Welcome to The Dollhouse

By Uzma Malik

My daughter is playing with her doll’s house, it is a two story terraced house, with a living room and bedroom. She has kept some furniture of her choice, and has surprisingly kept animals instead of dolls, for she is very fond of animals. My son plays with cars, toy guns, balls, superheroes and the latest trend-Pokemon cards. My eldest daughter, prefers reading books and playing games that challenge her intellectually. For each, this is their ideal world, their doll houses, their aspirations, and this is what makes them unique and happy at this age.


Perhaps, in our minds, we all live in our ideal dolls houses most of our lives.  We have our set ambitions and perspectives. It is often when we are together with our life partner or in the company of others when we feel most threatened.


Husband and wife are completely unique individuals, coming from different backgrounds, with different ambitions and legacies. And yet, having no advice or guidelines on how to build bridges between their ideal worlds.


There is a whole psychological theory behind why and how a person reacts in a certain way and becomes the way he/she is.


Just for an example, having stressful unhappy parent, economical crises, disabled or emotionally challenging sibling, might result in a complete emotional blockage in a person. They will not be able to offer support and will avoid any kind of crises.

Studies show that the children of fussy parents trained to eat home made food only, and follow strict guidelines will make them have fixed notions with rigidity to make adjustments. There is hardly any person who, therefore, will be close to perfect and without any particular psychological concern.


Such differences might bring out occasional conflicting situations.


There are differences when for one the ‘fun’ starts and ends at food and shopping, while the other partner yearns for exploring, excursions, healthy eating and brisk walks.


When one is progressive, intellectual and social while the other is unable to handle attention, show ability to get along with others or feel love and hate in a continuous pattern.


When one is very religious and rigid in their notions and the other is progressive, practical and worldly.


Also, when one partner is overly ambitious and a workaholic whilst the other longs for family time and growing older together.


Most common is when one loves while the other hates the same person. Though these differences are big, there is always a middle ground.


Once a girl raised by her grandparents had conveniently been made a bookworm, to match their low energy levels of peace and quiet. However, after getting married, she found it difficult to adjust without books. All she wanted was to rush to read books which everyone else found very strange. The new addition was not in awe for the family, but in boredom to hook on to books. After all, who read books and who lets one read books or study after marriage, isn’t this an understood norm of our society?  She found the bathroom her sanctuary to read, only to find the concerned in-laws knocking at the door, wondering if she was ok. Ultimately, she had to speak for herself, to communicate about her hobby and passion for reading. The husband appreciated her personal space and they made few adjustments to let her keep her window of passion open as a hobby.


It’s about a time of personal space, when both pursue doing what they liked most when they were not married, like a tea, coffee or movie with a friend. As leaving everything behind, changing one to a complete new person who yearns for that old golden time, that breather, does not lead to a happy home . It is a home with controlled freedom.


However it is also important, to give time to each other, invest in relationship, emotionally, physically, intellectually and spiritually. At least to sit together with ice cream or chocolate, and watch a funny show to destress and end your day nicely, so you don’t take negative feelings to sleep. A gift, a memory, a selfie, flowers, card, coffee, can make a day for him/her, your life partner is possibly your best friend for life.


It is perhaps, all about small adjustments being made with time. To give a listening ear and to find a shoulder to cry on. Providing each other a space for emotional and intellectual growth. Respecting the aspirations and ambitions of each other and bringing out that welcoming smile, on seeing each other at the end of a long tiring day that brings two people together.


It’s also about sharing responsibilities, taking an extra duty on board and shedding some over burden and nerve-racking chore. It’s about becoming wiser together, by communicating every emotion. Where we stand united and make decisions together yet cherishing the differences. Where there is love, trust and healthy kids who have more exposure and therefore have fewer concerns to deal with, later on in life. As ultimately, it has never been about two ideal doll houses, it was meant to be one shared home – a sanctuary of love and happiness.


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