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Does Marriage Satisfy Our Emotional Needs?

Discussion in 'Wednesdays with Varalotti' started by varalotti, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Meenu and Sudha, I owe you both a reply!

    Meenu,
    This is not my forum but our forum. And whatever may the forum whosoever has said a nice word they deserve our admiration and appreciation. So there is no need to hesitate to give your words of praise to Chitra who has given a beautiful summing up.
    As far as I am concerned I will consider myself 50% successful if I produce a good writing, and 100% successful if I am able to provoke a good writing from others in response to my writing. Not only Chitra but many others have produced very good contributions.
    But to be very frank, after all IL is just a family, I still feel that many gracious ILites are skirting around the issue without going deep into it.
    Considering the importance of this topic (which now appears to be far more crucial than I assumed) I am planning to extend the discussion on this topic for one more week.
    Sudha,
    You have raised questions of a far more fundamental nature. Do men have emotional needs? Yes, unless the man is an uncivilised animal or a totally insensitive man, yes men also do have emotional needs.
    And yes, there are at least as many men whose emotional needes are frustrated as there are women in the same category.
    And the second question is whether men compromise. Yes they do. And to quote from my example (which anyway is hypothetical) compromise here does not mean that I discuss the serial or she discusses the Brahma Sutra. In fact if I hate serials but still pretend to discuss the same with her it wont be a compromise but mere pretension.
    May be we should be looking for some thing in between the serial and philosophy.
    Compromise comes in when I get interested in serials purely for the sake of discussing with my wife.
    I can say one thing for sure, my wife did make a compromise when she agreed to read all the stories written by me. I know she does not like heavy stuff; and most of my stories are heavy stuff. She bent herself for my sake. So now we discuss my stories. In fact she reads stories by other authors and tries to compare their style with them.
    I on my part go along with her when she wants to shop for her clothes or trinklets or cosmetics. (An exercise which gave Himalayan patience to me)
    Compromise should not degenerate to the level of play-acting and role-playing.
    sridhar
     
  2. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    My thoughts..

    MOST of our marriages are arranged. Many of us may not even have exchanged a couple of lines before marriage. We marry. With a commitment that this is our partner with whom we will share the rest of our lives in every sense..private, phyiscal, emotional, happy and sad times. Oooof. What a step we take, and we take it all the time.
    Right at the start of this partnership, we did not have MUCH choice. We chose from what was presented to us by caring parents, fate, luck and ofcourse, the Almighty.
    We don't really know what the true nature of our spouse is, how the spouse will react in a certain situation, at times of need, stress and calamities. We don't even know if our reactions to a certain situation are similar or not. So, we are stepping into the partnership called marriage with a preconceived notion of Compromise.
    Compromise seems to be the big promise we make to ourselves, our spouse and our families. And compromise, we do. Some of us hit the potluck in that we are in synch with our partners, same tastes and same values. Some of us, should that be most of us...just compromise.
    So satisfying each other's emotional needs is an unspoken agreement or an understanding with our partners. It is not a promise to us that comes with our marriage. Bottom line, no promise.
    Matters being such, question is, is the institution of marriage worth it? Yes. Inspite of everything, it is worth it. Loneliness is harsher. When one of us is sick, forlorn and distressed, it is rare that the partner does not help the ailing spouse. Help maybe only be an action of giving a water glass and tablets to the ailing partner. But even that may not be there if there was no partner. So, is that not an emotional support?
    We have another person sharing our problems and trying to mitigate it. Discussing philosophy and a novel becomes secondary. Human is a social being and needs to exist with another.
    Friends and family may also act as emotional support. But will they be able to share your economical, physical and survival struggle?
    Assuming that there are no major abusive traits in a partner, the normal married couple have each other to share this journey of life, for better or worse! Then, is that not some sort of emotional buffer? It, ofcourse, will be an added bonus if we can laugh and discuss the sundry too with our spouses.
    In the case of love marriges, after the initial five years of rosy period of which we all seem to be aware of, it seems to follow the same stream of marriage, yes, just marriage. Maybe they get a jump start because they 'know' each other better, for whatever its worth!
    Finally...Marriages are made in Heaven! And Heaven must know:)

    L, Kamla
     
  3. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    I owe a reply to you Meena!

