There is Nothing ‘Romantic’ about Marriage #MondayMusings

There is Nothing 'Romantic' About Marriage

The day I went to give my wedding invitation, my then boss (a lady in her mid-fifties) commented sarcastically “So, now you will have two jobs.” Back then I was a naive young girl of 26 years, obviously, I didn’t understand the drift and even found her comment quite cynical. The old bit** that she was famous as I considered that as one of her negative comments. However, now I feel she was bang on.

Marriage is actually a job and there is indeed nothing romantic about it. Marriage is more like a start-up, where two people are trying hard enough to bring meaning to their dreams and aspirations. Just like a job, marriage is also a bundle of KRA (Key Responsibility Area).  The ‘common’ KRA of marriage include paying bills, buying grocery, buying utilities, buying a house, buying a car, taking care of ageing parents, tolerating tantrums of kids, putting up with ridiculous relatives, attending family gatherings, attending other social gatherings, entertaining guests AND if you manage some time, have sex. Well, sex is not mandatory. Post kids, marriage itself become the best contraceptive in most cases (exceptions are a rule).

Growing up in the 90s a whole generation of misguided kids started believing that marriage is all about hugging each other in the middle of a mustard field or making a makeshift house in the middle of a rocky desert or dancing in chiffon sarees in the Swiss Alps. They believed that ‘romance’ was the keyword in marriage and everything was hunky-dory. Thankfully, this new commitment phobic generation X are not as disillusioned as the 90s kids were. GenX does not buy the Yash Chopra crap so easily.

I often wonder that instead of making sequels of Houseful, Murder or Jannat they should make sequels to Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Qayamat se Qayamat tak, Dil to pagal hain, Kuch Kuch Hota hain, etc. I am sure in the sequel of DDLJ we will see Raj sitting in front of an HD TV with beer and popcorn, watching rugby while Simran would be shown making aloo parantha in her British kitchen and screaming at the kids to finish their assignment. In KKHH the scene would be no different, where we will see Anjali coming back from the summer camp and washing the dirty clothes of Rahul that he had left unwashed while she was away for a month. Maya from Dil to paagal hain would be also doing something similar, buying grocery and supervising her house staff. Definitely, they won’t be dancing and even if they did, I am sure Raj/Rahul wouldn’t care.

Think of the movies that actually showed marriage Chalte Chalte, Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, Akele Hum Akele Tum, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Dil Dhadakne Do, Ae Dil Hain Mushkil.. Even the production house famous for selling ‘romantic’ dreams couldn’t show marriage as romantic or without conflict. Hum to thehre mere mortals.

A friend of mine is not yet married because she is still waiting for her Mr Right. I felt like telling her, just like there is no ‘right’ job there is no ‘right’ man.  Even the most handsome, suave and romantic guy you marry will fart and snore in front of you after a certain time. You won’t see him in a tuxedo with champagne and orchids standing next to a candle-lit dinner table all the time but find him digging his nose, puking after a heavy drinking binge or leaving the wet towel on the bed. Trust me.

My grandmother always said that ‘love marriage’ is just an illusion, ultimately everything boils down to the same thing.  I guess she was true. Marriage as an institution is meant to maintain a balance in the society. It is a capitalist/bourgeois way of maintaining the harmony of society. And even though the modern age feminist would disagree, the fundamental aim of the institution of marriage is to create families. To hide this hard fact, through ages marriage has been coloured with ‘romanticism’ so that naive people could be trapped to fall into this system. I know, this comment may lead to me getting trolled but this is indeed what marriage is all about.

The other day at a party we were discussing the rise of extra-marital affairs. They believe that smartphone, Facebook, whatsapp and Tinder are the root cause of these affairs. However, I beg to disagree. Extra-marital affairs have been there ever since marriage came into existence. Since Mahabharata, we have had them. The entire story of the Iliad and Odyssey is based on extra-marital affairs. Shakespeare, Falubert, Leo Tolstoy,  Rabindranath, Saratchandra, you name them and they have written about extra-marital affairs. They have been there since ages then why blame technology? Extra-marital affairs are often like a breath of fresh air to escape the mundane routine of marriage and to find the missing ‘romance’. Just like many people take up a hobby class after their regular jobs to escape the boredom of their 9-5 job, few people take up extra-marital affairs to escape their marriage. Extra-marital affairs are not always only about lust as we generally perceive, in many cases, it is more about the emotional bonding that is lacking in a marriage. While marriage is the job that pays their bills and gives security, incentives and bonuses, and retirement benefits (applicable to both men and women), extra-marital affairs are something that fulfils their unfulfilled desires, be it sexual or emotional. Before you start trolling me for immoral values, let me clarify, by no means am I encouraging or justifying illicit affairs. I am merely trying to understand the context.

