Thursday, February 02, 2006

Stable vs. Happy Marriages

Uma had this post today in which she quoted from an e-mail she received from a gentleman living in the US. He was making a case for the dowry system:
There are innumerable cases all around us in Indian communities in which relatively ineligible (say not good looking) girls have found highly eligible boys by the weight of the other factors, often dowry, and most marriages have been stable, if not successful.
And, by coincidence, R, the lady who helps me with the chores around the house recounted this story about an elderly couple in whose house she's also employed in our apartment complex.

It was the husband's birthday. He had wanted a battery-operated wrist watch as a gift. The wife gave him the battery-operated watch all right.

Minus the batteries.

She had removed the batteries before she gave the watch to her husband. The husband demanded the batteries, the wife pretended that the watch did not come with any.

So, there's an example of a stable (I assure you, neither of them has any inclination to go after the next hottie that crosses their diminishing sight), but decidedly unhappy union of two souls.


Shammi said...

That's depressing. I didnt think that "stable" meant "unhappy but not about to divorce" :(

Anonymous said...

funny situation though! But how petty the "man" was...going after a pair of piddly watch batteries.

Great writing by you S.

Sujatha Bagal said...

Shyam, I think "stable" in the context of a marriage implies that either both or one of the parties is suppressing emotions so as not to rock the boat. And that definitely signifies unhappiness to me. Happiness was not obtained by suppressing anything that comes naturally to a person. The other person might be happy, blissfully unaware that nothing is wrong in the relationship, but definitely not the person that is doing the suppressing.

Pramod, thanks. :)) But come on man, he was entitled to those batteries. What good is a watch if it doesn't work, especially one that is presented to you as a gift? I would go out and buy some batteries even if the watch did not initially come with them.

Anonymous said...

batteries or "shells" as they call in the neighborhood "shetty angadi"

Sujatha Bagal said...

Pramod, yup, although the batteries on that watch might be the small round steel plated ones that the "shetty angadi" may not stock...

Anonymous said...

So basically stable here implies to "compromise" ???

Sujatha Bagal said...

I take stable to mean unlikely to break up. Any relationship, whether within families, in business or between friends requires compromise in order to survive. There's no getting around it.

My point was that "stable" is a low bar for testing the success of a relationship. People should aspire for, and try to build, happy relationships, not just relationships that are in no danger of breaking up.