Are weddings all about shopping, endless phone talks, mid night sms, new relatives, fun and frolic. Yes… very much yes! In addition, it is also about two people, starting a new life together.
In India, and parts surrounding India, arranged marriages are common.Here the bride and groom are new to each other. Their parents meet through a common friend or marriage arranging agents. Their horoscopes were checked to see if they match. The bride and groom’s photos are exchanged to get their consent. Of late, the bride and groom meet and talk to each other before giving their consent.
Then starts the elaborate marriage arrangements. It accumulates in a grand three dayor two day celebration and religious rituals. Fun, feasting and celebrations follow for months. After this, the married couple live happily ever after.
Truth is that, after all this, the married couple are faced with a new life, and a plethora of activities to handle together. Rarely do they get enough time to understand each other, identify their spouse’s short comings, accept each other. They rarely become friends and fall in love. Instead, life just rushes by… The initial days are fun with romance and happiness in the air. But as days go by and they have kids, differences between them become obvious. At this stage, neither do they have the time nor the will to understand and accept each other. Is this happening only with arranged marriages? Sadly, No. It happens as much in love marriages as in arranged marriages.
There are lots of marriages, that do not take this route. There are people who prioritise practicalities of life first, before all the fun, frolic and romance. Here are the ground realities for newly married couples:
1. Select your spouse only after you know his strengths and weakness. Do you love him / her irrespective of their weakness and strengths?
2. Have you both talked about managing your finances, family and future plans? This talk is a necessity before marriage.
3. Are you starting your life in a joint family or in a nuclear family? Do you plan to continue the same after having kids? Make sure your partner and you are in the same page on this.
4. Kids… When do you plan to have kids? Are you both mentally and physically ready for startign af amily. If both of you are working, please understand the additional responsibilities that come with raising kids. Do not assume that your parents or in-laws will raise your child and you do not have to worry about it.
5. Are you a woman reading this, and if you are getting married soon… do you understand clearly as to how your personal finances will be handled after marriage? In India, it is a common practise, that after marriage the working women gets her salary and willingly passes it on to her husband. She concerns herself only with the problems of her job, her home and kids. Finance and famly budget remains the husband’s responsibility.
This will invariable lead to problems… Please set aside an amount for your savings. Plan your monthly expenses and set aside money for it. Encourage your husband to do the same with his pay. Pool the rest of your money together to plan for family expenses and savings.
6. Do you both respect each other’s personal space? This in turn translates to, do you both let each other lead a life of dignity and self respect? Compromises are fine, but they cannot be your life saver. If there are issues of self – respect and freedom, voice it out before the wedding. It is fine to reconsider or decide not to marry a person who cannot understand that both man and woman need self respect, freedom and dignity.
Considering these aspects do not mean that you are dis-obeying or questioning the choice of your parents or elders. It is all about deciding the life you want for yourself.
This is not a guide to fool proof marriages! It is only a window that opens onto happy love filled marriages. Wishing everyone lots of love, joy and fun.