Marriage: An over-rated institution?

Posted: March 17, 2011

I write this conversation as it happened, just translating it into English. This conversation took place in our office washroom (which has a lot of uses apart from being a washroom) between

*a nearly 30 married with a child (SK)

*about 40ish married with two kids (DK)

*just married for less than an year with no kids (NK)

Note that I work for an engineering firm which means that most ladies here are qualified engineers

[Editor’s update: Also read, Marriage: Another point of view, a response to the comments here]

SK to NK: How was your weekend?

NK: nothing great…just general helping out in laws and work at home

SK: Did you go to that place you wanted to

NK: Nahi rey…and she sighs

SK: What happened?

NK: I feel marriage is a very over rated institution

SK: (Smiles) I think so too

DK: Why do you say that?

NK: I mean before I got married until last year, every weekend used to be going out with friends, I could wear what I want, I didn’t have to adjust my schedule to anyone else, I could just go out and come back when I wanted…Now, it’s all about compromising my desires, wants, friends, needs…

SK: I agree

DK: But you don’t even have kids. How can you even complain?

NK: I agree..infact I think having kids will make it worse..and you know what’s the worst part, my husband’s life has not changed at all…he hardly spends any time with me…goes out with his friends, does his work and he is in touch with everyone from school..and me..I  have no time to even call my friends..I have lost touch with most of them and my free time involves either cooking, cleaning or trying to get some sleep..and if I express my desire to go out, husband says he is tired,wants to watch the match, and so many other reasons.

SK: So you go out with your friends na..at least you will have this opportunity till you get a kid..once you get a kid…it will be even more difficult

DK: and if you have two kids, you can say good bye to your social life totally…then you spend all your free time either looking at their homework, or doing something for their project in school..or taking their studies..

SK: Difficult na

NK: Gosh..why did I get married….right from the childhood, I have been brought up saying that I should get married, I should get married…I had enough of the taunts and finally agreed to marriage..and what did that do..made me lose my independence…no, my in-laws are nice people and husband is a nice guy..but but…I am not me…I  have to go to them for everything I want to do..and it irritates me..I think marriage is really over rated

DK: but think about your old age…you will have someone to spend it with na

SK: oh come on DK, you think you should get married to have someone for your old age..please…given a choice, I would rather enrol myself into an old age institution, give some money there and enjoy the company of other elderly when I go beyond a stage when I can’t sustain myself independently..one of the positives of being a working woman is that I earn my living so I can afford to be financially independent right?

NK: Wow that’s a great idea…wish I had met you earlier, I could have given this logic to my parents as well

DK: You girls of this generation…you have such thoughts na

NK: No DK, seriously I think marriage is definitely over rated. For guys, nothing changes – same house, same people, same friends, same routine, free servant who will take out his pant shirt, cook for him and give him what he wants..but for the girl..everything changes..everything..when I want to go out, he wants to stay in, when he is going out, he doesn’t take me…I am quite pissed off…if I ever get a girl child, I will ensure that she marries only if SHE wants to..I will never force her into marriage like my parents did..never

and then the conversation stopped since a fourth lady came in wondering what happened here

Why I put this conversation here is to figure out if a lot of women feel the same way as NK?

1) Is marriage really an over rated institution?

2) Does a woman actually lose her independence and freedom after marriage?

R’s Mom is a working mother in Mumbai trying to balance work, home and

Learn More

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Comments

63 Comments


  1. I think Marriage is a very overrated institution. You don t need marriage to become a happy or fulfilled woman! Nor do you need to get married so you have support all your life!
    Loosing independence frankly depends on your relationship with your husband and his family. There are some very happily married women who live independent lives but then some women sacrifice all their desires for their families. I think all family members (men as well as women) should adjust and make sacrifices for people they love, but women should never be made the epitome of sacrifice!
    Infact I wrote a similar post on my blog regarding this a while back! http://nirjharani.blogspot.com/2010/10/yes-i-am-single-so.html

  2. Yes marriage is a highly overrated institution, for the women, mind you. Just look at the state NK is in. Poor girl. She had a life before she married, but after?? This is the fate of most all girls in our society.
    And I agree with what SK had to say. Imagine getting married to have someone for you in old age! That’s a dumb reason. Like she said, one could move to a home and be with people of similar age.
    I liked this post!

  3. The funny thing is a lot of people think marriage is meant to benefit women. I do think marriage is overrated. I strongly feel women’s lives will change if they stopped worrying about first getting, and then staying married. There’s a lot more to life than being married.

