Monday, May 23, 2005

The Actions that Follow Reactions

“Why did it have to turn out THIS way?” she cried out on the phone. I held the receiver in silence not knowing what to say. My friend is going though a break up, a bad one. But whoever heard of a good one? Well, she found out something about him and it’s made her change her mind about the 4 year relationship and she wants out. If things had been different, they would be getting married next month. No, neither of them has been unfaithful. Neither of them lied to the other. And there is no abuse of any kind involved. It is not about falling “out” of love either. I know that makes it seem like a drastic move on her part. But wait, before all the Aunties and Moms go “4 years of the best years of her life! How will she find someone now? She isn’t getting any younger!” I’ll like to say I very much support her decision and the whiners will not be tolerated. A particular situation which involves her more so than him, had him reacting in a way she did not expect. Now, most people and more so men and women, think so unlike one another that often, a decision made by one can be questioned by the other unendingly. One will fail to see the logic of the other and that’s when we have the full-blown yelling matches or the freezing-out episodes. But then at some point, one will try to unravel how important is that decision to you, and how important is this to the other. EVERYTHING cannot be EQUALLY important to the both of you. And that is when one will step back. If that evaluation does not happen, the fight will never end.

Come back, my sermon is over. So now, in the case of my friend, this event was definitely HERS. The situation involved her family and her, but she needed his support. His simple understanding of the matter and maybe a little bit of his involvement. But the guy did not agree with her stance. He did not do the 1 minute evaluation – “How important is this to me? And how important is this to her?” So the fight never ended, though the event is long over. Obviously, this has left a permanent scar and months later, it still bothers her. Finally she realized that she could not live with this. But it’s still left her miserable and the natural self-doubts and “What ifs” and “Should haves” are being dragged out and pondered on and analyzed to death. I am only the sounding board she needs at the moment. She is way too intelligent to expect me to actually give her a solution. But she knows I trust her to get over this. She is one of the smartest and strongest people I know.

Still holding the receiver, in my natural “Knowledge is power” approach to matters I say “Aren’t you glad though you saw this side of him NOW? If you saw this after you guys got married, it would have been worse, na?” Between her sobs she said something that had me pondering all night. “But if I never knew about this side of him, I would be okay! And we would have been married by now...We would have been okay” she repeated. “Why do these things have to happen?!” was her lament. She is obviously crying for the lost feeling of being happy with him, not the realization that he might not be the person for her. But her lament had me wondering, just like it might take a high-risk activity for one to realize what kind of person you are, it takes a “high-risk” situation to find out more about your relationship. Simple enough. But what happens if there’s never any high-risk situation? Will you be left wondering all your life? But I guess it’s worse if you know the answer and it’s the wrong one. If the guy failed to see her though one of the first bridges she needed to cross, there will be bigger ones in the future and they will never be defined as “their” bridges anymore. So I am glad she found the courage to do what she did. If you’re faced with a high-risk situation, try to “pass” for your as well as for your partner’s sake. Because afterwards, whether or not your loved-one makes it to the other side or even remembers later whether he/she made it or not, your stance will never be forgotten.


Anonymous alpha said...

this sounds like my friend's story.

Boy's family wants to wait till his sister gets married. Time is ticking away and girl's family gets really agitated..want at least an engagement. Boy's family refuses and boy doesn't stand up against his family. the girl and boy split as the girl feels cheated and thinks he should have acted differently.

After 1 year, both of them haven't found anyone else. The boy's family realizes that their mistake and apologizes.

Girl still stands by her word. Finally after another year, they are back together again. She still loves does he.

grrr..if she tries to keep me up another night with her sob story.

Actually I am happy for them.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Words said during trying situations can almost never be taken back. I have experienced this. It is impossible to forget.

I like your blog, it's very varied.

12:43 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Alpha - I don't understand. Are you saying that a stance or a reaction of a boy/girl-friend/partner CAN be forgotten if there's nothing better out there? My friend's guy's reaction does not sit right for her. I fail to see how she will feel better about this and I hope she will not compromise.

Anon - Sometimes they will stay in the back of your head and surface at the next incident. Actually that's what happened with my friend.
& thank you for the compliment.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous alpha said...

