Why do women feel cheated when men withhold romance after marriage?

 

Why does a man stop being romantic?

Women complain that men pack up the romance as soon as a woman commits. They no longer feel the need to ladle it out as they did during courtship. And the woman is left feeling cheated and deprived, looking for that elusive element that her man wooed her with, but never bothered to adopt again.

 Why does a man ditch romance the moment he secures his woman? For most men, romance is like a weapon they use during the chase, much as they would use a rifle for a hunt. Once the hunt is over and the prize secured, the rifle goes up on the wall and romance into the man’s pocket, till he needs to use it again.    On the other hand, a woman invariably mistakes romance to be a part of the entire package she is saying yes to and expects it to last forever. And so, when the man lays down his weapons and withholds the candles, chocolates and roses, she feels cheated and betrayed.

 Recently at an all-women’s poetry club meet, after dissecting, venerating and romancing the 13th century Persian poet Rumi, we all settled down to discuss one of Rumi’s recurrent themes – of the ecstasy of love and its inherent pain. Why must love be painful? The ladies debated…    Said one, “Oh, love is ecstatic to begin with, and then you marry – and the pain begins!  “I swear,” quipped a young one in her 20s. “I was wooed relentlessly; now, just two years into marriage and he just doesn’t bother to be romantic anymore.”
Her mother nodded with empathy. “Ah,” she sighed. “My husband would hold my hand and declare it the softest in the world! Today he has given me much happiness and everything else, but… there is no Yash Chopra romance!”
“Well” said the effervescent Dido Chadha, “It is a universal truth; men pursue first, then the woman pursues the man.” In the same spirit, Dido (named after a Greek Goddess) then went on to regale us with this Kishore Kumar song from the 1960’s movie, Girl Friend.
 The hero is rowing a boat on a scenic lake, bursting to confess his love, but hesitating because of his overflowing emotions and his beloved’s shyness. In an attempt to encourage him, the lady (“foolish woman, shouldn’t have opened her mouth” as Dido says) eagerly professes her own love first.
Now the guy relaxes and happily starts rowing back, saying there is no need for words anymore.
Dil ne dil ki baat samajh li, ab munh se kya kahana hai. 
Disappointed, the beloved keeps pleading with him to profess his love. But the man’s last words say it all.
Chhodo ab kya kehna hai.
Now that the woman is his, the man no longer feels the need to say anything. But then that is the nature of a chase. A chase is good only till the pursued evades being caught. What is the fun of chasing a willing conquest?
A study of 40,000 households by the Economic and Social Research Council in Britain showed that women tire of marriage faster than men because women invest far more into making the relationship work. “Men get comfortable in a relationship and forget that women need romance,” states the study.
Men of course have their own set of complaints. They complain that a woman stops looking as attractive or being as caring as during the courtship stage, and blame her for the lack of romance as she adopts a proprietorial manner rather than her earlier flirty, appreciative ways.

A study of 2,000 couples supports this, saying that as soon as the honeymoon phase is over (the study gives this period 3 years and six months) a couple starts getting comfortable and so revert to their real selves, to bad habits. Men and women stop making an effort to appear attractive, well-mannered or caring, taking each other’s affection for granted. So then, would it help if, in order to keep the hunter interested, women always left a few bastions yet to be conquered? Should a woman nurture an element of mystique always? She surely must not seem as willing as the lady in the song, but rather appear somewhat unapproachable in order to keep the challenge going.

Alternatively, how about us not treating the courtship period like a hunt or a chase? Why must a man need to be a predator and hunt down his woman? Why must a woman need to be chased? Why must they adopt means and personas at variance with their usual normal selves?
Isn’t it best to just be yourself and end up attracting people who like you the way you are? So if romance comes naturally to you, it is not likely to vanish after you are married. If not, at least she will not accuse you of having put on an act initially. And without any high or misplaced expectations, you are not likely to be disappointed either. You can be yourself, true companions to each other and enjoy being free and happy together.

Posted by at 10:32 PM  

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