However, all said, I honestly do not want to paint a dark picture of marriage. There are great marriages where the couple has become each other’s best friends. In some cases, they have become like siblings, in some cases, the husband has become the father to the wife and vice versa (pun intended). However, in no case, they tend to stay ‘romantic’ the way books and Hindi movies would want us to believe, that is precisely the whole point of this article.

Do you agree with me that there is nothing ‘romantic’ about marriage or do you disagree? I would love to know your opinion. Please do leave a comment.



55 thoughts on “There is Nothing ‘Romantic’ about Marriage #MondayMusings

  1. Shalzmojo says:

    Gosh B this is such a deeply analytical post and seems to relaly come from your heart. I was nodding as I was reading for all of it made so much sense.
    I would totally love to see the sequels you mentioned here 😉 They would be hilarious to say the least.
    Movies seldom can do justice to relationships and most portray them as over the top romantic and blissful. The other side is what is missing in most of them. But when we go to see a movie, we want to be seduced by such bliss for we crave it/ dont have it in our lives. Its therapeutic to say the least.
    Now the generation that did get blindsided by it, was actually the one caught between two worlds – one of their parents who were discovering a new world of “modernity” and the other of their own with their peers who were “experimenting”.
    I know I am one such and for me all of this romance is what I thought/believed would happen once I got married.
    I am married and divorced now and learnt it the hard way 🙂
    Great post for todays musings – loved it Balaka!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. syncwithdeep says:

    A wonderful post balaka. I would partially agree but not that ‘there’s is nothing romantic about marriage.’ It is all the space that is much needed in a relationshiop. When the space is invaded, we feel marriage is a stress. I would equally be interested to see the sequels of those mentioned lists. Great post for the day 😀😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Meena says:

    What an in depth and accurate analysis. It is indeed true that marriage is a job. The job slowly becomes more centered around kids as time goes by. By the time the kids are old enough, the parents are now aged and need taking care of. The two people bound by marriage tend to get used to each other and romance takes a back seat. But having said that, you do need a person that you are used to. One you can yell at for no reason to blow off some steam, one you can enjoy some silences with and one who gets you a pillow for your tired back without asking for it.

    At any point in life, there are three generations to deal with. At each level, we need someone who is our age to get through life. Marriage is one such method to ensure that when parents pass away and kids go away there is at least one person to talk to.

    Marriage takes a lot of work. Of course, there are so many mismatched couples out there.

    I have another theory too. A little quirky perhaps. According to rules of karma, we get back what we gave. So in this birth, we must work out the karma of last births. So we end up with partners (or parents or parents-in-law or kids) whose mentality is total opposite to ourselves. That way the karma will work out! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  4. writershilpa says:

    I agree a 100%, Balaka!! Marriage and romance are as different as, well, chalk and cheese! Those shitty hindi movies have spoilt everything, I tell you. I often wish I had been born in this age, I would definitely have had my head firm on my shoulders and left marriage alone! Frankly! There may be couples who say they are each other’s best friends, but that is something I DO NOT believe. ANyway, if they are, good for them. But, I would much rather be my own best friend! 😛
    And, don’t you worry, dear. You will not get trolled. I support your views wholeheartedly.
    Long ago, a cousin shared this joke about marriage with me. You may have heard…It goes like this.

    Marriage is an institution. But, marriage is also love. And, love is blind. SO, marriage is an institution for the blind! 😀 And, we are those blind duddos, who jumped onto the bandwagon the moment we saw those heroines dancing with their heroes in the Swiss Alps, wearing chiffons. We didn’t reach anywhere near them in all these years, yaar! Instead we are here, at home, picking up wet towels off the beds and cleaning the wash basin left dirty after the man puked from too much drinking!!

    Hilarious piece, my dear! Simply the best. Marking this one for….wait and watch! 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  5. krish says:

    Beautiful write-up on the institution of marriage Balaka…I admire your forthrightness and the power of expression…I may not agree partially but overall your views on marriage make sense..


    Liked by 1 person

  6. BellyBytes says:

    No Balaka. You have hit the nail on the head. I think marriage is the biggest con game and our mothers who tell us all about marriage etc are in the con too. I’m quite sure the tears of ‘sorrow’ shed at our weddings are actually tears of ‘joy’ that one more innocent has capitulatd. But that said, it isn’t always miserable. Like every job it too has its ups and downs, perks, bonuses and days off…. So like everything in life, this is something that we should enjoy when we can because loneliness is another thing……

    Liked by 1 person

    • Balaka says:

      Yes Sunita, I am not saying marriage is a bad thing..I am just saying there is nothing ‘romantic’ about marriage. It is exactly like a job..just like being jobless would make us miserable not getting married would also do the same. Marriage is nothing but a series of routine chores with its perks and benefits.


