How does the idea of a ‘marriageable age’ influence the lives, the freedom, the choices and the happiness of those involved?
Also, why is this age considered ‘marriageable age’? The answer to this also conveys how we view marriage.
Sharing an email.
I came across your blog when I was Googling life-changing advice. It is insane that I am writing to a complete stranger to share something about my life on a public forum, but I could do with some honest advice.
My problem is not unique or something that hsn’t been discussed before, I am sure. If there is someone else’s experience I can learn from, do point me to the relevant post.
Here is what I have to say, and ask:
I am almost 29, Indian female and on the verge of giving up a lot of good work I’ve fought really long and hard for in life, because my parents are old, and want me to get married, and get married FAST, because I am nearing 30. Is that all it takes to decide to get married?
I studied engineering, mostly because it was my father’s dream, worked in the IT sector for a couple of years, and then quit to pursue a career in what I really wanted to do – journalism. I managed pretty well — working with reputed Indian and international brands. The pressure to get married has been there since I finished engineering. I was 22 then. It has been seven years, and of course it has only increased and is now threatening to consume my very existence.
I have worked in two different cities, apart from the one that I live in (one of the four major metros). It was only when I moved out for my second journalism job a couple of years ago that I figured the kind of person I want to be. Apart from keeping the pressure at bay, the new city, the new setting and the right set of people made me understand that it is okay to want to be happy and have a life that does not require you to abide by the rules your family sets out for you. It was also the only job that made me happy.
I dated a guy for three-odd years, and that did not work out. It left me a little jolted, but nothing extreme. I am okay getting married some time in life, or may be find a partner and live-in. However, I DO NOT, absolutely DO NOT want to get married because I am a certain age. The need for companionship seems to hold no logical meaning for parents and family. How does this work really?
I had to quit the job-I-ever-really-liked and move back home to be with my parents because their attempt at finding a suitable boy in that city did not yield any results and my father wasn’t keeping well. The emotional blackmail and drama almost killed me then, and I had to quit and come back home. I have been home for nearly a year now, working at a job that has a big name but no satisfaction, gone to extremely traumatic prospective groom meetings, absolutely abhorred and cursed myself for doing so, but done it anyway because I tell myself it keeps my parents happy. My brother is extremely understanding, but because these guys see no reason for me to continue being unmarried, he has also been asking me to consider marriage.
The problem here is, my father does not keep well (he’s 72, and has recently undergone open heart surgery and is on dialysis), my mother is stressed all the time, both of them are losing health. And after meeting/talking to at least 20 men in 3 years, I feel no more inclined to wade through a sea of bad-looking, extremely close-minded men (mostly) online who only want a wife because most of their friends are married. If at all I get married, I want to enjoy the process.
I am not even allowing myself to date someone or actively look for guys on my own because I stay at home and have limits on when to get home, which leaves me no time to socialize post work. Also, I really dislike the work I am doing right now.
For the first time in years, I was really beginning to understand the kind of person that I want to be, the kind of life I want to lead, and now I cannot because there is this sense of guilt and not having done right by my parents.
I want to move out, I am even considering studying for a year, but am stalling the application process because I am scared. Is there any way to do it without killing my parents? I really do love them and care about them, but I felt closer to them when I wasn’t staying with them.
I am absolutely unhappy and get bouts of insane fear, thinking about how I could just give in to the blackmail, which includes stuff like “If you don’t get married soon and something happens to us, you re responsibe”.
I know this post is rambling on, but I really do not understand this fixation with marriage. I also do not understand what holds me back. Maybe the fact that I have very few savings, if at all. It is tempting sometimes to just give in, marry a man that is handpicked by the family, and just “settle” and “compromise”—two favourite Indian parent words. And then I think of everything I have given up and gone through, and realize it’s not worth it.
“I know my dad is short tempered but he was never this aggressive until my relatives started making him over think about my marriage.”
“I want to take my own time, get a job, then think whether or not to get married. But, I can’t tell my parents all this.”
“Only thing I can can think of now is to take a spoon of boiling oil and put on my cheeks. I will see then who marries a girl with a burnt face”
Yes I am single so? – Nirjharani
Why marry? – Careless Chronicles
Suddenly I hear all this talk about how I am ‘bad girl” and a disgrace to my family b/c I am not married.