Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Itch

I read with interest posting by some lady bloggers who spoke frankly about the current state of their marriage.

These women have been blissfully wed for a decade or two. They have built a good life around their respective families, with dependable, loving husbands and adoring children.

Some are professionals who did not surrender their career upon marriage, who have advanced in their respective fields of expertise despite motherhood. They are generally happy with their lot.

Many, under normal circumstances, would not dream of trading their significant other with newer models, even if the latest offering has the 'engine power' of a young stallion and 'menderam' like a brand-new Maserati.

I choose to hold true to the saying that 'sex isn't everything; love is'. After all, when there is no more sexual intimacy left, but doddering codgers who no longer recognise who you are, what remains is unconditional love.

It's love that make us defend our territory to keep the one with the extra flab, balding scalp, greying temple, wobbly teeth and turtle pace (in bed and elsewhere).

For some, their Adonis days are long over, but we love them still. (Psst.. for those who fight tooth and nail solely for the $$$, I am keeping my counsel).

I would have been married to dear Pak Abu all of eight years come June which, taken in isolation, doesn't really make me an authority about marriage.

But there were 14 years of same chalked up previously (albeit with a different spouse long forgiven and forgotten), not to mention the 14 years of 'jandahood' that followed.

Collectively speaking, I have covered all grounds (not by design, though); marriage & motherhood, divorce & singlehood, and now remarriage.

I would like to think this somewhat messy state of affairs in my rather colourful life has given me some measure of credibility to give my two-sen worth.

Having said that, I must add this gem from my one-time mentor in journalism, Adibah Amin (Kak Adib), who used to say age is no measure of wisdom.

Just because you have done the same thing countless times doesn't make you right, for you could be repeating the same mistake each time. Such pearls of wisdom.

Some women lamented the fact that their marriage has reached a plateau and that they worry what comes next.

I can tell you what awaits - it's "The Seven-year Itch" (SYI), and it does not necessarily appear after seven years; some were just born 'miang' (itchy).

All things considered, SYI seems to afflict men more than women. In fact, for some men, SYI comes a lot earlier. For a select few, the 'miangness' never leaves despite marriage and a trailerful of kids.

Someone I know (woman, 40s, married, with kids) once indulged in internet chatting just to "Test Power" (her term, not mine).

She was curious to know how far her sexuality could take her, without upsetting the status quo. [It did go pretty far, and affected her marriage in the process].

In the case of men, I know a fair number of husbands who, upon reaching 40s, acquired SYTs (Sweet Young Things) younger than my daughters (and theirs).

Like those ageing Lotharios with trophy wives hanging on their arms, these erring husbands are under the impression that such young 'cikus' would somehow reinforce their flagging sexual attraction (read balding pate, hanging guts, sagging skin et al).

My advice is, don't scratch the itch. Let it be. Ignore it, and it will go away. Pander to it and you are in for a lengthy court case, a hefty settlement, with the added 'bonus' of undying enmity of your kids.

So if you love your spouse/ kids/ marriage/ pets/parents/ house/ potted plants/ cars/ everything, stay true. It pays dividends in the long run.

Love and marriage is a two-way traffic; the moment it becomes a one-way street, you might as well drive on alone....


17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kak, Zaman 'nun' dulu I ada dengar somebody cerita pasal minyak dan air. The norm : minyak dan air tak kan bercampur. But this somebody said kalau letak minyak dan air satu bekas, mesti ada sikit lapisan yang terdiri dari campuran minyak dan air. BTW the guy was talking about friends. Kalau 'tersilap' pilih kawan, buruk padah. Kebanyakan yg 'tergaru-garu' tu mendapat sokongan padu atau puji-pujian melambung dari friends. Konon 'hero'lah tu. Jadi pada I sendiri. My hubby 'terlupakan' keluarga sekejap akibat ikut kawan. Bila dah dipisahkan dari kawan-kawan hansap tu, Alhamdulillah beliau tersedar. Sekarang nak kawan pilih-pilih. Bila dia nak jumpa kawan-kawan yang hansap tu, I mesti ikut atau salah seorang anak ikut menyibuk. Lama-lama kengkawan hansap tinggalkan dia. Boringlah kut! Syukur Alhamdulillah. The friends and family members yang rapat dengan we all Insyallah semua dah di 'jamin bermutu'. Family members yang hansap jugak (ada bukan tak da) we all jumpa masa kenduri dan kematian jer. Tak de nak lawa-lawa dtg rumah lagi. Serik. Hidup tak lama. Penyudah nanti mesti nak "mengadap, menjawab dan menerima balasan setimpal". Tak dapek nak nyurok do. Sumo kiri-kanan dah rekod. Dah tu bukan buleh gostan.

Jue

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Kama said...

Jue - betul tu. kadang2 terpengaruh dengan so-called 'friends' sampai lupa rumah tangga..

leman - thanks for visiting.

Anonymous said...

kak,

true..not worth holding to them if we are no longer part of them..

once they betrayed the emotion..the scars stays forever..

edelweiss said...

