There has been a rise in couples who only meet on weekends with couples increasingly taking up jobs in different cities or due to erratic shifts. How does this bode for marriages and family life?
Aparna and Abhishek live in the same house, but rarely meet on weekdays. Both work in a BPO Aparna works the day shift and Abhishek on the night shift. "Abhishek comes home when I am leaving for office. We are lucky if we share breakfast. He then hits the bed and I leave for work," she says.
When Shashank was offered a lucrative job in Mumbai, Gayatri, his wife, decided to stay back in Pune with their seven-year-old twins and opted for a weekend marriage. Routines are important "It works fine for both of us. I did not want to disturb my daughters' routine, especially when Mumbai is easily accessible. It was just not worth changing the entire set up," she says. <b1>
Gayatri adds that when Shashank worked in Pune, he often wouldn't meet the girls for days on end due to long working hours. "At least the weekends are ours now," she adds.
Patience is key
The initial days can be quite frustrating but it's a matter of adjusting to the new lifestyle.
Sandeep Kulkarni, a journalist, married to Sneha, a software engineer, says, "In the first two years of our marriage, even our weekly dayoff didn't coincide." But they had dated for five years and were used to each other's lifestyle. "We knew what to expect. At times Sneha would get upset but it was just a phase," he adds.
Gayatri and Shashank plan their weekends a month in advance. "We try and spend as much time together as possible including bonding sessions by ourselves," says Shashank.
Of course, the couples do have their own problems. There is no one to come back to after a bad day not much , of family life and children's illnesses are especially difficult to handle.
These couples keep in touch through text messages and the internet. Aparna also maintains a diary, where she writes notes for her husband. "Right from paying electricity bills, to ‘miss you' messages - they are all there. It's a great way to communicate," she says.
Abhishek thinks it's easy for couples to take each other for granted. But with a little effort, one can spend maximum quality time.
"Since we are conscious of the time we actually get together, we squabble less," says Shashank.