I feel there is always a possibility that you will not not feel so strongly about a particular issue after a while. Your ideals might change..even if it doesn't...your heart might just not listen to your mind. In the end, like your friend says,'She just wished she didn't have to see this side at all'. She obviously is in love with him but can't get herself to accept his stance on one particular issue. Hope she doesn't regret it, that's all.

I'm not saying, go back if nothing else works..I was just stating that in such circumstances, nothing else will work as you haven't gotten over each other yet.

My friend would have been distraught if her guy found someone else even though she seemed strong enough at one point to let go and act as if she was moving on. She even checked out the arranged marriage option with numerous fellows.

Sometimes a partner who has betrayed you is easier to forget.

1:10 PM  
Blogger gvenum said...

Relationships are exteemly complex. Each one has it own dynamics. The best possible thing that the third person could do is give an ear or shoulder to the concerned. Lot of times relationships suffer from decisions/reactions based on generalizations of whats the best thing to do rather than based on dynamics of the R'ship. If the guy still stands on what he did was right without understanding her concerns than I guess she is better off without him. With 4 years behind them, was it beyond their ability of talking this issue out.?

The biggest mistake, IMO, the couples do when getting into a relationship is assuming/expecting that they get the same personal space(or get their way) as they used to get when they were singles.

Phew!!...writing this comment was harder than being in a actual relationship. :)

1:26 PM  
Blogger gvenum said...

If my earlier comments comes out as too opiniated....then I would like to tell that My opinions are not my own, I am a victim of media manipulation. Its actually on the "About" of my blog:).

1:37 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Alpha - She might not be over him yet. But it's been MONTHS since the event took place. Maybe she hung on with your theory in mind. That, with time, she might not feel this aspect was important. But obviously that did not happen. And I would not call it love so much now.

The problem here is it is being assumed that most problems are over after she finds someone to marry. I think that is where the 80% of her problems will begin. If she had a window to his behaviour so early in the game, I would consider her lucky. She KNOWS what to expect. And she does not like what she saw. The questions that will rise and the bridges they will need to cross in the future will only get bigger. And that is what I'm talking about in my post. She did not make this decision overnight too. And it is not a "fixable" matter, it is his basic nature that he displayed in the situation that she has a problem with. In my opinion, it would be stupid of her to still be with him.

"Sometimes a partner who has betrayed you is easier to forget" ???

I must go get another cuppa joe, cos again, I don't understand the above line? My friend is finding it easier to forget him that forget what he did...

gvenum - Very true. We can only sit here and discuss. I will never know the complete story. Even if I am there, my being there will change the story. The guy still thinks he did the right thing and he actually thinks her a little stupid for doing what she did. 4 years is a long time, and that's what I questioned too...but they obviously feel these are "irreconcilable differences"...

Personal space is a big issue in itself. But along with giving/taking space, comes a support factor. It's different from giving your room-mate his/her space, you also have to be able to say "This is your decision, I don't agree but I'm okay with it"....That "okay" was never she fears how many times she will end up fighting a lone battle in the future. Very justified I think..

2:21 PM  
Anonymous alpha said...

Is today the Alpha non-understanding day? It's Ok..but one last try. 'betray' here meant 'unfaithful'.

Stop making excuses to horde on caffiene.

3:11 PM  
Blogger gvenum said...

Decoding alpha's comments...I guess what he meant could be that its easy decision to forget (or get rid of)the guy who was unfaithful than the guy who is so good to get along but has difference of opinion in few matters.
In short, its easier to let go an rank bad guy than a incompatible guy.
wooohooo!! Now where's my latte:)

4:47 PM  
Blogger anantha said...

None of this relationship thingies make sense to me. I don't think there is a right answer to any relationship question. Its all perception!

5:02 PM  
Anonymous alpha said...

gvenum: thanks a million for that. Methinks Gabby fainted in overdoze. Before you pick up that coffee, please say three times in your head 'alpha is a female who paints her nails'. I noticed you called me 'dude' in my blog too.:)

5:36 PM  
Blogger anantha said...

lol Alpha :)

6:07 PM  
Blogger gvenum said...

ooopsi alpha. It was total misunderstanding on my part. My heart felt apologies. Lets say monday blues and my company's ration on coffee has caught up on me big time.

