Scared of Marriage: As An Indian Woman, I have Many Reasons To Be

Scared of Marriage: As a middle-class Indian woman, I have many reasons to be afraid— Indian households look for women who can cook, clean, and sacrifice their lives for husbands and in-laws

When an Indian maiden hits her mid-twenties, the only thing her family is concerned about is “getting her settled”. They don’t care if she is scared of marriage or intimacy with a stranger of their choice.

Nor does it mean that they want to see her lead a successful life, It just means that they want to get her married.

If you think her consent matters, stop right there. Indian families are still oblivious to this concept. Their upbringing makes it difficult for them to accept that single women can live happily even without a partner. 

I have always been scared of getting married. Though the definition of marriage might have changed over the years, but are all marriages happy? I’ve seen couples suffering in problematic marriages and refusing to part ways because “that’s not right”.

But this is not the only reason why I choose to stay away from tying the knot. Let me tell you a few more.

Marriage is Not Only about Companionship

“Marriage gives you a companion” is the biggest scam our society feeds us. I’m not denying that a marriage can be a beautiful bond between two individuals.

But is that all? In Indian households, a woman is considered “worthy” of marriage only if she fits into the definition of a “perfect bride”. 

The families who no longer believe in stereotyping wives have my respect. However, a recent study of a matrimonial website showed that non-working women attracted 70% of the potential grooms.

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Scared of Marriage: As An Indian Woman, I have Many Reasons To Be

Women who were willing to give up their careers after marriage got 66% response and for women who wanted to continue their jobs after marriage, the data fell to 59%. Do I need to say any more about the narrow-mindedness of our society? 

More often than not Indian households look for women who can cook, clean, serve and sacrifice their lives for their husbands and in-laws. It’s rare that families wholeheartedly accept independent working women as their bahus. I clearly cannot give up my career to please others.

If I am so scared of marriage, motherhood will be scarier

Soon after a woman gets married in our country, she is pressurized to have a child. People say that women are born with motherly qualities. But I can only be a mother to my pet dog.

I am terrible at handling kids and even worse at behaving with them. If that makes me insensitive, I happily accept the title. I cannot go through the excruciating labour pain to add to our already growing population.

For people who think abstaining from motherhood means missing out on the “joys of life,” here are some facts for you: 

  • A woman’s foot size can change due to weight gain and pregnancy-related swelling. Moreover, the hormones casing laxity in joints during pregnancy can widen and lengthen their feet. This change can last even after childbirth.
  • Women face difficulty in sleeping because of certain pregnancy-related issues like heartburn, back pain, increased belly size, frequent urination, anxiety, etc.
  • Women also experience swollen veins in the legs and vulva, stuffy nose, bleeding gums, constipation, etc. during pregnancy.
  • 50 percent of new mothers undergo “baby blues”, 5 percent of whom suffer from postpartum depression. 

Just because women are capable of giving birth doesn’t mean all of them must choose to take the step, particularly when it’s nothing less than a daily struggle in their everyday life. 

Singlehood is the only phase I have known

At a time when women my age are busy planning their future with their partners, I’m simply crushing on celebrities. As a forever single woman, I don’t know what it feels like to be in love.

Over the years, singlehood has become my identity to an extent that I don’t want to alter it. What if a relationship isn’t what they show in movies?

What if the reality is ugly? I have seen dysfunctional relationships ruin lives, and I don’t want to be a part of one. As I have said, I am scared of marriage!

Scared of Marriage: As An Indian Woman, I have Many Reasons To Be

Till date, I couldn’t gather the courage to fall in love. How can I become courageous enough to get married? If you think that I haven’t found the right person, that’s perhaps because I never looked for them.

In fact, I’m still not looking for anyone, nor do I wish to. 

Being scared of marriage has not stopped me from having Platonic friendships

There’s something so pious and comforting about friendships. You can be your unfiltered self in front of your friends without a second thought. You can fight with them over trivial issues and forgive them the very next moment. They’re the most non-judgmental lot you’ll ever come across.

My male friends are just as close to me as my girl gang. I equally enjoy their company and hang out with them fearlessly. I’m always open to healthy friendships, but can’t say the same about getting married.

Intimacy scares me

I know marriages are not all about sexual intimacy. But I have heard that it’s important, and it makes me uncomfortable. I get disturbed by the very thought of physical intimacy and would prefer to stay away from it.

Is it because I am aromantic, or have genophobia [fear of sex, also known as erotophobia], or a sheer dislike for the whole painful process?

I am yet to figure it out. If you suggest that I should seek “help or treatment”, sorry, I’m not looking for any. I just want others to respect the way I am instead of thrusting their unsolicited advice on me. 

Scared of Marriage: As An Indian Woman, I have Many Reasons To Be

I don’t know if I’ll ever overcome my fear of marriage. If I ever get married, I don’t know how good a wife I’ll make. All I know is that it’s high time we stop making women feel that they’re worthless without a man.

Moreover, a marriage can be a happy place only when you are not forced into it.

Let’s normalize people choosing to prioritize their mental and physical health rather than indulging in an institution simply because “it’s the norm.”

Image Source: Kameleon007 via Getty Images and Diego Zarulli free on Canva Pro

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About the Author

Dipanwita Banerjee

I hold an MA degree in English Literature and I have a flair for writing. I mostly try to focus on issues faced by women on a regular basis and hope that one day the read more...

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