Why’d you marry him?

K and I celebrated out five years of being engaged on the 27th of January- and of course at some point during the day, I pulled out the photographs to stare at the people we had been back then, trying to remember with clarity what I had thought, felt and imagined my life would be that I said yes to him.

Khiz  and Fati ask me quite regularly, how did you know he was it and I can’t recall what answer other than the wildly vague and generic “You just know” I have given them but the truth of the matter is, looking at the 5-years younger picture of myself beaming happily at everyone and everything in sight, I have no idea how anyone knows. Do we simply take a leap of faith because at the moment that person presents the best option? Or do you base the spur of the moment adrenaline rush on the previous years of heartbreak and disappointment and go with the option least likely to cause further damage?

Someone who I used to know back in the day laid a lot of emphasis on what he used to call the Nesting Theory. He claimed that there was a time in each woman’s life when she decided it was time for her to settle down, after she had done her sowing of wild oats and what not – and she simply went out and did it. Easy peasy. At that time I had pooh pahed his theory stating firmly that it was not applicable to all women, but over the years when I have seen a particularly mismatched couple smiling away on the wedding stage, I can hear his voice in my head. Perhaps it is a certain alarm that rings a bell and any man who is halfway a reasonable match, suddenly looks a pleasing prospect. Maybe as women, we can fool ourselves into thinking that what is infront of us is the best it will get. Sadly I know a lot of women who later regret that move, who after 4-5 years of marriage have come to the conclusion that they could have done better had they understood who they were.

Who we are. Which brings me to my next question. So if we marry based on who we are at a specific time in life, what happens when we change? And change we inevitably must. What happens when the people who got married amidst the dhol dhamaka are no longer there- and instead you see two people who are almost strangers? Separation and divorce. Two words we, as a generation are so comfortable with that we even fire it off as false ammunition when need be. So I put all these questions and thoughts out loud to k, who I am secretly sure loves this slightly zany mad thinking side to me with all his heart.

“Compared to how I know you now, I barely knew you back then- what was I thinking saying yes to you?” I ask him, quite dramatically if I say so myself. I can see form his face he is trying not to take this personally- or laugh. ” I mean I had no clue what we would be like together- and given my love for over thinking, what did I then base my answer on?  I honestly cannot recall”  I say, truly quite baffled. I know for many people, it is simply about the next step, because they have been together so long- or have reached a point where status quo has to be changed. What was it for me? What did I sense K have that I needed in my life? Was I sick of being alone? Was I afraid of turning into a cynic? Was I excited about the kind of life I felt we could have together? Did something about who he was put something about who I was at peace? Was it passion? Lust? Love? An alternative?

You marry someone who you think will change and adapt and grow with you, he says and I try not to roll my eyes at this very guy point of view. Change, Adapt. I hate those words. I know what he is saying but those words make life togteher, marraige sounds so tedious. Like a project done in font size 8. You marry someone who you can see next to you as you envision doing all the things you want in life. Since the explanation gets better, I decided to let him off the hook for now.

Reading this sounds like I am going through some 5 year point existential crisis trying to make sense of  whether marrying k was the right thing to do or not. I assure you its not, but the whole awareness of the time having changed us did make me revisit the person who I used to be. I pulled out my journal and read up my thoughts of back then. I read and I remembered exactly where I was standing and who I was when I said yes to a life together with k, and yes, I think I married him because I felt that together, we could have something that had eluded me in the past. And even though I don’t think I had any idea of who he was compared to how I know him now, but I am quite relieved to know that I wasn’t too far off the mark in what I obviously felt we could have. Sometimes in the midst of the madness of how its turned out, its nice to be reminded of exactly why one does marry, and that in the right place and time, the memory of it can sustain you.


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14 thoughts on “Why’d you marry him?”

  1. love the new header.
    about this post, funny, we got married the same year, didn’t we? made me think about why i said yes to Z. i think it was mostly for me like your friend said, a need to settle down, and a need to go with the option least likely to cause anymore damage, like you said.
    i made the decision with my mind more than my heart but i think in the end it worked out very well. I could see even then that Z would be kind and loving and ‘there for me’ – whatever that meant to me then but has different connotations now. and i said yes without thinking or feeling much else.
    but i AM glad everything worked out the way it did. i don’t think we could have planned for things to work out better than they did in the end, right?

  2. Mona, thanks. I think there comes a point after we have decided with our hearts long enough (and suffered!) that we decide to give the mind a break and listen to it. I believe the heart still gets it own way here also mostly because I prefer to believe that we can never be the complete mind over heart kinda girls 😉

    Really glad you gave your view also- because its been someting I was thinking about and ended up asking a few of my friends. And yes, planning is quite useless infront of the Grand Plan He has for us – we plan and plan and plan but he goes ahead and gives us something we never imagined – and thank God for that!! hahah 😀

  3. the question is, how do you explain all these points to the aunties out there? 😦

    i’ve thought abt his so many times and looking back at past experience, i refuse to give in and settle for anything less than what you kind of mentioned here..
    i seriously hope ‘my plan’ is for the best. i’m not complaining, but i feel being single -and content with it- is much better than being trapped in a miserable marriage. especially with all the separation and divorce stories you keep hearing abt nowadays.. that happen for the weirdest reason.. its better to be safe than sorry. and is something goes wrong, i dont want to blame anyone for it.
    in major decisions i’ve always followed my gut feeling, when it all just ~feels~ right. and i havent been disappointed (al hamdulillah)

    i dont know, this is just a personal opinion.. i could be wrong… and very late! then someday ppl will point fingers at me and go ‘see, we told you so’.
    as for now, waiting for some Grand Plan to take action.

    thank you so much for this post. the timing was perfect 🙂

  4. i’m SO glad you didnt put up the other picture.
    the one of the benjamin sisters. however awesome it looked. i freaked out when i saw the picture in my mail box. it felt like i should have been holding a BiGMAC.

