HOW MUCH EMOTIONAL SPACE DO WE OCCUPY UP IN OUR RELATIONSHIP?

My co-writers have talked much about Allowing Space in any relationship. It may be between spouses, other family members, friends, colleagues and so on. Space is always necessary for the growth of an individual, no doubt about it but I somehow feel very apprehensive of this term SPACE in a marital bond. Because a marriage always involves two different individuals where they grow together in that beautiful institute. If the husband is having a growth and the wife is not growing along with her spouse or vice versa then there’s something wrong in that marriage. But again as an individual each person needs to grow for him or her own self. In that case a reasonable amount of space is indispensable for both the partners individually.

Now in a relationship, how much emotional space does each partner occupy is essential to know. But before that we need to understand what does this term ‘Emotional Space’ means. Emotional Space is the time, energy, and space a partner spends dealing with or listening to the emotions, words, thoughts, needs, etc. of the other partner.

There are three types of scenarios that we find concerning Emotional Space which will help us to understand where we stand individually and together in our own marriage. Those scenarios are as follows:

Scenario 1

WHERE ONE PARTNER USES UP MOST OF THE EMOTIONAL SPACE

In this kind of scenario, one partner usually seen to be involved too much in a marital relationship and expressing most of the time where as the other partner seem to be uninvolved. One person may seem extremely emotional, needy, intense etc., while the other person may seem to be aloof and seem to have no needs at all in a marriage.

In my marriage, I actually feel very content at times and feel my wife to be complaining and needy all the time. It’s good that this scenario doesn’t exist all the time in our marriage.

Scenario 2

Where NEITHER of the PERSONs uses UP ANY EMOTIONAL SPACE

In this kind of scenario, two individuals seem to be enjoying each other’s company and can be intimate with each other but they don’t feel the need of any emotions in their relationship. Whether they have been staying long or short they fail to move deeper into each other’s emotional lives.

Sometimes, I feel very scared when I find both of us holding our phones and busy using up our so called space. I ask this question to myself that time, “Are we drifting apart?”

Usually, this is a worst scenario of a marriage relationship where the partners are busy with everything but themselves. Usually, they keep drifting apart till they get separated.

Scenario 3

Where BOTH the PErsons use UP required EMOTIONAL SPACE

This has to be the best scenario where both the partners deeply get involved with each other emotionally. They occupy the emotional space equally and beautifully. This is definitely the most ideal and healthy marriage relationship where neither of the partners will ever take the step up shutting out the other or stay far away emotionally for long.

Friends! Where do we stand in our marriage relationship today? Are we drifting apart in the names of space or staying involved in our marriage with joy?

Remember, if we are involved emotionally more with an outsider (includes our parents or siblings or closest of friends) than our own partners then there’s something wrong in our relationship which needs to be considered right away.

So, how much emotional space do you occupy in your relationship?

Keep reading and keep pondering,

Stay blessed!

BEING ALONE

Being alone 2

Those who know me in person would be rather surprised that I am blogging something about being alone! Ha ha.. someone who is always chattering and who is always surrounded by friends is talking about being alone, what an irony!

But its indeed true, my friends. Some who have known me inside out would vouch the fact that I am moody – I think all cancerians are 😉 well, no blame on the sun sign, but yes, I am indeed moody. I like to be with friends but I like to be alone. I know this doesn’t make sense, but this is what it is.

I will give you an example. I could have an amazing day out with friends, but later in the night I would want to withdraw, I would want to be with myself, I would want to be alone. Funny, isn’t it? Actually, it is not!

I believe that when we are continuously surrounded by people, be it friends or family or colleagues, we are often influenced by them. In some cases, we are intimidated by some people and at other times we are overwhelmed by certain dominating personalities around us. Sometimes we often behave in a particular fashion because that is what is expected from us. And many times we behave unnatural to please an important person around us. I agree that all this is inevitable but I feel lost in all this clutter. I feel artificial and I don’t like it. As the saying goes – “when in Rome do as Romans do” I would continue to be like that all through the day, but in the end I like to withdraw and be myself.

I like to sit down and do nothing – absolutely nothing. Because this is time when my mind ponders over what I really want – what I really want from life and what I really want from myself. All through the day I may focus on what others want from me, but at the end of it all, I think it is very important that I understand what do I want, what do I feel. That’s why I like being alone. All alone.

