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Marriage:Love & Arranged

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by cheer, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. cheer

    cheer Silver IL'ite

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    The concept of arranged marriages has changed. And, not just for men. As a woman, ideally, your life partner should be someone with whom you can share interests and who will encourage your independence. As with any relationship, friendship is the key. Good communication from the beginning will help ensure that yours is a lasting, loving partnership.

    Let's take a look at how to go about looking for these characteristics in the context of an arranged marriage.

    New avatars:

    Arranged marriages are not like they were, say, 20 years ago. "It is now more like meeting someone through your family or like being set up for a blind date," says Rachna Shukla, 25, a Web designer who had an arranged marriage earlier this year. "Parents or friends introduce the couple and let them talk via phone or email, meet a couple of times, and then ask for a decision. If the couple says No, it's a No. However, when parents are involved, there will inevitably be some pressure as they can't help but give their opinion and advice," she adds.

    These days, couples often initiate the dialogue themselves, through matrimonial sites (as parents may not be familiar with computers) and end up being the ones introducing each other to their parents.

    "I call it an 'arranged introduction'<WBR>, as the choice is solely left to the couple. I feel this is the natural direction in which 'arranged marriages' are headed," says Chetna Johari, 27, a computer engineer who is presently on the manhunt.
    "Another difference is that it is no longer only the guy who decides first. Girls have an equal prerogative to do so. Also, as women are now more career-oriented and financially independent, they are usually not in a hurry," continues Chetna.

    What are you looking for?

    The first thing to keep in mind is to make a list (at least mentally) of attributes you would want in your life partner, so you can focus better on your search. Depending upon your preferences, some factors that might be taken into consideration (not necessarily in this order) are -- job, salary, educational qualifications, appearance (looks, height, weight, etc.), caste, horoscope, values (traditional, liberal or moderate), habits (drinking, smoking, etc.), location, family background, social standing, etc.

    Inform your parents:

    It's best to spell out any preferences beforehand, so your parents can search accordingly and the list can be narrowed down. This way, you will save your parents' time as well. "As I have a non-transferable job in Delhi, I would prefer a Delhi-based match," says Shalini Srivastava, 24, who works with an NGO and is looking for a life partner.

    Meeting your 'could-be':

    Deciding to marry someone is one of the most important decisions of your life. If you are confused, unsure or awkward, don't fret -- so is the other person. Just a few things you can keep in mind when you meet your could-be significant other:

    Do's:

    Wear something that is both flattering and comfortable. Try meeting away from relatives. Choose a neutral venue like a coffee shop. Pretend that you are on a blind date and try to enjoy yourself.

    Don'ts: Don't approach the meeting with the mindset that you have to marry this person. Don't think you'll be sure to hate him either.

    Before, during, and after:

    Before meeting, try getting in touch with the person over the phone or through e-mail to prepare you, to some extent, for what to expect. During the meeting, keep an open mindset. Relax and just be yourself. Don't hesitate to discuss important issues. Afterwards, think calmly and give yourself time to assess. Although this meeting may not indicate if this is 'the' person you should marry, it can certainly tell you whether you want to get to know the person better and take a step forward.

    If, at any time during the meeting, you realise it won't work, keep your cool, be polite, and try to keep it as short as possible. "Trusting your gut feeling is the most important -- if you feel something is not right, it probably is not," advises Rachna.

    Ask away!:

    It's perfectly okay to ask any questions you have in mind. But remember, timing is the key. For example, it can be outright insulting and offensive if the very first question is 'How much do you earn, both net and gross?'

    "Sometimes, information is not offered voluntarily and one hesitates to ask. But, if the answer to a question is important in taking matters further, there is no harm in asking. Maybe the person you ask will feel offended. But, when you are taking such an important decision, you have to take that risk. Isn't it better that they feel bad now, rather than you feeling worse later?" asks Rachna.

