What makes a marriage successful?

When you are an Indian woman in her mid twenties, there is general expectation that you’re either seeing someone which will end up in a marriage, looking for a guy on the bharatmatrimony or the like, or already married. If you’re neither of the three, there is something wrong with you.

This is a big difference between India and the USA. In the US, a single girl in her mid-twenties with a great career ahead of her is considered fiercely independent and desirable, whereas a single Indian girl with the same career is considered pathetic. Sad, but true. Many of my friends are facing the same predicament.

Case 1 – My best friend M

I’ve known M since my childhood. She’s a doctor, has a great job with an airline as their in-flight doctor. Has an extremely protective mom. Mom wants her to get married asap. According to her mom – “Good education, great job, what else does she want? The ultimate goal in a woman’s life should be getting married and having a family.” Set poor M up on a bunch of blind dates, all disastrous. 

Case 2 – My good friend and her twin.

Just spoke to her yesterday. Has a great job in Madison, Wisconsin. Twin has an equally great job in Naperville, Illinois. They won’t go to India to even visit as parents are forcing them to get married and move back.

Case 3 – Old friend S

S has a boyfriend from a different, conservative caste whose parents would kill him if they knew he’s going to do a “love marriage” with a girl from a different caste, that too a staunch non-vegetarian. She has constant fights with her parents about getting married immediately. The guy is too chicken to tell his parents.

Case 4 – My sister’s best friend Mn

Mn wanted to get married since the longest period of time. Her parents were desperately looking for a groom for her, but it wasn’t easy. She isn’t the best looking or the most intelligent woman you see (apparently thats what it takes to find a husband). But find she did, a really good looking guy, settled in the US of A. Mn was thrilled! She worked in Infosys, and couldn’t wait to leave her job and become a housewife. Marry they did, and she moved here with a lot of dreams and expectations. 

On their first night “as a couple” he told her he had an American girlfriend and he’s not completely over her. And still insisted on having sex. Mn was heartbroken. She didn’t feel like having sex with this guy, but gave in eventually. Turns out he was a sex addict. He wanted to get in everywhere, every hour of the day. Mn started making excuses. One day he abused her physically, and she went crying to my sister. 

Now I, for one, am a firm believer in arranged marriages. If a girl is unable to find her own soulmate, I don’t see anything wrong with her parents finding her one. She doesn’t have to live alone all her life. But looking around, I have realized, the most successful marriages seem to be the “love marriages” even though I have seen a bunch of them go downhill too. 

I earnestly hope everything works out in the aforementioned cases and with all of my other friends too!

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