“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”- When Harry met Sally
Why do you think people get married? To have a beautiful family with someone they love, right? But why do Indians get married? Also, to have a beautiful family, but… Yes, there is a but because the pre-marital shenanigans make the whole marriage process quite painful, especially for an Indian woman. So the question arises, marriage in Indian society is a jinx or just a fluke for women?
The Pressure Towards Women To Get Married
In India where child marriages are rampant, it is lucky for us that we are not getting hitched at 16. The light nudge comes when you are in your 20s. The photos of the would-be grooms start to flood in when you cross 26. But most urban women are careerist women and they want to delay marriage for the sake of their professional life. But their family would not let them get past the age of thirty.
The biological clock is ticking and they have to produce babies, right? Therefore, as previously mentioned, a capable strong woman takes up the submissive role and agrees to be judged by strangers in an arranged meeting with the groom’s family facilitated by her parents. If it was only one meeting then things would have been different. But the “ladki ko dekhne aa rahe hain”, meetings are countless. They want the best one for their daughter, right? But what about the daughter? Dressing up day after day for unknown people who are silently and a lot of vocally judging her can be extremely hectic. With this many meetings, rejections are bound to come. Then you start to question your self-worth. “Maybe I am not pretty enough”. “Maybe my salary is not enough”. “Maybe my educational qualification is not enough”. All these maybes will send you in a downward spiral and your self-confidence will deplete day by day. Seeing your parents’ disappointed eyes as you grow old will push you down to a hole that you cannot see the shades of your colorful life where you shone brightly. Your only identity to your parents, extended family and neighbors, etc will be, “The unmarried girl”.
Love Marriage vs Arranged Marriage
In India, you will see a lot of women say they had an arranged love marriage. Their parents searched Tinder shaadi.com and found the perfect groom for them and they are living happily ever after. Though we may never know the insider story, one thing according to the article on HuffPost, lots of Indian women want their mummy-pappa to find a groom. They are either betrayed in romance or did not find satisfaction in a relationship. Some even claim that after ten years of a live-in relationship they broke the engagement and found true love in a person their parents searched for them. While these people may enjoy the good side of marriage, some are not so lucky. A small story from the same article. Indian women, from their childhood, are encouraged not to question things. This habit does not go away even when they become an adult. One day a couple came to a relationship psychologist’s office since they were having some trouble. According to the doctor, the husband was quite bored. Apparently, he had seen a hundred women as a prospective bride before getting married to his now-wife. His wife looked joyous and almost boastful that he had found true love and companionship in her amongst a hundred women. When the doctor asked, why he had married his wife? He answered that he got tired of seeing women and just wanted to put an end to it. So, you can imagine the wife’s mental condition.
Jinx or Fluke?
The relationship between Indian women and marriage is a love and hate relationship. In any marriage, there is only a fifty-fifty chance that it will either work out or it won’t. If the love marriage or arrange marriage or the so-called arranged love marriage goes smoothly then it’s fine. It’s a jinx, which means it’s a stroke of good luck! But in case it does not then the possibility of divorce or separation arises which is another draining experience. If you have children then it becomes an extremely hard fight. Some do not even go through the process of mutual separation and resort to going through mental agony, take up an extramarital affair and sometimes even domestic violence. But the prospect of the article is not to scare you about marriage. Go with your instinct before saying yes. Your parents may know better but you will have to have a say in choosing the person with whom you are going to spend the rest of your life. As Michele Wiener-Davis once said, “All marriages have dark periods. Even the great ones. Don’t give up when you are in the valley”