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why marriage???

November 16, 2009

I was watching this movie  STEPMOM where the man is divorced has two children and is presently living with his girl friend  and wants to get married to his girl friend and he proposes to her and she agrees to it.

In USA living together is not something which is looked down upon it is a very common thing rather I suppose most of the young people are following this unlike in India where fingers are raised, tongues start wagging, the couple has to pass through innumerous scrutinizing looks,neighbours may raise their eyebrows to sky heights etc if they come across a couple who is living together without getting the legal sanction from the society. I feel sometime the parents may also severe their ties with their child if they come to know that he/she is staying with a member of opposite sex.

During my recent stay I met quite a few couples who took the plunge into the matrimonial pit after being and living with each other for 3-4 years

I even surfed quite a lot on this subjectand came across many people who have been living toghether for years and were not happy about it and i also realized that over a period of time one of the people in the duo does start worrying that when will the other person agree to tie the knot?

 (I came across a case of a 45 year old lady who was married twice and was now living with a man and she had sought advice that the man in question doesn’t talk about marriage and she was told by many that the man was just passing time with her, he was not the committed sorts and she should leave him if he doesn’t agree to marry her and make a honest woman out of her) Why making a honest woman is all that important?

All these people live and sleep with each other, share household work, share each other’s sorrows and joys. Do every thing which a normal married couple does. Then what is the need to get married?

As ,companionship they do get in their relation, the feeling of coming to an empty house is not there, the fear of dealing with day to day problems is not there, the trauma of loneliness is not there because they do have each other to spend their free time or weekends, and of course the basic sexual needs also get satisfied (obviously the live in relation cannot be a platonic one for years together)

Even here, where live in relations are common people do ask the couple,” “So when are you getting married”. When is the big day?  That means marriage is given importance even here also.

What is it, which forces the couple to formalize or legalize their relation? I wonder why so?

What is the need to get married? Why do they think that marriage is important?

That means there is something in life which only a sacred relation like marriage provides to the people which is surely lacking in the otherwise perfect live in relation?

Is it the need for respect in the society/ a feeling of security/ stability in life? Or the desire to raise a family, to have children?

I think that if two people will not marry with each other and just spend life together then they are named girlfriend and boyfriend, which is neither a powerful relationship (this relationship can be split any time. The freedom to break this relation is always there in the back of mind of the couple) nor does it provide social security, social respect or a constant reminder that they have to try their best to make this relation work.

I think marriage provides a foundation for a more secured future, it compels people to become sensitive to other person’s needs, feelings, it makes people more accomodative, adujusting and inculcates a feeling of understanding and compromise.

If someone thinks that, he/she don’t need anyone in their life and can spend life alone without marriage then, that person is totally wrong. Because it is the need of our body and mind that, we need someone to fulfill our desire and needs.

And without marriage it creates so many problems. Marriage isn’t only about the man and wife but it is about the family if you get married Then you can take care of your family, your parents And your siblings if necessary. But if you don’t get married You will always be thinking about yourself and looking after your self.

Marriage does provide stability to otherwise flimsy relation The legal institution of marriage creates an expectation of fidelity and lifelong commitment. This fact fosters “better romantic and parental relationships” than cohabitation. I think married adults enjoy happier, healthier and less violent relationships than do those who are dating or cohabiting.

I am a strong advocate and staunch believer of the institution called as marriage so live in relations is just not my cup of tea

I would like every body who is reading this post to share their opinion about this. Married or unmarried both.

If, unmarried they what do think about this ? do they think marriage is important ? if yes then why?

And, if they are married then what they have gained in life after getting married? Why is marriage important? What does marriage gives which the other relations don’t?


