Is Marriage The Answer To All Of Life’s Problems?

Posted: May 14, 2014

Indian society has always been obsessed with marriage. Here is why we should put aside this obsession, and choose to live, and let live.

Marriage: that time of our lives when dreams shape the glimmer of our eyes, love takes the space of our hearts, and thoughts about the future fill our minds. That time of our lives, when we long for the sight of our Prince charming, who will kiss us out of our sleep, and unfold a fairy tale. We eagerly wait for that big day to dawn upon us, when we will look no less than princesses, to take the vow- “Yes I do, Until death do us part!

A bit of an exaggeration there ; but nevertheless, we take this detour in the journey of life with expectations and hopes for a brighter future. However, it may or may not turn out to be the way we expected or planned it to be, or worse, be the way we never wanted it to be. It may be a cake walk for a lucky few, a mixed bag for many, and a nightmare, for others.




It may be a cake walk for a lucky few, a mixed bag for many, and a nightmare, for others.

In reality, as you and I know perfectly well, no marriage can be a fairy tale. In fact , perfect marriages are a myth.So, life thereon is just a matter of adjustments, adaptations, and sacrifices of only one partner’s preferences to a certain extent, or a blend of both in the right proportions, cloaked in the robes of mutual understanding, love and respect for each other. If at all, the cloak gets worn out, what lies beneath surges up and the relationship might take an uglier side. Worse still, the chain that binds, may turn out to be a noose for some  hapless ones.

So in this perspective, my question is – Is marriage the ultimate answer to all the questions life poses?  Or is it just a question by itself, that we try to answer in the subsequent years of marriage?

Have you ever pondered over the fact that there  might probably be  people who might not be interested in the concept of marriage, or for whom marriage may not occupy the top slot in their priority list? Given the fact that our society is so persistent in imposing marriage upon its youth, what would their stance be, on this account?  Once a child reaches the age of maturity, the one question that he/she needs to face constantly is with regard to his/her marriage . Why do parents feel insecure and uncomfortable when their children are reluctant to tie the knot? Why is society restless until a person is married?

Why do parents feel insecure and uncomfortable when their children are reluctant to tie the knot? Why is society restless until a person is married?

I do not understand this extraordinary emphasis given to marriage in Indian society. We simply find it so weird if an individual elects to lead a single life or does not deem it necessary to enter into lifelong commitment of a marriage, in claiming legitimacy for a relationship.

They may have ample reasons for opting out of marriage – they may not like their personal and private relationships to be controlled by any social, political, religious, or patriarchal institutions. Or they may not yet be ready to get tangled in a lifelong commitment, or simply because they do not want any strings attached to distract from their goals.

They may have all the answers as to why they chose a single life or life out of marriage, even when we may not have all the answers ourselves as to why we chose a married life. Even at times, when the scale seems to weigh more on their side, we still like to look at them with sympathy (and awe!) and accuse them of not having a life!

Personally I have seen many individuals who are content with their single life, (applicable to divorcees/single parents as well);  but still society never seems to spare them. Their detractors never fail to remind  them that , one day, they will have to ‘pay a huge price for their foolishness’, and that they would definitely ‘regret their decision’, by which time they might have already ‘outgrown their age of marriage’.  And the most crucial of them all, they will  ‘not have anyone to look after in old age and might even die a miserable and lonely death!’ (As if we know in advance what fate has in store for us).I believe it is high time we learn to respect every individual’s choice as to what their marital status should be.

I believe it is high time we learn to respect every individual’s choice as to what their marital status should be.

 Believe me, just as we love our marital life, they love their solitary life. Just as we are happy with our bondage in marital life, they too are happy with the freedoms of their life. But this fact never seems to go down well with a major chunk of society.

And for those who wish to stay with some one you love without binding yourselves in marriage, there’s the landmark verdict of our Honourable Supreme Court, dt March 24, 2010 – legalizing live-in relationships in India. The Apex court justified that “if two sound-minded adults of the opposite sex seek to live together without getting married the question of a ‘criminal offence’ does not arise at all”.  The Court sternly observed, “If living together is an offence, then the first complaint should be filed against the Supreme Court, because we have permitted living together.”
 “If living together is an offence, then the first complaint should be filed against the Supreme Court, because we have permitted living together.”
The verdict of the Supreme Court is a welcome step, offering legal protection to individuals in a live-in relationship, from social policing  by the so called patrons of culture and tradition. So, the next time someone asks you the question “Are you married?”, don’t hesitate to say ” No, I am single and perfectly happy“. Or when someone makes you a victim of moral  policing , put your foot down firmly, and ask, “I am in a live-in relationship. So?”

 Pic credit: M G Kafkas (Used under a CC license)

 

Ash

A legal consultant, settled in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; my first love is and has

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Comments

7 Comments


  1. Not just this, once you get married the next question starts about when are you planning a baby? Gosh!! So many questions but it is easy to not give up. I wrote something on the same lines. Have a look – http://happinessandfood.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/please-dont-ask-me/

    • So true… Parul Kashyap Thakur. I went through your blog and can totally relate to it…! I myself got married after five years of romancing ..and all those five years were constant reminders of my growing age (although I was just 25 then!!!) and I remember how it left a complex in me, that I started evading those people in toto, to avoid facing this stupid question…! .and after I had my first baby it took me seven years to plan the second one and believe me, it couldn’t have been any worse… !!!!

    • See, so it implies that none of it is easy. Simply put, as individuals we should never ask questions that are not our business.
      Thank you for spending time to read my blog!

  2. I think it is lack of productive work which causes a section of society to hound singles so they get married. We Indians are still not accustomed to the idea of “Happily Single”!!!

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