Nearly ninety percent of marriages in India are still arranged. In India women are "offered" as objects of marriage to strangers and 'given away' to another family. Many women get very little time getting to know their partner because parents typically say, "puri life padi hai ek doosre ko jaanane ke liye!"
However, this article aims to prep you up to make the most of your time during your meeting with the potential groom in cases of an arranged marriage. We have got a must-ask list of issues that will give you a quick view into your partner's thinking and mindset.
10 must ask questions for potential grooms
1. Ask him if he/his family plans to ask for dowry
First in the list of questions for potential grooms comes your future husband's views on dowry. In 2019, the statistics of reported dowry deaths in India stood at 7.1 thousand per year. If the guy supports the concept of dowry, say no to the marriage. The groom should ideally be against all forms of immoral activities, including dowry. He should not intend to marry you because of money.
2. Relationship with family members
Ask him how many members are there in his family and how is his relationship with them. If there are disputes within the family, you wouldn't want to be a part of it? Also, make sure you confirm that he is not too dependent on his parents - for money and for little things. Because if he is, then he will depend on you for the tiniest of the things and you do not want to spend your life with a man child, right?
3. Who does the household chores?
If your would-be husband lives with his family, ask him if he does his share of the household chores or is it just the women of the house who do it? Does he and his family members expect you to do all the household work? If so, they may not be right people for you to stay with. Both you and your husband must have some knowledge of cooking, cleaning and other household duties. This way you can divide the work equally and it will prevent a single person bearing the entire responsibility. Therefore, do not forget to add this to your list of questions for potential grooms.
4. Tell him you won't quit your job after marriage
It's 2021 and we should not be having this conversation. Isn't it obvious that women who worked hard to establish their career can't quit it just because they are shifting to a new house? But it's India and recent studies reveal that there has been a 10 per cent drop in the statistics of working age women because married women actively quit their jobs due to family pressure.
Let him know if your job requires you to travel on a daily basis. Tell him all your ambitions, work goals etc and clarify that there is not going to be any change post marriage. Your partner shouldn't have a problem with any of it because if he does, he is the wrong guy.
5. Let him know you will take care of your parents even after marriage
As their daughter, its your responsibility to look after your parents. Married or not, once our parents start aging, it automatically becomes our priority to take care of them as their children. Having a husband and in-laws doesn't mean cutting off ties with our parents. So, ensure that your new family does not ask you to shed off the identity of a daughter and become only a bahu.
6. Share about your past relationships with him and ask him about his
Be open about your past relationships. If you have been sexually active earlier, let him know. Similarly, if you are someone who is not okay with having sex immediately after marriage, ask him if he is ready to give you enough time to be sexually comfortable with him. With marital rape being 'legal' in India, you would definitely not want to risk your life by getting married to someone who would use you for his sexual gratification.
The potential groom too must speak freely about his past relationships, virginity and when he would be ready for a physical relationship. The two of you must listen to each other without being judgmental and reach a fair conclusion.
7. Medical history
Knowing each other's medical history before getting married is a way to avoid complications which may arise later on. Compulsorily ask the man about blood compatibility test. If the blood group of married couples are not compatible, they are likely to face problems if they want to have a child. Next, ask him for genetically transmitted conditions test. Genetical diseases can be transferred from one generation to the other. Some of these diseases include breast cancer, colon cancer, kidney disease and diabetes.
You should then enquire about fertility test if you are looking forward to becoming a mother in future. Finally, ask if he is suffering from any sexually transmitted disease like AIDS, Gonorrhea, Herpes, Syphilis etc. In the same manner, you too must openly tell him if you have any health condition that might cause a problem in your marriage, Knowing each others' medical history prepares you for the hurdles and responsibilities that you might face in life.
8. Views about having children
Be clear about this issue right from the very beginning. Let him know if you want children and ask for his opinions too. Mention when you would like to embrace motherhood. If he or his parents seem to be in a hurry, reconsider your decision to marry him. Children are a life-long responsibility and the choice of giving birth needs planning. It cannot be made impulsively. You must also ask him how he will react if the your children identify themselves as queer on growing up.
9. Why does he want to get married?
This is one of the most crucial questions for prospective grooms. Does he want to get married because he wants a partner or his parents are forcing him to? Is he mentally and physically ready for the commitment? Is it, by any chance, a rebound after a break-up? Or is he simply seeking for someone to look after him and the house?
It is important to openly talk about your reasons to get married as future partners. Just ask him the questions and see if the answers are good enough for you.
10. His take on feminism
As we discuss must ask questions for potential grooms, let us not forget to consider the fact that marriages often act as shackles for women. Hence, it is essential to know if your would be husband believes in equality of genders. He might not label himself as a feminist but he should at least agree to take a stand for you when needed. Moreover, he must not be of the view that women must be flexible enough to adjust and compromise in a marriage. Rather, he should agree to put in equal efforts for the relationship to work.