23 Comments leave one →
  1. November 16, 2009 5:23 pm

    This is a debatable topic and everyone will have his or her own school of thoughts to it. I am a strong believer of not staying in a relationship (affair and not being married) for long time. The long you stretch, the worse things become. I don’t say that you should just meet couple of times and get married or get apart but relationship should not be stretched like a chewing gum. There is a limit to resitence and stretchability which once crossed, results in only breakup, now that can be a married life of a couple or a live-in-relationship. No doubt, the risk factor is very high in the latter relationship.
    I don’t know where to start so I’ll be picking up subject from here and ther in the post and try to come forward with my thoughts…

    Q: Is it the need for respect in the society/ a feeling of security/ stability in life? Or the desire to raise a family, to have children?
    A: This might hurt or pinch a bunch of people who favors society and its rules but the truth is that the system laid down by society and society itself is very dubious and questionable. First it will force a couple to get married so that no one raises any finger on them but if couple in future cannot continue to live together the way all expected and decides to separate, the same society raises finger on them for some or the other reason. Where did the element of respect go then? You ask if it is a matter of feeling secured, what if post marriage, one of the partners realizes that the other is not satisfied with him/her for any reason but is satisfied with someone else or something else. Will there not be a feeling of insecurity? How do you define stability in life? Does being married means stability? There are so many cases in the world where a happy married couple with 2-3 kids separated later on but both mother and father are diligent with their responsibilities of being parents. Then there are cases where people just adopt kids but don’t want to marry. Would that mean the desire to raise a family or have children, based on only marriage?

    Q: If someone thinks that, he/she don’t need anyone in their life and can spend life alone without marriage then, that person is totally wrong.
    A: Maybe you are right but marriage is not the solution to this problem. I don’t know what would be the right answer for this but I know getting married is not the solution for this problem for sure.

    Q: But if you don’t get married You will always be thinking about yourself and looking after your self.
    A: I will not agree upon this. Do you mean to say that people who don’t get married, fail to support and take care of their parents and family? What if one of the partners passes away, will the other not be able to or will be considered not in a position to help, care and support the family? This is completely a wrong notion that you need to get married to support and look after your family and if you are not married, you only think about yourself and no one else.

    Q: I think married adults enjoy happier, healthier and less violent relationships than do those who are dating or cohabiting.
    A: Where did the word “Divorce” and “Separation” come from then?

    I would probably say that marriage is better than any live-in-relationship because there is a higher sense of responsibility, more resitence and stability , more support and trust in it but I still will not say that it is what is a must to do in life.

    As far as I am concerned, I am ready to commit and devote all my life to someone I love and know that I can make wonders out of that relationship with her. But it doesn’t mean that if I don’t get the same response from her, I would be out in the world to find another immediately. Marriage is not a game and it is not just a status given by the society to hide what happens behind the walls. For me it is commitment, devotion, love, respect, responsibility and trust. If I am not prepared with all these tools and bricks in my hand, I will not start constructing a wall without a foundation.

    Again, this is just my thought and my opinion and there is lot more to put in this (plus and minus of both ends) from my side which unfortunately I am unable to write down at this moment. Not that I defend live-in-relationship or I am against being married or vice versa, but there are so many things which are individual specific and which no one can ever understand or comprehend.

    • November 16, 2009 9:46 pm

      i fully agree with you on most of the points specially “I would probably say that marriage is better than any live-in-relationship because there is a higher sense of responsibility, more resitence and stability , more support and trust in it”
      i just want to know why people get married specially after living with each other for years together.
      i read somwhere that it is better to get married early in the start of a relation as there are more chances of knowing the faults of each other and if the relation is not legalised or there is no moral obligation towards each other then couples leave each other with a drop of a hat but once they are married they try to over look some of the shortcomings of others and learn to live with those upto an extent.
      i dont say that one should commit oneself to life long sufferings or life long adjustments/compromises but then no one is perfect and we can’t get every thing in life at one go. we all want Mr or Miss perfect which is impossible then why not make some compromises.

