UNDERSTANDING MARRIAGE AND RELATED ISSUES
by Mrs. Abha Sharma
(Based on points discussed by Mrs. Surbhika Maheshwari ( Lecturer in Delhi University) in her lecture in BVB on 18.9.2011, Delhi)
Famous Astrologer Shri. K. N. Rao says that a good astrologer should have not only the wisdom but also have a varied knowledge of all fields of education. In 1978, he attended a Sociological conference, held in Delhi, which showed that sociologists do a macro level study of people and society while astrologers do an in -depth micro – level study of their lives. In between these two categories, there comes psychiatrist, clinical psychologists and marriage counselors. Now, a days divorces and marital distress issues are cropping up at a higher pace and to give the society right counseling for solving these types of problems, astrologers need to understand the mental as well as intellectual needs of both man and woman tied in a marriage. A well educated astrologer can only make good astrological predictions. The seep of Astrologer is better than the psychologist, as astrologers are more in number and more socially accepted. An astrologer can understand and give solutions to the society more and in a better manner than a psychologist.
Marriage is an interesting institution which not only gives us support and backup but also some liabilities. It is also attached with many illnesses as well. It is not a stable institution. Sometimes one feel that with years of marriage, he has reached on certain level but after some incidence, one comes down to the bottom. So married life is very volatile and changing every day.
Many believe that sex play an important role in marriage, but its not true. In fact, it makes a very small part in comparison to other important things of sharing. Some sexually happier marriages are not happier otherwise. Instinctual part, progeny and libido ( sex desire) is not the complete meaning of marriage.
Marriage is a struggle like other relationships. It is a compromise and a long term investment.
Lot of patience, wisdom, good communication and some solutions are required to make a marriage successful. Men and women think differently, they feel hurt differently for different situations, e.g. a man can feel more bad in case he is not able to meet the financial needs of his family, on the other hand a woman may feel equally bad for not able to make dinner for her family on a specific day.
· Why Marriage is so important ?
1. Global phenomenon: Nearly 97% people of the society still get married world all over. And only 0.03% of the 3% unmarried people choose not to marry by their choice. In U.S. where divorce rate is very high, marriage is still going on and co-habitation is still there
2. Culturally loaded: Lot of cultural things are wrapped with marriage ceremonies. Many individuals even have dreams of getting married as per the influence of their culture.
3. Life time decision- After getting married one gets many changes in life as one gets into new emotional ties, social bindings, physical legal sharing also starts with many financial Investments.
4. Free Will: Marriage is in fact is a matter of free will as seemingly no one is forced to get married and even the social pressures make a person to decide the time to get married as per his or her free will only..
· Why do we get married ?
1. Societal reasons – Happy marriages create happy individuals and they in turn make a happy and stable society. A research made on a group of some 30-35 africans has proved that human beings are instinctive and naturally programmed to save and support their own DNA (progeny) in adverse times. Hence, marriage gives recognition to this natural character of human beings. Moreover, a human child needs maximum care.
2. Legal reasons—Getting married gives a person the legal right to share the assets and liabilities of a person. In India, all religions allow a married person the right to participate in all customs.
3. Children, property, status
4. Psychological reasons – Companion ship and Development
5. Security reasons – both emotional and financial
· Things to be considered before marriage?
Now a days there is ardent need of pre- marital counseling just like planning visits to beauty parlors, etc. to give a better insight of the future married life and to avoid frictions and marital distress. One should see the compatibility on different things between the two prospective individuals for marriage as per one's priorities. It is important as for a person, most important thing to be seen in a prospective marriage partner is the caring attitude while other may like to have a partner giving maximum luxuries of life. Some may feel that one can get married to a person though good for nothing but showing concern to family in times of need at least:
1. Societal compatibility: Any major difference in the social background of boy and girl deciding to get married becomes very vital as political-non political, rich-poor, lower middle class-upper middle class differences though initially may not look big, but after a few years of marriage, they lend the people in suffocating, non- changing habits.
2. Emotional Compatibility: Some can have caring trait as reaction on top while others may feel anger as the most prominent and upcoming feature in one's day to day life. Some like to make grief as the main focus in their emotions as on top. Generally it is true in case of Women, especially house wives.
