Cultural differences...cute while dating, controversial in marriage

Are cultural differences getting the better of your relationship? Is it taking a lot of effort to adjust to your partner’s value system? Explore with us.

Team Bonobology | Posted on 07 Jun 2016
Intercultural Marriage: Cute While Dating, Controversial Afterwards | Bonobology

“You need to stop fasting so often,” said he. He was concerned that his wife was weary from working late and was refusing to go out with him.

“I can’t just suddenly stop fasting. I’ve been doing it my entire adult life.” She was not convinced.

“You shouldn’t be starving yourself if you have to work. And what is this about no salt on Thursdays? I still don’t get it. The doctor hasn’t asked you to make dietary changes to your lifestyle. If at all, it’s probably stressing you out more than usual,” he added, with a hint of sarcasm.

“I don’t want to have this discussion over and over again. If you don’t want to understand, please don’t. I don’t nag you about your habits… You cook meat in the house when I’m fasting,” she snapped.

Yes, love is blind and marriage opens your eyes! Clichéd but true.

Ritu and Amol have been married for two years. The cultural differences that were “cute” during their courtship are now starting to cause tiffs. Her strict upbringing and value system are clashing with his liberal ways.

In the pre-liberalisation decades of the 1970s to the 1990s, middle-class Indian couples were more concerned with making ends meet and keeping up appearances. Cultural differences were rarely heard of.

But times are different now. We have more choices, both in our professional and personal lives. And while inter-caste or inter-community marriages are not frowned upon anymore, let us be honest, our parents would rather our friends were in such relationships than us- “you’d best not think about it,” they seem to silently warn us!

According to a survey conducted by The Hindu, only 5% Indians are currently part of inter-caste marriages. Another survey conducted by the Taj Group of Hotels, Mumbai, via The Taj Wedding Barometer, finds that 95% Indians living in cities prefer an “arranged” marriage.

Is it because we don’t want to have to choose between our folks and partners all our lives? Or is it because statistically, divorces have increased ever since “love” marriages increased? Or is it just that we are more open to the idea of divorce now?

Not many sociological studies have been conducted on marriages in India. But studies by clinical psychologists point to some trends. 

Says (Dr). Ahalya Raguram from Nimhans “In the last 25 years or so, the changes have been very rapid, shaking up all the rules that we have traditionally followed unquestioningly. At the same time, no clear trend has emerged. Perhaps, it’s still in the process of evolving. So are we really in that great state of flux? I see a number of couples with a great number of issues or problems in their marriage that they are unable to work through. We are definitely seeing a lot more couples seeking help for marital problems.”  

Are cultural differences, then, getting the better of your relationship? Is it taking a lot of effort to adjust to your partner’s value system?

All was well with the world as long as you were still a cooing couple in college. But in the harsh reality of the here and now, things are way tougher. Between the baggage of your upbringing and the expectations of your partner, it all seems uphill.  

Do you want to know how handle it? Maybe this survey can help you find some answers -

‘Survey Monkey’ does not ask for your name or email ID. It maintains strict confidentiality and anonymity. No part of your answers/replies will be connected to you. Only your answers will be recorded.


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