Life had changed so much after marriage. Suddenly I was feeling so busy with all the new responsibilities that I felt like I am having identity crisis because in the initial time of an Indian marriage – it’s more about being the daughter in law than being yourself. I had to change my likes and dislikes, I had to adapt to the new way of making food and I had to change the sleeping and waking up time too! No cribbing about that because almost all girls go through it, but the point here is that the transformation phase was so overwhelming and that was the point when the thought of being alone crept into my heart.

Fortunately or unfortunately I got a work assignment that took me to Europe for 15 days – all alone. No family no colleagues. I was so happy for those 15 days. I did miss my family for sure, but I didn’t fear the loneliness that came along with it because of time zone difference. I used that time for all that I always wanted to do without being disturbed – read, read and read more (books), sleep for long, watch senseless shows on television and take showers for a long time. Wow! It was indeed refreshing.

Many a times I just vanish from my friend circle – not that I cut contacts with them but it may not be like a usual call to ask how they are doing or have usual chats on the messages. And this is so frustrating for my friends I know, but I do have this “Being Alone” streak to my personality. And I really like that. Because it gives me time to understand myself. If I can’t understand myself how will I be able to understand others?

When I say I like to be alone I am absolutely clear to myself that I don’t want to be alone for life. I can’t imagine my life without my family and my friends. But yes, I certainly want to be alone on certain occasions. I echo Celine Dion’s words “Some people can’t stand being alone. I love solitude and silence. But when I come out of it, I am a regular talking machine”

I learn about my mistakes when I am alone and it gives me strength to accept those mistakes and apologize for them. It is so difficult to apologize, not many are able to do so. That’s because when a person makes a mistake, often he tends to defend himself. More than explaining, it is a process where the person is trying to makeup an excuse to himself. I have done that, but when I am alone, I acknowledge the fact that it’s easy to convince others about your mistakes but it is very difficult to convince yourself. I can see through my mistakes more clearly and I am able to understand why did I do so. And all this happens only when I am alone. All alone!

To conclude, I would say that being alone makes me a better human being, it makes me happy. But I reiterate that I also value to be around with my family. Jodie Foster’s words describe me perfectly

“Its an interesting combination: Having a great fear of being alone, and having a great need for solitude and the solitary experience . That’s always been a tug of war for me.”

I like to push and pull myself in this tug of war 🙂

DO YOU GIVE ENOUGH SPACE?

Read this:

babyyouaremylifeandIwanttoconfessittodayIcan’treallyimaginemyworldwithouyouYougivemehopeyouaremypassionandyouarecompassionEveryemotionthatIfeelinlifestartsfromyouandendsonyouIfIgetanotherbirthinlifeIwouldliketospenditalongwithyouYouarethemostspecialpersoninmylifeBabyyouaremyworldandIcan’tlivewithoutyouWanttospeciallyconfesstodaythatIstillloveyouandmyloveforyouistrueIloveyou!

Now read this:

Baby you are my life and I want to confess it today. I can’t really imagine my world without you. You give me hope, you are my passion and you are compassion. Every emotion that I feel in life starts from you and ends on you. If I get another birth in life, I would like to spend it along with you. You are the most special person in my life. Baby you are my world and I can’t live without you. Want to specially confess today that I still love you and my love for you is true. I love you!

When you read the first part, how difficult was it to read? Most of you must have skipped reading this part because of its tedious appearance. The beautiful message (part2) lost its essence only because there was no space between the words. It made a lot more sense and could give out the feelings in part 2 only because it was spaced properly.

Same happens with relationships. If you do not give space, the relationship becomes complicated and looses its essence. The charm of the relationship dies. Space is necessary.

Spacebar is the longest key on the keyboard. Ever wondered why? Because, SPACE is very important.

Give space, make life easy and beautiful.

SOCIETY CAN YOU MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS, PLEASE?

I was in school when I read this line “Man is a social animal“.

As I grew up I realised that it made so much sense as a human being cannot live in solitude.  He needs constant support of the society around him for his survival.

And what’s Society? It’s You + Me = WE.

It’s all about inter-dependence, co-ordination and co-operation.