*alpha is a female who paints her nails*
*alpha is a female who paints her nails*
*alpha is a female who paints her nails*
*alpha is a female who paints her nails*
*alpha is a female who paints her nails*
*alpha is a female who paints her nails*
My double apologies.:)

6:25 PM  
Blogger thennavan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:28 PM  
Blogger thennavan said...

Easy solution:

Guy goes to Future Cloning Company Inc. in Xanadu, Anywhere and asks for exact previous-girlfriend-minus-the-particular-behavioral-trait model. After submitting specification, gets his order filled in 30 minutes.

Girl goes to Future Cloning Company Inc. in Xanadu, Anywhere and asks for exact previous-boyfriend-minus-the-particular-behavioral-trait model. After submitting specification, gets her order filled in 30 minutes.

They "both" live happily ever after :-)

Now that my customary style of commenting is done, seriously, Gabby, I hope this all works out for your friend (and I don't mean that she will have to go back to him for lack of a better option, but that whatever decision she takes in this regard, she should NEVER have to regret that later in life) :-)

7:30 PM  
Blogger MD said...

I dunno, the whole thing sounds fishy, but then you have the real scoop and I am only surmising. Better she break it off now then get herself into a messier situation.

Anyway, who am I to give advice? I had one bad desi marriage myself and don't really feel like trying for another (or a non-desi one, for that matter). This freedom is fun, actually.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Akruti said...

Relationships are compromises to an extent,but positiveones,where both know the give and take policy,no,not of any materialistic issues but of respect,both as individuals from diff idealogy or background and thinking come together and try to be with eachother is a big thing,sure,but that will workout only when both know how to respect eachother beyond "Only me" factor,Well,from me to we in all decisions sure takes effort but unless u cross it no relationship works:)
and thanks for the reply in thelast post,i completely understand what is written here:) i have been there and felt it all,and by the way,my name is not akruti{that is my blogname} i am Neelima.I am going to blogroll u,wouldn want to miss reading this place:)

8:46 PM  
Blogger phatichar said...

Tricky business, this whole human relationship thing. And I cannot comment on anything confidently without knowing the entire story. But at the outset, lemme say that life is a commitment. And we humans are humans by the sole virtue of being imperfect. Let's face it. If we looked for perfection in every one then we won't be living with ourselves, forget parents and siblings. Likewise for life partners. Ok, here we DO get to choose who we gonna live with or without. Having said that, I'm not saying we should settle in for just about anybody who walks into our lives. But what I AM saying is, we have to at some point of time, accept our life partner as he or she is. There's one point tho' that's eating me, just like it did Gabby. What did she mean by saying it would've been ok if she'd never discovered about him BEFORE marrying. How does marriage make it any better? Or by just marrying him, does that particular fault of his become liveable with? I said, we can never really put our two cents without knowing the story from both sides.

11:59 PM  
Blogger KJ said...

Hi Gabby

I pray that all goes well with ur friend.
people often say forgive & forget, whle u may forgive, but u will never forget. scars remain there.

:D As the last resort, if nothing else works then u still have single Karthik Iyer. wot say alpha? :D

12:57 AM  
Blogger anumita said...

Relationships are as complicated or as simple and easy as you make them out to be.
As long as we remember life is to be lived, with or without. And it's upto us to make the most of it, we will learn to survive and even be happy.
It's a difficult situation to be in. But nobody else can ever judge for us. Cause if they do, then moving on, and most importantly, finding happiness again, will be a hard task.

5:08 AM  
Anonymous alpha said...

yeah KJ, there is Gvenum, anti, karthik iyer... *not exactly sure of Gvenum's sexual orientation- don't want to make no assumptions*

5:09 AM  
Anonymous observer said...

Gratis, the whole story is required for me to give a view. You have more information than you are sharing obviously. It's hard for a writer too to put forth a view while holding back actuals. But it becomes even more difficult for the readers.

7:41 AM  
Blogger VC said...

