Unspilt Milk

Monday, February 9, 2009
THE MALE MIND




As I said on Friday, rogue forces are taking over the blog this week.

The gateway piece is by Swapnil Shah, who lives in Oakland, California with his wife Shilpa and their 6 month old son Amani. He is a 32 year old Orthopaedic Surgery resident and an active member of the hip-hop group
Karmacy.

When I was originally asked to write a little something for this blog, I was honored and extremely excited to create a cheesy piece about how my 6 month old son Amani is my hero. Or about how when I think of my father and Amani I feel stuck in the middle of greatness. However, I saw some of the posts and comments about the whole “man week” thing and my mind began racing.

I could not stop thinking about some of the comments that quite frankly were insulting to my fellow men. I asked my wife if I am that bad and if our relationship makes her that unhappy. She smiled and replied, “Of course not. But I do agree that most of the time it is the woman who has to keep track of the day-to-day functions of a household. For example, how much milk do we have in the fridge right now?”

I gave her some half-assed answer and because I am a horrible liar and was clearly ignorant about the milk quantity in our household, she smugly laughed and said, “It’s OK, I just wanted to prove a point.”

I thought to myself, who the hell cares about how much milk is in the fridge right now? If you need me to get some, I always will. We continued watching TV and I could not stop searching for a way to defend menfolk and blame their crazy wives for all the drama they cause. I told my wife I feel that everyone has roles in a relationship and it is up to the individuals to decide which roles they play. If someone is unhappy, he or she should simply communicate this instead of expecting the other person to mind read.

I woke up the next day and still could not shake the aggressive thoughts I kept having about how men are not as bad as women think they are. I went to work and worked an entire day with these little instigators brewing inside me.

Then when I was driving home from work the entire thing just made sense: I am massively insecure about being a lazy, disappointing husband.

I am not saying that I am one of these hated beasts but I often worry about the possibility of becoming the ogre many wives complain about. You may say, oh the simple fact that you are concerned about these issues means that you will avoid falling into that trap. Wrong. That is exactly what the problem is. Thinking about being a good husband or wife does not mean you are one.

I think I’ve figured out why men and women have such a divide between them. It is all about history. We contemporary Obama lovers claim to thoroughly reject traditional stereotypes and anthropological norms--but they still exist and we have to know what they are to understand them. So my brief lesson: Back in the day men did all the hunting, gathering, and protecting, while women did everything else. We modern types clearly snub the negative aspects of these barbaric roles, but it can be hard to deny the potential advantages of falling into this social “trap.”

Men get to do nothing once they get home from work because without them there would be no food on the table. Women get to smugly hold everything else over their husbands because they make the family actually function.

Clearly, things have changed and most people, including me and my wife, do not live this way. But, we constantly try to prove to ourselves that we are not like other couples and we have a special relationship that outshines everyone else’s. The truth is that my wife and I have to continually and actively work at being good to each other. There is nothing wrong with that. However, the problem arises when the struggle itself gets to you. When you are tired and hungry and pissed off that no one really understands how your day went; that’s when you can fall into the “trap.”

A bill gets overlooked. The bathroom gets dirtier. A weekend ends up being tiring instead of relaxing. Family is in town and you can’t spend time alone together. Someone finally cracks and makes a comment or fails to help out. The shit officially hits the fan and we devolve into our new version of traditional roles. The women claim that they are normally so understanding and only ask their husbands to carry out a few small tasks. The men remind their wives how much better they are than most husbands and how they work so hard to help out around the house most of the time.

The bottom line, it is a regression towards the old school and we all need to step up and take action. Not just words and promises, but action. It is the only savior of the contemporary marriage. Both men and women need to realize they must do the little things that make each other happy in order to keep things moving smoothly, not just think about doing them.

If your husband likes hanging out with his friends and going “streaking in the quad” then don’t just tolerate it, understand and encourage it. Facilitate it. If your wife tries on five outfits before going to a simple house party, don’t just go downstairs and watch TV till she is done getting ready. Help her make her decision and encourage her the whole way. Be truthful, but positive.

I know all the guys are going to say, “Man, you are giving in to the pressure.” The women may say, “I don’t want my husband streaking.” The truth is that you knew he liked to streak before you married him and you knew how many outfits she had before you married her. Remember? You were modern and lived together before you got married? That stuff does not change when you have a kid. We all just need to grow up and help each other keep our personalities and our passions alive. If you can’t do that alone, then get some help from a counselor. If you don’t want to do that, then get a divorce.

