Marriage can have different meanings for women depending on what their priorities in life are. For some, it may be an extremely important stepping stone in life while others may believe it to be just a label or a box that society wants to put them in, in order for them to fit into the community. Irrespective of what marriage means to a woman, it is important that we don’t judge her for the choices she makes.
Marriage is hard. It is, most definitely, a significant milestone in the lives of those who choose to go down that route but there’s no denying the fact that maintaining a marital bond requires a lot of work and commitment from both partners because the expectations from a marriage are quite different from a relationship. In this article, we explore what marriage means to a woman, its importance (or the lack of it) in their lives.
What Marriage Means To A Woman – We Figured These 9 Things
More than anything, marriage is a legal commitment that affects all relationships and aspects of one’s life – familial, economic, and social. It’s considered to be the ultimate act of love, a sacred union that binds two souls for eternity. But walking into marriage is not like taking a walk in the park. It may be one of the most fulfilling relationships in a woman’s life but it comes with its share of challenges.
What does marriage mean to a woman? What is the importance of marriage in her life? What symbolizes marriage for a woman? Well, there could be several things. Commitment, a support system, sexual intimacy and emotional or economic security. Or a marriage could not be important to her at all. We spoke to a few women about their views on marriage and figured these 9 things:
1. Companionship and support system for life
“Marriage, to me, means a lifetime of companionship. Sharing my life and its ups and downs with a partner who understands, respects and loves me and whom I understand, love and respect. I believe it’s a journey of a lifetime that you embark on with your partner. Marriage, like all journeys, will have its highs and lows, terrific turns, tough paths and happy moments. Knowing that someone is there with you through it all is what makes this institution special,” says Archita Tiwari, a soft-skills trainer based in India.
Marriage is about companionship. It’s about supporting your partner. In that sense, marriage is one of the best support systems a woman can have in her life. You have a person you can come home to and share everything with. Happiness, sorrow, mundane day-to-day things, milestones, mood swings, work troubles, life – this one person is always there to listen to it all and help you deal with it. You have a person you can celebrate your victories and mourn your failures with. They will not only patiently listen to your thoughts but also offer a different perspective.
That person is her safe space. They make her feel secure. This is what marriage means to a woman. She knows she can share anything with her spouse without the fear of being judged or humiliated. They become that best friend and confidante who will stand by her through thick and thin. They are her partner in crime (whether it’s watching movies together, reading, or eating meals), the perfect shoulder to cry on or lean on for support. She can be her weirdest, most awful and vulnerable self and still trust that her partner is here to stay. She knows her partner is there to look after her.
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2. What marriage means to a woman – Just a label
For a lot of women, marriage is just a label, a legal piece of paper that society or the government wants them to sign to give a name to their relationship, so that they have a better standing in the community. According to them, you don’t need a certificate or a piece of paper to prove your love and commitment to each other. You can do that without getting married too.
Signing a legal document as proof of her commitment and loyalty to her partner is not what symbolizes marriage for some women. You can love and be committed to someone without needing the approval of society. Plus, marriage only makes things messy if it doesn’t work out. Divorce and alimony laws are complicated whether done mutually or not. There are way too many legal hassles if the marriage doesn’t stand the test of time.
3. Way too many responsibilities
With marriage comes responsibility. In several countries, especially Asian, partners don’t just marry each other but their whole families. In-laws get way too involved in everything that you do, leading to a lot of fighting within the family and between partners. There are way too many responsibilities, all of which, more often than not, fall on a woman’s shoulders. A woman is expected to take on the larger share of duties and fulfill them to perfection.
“Being in a relationship or living-in with your partner is way better than getting married because you’re not bound by rules, expectations, and responsibilities. You are not expected to be the perfect wife, daughter-in-law, mother, homemaker, and so on and so forth. You don’t have to compromise on things you don’t want to. No facing situations where you have to choose between career and marriage or motherhood. You don’t have to deal with societal pressure to get pregnant. You and your partner get to decide what’s best for yourselves and the relationship,” says a friend, whose parents are currently looking for the perfect match for her.
4. More sexual intimacy
Another friend, who requested anonymity, said, “I could be sexually intimate with my partner only after marriage. It’s not like we didn’t get intimate while we were dating. We did get physically close but I could never have sex with him until we got married because there was this mental blockage or constant thought in my head (whatever you choose to call it) that it was something I could do only after marriage. For me, having sex after marriage was the right thing to do.”
The importance of sex in a marriage cannot be stressed enough. Sexual intimacy is one of the purposes of marriage for a lot of women across the globe. It’s an important aspect of what marriage means to a woman. It’s definitely a choice that women have the right to make. But such a thought process also has a lot to do with what women are conditioned to believe from an early age. Growing up in a society that is still obsessed with a woman’s virginity, it’s no surprise that a lot of women choose to explore sexual intimacy with their partner only after marriage.