Maybe mean should have a section titled "Things you may want to know about your "s.o. to-be" but are afraid to find out".

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Arjun said...

It's complicated. I agree with the fact that ones first reaction in a difficult situation usually leaves a permanent impression on the partner. Depending on the gravity of the situation it could tell you a lot about the person too. Your story does not tell us how big the 'event' involving her was. You should try to get that across.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous pinprick said...

Yeah i am of the same opinion as alpha... feelings dont always remain the same... people forget, emotions crop up again..
I dont mean she should go back to him, but you cant be so sure of the decision your taking... hope its the right one..

12:09 AM  
Blogger Pallavi said...

i guess I am happy for your friend that she found out and yet I do empathise with her..

We are often very loath to come away from the comfort level that we organize for ourselves...

I guess she is feeling very lost... since she had her life mapped out to the T and one little flicker and she is scared to start all over again..

she must realise that it is her life and circumstances does not build her life.. she builds the circumstances... SIGH...yet another lesson to learn..

1:54 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Ok people, seems like I tried saying something while with-holding so much more that the message came out all warped. And so many do not agree with what I still think is a right decision. But hey, what are comment boxes for? Thanks for coming by and leaving a note.

MD : You ARE the person to give advice. When it comes to relationships, experience is pretty valuable.
Akruti's Neelima - Thanks for blogrolling's a good thing right?...
Pallavi: Love the philosophy of your last line.

I strongly feel that if privacy was not an issue, most of you would see where this is coming from and agree with was not just a small difference of opinion, they weren't discussing city or suburbs, it was a life changing event in her life and without revealing the details of that I see it is almost impossible to garner understanding. It's not all about marriage and getting married, if we think so then we aren't very different from the Aunty generation I mentioned...and I'm glad many of ya'll see that..

Hmmm...Alpha, your Karthik Iyer planning on coming back to this side of the bank ever..?

11:47 AM  
Blogger Manish said...

Gabby I dont know what the situation is I mean what he wants and what she wants but thats for sure ke it must be something big that she cannot stand with .. and for which she is ready to leave the person with whom she spend best of her 4 years.. she must be very strong by Heart.. but still I cannot comment much as I dont know the complete story(and I am lallo enough not to guess what you are trying to tell ).. Well I still wish both get together .. or mite be ur friend is destined to marry someone else..

Sab Prabhu ki Icha ke anusar hi hota hai ..

1:30 PM  
Blogger Manish said...

Gabby I dont know what the situation is I mean what he wants and what she wants but thats for sure ke it must be something big that she cannot stand with .. and for which she is ready to leave the person with whom she spend best of her 4 years.. she must be very strong by Heart.. but still I cannot comment much as I dont know the complete story(and I am lallo enough not to guess what you are trying to tell ).. Well I still wish both get together .. or mite be ur friend is destined to marry someone else..

Sab Prabhu ki Icha ke anusar hi hota hai ..

1:31 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Thanks for your wishes Manismani...she is slightly better nowadays...

& thanks for coming by...first time here I think.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Rhyncus said...

Chalo, bahut ho gaya post please...

4:17 PM  
Blogger Peg said...

Oh the complexities of love and the forthright...sigh...

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never understood the complexities involved in marriages and relationships..because I have never been in one. So I really do nt know what to say.
what i can say is that it is never nice to see a couple break-up and 4 years in a relationship is a long time.... at the same time I am sure your friend would have thought through this thoroughly and knows what decision is best for her, so I wish her the best for her future.


8:22 PM  
Blogger phatichar said...

Yeah Gabby, next post plz...and wassa matter, you don't come anymore..busy busy, huh? :)

10:05 PM  
Blogger Suhail said...

Three days and what a yo-yo right up from barista to this one.

10:36 PM  
Blogger manuscrypts said...

...and there would be some faces, which you dont agree with or understand, but that shouldnt lessen your love...??

1:35 AM  
Blogger Manish said...

yes Gabby this was the first time I posted yesterday but I am coming to ur blog for couple of weeks..

6:08 AM  
Blogger Twilight Fairy said...