  7. Anshu Bhojnagarwala says:

    Great post, Balaka! You have analysed marriage so deeply and justly. The mustard fields, hugs and kisses brainwashed our minds when we were teenagers, I think today’s kids are smarter than us. Anyway, they would have all experienced this before they are ready for marriage. So they would know marriage is not just holding hands, cuddling and sex, and romance doesn’t even come into the picture most times.

    But the truth is even when we are almost 40, DDLJ still thrills us. We still want happy forevers knowing there is no such thing in reality.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. the bespectacled mother says:

    To me this post was too hilarious. There are many lines which amused me – kids (already born) are the best contraceptives in marriage, husband and wfu becoming siblings to each other or parental figures and all of your ideas about the sequel of those movies. Imagine Simran and Raj fighting with each other over Raj’s nikammapan and beer habits and finally Simran taking an upper hand with “main apni Shaadi chod ke bhaag ke aayi tere liye aur Tu nikamma.” There cannot be a sequel to Qayamat se Qayamat take unless the makers decide to make it about 2 aatmaaon Ka milan (or 2 aatmooan ki ladai) or punarjanam. Itna trolls Ka darr kyun, Balaka? Satya to yahi hai baaki sab to denial hai.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. pratikshya2 says:

    I liked this entire analysis of marriage. And I would agree to the fact that there is no mr.right. Just like a job is a job, not the right job. I once read a certain article in Medium, which was titled ‘You will marry the wrong man’ – or something similar. It was exactly about this notion of Mr.Right.

    And even your analysis on extramarital affairs is agreeable. Had read somewhere that the French never divorce their partners, instead if things are not working, they have an open relationship, where each of them is allowed to have a separate relation outside of marriage. However bogus and unacceptable this idea might seem, it did occur to me that, there is less or no conflict whatsoever in their lives. Each remains happy in their own shared universe. I also watched a trailer of a movie ‘5 to 7’ which addresses this very thing. Now I am very eager to watch that movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Balaka says:

      I will also look for that movie. Open relationship have been there even in India since long..only we do not openly talk about it…Even in our mythology we have it. I am glad that this post resonated with someone from the younger generation as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. arv! says:

    Probably, I can write a long comment here but let me just say that ideal marriage, “they lived happily thereafter”, candlelight dinner and so on are all images built by stories, novel and of course Late Mr. Yash Chopra. Once the honeymoon period ends, the reality hits the couple. Unfortunately, even today media builds images of idealistic marriage which somehow is counter-productive to the marriage itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Corinne Rodrigues says:

    Hilarious and very true in most cases, Balaka. In my case, I think it’s sometimes my poor hubby who picks up after me – not literally, but otherwise! The romance painted in movies and books is so shallow it won’t hold up through day to day life.
    Getting married at 41, as I did, I didn’t get into marriage with too many expectations. With all the irritations comes the comfort of growing together, challenging each other to achieve old forgotten dreams and learning to accept each other’s brokenness. For me, marriage has been a very freeing and healing experience. We have our disagreements, shouting matches, and some short (because I can’t sustain them) periods of angry silences, no doubt, but overall this relationship works for me. Romance in marriage comes in the ways we remember each other’s likes and dislikes, laugh like crazy, and try to be there for the other no matter what.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Balaka says:

      One day I will also write about what “romance” is in marriage. It is when the better half brings peanuts on his way back from office for me..or when he waits for me with jacket at the airport when I landed in a foreign country in winter… But my point is that the so called candyfloss romance is hard to find in any marriage.. we can just create an illusion but never find


  12. Esha M Dutta says:

    Yes, wise words, my dear Tina. I cannot but agree. So much changes over time that probably the missing element of ‘romance’ is probably the least of our worries. When I look around, I can say that there are some couples who have still kept romantic love and companionship alive in their marriages even today but it is definitely not the ‘mushy’ candyfloss type that Bollywood propagates. As we grow older, the expression of love changes and I guess, companionship and comfort in each other become more important than anything else. Loved your post, Tina. But you know, what would have been better—? I would enjoyed chatting about this with you, sitting face to face in a cafe in Mumbai, watching the rains and drinking steaming hot ginger tea. Ah!


