Every Indian girl in her twenties is bombarded with intrusive questions about her “obviously” impending (heteronormative) marriage. When will you get married? Your friends are all married, why aren’t you? Should we start looking for boys for you? Do you already have someone in mind? And if that’s not enough, they feel entitled to advise you with reasons supposed to compel you for marriage. But why does no one ever spare a thought to the possibility that marriage may not be on the cards for many women? That it’s better to stay single than forcefully tie the knot, only so society’s moral conventions remain intact? Yet, despite the empowering discourse, a lot of women have no choice but to give in to the marriage pressure. Perhaps, you may even be one of them.
Here are ten very important factors that you must think about before marriage.
1.The right age to get married
“You are already in your late-twenties, get married before it’s too late.” How many times have you come across this comment? Age is not a deciding factor of when you should get married. You must get married only if and when you are ready, both mentally and physically to get into this relationship.
2. Don’t you want to become a mother?
Motherhood is indeed one of the most precious things in nature. But we must realise that a woman’s only aim is not just to become a mother. In fact, she has the choice of not to become a mother at all. Also, nowadays there are various ways to embrace motherhood like adoption and surrogacy.
3.Can the bride be over-qualified for the groom?
Our society has set certain standards for woman empowerment. This is definitely not fair. One of them is that a successful woman will find it difficult to find a groom. Indian society has yet not normalised the fact that a woman can be more educated and qualified than the husband. An empowered woman has a successful career and she can be a good homemaker also.
4.Societal and family pressure on the girl
Marriage is not a decision that society or your parents must take for you. It is completely your choice. To all those people who are compelling you, all you have to do is ignore them. Empower yourself, fulfill your dreams, and while you are at the top of your career, nobody can pressurise you to get married.
5.Self-respect above everything
To make your marriage life successful, you need not sacrifice or adjust to everything the husband or the relationship demands. The older generation might judge us for this. But a woman’s self-respect is priceless.
If you have a decent education, then you must make a career out of it. Otherwise, you might have to depend on your rich husband whom your family found for you. Well, this in a way is objectifying men too.
7.Can you remain ambitious after marriage?
With marriage comes a lot of responsibilities. So if you are an ambitious girl who wants to continue studying or pursue your job, you must choose a partner and in-laws who will support you through this.
8.Is marriage a safe space for women?
In India, there are no laws for marital rape and domestic violence. Hence, women dread to get married since they are not assured safety in their marriage. Every year, thousands of housewives commit suicide in our country in the name of dowry harassment and domestic violence. So to make your marriage a safe place, get to know the man and his family before saying yes. Do not form a decision over the first meeting only.
9.Divorce is not normalised in our society
Divorce is seen as a taboo in our country. Hence, even if the girl complains about her abusive husband or in-laws to her parents, chances are that they might only tell you to adjust or compromise.
10. Marriage is only for heterosexual couples
In India, same-sex marriage is not legal. Therefore, if you belong to the LGBTQ communities, then you cannot be legally married in this country.
Marriage is supposed to be the union between mutually compatible, loving, and respecting individuals. It is completely fine if you do not want to get married also. There are options like live-in-relationships or you could just live a bachelor life with people who have a similar idea.
Malavika M S is an intern with SheThePoeple.TV