  4. Yes indeed, marriage is an over rated institutions. This question was settled by 1980s. Marriages are sold to women in a glossy cover, remember once a woman got married she got to wear good clothes and jewlery that was forbidden for single women. It gave her a free liscence to talk about sex and sleep with a man who everyone assumed would love her. For all these benefits all she had to do was cook, clean, make babies and keep every one happy. Yes in lieu of her services she is provided a roof over her head, food and protection from other predatory men.

    Research has shown …marriage has been found to impact men s and women s health differentially, such that men appear
    to benefit more than women from having a spouse.
    http://www65.homepage.villanova.edu/patrick.markey/Sex%20Roles%20–%20marital%20status.pdf

    We desis have a propensity of marrying for all the wrong reasons 🙂
    http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2010/11/28/desi-marriage-for-all-the-wrong-reason/

    Just share these findings with your colleagues.
    Peace,

    Desi Girl

  5. marriage is not an over rated institution. we mortals have made it so. It can be made a pleasant experience

    -if a mother teaches her son that he was not born to lord over women and he has to do his bit along with his sister initially and wife later.

    -if a father treats his wife as an equal and respects and appreciates her view in running the house.

    -if one’s in laws give the new bride time to adjust and allow her freedom to remain in touch with those who were part of her life before marriage instead of treating her as an acquired property.

    i can add to the list but I think i’ve made my point clear.

    the dissatisfaction stems not out of marriage itself but due to our attitude towards it.

    Changes cannot happen overnight and it has to begin with the training of young minds.

    • “-if one’s in laws give the new bride time to ADJUST and ALLOW her freedom to remain in touch with those who were part of her life before marriage instead of treating her as an acquired property.”

      Beg your pardon, but this sentence of yours above, draws attention to the major problem with marriage. Why should the in-laws or the husband or any one at all be “allowing” the woman to do anything?? She is an adult who has entered into matrimony as an equal partner, ‘ardhangini’ as it is called, not anyone’s ward.
      Partners in business don’t ‘allow each other, they consult each other, decide together etc. But in marriage the woman is ‘allowed’ to do this or that. Why willingly take on such a position unless those others in the equation are also willing to redefine their views of marriage??
      Another word is ‘adjust’ You say, ‘give HER’ time to adjust. That itself points to the flaw in our thinking. We expect HER to adjust. That should stop. Adjustment should from ALL. Just because a woman comes to stay with her in-laws does not mean SHE is the one to make adjustments. If they want HER in their life, they better move thmselves and make some adjustments FOR HER too.
      And that brings me to a third point, about a woman going to stay with in-laws. That very idea should change. Married couple should stay wherever they choose: by themselves, in HER house or HIS house with mutual understanding and acceptance, not by tradition or custom or by force.

      Since none of these things (and many more) are not even given a thought to as of now, marriage is indeed over-rated.

    • Marriage is not over-rated, I agree with HHG. Any institution will only flourish if the people involved in it behave with respect and dignity. If the in-laws are not open-minded, then it is upto the man and woman married to make their marriage work. It takes two to tango. The husband has to step up for the needs and comforts of his wife. They are a unit now. And sadly, women don’t or won’t speak up and demand that they be treated well and with respect because it causes a lot of ruffled feathers.

      Marriage is not to blame, the people in it are.

      And if in-laws on the woman’s side are blamed, you should also hold the man’s in-laws to equal standards for not letting their daughter be able to stand for herself and agree to become a wall-flower in her new home.

      I am with others saying that the man and woman should start their life in their own home with their own rules.

  6. Marriage has, under the present set-up outlived its utility, at least as far as women go. Completely echo the sentiments

  7. Shail:no need to get so worked up. As a Biology teacher I teach my students that in nature species that try to relocate to new environments adapt to the conditions that prevail in order to survive. With time they influence the physical environment and change it to suit their need and all life forms co-exist in mutual harmony. But the first step in adaptation is taken by the new species. Likewise it is the daughter in law who agrees to enter into matrimony who has to establish herself and win hearts. Once mutual trust is established her in laws are going to go out of the way to pamper her.

    It was for want of a better word that I used the word ‘allow’. I did not mean that the in laws were doing her any favor by ‘allowing’ her anything.

    • @Hip Grandma,
      … the daughter in law who agrees to enter into matrimony who has to establish herself and win hearts…

      The existential principles of wild do not apply to humans as it is because humans are social animals and not just animals.

      The folk wisdom of winning hearts through service and keeping quite do not work when those hearts are closed and have decided not to be happy in anyway. http://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2009/11/28/desi-in-laws-wedging-a-psychological-warfare-against-bahus/

      It is this thinking that the newcomer should adapt or like a horse/shoe we’ll break her to fit our needs that is the root of greater number of marital problems.

      Not much changes in a man’s life after marriage, where as for a woman it is not just place of residence, her attire, her eating habits, sleep hours, and sometimes even her identity (her name) changes just to make the marriage work no matter how good the understanding between the couple be, there is definitely pressure from his family.

      Adjustment definitely does not mean buying peace at any cost.

      Peace,
      Desi Girl

    • Hey, that was uncalled for! The ‘no need to get worked up’ bit. I am airing my views in reply to yours in a forum. Lol.

      And excuse me, I beg to differ (0nce again). A marriage does not mean ‘a daughter in law agreeing to enter into matrimony’. It is ‘a man AND woman both agreeing to enter matrimony’. So every one of them concerned have to make the adjustments. There is no reason for one person to win the others over and then be pampered for it.
      Please understand that here we are writing our views and this above is also written in the same spirit. I simply hold different views though in all probability we belong to the same generation. 😀

  8. I agree with Hip Grandma, marriage is definitely not an over rated institution. Also as Ruchira says “Loosing independence frankly depends on your relationship with your husband and his family” Adjustments, sacrifices and compromises are part of life whether one is married or not.None of my choices has ever been challenged or criticised by either my husband or my in-laws. They have always been supportive and understanding. And as Shail says “Adjustment should from ALL”.If I have adjusted, given up something or changed from what I used to be/do when I was single,so has my husband. There is always resistance to change and it is indeed difficult but eventually it is for the better of the marriage and for each other. In fact I believe that marriage gives one a wider perspective of things/situations, makes one more aware, responsible and sensitive to the needs of others and moulds you to become a much better person.

  9. good thought but writer can give me one answer that why every married man look a unmarried girl ?

  10. @All: thanks for your responses…
    I personally think marriage is over rated…not in the wrong sense, but what if a person doesnt get married..irrespective of the fact its a man or a woman..why do we force them to..or rather keep asking them when are you getting married……My primary question is why does one get married..? In India, I think its more because of the social pressure…I am married for 5 years now and I love my husband and the child we created together…but after 5 years of experience, I still feel that its over rated…what would my life have been if I hadnt married…yes of course I would not have met my husband who is a super guy…but then would I have missed out on anything…If I had maternal cravings I could have adopted a child (like Sushmita Sen) or if I wanted company, I have great friends and in old age I would do what SK suggests..go to a old age home

    Why do we bring up our daughters teaching them that for them marriage is the ultimate thing in life…and why do we expect them to leave their career and take care of the children..I dont know anyone personally who is a house husband..honestly…though I do know that my dad told my mom two things
    1) Do you really want to get married..cant we just stay together? (Mom of course was a naive young girl who insisted they go through the cermonies :))
    2) The day you earn even a single paisa more than me, I will stop working and take care of the kids (which again didnt happen, though eventually mom just started working again and she would come back from school and dad would take care of us in the morning and go to office for second shift)

    Adjustments in any relationship is important not only between the spouses..but often I have realised its only the woman who adjusts…its expected out of them..isnt that wrong? I dont know, maybe I am blowing a casual office washroom conversation out of proportion and NK may not even stand by what she said then..but I do feel that women in India need to just get out of marriage being the ultimate aim in their life (of course here I am a hypocrite because I am married myself!)

  11. I will speak from a perspective that is both Indian and Western. Before I was married, I tried very hard to find the “right” one and in the process undermined myself. Now going thru a divorce with a child I realize apart from the little one there was nothing good about the marriage. Of course not all marriages are like mine but finally I have understood and learnt(alas from personal experience only!) that marriage is completely over-rated. In our Indian society a women is almost defined by a marriage! Hindu married women are covered head to toe in “marriage symbols” (men don’t bother to show their status), women fast, pray etc etc for this male figure who continues to stay in his own house, being mama’s little boy, doesn’t have to sacrifice career for kids… what do women get in return? Security is imp for a dependent women but for independent women there is not much in it. Of course in the western setting (which is not perfect either) it is a little better, with partners as equal living by themselves… the woman is not married to the whole HOUSEHOLD! Bottom line… if there is love, equality, compromises from both sides then marriage can be lovely otherwise… stay away from it!! And lets not get started on the dowry angle…

  12. I can see a clear demarcation of generations here.Being an old timer and having a married life for more than 25 years,and being happy and contented with it,I haven’t lost faith in it. If Hipma has written about it,it is from her own experience. How can the so young and unmarried argue on something they haven’t experienced.

    There are many things which make us different from animals.If we want the freedom of animals,we could do all the things they do.Freedom is not the license to do any thing.Human beings are gifted with the intelligence which makes you responsible to use the freedom.

