Free Press Journal

Love, Long-distance and Dangerous Liaisons in Bollywood


Long distance relationships and unequal fame, can these affect Bollywood marriages? Dr Kersy Chavda tells us about the fault in their marriages.

Dangerous Liaisons

Nothing can wreck the rock-bed of a marriage more damningly than an extramarital affair. Even if the marriage does survive the colossal break in trust, the repercussions are many and decades down the line, references to the tryst with unfaithfulness continue to faithfully emerge. There is evidently no washing off the stain of an affair to remember…

What the doc says…
“Infidelity is probably the most difficult challenge to deal with in a marriage. There is no getting away from the fact that the kids are extremely affected; look at Raj Kapoor and Nargis and I have no doubts that Rishi and Ranbir were badly affected by that, when it became a spectacle. It becomes worse if compounded by alcoholism, drug addiction and physical abuse.”

Dealing with it…
“For the man, we deal with it by first trying not to get into a link-up. The whole thing of ‘It happened; it was inevitable, I didn’t cause it’ is all crap. The difference between us and animals is that we have our centre of sexuality situated in our brain and not between the legs. We can technically decide whether to allow or not allow an affair to happen. You walk into it with your eyes open.

For the spouse, one option is walking out of the marriage, which by and large, does not happen. This could be for a number of reasons such as that you then lose out on a lot of things, or you’re hoping for the best. There is really no simple way. In the long run, you have to look at the kids who face a lot of cruelty from other kids in school and society in general. Healing from the impact of an extramarital affair would need a lot of time and effort and, by and large, you would need professional help. It is very difficult to deal with such a situation on your own and I would very strongly suggest that the couple seeks counselling.

As to the thought that the wife has to face some amount of shame, what with the so-called affair being talked about decades and decades later, it might not be so. Maybe she makes it accusatory for him. He also has to cope with the guilt of having done what he did and even being questioned on international TV. Of course there is no getting away from the fact that the ‘other woman’ also gets badly affected.

Can a marriage really recover from infidelity? Yes there is certainly a possibility provided both of them work at it and attempt to do the best that they possibly can, provided there is help that comes in with marriage counselling, and there is an unwritten rule that there will be no further shenanigans.”

Also Read: C for Celebrity, D for Divorce

Unequal Famec-glam-anchor-unequal-fame

Certain studies suggest that men feel worse—deep down in the subconscious—when their romantic partners succeed and this even when the pair are not competing in the same line of work. There is evidence that the subconscious self-esteem of a male would fall significantly following the success of his wife even in a completely different domain. Given a man’s innate competitive streak, the wife’s success is apparently interpreted as his own failure as it challenges the stereotype that he should be more competent and successful.

Worse, it might even trigger a fear that he is not good enough for her and could even lose her. The few times that Abhishek Bachchan has pointedly refused to pose with his famous wife for pictures suggests there might be more than a grain of truth to these findings even if Bachchan Jr claims it was because he didn’t want to cut into her limelight.

What the doc says…
“If both spouses are in the same profession there could be a sense of rivalry between the spouses. There is no getting away from the fact that a lot of marriages would not work, like in the equivalent of the film ABHIMAAN which portrayed a singer unable to cope with his wife’s superior success. The not-so-famous spouse often gets bored and resentful of being in the background, which could lead the more famous spouse to explore other relationships.”

Dealing with it…
“It is a very, very difficult to live with unless the not-so-famous spouse manages to find a niche of his own. If he is extremely strong and has strong self-esteem, feels comfortable in his own self and his own life, and the more famous spouse doesn’t make him feel less in any way, they can certainly cope.”

Long Distance Marriagec-glam-anchor-long-distance

Forget sharing the same roof, spouses today could be living in different continents – and by choice. The physical distance, however, does come with its share of challenges. The John Abraham and Priya Runchal marriage, for instance, has been consistently hit by rumours of trouble ever since the brawny Bollywood star and his financial investment banker wed in 2014. Work schedules are said to be the culprit as each remains bound by their individual professional commitments which make their personal time spent together almost a rarity. Distance doesn’t necessarily make the heart grow fonder…

What the doc says…
“A long distance marriage is the equivalent of something we see in Kerala where the men are working in the Gulf and come home for just one month in a year or a spouse who spends 9 month of the year working aboard a ship. Spouses in such marriages are certainly under stress and strain as it is as good as living alone.”

Dealing with it…
“I have seen many families which have distance yet lead wonderful lives together. I’ve also seen a lot of families where there is distance but it’s a horrible life to live. It depends on the understanding that each of them has with the other. A long distance marriage can work provided you are strong, have a good understanding, are able to cope, are in constant touch via video calling, and make a special effort to meet especially on important occasions. The distance has to be bridged in other ways.”