I am going to tell you a story today. X is an emotional, sensitive, but happy-go-lucky girl. She has a great career, she is chirpy, likes to hang out with friends, visit places, try new stuff and shop a lot (but not till she drops).
Now X gets married to Y, the moody broody hero. Y is simple as simple can be. He is not interested in going out a lot, prefers to stay at home and eat rasam, sambhar, cares two pennies about his dress, even lesser about his fitness. While X likes to talk, and talk a LOT, Y likes to remain silent.
Initially X tries to pull Y out of his moodiness. She constantly tries to make interesting conversations with him, and sometimes that happens too. However, down the line Z comes along, their kid. And X is now preoccupied with Z for the most part of her time, feeding the baby, changing diapers, etc.
While X does enjoy the time spent with her child, somewhere along the line she also starts to feel the stress. She desires for a firm and warm shoulder to lean on and rant off her stress. However, Y shies away from giving her that shoulder. Sure, Y does help her with the kid and the chores whenever she asks him to.
But when X asks for someone to talk to, to rant to, to cry to, to laugh with. Y is hardly available to do these things and that makes X more dejected. If she only wanted help in the chores, she reasons, she could always have a robot, or a machine. Why does she need a living human being as her husband?
Conversations between X and Y slowly reduce. X tries more and more hard to get through to him, but Y withdraws more and more into his shell. X rues the fact that Z is growing up in an environment where his father is cold shouldering his mother (without even probably realising what he is doing, to give him the benefit of doubt), and his mother is becoming more and more forlorn.
X had imagined a family where Y would be Z’s best friends, and the father son duo will be very close. But to her dismay, what she finds is that her husband is as withdrawn from the kid as from her, and only makes half-hearted attempts to get close to the kid.
This is the story of a friend of mine who got married around the same time as me and delivered her kid six months after mine was born. When she related it to me, my heart went all out to her. I could not understand how to make her situation better. How to make her husband realise the importance of family and how precious is family time?
Even when I visited her home I noticed that he sat glued to his computer screen, hardly making any effort to come and talk to his wife’s friend. My friend told me that this was how he behaved when her parents came too, and her parents left feeling insulted, reluctant to visit their home again.
It is understandable if one is a recluse before marriage, but after marriage, does it not become a person’s responsibility to give company to his wife and children (if not to others), to be there for them when they need him? Will the father’s nonchalance not affect the child too, who will grow up seeing how callous and careless the father is about things that matter, and how the mother is struggling emotionally to cope with such a person?
I am asking you my fellow parents, what should I suggest to my friend to soothe her pain? How can her life take a turn for better, and the child’s? Or are they condemned to live through this treatment for their lives?
Yamini is a software professional turned work-at-home-mom. Amidst her domestic responsibilities and a very demanding 2.5 year old son, she snatches time to write academic papers, freelance content, fiction and poetry. Her stories and poetry have been published in various online literary magazines and anthologies by Penguin Books and Cyberwit Publications. Yamini voices her thoughts now and then at http://myexpressionsandme.