    Hello Meena,
    The last few lines of your post provoked me to write this reply.

    I would finish by asking, what kinds of needs are emotional??? It’s very difficult to draw a clear line & call some as emotional & others non-emotional etc.

    That is a very good question and I feel I should have clarified it in the beginning. Discussing philosophy, novel or stories or TV serials is not expression or fulfilment of emotional needs.

    Let me just make an attempt and let the women around make refinements.
    Cooking food is not satisfying an emotional need but the husband appreciating his wife for a good meal is.

    The housewife spending all her time in cleaning the house does not satisfy any emotional need. The husband returning from his office, after having a look at the clean house, appreciatively hugging his wife fulfills her most important emotional needs.

    Recognition, affection, love, offering shoulders for the spouse to cry on, working together for a common end, spending time together talking about something - all these are examples of emotional needs being fulfilled.

    regards,
    sridhar
     
  4. meenaprakash

    meenaprakash Silver IL'ite

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    are we gonna be emotional for another week?????

    Hello Sridhar,

    You've started another topic which is really stirring our emotions, first.

    there's another observation to your reply - sometimes, what seems an emotional need to a lady may not be as emotional to a man & vice versa. But its only compromise & unconditional love & commitment that help us survive thru all the differences.

    If we start outsourcing our needs then there would be no end - it would be the beginning of the end. I do understand we can't forget our favorite discussions for the rest of our life just because spouse isn't interested in it but don't we have family friends & other elders & close friends with whom we can have a decent discussion. Also, as a couple start living together there is overlapping of their interests, habits, characters, etc. & slowly but surely they can change themselves to each others needs. only we need to accomodate each other.

    Chitra, being the eldest & most experienced of our family has given us such a beautiful write-up. I think she has given us all a perfect answer.
     
  5. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Well Said, Meena!

    Dear Meena,

    When I opened this topic I thought I was stepping on a landmine. Now from the responses of the Gracious ladies I think I have stepped on a goldmine. So many beautiful responses from ladies having beautiful minds! If at all there is a degree course on Marriage (a must for women and even more so for men) this thread should be made the core subject.

    Outsourcing of emotional need gratification cannot be sourced out. That will be lethal to marriage as an institution. But where the marriage fails to fulfill such needs well-meaning friends may help the person forget that need at least for some time.

    Just one word of clarification. Emotional needs are not satisfied just by talking to the spouse. It could be satisfied by just holding the hand of one's spouse when the later is in distress. It can be fulfilled by a well-meaning glance cast at the spouse when the latter makes a good statement in a family gathering.

    Let us wait for more responses from our gracious ladies,
    sridhar
     
  6. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    Bear With Me, A Small Change in the Schedule!

    Dear All,
    I should have posted the next issue of Saturdays With Varalotti this evening. I have got the material ready but I am not posting it this time, because the first episode of Wednesday thread is going great. And I know many more ILites are yet to come in the open and tell their views.
    So we'll skip a new thread for Saturday this time. Next Wednesday we will have something there in the Wednesday thread, something that is aligned with the Emotional Needs Thread.
    As a small compensation for those who miss my thread I am posting my story which appeared in womans era.
    Please use the following link
    http://www.indusladies.com/forums/showthread.php?p=21087&posted=1#post21087
    regards,
    Varalotti
     
  7. purnima_2k

    purnima_2k Senior IL'ite

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    You are different Meena!

    Hello Meena!

    This is prob the first time i am interacting directly with you in public forum. I have been observing that your answers are so diff and nice! You think differently!!!
    I loved this line "Also, as a couple start living together there is overlapping of their interests, habits, characters, etc. & slowly but surely they can change themselves to each others needs. only we need to accomodate each other. "

    Sooo much of truth in such simple words???? Superb Meena. way to go!

    I enjoy ur writeup as much i enjoy Varalottis, CV's and Meenu's!!!!


    Purni
     
  8. varalotti

    varalotti IL Hall of Fame

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    I Am Overwhelmed Ladies, But We Still Have A Long Way To Go!

    Most Gracious ILites,

    I am simply overwhelmed by your beautiful responses. Every one is budding into a writer as they are dealing with something close to their heart. In fact that is the first lesson in writing which my Mentor taught me. Write on something which is close to you and you will write just like that and produce a wonderful work.

