride, if need be. In my opinion, by losing a little, you gain a lot which is worth, undoubtedly, because it is your life after all and you stand to gain ultimately.
    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
  6. srinivasan_vanaja

    srinivasan_vanaja Gold IL'ite

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    Mainly due to succumbing...

    Dear Sir,

    I totally agree with Chitra.

    Firstly, we don't realise the value of the relationship between a husband and wife. Shiva had taken his marriage as a usual happening in anyone's life and lived the life as it went. When he finds an EXTRA care outside he succumbs himself and do not wants to loose it at any circumstances.

    He is not going to realise or hear to the words of his wife or brothers, as they are involved in separating him from Gita. An external counselling is needed for him. May be he feels that his honesty and reputation is lost as far as his wife is concerned. And so he remains dettached. Since Shiva and Gita were forcibly separated, Shiva's inability to sustain his relationship with Gita makes him feel guilty. Now he is in a condition where he is unable to pursue his life either with Gita or Raji. To make him alright and feel better - all related persons should forgive him totally for his misdeeds and make him realise that he is forgiven.

    Ultimately, the only suggestion is please do not succumb to any EXTRA needs(an extra of what you possess)be it a relationship or whatever and complicate things. Any uncertain relationship or decisions will bring distress.

    Regarding one of your clients - We do not know how he has projected himself to the world and ofcourse to his wife. Both of them feel insecure by splitting and maintain the relationship though it doesn't have any value.

    The underlying truth - taking bold decisions totally depends on how the person has been brought up or how he has projected himself to the world. Taking bold decision is totally different from being bold. Really a useful thread for both men and women.


    Vanaja
     
  7. purnima_2k

    purnima_2k Senior IL'ite

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    Learning Lesson!

    HI Varalotti,

    This snippet is a learning lesson for ppl like me who have started on with life. Before i got married, My mom advised me " Only the Lady of the house can make/break a family, so if need be for the sake of you family, you can give in 80% ". But giving in , does not in anyway mean slavery or losing self respect in any manner. Personally i feel a person who can let go and ego is very strong cos thats the toughest thing to do. In this case Shivas wife knew that their relationship was drifting apart, still she did not make any effort to amend it. There is absolutely no use , creating a scene after mishaps happen!

    In this relationship there seems to be no love at all. Can this ever be amended? Is it worth living together like this just for society's sake is a million dollar question and i think peopl need to think about it and can gracefullly part instead of leading a pseudo life like this!

    Like you have beautifully worded "with the entry of an outsider, well the dead marriage is formally cremated.",so the life which they are leading maybe life after death !!
    Purni
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2006
  8. Kamla

    Kamla Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    An important lesson

    Dear Sridhar,

    This incident you have brought to our notice imparts a very useful lesson: Any marriage can so easily fall into this pitfall, beware.
    Shiva and Raji's marriage started off like any other. On the outset, there was nothing really wrong with it and they seemed to live a normal life and produced two kids etc. But somewhere along the way, they stopped 'working' to keep the real marriage alive. They fell into a lethargy, life went on, they lived..alas, they lived their individual lives. I feel this could happen to anyone's marriage if one does not work at it.
    But I keep thinking. Can there be no happiness for Raji and Shiva ever more?? Maybe there is. I strongly recommend counselling for such problems. Can those who care for these two suggest that to them? In order to resolve their differences and make them realise where their failure had roots, someone has to analyse it for them, to them. After all, they still seem to be married and are not talking of divorce. Given their backgrounds, divorce may not even be the option. Life can be long. All is not lost. Yes, even if only in thought, Shiva did betray Raji. Even if Gita and Shiva were to be physically involved, the incidents would have taken the same course, is what I feel. But the real betrayal had already taken place and both stand accused of it. I feel, they can still fight to save their marriage and work at it. Only, someone will have to tell them what is wrong. But again, this IS real life and don't we know how big and strong egos can be and how blind one is to one's own weakness.
    We can only send up a prayer for them.

    In thought...Kamla.
     
  9. varalotti

    varalotti Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    A Good Response, Chitra

    Dear Chitra,

    Most of the marriages today have degenerated to the "Nadaipinam" stage you have mentioned. I am sad to say this but it is true that the proportion of such marriages in metros is much higher.

    Of late, I find, that our career, other activities (even something as simple as going around the town) takes up so much time that we do not have time for the basic activities of life, even for something as vital as sustaining one's marital relationship. Added to this are the distractions in the form of TV. Even our children's education demands a lot more of our time than it did for the earlier generation.

    With these pressures marriage, one's spouse is taken for granted. Only when somebody like Gita intrudes, will Rajis understand the importance of marriage. Nor is Shiva blameless. It was just an accident that Gita entered his life. If some Vasu had entered Raji's life then the tables would have been reversed.

    Shiva and Gita had honourable intentions, just on the face of it. Infidelity is not confined to sexual relationship. The one acid test Shiva should pass is answering this question honestly: If Raji had had a similar relationship how would he react?

    We all should realise one thing. In our death beds, in our final moments, we are not going to regret that we had not spent enough time at work, we are not going to grieve that we had not seen the idiot box enough. But we will surely regret that we did not even maken an attempt to understand those who are nearest and dearest to us. We need to act fast if we want to avoid those eleventh hour regrets.
    regards,
    sridhar
     
  10. AGR

    AGR Bronze IL'ite

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    Re:eek:ut of focus??

    I do not really understand how these things can happen………Oooph…..I am completely bashed……..Living together in the same house and sharing the same room unless you have a sense of unhappiness with the other person how can you not talk with that person and just carry on life………….especially with ur husband/wife who is ur intimate partner………….What I am looking at is some problem which they have not spoken out………….but probably compromising the relationship probably for the kids………I feel now that husband and wife fighting itself is a better sign compared to being quite like this………and as far as foregoing ur own ego for others……….hmmm…in paper it looks very gud……..in real life??? ……but probably how we can make the relationship back to normal is something we can think abt…….for eg. in a mother son relationship it is not always that the son agrees with the mother or vice versa and there is quarrel/fight/conflict in views and ultimately, next day life is back to normal…I am looking into that sort of relationship between husband and wife………. And one main thing husband should love his wife and wife should love the husband ……otherwise there is no point in talking abt sustaining the relationships………..love should be from the heart and not from the lips…….
     

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