And I thought terrible two was only for babies…
Most of us would have heard of the term ‘Terrible Two’ in connection with babies. If you haven’t heard of this term, it is the phase wherein absolutely angelic babies start behaving like brats. You tell them something and they behave the opposite. It is the phase wherein babies are tying to establish their identities.
I for one have found a strange coincidence of terrible two in marital life as well (personal experience). Like a newborn, marital life is also hunky dory in the first year. Everything is new and exciting with the first flush of love and adrenaline. Like first time parents patiently taking care of the newborn, new spouses are all understanding and self-sacrificing trying to be the paragon of virtues. But as time passes by, patience level also drops. As parents start disciplining the child, he realizes that things are not rosy as it was before. He does not like it and starts with his tantrums and whining.
I guess the same goes for marriage as well. As spouses settle into marital life, things, which you could earlier easily shut your eyes to and say as wonderful quirkiness of your spouse, become major irritants. “Ohh, she’s so reserved. How cute!” becomes “Why the hell can’t she be more social? @#$%#@” and “He loves sports. That’s so cool!!!” becomes “Why the hell can’t he watch something other than sports on TV???%&”
Like a child, spouses also start with their tantrums and whining. The major fear being that one’s identity should not be lost. Whereas the child fights to create his identity, the partners fight to retain their identity. In all these melee, people end up being hurt but also learn more about the other person, which you would have never found out during a candle light dinner.
The good thing is that babies don’t remain two forever and so does marriage. Both grow up. So now starts the next phase where kids and spouses are confident of who they are. So the fights and skirmishes are reduced to a large extent with an occasional one here and there. Parents learn to enjoy the kids for who they are, of course, with disciplining them wherever necessary and spouses also reach a compromise and begin to enjoy the real persons whom they have gotten married to.
Life goes on hunky dory and terrible two is largely forgotten except to pull each other’s legs about the fights that took place and then comes the next big thing wherein terrible two seems nothing in comparison. You guessed it right. It is TEENAGE. By now spouses forget about themselves and their differences and concentrate on their teenaged kids so that they can grow up into confident adults.
Will let you know if there is any similarity between teenage in children and in marriage when I cross that bridge. For now, let me get geared up for my next fight with hubby :-)