3. Financial compatibility: Understanding each others finances need and supply. If financial understanding is lacking and there are financial lies, false promises, mis- understandings between the couple, then small financial issues turn into big fights later on. A wife from a rich parental background may think that five thousand bugs are nothing for her and insufficient as pocket money for her, but for a husband belonging to middle income service class earning Rs.35,000/- per month as salary may take the same pocket money as a big expense.
4. Age: Not much age difference should be there, as too young or too old marriage partner will have mismatching in likings, entertainment needs, sexual desires, etc.
5. Appearance: Both should look good and matching and not contrast if they go together to public places on auspicious occasions, important events, etc as people often comment seeing contrasting couples and either of the two may feel hurt on some comment.
6. Values: Values a person believes in are important and becomes more relevant in the day to day working of a married couple if there is huge gap in it. A traditional husband who believes that expects his wife to take him as the "Pati parmeshwar" will make quite irony with a modern working wife who believes in equal rights for men and women. Also, a girl brought up in a joint family and find it difficult to live with a girl having her upbringing in a nuclear family. When such couples are to get married fight, they need to talk and discuss about the compromises they will have to make after marriage. Such pre- marital acceptances help them to avoid the fights later and gives different feel.
7. Goals: Life goals mismatch between husband and wife can finally lend them to the court of law for seeking divorce. An over ambitious husband thinks to make millions in business and so always busy in his business with a wife who want to enjoy life in small things with not much desire for expensive things and who wants husband's time will not be able to go ahead together in the journey of married life.
8. Attitudes: If husband keeps positive attitude towards life and wife often gets negative attitude due to her fearing nature and depression etc. due to the negative past baggage, then there will not be marital harmony in the family.
9. Religion: A hindu boy marrying a muslim girl or a Sikh boy marrying a christian girl are now a days common, but not all such marriages are happily successful. Religion can also become the mojor bone of contention after few years of marriage, because customs, followings, dogmatism all get increase with time.
10. Life Style: Likings may be different but they should not be poles apart. If one is addicted or is having the habit to chew tobacco and other partner hates people taking any form of tobacco, then, cohabitation of such two different persons may not give the real marital happiness for long, and both will start avoiding each other after some years of marriage. A boy who has been going on vacation with his friends before marriage may have to curtail it after marriage as per his wife's wishes. Similarly, a girl who is extrovert but got seduced by a boy of introvert change, as opposite attract, may not find him interesting after some years of marriage. A party lover or who sleeps late at night or is having habit of waking up late may appear lazy to the other partner who is a staunch morning walker. How long one can go on living with an uninteresting or un-interested spouse. Less sharing always brings more gaps in marriage.
Generally gap in marriage and marital distress comes when there is lot of love but financial understanding is lacking as financial lies, false promises, mis- understandings will not work.
· What are the Important questions to be asked before marriage?
1. Children: One needs to discuss, whether the other partner is ready to have children and if yes, then their timing in their life.
2. Money: If both are earning or one is earning, the income and expenditure, budget and all about the money needs to be discussed openly between the two partners to avoid frictions later
3. Co-Habitation: If both are working in different cities or countries even, then how the couple are going to stay together after marriage.
4. In-Laws: Role and interference of both in-laws in the life of couple needs to be discussed as there is much difference between visiting parents and living-in parents.
5. Temperament: One of hot short tempered nature and other of cool nature
6. Fidelity: All types, emotional, mental and physical and their limits need to be discussed
7. Assets and Liability: In whose name, purchasing of properties, gold items, household goods are going to be purchased and who is going to pay the EMIS, Bills, etc.
8. Are the reasons for marriage right? One getting married for just getting away from parental house, marrying for wealth, money etc. are the reasons good for nothing.
· Experience of Marriage:
1. Sharing – Space : Husband and wife share space as closer as possible
2. Change in Life – for both men and women
3. Dual Identity: A son after marriage becomes a husband and so needs to behave in different but equal manner to both the important ladies in his life- Mother and Wife. Though the wife enters in a man's life much later, but as she has left all his parental attachments behind, she also needs to be given proper emotional and mental support from her husband in case she doesn’t gel well with her in laws.
