Marriage & Family
“It was actually not her fault as many people had declared. She was young, smart, well-educated and ALONE so it was obvious for her to fall into an extra-marital affair”, my cousin despairingly divulged. After exhausting weekdays, I generally sit together with a couple of young cousins who live nearby. This practice of living apart together has been continuing since years and helps us to relax ourselves through discussing many problems that exist in society. That day, we arrived at a controversial yet important issue and began scrutinizing it through diverse perspectives. It started off with a random case of a woman who fell into a love affair outside of her marriage. The woman was a friend of my cousin and ‘happily married’ according to many people as her husband was a rich, qualified man based in America. He had left behind his wife in Pakistan barely two months after their marriage and did not return for the next seven years. The man did not disappear and he was a responsible husband, if speaking in material terms. The woman had a luxurious life as the man furnished her with every valuable item possible but then what forced her to step out of marriage and dare to cross the conventional boundaries of her role as a wife? It was perhaps the distance that had emerged between her and her husband which served as a reason for what many would call dishonesty. She was fortunate to have a monetarily responsible husband but unlucky when it came to sharing, affection and a bond of compassion that spouses are supposed to share and that marriage also entails.
Living Apart Together (LAT) is a trend that is widely accepted and appreciated in Western societies. This is a common practice in Western societies where couples live separately in their homes even after getting married and keep visiting each other quite often. In West, Living apart together is considered to boost harmony and tranquillity in marriage because spouses don’t lose their individuality as they are not required to change their lifestyle after tying the nuptial bond. Many couples follow this practice and are contented with their personal definition and design of marriage. Going against the tide as a trout is always amazing but one should also keep the mind open to pros and cons of adaptation to any novel thing. It is truly amazing that the custom of living apart together is on one end highly favored in our society but in some families it is still an apple of discord. According to many married couples and relationship counselors, living apart after marriages bears huge chances of inviting dishonesty and ugly consequences to the relationship. The most obvious reasons to support this argument are as follows:
- No Companionship: When married couples choose to live separate of each other, they actually drive out friendship from their bond. A husband and wife, like good friends need to spend some time together to understand each other better so that they may steer their relationship in a constructive direction. However, this kind of understanding fails to take place properly when both spouses are not physically present before each other. Technology has facilitated communication and progressed fantastically in modern era, but certainly, not to the extent of human replacement.
- Sexual Urges: Carnal desires are inbuilt in human beings and to give it a positive direction, the institution of marriage has been consolidated. To extract maximum satisfaction from marriage, a healthy sexual life is as equally important as excellent understanding among spouses. When spouses live apart of each other, one strong determinant that may propel them to go astray is mounted and unfulfilled need of lovemaking.
- Emptiness: In many cases, it has been observed that women generally tend to lead their lives honestly in absence of their husbands. And the reason to it is an offspring. A child can never replace the love and attention that a spouse can offer but certainly, it neutralizes the emptiness and loneliness to some extent on the woman’s side as in our societies, it’s the mother who normally looks after the kids. But then again, the man who is distant with his family feels bareness in his life and therefore, is more likely to land into an extra-marital affair in order to revitalize spark in his dull life.
- Pursuit of Solace and Mental Peace: When spouses are sitting apart of each other at distance of miles, they never truly can understand each others’ situation. Since they are not in a subjective position of each others’ matters, sometimes miscommunication and lack of understanding takes place. At times, one can do away with the problems and worries of life with loving physical gestures such as a hug and kiss. For sure, that is impossible to cast an enchanting effect if the person whose love one seeks is not physically present before him or her. Pursuit of a peaceful life is every man’s dream and to achieve that one must develop harmonious relationships. Marital bliss is associated to living together and building a physically and intellectually healthy family, not in living apart of each other.
Since childhood, I have seen many married couples of our society where the husbands had spent decades in a foreign land for the sake of employment and wives managing their households as efficiently as possible. This is a common sight of such couples who live apart and we perceive their lifestyles as ideal. The idea of hundreds of dollars and pounds arriving on a monthly basis is enviable for many people who may later on also practice same with male members of their families in order to fulfill their repressed and longing desires. We are always stirred by the material luxuries that people possess but never tend to look as to what they leave behind in pursuit of extravagance. Many people gain wealth by slaying their self-worth and principles while others leave past relationships that are essential for spiritual growth of humans. Societies that have money as their foundations are more inclined towards defying human relationships as their principle objective is to expand the area of personal freedom and non-encroachment. By this, I don’t intend to say that relationships limit people and cast a negative impact on their growth but sadly, this is the interpretation of bonds in societies that are fueled by capital. When ambitions such as personal aggrandizement and capital accumulation intervene between human beings, relationships and morals badly collapse. May be, this is why today we have heaps of social problems surfacing.