    Marriage is not just meant for sex and procreation.It is a life long companionship.If you are not able to make it successful,the fault is in yourself,not the institution.

    • Dr. Antony, almost everyone writing in with their comments has clearly stated that they are married, so I doubt it is a function of inexperience.

      I don’t doubt yours may be a happy marriage, but the question remains – if we take Indian marriages in general, whose freedom is curtailed and whose isn’t? Will your in-laws ever tell you what clothes are appropriate or what your working hours should be? I don’t think you can just dismiss our grievances that easily.

    • Dr Antony, I have been married for more years than you. So your assumption of a demarcation of generations is wrong 🙂

  13. oh, I so agree with you… marriage is certainly over rated! reading the post was good, but the conversation going on in the comments section was even better!

  14. Anybody happily married will say marriage is not over rated, and those who dont have that will over rate that..so its a very subjective issue.

    Like evrything else it also has its own pros and cons, and to me if one is a loner its better to live without marriage, but in the old age one loves the family acquired after long hours of toil and hard work.And i am taking it for granted that one shouldnt have children without marriage, as its depriving children.
    Its not that inlaws dont adjust.they also adjust a lot with new young entrant who is sometimes a complete tyrant annd arrogant andselfish girl.
    I see many girl crying at the mere news of their mother getting hypertension, but preparing food with more salt without caring for their MIL with high BP, leaving their invalid MIL in the hands of servants to look after their mother at a slightest need.and I can tell you hundred more things like that.so its both ways and both get benefit also.
    Its very easy to blame inlaws for everything, but many times its mothers who are responsible for thestrife in their daughter’s married life, because they give wrong advices and its they who have made their daughters the way they are.sdya5

    • I beg your pardon, I am happily married but I still think that marriage is over rated. And the reason I am “happily married” is because I have refused to comply to the social norms of “adjust and compromise”.
      Marriage can be a great source of happiness. But if it is not, just get the hell out of it. Marriage is a part of life, it is not LIFE.

    • A colorful story -

      Have you also seen DILs being burned because they didnt bring dowry? DILs being abused because they want to talk to thier maternal family? DILs being told they can’t wear a salwar because that is not the ‘parampara’ of the house. DILS being told that they have eat from thier husband’s plate after his meal because it increases his lifespan?

      There are all kinds of people everywhere Renu.

      Btw, ‘mere news of hypertension’? I hate to do this, but would you use the same terminology for your kin?

      Mothers giving wrong advices to daughters? Hmmm.. And mothers don’t give wrong advice to sons? How can that be? A mother is a well wisher. She likes to see her child happy. They ‘think’ they are giving the right advice. And thats true for mothers of girls and boys.

      And even if, for a moment I agree that the mother is misguiding the daughter, why can’t the daughter think for self and take the right decision? Because, we haven’t taught her to think. We haven’t empowered her.

    • But why this compulsion to only take care of the husbands parents. The husband is a capable person who can take care of his parents,

      What about the girls parents who might be alone at home with say a similar sickness or worse?

      What have they done wrong? Give birth to girl children?
      This mentality is one of the reasons why India doesn’t want daughters, why there are now fewer girls to boys. why there is so much sadness at birth of a daughter and the reason why girl babies are killed.

  15. Agree totally..though people crack jokes about wives as how they dominate them while it just men who dominate the whole household and everything. it starts with “aaj khana kya banau” when u r in kitchen why u need to cook everything accor to ur husband does he take his projects as he wish to!!everyone is there to change u from ur in laws to ur husband but for husband he is the guy who will never even think of improving forget adjusting. he is tried means he really worked u r tired means u escaping work! women HAS to do household n office work no big deal n if husband does he is bichara kitna kaam karta hai … its so very true in india so much to write …..

  16. I am of Hipgrandma’s generation. I don’t think marriage is an over-rated institution as things are in our country now, simply because for any child, the rights are more when the parents are married to each other. When in India too a common law (living together) relationship is treated the same as marriage and children born in such a relationship get the same benefits, then certainly one need not get married.
    But I do agree with desi girl that in India one certainly gets married for all the wrong reasons. Parents force their children, particularly their daughters to get married, because that was considered their duty. I too have always wondered why parents seem so anxious to get their daughters ‘married off’, as though they were some burden to be shifted to someone else’s shoulders as soon as possible. That said, my daughter is married, to someone she chose to marry and has 2 kids and has been married for 10 years and I don’t think she seriously questions marriage as an institution.
    Btw, I have been married for 39 years. I did feel trapped in the beginning. But after I had my kids, I enjoyed them thoroughly and now I think my hubby is one of my best friends.

