Marriage or Divorce - How they become Big Mistakes!!

In the years leading up to my marriage, I thought about marriage very often.
One night, in a bar I sat beside an old sailor. He hade been watching me steadily as I drank. Then we started discussing children; he’d never had any, and I said I thought I would not, as I was certain my kid would be a bad kid. 
He said, “How could anything not good come from you?”
I felt so moved then—shivering at the thought of a divine love that accepts us all, in our entirety.
Then the moment was gone. I saw him as just an old man staring at a girl. 
He didn’t know me. I always felt there was something wrong inside me, something ugly, which I didn’t want anyone to see.
I knew the only way to repair this badness was devotion in love — the promise of my love to a man. 
Commitment looked so beautiful but so distant to me. I wanted it to be perfect: consistent, wise, loving, and true. I wanted to be an ideal wife, and believed marrying would make me into the upright, good-inside person I hoped the world would accept.
Maybe it would also correct my flightiness, confusion, and selfishness.
SEVERAL YEARS AGO, when I was engaged to be married but afraid to go through with it—afraid that I would end up divorced like my parents, and not wanting to make a big mistake—I had gone to a close friend with my concerns. We were drinking at a party and left to take a walk through the night, our feet brushing gently through the lightly fallen snow. As we walked, I told her my fears. Then, after listening for a long while, she finally said, “The only thing I ever understood is that everyone should make the big mistakes.”
I took what she said to heart and got married. Three years later I was divorced.
Several months before our wedding, my fiancé and I were strolling together in an elegant park when off in the distance we noticed a bride and a groom standing before a congregation, tall and upright like two figures on a cake. 
I could not see the groom’s face—he was turned away—but the bride was facing me. The vows were being exchanged, and the minister was speaking quietly. Then I saw and heard the lovely bride grow choked up with emotion as she repeated the words. A tear ran down her cheek, and she had to stop and collect herself before she finished what she was saying.
As my fiancé and I walked away, I said that I thought it was a pretty vain, stupid to get choked up on.
On the day of our wedding, my fiancé and I stood in a bay window before an audience of a dozen people—family and close friends—repeating our marriage vows as the minister spoke them.
Then something happened. As I said the words Tears welled in my eyes, My voice cracked with the same emotion. It was a copy, some kind of strange possession. It was not me.
Every other Wednesday during my marriage, our apartment was filled with smoke from the cigarettes of all our friends. They drank in our rooms and made out on the fire escape. 
In the beginning, it felt like something truly important was happening. People came, and there was a bounty: cheese and grapes and bread and wine and all the alcohol you could drink.
But two years into our parties, I surveyed the scene from the corner and wondered, Why are we having these parties? 
What were we making, coming together like that? 
We were trying to prove that we had everything because we had parties, but I began to feel like we had nothing but parties.
Friends passed through our doors. We laid out food and drinks. I started going to bed at one in the morning, then at midnight, then eleven, then ten. When finally everyone left at two or three or four, I would rise from bed and go downstairs, clean up the food, and cap the drinks. I would straighten the pillows, fix the chairs, sweep away the remnants of bread and cheese, dump out the cigarette butts and plastic cups.
It was if I was a walking dead at that moment - I could not feel my heart, I had no courage, I could not use my brain.
One night at one of our parties, After pouring myself a gin and tonic, I noticed that my husband was talking close to someone I had never seen before, who was a sitting on the window ledge. 
She had bleached blond hair and dark, obvious roots. Her voice was deep. She looked at the same time like a little girl and a sexy woman.
My husband and I never cared about who could talk or flirt with. It had never happened in all our years as lovers and spouses... but something about this scene was threatening. I didn’t like his eagerness, how alive and happy he seemed. 
It wasn’t like watching him talk to other girls. I felt a jealousy spoil my blood. What does she have that I don’t? came into my head, like a thunderclap; a question that left me so ashamed that I turned away and made for the fire escape to smoke alone.
