The formative stage in one’s life, experts say, is during the period of one’s adolescence. Some even go farther behind and state character and one’s idiosyncrasies are formed during the life period ensconced in the womb.
I have known a couple of brats (formerly) in their toddler days and would be horrified at the thought of them coming home with their parents on their evening strolls. They were enfant terrible while awake and in sleep. Two score years have elapsed since and they are now perfect gentlemen; two charming young men and both in respectable positions in life certainly capable of enchanting any potential bride. And loving grateful sons to their parents!
I look back at myself and wonder if there has been any change in me as a person. The temperament and character I have possessed score and five years ago and what it is now. Being wed locked to a woman changed me, my foibles -my outlook, my temperament, my fear, my fads, my obsessions, my hypocrite shadow? Honestly a self-assessment is possible. But I fear that may be understood as conceited and infelicitous.
I feel that one cannot deny that a person with whom one has been associated in life day and night will not have extended his/her influence .Can we deny? The proportion and the depth of the tentacles of influence and ensnaring as we can call it vary from person. From trivial mundane matters to subjective things with deeper resonance, spouse can influence and again it varies from person to person.
The bloke who relished mutton and beef steak or hot spicy veal in Kerala masala suddenly confessed to his greener and vegetarian ways of gastronomic shift. He claimed that his physiological propensity to retain flab around the midriff and the fear of losing battle of the bulge made him forsake the most relished of all viand. The amusing fact was that his physical appearance had not changed an iota horizontally since the teen age while in college. The fact understandably was that after having married a Telugu Brahmin lady he found the going unpleasant with his gastronomic indulgence. He later said in passing his abstinence helped as his spouse was Brahmin. Call it sacrifice, relinquishing, pliability, adaptability and so on. Perhaps to some the latter is the way to extricate from the quagmire.
In a yet male dominated society, I guess that women are far more influenced or forced to adhere to changed ways and habits to suit the fantasies, fallacies and habits of their spouses- their idiosyncrasies in general. But men are pliable and do so to suit to the whims of their spouses. Survival, adaptability, ingenuity and sometimes helplessness ending with biting the bullet to avoid a bitter home! A bondage and bondage is – “subjection to external influences and internal negative thoughts and attitudes”.
Though there may be visible shifts in one’s character, attitude and other characteristics after the alter ego’s influence post wedlock, I guess no one is impervious to change ipso facto. There may be subtle change in one’s self, which may be conscious or otherwise. Some hit the bottle in worse case scenarios. Difficult to pity them but one can be amused.
I wonder what will be the general take on this matter. The cliched argument and supposed platonic statements such as, “give and take or quid pro quo is petty and doses not retain heart and soul.