  17. @shail:Ha,ha! I really did not think that I was replying to someone of my generation. I thought you were closer in age to my daughter and wrote as I would have spoken to her. That is a compliment I say! I wish that I could be mistaken for someone half my age. No such luck :-((!

    please go ahead and air your views. It helps me understand perspectives other than my own.

    That said, I must admit that each of us experience married life in different ways and I certainly would not expect women who are shabbily treated by their husbands or in laws to glorify the institution of marriage. And unfortunately there are many who fall in this category. The topic needs to be debated from all angles – psychological, societal, financial as well as emotional although psychological and emotional aspects may be nearly the same.

    • Pardon me. But I have a very good marriage going 🙂
      The happiness quotient in my marriage does NOT have a bearing on my opinion. If opinions are based solely on our own experience, then become subjective opinions. What we need is an objective look at whether marriage is overrated or not.

  18. I married for love and so the entire concept of “allowing” me to do something never cropped up. Our relationship is that of mutual respect and admiration.
    So if I have to make some compromises with respect to adjusting with in laws a few days a year, I don’t see it as a problem at all.

    It all boils down to the equation you have with your husband.

  19. Marriage should just be seen as a commitment between two individuals , at the same time , respect and care for the family members and vice-versa should be the norm …unfortunately there is a lack of respect and acknowledgement for the woman as a person . If marriages involve anything other than commitment between two individuals , it is certainly overrated. Also , as desi girl says … Indian girls are wrongly conditioned for this lifetime achievement , that is ‘marriage’ ..definitely overrated on that account.

  20. shail:if I’ve given the impression that I referred to your opinion being influence by your own marriage let me clarify that I did not mean to say so. I am sorry but I was just generalizing.

  21. I agree with Shail, our opinions cannot be based solely on personal experiences. They would be healthy and objective only when based on facts and an overall perspective of things happening in and around the world.
    Having said that, even I agree that marriage as an institution is glorified and is seen as a ‘must do’, specially for women.And irony is that when they say ‘get married’ people are actually saying ‘give me a wedding’ because as it turns out in most cases parents are not concerned with what happens to their daughters in their marital homes. Afterall they are done with their responsibility and have been lauded for it. Definitely overrated!!

  22. wow..a hot debate i must say..got me into a thinking mode..do read my views here http://mymaidenattempt.blogspot.com/2011/03/marriage-overrated-concept.html as it is too long to be posted here..:-)

  23. I used to tell everybody not to bother to get married but I say it less and less these days. I think that is because my husband and I finally figuring our own equation out, the goods and bads.

    Do I think marriage is over-rated? Not for commitment-phobic me who walked out of all relationships when the going got tough. Being married helped me stick it out and discover why the ‘compromise’ and ‘adjustment’ makes sense and also exactly how much ‘compromise’ and ‘adjustment’ I’m willing to go in for. (My MIL will tell you I’ve done none, I’ll say I’ve compromised cartloads — life is all about perspectives!)

    Waise, Hip Grandma, I do see what you are saying and I agree entirely with your original comment. Mostly the girls’ parents are pretty accommodating (big generalisation and I am obviously speaking from what I’ve seen around me) and it makes a big difference if the boy’s family can show the same acceptance and restraint.

    But there is more to marriage obviously than the extended family members. Perhaps my grandchildren will not agree once day, but waking up next to the man you are married to has seemed sweeter to me than any numbers of mornings waking up to the boyfriends who I did love when I was with them. Perhaps the difference comes from the shared responsibilities and shared parenting and shared joys and frustrations.

    • * one morning

      In all fairness I must add that our equation (my husband’s and mine) is not common in our circles. I don’t think I could have survived most of the equations I do see around me (although they seem to work for our friends so I don’t criticise those marriages either). Basically, marriage works for me and I recommend it. 🙂

      I hope my son grows up to be a caring and thoughtful husband one day but I’ll be damned if I teach a daughter that marriage is what life is all about. My parents never taught me that and I don’t see why I should either.

  24. So inspiring to read all your comments.I’ve been in an Indian marriage. I have experienced what is now termed as “emotional abuse” and the ‘traditions’ that systematically submerge ones core identity within the tight folds of duty and obligations.
    I am a free woman now living out of India for almost 10 years raising my daughter as a single mom- now enjoying the success of my struggles and strife studying and working to give my daughter a better life, a sense of pride in herself and the confidence to do anything she wants to do.
    I don’t blame marriage-it works for those who respect & love each other.And unless we women support each other, find a collective voice and stand up to the nonsense meted out to us in the name of traditions, the atrocities will continue.Culture & traditions are so important and I will never let go of my Indian roots, but boy am i glad to be out of that marriage! 🙂

  25. Yes. The INDIAN idea of Marriage(the wife marrying the entire family, making all the changes, compromises and adjustments, bearing children and having a work load that is way over what her man ever does in a day) is over-rated(I am generalizing, so please understand that there are exceptions to the generalizations). Marriage works very well for mature, fair-minded, compassionate, understanding people, else it is a method for Control over the life of a Woman to ensure the Man’s family will have continuity as they deem fit. In many cases Wife is a synonym for Slave.

