“I would be curious to read a detailed check list of conditions from modern young women of marriageable age, before they agree to get married to a particular young man.
Could I suggest this as a topic for a future blog post from you?
I have heard cases where the girl insisted that her in-laws must live separately permanently. She didn’t mind an occasional visit from them but she refused to live with them or have them live with her and her husband.
(IHM: I think this is a condition that a lot of men put too. A lot of men refuse to live with their in laws. Some men refuse to marry into families where there are no sons for the same reason.)
To be fair, she accepted a similar condition as regards her own parents. (IHM: Not sure if such fairness is expected from everybody who is getting married.)
I am curious because girls nowadays are frank and open about these pre-conditions and don’t blindly walk into a marriage trusting her parents to take care of her interests. Good for them, and everybody else. Saves a lot of heartaches later.
As a well meaning relative, who often helps couples get hitched by passing on information about boys to girls families and vice versa, I am interested in knowing about this list of conditions from modern young women.”
‘a list of modern young women’s demands and conditions would be very helpful…in fact I think men and their families need to get an education about the real world of potential young wives and what’s in their mind.’
So here’s what I thought the list might look like. Please feel free to agree, disagree and add to the list any points that come to your mind.
1. No discrimination based on gender. This should make life a lot easier for both the partners.
2. Expense of the wedding born by both the families. Goes without saying, no dowry and gifts to be demanded or exchanged. Yes, new beginnings are possible without force-feeding and gifts.
3. No demands for male-children. Not even indirect hints, from elders and the community from either side. The families must acknowledge the Skewed Gender Ratio, so their male grand children don’t have to ‘buy’ brides.
Make it ‘No demands by the families and community for children’. The couple’s personal life and choices must be respected.
4. Parents from both the sides have equal rights on the time, care and attention of the couple. One is not superior to the other. (Ladke Wale = the Ladki Wale).
5. No changing of names for either partner. The husband should be free to keep his name, so should be the wife. No parents of daughters should have to fear that their family name would disappear if they have no male children.
Remember we expect Indian parents to stop aborting baby girls and to love them ‘just like sons’, and so, condition 6 should be,
6. When (and if) the couple has children, they must be given names that include the names of both the parents.
7. If there is age difference, it should not become an excuse for one to treat the other like a child. If there is doubt about the maturity of one of the partners, then that should be dealt with before any decisions are taken.
It’s essential that both the partners are adults (in the real sense), and marriage is not a means to ensure that one is “looked after” by the other.
Mutual support, growing and evolving together, and facing together, the challenges that life throws at them is only possible when this basic precondition is met.
8. To ensure the above, they must get to know each other. In these times when men and women meet hundreds of men and women everyday, there is no reason why the couple shouldn’t get to know prospective life partners before they make such an important decision.
Why can’t parents do it better?
Because no matter how open the thinking, and how much they respect their children as adults – the children are individuals, not an extension of the parents. The very fact that a set of parents wants to choose their child’s life partner is an indication that they are not the right people to do it.
Parents should have no role to play?
Parents can introduce them and if asked for an opinion, give it without insisting that their opinion be accepted as the final decision. It does not mean that the adult children are being disrespectful; it means they have raised adult children who have the confidence to take responsibility for their own lives. Any parents would be proud of such children.
9. Both the partners would need to understand that it is important to respect another’s choices. It is not respectful to try to control what the other partner likes to eat, drink, read, wear, play, watch etc.
If there are reservations, these should be discussed and resolved.
10. A difference in academic qualifications, how much they earn, how they look (dark, fair, fat, thin) or difference in family backgrounds etc does not make one partner superior to the other.
Each needs to see the other as an equal and worthy of their respect and trust.
Sympathy, hero-worship, sacrifice and dependence do not make for long lasting happiness.
11. Point 10, also does not change the fact that all responsibilities are to be shared by both the partners. The male partner has an equal right to bond with the children, changing nappies, helping with children’s home-work and truly being a parent, not a Gabbar Singh of the family. (As in, “Go to sleep or else I will call daddy.”)
Housework also is a joint responsibility; custom/tradition should be used as an excuse for irresponsible behavior.
12. The couple works as a team, not as Boss and Secretary or Guardian and Ward.
13. If they are working, they could discuss if their careers are important to them. If yes, then perhaps, aspirations of both should be equally important? Also understanding that these aspirations might change with time.
Can this list be seen as a response to, “For a change y can’t u write some tips & tricks abt staying in a marriage &making it happy for both partners“?
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