Together We Bond

You are not alone We are there and therefore Together we Bond

Expectations Management April 16, 2007

Filed under: Management,Reflections — togetherwebond @ 7:55 am

Very interesting article and puts into perspective what we in this day and age expect from marriages and relationships in general. Reinforces my opinion that life (happiness and sorrow) is all about managing expectations. And at times there is a breaking point quite unique and specific for specific situations and people…

When going through what I considered a difficult phase in my marriage, what struck me were the differences in perception around me. My maid for example, was ‘happy’ in her marriage as her husband did not beat her, he drank and took her money and did not help at home, did not work, but she thought it was OK.

Another colleague had a difficult time as she did not have any children and lived in joint family who constantly blamed her for that (with no evidence that this was in fact her ‘fault’), she had to hand over all her salary and received a meager pocket money for her expenses. After putting up with this for many years, she finally spoke about her problems to a small group of girls in the office and was surprised when she heard our views. What really was the breaking point for her (after many years of misery) was the fact that her husband refused to share their room and she had to sleep in the living room. A kind of public acknowledgement of their failed marriage. A blessing in disguise, if you ask me. She walked out and lived by herself afraid to go home to her parents. Then came the realization that life was not so bad on her own. In fact if she could manage to look beyond the stigma (a bit exaggerated) she was even enjoying life!

A very close friend of mine lived with her husband and daughter. She was also bringing up her sisters daughter. Her sister tragically passed away while the child was barely a year old and couldn’t be left with her father ( a long story and a bit out of context here). Her husband seemed to be constantly between jobs. He forced his family (including a battery of three sisters) on her with requests from them to cook for them, clean and baby sit for them and even buy things for them.. My friend was good at her job (though not a very high ranking one). She worked hard, managed home and finances, had a home loan for a flat she was buying, managed to spend time with the kids’ studies, other extracurricular activities and also made sure they had occasional fun, a movie, a picnic, etc. Suddenly her husband fell very ill and she realized that he had AIDS! He had been infected while cheating on her during his clandestine visits to ‘God knows where’ she said and couldn’t care less about the gory details. She nursed him through his treatment and counseling. A huge cost burden apart from the emotional trauma. Luckily she and the kids were not infected. But the breaking point was his behavior. He insisted on ‘unprotected sex’ a sure way to transmit the virus!!! So finally this was the breaking point for her. A realization that this person did not really care about his child or her. A difficult to explain situation to a society who thinks she is a demon to abandon a sick spouse, the NGOs who point out not to discriminate against AIDS, her own family who cant understand much of what is happening (ignorance). But she explained everything to her kids she said as she needed them to understand what she was going through!!

One could go on as there are so many stories and experiences like these.Marriages between physically and mentally challenged people are not different than others. Expectations have to be met and managed, but there they are likely to be significantly lower. Does that make it easier may be it is!

On a lighter vein, in a work related context, I heard the word ‘expectation based management’ from a HQ colleague recently. What he means that all work processes that have been carefully mapped and agreed upon, could basically take a walk. And this was a kind of top down approach where ‘expectations’ will be set and everyone is expected to deliver!!!

By Prakruti–


Ten Signs April 2, 2007

Filed under: Management,Reflections — togetherwebond @ 11:17 am

Reading the tell tale signs of commitment phobia in women was no epiphany for me. I have almost all of them and generally suspected that I have a great fear of getting into a bad situation – once bitten, twice shy and all that. Of the ten on the list, I identify most strongly with 4,5,8 and to some extent with 3.

1. You have a long and elaborate list of requirements for your ideal mate.
2. You go from one short-lived relationship to the next.
3. You have a habit of dating “unavailable” men.
4. You consider your married friends’ lives boring and think they settled for less.
5. You stay in relationships that are rocky and offer little hope of commitment.
6. You back out of plans at the last minute and have trouble setting a time for dates.
7. You cultivate large networks of friends at the expense of a single romantic relationship.
8. You have a lot of relationship trauma in your past.
9. Your career is very important to you and you often choose work over relationships.
10.You are constantly blowing “hot” and “cold” in your relationships.

Several of my girlfriends who are single moms in their 30s, do not really intend to remarry or even want to be in a long term committed relationship. Interestingly enough these seem to be goals they appear to be pursuing with some zeal or so they tell themselves. After much talk about commitment, engagement and the like, there is almost always a compelling reason not to take the final plunge.

Their twelve year old would get all confused with two dads competing for turf and attention, they are not emotionally ready to start a new family complete with another child plus thirty seven is too late for motherhood anyways. They can’t deal with another bunch of in-laws. His ex is shrew and he’s not fully over her yet. Finally status quo is safer more certain territory – why fix something that is not broke ?

It is common for these women to be surrounded by a bunch of likeminded girlfriends. They hang out with the gang making it difficult for the interested man to break into the clique, test the waters of the dating market tentatively at best, fully prepared to withdraw if it gets too complicated. Marriage no longer has any special significance to them mainly because their desire for motherhood is fulfilled.

It would seem like a man is useful only for purposes of procreation and quite disposable thereafter. This is not to minimize the pain that these women have been through in their marriage and relationships but it does seem that attaining motherhood acts as the deal breaker for a relationship already on the rocks.

Having achieved a new lease of life and a second shot at being single (and this time in no rush to marry) they no longer find it conceivable to settle for less, to cut corners or compromise in marriage. The dread biological clock factor no longer forces precipitate decisions. It also helps that men are so abundantly and readily available for short term flings.

The attitudes I speak of are more commonly seen in the west though the women in question can very well be from the east. I am sure as divorces become more common back home, women there will feel a lot like their sisters in the west. In a society that accepts their marital status (or the lack of it) so effortlessly, they are able to discover the distinct advantages of their circumstances and make the most of it. The combination of motherhood, unbridled freedom and not needing to adjust and compromise at every turn outweighs the value of the “married” tag for women who have had to pay a high price to come out of one.

By Heartcrossings-