I Am Not Against Arranged Marriages, I Just Don’t Want Anyone Going Through What I Did

Four years ago, I had an arranged marriage and my life changed only for worse. Here's why I don't want anyone going through what I did.

Four years ago, I had an arranged marriage and my life changed only for worse. Here’s why I don’t want anyone going through what I did.

Dear people, this article is not a warning to anyone against arranged marriages. I am not against those. In fact, I do support arranged marriages having seen how blissful they can be. However, there are certain things you ought to keep in mind.

Don’t just fix your marriage because you want to change a friendship into a marital relationship, or make business deals or even since it would be good for the family. First and foremost, think of the couple. I am guessing since would-be bride and groom are people you’ve raised, you probably know them pretty well.

First, let them talk and see if they share common interests. Marrying a stay-at-home introvert to a party-loving extrovert is not going to be good for either of them. It will just delay them from developing feelings for each other or might end up with them separating.

I do agree that the love life is interesting when there is something new for both to explore and that ‘opposites attract.’ However, there has to be some common ground for both to fall back on.

Take your time to think before you say yes. Let the two people interact because, in the end, they are the ones who will spend their life together. They really should have the final say.

Support them but don’t overdo it!

I understand that parents want to support their children in the initial days of the marriage, but you need to give them time to be with each other. If they don’t build trust at the beginning of their marriage, it might never happen. I know this because I have been married for almost four years and we still don’t trust each other.

At the beginning of the married life, people often try and force the bride to follow all their family rules. Even if you are from the same background, the bride doesn’t always have the same philosophy as the groom and his family. Respect her ideas and she’ll respect yours

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Secondly, forcing the new bride to dress as you want her to, eat and cook what you like, and behaving as you want is unfair too. She is not a robot and has feelings. This kind of behaviour will only make her hate you. And no matter how hard you try to fix it, it might never work.

Having separate rules for your daughter and daughter-in-law. Not letting your DIL go visit her parents but letting your married daughter stay at your house forever. My SIL is elder than my husband and she has been living with us since she got married. She doesn’t live with her in-laws but. her husband visits her every six months and they even have a kid together. Despite all this, she is constantly telling me to stay with my husband’s family and my MIL even supports her!

I don’t like this duality that I have to face. My SIL won’t leave and her husband is just another shameless person who is happy with the situation. Since the child’s father isn’t around, my husband takes over all those duties and I feel cheated her. So dear parents, please look out for such situations before getting your children married.

Make sure you’re both transparent about everything

Don’t just look for the property that the groom or the bride has. When I was to be married, my parents were happy that the groom was well settled and had his own house. They forgot what to see the impact of that. After I got married, I realised the family was buried to their necks in debt and even I was blamed for this. They seemed to believe that my parents should have helped them financially, without them asking since they were friends.

So please don’t just trust your friends, enquire about the family from other sources too, after all, you are sending your child there. My mother was so blinded by her friendship she never thought otherwise and my father simply followed. Till date, I hate my parents for it, more than I hate my in-laws because my parents are just as responsible for this!

Don’t lie about your child’s education, job or salary as it will come and bite you in the back. Before we were. tobe married, my parents and my husband’s mother exaggerated both our salaries to the other side. And when we found the truth, we both felt cheated. It took both of us almost a year to figure out that it was something our parents had done and neither of us was involved in it.

My money is now hers!

My MIL told me after the marriage, that whatever I earned belonged to her and her family. Until then, I’d never handed my finances over to anyone, not even my parents! They barely ever asked about my money because that was I was raised. But here, my 30-year-old husband gets pocket money from his mother every day! He doesn’t even have his credit cards or debit cards with him. Initially, when I found out about this, I thought it was quite funny, however, as time passed, it is the reason for most of our fights.

Something as simple as food also has the potential to turn into something big over time. My mom was a non-vegetarian but my paternal grandparents were pure vegetarians. Thankfully, dad ate non-veg so my grandparents built a separate 1RK for them and other members who eat non-veg. They cooked, ate and bathed there and only then were they allowed to enter the house.

After my marriage, my mother thought I too would have something similar but that hasn’t happened and it’s been over a year since I’ve eaten non-veg. The son-in-law of this family does eat non-veg and there were times that he would bring a parcel for me but it doesn’t happen anymore. My husband doesn’t say a word because he thinks it’s my problem.

Have some common interests

Find out about their hobbies. I had an artistic side and I would often keep myself busy with all that. However, here it is considered a waste of time and slowly, I ended up leaving it all. Now, if someone asks me about my hobbies, I simply say nothing. My in-laws are proud that they helped me get rid of my hobbies.

I know how difficult it is to find your Mr/Miss Perfect but before you finalise anything, just check this. Or else, later on, you would be one of the people suffering from the outcome of this.

In the last four years, I went from a happy-go-lucky girl to the silent DIL. I stopped all communication with my old friends and recently even with my own ‘family.’

Let them invest for their own rainy days

Before getting them married, make sure your children have invested in some property or something similar, rather than saving it for later. My parents always told me that since I was a girl, I shouldn’t invest in property right now. They said my husband’s family may be living in some other city and I’d have to sell the property, so it was to better to buy it there.

Today, I regret not having made some investment. Now I don’t have anything and half my money is gone. My husband keeps taking personal loans to fulfil his family’s wishes, often even unnecessary things and we are left with nothing. I don’t have any savings anymore and the situation is so bad that we can barely keep up with the medical bills too. For this family, it is incredibly necessary to spend money to show their status while they’re actually broke.

Don’t fix the date of the marriage in a hurry. My parents got me married within three months of finding the groom even though we both needed more time to get to know each other. Both of us were basically emotionally blackmailed into it and now we hate each other.

Had we got some time, we probably would have backed out of the marriage after knowing each other. And I feel like it would have been better than what we have right now.

I realised who was at fault

After this marriage and everything it brought, I have stopped trusting everyone, including myself. I feel very idiotic at times and I wish I had fought harder but I gave in easily. And honestly speaking, no one but me is the one to be blamed for this situation.

Don’t get too involved in your child’s personal matters, let them sort it out themselves, even if they make mistakes, they will learn. But your interference could be the reason that destroys the relationship.

Both my parents and my husband’s parents got so involved in our relationship, there were ego clashes and I suffered the brunt of it. My mother and my MIL kept complaining to me but none of them realised what they were doing until it was too late.

It took them two years to bury the hatchet but in those two years I suffered a lot and now, I don’t talk too much to either of them. My husband took his family’s side and my mother, too, blamed me. In fact, I distanced myself from all of them after my mom went a step too far. She started complaining to my MIL about me.

It won’t always be so bad but think of your children before you decide

I am not saying it will always be this awful but please think of your children before you think of your famil’s prestige or your own self. No one deserves a loveless marriage. In fact, in the past few years, I have seen far too many marriages end up in divorce to some of the reasons I mentioned. The parents would force the children to sign the divorce papers and then blame them for going through with it.

Most of them have now moved away from their families to forget the bad parts of their lives. And when I talk to them now, I feel like I don’t know them anymore. I never thought I would end up like this. But all I want to say is if I save even a single person from making this decision, I will believe that I did do something good.

I don’t blame anyone for what happened to me because I am just as responsible for all of it. In fact, I also believe that my MIL is much better than a number of others. She is trying to understand me and fix things between us, but I think it’s far too late for it now.

Picture credits: Still from Hindi TV series Ek Vivah Aisa Bhi

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