Why should one marry? What do you think should be the reason for marrying? Does any of the following sound familiar?
– You have a job. What are you waiting for?
(Life mein aur kuchh hai hi nahi. Job lag gayi, why wait?)
– You are going to get ‘overage’. Who will marry you then?
(Just like perishable items carry a ‘best before’ date)
– Your younger sister is waiting in line. Your marriage will clear her way?!
(Like you are some sort of a roadblock; which makes wedding a bulldozer. Perfect!)
– You are getting fatter and losing hair. Marry soon before people turn you down.
(And I would want to marry someone because they like me thin??? Hear yourself.)
– All your friends have gotten married? Why don’t you?
(Yes. You got it. We all move in tandem like conjoined twins!)
– Get married soon. I need to show your aunt that my kids are better.
(Great! Make me your winning horse now. Since you are at it, why don’t you place bets too?)
– Oh! Oh! We have for an excellent ‘rishta’. They are ready to give 10L in dowry, a big car and gold!!
(So that’s my value? Whatever happened to calling people invaluable?)
– Don’t you love your parents?
(Ha Ha Ha. So you want me to get someone with whom you would later fight with for my attention? Smart thinking!)
We have all been there. But really, when you do get comfortable with the idea of marriage and think you are ready to ‘settle’, what are your reasons? What do you want in your partner, unless of course if you are in a relationship? I sincerely hope it’s not because your ex got married and you want to too. Or simply out of boredom. Or, because you are away from home and want someone to take care of you and your house. Girls, he isn’t your teddy bear. Just call up your girlfriend or mom if you need a good talk. And guys, she isn’t going to be the second version of your mother; so don’t expect her to ‘take care’ of your house. Marry for the right reasons! Don’t give in to any of the reasons listed above. Please don’t!
Marriage, above and before anything, requires companionship. Very few people marry someone who was a friend first. But those who don’t, they must try and form a friendship before tying the knot. If you can’t communicate, can’t discuss most basic things comfortably, then how on earth do you expect your marriage to work?
They say, ‘when weddings ends, marriage begins.’
It’s not all about bringing money, spending money on bills etc, bearing children and attending family functions together. It’s so much larger and stronger than that. It’s the everyday, the mundane, that consumes and challenges you. This person you marry will be with you through thick and thin and if you both don’t even understand each other at the most basic level, how will you make it work when times tell? And times will test you. Don’t be an ostrich; pretending nothing ever will go wrong with you. Every married couple goes through a lifecycle; there are good times and bad, trying times that test your patience more strongly than it tests your love for each other. Times, when you would want to be alone and when not. If your partner can’t understand that and if you can’t give your partner that space, then there’s something fundamentally wrong between you two.
Take a pause and think. Have a discussion with the one you intend to marry. Discuss everything under the sun. Sometimes even the most simplistic stuff can tell you a lot about the other person. You don’t need to find your replica. Just find a friend who understands your thought process and knows who you really are. Give it some time before you decide. Of course you may end up not liking the person, but the time spent in getting to know her/him would be a small sacrifice than a lifetime spent in unhappiness. It’s easier to look for a friend anyways than to look for a spouse. Don’t treat marriage as some big evil lifetime social pressure that you need to go through. Treat it as a lifelong friendship and be in it with the one who makes your marriage feel easy and light. It shouldn’t need too much work and if you think it will or it is sapping all your energy then you are in trouble dear friend.
You may ask how exactly can one go about it, and that’s a tricky question. One can never make a complete list of attributes that one would want in a person. Even if one does, then it is liable to change as one ages, according to change in priorities. But what one could do is to ask oneself what are those issues that one is absolutely firm about – things that invoke principles. It can be anything- politics, religion, work related, family set up. If you find yourself not agreeing or compromising on those crucial points then it is better to come out in the clear and not go for it. You will be doing a favour to both of you and your families too. As someone once told me, “Instead of looking for all that is ‘right’ with the person, look for all that you absolutely can’t do without.” It’s a pragmatic approach and sensible, to say the least.
Understand, respect and learn to care, before you wed. If you don’t have a love of your life then find a friend and you will get a partner back. Else, don’t!