  13. Akshata Ram says:

    Bang on.. I havent read the comments but seems it piqued a lot if interest. Its the truth after all and I think the sooner we stop believing in this romantic fake picture painted by Bollywood and fairy tales the better it is. It takes a lot of effort to make a marriage work and to be honest I feel each individual should be internally happy first and take care if his/her interests and needs only then can they have a successful marriage.


  14. Obsessivemom says:

    The practical side of me was of course nodding along and yet the romantic side refused to believe this. Marriage is a bit of both. It cannot definitely work on romance alone for food has to be put on the table and the laundry has to be done. But romance makes it that much more fun. Romance stops making it look like ‘work’.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. radhikasreflection says:

    Well Balaka, first of all a lovely post, well analysed I must say! I partially agree with you. After the initial high of romance just after marriage, the graph does come down. But I am sure it definitely is not a flat line. There are those special moments which still continue to make marriage beautiful !

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Rajlakshmi says:

    Woaaa! First of all I commend you for being so brave to publish this… For stating your opinion so boldly. That’s pure courage.
    But I don’t agree as I am that 90s kid who grew up on DDLJ and still regard marriage as romantic and beautiful and do stuffs that are down right cheesy. I even say cheesy dialogues like “main hu na”. 😅I am totally filmy, so I really don’t understand marriage without romance. But then, every couple is different. They all have gone through different stages of life, made different compromises. So marriage may mean different to them. But to me, it’s still a beautiful institution.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Anita says:

    So true Balaka.
    Imagine people getting starry-eyed watching romantic movies.
    What happens ‘shaadi ke baad’ is anyone’s guess.
    But, it’s that laddoo, right? 🙂
    Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Bhavna Saurabh Sharma says:

    I am a hopeless romantic person and I believe that yes marriage is a bond which has in it all those characteristics. Like life it’s a rollar coaster ride. Love and passion are not the only thing that makes a marriage successful but many more factors. But, yes still romance adds charm to its magic. My husband is my best friend … oh yes sometimes he reacts ditto as my Dad and sometimes I nag him like his mother does. We travel like best buddies. Fight like siblings but yes when he cooks for me, his good morning kisses , hugs after office surely sprinkle the sparkle of romance. My marriage has Romance. That was actually my inspiration behind starting my blog. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. vartikasdiary1 says:

    Hahaha how I loved reading this post Balaka. Spot on analysis of marriage. I blame those Ultra rozy love stories for setting our expectations and living a fairytale life. Real life is totally different, I second your idea of making sequels of DDLJ, KKHH and others. However, being married for almost a decade now, with two kids, I would say, love is there, only the definition and expression changes. Love is in the little things a couple do for each other. For me love is such and I dont expect to love a dreamy Raj Simran type life. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Shilpa Garg says:

    Hahaha… this made for such a fun read, Balaka. I was smiling and nodding at so many instances. You have shared quite a few valid pointers about marriage. Yes, it is a lot of work and and it’s never ending, but a bit of romance in the marriage makes it worthwhile.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Tejal says:

    Liked your analysis. Growing up in 90s we all saw Raj / Rahul’s and their loved ones have a fairy tale life and loved stories. Romance is important, but with a sense of reality. Likewise, I observe now for some marriage is having some cool time together and living happily ever after. Your post gives a food for thought – a reality check for many.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Parul Thakur says:

    What a fun post! Loved reading it and those imaginations about the sequels were the best. I agree and I also disagree. You are right that it is a job but I also feel that you find a friend in a good marriage. You can chat, laugh and fart together 😀
    I missed this post earlier but came over from Shilpa’s reco and loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. heatherjo86 says:

    Yes and no. Marriage as a whole is not romantic. I’ve been married for nearly 15 years and the farting, nose picking and butt scratching are very present. You can all but forget about it with children. At times you’re taken for granted and as a wife feel like you’re just there to cook, clean and have sex. However, there are very romantic moments that make it all worthwhile. My husband and I have gone through a lot together. And we continue to grow together as one. I think a lot of men and women don’t speak up when they feel taken for granted or when they need a little more romance. Marriage is the bonding of two imperfect people that do not have the ability to read minds. James 1:19 reminds us to be “swift about hearing, slow about speaking and slow to anger” and living by that has helped us really listen to each other to continue to meet each other’s needs. I recently read an article about improving communication in the marriage. Here’s a link:


  24. promotingpositivity says:

    Speaking from a woman who just got back together with her husband after being legally separated for a year and 1/2… the grass isn’t greener…. marriage is hard work. Even with all our problems, trials and tribulations, I’d choose him all over again. This was a great read – thanks!!

    Liked by 1 person

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