    No relationship is Equal. Mostly one gives and the other takes and if there is a lot of giving and taking, the giver and taker dont do so in equal amounts. Of course, theres no way to measure the giving or the taking. Mostly, I see that in a marriage, its the woman who is unhappy with the condition of Marriage, and very rarely the man. They have different reasons for unhappiness too.. for a woman its usually the fact that she has lost her freedom to be herself and for the man it is usually that the woman doesnt live up to his and his family’s expectations..

    As for reasons to get married, imho, if the reason is anything other than “I want to share my life with this person, growing together in our own ways yet always being there for each other”, to me that is not a good enough reason for all the compromises and adjustments we will make. “You will be lonely in old age” or “You will be happy in your old age because of these sacrifices” etc…are not predictable, ’cause there are people who have family and kids, but no one cares for them or lives with them anyway and they arent happy anyway, if anything, they are bitter in their old age.

  26. Shantanu Bhattacharya -

    Well lots of debate but one thing everyone seems to agree on that the man’s life does not change after marriage. All I can say is, all of you might be married to the same kind of men in that case!

    As far as I am concerned, there is little consonance or resemblance between my bachelorhood and married lives. But this trope of husbands lazing around with beer and TV while the virtuous wives cook and clean and take care of the child seems to have been accepted as a unexceptionable truism by commentators here. 🙂

  27. Yes ,marriage is overrated.I want to share some of my personal experiences,in my sister’s case, her mother in law sent their maids long leave just after marriage,so that she can order her new daughter in law for everything and make her feel that yes she is the more powerful person than her.This is not a particular story.Another of my cousin when she got married, her mother in law used to give her only 1 spoon of rice and dal ,for other members there is enough food,she has also taken her sarees and some jewellery from the newly married bride.It is not the case of an individual , how many of us can really say that we have received motherly affection from our mother in law?Why mother in laws cant be just mother?It is not about love marriages or arrange marriages.Even though people has their own Daughter they discriminate between their own daughters and Bahus.Can anybody tell me that when this will stop ?

  28. i think marriage is overrated. that said, i am sure there are some adjustments that men also make. but it is nothing compared to the level of adjustment that a woman makes. sure, we all get used to the marriage and even find love happiness and contentment, nothing wrong in that (also forgive me but it seems a bit like stockholm syndrome to me). but the cost is independence. weddings are humiliating enough but marriages are styming. i gave into getting marriage at teh age of 29 after years and years of trying to fight of arguments that ranged from “abnormal to remain single” “companionship in old age” “you will have someone to take care.” its all bullshit. the chances on marriage is 50 50 that it will work out. i hated the whole pressure to get married, to conform to the social norm, to shift a daughter (no matter how well she earns) from her fathers responsibility to her husband’s responsibility. personally, it all utter bullshit. marriage should be about choice, not coercion.

  29. now im scared to get married. since i am only 20 (and yet, for the love of god, aunts have started asking my parents – when are you giving us the good news).. personally i dont agree with pre-marital ‘ enjoyments’ yet i dont feel like getting married is everything (as oposed to what adults tell me). i want to stay working after i get married, & i dont to get married and then have to spend all my earnings on my family either (selfish much?) because in my opinion a man should have the self-esteeem and responsibility in him that he has to take care of his wife and kids… its not the womans but a mans responsibility.. i bring this up bcz recently my friends engagement broke up bcz the guys side said that they wanted a working woman so that the debt they had taken for the marriage can be repayed faster…
    😉 looks like the whole debate/discussion was between married women, so heres an unmarried opinion 😉 of seriusly bugged about getting married girl..

  30. Some questions that women should think of:

    1.) Why women thinks that nothing changes for Men after marriage.

    2.) What women want in life? Just complete freedom without any responsibilities? Is that they only want or they also look for ‘someone’ to love & take responsibility of them unconditionally?

    3.) Why they think that they are doing a favor to man by marrying him?

    4.) Don’t they see that men too get several big responsibilities with marriage?

    Life is like a vehicle where all wheels have specific functions. Just like life is not complete without family, men cannot bear child, etc etc, women needs to take responsibility of house & family while men carries out his responsibility in several other ways!!
    Why some of the educated, learned & so called independent women of today in India just want to question this perfect system of God? If they have some ‘frustrations’ on being woman, they should better keep it to themselves.

