Once a renowned Baba asked me … “do you know who is your worst adversary?” … and when i was going through the list of people who it could be, he said “your spouse”. “Think”, how said, “how many married people you know who have so-called successful marriages?”. “Successful as defined in the fairy tales?”. “And here is your lesson”. “Don’t “look” for “something” in marriage. Do not pre-imagine and compare what a marriage should ideally be. Do not have a “checklist”. For your soul will pooh-pooh your egoistic, childish desires in a jiffy.”, the Baba said. “Trust the universe. Give the decision to something larger than you. It is not a project to be planned or budgeted for. There are no deliverables, no measurables”.
And that is the crux of marriage. Our spouse is our constant companion, our mirror which we look into every morning reflecting, perhaps, our worst reflection. That one person who sees us at our weakest, worst, embarrassing moments. Witnesses reactions, aspects of ourselves which we would like to keep deeply buried. Our closest adversary. Who is hated because, inspite of all this, with true generosity this person lives with us, supports us, cares for us and loves us. They love us for what we are and not who we think we are or even what we would like to be. To them, we no longer are only the Prince or Princess while we romanced. Not only the super-heroes who will save the world or slay the dragons. To them we are also ordinary mortals in our most human form. And that is why though we want our spouse so badly, we fear them most. They reflect to us what we are, what we cannot face.
They are different from parents, siblings, family and friends. For these three types of soulmates come with a contract to support. While the spouse comes with a soul-contract to challenge. He/she challenges you constantly, giving you opportunity to verify your truths and beliefs and reconstruct them where necessary. They are closer in body, mind and spirit to you than anyone else. They challenge us to give up (or share) our precious dreams, material comforts, personal spaces. They puts us in tight spots, testing our skills of getting out without breaking anything. They bring lessons in control issues and force us to deal with them – either in being in control or being controlled. They teach us to stand – to stand aside, to stand upto, to stand against, to stand up for … ourselves.
And after having climbed several mountains, and having crossed several deserts, and having leaped across several abysses, over several years, we look into one another’s eyes and know that the journey was needed – exactly as it was. Whether one is together or not. Whether one lost one’s spouse through seperation or death. Whether one lives together with joy or pain. The journey could not have been any different, and could not have been with anyone else, because these lessons were necessary for our growth. The lessons can be as many as there are people. And at the end of it, while you watch the sun going down on your life, you will be lucky if you realise that you are a better human being today because of your spouse.
“Your marriage will only be that which you need, not what you want.”, I concluded.