Any marriage these days in a cosmopolitan family is facing serious strain due to the changing lifestyles. Moving slowly towards the western stand-in relationships without any thought about sanctity of marriage, we are seeing a spate of broken marriages these days. Trying to understand the reason for this, you will see a few fundamental things.

The traditional Indian marriage system verifies the history for seven generations. The understanding is that if the family is blemish-free for those many generations, we can safely assume a good upbringing for the child and a happy married life. This concept has fast turned obsolete – what the parents taught for twenty years stand demolished by what the friends taught in four years in college, be it vices, be it love, be it ideological tilt or whatever. In most of the cases, parents don’t know what their children are up to on the roads. How many cases have we seen where the child smokes and the parents don’t know? How many cases have we seen where a marriage is fixed and someone drops the bombshell of a love affair, even possibly a pre-marital affair?

Let’s go to the next phase – job, mainly jobs for women. There are two types of independence arising out of this – financial and physical. Because it is their daughter’s money, parents don’t ask about it. Meaning, no financial accountability. How are you spending, how much are you saving, no one will ask you and even if they ask you don’t tell them. Next, you are in no way inferior to the others in office, be it male or female. Now, translate this to post marriage. If you are earning, will you share your accounts and expenses with your spouse? Will you come one step down for a happy marriage? Or will you think, never in my life, I bent before anyone. Why should I bend before this person? Marriage is an agreement where one person fully surrenders himself to the other. Accommodation and movement towards common interests are the only way it can survive. And if the girl had to resign her job due to marriage. She doesn’t have money, her ego doesn’t allow her to ask money from someone, she would want to be the controlling entity around as like always, which the other partner, the bread earner, cannot tolerate. If she is happy with the allowance, well and good. Else, it’s the start of another type of troubles.

If the girl is not doing job, how does she pass her time in home when her husband is in office? He can’t take calls full time. She hasn’t got anything else to do, except TV, shopping and neighbours. And if these don’t work, call someone. And that someone generally will be her mother and then everyone else. Next comes, what to talk. After all the topics are over, it slowly turns to whatever happened in the house. No married life will be smooth. Bickerings and small fights are a common scenario. Now, if they are carried over to a third party and if the person is not mature enough to understand where her involvement should stop, we will be seeing someone supporting her daughter against her son-in-law thereby blowing up trivialities into major issues. Something which will be left out either as a passing remark will be made a major issue just because there is someone to back you up. This problem is stark in onsite marriages where there is no neighbour culture at all.

We are living in a global village. The education you have and the job you get don’t match. Everyone has relatives and friends overseas. You cannot compare your life with that of someone else. But you do. And when you do, you do it with someone better placed than you – permanently settled in a foreign country, married into a filthy rich family and so on. And when your expectations reach the level where your spouse cannot fulfil them, what is going to happen?

These four are a deadly combination. You have seen sufficient independence in life because of which you don’t want to yield an inch. Then, you are not happy because your friend has a better life. Instead of convincing you, if your parents support your stand? What is the chance that the marriage will survive?

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