      • November 16, 2009 10:17 pm

        I think I have the answer for your doubt of what you read somewhere. I haven’t seen other countries and culture except for India and a bit of USA. Indian culture, tradition, beliefs and people are so closed and tight that every individual thinks more about others and society than himself or herself. It is the fear of being tortured by society and people around that what they might say if I do this or that. This is why there are so many cases in Indian families where husband wife live and spend all their life under one roof, have 2-3 kids and do all their duties and responsibilities with true heart but neither of them is happy when it comes to the relationship of husband-wife. They eventually turn out to be best parents, best children for their parents, maybe an ideal couple for society but inside their hearts they have a distance, a complain and a gap. The only reason is that they don’t want to hear the howling of society for themselves or for their families.
        Whereas in USA, nobody is bothered about what people say for whom. All they are bothered is are they happy in their lives and are doing all they should with their heart or not. Of course they too consider families and values relationship but they don’t believe in the concept of living and suffering throughout their lives, crying each day and each hour because society and people would say something. Even they would do all for making their kids life better but I take that as a sacrifice or sense of responsibility but they won’t ever do that because of this “society constraint”.

  2. Amit permalink
    November 16, 2009 6:47 pm

    Before I start a note, I do believe in marriage and I would love to get married.

    Well in India we believe in the concept of arrange marriage…. arrange marriage where the parents of bride and groom come together to unite them and where everything is a surprise till the end. But I believe it’s important for a boy and girl to understand each other as much as possible before making a commitment to ensure that it lasts for ever. And for this some couples decide to go for live in relationship to understand each other to the core. In India with family around and “log kya kahenge” fear couples do not get a chance to think about living in together, its just lack of opportunity.
    I think after living in if a couple decides to break up it’s a better deal than going for divorce after marriage. To avoid “big time” compromises and suffering in a relation and to make sure that once I decide with the name I want to get married to I don’t have to change it as a nominee on my life insurance policy, its better to know my partner in every possible way, and live in relation might be one of many.
    Yet I think it’s justified for parents to think the way you have put it in your blog, I too might change my statement if it comes to my child.

    • November 16, 2009 9:33 pm

      just one thing if living with each other helps in knowing each other better then there should not be any divorce cases for such couples. but research shows that couples who do opt for divorce after having a live in relation even they get divorced.

      and what double standards Mr. Mehta !!! ” I TOO MIGHT CHANGE MY STATMENT IF IT COMES TO MY CHILD”
      i still want to know why couples who advocate live in relation finally take the decision to tie the knot. what is it that attracts or pulls couples towards marriage? there has to be something very important for people to take this major decisions.
      any feed back?

      • Amit permalink
        November 16, 2009 11:07 pm

        There are always exceptions. I don’t say that marriage after live in relation works 100% of the time, if it would have been this way then live in relation is what society and parents will start respecting and we will see more blogs supporting it. Live in relations gives better opportunity to partners to know each other and that can help the divorce rate to go down. In programming field we say more the reviews in development system = less the errors in production system.
        Almost a century back we had parents arranging marriage without giving a chance to their child to meet or even see picture of his/her partner. I am sure at that time asking to meet their partner at least once was as big issue as we have for live in relations today.

        And as far as my thought on marriage goes: Marriage is taking the relation at the next level, giving relation a name that is accepted and respected by the society. With divorce rate at 40% in Mumbai (I just found 2yrs old stats: ) our society still wants to see a couple married and only then it can accept them as one. And since I want to be a part of the society I will get married……”someday”.

        Don’t you think mainly because of pressure from the society parents would want their children to get married?? If society will stop asking the question “WHEN ARE YOU GETTING MARRIED?? I am sure the no. of people who would want to get married will be considerably less and that in turn will bring down the divorce rate 🙂

        There are no double stds, I am sure most of the parents must have done things (when they were young) and still they don’t want their kids to do the same. Am I correct??

  3. November 16, 2009 7:02 pm

    Just to add to my own comment… what will you say for a case when the boy and girl want to spend life together and takes time say an year or two to understand each other, know each other and adjust to each other’s lifestyle (from individual point of view as well as parents and family) and then when they are ready to spend their lives together knowing all goods and bads of each other, parents jump in and say no, you two cannot and resulting in a breakup.
    Now where is the fault of the boy and girl in this? They remained in a live-in-relationship to make sure that if they commit to the line of marriage and don’t take a wrong decision and now when they are squared to the decision of getting married, they are pulled back and separated.
    Why cannot society (parents and family) accept this? I might not be apt in relating this question to the post but I think it is related to it somehow directly or indirectly.

    • November 16, 2009 9:55 pm

      all depends on the couple. if they think they know each other well, they are committed to each other and they are sure of their feelings for each other and they are ready to go against the wishes of their parents then they should go ahead and get married.
      if parents allowed the couple to continue their relation and at one stage even promoted it and then later on were agaist it then i suppose a man to man , face to face talk is must between the parents and the couple to find out the reason for their rejection.
      it all depends on the courage and boldness of the parties involved. there are innumerable cases where couples did go against the wishes of parents and are living a happy and succesfull married life
      but it all depends on the commitment of the couple towards each other

      • November 16, 2009 10:33 pm

        I agree to that. But what you have said is easy to pen down and difficult for people to implement or put into action. Some people lose courage and some get over powered by the so called Indian parental emotional blackmail and those who become the victim of that, succumb to lifelong pain and regret.
        Should I blame kids in this or parents and the vague society norms and beliefs?

  4. November 16, 2009 8:38 pm

    I am married and happy the way I am. As for a live-in relationship, gone are the days when I could have, should have and perhaps would have done it…………only if I were to find someone that capable.

    I firmly believe in the institution of marriage and no matter how close you are to the opposite sex (let me make that very clear), living together definitely gives you the edge of knowing the person before you marry him/her.

    What’s the harm if I were to wake with with my boyfriend/girlfriend walking down from the other bedroom (or the same bedroom as mine) with their hair undone, them being as their original them (early in the morning)? As for society, they only know to gossip. Perhaps they too are jealous of the fact that they never got a chance to do this and how come some one else is doing it.

    But beware, live in relationships also have their own pitfalls.
    1) You can’t drink beer all the time
    2) You can’t watch football or cricket whenever you have to
    3) Beer doesn’t shouts at you when you come home late at 2 AM in wee hours of Friday night

    Jokes apart, with changing times let’s add one more thing to the ever growing list of items that can and will be acceptable for parents/society. Either embrace it or just be left out in the dark!

    • November 16, 2009 10:23 pm

      ashish every thing is ok. i am still asking the same old thing why do couple who live with each other and have the best of both the lives– no commitment to each other, but companionship friendship, sex etc decide to get married? what is it that forces them to let go their singlehood status?

  5. November 17, 2009 2:23 am

    different people, different cultures, different ways of thinking… each to his own I say !! 🙂

  6. Aruna Thamilmani permalink
    November 17, 2009 8:53 am

    Dear Anju,

    I’m an ardent fan of yours. Being a south indian and a woman, I would say its mostly because of the fear of what people say(family & society) and how to face them and also because of a feeling of security that marriage gives(leaving the other person is not that easy when compared to live-in relation). I’ve seen a couple who in their 40s are still happily living together without getting married and they have a boy also. They said, we care about ourself and not about what society thinks about our relationship. So, if a person is bold enough not to care about what others think, then they’ll definitely continue their live-in relation.
    In my point of view,”the need for respect in the society + a feeling of security” are the reasons to get married after being in a live-in relationship for years.

  7. November 17, 2009 10:00 am

    each to his own,that is my policy…2 matured people living together,without a legal bond is nothing to be looked down to..but i guess,in the bigger picture one should also keep in mind,the rules of the society in which he or she is living..

  8. November 17, 2009 12:30 pm

    Am Married! I love the institution called marriage, since I have trust in this very sacred word called “MARRIAGE”. Its a bond, its a feel, its the togetherness…
    I knew my hubby for 7 yrs, before I got married and its the best that can happen to a girl before marriage. We never got into Live in relationship to check, if we will be able to manage life under one roof later. Am okay to compromise to things he love and same with him. Its so wonderful living with my hubby after marriage.

    On the contrary, my very close fren is in a Live-in relation with her Boy fren. She believes, this is very imp before she decides to get married.

