Before you read this story, let me tell you a line or two about extramarital affairs, infidelity, emotional affair, betrayal, or whatever you call it. We most often tend to blame the other woman when the man cheats on his wife. Why do we do that? Why are we so quick in judging the other woman? Isn’t the man responsible for the whole thing? He let that happen, in fact, he chose to get close to the other woman. He could have chosen otherwise.
Gautam and Pavitra were married for ten years; they dated for almost six years before tying the knot. They worked for the same company at the start of their careers and moved on to different companies. They were truly in love with each other, but when it came to marriage, Gautam wouldn’t commit. So when Pavitra couldn’t take it anymore, she decided to break up with her guy, that’s when he finally gave his nod. He works best under pressure, so she thought. With the approval of both the parents on both sides, they got married.
There were initial hiccups in their marriage, but they were happy together despite the not-so-favorable joint family circumstances. After having the first kid in the second year of their marriage, Pavitra gave up her career and Gautam supported her all along in all ways very loving, caring, and understanding. They had their second kid in three years time.
They were a happily married couple. Everything was picture perfect in their lives –a good job, two kids, and a warm home. She couldn’t have asked for more until one day the most terrible incident happened and their good days came to an end.
Gautam confessed of having an affair with another woman named Maya. Pavitra had a shock of her life. This man in whom she had blind faith, had the nerve to cheat on her and even tell her about it. She was completely shattered and was in disbelief. She never thought she would get to see his day. The word ‘love’ held no meaning for her anymore. She felt betrayed, felt like dying and asked God the same question umpteen times ‘Why me’? Despite all the pain, she could not just let go him in spite of knowing that he didn’t love her anymore. She was unable to tell, which was more painful, the pain of her husband leaving her or the pain of not being able to let go.
But Pavitra realized that sitting and grieving about it will not get her anywhere. She had mourned enough. She took charge of her life and vowed to herself that she is no longer going to play by the victim card for she knew that what cannot be endured has to be accepted. She got absorbed in spirituality and she did everything in her capacity to regain her peace. She gained her inner strength and emerged stronger. She had faith in God and she knew that Gautam is going to come back to her and the kids, and nothing in the world could shake her faith.
Gautam stopped coming home and the weekend visits became monthly visits. Pavitra got used to this routine of running the home without his support from buying groceries, paying bills, going for school visits, or making that periodical health check-up for the kids – she has become an one-man army. Gautam knew that Pavitra would manage the show and supported her financially, which is the only positive thing in the relationship.
But, the underlying question that still crept at the back of Pavitra’s mind would surface once in a while and she would ask herself, “how long am I supposed to wait, haven’t I been patient enough, haven’t I forgiven him, am I doing the right thing by waiting?” Bogged by the flow of endless painful thoughts, Pavitra impulsively calls him and yells at him for leaving her in this situation, and they both shout at each other without arriving at any solution whatsoever. Pavitra gets swarmed in a sea of doubts and negative thoughts until the mundane things take over her and sooner or later everything is back to the same old routine.
While Gautam is lost in his world not knowing what to do and confused as ever to take a stand and define his boundaries. Nobody could drive sense into his mind, neither his mom, dad, nor his friends. He was taking a bit too long to figure out, while Pavitra kept waiting year after year to see any change in him. But the love she had for Gautam didn’t fade a bit; many times she would type ‘I still love you’ on her mobile and cancel the message. She had told that to him umpteen times in her mind, “Gautam, I still do love you, no matter what”. But she couldn’t tell that to him face-to-face because he has built a wall around him which she couldn’t penetrate. There was barely any communication between them. Whenever they talked, it was only for kids’ sake, or some emergency or some bill to be paid. Three years passed with the same kind of lifestyle.
One fine day Pavitra came to know through common friends that Gautam was seeing a psychologist to come out of this mess. She saw a silver lining in the cloud finally. She somehow managed to get the information of the psychologist and immediately fixed the appointment to see the doctor.
Dr.Roshan who was counseling Gautam was glad to see Pavitra in his clinic. He brought in a perspective in the situation and did everything possible in his capacity to persuade Gautam to get back to his family. While he also counseled Pavitra to be more appreciative of her husband and create an atmosphere of warmth and love so that Prakash would realize what he is missing on.
The couple counseling sessions lasted for three months and seemed promising. Prakash is guilty but he tried hard to change himself. Pavitra extended all her support and love to heal him back to normalcy. He did come back and Pavitra just took over things right from she had left 5 years back and made all attempts to make him feel at home. The family relocated to a new place and started everything fresh, and slowly and steadily everything was normal in their lives. Pavitra has learned not to take her relationship for granted, so this time around she is extra cautious to keep the spark in her marriage alive. She nurtured her relationship and they lived happily ever after.
Invest time in your marriage, give time to your spouse, appreciate, communicate, love, and do whatever it takes to keep the spark alive. Marriage is a work in progress, don’t give up even without trying.