    • Wah sir aapkey comments ka wait kar rahey they hum sab!
      So here u go –
      1.) Why women thinks that nothing changes for Men after marriage. – Are you a woman? How would you know? It changed for you? Awesome! It should change/not change equally!

      2.) What women want in life? Just complete freedom without any responsibilities? Is that they only want or they also look for ‘someone’ to love & take responsibility of them unconditionally? – ——-what century are you from? We can take our own responsibilty, haven’t we before getting married?

      3.) Why they think that they are doing a favor to man by marrying him? —–

  31. I am curious to know how many people were influenced by this conversion between three married ladies…….

    I was wondering why cant the lady get a divorce and live her life , since she appear to be independent , smart
    and learned.

  32. It is overrated – agreed. But u realise this only if you get into it. It has lot of positives also like if the partner is good, you both can grow together and achieve new standards/heights/happiness in life which if u r single is little difficult specially for female.

    Having the soul mate by live-in or any other way carries other issues of its own specially in indian society.

    And afterall, universe has made every man and woman as a incomplete half which gets complete with union with opposite sex. To get that union, u may get married or u may get someone in ur life in some other way. Now these ‘other ways’ are not well received in our society.

    So overall I think that it is a required institution though it is overrated. Even western contries have started realising the importance of this institution in mental health of an individual. Studies have shown that married people are happier and less stressed than their unmarried counterparts.

    The points mentioned by NK,can all be worked out with communication and understanding.

  33. Your article gives me lot of hope and courage. I am a well educated, independent woman ..very happy in my life …33 yrs..unmarried so in the eyes of ppl around me..I am not so successful or happy (even though I m earning lot more than their kids can aim to and have a more happy n funfillled life). I was going thru the process of arranged marraiages and even though i am a very easygoing person..the humiliation I was subjected to was too much to handle. Starting from my height weight hair (btw..i m gud looking..this is the normal scrutnity that a girl supposedly goes by in an arranged marrg) and can-i-adjust with in laws due to my job /career/education and what abt my money. I mst havemet at least 20 guy’s families (solely to make my parents happy that i am co-operating) and the final nail was when a guy’s family agreed to everything and and finally few weeks before marraige , told me to hand over all my money earned till date and future income as well..to the prospective father-in-law. He said that they had invested in their son and hence I should pay them back. Thankfully , even before i could react, my parents called off the wedding immediately. After that, I have decided that I do not need to subject myself to such humilitiation and torture jst to get the tag of being “married’ which translates into “successful/happy” in an india setup. I have decided that in few yrs, I will be going ahead with adoption of a baby girl for sure and I am making myself financially secure so that I ably take care of her and provide her a great future as well. But there are many obstacles..most being nosey relatives who day in & dayout ask me when I am going to give them the “gud news”! They r now forcing me to get married to diviorcess since as per them I have passed my sell-by date! LOL.
    Thankfully articles like these give me belief and courage and help me a lot ! Its great that there are like-minded people here!

  34. great thread.according to me marriage is very important in life. My happiness is because of my marriage. ohhhh! I may sound a very compromising person………..no with compromises and endless adjustments you cant be happy.
    you have to be strong and make your marriage like you want.
    thanks
    surabhi
    http://www.nutriwellindia.com

  35. Rather than Marriage as an institution; adjusting, scrificing and nslaving for the sake of remaining married is very very Over Rated…

  36. Nice conversation, n trust me i know whats happening with dk,sk and nk as i am a husband and have gone thru all of this with my wife. I completely believe “marriage had become over rated bec of husbands with no backbone” believe me as its coming right frm the horse’s mouth… enjoy ladies 😀