Dear...

dad dad mentioned this to me once...sebuah perkahwinan adalah penyatuan 2 hati...tapi kalau salah satu hati tak gembira, usahalah untuk pulihkannya. Tapi kalau tak berhasil...lepaskan. Berterima kasihlah kepada beliau yang telah memberi kita peluang untuk merasai kehidupan berumahtangga....sebagai suami / isteri...

i hold on to that .... till now. But i hope i dont have to go thru the SYI.... takutttttttnya!

Tommy Yew said...

Ahhh Puteri,

The Seven Year Itch, hmmmm good movie, starring Marilyn Monroe?

I think if u apply MOPIKO, maybe it can help, no?

Guess I better stop here, else I’m more than likely to put my foot in my mouth.

Tommy.

mamasita said...

I like your article very much! Apa you cakap semua betul!

Zendra said...

kama, you are more than qualified to remind us of the likely perils of marriage. The challenge is how to make marriage interesting as the years go by to deter itchy bites. And it can be a long wait for the pace to slow down to (quoting you) TURTLE (hahaha). But when it comes, it's then that love equates more to companionship, caring and understanding. Unless the turtle's a ninja.... hehehe

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Salam Kak Puteri,

OK OK, guess I am going thru that SYI now...:), but everything is under control, as I have decided not to prolong with this virtual intoxication.

I know I'll get hurt if suddenly it is my other half pulak yg SYI. I hope I'll find out before it is too late (such a wicked woman I am).

Madam, rotan me for being naughty.

Kama said...

Anon - too true, after all things said and done, even if the scars are no longer visible, bad memories remain...

Edelweiss - what a sweet way of putting it; penyatuan dua hati, but it's soo true. marital bliss is not easy to attain, one has to work very hard..

Tommy - hehehe, mopiko helps a little but cold hard cash helps a lot in the even of a messy divorce..

Mamasita - sometimes kita pun wonder, kenapa kita sayang sangat kat yg dah tua yg ada kat rumah tu.. betul tak? especially kalau hensem pun tak..LOL.. but that's what love is all about..

Zendra - wow, ninja turtle! i cuma ada terengganu leatherback turtle.. big and slow and ponderous..LOL .. I pun nak lah yg fast and swift ninja kind! ..hahahaha..

Ida - hehehehe, I would rotan you bigtime if I could.. :) nolah, actually ramai yg melalui this stage, when you keep asking yourself "where do we go from here after all the sex and the passion?" is that it? the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.... :)

_deli said...

Salam pertama Kak Puteri,

Sesekali saya melencong ke mari menjengok dan mengintai dalam diam. Kali ni nak bersuara sikit. Izinkan ya.

Saya senang sekali membaca blog Kak Puteri yang sentiasa telus dan tulus. I remember a friend once said (and sure he quoted someone else)"...dont be ashamed of your past, write a best seller!". Saya dapat merasakan yang Kak Puteri selesa berkongsi rasa.

Pada hemat saya, dan seupaya saya praktikkan, orang lelaki kalau ia menitik beratkan perihal anak-anak lebih dari kasut mahupun keretanya; sang isteri harus bersyukur; sungguhpun perhatian pada dirinya kurang. Itu ringkasnya lah.

Cukup dulu Kak Puteri or would you rather be addressed as Kak Kama?

Kama said...

tq deli, for dropping by. panggil apa pun boleh..betul kata deli, penjagaan anak harus diutamakan kalau kita dah jadi parents. hidup kita jugak yang haru nanti kalau they grow up tanpa didikan/ pedoman..

Rose said...

Salam Kak Kama.I like what you wrote.Banyak kebenarannya.Kita tahu,kan.I guess the women in our family semua go through similar episode.Ada yang survive, ada yang sangkut but kita semua bangun and get on with life.The reward for patience is happiness deep down.Walau apapun cabaran dan dugaan dalam perkahwinan,kita kena redha dan panjatkan doa.Someone told me years back when I was facing the "gelora" - is it worth fighting for & would you be happy with or without him?
p/s Jep kirim salam.Dia and wife in currently kat Mekah-umrah.

pP said...

Puteri kama :-)

Perantau di awal lima puluhan, berkelana ke seorangan, tak de pun rasa itch itchy itch...hehehe...walau sepinggan makan udang, tak juga gatal2!

dolu2 tu memang la ada...miang kalahkan miang keladi...hahaha. tapi itu dolu2, semasa baru2 terasa hebat...bila dah lama hebat, rambut pun dah tak lebat, perut semakin bulat, kilo naik punya lah berat, isteri dan anak2 dah pandai memikat...tak de lagi miang ulat bulu, yang ada cuma miang ketiak jagung jer.

Kama said...

Rose - thanks for droppin by, rose. it's true what you say. when this sort of thing happens, it's us who hv to decided whether to hold on or to let go... such is love..

Pp - I'm sure many went thro what you did in yr younger days. tapi bagus jugak miangh masa muda dan bukan masa tua..hehehe

madam gold said...

Such an inspiring post!Have been through SYI couple of times.But still not sure whether I can drive alone.You re one strong admirable lady!

Kama said...

MG - you know what they say about teabags. only when in hot water the strength emerges. I learned a long time ago not to depend on a man to live. Susah senang tanggung sendiri....