I know all of this is easier said than done, but so far, from my perspective, it seems to be very worth it. Big shout out to my family, my wife and the joy of my life, Amani Dharma Shah!

47 comments:
thg said...

great response. Especially to encouragevin addition to tolerating. But is it enough?? And why do you think we all have this desire to be a "better" couple than our peers?

Anonymous said...

If my husband becomes supportive of my pre-party-getting-dressed behavior I think there is hope for peace in the Middle East.

Gurinder said...

This is well-written. But end of the day: You still don't know how much milk is in the fridge. And it doesn't seem like you care. Somebody has to know and care and that is one of the points of the original post--why does that fall to women. Not why as a choice why as a cultural phenomenon.

Sarita said...

"I am massively insecure about being a lazy, disappointing husband": Thank you for admitting this, seriously. I think much of the roots of fighting comes from insecurities about disappointing our spouses and coming up short but we don't really admit it often.

Anonymous said...

But people CAN change right? Isn't it a little depressing to see our husbands streaking or doing whatever they do now in their 30s when that is what they were doing at 18??

Veena said...

To agree with above poster: Aren't we SUPPOSED to be changed and matured with children to some extent?

Anonymous said...

I have to ask this because my husband is also an orthopod: How much of the baby work do you actually do? Do you think you essentially deserve a medal for every little task since you are always so busy. Because my husband does.

Anonymous said...

How do you support each other's passions when you are still angry about the milk???

TK said...

I can't tell you how happy I would be if my husband would give this even half as much thought as you, Swapnil. Actually thinking about these issues is what I think will lead to happy marriages 20 years down the road. You guys are really lucky.

rdutta said...

This is a great piece! I agree that thinking about and wanting to be a good spouse isn't enough. In our case though I feel like we don't even have time for the good intentions. How do we make more time? Age old question I know but I would love to hear the answer from a someone obviously juggli g a demanding job, a music career and fatherhood.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing! We have such low expectations of our husbands these days that it seems minorly miraculous that you even responded. That being said I agree that things don't have to change between marriage and parenthood and I don't know where the low expectations came from. We tried before on our relationsihp we can try now.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this. Another question I have been trying hard to find answers to maybe you can help.

Do husbands expect their life to change when they have a kid or do they just expect their wives to pick up all the changes? The biggest bone of contention I have with my husband is that he loves children, and is a great dad - but never once took a step back in his career when the kids came along, always expected me to be the one to make all the adjustments when the kids were sick. All this without even checking with me if I was okay with this.

Do men consider their wives and their jobs an equal when it comes to work outside of home?

Anonymous said...

First of all, thanks for writing Swapnil! I'm sure it wasn't easy. With that being said, since the purpose of male bloggers on this site is to help some of us women understand what is going on in your head, I would like your feedback on this one...
My husband and I have always focused our marriage on communication, and I have to admit, we do a decent job. The problem I have is when we communicate, behavior changes, things are great, but in a matter of months, we are back to communicating about the same frustrations? I understand some things just need to be let go of, the entire concept of pick your battles, but how can a wife think nothing less than her husband is not taking her seriously when the same issues are brought up every so often? Different situations, but same principle?

limits of communication said...

Hi swapnil thanks for writing. Here's my question: after two years of back and forth and some admittedly vicious fights I think my husband and I finally have a co parenting situation that works for us . But now it sometimes feels like we are business partners in the venture of raising our kid. All the communication helped--but the passion and the vitality of our relationship as a couple has suffered. Any thoughts on this?

p.p. said...

What if it's not "up to the individuals to decide which roles they will play"? My husband and I went into parenthood with the expectation of being totally equal on our responsibilities. We both work full time and we both have demanding careers. I think it was the fallacy of our expectations that has led to the current state if our relationship. Despite our intentions I do much more. First of course there is the nursing right? Obviously that falls on women. But even after the nursing is over, it seems like the "mothering" for lack of a better word has "naturally" fallen on me. The soothing in the middle of the night, the rocking, the patting...my husband swoops in now and again but, honestly, the kid responds better to me and my husband actually says things like "it's so much easier for you to do it it doesn't make sense got me to do it.". So here we find ourselves, far away from what my expectations were. It has nothing to to with quizzes on milk in the fridge...I wish it were that easy to solve.

