The Other Men In My Life
The other men in my life
... The trouble is when the issue becomes a reality after the nuptial knot. What are the nagging problems that crop up when the husband doesn?t seem to be too kicked with the idea of you cultivating male friendships? Is there a way to resolve the situation?
Parul, 24, was surprised to discover the existence of any such feelings. After all, she had married one of her long-time friends and Manish knew he was as much a part of all her friendships. But when her long calls to guy friends were interrupted with his inane comments and demands, she did not know how to react to these bouts of jealousy. It was only when she spoke to her sister-in-law, who had battled a similar situation, that the reason for the Dr Jekyll-Mr-Hyde switch became clear to her. Manish?s experience as a friend who had gone on to become a life partner made him worry about something similar happening again. Parul dealt with this by doling out huge doses of TLC. Her second stage involved treating her bunch of friends as just that - a group. She chose to socialise with her friends in toto. Not only did her skirmishes with Manish come to an end, but she realised the time and effort she saved on individual plans with her friends. Her ?alone time? with male friends is now taken care of by regular phone calls.
Friends in the family
The situation takes a little more work when one considers arranged marriages. For one, your spouse will not know your group of friends. And even if he does, the chances are that he won?t be really familiar with its dynamics. Does that mean that the only options are denial, termination or secrecy?
Shilpa, 28, recalls the time she realised this problem. At 23, she agreed to an arranged marriage with a family friend, Jatin, and it was clear that her fiancé was, unlike her, not an extrovert. Add to the equation the presence of a joint family, and any thoughts of reliving the pre-marriage partying had to be reconsidered. During her long courtship period, Shilpa came to realise that she could turn her extended family into a group of friends. Meeting up with male friends is still done on family occasions. "Frankly, I don?t feel a vacuum or any such thing. My brothers-in-law and I are great friends and though the dynamics are different, it?s something I?m happy with." Yes, sometimes, unfortunately, drastic situations call for drastic measures. For others who don?t have access to loads of family to befriend, the situation becomes tenuous. Malini, 25, found herself facing the same situation two years back. She introduced her fiancé Rajiv to her friends and made sure he was the centre of attention each time they all went out. She did this to take care of any flashes of the green-eyed monster. It worked; she managed to retain her friendships. "For me, the situation was clear - it was obvious that both of us had sets of friends and if we were going to spend the rest of our lives together, it meant that we needed to get along with each other?s friends before D-day. In fact soon after, Rajv also used the same approach with his friends..."
Up, close and personal
For Supriya, an independent-minded girl who married a colleague, the idea took time to sink in. "I could not accept Ankit?s annoyance at the idea of my meeting up with my male friends." Her perspective took a 360 degree turn when she found herself on the other side of the fence. Varun, her best friend for years, was going through a similar situation with his wife. It wasn?t until he encouraged her to spend some time with his wife that serenity made a comeback. Never one to miss a trick, Supriya did the same and now every time Varun comes over, "He and my husband end up chatting for hours on end; I keep wondering whether he came to meet me or Ankit!" she laughs.