    General questions that could be asked once you get familiar:
    • Are you ready for marriage?
    • How would you describe yourself?
    • How do you like to spend your free time?
    • How do you feel about smoking and/or drinking?
    • What are you looking for in a spouse?
    • How much time do you want to decide?
    • What are your preferences, in terms of food (non-vegetarian or vegetarian)?
    • How do you feel about pets?
    • What is your family like?
    • What are your likes and dislikes?
    • How do you act when you get upset?
    • How often will we visit our extended family (if staying apart from them)?
    • Do you believe in sharing housework?
    Appropriate questions on the profession front:
    • What are your future career plans?
    • How much time do you spend at work?
    • Are you looking for a working wife, housewife, or is it immaterial to you?
    • What would we do in the situation that I get transferred?
    Background research:

    Although researching the boy's background might seem painstaking, it is very important. "My friend got married to a very charming boy with a very good job. As he was from a reputed family too, they didn't bother to ask about his habits. It was only after marrying him that she found out he had a drinking problem," says Shalini.

    The difficulty of researching goes up a notch when the boy is abroad, especially if you don't have any friends/relatives to help you out there. This was the case with Asha (name changed), who married an NRI in the US only to discover, when she got there, that he had a live-in American girlfriend.


    Thus, it would be wise to make discreet inquiries outside with the help of relatives and friends, with respect to his job, family background, age, education, habits, financial condition, medical history, lifestyle, etc.

    "You can get an employer verification to find out if he is working there or not. Definitely check the visa status. You may also ask for a proof of employment letter, request a medical test, etc. Try calling discreetly at an odd hour to see who picks up the phone at night. You can hire a detective to do a background check (this is expensive, however). If you have friends and family abroad, ask them to meet him and find out more," says Chetna.

    Additionally, communicate regularly through email, phone, chat, etc. to get a better idea about the person.
     
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  2. cheer

    cheer Silver IL'ite

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    Previous relationships:

    "These days, it is not uncommon at all to have had a previous relationship. If my partner had a previous relationship, I would try and be reasonable and objective about it. It depends on many factors like the type of relationship, duration, feelings, etc. As long as it is a thing of the past and he is now committed to his marriage, I would probably not mind," says Shalini.

    "However, finding out about a potential partner's previous sexual history is next to impossible. Asking such personal questions will seem too embarrassing,<WBR>" says Rachna. "Arranged marriages involve the whole family and private information coming out in the open could have severe repercussions, so some may not openly disclose this aspect," says Dr. Bhaskar Gupta, 29, a pathologist who had an arranged marriage last year.

    A medical checkup?

    "Both partners getting a blood test is absolutely a must. If the boy's side feels offended, help by telling them that you are convinced about getting it done yourself too," says Chetna. "Actually, it is difficult for the girl or the girl's side to ask this, but I wish every person going through an arranged marriage would have the courage to insist on such tests. Isn't it better to be safe than sorry?" she continues.

    "There are cases where, out of hesitation, marriages have taken place without such insistence, based solely on the goodwill of the family. The boys have been discovered to be HIV-positive later," says Dr. Bhaskar.
    "A blood test should be made compulsory for couples before marriage. Today, more boys and girls are choosing to go together to a clinic and get the test done before marriage. Some experts advise on making a thalassemia test mandatory before marriage too, for couples in high-incidence states, on the lines of the Goa Government's plan for compulsory pre-matrimony HIV screening," he continues.

    Is he the one?

    Finally, there should be mutual consent and understanding from both sides; only then can a marriage be sustained. "It is important that you like your prospective partner enough to marry him," says Rachna. Good arranged marriages occur when the parents support and help their children find life partners

    Please dont miss Arranged marriages: A Groom's perspective coming soon

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    1) Never expext things to happen..struggle and make them happen. never expect yourself to be given a good value..creat a value of ur own

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    3) Falling down is not defeat...defeat is when ur refuse to get up...

    4) Ship is always safe at shore... but is is not built for it

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    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%"><TD width="100%">Never take some one for granted,Hold every person Close to your Heart because you might wake up one day and realise that you have lost a diamond while you were too busy collecting stones." Remember this always in life.
     
