Have you ever seen a particular shirt in a store and loved it so much that you absolutely wanted to buy just that even if it was expensive? You would cut down and compromise on other unnecessary expenses and would end up buying that shirt. Also, I don’t think any of us these days allow our parents to select clothes for us. But interestingly, we let go of our love for a person and at times end up marrying a person chosen by our parents. Indian culture amazingly allows us to make all our decisions in our life on our own except apart for the most important one.
I am not against arranged marriages, but I am definitely against the Indian family’s need to sustain a failing marriage. Just because two individuals are living together under one roof for their entire lives, doesn’t mean that the marriage is a happy one. If verbal abuses and quarrels are a part of regular routine, then it is obviously not a happy marriage. Living with an incompatible partner is as much a crime, as much as living with domestic violence and torture. Parents often neglect the reason of incompatibility for a not so happy marriage, where in fact it should be regarded as one of the major reasons. People with different mind sets cannot be friends but fascinatingly can be life partners.
Another thing exclusive to India is lack of physical appreciation for each other in a marriage. I once read that we Indians don’t mind fighting in front of kids but don’t show small signs of love like holdings hands, kissing, etc., that is so true. A married couple doesn’t mind calling each other names and fighting or abusing each other in front of their kids, but often fail to show affectionate gestures like hugging or holding hands. This kind of behaviour creates inbuilt fear among the kids towards the concept of marriage. The society regards a marriage successful only when two of them either willing or otherwise stay under one roof for eternity and therefore people are still very conservative with the concept of divorces in India and it is still considered as a taboo. People cling to unhappy marriages due to social and family pressure. A lot of times, the couple stays together because of family considerations. I don’t exactly understand how something of a personal choice undergoes huge alterations because of family’s happiness or honour involved. Are you going to end up living a better life because your family is happy? Absolutely not! Also, do consider that if you are not happy in a relation, you won’t be able to pass on the happiness to your child, as a mother / father you might be able to give all the love, but as a couple that love will always be missing.
The obvious truth being, neither do all arranged marriages work out nor do all love marriages fail, but an individual’s happiness shouldn’t be overlooked by family or societal norms of a “happy marriage”. Just because of the stigma attached to divorces, you shouldn’t be living in the web of failing marriage. Women are majorly the ones who can sacrifice everything to see their families happy, but one’s personal happiness shall not be overshadowed by other out-dated norms.
A happy marriage according to me is one where both the partners are happy, help in each other’s growth, have respect for each other as well as individual choices and preference, and are compatible. Let no one ever tell you what to do and what not to do in your marriage, it’s your marriage and should be purely yours. When we reject hundreds of shops because of our hunt to choose the best dress, then why let a few rejections for marriage hinder our look for the perfect life partner? It is after all going to be a life altering decision, never take that decision in haste or because your parents consider it to be the ‘ideal match’, what is ideal for you only you can decide. Your parents can decide a person for you, but not you understanding with him/her or your compatibility level or the validity of your marriage, make a wise choice and be smart enough to walk out of it, if you aren’t comfortable in it, don’t let the societal stigma get to you, because you shall choose only your happiness and not that of rest of the world’s.