Spouse:  The Truth About Marriage

Spouse: The Truth About Marriage

Product ID: 14754

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Author: Shobha De
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2005
Language: English
Pages: 287
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143032372


How marriages work and why they fail…

Marriage is an adventure, says Shobhaa Dé, celebrity writer, devoted wife and mother of six. It’s about trust, companionship, affection and sharing. It’s also about learning to cope with your partner’s moods and eccentricities. Not to mention the delicate balancing act between parents, children, friends and a career, and the sometimes overpowering need to get away from it all.

In this delightful book on society’s most debated institution, Shobhaa Dé writes about how and why marriages work-or don’t. With her usual disregard for rules, she reinvents tradition and challenges old stereotypes, addressing all the issues that are central to most Indian marriages: the saas-bahu conundrum (how to escape the role-trap and enjoy each other), the need for honesty (aren’t some secrets better left secret?), the importance of romance (no, expressions of love are not unmanly!), and not any less important, how to recognize the warning signs in a hopeless relationship and run before it’s too late.

Fun, savvy and, above all, pragmatic, this is the ultimate relationship book for all those who want to make the adventure of marriage last a lifetime.



Shobhaa De finds marriage flawed but fascinating. In her latest book she cracks the password to happy unions.

Two marriages, and six children later, Shobha De has put marriages under the scanner. Her book Spouse: The truth about marriage tackles the tricky question of why marriages work, and why the fail.

Ms De finds the institution of marriage flawed, unnatural but fascinating. As a subject it has fascinated me. I have been watching marriages closely-my own included. I am curious to understand the dynamics of a marriage. The book is timely because marriage is under threat. There is a lot of casualness in men and women who are going in for it. That’s what triggered me to write it. As an institution, it is erratic. It doesn’t guarantee success. In the past, if there were problems women could not walk out of the wedlock. It was loaded in favour of men. Now the dynamics of marriage have changed. It is as good or as bad a contract the two can make.

About women’s liberation vis-a-vis marriage, she feels, It is financial empowerment women and not women lib as people call it. Women are driving the change. Power equation between a man and a woman has changed. It’s the age of modern marriages. So is man ready to give in? There is resistance. He still favours the status quo because that goes to his advantage. But it’s about time. For centuries men have dominated the socio-economic scene and controlled marriages. But if this change is victimizing men and questioning their machismo, is woman to shoulder the blame for an unsuccessful marriage? There’s nothing such as a blame game. The moment it enters a marriage, it’s over. Marriage is a contract between two people who might be strangers or lovers. For it to thrive, you must value each other.

So what does she regard as the highest form of communication in a wedlock? Sex. It is the one defining aspect, the key point of marriage. On a scale of one to 10, I rate it at 11, she laughs. Is the emerging gay culture a threat to marital bliss? The incidents are few. Moreover, heterosexual relationships don’t pose a danger to marriages. I think, gay culture will gradually get recognition and develop as a sub-culture.

Cross-cultural marriages are on the rise. Are they a bane or a boon to the institution of marriage? I’d regard them as an asset. It is a global phenomenon which shows how radically marriage has redefined itself. Such unions indicate how adaptable you are and how much can you stretch your-self to accommodate your partner.

Having survived the many ups and downs that came in her married life, how important does she think is matrimony? India has been a marriage-obsessed society. Marriage is considered the be all and end all of life. I’am questioning all that. Even after being married so long, I often get baffled by aspects of marriage that defy logic itself.

At the end of the day, has marriage been the all-encompassing factor? Yes, it has enriched me in more ways than I can remember. Marriage, with all its complex, complicated, dizzying ingredients remains my number one comfort zone.



1. Touch and Go
Aa gale lag jaa

2. White Lies
Jhooth bole kauv kaate

3. Spelling It Out
Yeh dil Maangey more

4. Talk Time
Mujhe kuch Kehna hai

5. Fight or Spite
Tu tu main main

6. Friends and Foes
Yeh dosti

7. Love vs Arranged
Pyar kiya to darna kya

8. Marriage Most Foul
Shaadi aur Barbaadi

9. Divorce and Be Damned
Talaaq, talaaq, talaaq

10. First Among Equals
Pehley aap, pehley aap

11. What’s Mine is Mine
Dil tera, ghar mera

12. Dumbing Down
Pyar ka sauda

13. Games People Play
Khiladi No 1

14. Repeat Value
Ek baar phir

15. The Dhak-dhak Factor
Dil to paagal hai

16. Sex and the City
Tan man ka Milan

17. Sex It Up, Baby!
Kuch love, Kuch masti

18. One-night Stands
Raat baaki, baat baaki

19. Long-distance Love
Pardesi, pardesi, jaana nahin

20. The Dreaded C-word
Kabhi haan, kabhi naa

21. All in the Family
Ghar ghar ki kahani

22. Managing Ma-in-law
Mere paas ma hai

23. Baby Talk
Hum do, hamarey do

24. Through Thick and Thin
Main hoon na

25. Taking Stock
Kal, aaj aur kal