I had lived with only one man before my husband: my high school boyfriend—the first man I truly loved. We thought we would be together forever, or if we separated, that we would return to one another in the end.
We moved in together, He sat at his desk and wrote plays, while I sat at my desk and wrote plays too. 
One evening, spying outside my door, he heard me talking on the phone with a friend about how I had a crush on a photographer in New York and thought it would be exciting to be with him. He had taken some flattering pictures of me before and I still thought about him a bit, sometimes.
My boyfriend, felt hurt and jealous and betrayed, that night stole my computer from my room as I was sleeping and wrote on it till dawn, then returned it to my desk before I woke.
When I got up the next morning, I found, there on the screen, an outline for a play about my life—how it would unfold, decade by decade. Reading it compulsively as the sun came up in the window behind me, I grew incredibly scared. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I absorbed the terrible picture he had painted of my life.
In the story, my desire to be with the photographer in New York started me on a path of chasing one fruitless prospect after the next, always dissatisfied, heading farther and farther away from the good. Picking up men and dropping them. I marched on life ever more loveless and alone.
I tried to forget his play, but I could not, and the more I pressed it away, the more it seared itself into my heart. It lodged inside me like a seed that. The conviction in its every line haunted me.
I was sure he could see my insides, as he was the first man who had loved me. I was determined to act in such a way as to erase the fate of the play, to bury far from my heart the rotting seed he had discovered—or planted—there.
But tonight as I saw that girl talk to my husband, I felt it all coming back...I was already watching it take root and grow into my life.
Since the beginning, there had been an empathy between me and my husband; there had always been a sweetness. It was like we were afraid of breaking the other. We never fought or nagged.
As for difficult conversations that might hurt the other — we left those matters alone.
Perhaps it could have gone on for all our life, with all our love— but now a few years into my marriage, I tripped.
I tripped and stumbled and I regained my step, but in the wrong place this time, and my days began to mirror exactly, in smell and sensation, as when I discovered my first boyfriends play on my computer.
A vivid echo of those days, a living memory of it, entered my life again, came into my marriage, and remained with me for a whole six months. I wanted to break out of that loop — it felt terrible; something a person should not experience — just wrong! Every day should feel new, but I was back in the atmosphere of another time; one I had lived in already.
Every morning I woke up beside my husband and looked around to see if the feeling was still there; it always was. And I would get up for the day, exhausted with the same tense idleness I had felt back then.
I felt the blood inside me gathering fast, the pulse drum up in my ears, my skin grow tense and cold, like I was pushing through the atmosphere too fast. 
My body was filled to bursting with dread, the anticipation of something I did not know, and an equal resistance overtook me — as voice in my head kept saying to break through the brick wall.
One evening, I saw what the brick wall was: my marriage. A tension came over me, an unbearable feeling of just wanting to get it over with. The wall was there; the pressure could only be released one way. — when my husband lay down beside me that night, I turned over and said, as though I had thought it all through, considered his side, and was making a thoughtful decision: “I cannot be with you anymore.”
He’d had no sense of the storm clouds that had been building within me, and when he slammed out of the room, the storm clouds burst into rain, and all over my face and body was cold - I didn't know if that was out of the stupidity i had just done or was out of a sense of relief.
MORAL - this series of excerpts from the novel - How Should a Person Be?- by Sheila Heti - wonderfully show how the human mind works... how we criticize others but are somewhere programmed to end up doing the same as them, 
how we analyse others opinions about us, 
how one incident can induce so much of negativity in our mind, 
how the past haunts us, 
how we take decisions based on the past and not the present.
A wonderful read.
Dr.Hemant Mittal (MBBS, DPM, MD(mindmantra))
(Psychiatrist, Motivational Writer and Counselor)
email –
website –
clinic address- 15, shreeji plaza, next to ice n spice restaurant, opposite seawoods station, seawoods (east)
Navi Mumbai

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