    Meena, congrats on receiving a commendation certificate from Purnima. Good, keep it up.

    Now let me provoke you for the next round of discussion. Emotional needs are as basic as your physical needs. In fact Abraham Maslow placed them just one step below the survival needs like food, air and water. So when emotional needs are frustrated the whole thing gets skewed up. Non gratification of emotional needs results in physical ailments, and in extreme cases even mental ailments.

    And here there is another difference between the sexes. The man, when his emotional needs are frustrated, is too proud to admit that and at times even too thick to notice that. A woman on the other hand easily finds that out and does not hesitate to admit that. I have seen women fighting with their husbands on that ground.

    "All the time you are working with your files. Why don't you just talk to me for at least 15 minutes a day?"

    And just remember the confessions of the male prostitute where a woman hired a gigolo just to hold hands and talk to him for the whole night.

    When the woman goes out of way to cook something special for her man and the man after eating it does not give a word of appreciation the woman is deeply frustrated.

    It is all right to be of help to one another during sickness and in emergency. But is more important to have an emotional bonding and relationship when both the spouses are in the pink of their health.

    One of my aunts whose husband never had a kind word for her became very hardened and was harsh on every one.

    So let's have the next round of discussion on these inputs,
    sridhar
     
  9. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    Hello,
    I agree with Kamla that we women learn to adjust and compromise right from the beginning be it to husband or their family.....right at this point itself , we learn not to expect too much , learn to be satisfied !

    AS to what Sridhar has said"It is all right to be of help to one another during sickness and in emergency. But is more important to have an emotional bonding and relationship when both the spouses are in the pink of their health. "

    Well this is bound to happen only when partners understand one another deeply from the beginning and respond to emotional needs appropriately.....but these things are not to be seen in our marriages.....the husband -wife equation is not given so much importance and they are not left alone most of the time to understand one another and accept each other without the family members interference.
    We seem to have so much freedom when we choose a friend ,but if we give so much importance,to understand one another's likes and dislikes, give Time to build this MOST IMPORTANT relationship in this society /world /human race, then i am sure Sridhar you will not be asking such a question and we all would not be discussing this either!
    It has to happen from both sides.....in the initial stages of marriage,husband as no time from his work, wife too from her housework(taking care of kids etc) ..., which is the best and most important time to get to know one another and go on from there....everything else seem to be important and there is no time taken or given for nurturing this relationship.....and later on in life the husband and wife when they are alone, behave like strangers, they dont kow sometimes what to talk to each other.....this seems to be the normal situation.....
    Maybe the younger generation does not face all this....and if they can find and make time from the beginning i am sure they can find emotional fulfilment in this Institution of Marriage.
    And Kamala i agree fully with u that this is better than complete loneliness , where there is no other human being also living with you! What a miserable life that would be .....
     
  10. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    True Sudha..

    See, however much one starts off the married life with all the right intentions, you never can tell how the future of your wedded life will shape up.
    I have heard people heading for love marriages talk of same tastes and values and above all friendship. Very often, you hear people say that friendship between partners is of utmost importance for the marrige to work. Right, because freinds (and families too) are the ones who give you the emotional support and that's what we all are seeking. If so, how come so many hundreds of love marriages end in divorce? So what's secret? What is the best way to go about a married life for it to function 100 percent?
    My feeling, there is no such secret!
    Two human beings can never ever be alike. But two human beings can vibe excellently if both are on the same wave length and work on their marriage in every aspect, without ever letting anything else come in the way of this intention. But who in today's times (or at any time) have that sort of luxury? Work, outside pressures, illness, in-laws, kids, schools etc etc take its toll on both the man and woman.
    Considering everything, I think those who stay together for years and are able to smile at small pleasures and enjoy the nature's bounty in its beauty are still blessed. Emotional needs may have taken a back seat at times, but to have the security of a home and partner to fall back on is still to be considered a relative luxury in my opinion.
    This is the thought that keeps coming back to me when I read the initial post by Varalotti...

    L, Kamla

    PS: At the same time, I do not wish to decry those who have opted to live a single, unmarried life. If that works best for him/her, or if he/she is making the best out of it, good for them.
     

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