Arranged or Love marriage, post marriage, marriage is just marriage!
Way back in 1969, a British friend of my father once lamented- “I wish my children would realize the importance of parents’ guidance in selecting a mate. The Indian arranged marriage system is a better, more mature system.” It was that time when all our movies were about love, romance and restrictions on love. Breaking away from the rules of society, seeking freedom of choice!
Times have changed. Parents are no more uncomfortable with love marriages. Today love marriage and arranged marriage share equal share and respect in the (educated) society. Whatever be the trends and statistics, the definition of marriage remains the same.
‘Marriage is the union of two different individuals with different upbringing.’
All the romance flies away within a few years of being married. Only the practical realities remain to be taken care of. Somewhere during the 80s, a noted Hindi film director said-“When you are in love and dating, you meet your partner only for some hours in a day or week. During those few hours, you are in your best dress and best behavior, unlike what you are at home.” So very true!
Accepting & adjusting-
Once we start living together twenty four hours a day, our real self is revealed. Marriage entails accepting and adjusting to this actual self of the partner. When dating we get to know only a part of the person. Minor things like who will wash the car or habits like obsessive cleaning may become irritants post marriage, when you are sharing everything.
Along with the annoying habits, you also discover many beautiful, hitherto unknown traits of your spouse, only when you are married and living together.
Patience & intelligence-
You have to be patient and allow time for the married relation to settle down. The first five years of marriage are crucial to lay down a firm foundation for a long relationship. These years are also the bumpiest, before the smooth sailing. This is the time to adjust with the other person’s life and habits. The initial years of marriage is the time, when you are most prone to get annoyed by certain habits of your partner. When you are recently married, you cannot tolerate even a simple glance of your partner on someone of the opposite sex. Love, hate, care, possessiveness, all play together. You need to have the patience and intelligence to manage all these emotions. Tolerance and respect from both the partners is very important.
It is equally important for both spouses to stay together during the initial years of marriage. Because when you stay together, you grow together. You get habituated to each other and start bonding. The irritants gradually become minor issues and your relationship starts glowing with the revelations of the good qualities of your partner. As time passes, partners unconsciously learn from each other too. But if you happen to stay away from each other for any reason (work or frequent fights over small matters or anything), you are not giving love a chance to blossom. And then in the modern fast paced lifestyle, ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is a much truer saying than ‘distance increases love’!
Live-in may seem to be an option to test the water before tying the knot. Because here since you are staying together, you get to know each other more, than just dating. But live-in allows too much freedom. Therefore chances of parting ways (& again looking for another partner) are more. Marriage on the other hand has some social bondings, demanding commitment. We tend to consciously and unconsciously work out to make our relationship last.
Love can happen both before marriage and after marriage too. We have to be determined to make the relation strong and loving. Sometimes you simply flow with happiness all around, and sometimes you can be very unhappy with your partner. We have to consciously balance and adjust our emotions, so that small issues do not rock our marriage. Marriage is neither a bed of roses, nor is it a bed of thorns. It is a naughty mix! Laugh it away together!