  5. ps.i think you marrying K was pure genius. 5 years down the line we are one beautiful baby richer…and yes, K is pretty darn awesome too.
    in a world full of robotic marriages and divorces…you and K help keep the faith alive.
    love you both!

  6. you have been tagged.
    the tag and your post are kind of interlinked…this morning i was quizzing my partner in crime about “why he married me” et al, and he was mumbling ‘umm because i wanted your genes in arhaan”, “because you are so nice”, “no no you have not changed” i was getting really bummed esp as he had left not without saying khuda hafiz properly, and well this is a question ive asked myself a hundred times considering ive always changed my mind at the last moment when it came to the X-Files (!!) so why him? was it The Taxi Light Flashing as they say in sex and the city,a nesting instinct? Esp as we are pretty different, he seems too “unfeeling” to my “empathy towards all” , his “itna kiyoo likhtey hain” as he weighs a tome to my reading even a scrap of paper the samosa is wrapped in. I had my answer when after a day of bickering and snapping at each other (and even a cold war when he came home ), when I turned to him stuck in the middle of the tag and asked him What Is It I Usually Quote From Films he promptly quoted some of my favs, I realised then that this is a significant reason we chose to marry each other, we recognized that no matter how ‘antagonistic’ life may make us (towards each other) when the chips are down we know the other has our back. I know it doesnt sound very romantic but its REALLY important that we recognize who we marry is a team player.

  7. aneela z- I believe that you, my friend, have hit on the truest truth of them all. That right along love shove and all that, you simply need something who is playing for the same team you are. Lagta hai all the travelling has made you so much the more wiser haan?

  8. lol.

    This must be in the air or something.

    Yesterday someone asked me, “So what did you see in him? Why did you say yes?” and I joked around it because what I saw in him and why I said yes were big questions and not something I could answer as flippantly as I would have answered any other query like.. I don’t know. What’s your favorite fast food restaurant.. Why and for what reason I chose to marry the man I did is really not as simple as it has turned out to be.

    I like your post. It’s definitely something that’s been going on in my mind for a while as well. Do we choose someone because we’re at that place in life or do we choose him because we’d like to see us in a specific place in the future? Do we choose him for his looks, his personality, his overall choices in life? Or do we choose him because we get a good feeling when he’s around?

    I think it’s a gamble either way. Whether you make all the right choices thinking that you’ve made all the right choices or you just end up following a feeling that just feels … good. I don’t know. That’s what I did in B’s case. I just always had this faith. In all the ups and downs that came in the five years of knowing him, there was a strong feeling… something that said he’s the one.

    lol. I sound a lot like Ted Mosby now … but it really is true.


  9. its that feeling. cant explain it, its everything everyone else has said, but at its core, its a feeling, a faith, when even if u convince urself to pull away for some godforsaken reason which seemed so logical, he does something in the very next moment to convince u he’s the one. that the spat u had was inconsequential. and that he’s the ONLY one there is, who gets u without u having to say a word. well, most of the time anyway 😉
    and then u marry him and life actually becomes simpler than ever before. and a question like this is the only thing that makes u think, so why DID i marry him? and you thank God that you did 🙂
    atleast thats how i see it 🙂

  10. its everyone own story na- what made them decide at the time that this was the best they could do- because at the end of it all, if you really dont want to, i m guessing you really wont?

  11. when i was once asked the same, “how did you know he was ‘the one’?”, i replied with the same “you just know”. and it’s true, i just knew. . . i did, i just knew that he was the one i wanted to spend the rest of my life with. doing things with, sharing dreams with, achieving goals with. i wanted his hand to be the hand when i felt i needed one, and his smile to be the smile that reflected mine when happiness came our way.
    so i think khalid is not too far from the truth at all when he said “You marry someone who you think will change and adapt and grow with you” i think he’s spot on.
    but getting back to the seemingly irrational “i just knew” – for all those who have felt it and said it, it’s a feeling unlike any other. the nesting theory didnt apply to me, though i am sure it does to many. i had envisioned myself as a successful business woman, whizzing around in my self-driven car, worrying about marriage some time in my late 20’s. plan what you will, life had it that i was engaged at 21 and married at 22 to a man i ‘just knew’ was the one that i wanted to share it all with.
    i also said that i never wanted to get married while still studying, and look how that turned out 😀
    i think that women have a magically strong sixth sense, a power of intuition (meaning of which, btw, so beautifully explains the phenonmenon: the apparent ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason.) it’s exactly that power of intuition that makes you feel that he’s the man you should marry. it’s that sixth sense your mama gave you (atleast mine did, she should’ve worked for the CIA!) that silently tells you that he is what you need.
    i don’t know about anyone else, but i really need to pay a little bit more heed to my sixth sense. she has saved my butt on a number of occasions, and shown me more than i could have ever uncovered without her inching me in the right direction. and she is the reason that i am where i am today, blessed to be feeling the things i have, and experiencing life and love in the best way possible.
    i wish everyone many many more wonderful years of helping each other grow into themselves 🙂

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