A couple goes through various phases of love. And all of them are beautiful. We have it in us to make this possible, says NITA AGARWAL

A young couple meet and fall in love, leading to a whirlwind romance of stolen glances, love letters and candle light dinners. With a promise to love and cherish each other forever, they get married. Although in India, an arranged marriage is very common, love happens here too. Indeed, marriage vows are common in both love and arranged marriages, where partners vow to live together in happiness and sorrow, sickness and health, good times and bad times and so on.

In a love marriage, the couple have the advantage of knowing each other before, while in an arranged marriage, the couple begin with a possible handicap especially, the young bride, who is trying to both understand the unknown person with whom she has taken a wow to spend the rest of her life,  and also adjust to his family and their living style.

In a love marriage, expectations from each other are high but love and romance is already there, but in an arranged marriage couples discover each other slowly with time. They too fall in love by and by and find their  love flourishing with each passing day. The first couple of years pass away in love, romance and a lot of fun time. Then a child is born to them, who makes this bond grow deeper and stronger. Slowly their concentration moves from each other towards the apple of their eye ― their child. The wife becomes a full time mother and the husband turns a full time provider and caretaker of his family.

Nita Agarwal

Somewhere along the road, romance may get lost or become less important. It so happens that with a more settled and comfortable life they have made together, love takes a back seat or is even taken for granted. When a husband becomes a father, a sense of responsibility takes precedence and thus development of one’s career is a top priority.

The wife, who took great care of herself to look beautiful and appealing, becomes too busy looking after the baby, her own career, if she too is a working professional, as well as house work to bother much about her personal grooming. Though in present times, I find girls do much better in looking after their own needs compared to the 70s and 80s when more women were simply home makers.

However, with both spouses working, things can get difficult if both are at the peak of their careers and are additionally saddled with handling the children and other family responsibilities. For a smart, modern couple they could still be running this smoothly, but romance may fly out of the window.

With each passing year, slowly children grow up,  and may go out of home or the country for higher education and begin to chart the path of their own individual life. Parents are suddenly left alone and then find a lot of free time on their hands. Their careers may have reached a plateau; the wife has less household responsibilities because children are not there to demand her full time attention.

This may turn out  to be a blessing and the right ime for the couple to rediscover each other. Now romance returns in a new avatar. The wife once again cooks her husband’s favourite dish and not what the kids demand to eat. The husband too could surprise his wife with a movie ticket or an impromptu dinner date could take place. At this age, there is more understanding, love and care for each other because they know each other better, love deepens and emotional dependence on each other increases. I feel this is the best phase of married life.

Love grows as we grow older

Then children get married. Soon they have children of their own. And old age starts setting in. This is, indeed, a beautiful phase of life, when looked upon with wisdom that comes with age.

I have seen that in old age, couples draw comfort from each other’s presence. Even their quarrels are like a friendly chat they cannot do without. Companionship in old age is more important than in young age.

One day during my regular morning walk, I saw a very old couple, holding hands and walking slowly together. It looked like a perfect love story of a couple in the sunset of their lives. Who knows, who will depart first? But their love will never die. It will last forever. She or he, will continue to care for and cherish the other ― if not in person, then in spirit.

In conclusion, I would confidently say that a couple goes through various phases of love. And all of them are beautiful. We have it in us to make this possible.

Nita Agarwal is an ex-Table Tennis State player, qualified teacher, self-taught budding painter, a successful blogger, who writes about her observations of life and people; and most importantly, a working housewife. 

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