Life is very easily divided into birth, marriage and death in the Indian lifeline, where marriage is not a choice but a natural progression of living. But at a time when we have learnt to question the social norms and find individual paths around them, I think it is time we asked some questions before the plunge. The logic behind matrimony is older than the questions. The need to have somebody in your life through the hackles of life and through the beauty of it too is the classical foundation of marriage. Oh! And of course procreation! But a lot of these modules have undergone the weathering of time and we must try to observe marriage under some new light. So, here are seven questions that are crucial to the decision of marriage that you should ask yourself and each other:
The idea of marriage revolves around the unsettling idea of ‘settling’ in life. This settlement umbrellas marriage, financial security, a stable source of income, and, of course, a fertile reproductive system. The problem is that in these ideas of settlement we often forget individual identities and start treating it as a conjoint success. One must ask oneself before taking the matrimonial leap if their individual lives feel stable or concrete enough to take on this new adjustment. Everything does not magically ‘become’ okay, but there should be some concern and understanding before one gets married.
Related reading: Why every couple should say ‘I love you’ more often
A couple must realise how open and vulnerable they are to each other emotionally before binding each other to the holy and legal bond of matrimony. Marriage means taking life as it comes, but together. There should be an open channel of emotional exchange to help you balance through your marital life. There will be innumerable hiccups, misunderstandings and compromises when two people start living together. It is important that there is emotional transparency to minimise damage.
You might be the perfect couple on paper. Theoretically you guys look like a match made in heaven. You both look amazing together, your friends and family have created a fandom of you and marriage seems to be the obvious step. Pause and retrace your relationship. Look at each other in the space of your relationship, away from social conjectures. Do you fulfil each other’s needs and expectations? Or do you keep falling short every time? Is there trust and friendship? Something seems to be just a little off-key? Often, everything might look perfect under wraps, but when marriage unfolds, the lack of tuning will surely pose a threat.
You both definitely are in love with each other and want to start living together, because everything looks a little better when you are together. All is fine in the light air of heaven, except the families hate each other. Okay, maybe not as dramatic as hate, but it is a definite animosity that could not be taken care of in the many meetings that you arranged. Remember that marriage is a social institution, and with the family at loggerheads with each other, the matrimony card might work against you than for you. Try to find a meeting ground for both the parties, or keep marriage on hold till both of them realise that your happiness is greater than their prejudices.
Ask if there is a power structure in your relationship where somebody is the definite dominant and the other a step lower. I do not mean your preferences in the bedroom! That is the next point. There must be an equal amount of respect for each other as individual human beings and professionals. Any hierarchy is bound to bring about an ego clash. If you cannot put your finger on it, just sit down and have an open discussion. You will get the drift. Often not paid much attention to, you must realise the importance of observing equality in the power games, which is so easily tipped in the patriarchal hegemony.
Related reading: 10 erotic movies to watch with your man
It is very important to understand if the synchronicity extends its wonders to the bedroom. Two personalities complementing each other might surprisingly be lukewarm together under the sheets. Let us face the fact that your sexual life will be bound to the person you are bound to in the monogamous vows of marriage. It is important that you factor your sexual needs into your decision to get married.
Are you ready to take the moral, financial and emotional responsibilities of a spouse and family? This is a question you would think was fashioned for the man, but I am sorry to turn to you, my would-be bride, and beg you to answer it as well. It is a responsibility for both the man and the woman who are acquiring a spouse, respective families and a vision board of their own family. It is a huge responsibility; a truckload of lists, bills, Post-Its, errands, festivals, functions, emergencies, crises and regular routine days. One must truly ponder their life skills and understand if they are equipped to take up this responsibility.