  3. Preethi

    Preethi Gold IL'ite

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    Parent's role in Love Marriage !

    Dear IndusLadies,

    There has been many discussions in the IL concerning various family issues, However I have seen very less said about the most occuring issues on the family front and which causes major family havoc in many life's today !

    It's Love Marriage (both Intercast and Interreligion) and parents approach to it !

    In most of the marriage's concerning love from different cast or religion, there is always a big PROTEST from the parents (however well-educated, broadminded they are) ! When parents are so supportive to their children in all other walks of life, why they show protest in their daughter/son liking to the opposite sex, particularly if it's out of their own community and even if they know the choice of their children is good ! Are the parents worry and fear more for the soceity or for their children, when it comes to decision-making in love marriage ?

    Is religion and cast more important than our true feelings and love for someone, particularly when it comes to a life long relationship ??

    What could be a solution to the families facing such crisis, whom you feel is right or should change , the parents or the child in love ? Why is love still not accepted as a "done thing" from most parents even in the era of many social developments and still considered a "delicate" issue to be discussed with the soceity !

    Pls ladies, share your views here !

    Love,
    Preethi
     
  4. rathi

    rathi Bronze IL'ite

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    Parents feel they have very less role!

    Hi Preethi,

    It is quiet some time that I posted messages here and have been only a silent reader. It is this message of yours that again makes me share my views...hope it would be of some use.

    I think parents feel they have very less role to play in the case of love marriage of their children. Parents want to consult with their relatives and friends in seeking partners for thier children. Though the partner chosen by their children themselves would be a best fit, it isn't become a comfortable situation for parents to go and tell the society that they accept it.

    Most parents have a feeling their children would have fallen in love attracted by any one particular aspect and that they would miss out on other things. It might later result in the new person glueing with the family and vice versa. Though this is not fully true, at the same time in many families it has proven to be true too.

    Let's wait for others views...

    L,
    Rathi
     
  5. Eljaype

    Eljaype Bronze IL'ite

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    Parents and love marriages

    Dear Preethi,

    This is what you were talking about earlier. Ok. Let me try.

    Parents are scared of what the society will say. What they do not think is that the society who talks one way now , will talk the other way soon. They keep changing one way or the other. If we start going along with them , then we cannot take any decision at all.
    Another point is that the kids are intelligent nowadays . They know more than we people knew when we were of their age. That we have to accept. They have TV, Internet to tell them everything , all good and bad, in the course of their lives. If we can be by the side of them to show them the right way when they do any mistakes is enough. They should know that they can depend on their parents for the moral support. Usually they earn more than what their parents used to earn and can look after themselves.
    They ask for that moral support only. If we can give them that, there won't be these cases of suicide etc. This is my opinion.
    Love
    Latha
     
  6. Eljaype

    Eljaype Bronze IL'ite

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    Parents and love marriages

    Dear Rathi,

    What you said is right. That is parents are scared that their roles will be less in the case of love marriages.

    That's what happened at my daughter's marriage also. But when we decide to go for a thing we have to accept the situations also, Isn't it?? You should be well prepared to go through that. My husband and I had to face many problems.

    Our daughter's marriage was a mixture of customs. The wedding was at the church. Reception was at a different place. We had to do 'our thalam ' ( malayalee nair customs) bit after the wedding. Actually that was funny because it is usually held before the wedding. Small things like this will make you upset. We have to learn to adjust with life.
    Latha
     