Ashwin Sodhi said...

honest. real. love it, swap. it took a lot of courage to share your problem with streaking. thank you. thank you.

also, i'm particularly drawn to the notion that we've evolved to inhabit a certain domestic division of labor. it's true there was reason for it as recently as a generation ago, and it's true that there are still lingering remnants that influence our relationships today, but i wonder, can i, like, be a house husband already?

i look forward to more of your "naked" truths in response...

Anonymous said...

reply to pp

not to make things sound worse - but having gone through what you describe - here is what happens next usually, at least in my case.

the kid gets more attached to mom - and when he falls sick in the 1-2 year age, guess who has to stay home for the sick kid, because the kid is not soothed by dad of course. mom's heart obviously melts, and she agrees to stay home without thinking twice. there goes your full time career - because the 50/50 division of labor just breaks down. wife gets to be home with sick kid, missing her work, while husband continues with his "important meetings".

husband moves up in his career, while wife gets mommy tracked.

soon the income differential is so much that the husband starts using his higher salary as the bargaining item when he wants to justify not taking time off for sick kids at home.

wife and husband do not get along but stick together for kids - welcome to married room-mate life.

Sorry to be the messenger of doom, but I have yet to see a husband who treats his wife's career as important especially when the kids fall sick (unplanned leave is needed).

T said...

I would love to hear from Swapnil's wife on some of these things, especially on the amount of co-division of labor. I really like this response and want to believe that open communication can be a balm on the anger and seethingness that so many women I know can feel but I think we need your wifes POV too.

Jasmine said...

Here's where I agree with you Swapnil: If you are unhappy in a relationship you have to voice your unhappiness. Especially after kids come around, it is so incredibly easy to try to "let things go" or "take a deep breath and move on" but then, before you know it, years can pass and any resentment or disillusionment has calcified. At some point it is too late to fix things and waiting for "the right moment" is, in my opinion, a losing situation.

I Do That said...

"The women claim that they are normally so understanding and only ask their husbands to carry out a few small tasks. The men remind their wives how much better they are than most husbands and how they work so hard to help out around the house most of the time"

No joke, this happens at our house WEEKLY. I am so sick of comparing my husband to other husband's, and being compared to other wives, and I don't think we would do it if we weren't fundamentally unhappy. I try to remember that who we are as a couple needs to stand alone and our happiness is independant of what other husbands and wives are doing. But then I find myself saying that so and so's husband does X--when that isn't really what I care about!

Anonymous said...

I think it's great that this response has stirred so much talk, I really do, but I have to wonder where we are going with any of this. Are we saying anything new? Is this disillusionment post-children anything new? Basically what happens is that we get married, we have an idea of what lies ahead, we have kids and age old genderl roles naturally come to a head unless you erally really really want to fight them. Even if you throw in a boys night of streaking, a girls night of drinking pinot grigio, that is not real lief.

Roopal said...

In line with the poster above asking about whether men look at their wives jobs as equal to them: I find myself growing mroe and more angry at my husband for his lack of respect towards my career, and his justification is that he makes mroe money. It is true that he does but that is not how I judge my career you know? I know especially in this economy that money is an issue but I feel like my husband is discounting my career and my career goals and therefore assuming I need to do more at home than he does just because he makes more money.

Pallavi said...

Devis: This is all incredibly disheartening! My husband and I obviously have problems like every other couple but reading this board it seems like all marriages are horrible, all husbands are no help good-for-nothing cavemen. I know this isn't the case, I know many many great guys there, and Swapnil, you seem to be one of them (please talk with my husband about this initiative to let me take my time to get dressed!)

I want so badly to offer some wisdom to what seems like some really sad women but I can't come up with the words. Keep working on it seems trite. But that's the best I can do.

Anonymous said...

Just curious, but is anyone who reads this blog actually happy? These comments seem distubingly bitter. Not to marginalize those who are bitter (whether or not for good reason), I'm just curious as to whether those who post here accurately reflect the blog's total readership.

To Above Poster said...

Hahahahaha to the above poster, I was thinking the same thing!!!! I think sometimes life comes across as all bad when you try to talk about these things. I would bet most people are for the most part happy, with of cousre some exceptions, right? If you feel totally disrespected in your life and in your marriage there is no way you are gonna be happy but most of us I am willing to wager a bet to say are more happy than not. But talking about this stuff I think can make us even more happy, just to get our ideas and thoughts out there and to hear from other people about what maybe works for them?