So true.. it's so essential to have that "litmus" test early on in a relationship.. if both partners make it through, it really does strengthen the relationship and of course avoids rude shocks later..

alpha - "Sometimes a partner who has betrayed you is easier to forget."

So true....completely agree with that..

Gratis, I guess alpha meant that it's easier in comparison with when you dont really hate him for anything but have to breakup for your own good.. breaking up with someone you have come to dislike/hate because of something drastic is much easier than when you still have feelings for the other person..

7:40 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Rhyncs - In a bit...a piece that was typed in a "bit" will show :)

Peg - A tangled web indeed..

Ashwin - She trying to sort it out...I guess headstrong friends like me are confusing her even more!!

Phatichar - Crazy time at work and vacation coming you'll see...

Suhail - I am not on mood elevators/depressants...I repeat this time and again to cleanse the image :)

Manu - This face actually hurt her...I guess that threshold-for-tolerance was scaled...otherwise she's quite a tolerant person I would say...Ah but she's my friend..

Mani - A ghost reader huh?

T Fairy - Yes, maybe. But betrayal comes in so many ways. Cheating with another person is just one form, don't you agree?..

4:10 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

T fairy - And it's true that if you come out of a tough spot together, it'll strengthen you...but the "together" is the key-word there...If you end up dealing with the issue all alone, you might emerge victorious but wiser of your partner's ways..that's kinda what happened with my friend.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Ashish Gupta said...

Sometimes a partner who has betrayed you is easier to forget THAN the pain of not having THAT person ur partner anymore!

In every relationship there is one person who loves more than the other person loves.

Sometimes we have to let go such things... of course by not turning a blind eye to them or simply just forgiving BUT BY TALKING IT OUT. If after 4 years they cannot talk it then may be they are too immature-- at least u can tell them so and reprimand them and humiliate them INTO talking it out; just SOMEHOW make them talk... better make them sit together some place -- make them take out their grudges, make them cry ....

This incident might not be that biiig to forget or to put in the closet with all the love in their married future life but the break-up will certainly take the toll on their emotional lives for all the years to come of their physical life. I am sure they must have not given this bullshit "event" that much thoughts than they must have given to things they would do together, their post marriage thoughts, their married family life, their children, their parents, the places they would go and the things they'd do and ...
Oh gawd this breaking-up thing is soooo killing ... and now she wants to do away with all those dreams :O and that duffer isn't even apologising on his knees #-o

I dread these situations happening with anyone ever since I broke up with my ex-frnd :(

Though I know I am sounding harsh {sorry for that} but don't u just kick dust and raise hue n cry about understanding her and a shoulder for her to cry on .... instead go kick her ass and as I said make them sit ALONE and just TALK EVERYTHING OUT - their wants, their expectations n desires,
their unfulfilled selves, and wat not . . .. . pls pls pls STOP THEM.. they are murdering a life they haven't started living!!

Think it this way.... ur humiliation of calling them silly n immature to break up might force them to sit back n think and who knows you could forge a breaking relationship. You might make her realise her 'mistake' (though no one is wrong in any relationship so its not really a mistake on her part too...).

In fact, pls find out HIS close frnd(s) and ask them to put some PEER PRESSURE on him to flush his ego down the drains and accept his 'mistake' and apologise and make up with her.... if they both see you all frnds criticising their decision they both might want to take a second look at their case again.

and cut out ur bridge-crossing bullshit! One bridge crossed by her alone doesn't mean he won't be there on other bridges. Sometimes we have to walk on our own- he might have just not realised she needed him that badly and would make such an "UGLY" scene out of it. In fact this could be a great lesson and he'll surely learn a lot from it- dont u agree with me that we men are soo goddamn FOOLISH when it comes to see unsaid things with girls :-S


12:43 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

ashish - i did try to talk sense into them yaar. come on, of course those attempts were made. the guy refuses to talk to me! she is tired, exhausted. that's not a good feeling.

i understand where you're coming from but it seems like this "event" hurt her more than she can recover from. it seems like a little event in my story but the truth is it was a life changing one for her.

thanks for your comments and for visiting. first time here right? welcome!

9:32 PM  
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10:32 PM  

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