How deep is your love?

Top Stories

How deep is your love?

Does love last a lifetime? Or does it 
disappear as life gets in the way?

By Aarti Jhurani

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Fri 18 Apr 2014, 4:07 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:56 PM

Couples break up for various reasons: infidelity, family pressure, cultural differences and so on. But mostly it’s because of not being able to gel together as a unit — despite the fact that there used to be a point, when you first fell in love, you couldn’t imagine life without the other. At times, you may be able to tide over your differences with your combined determined efforts to reverse the tide.

But at times, even the best efforts are not good enough.

Here are some real-life stories

Nathan Shaw*, 34

I’ve always considered myself as a bit of a ladies man. I’ve never had a problem getting a date and been on numerous lunches and dinners around town. I used to work in sales in a big company in Los Angeles, and that is where I first met her. She was incredibly shy, and mostly kept to herself, but I was very attracted to her.

We finally started chatting, as she told me about her family — her father who worked in the government, and they often moved countries; and her mother, who was so 
protective of her and her brother, that she wouldn’t let them interact with anyone outside the family for fear of them keeping bad company. She was around 30 when I met her, and she claimed she wanted to come out of her shell.

I was offered a fantastic job in Dubai, and moved here in 2011, two years after we first got talking. By then, we were exclusively ‘dating’, but a lot of my friends thought it was incredibly strange that in those two years, we went out alone only twice. Our conversations primarily happened over BBM. But we were in love.

I wanted to marry her, but knowing how conservative her family was, she knew they would never agree. She informed her bro-ther about our situation, packed her bags, came here and we got married. We had a fantastic time for three years — travelling together, finally spending time in person, and enjoying our life together.

It always needled me though, that she never made any efforts to bond with my friends or family despite my persistence. 
But gradually, she started speaking to her mother over the phone. Over the next year, things got worse: she said she detested my nagging, and I began to despise the fact 
that she never spoke to my family, who had accepted her whole-heartedly.

I started to suspect she was having an 
affair, as she would constantly type away on her phone, and refuse to tell me who she was speaking with. The fact that she would always hide her phone or lock it, got me even more suspicious. Eventually, I gave up on her, and spoke to her about calling it quits, which she was surprisingly okay with.

A day after our conversation, her mother was due to visit, and I’m guessing they had a conversation, because even though she never really supported our relationship, she cornered me into paying alimony and maintenance after we got divorced.

My ex-wife and her mother flew back to the US soon after — this was last year — and we haven’t spoken since.

Neha Dutta, 36*

I worked at a daily newspapr in Bombay as a reporter, and met Abhijit* there. I did not like him initially, but as I got to know him better, I started falling for him. Soon, I was head over heels in love with him and, in retrospect, that was my biggest mistake — giving in too quick. We had a whirlwind romance for six months, post which we got married. I always believed, no matter how much we fought, music would bind us, given our passion for it. After we got married, we realised we were completely different people. I was more ambitious, driven and active, whereas he liked to lounge around at home, not go out too much, and work from home, which involved a lot of slacking off in front of the television.

I would needle him to get out more often, and he didn’t like the fact that I nagged him about it, and our fights started escalating. In the midst of all of this, we decided to have a baby, and after I got pregnant, things started to 
go downhill.

At a time when I should have been pampered, I was handling the house single-handedly along with my job, while he went out with his friends, or hung out at his parents’ place.

I was constantly exhausted, and my mom started coming over to help, and I could tell he didn’t like it, but there was nothing I could do. With our fina-ncial situation, especially with a baby on the way, we could not afford a full-time help.

I went into labour one Sunday morning, and he was not at home. I was in immense pain, and had to go to the 
hospital, where he did not come even once to visit our baby or me. Once I got home, he didn’t hold the baby for a month, and it really hurt because no one from his family came either.

The next few months were hell, handling the baby alone, not getting any sleep, and the constant fighting, which was draining me out both emotionally and physically. The final nail on the 
coffin was when he screamed at my mother one night. She was sleeping with the baby in her room, where he was watching a movie on his computer. She requested him to switch off the lights and reduce the volume so as to not wake up the baby, and he completely flipped and lashed out.

