Thursday, October 11, 2007

To be or not to be...married

My Chinese co-worker,Zeng,was in a foul mood today.Why you ask?Her boyfriend shifted base to the US recently and moved in with her.Ever since he arrived,he has been terribly sick and just refuses to adjust to the place.Apparently he complains about the weather and the people and the food and everything else and this is driving Zeng nuts!So she says to me, "I always assumed that a live-in relationship would be lot of fun unlike marriage.But in my case,turns out that it is just as bad if not worse." This from someone who has never been married!

People seem to have all these extreme pre-conceived notions about the instituion of marriage, most of which is hear say of course.On one end of the see-saw,there is this section of people for whom marriage is nothing but a shackled existence involving complete relinquishment of freedom.They are convinced that once married,they cease to be their own person and are forced to do and say things which they don't really want to.They would just end up rearranging their whole life around their husband/wife and family and would get buried under all those innumerable social obligations that suddenly appear out of nowhere.Life basically morphs into one endless compromise and there is no way out.And then on the other end of the very same see-saw are the dreamers.These folks strongly believe that marriage is a fairy tale.Life is all about perfect in-laws,butterflies,rainbows,heart shaped balloons,lots of sex,lots of mush and happily ever after is how goes life.There are no fights,no arguments,no screaming,no sink full of dishes,no laundry,no vacuuming,no grocery shopping and no snoring in the bedroom.

And then there are folks who have been there and done that.Folks who know that just like anything else,marriage is also a mixed bag,a roller coaster ride.It can as much fun or as much miserable as you make it to be.Bottom line,just like anything else,its all in your hands.Makes sense right?And yet any unmarried person you talk is as extremist as one can get.I have never come across any bachelor/spinster willing to even talk about marriage on neutral grounds.As much as I endorse marriage and highly recommend it,I am not saying that it is for everyone.But what I am trying to do is figure out what it is about marriage that evokes such extreme reactions?That too from people who have never been married ever.


just passing by said...

I think, being someone who has been there at one point of time, and about to be there second time over, marriage is all about accepting and working with the fact that while some things may change, other's wont. And yes, about giving up the old life and freedom, why is it so hard to see that if you are giving up something (assuming one has to; personally, i rubbish the idea) so is the other person. Its a joint effort. And cribbing doesnt help you cross the bridge.

just passing by said...

On second thoughts, I think what will evoke extreme reactions from my end would be the fact that the other half might not give me enough cupboard space and crib about my excess of shoes and bags. That would totally do it for me.

chandni said...

hmmmm...great that u did this post as the great indian wedding is on my mind these days....will do a full post on it rather than give u my comments here...ok?

M said...

Good post and agree with you, gurl:)
I wonder what makes people think marriage to be more of a sacrifice rather than look forward to it as a new life. It may be too early for me to comment on this subject but as you said & I strongly believe, it all lies in ones hand whether or not to make their life enjoyable thru marriage.

And about giving up being their own self, I do not believe in it. I think I am still myself and will continue to be that way. And so is G.

Abhipraya said...

Like you said people have only 2 notions - either that it is a HUUUGE sacrifice or Romance ALL the way. When people enter the marriage with such notions disappointment is inevitable. Looking at them one never gets the real picture no?

Bikerdude said...

I have to champion the single brigade here. I think the adverse reactions of single people to marriage-talk are a defence mechanism against constant badgering.

In India every conversation with a single person above 23 will contain "So, how come you aren't married yet?"

90% of the time, the single person feels this is an intrusion of their privacy and are fed up to their gills of explaining themselves to the world. 85% of the time there is no explanation. They are single because.. well.. they are.

A sharp snap-your-head-off retort is sometimes the only means of nipping such brain-dead conversations in the bud.

Been there, still doin'it :P

I love Lucy said...

@JPB : Touche`.And that was one of the conditions put forth to M in order for me to consent to marry him.Closet space division will be 85-15 in my favor,take it or leave it!

@Chandni : I am looking forward to the post,C!Hopefully,the Boy also will have something to say ;-)

@M : Exactly!In most cases,its how you mould the relationship.Of course there are some stray cases wherein a lot of other external factors play a major role in screwing up the relationship.

@Abhipraya : You said it!Its like an old wife's tale being passed on without anybody ever questioning its authenticity!

@Bikerdude : I hear you!I face a similar tug-of-war vis-s-vis the extending of family scenario :-D
But the post was a result of conversations with people who are in relationships and who are getting married in the next couple of months or so.
One girl had all the theories memorized by heart;you know like do this and that happens and don't do this and that happens.Like an experiment in the Chemistry lab!!And apparently these theories were handed over to her by all her unmarried friends!

Dusty Fog said...

Like anything else, aren't these thoughts of the single person also based on environmental influences? I am not averse to marriage. I always wanted to be a 'young' dad. That is now not possible for sure...: ) Today though, although I try and keep an open mind, I have to admit that having seen a vast majority of marriages beginning with gusto, and in a matter of say 3 months or so, becoming the biggest mistake of their lives(in their words, and I have seen this across a section of my own friends, which means at close quarters, and none of these people were really the early 20 sorts to say that maybe they went at it with an inappropriate attitude, it is difficult not to be skeptical about the institution of marriage. My "assumptions" -
1. There is no 'sanctity to the sacrament of marriage any more ( for the most part)
2. Marriages are meant to work for a certain period of time, post which it's all down hill.
3. No matter how 'giving in' a girl/guy maybe, there is really no chance of pulling it back on tracks, once it gets to the start of the slope.
there are a few more...will leave it at that though. And yet, being the dreamer that i am, can't wait to wear that ring on my finger...stupid maybe...?!!!...: )