Desi Marriage: For All the Wrong Reason

28 Nov

Desi Marriage: For All the Wrong Reason

In all those years while she was still married that day, people call wedding anniversary never enthralled her coz’ it meant more drama than was on the wedding day itself. Last week it would have been a decade of misery that was cut short by divine intervention that DG can never thank enough for. There was no way of erasing the day from history while she was still married. The first anniversary after divorce is always assumed to be tough one, so our group facilitator late Joyce Harris (DG had joined divorce anonymous just two weeks prior to the D day) suggested DG ought to keep busy and have phone numbers of group members handy to call at any hour. Old man B signed up as DG’s phone buddy for that day. DG made a five hour trip to church and back that fatigued her so much that all she was a good night’s sleep. There after the joys of grad school, surgeries and rehabs never left room for sulking over the day or even remember the date.

This year something was different. Four days prior to “the day” DG started having some uneasiness that she could not define. She thought may be it is marking a decade that is making it bumpy jumpy. Bottom line she could not put a finger on what and why. She tried to recall why she got married in the first place. She realized what ever the reason it was definitely wrong. She began making calls to all her friends to ask why they got married. Here is what she found:

A, you met him here. Coz’ the pastor said marry this woman from the congregation and he was a good Christian. This good Christian was given some very unchristian love that he came out bankrupt and spiritually scarred. He still believes in the Christ and God but not that church.

Sexy (short for Sexsena) was tired of face offs he had with prospective FILs showcase brides and punditji (Hindu pastor) said R is the girl who’ll stick through him and Atiya would not entertain him. Wao, two men 11,000 miles apart have so much respect for their clergy. R is really a good lady but Sexy feels something is amiss even after eight years. Ask R and she’ll tell you, it was her age and with her looks her engineering degree and government job weren’t enough.

Atiya, you met her along with A. Was afraid of ending up alone after living a year in that scary working women’s hostel where watchman kept an eye on every visitor including DG. That hostel behind the Ph.D. hostel was our bête noire any one who could not get hooked in marriage moved there after completing Ph.D. The fate of those living there was bleak whole university knew what awaited them, some old looser or lurking married men…The fear of loneliness intensified after every body else got married. Within six months it felt two perfectly good people in a very imperfect situation called marriage started dragging it and now it is awaiting judge’s approval to call it TATA BYE BYE.

T, you met her along with A and Atiya. Marriage is what all good girls did after they completed grad school and picked up a job. All her life she was told she’ll some day marry a prince of her parent’s choice and live happily ever after. Prince, they did buy for her but happily ever after never happened, rather she was abandoned in a foreign country. Mo, is in the same category, she was abused and abandoned in Des.

IK, you met her here. Coz’ he asked her to marry him and she thought what if no one else asked. Thirteen years and two kids latter she was out of the door. Bitter earlier now claims never been happier.

DG, four years of courtship had fatigued her and she thought get married and get over it. May be yes, she was afraid of faceless people called log what will they say, she was a bad person who ditched him after four years, though the red blankets were staring her in the face; yes they were no longer red flags after four years. She was afraid of her reputation, may be she was scared of ending up alone. She definitely was a codependent. God only knows why she got married, she has no clue. Ok let’s blame her hormones; they clouded her thinking as her uterus refuses to do the thinking no matter how hard she tries to convince it.

N, she married D coz’ she had slept with him. Big mistake and we all witnessed her making another mistake by marrying him. She’ll punish herself for another few years before she calls it quits may be she’ll stay. She is getting comfortable there fighting his indifference and interfering MIL. Who knows …?

Rinky, you met her here. She wanted to do something for herself after following instructions from her parents all her life. S, joins her in saying she wanted to claim modernity by choosing her own mate and not going for backward arranged marriage. One is separated with child and the other is divorced.

Lal, got married even when he had seen DG marrying an abuser and suffering. His reasons are unique; he assisted her break free from her parent’s abuse so he is her only support. She has violent anger issues and he takes it coz’ he thinks she has no one else to vent on. Good Samaritan is being beaten black and blue. Backing out was not a choice for him or those jats would have killed him. Ah, what we do for so called love that is first to walk out of a relationship.

Sum, after break up with Al, he dropped his defenses to his parents or else he would have remained a bachelor. They saved his dharma from being polluted by marrying a Christian. And Al’s folks were happy that they beat the crap of love marriage out of her and saved her future generations from going to hell.

V, her parents threw her out in the middle of the night (now we realize they were trying to scare her from seeing a non Hindu.) But she rushed to An’s home and his mother summoned the priest for a quick wedding. After wedding both realized they were not even talking marriage yet. Here they were unhappily ever after…

SP, got married coz’ his mother needed a helper and she had already picked a girl for him. As the first born he had to set a good example for his siblings. His marriage is working well by grace of his mataji (mommy). It is working :)  but he would not confess.

P was the class topper she had to give up on M.Phil coz’ her parents had to marry her sister too who was two years her younger. P’s been married for 15 years now and that sister did not get married until three years ago. Poor P though she has managed to make it work even without love but is resentful at times.

DG asked Su if he loved his wife. He said, “What the heck I have been married for 10 years now. Had you asked in the first year or two I could have answered that question, now it is little complicated.” That is ok but why did you get married? His response was it felt right and he thought where else he’ll find another Vietnamese academic. When she posed the same question to his wife she said, it was like fishing for pearls to look for feminist Vietnamese man. What happened to love? Oh, that vanished once the tenure tracks hit us both. Now it is only marriage and feminism to fight for.