  37. I am a 30 year old female, working with an IT company, independent, financially sound, owning a flat, taking care of my family (mother, sis-in-law, and nephew) after my father & brother left us. I have enjoyed a courtship of almost 11 yrs and still continuing. Often there is a deep regret for not having settled down early and have kids like my other friends/colleagues, but when I recollect my achievements in life so far, it brushes aside such negative thoughts. My BF/Partner is a very understanding, highly practical, friendly and caring person. I know sounds like I have an IDEAL HUSBAND but before you let your horses run, let me explain what my take on marriage is. Although we term it as courtship, it’s been like a 11 yr old marriage/relationship. We started from scratch from being penniless and rose to a position where we both are self-sufficient and have created our own respective assets/savings/career. Naturally this was possible as we always have complemented and supported each other selflessly. However as a woman when I observe my relationship, I notice perhaps this was possible only because I had been at the receiving end most of the times, due to my lack of knowledge/experience. Since he was the more knowledgeable one out of two of us, I would always seek guidance and he would be happy to advise and go an extra mile to facilitate, fund and even help me accomplish the task. I offcourse don’t mind whatever he’s done for me BUT over the period of time, he’s got into the habit of making all decisions and hence doesn’t appreciate much when I try to play that role. I on the other hand feel frustrated due to the lack of power/opportunity to take my own decisions. I have had my share of traumatic incidents too where I found him indulge in flirting. Although it was heartbreaking for me, however I tried looking at it with a different perspective, one – I got to know the other side of my partner which I probably wouldn’t have got to know ever, second – the person is more important than his/her actions. Having said that, no I never said I have forgiven him but I am mature enough to understand that breakdowns are to be expected across the path and that we should get going to complete the journey. I am glad that he chose to repent and I chose to forgive, which ultimately reflects our good upbringing. Hmm…what else, he’s quite moody and his mood shifts are extreme, he likes to socialize a lot whereas I have hardly anyone in my circle…. So basically we are like 2 poles apart but still hanging together since last 11 yrs. I am glad to have not moved out and stayed with my mom to have learnt both – what to do and what not to do in a marriage. I have my sis-in-law and nephew at home whom I take care of so I have enough experience of running a family. Now about marriage, I completely go with DK in this case, despite everything going perfectly fine in our courtship, I still recommend marriage to live a respectful and committed life with your partner and yes indeed, when its dusk, remember your parents, sisters, brothers, friends and neighbor would either be wont present or may get busy in their own lives……it is then you need a understanding and caring partner for which you need to start investing early and build a rock-solid foundation to a ever-lasting relationship!

  38. Let’s clap for Shail! *clap* *clap* *clap* You’ve aired the sentiments of many girls like us! 🙂

  39. If you and your spouse are living in India and are interested to participate in this study or if you know of married Indian couples living in India who might be interested in taking part, please consider forwarding the attached flyer to them. Participation in this study is voluntary and confidential.

    For information about the study please see the attached link. If you have any questions at all, please contact me at mpalit@vt.edu. This research project is approved by the Institutional Review Board at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

  40. Pingback: A Letter To The Neighborhood Aunty From The ‘Girls of these days’ | Women's Web: Online Community For Indian Women

  41. Pingback: To Aunty, From ‘Those Girls’ « Priyanka Nandy

  42. Pingback: Why it is better that Indian girls are married young

  43. Pingback: A Letter To The Neighborhood Aunty From The ‘Girls of these days’ | niharika

  44. I havent had the time to read all the comments above but I find that conversations like thje one mentioned here are very common and quite cliched- often used as a way to poke fun at marriage but I am someone who always delves deep into cliches…why is it so common to pick on marriage and married life as “boring” “I have changed” etc? Is that not a choice. I am married for 3 years and live with in laws, no kids yet. My husband and I had an arranged marriage but we met and dated for 3 months before we agreed to get married and for 6-7 months after the engagement as well. There are some basic differences between men and women’s psyche and all it takes is to understand this work together. By nature I notice that guys try to maintain their old life- friends, work, other interests and pursure them. Why dont women do this? Yes marriage often involves a change in place etc but you can always set up a new life for yourself also! My husband and I had our share of fights and mismatched expectations etc despite having a very open relationship and knowing each other for almost a year before marriage. But we always spoke about it…decided if it was worth and argument and resolved it to move ahead. Of course, you also have to be married to the right kind of guy But NK’s problem here is not unsurmountable. A lot of times I had to literally drag my discussion phobic husband into a hard-to-have-but-essential discussion but depsite all the yelling and tears we ultimately got down to discussingthe crux of the matter which was often hidden deep within the mind and we resolved it. Lets not dummy down marriage if we dont know how to handle it. It certainly is not for everybody and I repsect people who choose not to get married either. But once you do decide to do it, whoever gave you the idea that it was easy – nothing in life is!

  45. You know what,

    What ever future plans would be decided by NK, i have already decided for myself long back, to get into Old age home if i remain single and not let my children to come to marriage just because they have to..

    Even i believe that one should marry the other with whom you want to spend your life and have love and respect for him/her.

  46. I can relate with every single word u said…for guys its just a marital status which has changed unlike girls who will have to start a new life altogether and no one even acknowledge that including all the women in the house too as they have been doing the same since ages,sustaining an idiotic trend to be followed by all the girls through generations…….

Share your thoughts! [Be civil. No personal attacks. Longer comment policy in our footer!]

Feminist Book Picks

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

An Event For Ambitious Women!