4. Extension of family: Generally, after marriage, one's parents and siblings get doubled. New relations are expected to be maintained in similar manner like the spouse is maintaining.
5. Final Settlement – After getting married only, one finally gets to know the zone he / she belongs to.
6. From Love to reality: Many Love marriages broke soon after marriage, when adjustment problems come on having the same lover 24 hours as compared to the few hours meetings in a week.
7. From newness and excitement to routine: After one year of honeymoon phase,. when family phase of marriage starts, the couple starts feeling routine and so bored with each other after sometime together. One needs to understand this before marriage that crush and attractions don’t last for long.
8. Passion and patience: After years of marriage, patience comes but passion is lacking and the couple starts behaving like brother- sister.
· Kinds of marriages:
1. Love viz arranged marriage
2. Inter- caste marriages
3. Cross- cultural marriages
4. Inter – religion marriages
5. First viz second marriage
· Fire and Water
1. All marriages will have patches of marital distress
2. People we get married to are different from us, so start accepting them the way they are and don’t get judge -mental always when meeting them.
3. Both spouses need to adjust in a marriage. One who adjusts a lot, later on burst like a volcano. So don’t over- adjust or don’t become a door -met wife.
4. There are no rules for a happy marriage, so create your own or live life as it is.
5. All marriages are different and unique, so don’t generalize seeing others marriage. One may react differently do different situations as all living beings are born different with different baggage of their past life karmas and results in this birth as their " Prarabh"
· What is the fair fight?
1. Progeny and togetherness
2. What have we created together
3. What do we mean to each other
4. What does the marriage mean today
5. What are the hope and promises for future
6. What do we want to do together
· When all is not well / difficult phases
1. Teething troubles
2. In- Laws hassles
4. Difficult times : own Illness, some – grief created by mis- happening in family, losses- business or theft, etc.--
· Signs of Serious Troubles and chances of failure of marriage / Divorce
1. Bickering- OCD ( Obsessive Compulsive disorder)
2. Unfair fights
3. Un- resolved hurt brings burst stage
4. No more sharing of good times—both are talking routines only
6. Unfaithfulness- physical, emotional , financial
7. Isolating the spouse from other family members
8. One feeling happier when spouse is away
9. Abuse – Physical, mental, financial
Above points are the indications of marital distress, so one should try to reduce these as soon as possible as otherwise, these may soon turn into big distress issues and finally divorce.
But still marriage can be saved from here.
· Signs of Doom
1. No sharing of space
2. Too many unfulfilled expectations
4. Negativity- the feeling of living with a horrible partner, who is torturing is unbearable and inhuman
5. Breakdown of communication, e.g. felicitated talks.. food is ready, eat it, etc. are also not there.
6. Breakdown of trust
Marriage can’t be continued if above symptoms are there. One should now seriously thing to get separate legally.
· Saving Grace
A marriage can be saved by opting following options by both the marriage partners.
1. Common goals and Values:
Thinking and working to spend leisure trips together without kids and parents or relatives, buying a new house/ decorating it, good upbringing of children, etc. can give new dimensions to the life of couple.
2. Ability to communicate:
Finding solutions for personal issues by thinking like educated persons, discussing things, finding
3. Ability to forgive:
Ones needs to accept the other person without acting judging and trying to correct and change
the other person.
4. Promise of a better future:
Both planning to live a future together and not as separate individuals
5. Indispensable dependence:
Both try to do some works for each other, so that both are dependent on each other as too much
independence gives indifferent and non-caring attitude.
6. Love, respect, understanding and caring can save a marriage:
Both need to learn to express positive feelings for each other, by focusing more on qualities and not on errors.
Love is the foundation of marriage, but not the building of marriage. After love, one needs understanding, resources, intelligence to use them to make solutions for marriage and to live life together, e.g. after 15 years of marriage, both can spend some 15-20 minutes together daily apart from discussing daily routine and things about kids and parent, or they can see Movie / TV together, etc. After 20 to 40 years of married life, couple can have morning tea together, reading newspaper or walk together, etc.
Article written on 21.9.2011