  7. Varloo

    Varloo Gold IL'ite

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    Hai,
    India is a conservative country in some aspects even now. One is love marriage among them. Here, the parents do every small thing and big thing for the children, they sacrifice many things for the sake of their children and live for their children only. Many marriages are not broken only because of the children. So the parents expect that they also choose the life partner for their children. It is safe that they should have a spouse from the same circle, parents believe like that. Ultimately, the parents only want their children to be happy and live peacefully.
    But not every marriage done in the same circle is happy, isn't it? We find that many couple just live together to keep the society happy. If we did not have social stigma to divorce and more women are conomically independent, Indian women may also start the divorce culture. Even marriages done amoung cousins have failed. So, as far as I am concerned, marriage is a lottery- arranged or love.
    But nowadays, more parents are becoming aware of the fact that the same circle does not guarantee happiness for their children and support their children if they fall in love. This is a good and healthy aspect.Nowadays I find many such marriages around me and parents accepting their children.
    I would suggest that the parents talk with their children in such conditions, not with their relatives. The immediate family can decide .
    I would like to give an example- both my neighbours' daughters had love marriages to different caste men.
    The first one consulted with their relatives and opposed the marriage. The girl went away with the man and married him with his family's consent. The family let this place one night with out even saying good bye to anybody. The father died in 6 months' time and the mother started to haveserious health problems, she died consequently in another 5 years. But with the father's death, the girl and joined her family. So what was the point of opposing at the start itself?
    The second neighbour conducted the marriage well and is now living with her daughter and sil and grand son. Both her sons are living abroad, they are all in good terms.
    it is high time that our mindset changed in this matter.
     
  8. safa

    safa Bronze IL'ite

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    Parents have the most important role..

    Dear Preethi,
    In this early age, my daughter asks me "if I obey all of your orders, why can't you agree with one of my decisions?"
    What does this imply? Be prepared..!
    This is the new generation..They seem to be more practical. I am not sure would we have any role in making decisions about their marriage.
    I think, if they are confident in their relation, no need to oppose them. Since marriage is a life long commitment, we have to give them full support. Love marriage is better, I think since both the girl and boy will get the opportunity to understand each other before marriage.
    Has all the arranged marriages become success?
    In love marriages,the bond between the husband and wife is much stronger. It is better to marry some one who knows us very well than a newly met person.
    Let us help our children to live a happy life...
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2006
  9. Kamla

    Kamla Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Changing times...

    Dear Preethi,

    Love marriages are more frequent these days even in India. In many families and societies, caste doesn’t seem to be a problem anymore. Different religions seem to pose more problems because it automatically involves different living habits and life styles too. You are also right in saying that no matter how educated or broad-minded the parents are, different religion is a hurdle when it comes to marriage of the child. Parents generally worry about the questions like converting to one or the other religion or what religion the offspring may adapt at a future time.
    I have seen this happening to many of my friends and even I would find this difficult to accept. But the bottom line is the happiness of your child. Like Eljaype says, today’s children are well mature in their thoughts and also financially independent. They are more exposed to the world that they associate in. If they are sure of what they are doing and think the partner they choose is right for them, a wise parent should agree and give support to their child. One should always have a good heart to heart talk and explain why one has any reservations about the impending partnership. Apart from that, a parent is helpless once the child has made up the mind! It is wise not to destroy the delicate bond with the child and give moral and every support when it is needed. What Varloo says is true, no marriage comes with the guarantee of happiness.
    Living in the US, I see a very mixed population here. Chinese marrying Afro-american, Vietnamese marrying Indian etc etc. It is very fascinating and interesting, a truly melting pot here! We in India are still coming to terms when a Tamilian Brahmin marries a Tamilian chettiar!!….On the other hand, I am thinking that it must be only us Indians who readily accept Sonia Gandhi as our ‘bahu’ and also as our Prime minister one day, who knows!

    L, Kamla
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2006
  10. Eljaype

    Eljaype Bronze IL'ite

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    pure bred nair girls

    Dear Kamala,

    Nowadays the joke going around in our family is that after some time no pure bred malayalee nair girls will not be found. Because almost all the girls in our family have love marriage and are settled outside India.
    My son always jokes, now what you say amma, what shall I get you ?? a negro bahu or a muslim one?? you already have two christian SILs, My SIS- in law and my SON- in -law both ( sils) what about one DIL also??
    My answer, Whoever it is, better be a good girl and good wife for you. I can adjust. don't worry about that. About bringing a negro, better not because she'll be double your size, you can't adjust with her. He just laughed out aloud and went off.
    These days the children know what is good for them. If they ask for our help we'll give.
    Latha :wave
     

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