Preparation for marriage

Some of the pessimistic approach that people have towards marriage is by saying that 'Marriage is not a word but a sentence, its a life sentence'.

Place: R.T.Nagar
Time: 10 a.m – 1 p.m.
People present: 40

Dr. Ali started the session by saying that there are people who have both positive and negative ideas, or also making fun about marriage. Some of the pessimistic approach that people have by saying that 'Marriage is not a word but a sentence, its a life sentence'. Dr. Ali shared a joke where a man on his 25th marriage anniversary was seen weeping inconsolably. When he was questioned about this he said that he wanted to murder his wife as he did not like her behaviour, and people had told him if he did so he would get an imprisonment of 25 years and so they asked him not to do it. He said that if he had murdered his wife today he would have been a free man.

Dr. Ali continued by saying that there is no Mister or Miss right, we are always been made to believe such things. We have to realise that we have to accept the facts of life and also accept that it is not very simple and cannot find Mister right or Miss right. We have grown up on fairy tales and they tell us that the girl and boy were married and lived happily ever after.

Before looking for a partner, be sure of the reason you marrying for. If there is a problem in your family may it be mother or father or sibling, do not look at marriage as an escape route. Ask yourself why you want to get married. Are you comfortable with yourself and if you are willing to improve your quality of life by getting married then you should go ahead and do it. If you are a person who feels that you are alone and can't live alone anymore and hence want to get married, you are starting off on the wrong note. Because when you say that you are alone you already have that baggage, and if you get a partner who also think the same way then both of you have your own baggages and expectations will soar from each other. In this case the spouses will expect the other to be the oxygen cylinder, and then problems are created.

There are four kinds of people. Man, woman, husbands and wives. One should understand that a man will not be same as the husband and the woman will not be the same as wife. When questioned about the difference between a married relationship and any other relationship many people can say that only with you spouse will you have a sexual relationship, but fail to see the other difference i.e. expectations. Many people do not understand how much and what they expect form the other partner. If you are expecting 100% from your partner, it is like expecting 100% in your examination. Whatever you get below that will only lead to disappointment. You may even get 99% and still be disappointed. The same thing happens when we expect a lot from our spouses. We will put our expectations at 100% and when we see that we are not getting what we except then we feel disappointed.

horoscopeThe reasons behind these exceptions are various. It could be because of the fairy-tales and stories or it could also be the influence of horoscope matching. When an astrologer says that the couple will live happily by matching the horoscopes, now the partners expects that they will have a smooth life without any problems and do not realize that they are expecting their partners to be perfect. And when the partner fails to match their expectation then the problem starts.

To understand about the other partner, we should first understand ourselves. You could help yourself by observing a pessimistic couple, try to learn a lesson from them. It could be your parents, if you have seen that they always have an argument or if your father keeps shouting at your mother, you can try to understand why they are doing so. Try to speak to them separately and understand what they are feeling and why they get into these arguments.

Another important factor in not to look for idealism. For example if the person was smoking before marriage he will continue it even after marriage. Expecting him to quite smoking after marriage is unrealistic expectation. When you know that he was smoking you may attempt to make him quit the same, but if that does not happen ask yourself if you are ready to accept him the same way.

An emotional preparation for marriage is also important. We have many unrealistic thoughts in the society such as an age difference between a guy and girl. Why does it matter so much? Why should the guy always be elder to the girl only by three years and not more than that? What if they are of the same age or what if the girl is elder to the guy? We have always learnt to have a time for everything, a time for eating, a time for sleeping should we have time for marriage? Have we wondered why do numbers or statistics matter so much? Dr. Ali mentioned about a discussion he had with a group of girls from a reputed college on the topic of dowry menace. The girls argued that most men expect dowry and Dr. Ali told them that not all men do this and to try and find a person who does not expect dowry. So the girls argued that 99% of men demand dowry. So Dr. Ali said there another 1% left why can't you choose a partner for yourself from that 1%?

The marriageable age for a woman is 18 years and man is 21 years, this is because they have to have the maturity and should also be prepared emotionally and mentally for a married life.

When people come to Dr. Ali to solve their difference in marriage, he asks them to list down the difference and asks them if they did not get an indicator about these difference before marriage. Many of them say that they did get an indication about the problems they are facing now, but decided to be blind about them. So one should not look at things in black and white. It is always better to visualise the life that has to be led after marriage. Be ready to accept the person if you are not able to change him and learn to recognise his other good qualities.

Love marriage or arranged marriage?.
Dr. Ali mentioned that many people ask him this question of whether it is better to have a love marriage or an arranged marriage, it is like getting fed up with life and asking someone how you should commit suicide. Should it be by hanging or by taking poison. One should understand that a love marriage or an arranged marriage is only a form of acquiring a partner and does not hold much of an importance. What should be considered important is the life that they share after marriage.

