Expert GD Moderators Group Discussion

Marriage- a social trap?

Let’s start with the definition of marriage itself. Marriage has been defined as the union of two families and their respective cultures through two people with the responsibility to satisfy their physical, psychological, social, cultural, and economic needs.

The whole universe tries to live in a couplet for stability since the creation of the earth. So, finding the right partner must be an important task as it’s going to impact the rest of the life of the two people involved. For any relationship to sustain, a sense of mutual understanding and respect is important. When choosing a life companion, it is more important to value each other and their choices. It also involves the wiliness to become each other’s support system throughout their lives. It is experiencing the ups and downs of life together; it is turning every moment into a golden moment; it is learning and growing together with each other’s support like everything else in the environment grows in a symbiotic relationship. 

As quoted by Nathan Workman: 

Who we marry is one of the most important decisions in life. One that will influence the level of happiness, growth, and success, like no other choice.

In India, to make it easier for the kids to choose their partners, parents find the “good” matches for their sons/daughters. With a few details about the families, marriages are fixed and are believed to sustain through seven births. Arranged marriages are more preferred as it helps to sustain the culture, norms, and way of life of a particular ethnic group according to the older generation which I feel can be learned at any stage of life by anyone. 

Both the families showcase their status through the big-fat-wedding celebration which most of the time, pushes the bride’s family to loans, debts, and a life-long financial tension because of the expenses and the dowry. Collection for this dowry starts on the day the girl takes birth and it kills many dreams of both, the parents and the child. Thinking of the parents who have spent their life saving on the marriage, a daughter fails to return to her parents even when she wants. She chooses to stay in the abusive marriage and quietly suffer because of the social pressure of our patriarchal society and its norms which place men as superior to women and do not respect the women after divorce. 

But achieving this stability through marriage is not necessary these days. With technology, finding the balance has become a little easier. Although marriages bind the two people together and resist them from giving up on the relationship very easily, sometimes it becomes the trap- an obligation that kills the two people from inside and leads them to depression, frustration, domestic violence, and eventually an unsatisfied life. As said by Fawn Weaver:

The greatest marriages are built on teamwork- mutual respect, a healthy dose of admiration, and a never-ending portion of love and grace.

Creation of the offspring is very important for mankindMarriages provide a bond and the security to raise the children. It sets the example for the way things work on earth as children are more likely to learn the relationships and behavior from their parents. If they have seen a disturbing marriage since their childhood, they develop many misconceptions and fear of marriage and either end up alone or having a troubled marriage.

But the population has increased and many kids need to be adopted. So, marrying someone for offspring must not be justified these days.     

Now the famous one from the middle-class society- for social acceptance one has to marry or else the society will not the person live peacefully. But marriage comes with responsibilities that take the face of restrictions in most of the houses. The daughter-in-law is expected to adjust in everything from her way of speaking to the way she dresses. Her choices, time, diet, finances, socialization, dress and grooming, religious beliefs, everything is controlled by both, her parents and her in-laws, and her husband. In some cases, it is vice-versa, the man gets trapped and everything gets controlled by his wife. And the sword of laws like Dowry Act by Indian Govt. keeps hanging on his head. Where the two people are expected to uphold each other, one suppresses the other who is vulnerable. A relationship that should be nurtured with love and compassion ends with a divorce because of intolerance, inflexibility, and unrealistic expectations.

Even after this much advancement in India, the mindsets related to marriages have not changed. Social problems like child marriage and forced marriages are prevailing in society. Even today, it is very common to hear that a person got married just for the sake of his/her parents without prior knowledge about the partner before marriage. And now regretting their decisions and living with the wish for a better life. This is not the case with every marriage. Some lead a very happy life in both love and arranged marriages. But it is not right to bind two people in the marriage without their consent, because in the hard times, only those two people have to stand up next to each other and face the difficulty. 

Marriages are highly subjective. One cannot say whiter it’s a social trap or a companionship with the favorite person for life. But if the marriage takes place with the choice of both husband and wife, it will surely give a good example to the next generation. Also, if the children and their happiness are given more priority than the society, there are high chances of their marriage to be happier. And if the little amount of money would be saved from the money that was spent on the few hours of celebration (wedding), the life of parents who arranged the wedding and the girl who got married would be better even after the failed marriage.

Author: Deeksha Verma (linkedin.com/in/deeksha-verma-93ab51219)

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