But over the ages with the evolution and development of civilizations across the globe the society has not just been an integral part of a man’s life as a support system but started poking nose into the private matters of his life and tuned more hostile, encroaching the space, the domain not meant for trespassing.

Petty examples explaining the gravity of the situation, of how the “society” is not just around us but very much in our living room or perhaps (worse) in our bedroom.

  • Marriage which is a very personal affair/ decision has always been a matter of keen interest for the neighbours and relatives.  “When are you getting married”, “why aren’t you getting married”, “your marriageable age is already passing, you must hurry up now before its too late”.  These questions might seem to be funny on this page but when in shoes of those, facing them, it’s irritating beyond explanation to answer such recurring questions to those who are not even remotely connected to their lives.
  • Marriages especially in countries like India have always been grand affairs.  No stone is left unturned to make it memorable. But unfortunately the prime motto of having all this glitter and bling is to impress “chaar log” ( Indian meme for friends+relatives = society).  Even if a suggestion is passed off to keep it minimalist pat comes a reply “log Kya kahenge” ( what would people say). And none of those “log” would come to pay off debts that one makes for this pompous celebration.
  • A neighbour always eavesdrop to listen what’s going on in other’s house, is everything alright between a daughter in law and  a mother in law or not?  And by “everything alright” I mean they are fighting  (that’s a rule of thumb perceived by many for that relation).  If that condition is fulfilled then their quota for gossip is filled for that week.
  • Honour killings are nothing but a grave offshoot of this habit of society appeasement. A family won’t mind turning criminal by breaking law as it is more honourable than allowing two individuals to culminate into one barring the lines of caste and religion. What a shame!
  • Rules and regulations as to how one should dress, behave, eat etc. are prime examples as to how our society controls our lives.

Man is under constant pressure of behaving himself so as to not to infuriate the society and face its wrath.  Fear of being judged, fear of being outcasted is rendering him helpless and hindering him from thinking, thinking free rather.

From Socrates to Newton; from Raja Ram Mohan Roy to Malala Yosouf, society around them have been telling them:

Dare to dream, dare to fly

We are here to chop off your wings and never let you try”.

Biggest Truth or Irony:  A society which is meant for the betterment of every individual comprising it never (of late) really means it.  Had it been so why would one empty the trash in front of other’s house? And mind you that’s not an unmindful act, people do it deliberately; Why no one would raise a voice against an eve-teaser teasing a girl in full public glare? For that matter why any injustice is tolerated or goes unnoticed willingly with a coward thought of “let’s not get into it“, ” how does it concern it to me“.   Truth is when it really matters the so-called “Society” deters from taking a charge and involving in our lives and set a life changing example for everyone to follow henceforth.

Hence my only request to the society:  “If you can’t stand for and with me when it matters, don’t try to crawl and make inroads into my haven later.  In this world I have a small world of my own : my family and my life, and that’s my space! Would you mind leaving that to me and minding your own Business, Please?”

​PRACTICE THE PAUSE

Scene One (Google Inc.)
Scene Two (Google Inc.)
Scene Three (Google Inc.)

One of my friends, who entered her married life, was super excited about her new phase, just like any other girl. She was very happy to get a doting husband and a caring mom-in-law. But gradually, she realised that her mother-in-law was over-protective about her son and would make a long face if she and her husband would go out together. At home also, whenever she used to sit and chat with her husband, her mother-in-law would come and sit with them. Though her father-in-law was a jolly man, he would keep himself busy with gardening and playing billiards, she badly wished that her mother-in-law also had something constructive to do, rather than poking nose in her life every other minute. The result- frequent feuds began in the house causing disharmony.

Another incident I read recently about a man, whose wife left him because she wanted space and he was getting too clingy.

“I need some breather”

“I need a break”

“I want some space”

We have often said these sentences at some point or the other. Everyone needs a break, to have his/own space. Even small children, as little as toddlers, need space, which is why we give them free play. Free play has been included in the pre-primary curriculum also, as it promotes brain development, where the children are allowed to do whatever they like, without any instructions.

My 6 year old wants his space and asks for it when he wants by saying- “Leave it Mumma, I will do it myself”. With my 2 year old, I try to let him play himself, without my intervention, unless he wants to. 

When I was a kid, I always longed for a room of my own and when I got, I used to dance, make jewellery and dresses for my Barbie, write secret letters to my cousins and make surprise birthday cards. It was great fun to have that sense of being alone and independent. 

As I grew up, got married and became a mother, I realised how importance it is to have your own space and have a “me time”.  When I had postpartum depression after my first son, my childhood doctor at my native place said, “Take your child in the pram and go out for a walk with him daily”. It helped, breaking the monotonous routine.

I remember once my brother-in-law said that no matter how busy I may be, with children or household chores, I need to have a time of my own, where no one can disturb me and its up to me only how I manage to have that time. True, no one else is responsible for your happiness, except you. So, give space and have your own too.

​WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY SPACE?

WhatsApp Image 2018-07-24 at 5.22.00 PMSpace! How do you define space in a relationship? More importantly how do you find space in a relationship? Careful in your quest for space or you will end up in the real space like this cartoon.

Be it friendship or love or marriage every relationship is plagued with this issue of space. Actually, there is a very thin line between being too close and giving too much space and drifting apart. Let’s take a case study.

Arush and Priya were a young successful and fun couple, they had a 4-year-old daughter. A new couple shifted in their neighbourhood Sunaina and Vineet. They too had small kids. Both the couples hit it off well and that was the beginning of a close friendship. They used to go out together for movies, malls and trips etc. Their kids also jelled well. Things were going fine. But this did not last for long. Slowly uneasiness started creeping in. Priya felt that they were missing out on family time because every outing was with friends. Sunaina started feeling that Priya was having too much say in their family matters. These small differences started to take a toll on the couple’s relationships and one fine day it turned into a big issue and now they are not even on talking terms.

Maybe you find this story a bit exaggerated but these kinds of things do happen. Too much closeness is also detrimental for the health of a relationship. Even when we are very close friends we shouldn’t expect to do each and everything together. All of us need some ME time. That I think is the definition of space.

This kind of expectation is there in married couples as well. Couples doing everything together might sound like a good idea but slowly it leads to boredom and irritation. We all have our own set of friends with whom we might want to hang out. Or there might be some activities like football or fishing or dance which only the husband enjoys or the wife enjoys. Don’t grudge your spouse that happiness. Let them enjoy and they will come back to you happier and would in turn make you happy too.

A downside to this could be giving too much space. If my friend and me are not spending enough time together there is a great risk of her drifting away from me. Or thinking that I am aloof to her needs. Same is the case in a marriage also. We all must have heard of divorces happening because the two of them drifted apart and there was hardly anything left in common.

That is why I said that there is a very thin line between both the eventualities and we need to walk this line for every relationship. A step or two this side or that is ok but don’t digress too much from the line and your relationships will stay healthy

PACING FOR SPACE

as growing up
I was surprised
and taken back
when
dad asked me
to sleep separately
he said something
something called space
which
I am yet to understand

years passed
and
I had a baby brother
after nine long years
some more years
I entered teenage
mom and dad
were after me
poking into my privacy
checking on me
when I dressed up
overhearing me
when I called my friends
Oh ! is this called space
that I need badly

I became a maiden
and my brother
an adolescent teen
I understood space
by now
very professionally

I was married to someone
who I never met
love is in the air
and
so did I experience
I hated anyone
who invaded our space
we planned our first child
few years after we
cherished the marital bliss
fate had some plans
I gave birth
after a year
to enter
the world of
motherhood
at workplace and family
I forgot about the space
until one day
when I gazed myself
in the mirror

What a mess
have I made to myself
my hair was sticky
with few strands of silver
eyes swollen
with dark circles
and cracked lips
although
I was happy
that our family was complete
I was sad
to see me incomplete
with
dashes and comma

I checked
on my better half
he looked cherub
and happy
as a lark
juggling between
family and work
I lost my space
space where I enjoyed
being just me

love is strange
while it brings us close
it pushes us further away
balancing togetherness
and space
is not an easy task
but
it’s worth a try
the fairytale
does not end
with the words
happily ever after
the real life begins
where the tale ends

at some point
too much of anything
is stressful in life
like a lip-locked kiss
that has to come up for air
love and relationships
need space to grow

have the right space
that does not
stagnate your individuality
let there be some space
to keep the
excitement alive

sync for space
sink not too much with space
let there not be space
physically
breathe for the air
emotionally!