It is always better to know the person when you meet him/her. Start with asking them questions about what they like or dislike. Observe them and see how they treat people who he do not have to be nice to e.g. waiters, vendors, auto drivers etc. observe if he has qualities like gratitude and appreciation or he shows respect, compassion, kindness etc. Understand whether he is hiding some qualities from you or you have been blind to them.

One should be ready to live with the person for an entire life time with the spouse, hence should be careful while choosing their partner. Longevity is also an important factor, because the longer people live the longer they have to live with their partners. Dr. Ali gave an exercise where the participants we asked to deduct their age from 85, and the number they get would be the number of years that they have to be with their partners. Hence it would be better for one to be prepared for this time with their spouses.

Divorce rates in India is increasing, where in the Western countries it is falling down. This is because there are more people opting to get married in India and there are lesser people in the western countries opting for marriage. They are opting for live in relationships. Marriage is recognized religiously, socially and legally.

A power point presentation was made about how opposites attract. There is a common theory that opposites attract, this is because we expect the other person to fill in the gap of what we are not. A common interest alone cannot make a happy marriage. Self disclosure will bring people together . When you meet someone who is very caring by nature and you disclose the most important things in life and you feel that this was the best that has happened to you. But only if the communication is smooth after the disclosure stage, then the relationship will be for long-term.

Stage of Married Life:

  1. Honeymoon phase: this is a phase where both the partner s show their best side .
  2. Development phase: this phase begins when you 'fall out of love' and the deeper understanding, adjustments, compromises etc begins.
  3. The child centered stage: this phase is where all the attention of both the partners is focused on the child, and they may find themselves drifting away from each other.
  4. sunset_yearsThe mid-life: This is when both the partners see a lot of changes. This is stage where the partners find that the children start becoming independent, careers reach a plateau, health problems begin, financial worries about future start etc.
  5. The empty nest and retirement: this is phase where the couple start realizing that they are the only two for each other and everyone else goes their own way.
  6. The sunset years: this is phase when the whole world has overtaken you and you cherish moments holding hands.

A check list while meeting someone:

  1. List down your important values, strong goals and attitudes.
  2. Study the bio-data of the prospective person.
  3. Check if there is a chemistry between you two i.e if you both are comfortable with each other.
  4. Ask relevant questions to issues that are important to you.
  5. Check how easy and comfortable the communication is when you meet the prospect.
  6. See if there is a commitment from his side to a long lasting relationship.
  7. Ask him about his dreams, aspirations, priorities and see where you fit into it.
  8. Take opinion of one or two trusted reliable persons who are frank.

giftA humorous story was told by Dr. Ali where the wife, one morning tells the husband about a dream she had the previous night. She tells him that she dreamt of him gifting her with a diamond necklace. The husband is shocked and tells her that it was quite a co-incidence that she had to have this dream on the same day that he had planned for a surprise for her. The husband did not reveal about the surprise to the wife, though she insisted and pleaded him to do so. He only asked her to wait until he returns back from work in the evening. In the evening the husband came back home holding a gift wrapped in his hands. The wife was anxious and immediately unwrapped the gift hoping to find a diamond necklace. And instead found a book titled 'How to interpret dreams'.

laundryThere was another power point presentation. A young couple move to their new home, and one day when they are having their breakfast the wife sees their neighbour drying the laundry. She made a remark to her husband about the clothes and told him they were not washed properly and were still dirty. The husband listened to the wife and remained silent. This went on for a few days, and one day the wife found a set of well washed laundry put for drying and was surprised. She immediately told her husband about this and also said that their neighbour had finally learnt how to wash the clothes. The husband said that he had got up early that day and cleaned their window glass.

WE have to clean the glass we are viewing people through before we make judgement on them

A few of the participants were asked to share their experiences about marriage, the challenges that they faced and how they solved the issues.

The four pillars of marriage
marriageCommunication: Communication means to being able to express your emotions freely, even if it leads to arguments or unpleasantness.
Respect: Respect the differences, the individuality, and the divergent upbringing, attitudes of your partner, Since he has been brought up in an ambiance completely different from yours you do not have to agree to his way of thinking, you just have to respect the difference without putting the other person down, or thinking bad about his way of life.
Trust: Trust which is built up over the years, by various actions, words and attitude of the partner. Keep in mind that one betrayal cannot take away solid trust built over a long period of time.
Commitment: Commitment is the final pillar, which ensures that regardless of differences, ups and downs, there is a sense of permanency in the relationship, and the two are not talking about splitting or threatening to walk out whenever there are fights.

Fights are unavoidable in a marriage. When a fight arises, it will be better if the fight is based on issues rather than on personalities. It means that the couple should have a fight based only on the issue when the fight arises on not on the person i.e. the husband or wife. It should also be kept in mind that the fight should be about the present issue and not about the past problems or issues.

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