Use Your Names! said...

Why do so many of you guys post anonomously? It is difficult to respond to you!

Shona said...

I agree with the above poster--alot of these comments are really really negative and it makes me sad to be honest. I think the first step might be DECIDING you want to be happy? Sometimes it becomes so easy to wallow that years pass and you don't realize that you are creating your own unhappiness.

Nadya said...

First off, thank you Swapnil for writing this. It is obvious you hit a nerve with people but lots of these comments don't really seem to have anything to do with your post, which is really great and I think shows a great commitment to your marriage and your new son (I love the name Amani!)

These comments make me sad too. Not because I don't think they are valid but because I don't think they represent the whole pictures. I agree with the poster above who says that talking about what we want in our marriages sometimes makes us seem more bitter than we are and I hope that is the case here?? If so then it is a price I would be willing to pay since more talk is usally better than less.

But if it's something else and if this is representative then we are in alot of trouble because where are all these marriages going, and what will we be teaching our kids?

Worried said...

YIKES. I checked the comments to what seemed like a sweet, nice post and got scared. You girls okay?

Niyati said...

Wow, Deepa, you should write a post just about these comments. They're all over the place!

My two cents: It is not at all in line with my experience that the men in our lives are the ogres being depicted in some of these comments. But that doesn't mean those men don't exist and to the ladies who are married to them: All I can say is that I hope you know what you were getting yourselves into. I don't mean to seem harsh but one of the posters aboved talked about expectations and that seems clutch. If you knew you were marrying an ogre and he turned out to be an ogre that's one thing. If you wake up one morning and find yourself thinking "where did my husband go and who is this Random Traditional Man in his place," that is quite another.

Ashit said...

Hey swap, loved the post! I think lot of guys can identify with your thoughts, at least I do!

Deepa good job getting some guys to post:-)

-Raju

Anonymous said...

I think most of the comments do represent the "wonderful men turned traditional the first day the kid fell sick" types.

Here is silicon valley I know a whole lot of those - you would never think they would be so
traditional, yet when it comes to picking between work and home most pick work.

Deepa - I think this is indeed a good topic for a future post - why do good men do a complete 180 degree when under pressure at home? What happens to the agreements they had made before kids? How come they cam multitask so well at work, and yet not know what to do at home when things get a bit busy/stressful with kids.

To address the negativity issues - I think it only represents the "new definition of happy". I think the question is not of happy or not happy but a feeling more of being hurt at being marginalized by their significant other.
While the mens behavior by no means would require extreme measures as divorce, they do hurt the wives emotionally a lot, who tend to lose the friend they had at home.

I for one am bewildered at the fact that the same man who would dote me 24 hrs a day only 12 years ago, can so easily listen to me and completely ignore my requests now. And believe me I do not NAG.

Anonymous said...

interesting article

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/05/opinion/05coontz.html

Quote from the article very relevant to this discussion

" The Cowans found that the average drop in marital satisfaction was almost entirely accounted for by the couples who slid into being parents, disagreed over it or were ambivalent about it. Couples who planned or equally welcomed the conception were likely to maintain or even increase their marital satisfaction after the child was born.

Marital quality also tends to decline when parents backslide into more traditional gender roles. Once a child arrives, lack of paid parental leave often leads the wife to quit her job and the husband to work more. This produces discontent on both sides. The wife resents her husband’s lack of involvement in child care and housework. The husband resents his wife’s ingratitude for the long hours he works to support the family."

shilpa said...

Hey everyone,

First off, thanks for all the really great comments. I appreciate the breadth of the sentiments shared and am happy to see Swap's post provided a space for people to divulge their deeply personal experiences and feelings. I would love to provide my POV as Swap's wife and as a career-minded, creative woman and mom, but unfortunately can't do so until later as work is super busy. I know Swap would also like to address the questions raised. We'll find some time this evening to do so. Thanks again for contributing to this very necessary and relevant discussion!

Shilpa.

Rani said...

To Shilpa and Swapnil: I would love to know who it works on a nuts and bolts level. How do you help each other "keep the passions alive." Does it really not matter if only one of you knows if there is milk? Is it something you discuss--that expectation? And what are these passions you are keeping alive, and are they joint so that they are something you do together? A love of travel or cooking or something? Or are they more your own thing? I just would love to hear what ACTUALLY works and this post seems like it may offer some concrete suggetsions instead of the usual "be supportive" you get in most places.

