I was recently watching ‘Koffee with Karan’ show featuring Kajol and Ajay Devgn. Yes, I watch stuff like this sometimes. The episode was pretty enjoyable to watch especially due to how candid Ajay was about his wife, relationships in general and his career. I remember him from a long time ago when I was in college. He was filming for a movie in our college. He looked a bit arrogant and standoffish as he stood smoking in one corner. None of the students plucked the nerve to ask him for an autograph. Over the years though, I have enjoyed his movies. His intense performances have helped him overcome the barrier of ‘unconventional’ looks.

long term relationships

Now 20 years later, it is refreshing to see them poke fun at each other, relate each other’s quirky habits and be comfortable in each other’s flaws while being committed to their marriage.

What Ajay said about marriage struck me as being very relevant. He said that in a long-term relationship, rush of romantic love gets replaced with caring and companionship. I never expected Bollywood types to be so spot on. 🙂 Think about it, all of us who are in long-term marriages will vouch for this fact. I celebrate my 18th wedding Anniversary tomorrow. I can’t help but think of how much I have changed as a person over the years from that young girl.

The same works for the spouse. The thing that strikes me the most is how well we know each other now. We know exactly the buttons to push to make each other mad or ecstatic. We have a common goal in raising kids, in worrying about their future together, in caring for our parents and worrying about their old age and health, in holding each other when we face loss, in not understanding yet being supportive of each other and in driving each other nuts sometimes doing things that make no sense to the other. Over the years, each of us has evolved, and I see it as an achievement to be together, to love each other as the paradigms of love change form and to raise good kids. Marriage requires a lot of work, especially patience, understanding and a lot of give and take. Each marriage is different and so is each couple. And I guess we each needs to figure out what works best for us. All those #couplegoals that you feel someone else is giving you are rubbish. Figure out your own dreams and your own path.

Some of us, especially women, have gone from being dutiful, obedient wives (not me!) to independent individuals who are placing ourselves first now. Some of my women friends have gone back to working full time after stopping work due to kids. Some others have discovered passions like writing, volunteering or gardening. I discovered an altogether new career about a decade back. I continue to learn constantly, and I am much more tuned into what I need. Some of my friends have discovered girlfriends, partying with an abandon and being unapologetic about their drinking. In conservative circles, it used to be a big deal for women to drink and smoke.

Yet, it is also important that our individual passions are complemented by together activities. The husband and I enjoy working out together, cooking together, even doing mundane stuff like grocery shopping together. Since the kids are older now, we can catch a movie or a meal just the two of us or walk Coco.

Just because we’ve become more focused on the ‘I’, it does not mean that the ‘Us’ should be lost.

long term relationships

Some husbands are confused with this newfound and demonstrated change in their wives (especially those who were pampered way too much). I know of wives who stay up till late to heat their husbands’ dinner or those who will feed them in bed and not even ask them to put their plate in the sink. Some stop their husbands from chipping in at home. Then some women as soon as they become middle aged suddenly discover Insta or FB. Getting dolled up and clicking pics all the time is a pet peeve of many spouses. It is interesting how couples and their habits evolve over the years.

Speaking about ourselves, we are now comfortable with each other’s silences and have made peace (almost!) with our weird habits. Many times we sit side by side on the bed, watching separate programs on our laptops or reading. It’s perfectly fine now to pursue our own hobbies and do our own thing. In the initial days of marriage, it was all about doing everything together. Now we each can give the other space to do what we like. I personally feel a lot less guilt now, caring nothing about what people in general think about me or my life choices yet putting my relationships on priority. That part has not changed and never will.

So yes, just like my old comfortable pair of jeans that are precious to me, a close relationship signifies comfort and companionship. A couple of years ago, I gave away a pair of my favourite jeans. It was more-than-a-decade-old pair of Lee’s, and I remember buying it when I was back in shape after my second son was born. I had worn it constantly over the decade or so and gave it away when the cloth got torn in a couple of places. I truly felt sad because an old pair of jeans is comforting, almost like family. Despite it getting frayed in places, it feels soft and welcoming when you slip into it. On some level, it gives you a confidence boost as you can still fit into the trusted friend.

I would like to hear your take on long-term relationships? What do you think makes people stay happy together?

Pics courtesy: Stock Photos from Monkey Business Images and Michaeljung/Shutterstock

16 Thoughts on “Relationships are Like an Old Pair of Jeans

  1. A nice post.Care,consideration,companionship and commitment are essential ingredients for a successful relationship.These acquire importance after the initial period of physical attraction.There is a sense of togetherness even during period of long silence.
    Happy wedding anniversary.May god bless you with everlasting happiness.