    In their case, they trust in being married, but want to understand this way before tying the knot….Its just the belief

  9. November 17, 2009 1:33 pm

    A generic question to all people born and brought up in India and always been living in India, did you get opportunity to go in for Live-in-Relationship and if you’d got an opportunity, would you have gone in for it?
    Not to pin point anyone here but just curious to know coz’ in India, maybe now some people get that opportunity (I wonder if even .01% folks get that opportunity) but it never was in Indian system. Had it been there, would people have preferred or wished to try it?

  10. November 17, 2009 10:15 pm

    We are what we get exposed to in life. People learn from experience which exposure gives.
    Take for example the love marriage concept. In India a decade back the chances of someone opting for love marriage was very less. Now no one cares about it. With jobs taking people to different places and exposing them to new cultures they are trying to accept it now.

    Live in relationship is not that easy to maintain. From what I have been told and seen around ,either couple should know thoroughly about each other or know way too less. The latter will help them in compromising while the former will help them in not seeing any surprises after marriage. Dragging a relation will take away the curiosity which helps a lot after marriage. If you try to get to know other person before marriage, there is a high possibility that both might start thinking “I might get a better person than he/she. Why to rush..???”. In short..
    Live in relation is like getting into a tub of hot water. After you get used to it, it isn’t so hot.”
    It is these kind of thoughts which causes many relationship to break before getting committed.

    As of the question “Is marriage the best thing that can happen to anyone..”. I should be able to tell you this a month from now, unless I have filed for bankruptcy…!!!

    • November 17, 2009 11:48 pm

      “Is marriage the best thing that can happen to anyone..”. I should be able to tell you this a month from now, unless I have filed for bankruptcy…!!!
      does that mean that u r getting married in one months time?
      all the best and congratulations.

  11. Priya permalink
    November 18, 2009 12:21 pm


    I am not sure whether my comment would get accepted by you or not…But as a regular reader of your blog i thought i would comment on this…

    I have seen people living in together even in India and there are surely more than .01% who get this chance to explore their relationship to an extent and then take a decision….

    Let me try and put an another way of looking into this matter…The relationship of love in India is taking new turns every day…Do you think a 10th class guy can also love his classmate and then visualises a complete life time with her..Does this make any sense…If you ask me no..But because of this relationships some of the people break their hearts and they break completely from with in to an extent they fear giving their love to any one, but at the same time they live in a society which pushes them everytime….so they opt for something but they are not sure whether this will work or not….so they start with a small relationship and that grows into a live in relationship after certain period of time…and now that they are comfortable with each other they get married…its not that society forces them to get married or some body else ask them to get married…yes these do play a role and that is what the reasons one says when u ask them why are u getting married now after 7 years..coz one would not be so comfortable to tell why did they decide on this person…

    I am not saying this is the only reason why people in living relationships decide to get married but some people decide because of this reason too…which is an another way of looking into it…

    And as far as it goes… then why do these guys decide for a divorce then i would say that u entered into a wrong relationship and spent enough amount of time init with out trying to know whether this is what u want or not…This relationship is called timepass..i am not saying that they both were doing timepass but yes one of them must be doing it and they end up marrying the other person coz of pressures but this kind of relationship cannot go till the end and thats why they break…and when they break they leave the other person in pieces…

    This comment is not made inorder to hurt anybody but this is my way of looking at things…

  12. November 18, 2009 2:19 pm

    It is a matter of personal choice and perhaps circumstances.I for one would have not chosen to a live-in -relation,even if I had a choice.
    Though ,in India also a lot of youngsters have opted for such adventure.

  13. November 18, 2009 3:30 pm

    Marriage is committment. Some dare it and some don’t. Loosen up dear. Social institutions evolve over a period.

  14. November 20, 2009 4:09 pm

    Despite not being very religious, I am of a traditional way of thinking – and I think if two people are happy together and want to spend their lives together then marriage is a natural step. I do however think that the couple should 100% know that they are completely ready to be married, and are 100% committed to each other. In society, marriage is becoming less fashionable – but I think it’s the icing on the cake of a great long term relationship.

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