Anu said...

I find that the hardest thing is that we are both TIRED all the time! Me from being with the kids... him from working and commuting like crazy. But here are his good points: he cleans bathtubs and vaccuums...he's always ready to stop by the store and pick up whatever I need on his way home... he checks the washer on his way upstairs and switches the clothes without being asked..he'll wake up at night to shush #2 (who prefers daddy anyway)...and he switched to becoming the breadwinner without complaint, although that wasn't who I was when we met. The only thing that is only mine is the kitchen and cooking, but he's super flexible and will pick up dinner on his way home even. What works is that he is so willing to be flexible, which makes me put my exhaustion with the kids and burnout on the back burner and actually tell him to veg out on the couch for an hour. I appreciate that he'll always help us before he goes to chill out, and that makes me say, look just go rest. I think if husbands would just say, no matter how tired I am, I'll see if she needs anything done before I chill, it would help. And on my part, not jumping him the minute he walks in with all my problems also helps him not get in a bad mood right away. My BIL says he has a doctor friend who asked his family to please ignore him for half an hour after he gets home, and that helped him unwind. His wife gets to be ignored for half an hour after that :)

Curious Nari said...

A question for Swap;

If your wife had a streaking habit, would you support it?

Somehow, even your example of a man streaking and a woman taking a long time to pick out an outfit, fits very old, cliched traditional gender roles. One of freedom (streaking) and one of domesticity (laboring over fashion sense).

I guess the issue I am having with both this post and Tarik's is that, despite both of you being obviously caring husbands and fathers, you cannot shake the last vestiges of traditional roles in terms of sexuality (you - streaking and Tarik - oogling half naked women in some sex drenched club).

Turn it around; have your wife streaking or Tarik's wife oogling well-hung studs in a club designed to cater to women's fantasies, and well, ask yourselves how you would feel.

In my experience living intimately with a man I have found that today's contemporary male is fine with cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping and practically all domestic duties. What he is NOT ok with though his is woman, his female partner, having the sexual freedom, or the freedom of bodily expresssion, that he requests leeway for from her; whether it be streaking, oogling members of the opposite sex, or just having fantasies about making love to multiple partners.

How many times have I heard boyfriends talk about how it is natural for a man to want more than one woman but when I agree with that and express to them my openness to polyamory, they are shocked. WHY???

They say it is not natural.

Where did they get this idea?

What makes today's new age, feminist and domesticated man STILL want to control a woman's sexuality?

Please, someone answer this for me.

Anonymous said...

wow - this seems like a hot topic everywhere - I just heard the forum discussion (out of KQED) from yesterday.

Children and Marital Happiness

http://www.kqed.org/epArchive/R902090900

shilpa said...

I'm a little overwhelmed by how many things to respond to... I'm hesitant to open up my relationship as a continuing example, but I feel the urge to do so in a limited way with the hope that the forum doesn't use it to further their own positive/negative agendas.

The main point here is supporting passion. Nari, Swapnil used "streaking through the quad" precisely because it represents a stereotypically male behavior. Fortunately or unfortunately, Swapnil doesn't have a passion for streaking and I don't always need to change 5 times before a simple house party (always being the key word!). By replacing "streaking" with "poetry" you suddenly invalidate many of the above comments and reactions. Poetry is considered by many of us devis to be a "mature" passion . We've added our own judgment to the mix, which negates the point Swapnil is making. Marriage to us is not about trying to compromise ourselves as individuals, but rather trying to support each other's individual passions so in turn we become a stronger couple. If our lives become focused on only managing our household, what will we have to offer Amani in 15 years? It doesn't matter what Swap is passionate about, it's that he is passionate. I want to make sure to support him regardless and hope he will continue to be so.

I admit- I'm very lucky. I married a progressive man who is always striving to be better. That said, we all have our own misgivings. Life isn't always peachy in the Shah household. But when we're frustrated, we try to remember to give each other the benefit of the doubt. Maybe Swap doesn't know how much milk there is in the fridge because he's juggling 4 full-time jobs already (husband, father, surgeon, and musician). Does this mean inherently that this task falls to me? Actually it doesn't. I decide to worry about it. If I decided not to, there may not be milk in the house. So what? If there was no milk in the house, Swapnil would go get some.