  2. I liked the comparison between the old comfortable jeans and the long-term marital relationship. I am in my 13th year of marriage and one thing I can vouch for is it is hardwork to stay in a marriage or to keep it working. It certainly needs a lot of patience and determination. Every other day, there seem to pop up numerous reasons to split up but then as soon as the disappointment/anger subsides one gets into the mode of ‘let’s not hang up the boots yet, let’s make it work’. There is satisfaction in living as a complete family with shared responsibilities of raising the kid, giving him security and seeing him happy. I completely agree with you on the part that there are hobbies to fill in the silences and aloneness.
    I also watch Koffee with Karan every Sunday. I too loved watching the episode of Ajay Devgn and Kajol where both of them behaved like a normal everyday couple, no over the top display of affection. On another note, I loved yesterday’s episode as well for Diljit Dosanjh. So you have good company in me with respect to Koffee with Karan 😀

    • I have to watch that episode of Daljit Dosanjh, Anamika. Normally do over the weekend. Absolutely agree with your thoughts. I have had rough patches and tiffs when I wanted to leave. But every time after the things cool down, I realize how much his presence in my life means to me. Every single time! So yes, while it is not easy, marriage definitely works for me and I work to make it work. I know that over-the-top PDA gets on my nerves. I mean come on! So it’s refreshing to see a ‘real’ Bollywood couple.

  3. I loved this episode too and wanted to write about it soon! You beat me to it and such a wonderful post you have come up with 🙂

    A marriage gets better with age and if you can understand each others silence, nothing like it. It is important to be comfortable with each other. While the love will always remain, the sense of trust, mutual respect and companionship is what matters at the end of the day.

    I totally loved this post! <3

    • Please do write about the episode. I would love to read it. You know I love your tongue-in-cheek posts like non-reviews and KwK posts. 🙂

      I am glad you connected with the post. I think in a marriage it helps to be open to change in each other and in life circumstances. I can’t believe the ups and downs I have seen and some of them have been very trying.

  4. I agree that with years, relationships move on from madly in love to companionship and care. After 14 years, I realise, that we are there for each other,- we dont necessarily say it, but we both know it is true. We pursue our own passions- I read and he doesnt, have our likes and dislikes. We do go through our moments of silence in each others presence, but that doesnt really perturb us. We both have accepted that we are individuals and need that time and space for ourselves.

    Thats how it becomes right. but I am happy. Would add, it is like an old bottle of wine, feels warmer with the passing of years. :))

  5. Aww happy anniversary, Rachna 🙂

    What you’ve said is so true, about relationships becoming comfortable over time. A large part of that is a sense of ease and give and take in the husband-wife dynamic. Initially it can be hard to arrive at that situation, but over time you just find that easy fit- like a comfy pair of jeans.

    Stay blessed and happy and together for many many decades to come. 🙂

  6. Achooo, such a cute post..especially about you two! <3 Oh, and happy 18th anniversary, dearie! Wish you many more!
    I agree..over the years, we too have changed sooo much. Now, we give each other space–a bit too much space, though–but at the end of the day, I feel that if he is happy doing what he wishes to do, then that is more important to me, than tying him down and forcing him to spend time with me. We enjoy time we spend away from each other and we enjoy the time we spend together in the kitchen or watching movies, or just sitting next to each other, reading our books and stuff. How life changes, na? I am glad it changes, though. Imagine trying to live like that romantic, madly-in-love couple we were when we got married!! Gosh, we would all feel stifled! 😀

  7. Hey wish you a very happy anniversary. Yes old jeans is the perfect term that you have used.

  8. Happy Anniversary and happiness always, Rachna and Gurdev!

    This is why I like reading you, Rachna. You are real. There is no sugarcoating, so false humbleness and you always say it like it is.

    I’ve only been married for 8 years and the learning in this brief span has been immense, so I can well imagine the changes 18 years may have bought.

  9. I love this episode to see a refreshing Ajay at his candid best with Kajol speaking in honesty. Sometimes being silent can be mistaken as arrogant. You made some interesting points on changing equations and adding flavor to long term relationships constantly changing. The beauty of human relationships, isn’t it Rachna.

  10. What a lovely analogy! In 10 days we will celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary. Truth be told, I never thought anyone would put up with me for a year, let alone 11 years! It’s comforting to know that we are able to get along with each other and share the same space despite the many differences we have as individuals. I think that’s what we learn by being in a long-term relationship – to give the necessary space to each other while being there for each other. It’s, of course, the simple things and little joys that forms a cozy relationship. Happy 18th anniversary to you both! <3

  11. happy anniversary! A wonderful insight!

  12. I saw that episode, and I share your sentiments on this. Relationships, much like the people who are in them, change and evolve. And it’s not a bad thing. In-fact, quite the contrary.

    Looking back over the decade of my marriage, I see two people who started off as total strangers with their own set of sometimes opposing thoughts and ideals to now being the amazing team that we are. And it’s more gratifying than I can ever articulate.

    Which is why, I LOVE your analogy. So so perfect!

  13. sandeep on January 20, 2019 at 5:12 pm said:

    Very well written! Totally agree with you about the old pair of jeans. I had used my first pair of Levis for a good 10 years and then. after it was torn in a few places, tucked them away safely, trying them on every now and then and using them to challenge my growing waistline. Some things feel like home, family, close friends and jeans included ?

Do not leave without commenting. I love a good conversation :).

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