My daughter is playing with her doll’s house.
She has kept some furniture of her choice, and surprisingly kept animals instead of dolls, for she is more fond of them.
My son plays with cars, superheroes and Pokemon cards. My eldest child prefers reading books and playing mind games. She enjoys challenging herself mentally.
These are their ideal world, their doll houses, their aspirations, and what makes them unique and happy.
Perhaps we all live in our ideal dollhouses in our minds. We have our set ambitions and perspectives.
It is often being together with our life partner or other people when we feel threatened in a game changer.
In many parts of the world, it is still a custom to have an arranged marriage. The personality of the life partner comes as a surprise and it takes a long time to discover and understand the point of view of others.
In love marriages too, reality and mundane routine dawns in no time.
‘The key to finding the best relationship is not fining the person you love, but learning to love the person you found’.
Life partners are completely different individuals, coming from another background, with different habits and interests.
With so many differences they have no advice or guidelines on how to build bridges amongst their ideal worlds.
There is a whole psychology behind why and how the person reacts in a certain way. ‘There is a message in the way someone treats you.’
‘Your hardest battle is what you know in your head and what you feel in your heart’.
For example, having a stressful, unhappy parent, economic crises, disabled or emotionally challenging sibling might show a complete emotional blockage in a person.
They may not be able to offer support and will avoid any kind of crises.
‘Don’t expect others to be fair as you. Don’t think a lion will not eat you in a jungle, just because you did not eat him’.
Studies show that the children of fussy parents trained to eat homemade food and follow strict guidelines will make them have fixed notions with rigidity to make adjustments.
Emotional detachment of parents between themselves and their quality of parenting can have a long-term effect on the emotional needs of a person.
Children allowed to get away with abusive behaviour from parents will always find relationships very suffocating and unrewarding.
In reality, there is hardly any person who will be close to perfect, without any particular psychological concern and sensitivity level.
Such differences might bring out occasional conflicting situations.
There are differences when for one the ‘fun’ starts and ends on food and shopping, while the partner yearns for exploring, excursions, healthy eating and brisk walk.
When one is progressive, intellectual and social while the other is unable to handle attention or show the ability to get along with others.
Some partners may feel love and hate in a continuous pattern.
On occasions, one is very religious and rigid in notions, while the other is practical and worldly.
Sometimes one is overly ambitious and workaholic while the other longs for a family time and getting older together.
Especially when one loves while the other hates the same person.
Though these differences are big yet there is often a meeting point. Such difference bring novelty and diversity in the life too. We look into things in a different light, experience situations we could have easily missed out and then interact and communicate to feel the mutual bonding.
It is for this reason that life partners are called wheels of a vehicle, they stick together, lead and follow each other while carrying a responsibility of a happy family on their shoulders.
They do wear out in condition, tread and age and need frequent teamwork and inspection.
Once a girl, who was raised by her grandmother, had conveniently being made a bookworm, to match the old lady’s energy levels of peace and quiet.
However, getting married, moving away and adjusting amongst in-laws was very demanding.
All she wanted was to rush to read books which everyone found very insulting. The new addition was not in awe for the family, but in boredom to hook on to books.
She found toilet her sanctuary to read books, only to find out the concerned in-laws knocking to wonder if she was ok.
Unfortunately, all didn’t work out for them and their differences became so big that she ultimately moved out.
No one was able to convince her back when the husband thoughtfully showed up to her house with her favourite books.
How could she say no to books?
Now they live happily together, thanks to books and the respect and freedom for her devotion.
Yet thanks to an insight and understanding too.
They have now made some changes to keep her window of passion open as a hobby. She looks forward all day to her ‘me time’ with books at night. She is more happy, content and relaxed than before.
Don’t try to change people. Love them, for love, is what changes everyone’.
A shared home is all about small adjustments being made with time.
To give a listening ear and to find a shoulder to cry on.
Providing each other a space for emotional and intellectual growth.
Respecting the aspirations and ambitions of each other and bringing out that welcoming Smile on seeing each other, at the end of a long tiring day that brings two people together. For ‘love is what makes you smile when you are tired’.
It’s about sharing responsibilities, taking an extra duty on board and shedding some overburden and nerve reckoning chore.
It’s perhaps about becoming wiser together, by communicating every emotion when being wise, silly or absurd with a touch of care.
‘Life seems short with someone special, and very long without that special one.’
Where both stand united and make decisions together. As
‘Without rain, nothing grows, learn to embrace storms of life’.
Where the differences are cherished.
Where there are love, trust and healthy kids who have more exposure and few concerns to deal with, later on in life.
As ultimately, it was never meant to be two separate ideal worlds or doll houses.
It was meant to be one shared home;
a sanctuary of love and happiness.
First published in Pakistan, 2017.