I know that everyone thinks of marriages in a wide variety of ways, but all those opinions will boil down to common points.
Let me cut it down to two broad schools of thought.
#1. Marriages are a strong bond that ties two individuals and wraps them in the warmth of social, emotional, legal and even physical bonding.
#2. Marriages happen between two families, where its impacts (both good and bad) involves everyone in close association of the two families whether they agree to it or they don’t.
Which school of thought do you believe in?
Does a grey area exist where the two schools tend to blend into each other and cannot be defined individually?
What are your thoughts?
Let me begin by sharing my views.
In my growing up years, I nurtured the belief that marriages happen between two families and not just two individuals.
This idea had its roots in the fact that everywhere I looked (not limiting my belief to the joint families but definitely swayed by) the influence of the inlaws in a woman’s life and on the lives of the newly married couple was unmistakable.
Even in the nuclear family set-ups, taking care of elderly parents has been the sole duty of the daughter-in-law and how the presence of elderly parents-in-law affects the decisions and dynamics of the married life of the young couple is something that painted a picture in the favour of scenario #2 in my mind.
However, when I got married and settled in a faraway land with my husband, my thoughts were challenged by my husband’s beliefs. He strongly believed that marriages are the foundation of a family laid by two loving individuals with the blessings of the family but what they do after they’ve tied the knot is limited to the two of them alone.
All was clear and fine in the start when hypocrisy tip-toed in our lives.
My husband would act opportunistically to turn all decisions in his favour by arguing how his parents wouldn’t like their daughter-in-law doing the things I wanted to do.
On the other hand, when I’d bring the question of what I’d grown up doing or I how I was raised, he oppose saying my parents or their belief systems didn’t matter because a marriage was solely about the two people who are married to each other.
These conflicting ideas on what formed the basis of a marriage sowed seeds of the troubles my marriage suffered in the years to come.
Whenever finances and money matters were our point of worry, my husband never shied away in openly asking for the same from my parents. On the other hand, if I’d try to discuss these issues with his parents, I would be threatened that I was unduly taxing the minds of my in-laws with matters that needed to be resolved between the two of us.
“Marriage has the power to set the course of your life as a whole. If your marriage is strong, even if all the circumstances in your life around you are filled with trouble and weakness, it won’t matter. You will be able to move out into the world in strength.” ~
I have always believed marriages for their success and long-lasting happiness need to be based on mutual trust, mutual respect and understanding and love.
Reality proved to be quite a contrast for me.
From day one, I could feel the tremendous amount of labour and sacrifice I needed to invest in my relationship in the hope of making it sustainable.
But as all those efforts were one-sided my marriage failed.
Marriages are believed to be one of the strongest relationships that spin the web of our communities and the very fabric of our society.
A successful marriage is not only a boon for the couple but each and everyone related to them. However, if a marriage becomes unsuccessful for some reason or the other, it destroys everyone related to it or coming in its way. When you feel that your marriage is falling apart, it is high time to reflect back without wasting much time.
And when I sat down to mull over these thoughts, I couldn’t help but feel that my marriage could have been a success had my husband chosen me over his personal goals.
I wonder if couples can truly detach themselves from the influence of their extended families and the relationships they’ve built in their lifetimes?
Does the true essence of a marriage is becoming an island in the sea of the relationships or in thriving in the loving presence of our families?
“Families are made in the heart. The only time family becomes null is when those ties in the heart are cut. If you cut those ties, those people are not your family. If you make those ties, those people are your family. And if you hate those ties, those people will still be your family because whatever you hate will always be with you.”
The Song on my mind: