What is the truth behind the phrase ‘sanctity of marriage’? The truth is marriage is a blessing because you get together with a person who promises to share with you your sorrow and joy in equity, for as long as you live, when nobody else will stand alongside you. But when the meaning of marriage alters to anything else apart from the bonding of two compatible individuals, its sanctity doesn’t stand true anymore.
Here are a few notions about marriage that a section of the Indian society possesses, which takes away from the term its true essence.
MARRIAGE IS A COMPULSION
Why is marriage a necessity in Indian society? Getting married or not should be an absolutely personal choice. Some people may believe in the institution of marriage while some may not. Two people may live happily without having attained the tag of a married couple while a married couple may be subject to an unhappy life, together. Marriage itself does not promise a successful and happy partnership between two individuals; what assures a successful companionship is compatibility and understanding which can exist without the tag of marriage.
MARRIAGE IS A UNION OF TWO FAMILIES
Marriage is a union between two individuals and not two families. Sometimes families get excessively involved in the private affairs of a married couple, often giving rise to difficulties. For example when the mother-in-law will force the couple to have a baby, which pressurises both the partners who are involved; it could be financial pressure, emotional pressure and mental pressure.
ONLY ABUSE AND INFIDELITY CAN CONTRIBUTE TO A FAILED MARRIAGE
Not always are problems evident and scars visible. Yes it is true that physical abuse, verbal abuse and infidelity are obvious reasons why a marriage won’t work out but there may be other reasons too like incompatibility, insecurity, unpreparedness, etc. These problems mainly arise as a result of either forced marriage or when marriage is rushed into.
MARRIAGE IS THE ULTIMATE SOLUTION TO EVERY PROBLEM
Indian parents often think that if their daughters or sons aren’t interested in studying, earning and aren’t responsible enough, then they should married off. Will getting married really bring in responsibility or arouse interest in curriculums? No. One’s personality doesn’t develop once they are married off. It develops in independence and hence, irresponsibility about one’s own life will in fact hinder in the companionship between two people.
PEOPLE FROM THE SAME CASTE OR RELIGION WILL MAKE IDEAL PARTNERS
What guarantees that a husband or wife from the same religious background will make a good couple while a husband and wife from two different religious or cultural backgrounds will make a bad couple? What matters is how two human beings get along and the character of a person cannot be defined by their religion or cultural background, as long as two people have the same status, so that there is no scope of one being superior and another inferior to the other; caste, culture, religion, creed or colour, doesn’t matter whatsoever.
THE BOY HAS TO BE OLDER THAN THE GIRL
What is significant is compatibility and not age. Not always does age define maturity. There may be times when a man who is older than another man who is younger, might be less matured and understanding of another individual to be fit to enter into a marriage. So age and background are insignificant things to pay heed to when marriage is concerned.
THERE EXISTS A MARRIAGEABLE AGE LIMIT
There is a notion among Indian parents that one should get married before the age of 30, otherwise they will lose out on prospective brides or grooms. There is no fixed age for getting married. Let one pursue one’s dreams and live their lives the way they want to, until they are ready to share it with someone else. Rushing into marriage just for the sake of it is meaningless.
ONE MUST HOLD ON EVEN IF A MARRIAGE DOESN’T WORK OUT
Marriage means commitment but not forced commitment. Marriage is a bond entered into by two people who know will stay happy together. But there is no point in holding on to a marriage where the couple aren’t happy and maintain a show of happiness before society to avoid being judged. People judge all the time, so it hardly matters as to what people has to say about your private life. Do what you think is right for you. No one in the society knows as to what your botheration constitutes and even if they did they would not be able or even be willing to solve your problem.
THE DAUGHTERS’ DIGNITY LIES IN BEING ABLE TO ADJUST
This is a horrible way of putting pressure on to women, when they are expected to tolerate all sorts of ill-treatment or be forced to adjust compromising on their needs and their freedom, only to hold on to an unmatched marriage. Your daughter’s dignity does not depend on whether she is able to hold on in spite of difficulty; she is an individual and she deserves to be happy by herself. Do not force her to sacrifice on her happiness and make a show of a happy marriage, while you let the man get away with any and everything. A happy marriage is a two way process where both partners need to make certain amounts of sacrifices and compromises. To hell with what society has to say about your daughter.
A DIVORCE BETWEEN A COUPLE MAKES THEIR PARENTS FEEL CHEATED
The two individuals that live together as a married couple live independently as two adult human beings; hence it is wrong for the parents or anybody else, who forms a part of the society, to interfere into their private lives. No one knows how compatible or incompatible they are as a couple and parents must understand that forcing two people to stay together just because they seem perfect for each other or complement each other physically, or in their backgrounds may not give them enough reason to be happy with each other.
THE TAG OF MARRIAGE ASSURES TOGETHERNESS
The moment the parents find a woman and a man mingling intimately and they seem as though they are either wealthy or educated enough, they will force the kids to get married so that the prospective wealthy or educated spouse or groom does not get out of hand. But the truth is that the tag of marriage will not necessarily assure their stay. So marriage should be entered into only after getting to know a person well enough, and analysing compatibility instead of how educated or wealthy one is. Society will not take responsibility for the times when you curse yourself for rushing your children into marriage with the wrong person.
WEDDINGS HAVE TO BE EXTRAVAGENT
The more elaborate and big the wedding, the higher raises the esteem of the parents who are getting their children married. Weddings don’t necessarily have to be extravagant unless you can afford without any difficulty. A wedding can be small and simple; all that matters is the people entering into the bond stay happy with each other. It is their day and it concerns their future, and not how the relatives, friends and society praise the extravagance of the event.
OPPOSING A UNION DUE TO SOCIETAL PRESSURE
Parents often oppose a union of marriage, not because they themselves dislike the concerned person that their son or daughter has chosen, who belongs to a different caste or religion but they are afraid that the society won’t accept such a bond, which if they accept will in turn diminish their respect in the eyes of society.
Marriage is the celebration of a coming together of two individuals who want to live in unity because they desire so. But at any time these individuals may break away from the bond if they feel an appropriate need to and the society must have no say in it.