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Of sharing the burden

Combining work with married life is a tough task in metro life. Deepa Gahlot on the perfectly married Indian couple.

sex and relationships Updated: Aug 22, 2013 13:06 IST
Deepa Gahlot
Deepa Gahlot
Hindustan Times

A recent film, Kaisay Kahein, portrays how a relationship between a working couple breaks up.. the reason is their careers coming in the way. The film did a superficial job of portraying a problem that's very real today.

In urban areas at least, it's quite common for women to opt for demanding careers.. they don't want to give up working after marriage.

In most cases, the couple make adjustments over a period of time, and with good domestic help (admittedly hard to find) they manage to combine work and married life quite smoothly.

Problems can, and do arise, when their careers involve odd hours or travel out of the city. If the husband has to stay out late or travel, it's okay.. but if the wife has to do it, there are all kinds of issues, particularly if there are kids involved.

Not fair
A woman was in a line of work that required organising and attending events. The husband would park himself outside the venue and insist that she finish her work in half an hour and leave with him. <b1>

She was on tenterhooks all the time. Sharing the housework can be another bugbear. In most lower and middle-class homes, the wife wakes up early in the morning, to cook breakfast, pack lunch for the husband, kids and herself, before rushing off to catch a crowded train.

Even if the wife returns home tired after work, she has to cook dinner while the husband relaxes with a drink and watches TV.

Great husband
One wife cribbed that her mother-in-law lived with them but didn't lift a finger to help. And to worsen matters, the husband was of the opinion that his mother was at an age when she had to rest.

But if the wife suggested that she could quit her job and stay home, it wasn't acceptable to him. This would obviously mean giving up fringe benefits like a scooter for himself and tuitions for the kid.

Even after slogging all day, the wife had no money to call her own and no help with the housework either. The husband would occasionally drop the kid to school, for which he was complimented all over the colony for being a great husband.

Reel life
Men manage to get their holidays and weekend drinking binges with friends, but hardly do married women ever get a break. They have to cook and help with the kid's homework, even on holidays. An evening out with office pals is out of the question.

They have to accompany their husbands on their office trips and parties but the husband will invariably beg off similar duties.. it's embarrassing to hang out with his wife's colleagues.

It goes without saying that the wife has to take leave for illnesses in the family, parent-teacher meetings and so on. But no film will get into all this, because anything so close to life would be boring.

First Published: Aug 30, 2007 18:29 IST