I walked out of the house that day with my mother and baby, and filed 
for a divorce soon after. It looks like I was wrong after all… the situation had gotten too muddled up to be saved by music… or anything else.

Anne Marie, 30*

I met Jean-Claude at University in 
Paris in our final year and hit it off 
really well. I was really passionate about cinema, and so was he, and that’s how we bonded. He was more than just my partner, he was my best friend and mentor as well. He would encourage me to watch more world cinema to broaden my horizons and read up on the subject as much as possible. We dated for a 
total of eight years, but it was towards the end of the sixth year of us being together, that I began to feel we would not work as a couple.

He was a few months older to me, but far more mature when it came to most matters, and I looked up to him for support. I met his family six months after we started dating, and his family met mine often, and it was understood that we would eventually tie the knot. I have always been free-spirited, and did not want to get tied down by marriage early, whereas he had 
always wanted to settle down by 26. When we reached the bridge, however, I did not want to cross it.

He had a very strong sense of what was right and wrong, and did not want to consider the grey 
areas. It led to a lot of fights, and I would also feel claustrophobic 
every time he tried to control. 
Another thing that really got me was that he gave certain people in his life (who I did not like) more importance and attention than me. We had a lot of fights over it, and he still wouldn’t change that.

Once I started to tell him it wouldn’t work out though, he would try harder — take me out on romantic dates and pay a lot of attention — to win me back… but it only worked for so long.

Eventually, our families decided to intervene seeing as we were fighting all the time. He called it off a while after that, and I completely freaked out.

In retrospect, I think I was very used to having him around, and didn’t want to let go, and could not imagine my life without him. We are still in touch off and on, and the last time we met, we went out with a bunch of friends, and were with each other throughout. We chat sometimes since he’s my tech guru, and I like to take his advice on those matters. It has been two years since we broke up, and I have absolutely no regrets. I loved him with all my heart, and put in 100 per cent in that relationship, but sometimes things are not meant to work out.

My parents have been incredibly supportive of my choice to move on, but have been forcing me to get married. That was one of the reasons I got away from Paris, and moved to Dubai.

Matters of the heart

We asked Dr Lavina Ahuja, Consultant at Lifeworks Dubai, 
to give us a few tips to deal with a falling-out-of-love situation.

Do men and women and women fall out of love for different reasons?

Yes, and no. No, because most people fall out of love because they feel they are not loved anymore, not being taken care of, and feeling neglected. Also, because men tend to phrase it differently than women, but the basic reasons tend to be the same for both.

How do you know when you should try, and when you should give up?

I get that question from a lot of couples, and I ask them if they are willing to put in the kind of effort required to fall back in love, to work out the issues, to scrap out everything and build afresh. If you still have the energy to do that, to still care, then definitely give it a shot. Even if one partner is willing to put in the time and effort for the sake of the other partner, it is worth another chance. But having said that, there comes a time, when you see you both have tried, and that the issues are too many to go past, then a couple has to give up.

What is the best way to break the news to your partner, that you don’t love them anymore?

You need to sit down and have an honest and forthright conversation about what you are feeling. Sometimes, there is the tendency to think that the signs are too obvious, but they may not be obvious enough to the partner to intercept. Tell them you are willing to work at it, and talk to them about how things need to be changed so the relationship can be salvaged.

What if the partner is not willing to let go?

As a partner, one has to realise the kind of effect it is having on you. If your other half wants to break free, and despite multiple attempts they are not willing to work at it, you need to let go. Because, if despite all your efforts you don’t get a response, you are only hurting yourself. Also, you need to ask yourself why you want to hold on so bad. The fear of the unknown? Fear of moving on? Or logistics? 
Because none of these are good enough reasons to hold on. If you get to a point where you feel you cannot love unconditionally anymore, and you’re hurting yourself, let them go.

How can a couple willing to make amends fall back in love?

Talk to your partner. Ask them what about you made them fall in love with you, and try to be that person again. Put in effort, because if you want to be cared for, you need to give it as well. Also, develop a culture of appreciation: if you feel your partner is putting in an effort, tell them you appreciate it, and make sure you put in effort in your relationship as well.

More news from