5. Different priorities
Not every woman’s top priority in life is to get married. “I wasn’t born to get married. Marriage is not the end goal. I can have different priorities in life that don’t involve a husband and children. There is a lot more to my personality or identity than being a married woman. You can live happily without marriage. It’s fine if you don’t believe in the institution and prefer to explore other opportunities in life,” says a friend, who is sick of being asked when she plans to get hitched.
Every individual has the right to live their life on their own terms. Society does not get to decide what marriage means to a woman. Whether a woman wants to get married or not, should be entirely her decision. There are a lot of expectations from a marriage but not everyone wants to get tied down by a marital bond and the responsibilities that come with it – partner, children, home, education, etc. For a lot of women, it’s not worth trading their freedom and independence for.
6. Commitment to each other
Commitment to stay together and always be there for each other is what marriage means to a woman. Maintaining a marital bond requires a high level of commitment from both partners. It brings in a sense of security, stability and entitlement in a marriage. If you’re committed to mutually supporting and nurturing each other, you can create a long-lasting relationship.
“Marriage, for me, is an ongoing process that requires effort and a strong will to stay together despite all odds. It requires dedication, love, commitment, loyalty, trust, and forgiveness at every step of the way,” says Aparna Rai, an entrepreneur. Commitment is key to a strong marriage. Having a faithful and loyal partner who promises to stand by you through thick and thin feels great. You promise to care for each other for life. There is always a possibility of cheating but partners can avoid such temptations if they really wish to be with each other.
7. Love and oneness
Walking into marriage because of love should be of most importance. After all, love is the main reason why two people decide to share a life together. Unconditional love and oneness is what marriage means to a woman. A deep, satisfying love that transcends physical, spiritual, and emotional boundaries is what a marriage should be made of.
Oneness in a marriage helps you accept and love your partner for who they are. You accept each other’s flaws and differences and help each other grow individually as well as a couple. You work, celebrate milestones, and face marriage problems that come your way as one unit. A marital bond gives you the chance to share your feelings, thoughts, and emotions with your partner. You work to create a life together as one team.
“Marriage can sound very daunting and yet simple. It’s about two people living together, spoiling each other, and sharing duties, responsibilities and love equally. You trust each other and set your own rules instead of conforming to societal norms,” says Shramana Ghosh and we couldn’t agree more. You work toward your dreams and goals together, supporting and nurturing each other along the way. That is the importance of marriage for a woman.
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8. What marriage means to a woman? Parenting
For some women, having a child is a big enough motivation to marry. It is one of the purposes of marriage for them. Parenting is exciting but comes with its own set of challenges. We’re not saying that you cannot be a mother without marriage but there’s no denying the fact that it’s extremely hard bringing up a child in today’s times.
Having a child is one of the greatest blessings for couples who choose parenthood. But, truth be told, it’s easier to leave a relationship or abandon your partner and child if you’re not bound by the marital bond. A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information claimed that the absence of a parent caused significant mental and behavioral changes in a child.
Another study by the same organization stated that children grow better and gain more if they live with both parents. Children who live with both parents have better emotional, physical, and academic well-being. Marriage strengthens your bond as a family. With kids around, you have enough reason to think about your priorities and work toward solving differences as a family.
9. Offers economic and emotional stability
Economic and emotional security is one of the major expectations from a marriage for a woman. It is also one of the purposes of marriage for some women. Several studies have claimed that married couples are less likely to go through financial turmoil. Marriage helps partners make more money and also manage it better. There’s no doubt women are becoming financially independent in today’s times. But, for many, economic stability still matters as far as marriage is concerned.
Emotional safety in a marriage is another major requirement. Walking into marriage knowing that there is someone who’ll stand by her through the good and bad is incredibly satisfying. Like men, women also look for emotional stability and support in a marriage. You need to be able to be yourself and share your feelings, dreams and aspirations with the person you’ve decided to spend your life with. You should be able to feel vulnerable yet safe.
Marriage is a union of two souls. Partners should be able to connect on an emotional, spiritual, intellectual and physical level. There needs to be an emotional intimacy, a connection, and a sense of belonging for the marriage to thrive. Knowing that there is someone to take care of you when you fall sick, listen to you when you’re upset, comfort you at your weakest is one of the greatest feelings a woman can experience.
It has been scientifically proven that marriage increases life expectancy and promotes better heart health. Having said that, marriage is a personal decision. Every woman has the right to decide for herself. It is a big step in the life of a woman and she should take it only when she feels ready for it. If she doesn’t want to, that’s okay too. It’s perfectly okay to never get married. Like we said, a woman isn’t born to get married. It is important to keep in mind that we don’t judge women for the choices they make.
Marriage is a major milestone in the life of a woman. She is looking to build a life with someone she is in love with. There are additional responsibilities and expectations. Her priorities change. She wants a partner she can trust and rely on and who trusts and respects her. It’s the biggest form of commitment for her.
A woman wants her partner to be supportive, accepting, reliable and trustworthy. She should feel comfortable and safe enough to share her fears, aspirations and feelings with them. She wants a partner who can be her best friend and confidant. A woman wants emotional intimacy and security in a marriage.