A smart 30 something girl approached me a few weeks back. She wanted to know whether we accommodate paying guests. In the area where we live, almost every house has tenants. Since peaceful atmosphere is very important to us and we sleep early, we decided from the beginning against this practice.
She was an interesting person and we got into a conversation. That is when I came to know that she belongs to Belgaum and lives with her parents.
“Then why do you want to shift?” I asked, thinking that her work place may be quite far from her parent’s house.
Why should I get married?
“They are after me very badly to get married, and I am not interested. Tell me aunty, why should I get married? I am earning, I travel alone, and I can do whatever I wish to. Then why should I be accommodating all the tantrums of an MCP, along with daily torture from the MIL. This is what I get to hear from my married colleagues.”
I didn’t have an immediate answer, but it put me to thinking. A week later, a client asked me, “Why should I get married?”
By the time I had gone through some thinking process, and also, I was expected to give an answer to her.
I said to her, “First and foremost, one should not marry just for the sake of marrying. If someone comes along and you fall in love, that is a good reason to marry. If one loves and respects himself/herself so much that the heart is overflowing with love, then that love needs to be shared and marriage is a good option. Keep in mind, a lady should be ready for mothering if marriage has to last because men have the mental age of 13 years (this was told to me by a middle aged Swedish dentist in 1992, and when I looked around, seemed to be making sense) and they need mothering.”
I added the mothering concept in my answer because many young wives have complained to me of their frustration with their husbands’ need for mothering.
She was happy with my answer. Girls not willing to get married is a very prevalent situation now.
Love is not receiving, but giving
In the older generations, there was a sense of surrender, from both the man and the woman. It does not mean that either of them was in total surrender every second in their lives. It is my belief that if at least once one has not experienced the feeling of total surrender to their partner, they have not been in love.
Today’s stress on self love has gone to another extreme. One is not ready to sacrifice even an iota of convenience for the partner. It is always ‘What am I getting from this relationship?’ and not, ‘What can I do to sustain this relationship? What can I do to make my partner happy?’
“I”, “My life” syndrome
We, ladies have worn pants and acquired many of masculine qualities, but men have not worn saris and taken up feminine qualities (Just in a lighter vein, my observation of the many clients I get to see). As women are doing much more in so many areas of life, they expect men also to do many things that were not common in the earlier generations. They still want to retain the male supremacy. When both husband and wife come back home after a hard day’s work, he can sit and relax in front of the TV, and wife is supposed to finish all the household chores. This cannot go on forever. Friction starts and they decide to part their ways.
For sustaining the relationship, both have to be ready to forget the ‘My life’ and accommodate ‘Our life’.
Sanskara of the family
For arranged marriages, the sanskara of the families used to be a criterion. The girl’s parents looked for a boy from a family with superior or similar sanskara. In love marriages this is rarely considered. Also in current arranged marriages, this is never thought of. Girls are looking for prospective husbands' bank balance and whether his parents are no longer alive.
In such cases, moral values like truth and honesty may be in the character of the wife, but not of the husband. Having the acquired assertive nature, the wife may then refuse to abandon her character. That leads to extreme tension leading to separation.
Advice to girls’ parents
For Indian parents, it is very painful to see their adult daughters remain unmarried. They need to realize that times have changed. Getting them married just for the sake of marriage is not wise. I have come across many cases of separation and a lot of girls who can’t muster the courage for separation going through hell, anxiety disorders, depression, and varied physical ailments.
If your daughter wants to spend her life alone, support her decision. Her mental balance and peace are more important. Tomorrow if she comes across a person to whom she is willing to give her heart, help her in her judgment.