Whether you choose to spend your life with someone you already know and are in love with, or agree to meet someone suitable your friends or family find for you - you’ll find being married to another person is one helluva lifelong journey! But the debate on how one chooses the partner to get married to is an age-old and never-ending one, and so we asked a few couples what really happens. This is what they had to say...
1. Before The Couple Gets Married
Love Marriage: “We had dated for a while, and knew each other inside out. I knew his fears, and his dreams - even his past relationships, and in spite of all this, I fell in love with him, and chose to spend my life with him. In a love marriage, you accept another person with all their flaws and that is why the journey is so much better.”
Arranged Marriage: “My parents fixed the match. They found someone they thought would be wonderful for me as a life partner, and after they’d satisfied themselves of my happiness with him on all fronts - family, career, thinking, etc. - they asked me to meet him. I really had no clue about this person, but somewhere deep down I just trusted my parents’ choice, and knew they wouldn’t go wrong. Plus I could always say no.”
2. How The Couple Decides To Get Married
Love Marriage: “It’s a decision that only the people who have to live a life together take. No third person is involved, and it makes sense - after all, if we are the ones who’ve got to spend our lives together, only we should choose, right? We had seen each other through good days and bad already, and knew we wouldn’t second-guess our decision.”
Arranged Marriage: “My parents played the biggest role ‘coz they are the ones who tried to convince me into saying yes. I met him and talked to him - but it’s a brief meeting where one can’t really judge someone apart from what’s on the surface. Mostly if you find no fault, you give a heads-up and go ahead with it, with more faith than anything else.”
3. How The Couple Feels On The Big Day
Love Marriage: “I felt like all the time I spent knowing him, fighting to spend a life with him, facing all odds, surviving moments spent apart and then officially taking him as my husband was overwhelmingly emotional. It felt like a closure, like a battle won, like a life lived, and another about to begin. There is no feeling better than this.”
Arranged Marriage: “I was super nervous. It felt like the biggest decision of my life, and one that was completely going to alter the pace of it, and was based purely on my faith and trust in my parents. And then, there was suhaag raat! Even though I was packed with the collective wisdom of my entire female clan, I still wasn’t okay with the idea of sleeping with a man I didn’t really know.”
4. How The Couple Starts A Life Together
Love Marriage: “As I adjusted to my new life and started living with him, I found there were so many things I was now discovering about my husband, that I never knew about him when he was my boyfriend. We had occasional fights, but our love for each other always pulled us easily through them. The best part, though, was how my husband eased me into his family, and supported all the individual choices I made, even if my in-laws didn’t like them. It’s like I never found myself alone.”
Arranged Marriage: “Your families have sought this relationship out, and so your in-laws try their best to ease you in, familiarize you with their customs and traditions. Your husband is still a new person for you, but sharing a room does not feel so bad when you slowly get to know him - it kinda feels like dating someone, while living in with them. Plus you never have to worry about being judged or if he’s the one, or even if it’s gonna work out or not - it's already done. It’s like you accept the person as he unfurls to you every day.”
5. Child? Career?
Love Marriage: “I had a say, because my husband was all too ready to hear and heed it. He already knew my fears and my ambitions and always pushed me to do better. The best part was he shared responsibility with me throughout.”
Arranged Marriage: “My in-laws had a say in many of our decisions, and the thing is initially I didn’t even know if my husband would understand me or not. It’s like if your husband understands you - good for you, but if he does not and neither do your in-laws, you have to compromise and make your peace with it.”
6. Some More Years Down The Line
Love Marriage: “Yes, we fought occasionally, and sometimes the past creeped in and mistakes made before were mentioned too, but more or less living with the one who you believe is your soulmate is just amazing.”
Arranged Marriage: “Now that we’ve spent some years together, shared children, we just kinda accept it each other, for better or worse. Also with time our relationship has grown stronger and his family has become mine too.”
7. Life Partners
In the end, it’s about the two people who make their marriage work. Marriage is a journey - choose your pick on who you want to spend it. It’s gonna be a ride, either way!
MUST-READ: Rishta, Romance, Shaadi: Courtship In An Arranged Marriage!
MUST-READ: #ShaadiSePehle: How To Get Along With Your Future In-Laws!
Published on Oct 16, 2015