Our society is always critical of women. More so when they find her marrying a younger man, while the opposite is in fact preferred by most. Actor Neha Dhupia, who recently tied the knot with her best friend Angad Bedi, was shamed on Instagram for marrying a man who is two years younger. If we reverse the gender here, then most Indians will hail it as an ideal match. But we still live in a society where an alliance between an older woman and a younger man is frowned upon.
This reverse age difference is especially a big no-no in case of arranged marriages. The groom must be elder to the bride. But with couples increasingly taking the matters of matrimony in their own hands now, families go to great lengths to cover up a reverse age gap in a couple.
Apparently, marrying a man younger than you is a thing to be ashamed of.
Dhupia and Bedi are one of those rare couples who wear their age difference with pride. However, such an open-minded thinking doesn’t come so easily to most people in our society. The issue of reverse age difference has probably killed more prospects of marriage than any other criterion in our country.
The logic here being that since men are considered to be the primary breadwinners in our households, the brides’ parents usually want to form an alliance with an older man, who is well settled. Age also signifies maturity; hence an older groom means a more sorted one. But only those who are married know how flimsy that logic.
Even in modern households, where both men and women work, many grooms want to exclusively marry younger brides.
This is because longer work experience comes with seniority and a meatier pay package. Their ego pampered for thousands of years by patriarchy finds it hard to be married to a partner who earns more than them.
Love will cross the barrier of age.
I know a lot of couples who have made their relationship work despite this reverse age difference. All it takes is a smaller ego and willingness to turn deaf to comments from the society. People just need a reason to wipe a smile off the other’s face, their insecurities and righteousness prompts them to look at all that is unacceptable or faulty as per their standards.
What most of them do not understand is that while there may be many reasons to not form a marital alliance, the only reason to go forward with it should be just one – compatibility.
A bigger number does not guarantee mental maturity in a man. Similarly, a reverse age difference does not mean that a wife will dominate her husband. Marriage is about equality, devotion and compatibility. As long as a couple has these three things in between them, they do not need to pay any heed to faulty social parameters.
Photo Credit : Neha Dhupia Twitter
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own