A lot of happenings in my life and in lives around me has prompted me to write this 2 part post. Entering into Marriage – Youth will follow soon.
Disclaimer: Let me just make it clear before I start that I am not biased in favor of arranged or love marriage, nor in favor of parents or the youth when it comes to the issue of approaching marriage. I am a neutral person who believes this is a case-to-case basis and everything can be solved by a clear open-minded talk from all the people involved.
Selecting a guy/girl to share your life with has become a business. I am not sparing love or arranged marriage here. Both are competing equally in causing havoc and in spreading good. When a girl turns 24 (the age here varies from 24 to 26 according to the families), the pressure to get married starts. Guys are cut a certain slack here in the age factor, but girls are not spared. I am not blaming the parents for wanting to finish their duties and to give their daughter a happy life. I am just saying please check if she is mentally ready for entering into marriage. This is not just some duty that needs to be checked off in the to-do list. This is your daughter’s life. If you make her enter into something that she is not ready for, there is a good chance when she might think it is all too much for her to take and take rash decisions which would make you and the entire family regret.
The next pressure is on the couple to have kids before the girl turns 28-30 (again I am giving an age range). You say that’s how it is meant to be and the girl’s body takes the pregnancy pressure well during that time. Fine point! Agreed! But there is something called mental readiness added to the readiness of the woman’s body to take up the toil of pregnancy. If she is not ready to have a baby, pressurizing her is just gonna ruin the family’s life. The same goes for the guy. He might have some plans to get settled and have some savings before a baby comes along. It is not fair to force him to give you a grandchild when he is insecure. It might just ruin his confidence that he can lead a family well and he might feel out of place with his own baby.
You can argue saying that I got married at this age and had kids at this age and I am still living happily. But you have to accept the fact that times have changed. You were brought up to listen to your parents and marry whomever they show without a second thought and live forever with that person even if you think they are not the right person for you. But we are not like that. In the process of having more exposure, earning more, achieving more than it was possible back then, this self-thinking, independent nature also kicked in. Nothing can be done about that. It comes as a package. If you try to customize it, you will end up ruining the relationship with your child. Please do not see this as rebellious nature. Rebellious nature comes in only when there is no one to listen to us patiently. If you show that you are all for an open discussion, your child will not put up a rebellion. Instead he/she will be grateful to have such understanding parents.
In arranged marriages, before showing photos of prospective guys and girls to your daughters and sons respectively, there is one thing you need to do. Have a face to face talk with your son/daughter and find how ready he/she is in selecting a life partner. Try to check if he/she is clear in his/her expectations from a life partner. Give them some insights about adjustments and compromises for the greater good of the family, taking up responsibilities in the personal front and the like. Because facing the brutal world everyday in their jobs and being away from home for the sake of earning, people these days have learnt how not to compromise and ingrained with a fact that if they did, they will end up as losers. Also, in the process of concentrating on career and money making, they would have given into recklessness when it comes to personal lifestyle. However, the same concept will not apply when it comes to a family. It is not like they will not compromise but they need to be reminded of what it takes to live a married life. That too with some person whom they recently got to know about. Responsibilities of having to look after another person will seem scary. This talk would assure your daughter or son that marriage is not a scary phase but instead a lovable responsible phase of life.
As for love marriages, before rejecting blindly please consider the option. It is not as bad as you think. I am not talking about the illusion of infatuation ending in marriages or those who lack confidence on their parents and elope. I am talking about the people who are mature enough and have found someone they really like to spend their lives with and would like their parents to consider their choice. So before damning all the people who are in love as people blinded by infatuation and on the path to a huge failure, consider the prospect for a moment. If the person chosen by your son/daughter is a good choice, will he/she look after your son/daughter well – get to know him/her. Try to understand why your son/daughter chose this person. Think of the situation as thought you are selecting a prospective guy/girl for your son/daughter. If that’s the case, you will give an unbiased analysis right? Why not give the same treatment? All we are saying is if some unknown girl you suddenly bring into your son’s life can take care of him well, there is a better chance that this known girl whom your son wants will put her before him to take a bullet. Please do not bring controversies like caste, community, status and what others will think into picture here. If your son/daughter don’t believe in these stuff, they are gonna outright reject your opinions about this. All you want in life is your child to be happy right? Why should you let it be blotted by such blind beliefs? If a girl of your son’s choice will make him the most happy (Again I am talking about mature good choices), what reason do you have to deny it? Isn’t it the same as you want for him?
All I am saying here is respect your child’s choices. Don’t blindly accept or blindly reject. Present your valid reasons in any case. Ask your son/daughter to present their case. Have an open reasonable talk and I can assure that there will be no issues. Let marriage be the best gift you give to your child, not something you force upon him/her.
For all those people who are wondering who am I to give this gyaan and that I am too young to advise you, here are 2 pointers:
1. This is my opinion and despite my young age, I am a person too. I have opinions too. I might be right or wrong but these are *my* opinions and I have a right to express them.
2. I am not stopping here with writing gyaan post addressed to parents. The youths of this age do a lot of mistakes in approaching this whole marriage pressure, selecting partners of their own choice, convincing their parents that they made a good informed choice and end up hurting their parents. Parents are the most important people for anyone in the world. So I will write a sequel addressed to my peers. So please patiently wait until I put up the sequel post and then rant out. 🙂
Until later 🙂