These sentiments are reciprocal. Ironically, as I was initially reading some of the comments yesterday- those about a woman's career taking a backseat- Swap called to ask how my busy work week was going. During the day he doesn't have time to be on the computer at all and had no idea the buzz his post had generated. I realized that through supporting his passions, he in turn supports mine. He's told me before that he'd rather eat out every night if it means I can dedicate more time to my career and design ambitions. How can I ask him to table his own when I know those very ambitions make him who he is? Until Swap's done with residency, I provide the main family income. However I've also had to take time off work when Amani was born and am now only working 4 days a week. Yes, I make sacrifices. But once his residency is done, he will make sacrifices for me too- postponing his career ambitions until I complete graduate school. I'd like to think that despite our ups and downs, we somehow managed to not spill the milk.

And Nari, if I was passionate about streaking, I know he would support me.

Anonymous said...

All - please do hear the forum link. I just did.

They touch upon all the issues, money, career, gender roles, change in expectation, partners instead of loving parents, lack of support for busy life, therapy etc.

The change in lifestyle after kids, and how much that change is, seems to be one of the best kept secrets over generations!

Maybe the best we can do is advocate to our friends who are about to have a kid - how much a child can change life and relationships, and hope they prepare to stay strong.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, I make sacrifices. But once his residency is done, he will make sacrifices for me too- postponing his career ambitions until I complete graduate school."

Shilpa - Indeed you are very lucky if he does postpone his career ambitions when the time comes.

In our case just when that time came - my husband got a big promotion, salary bump, meetings with CEO etc etc, and with all that he simply went back on all his promises.

You guys are indeed blessed to have each other - good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

Wow I am just plugging into this now: What a thick debate. Definitely interesting to hear your take on things, Shilpa. It sounds like you and Swapnil have a marriage that works and that you are committed to keeping it working. It probably sounds cliched but the backbone of what you describe sounds like give and take, you scratch my back I'll scratch yours. Some of the games you learn in the playground actually make sense!

Cindu said...

What an honest, thoughtful and well written piece Swap. I am def going to be sharing this with Jim:)

Nari said...

Good for you Shilpa. Glad to hear Swap doesn't streak and that he would support you if you did. I just found it curious that he used that as a typical male "passion", because I've not known anyone, male or female who's passion was streaking. LOL.

However, I do know some females who like to pole dance at clubs. I guess that would be a fair and equal trade off?

Wow. Reading all these comments and listening to that audio broadcast suddenly made me even more happy to be single. I'm glad I cut off my relationship with my ex before becoming pregnant and stuck with him.

Of course, I know there are trade offs in a closed monogamous relationship, like the security, stability, etc. But these days, with the divorce rate being what it is, even those seem ambiguous. Of course as desis our divorce rates are lower, but they are slowly and surely rising.

I'll probabaly be single and lovin' it for a long time to come.

parutron said...

i have the awesome privilege of knowing, loving, and being loved by swap. more than any issues he raised, i love his post because it's so genuine and so uniquely him....

and yay for these thoughts! as someone in a happy relationship where our roles don't fit any gender categorization, i'm definitely of the "who cares who does what?" mindset. everyone is better at and likes certain things more than others....and though it's not as exciting as the secret notes, surprise feasts, and confessions of love, feeling a balance and complement in each others roles is probably part of the reason you fell in love. i know it is with me and my boy.

we don't have kids. but we will when we're ready and are excited at the thought! so i'm putting my money on swap - i can see how having kids throws you off balance way more, but i like to think that it'll enhance rather than obliterate our dynamics.

ps. streak on swap, you deserve it!

deepa said...

It makes me proud to be part of the generation that gave birth to and raised this new generation that is capable of experiencing and openly discussing such feelings! Hats off to all of you kids. I can relate only to some of what you are experiencing, partly because we were raised differently (and so, thank God, were our spouses!) and partly because I have not analyzed my stance or reasons therefor. However, I do understand the conflict between our anthropological and cultural pasts and current sociological situation. As an engineer, I can see the absolute logic in making decisions that are best for the family unit as a whole, and the obvious slant that logic gives to the career that is likely to be on an uninterrupted upward path. What can make or break a relationship is not giving in to that logic, but the discussion (or lack thereof) surrounding whatever decision is made.

Brij (Shilpa's Dad) said...

The last comment was mine made from Deepa's computer - I displayed my generational weakness with this high-tech stuff....

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