Having met my husband straight out of undergrad and having gotten married at 23, I found myself immune to one of the major struggles young women in India face every day which is emotional blackmail by the family to get married. I see my friends going through the struggles every day and after conducting extensive interviews on my 23 to 25-year-old friends, I came up with a few common statements that they all have to face all the time. These statements come majorly from the parents. The grandparents often join in and then there are the endless aunties and uncles of an extended family in India. And parents forcing to find an arranged marriage match is an extension of this story.
Are You Emotionally Blackmailed With These Words To Get Married?
If you are nearing 25 and still haven’t thought of marriage then get ready to hear these words when you are awake, when you are asleep, when you are eating or when you are going to work…These are words that would manipulate you, heckle you, psychologically blackmail you to get married.
1. Think about younger siblings
How can we get your younger sibling married if you are still single? They are waiting for you.
This is classic pressure that is put on any girl above the age of 25 who is not engaged or married and has a younger sibling. Bonus points if the younger sibling already has a boy in mind and is just “waiting” on you to find someone.
2. You are getting old
You are getting old, soon no boy from a good family will want you. The pool is getting smaller and smaller.
When you are 22 and bright and bushy-tailed, all the boys in the Shaadi ‘market’ want you and when you are 28 (and god forbid 30!), boys your age will want the 22-year old’s. Or at least this is what the aunties of India genuinely believe.
Apparently, rishtas and age are inversely proportional.
3. Grandparents want to see you married
Ageing grandparents want to see you get married before they pass away! This one is tricky. It is bad when parents put pressure on you to get married, but worse when your innocent, sweet, grandparents emotionally blackmail you and put pressure about your ticking clock due to their ticking clock. It is hard to have an answer then!
Related Reading: Relationship Tips From Grandparents For A Happy Marriage
4. All your friends are married
All your friends are engaged or married, why do you have no one?
By the time you are 23, all your girlfriends are either dating someone seriously or are getting engaged or engaged to be married or already married! It’s hard to feel like you are the only one left out, especially with the pressure Indian society (and especially Indian parents, put on us).
5. It’s not good to marry late
If you wait till you are too old, your thoughts get rigid and you won’t be able to adjust. I’ve heard the word ‘mould’ come up a lot when talking about eligible bachelorettes. Guys and their mothers want to be able to mould their wives (are we clay?) aka teach them to ‘fit’ into the houses. They don’t want girls with strong personalities or a voice of their own which can be frustrating (and rightfully so!) for a lot of independent, modern, young women.
The truth is that every Indian girl (and also almost every guy) that I have spoken to have faced some kind of wedding pressure and emotional blackmailing in their 20s and sometimes 30s. Parents genuinely believe that raising girls to be the perfect wives will be beneficial to them in the long run. It is 2020 and a lot of girls from all strata of society will be pressurized into an arranged marriage, or at least pressurized into marrying their boyfriend. While marriage seems inevitable, some factors of marriage are not. It is important to ask certain questions before marriage (especially arranged) and gain clarity in order to have a happy married life.
Related Reading: Advantages And Disadvantages Of Late Marriages For Women
Before you are pressurized into a marriage think about this…
Alas, the fact is that in India marriage also usually means marrying a family and not just a boy. Thus, there are some compromises that girls and boys have to make in order to make the marriage work. Here are some points that I believe are important to discuss and negotiate before marriage, especially for girls marrying into a traditional Indian family setup:
- Kids: Do we want kids? When and how many? How do we want to raise them?
- Sex: Are we sexually compatible? How much sex do we plan to have? Likes and dislikes.
- Religion: How religious are we?
- Couple time: How much quality time do we want to spend every week/daily as a couple?
- Drugs, smoking and alcohol: Do any of us drink/smoke? How much? What are our thoughts on recreational drugs?
- Finances: How will we manage finances? Will, we both work? Will we have a budget, if so, what is it and how will we allocate it?
- In-laws: How much time will we dedicate to our in-laws? What are our respective duties towards them? How long do we want to live with them, if at all?
- Social life: How important is a social life for each of us? How much do we plan to meet our friends?
- Career: What are each of our career/educational goals?
- Other optional items to discuss: Pets, staff, salaries, shopping, travel, alone time
Discussing all of this before marrying your partner will make life a lot easier not only for both of you but also for the families involved. A lot of points seem minute or irrelevant but can affect marriage in the long run. Figuring it out beforehand will help the Shaadi pressure and thus the eventual Shaadi be better thought through and worth it! So even if you are being emotionally blackmailed into marriage by your parents make sure you go through these points before you give the final nod.