Oh, Sasha. Her marriage is based on mutual non interference, don’t ask don’t tell; devote your life and money for nation building through grassroots mobilizing and every thing will be alright. Haven’t seen them both together at any given time these two are always on the move. It works…

Darn none of us married for so called love they sing in the bollywood flicks and the Mills and Boons. Did love just pass us by or it doesn’t exist. We all married for all the wrong reasons. Was anyone thinking about companionship? Did anyone ask before marriage what was required? Does DG even know anyone with a good marriage? Darn NO with exception of her spiritual parents. Something is definitely wrong with DG or the people she knows. Is it like birds of feather flock together?

PS: There are numerous happy Desi unions; just that DG hasn’t run into them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. More power to them for making it work…

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16 Responses to “Desi Marriage: For All the Wrong Reason”

  1. Shruti July 24, 2012 at p07 #

    I got married just because I enjoyed spending every single second with my boyfriend (currently my husband). Also because I loved so many things about him.
    And after three and a half years, I can say that was the best decision of my life.

    Like this

    • Shruti July 24, 2012 at p07 #

      But only love is not sufficient for a healthy relationship. Marriage is hard work and you have to keep working at it to be happy.

      Like this

  2. Glacier June 6, 2011 at p06 #

    Well given my experiences I am not at all interested in marriage, kids, mortgage, in-laws and the regular desi bubble amenities. There is much more to life than reproducing, cooking endless handis and watching stupid bollywood nonsense.

    I think people have idealized marriage, made it into something it is really not. Marriage is very confining, boring and sometimes ridiculous way of living, it boggles my mind how much people will sacrifice their lives for the “great institution of marriage”. I always felt that a man can never achieve anything unique, creative or great if he is married and tied down with kids, that life is the ultimate mediocrity in my eyes.

    On that note neither can a woman achieve anything unique, creative or great if he is married and tied down with kids,… :)
    “There is much more to life than reproducing, cooking endless handis and watching stupid bollywood nonsense.”
    Fully agree. :)
    Yes at times it is a ridiculous way of living because the agents involved are stuck in a rut and keep doing the dysfunctional because they are too stunted to do anything new and challenging. rather their self worth they feel depends on the efficient following of the rut. :)

    Like this

    • nolongeraslave June 6, 2011 at p06 #

      Ha! I just needed this post. I admit I was falling victim to my mom’s persistent nagging of marriage. My boyfriend “Huh? You were never like this” when I indirectly hinted towards where the relationship was going. It’s true..I was happier not worrying about marriage and just living my own life.

      Like this

    • Glacier June 6, 2011 at p06 #

      Thought of emphasizing a man instead of a woman never really came to me, it just came naturally, I suppose if I was a woman I would written a woman :)

      One has to wonder whether the agents in any marriage, even seemingly content ones can ever do anything challenging or new. It’s like your life being delegated to family, I think some of this is coming from after years of being bossed around by my parents. I have worked too hard on myself to ever derive happiness from another person even if they are children or wife, the added desi way of living has totally killed my marriage bug.

      Even in college I used to be befuddled with the urgency and time people put into relationships, its not like I didn’t have chances but it was there I realized that marriage, kids and a white picket fence is just not my cup of tea.

      If I had not escaped my miserable life I would have been like any other desi 30 something dude out there : balding, pot belly, two and a half spoiled kids, a chapati cooking wife, a minivan, a mortgage, weekends laden with bollywood trash, a coniving, smothering mother, a repressive sadistic father – and then what? in a few years I would have turned into my father & my wife would have turned into my mother, yikes !! Ok I will stop here :)

      People should concentrate on themselves, everyone in the end has to go to their own graves and have to look back at their own lives, in desi world this is a lost concept, people are too busy looking into other people’s lives.

      Dude you and DG think alike. :) Guess this track of thinking happened only after the disaster now we call our belated marriages. Though DG had her doubts about the system even before she got married but it was sold to her in a glossy cover like it is sold to all desi women. But she can definitely say had she not been married and faced the disaster she would have guessed what it could have been had she been…
      The grass on the other side is always green. Reminds DG of all those single women in working women’s hostel waiting to be married and grudging all those who got married…

      Like this

      • Glacier June 12, 2011 at p06 #

        Isn’t it interesting that you called it a ‘system’? Its like watching the movie ‘The Matrix’, the members of the system are so hooked onto it they will do anything to preserve it, that makes it incredibly hard to leave the system. It takes a great deal of patience, careful planning and strength to leave the system.

        Your comment reminded of the day I escaped, I planned it like a millitary mission, drawing out maps, where to go, what to do while everyone was watching me, the facade I had to put everytime I interacted with the members of the Matrix, my mother faking ill health (this was real difficult, its hard putting up a facade), it took me 5 years to come to the conclusion that I have to go, I put up with atleast 10 years of emotional blackmail (the latter 5 was where I started understanding the game, the last five months is where I went over the edge, angry with myself for being duped and wasting my life). There were many occasions where I had planned an escape but failed because fear took over and I entered a deadlocked state of mind, not knowing what to do and eventually failing to leave, this caused a lot of pain because I remained in the system web for longer than I care to remember.

        The best way to look at the desi system is to keep the big picture in mind, what has happened in the past and what will happen in the future. Desis have it worse than other people who experience this because we are taught at an early age how to be codependent, separating yourself maybe easy if you are brought up in a western society where autonomy and independence is promoted.

        It is common in desi communities to blame the ‘naseeb’ of a person, these people don’t realize that it is the choices that you make that will eventually decide what kind of life you lead. Yes I do believe in God (I am a muslim), I usually do not quote scripture but there is a quote I always remember and I am sure it exists in all religion in some form or the other – “God will never change the condition of a people until they change it themselves”, it is stark reminder that I have a choice, for so long I have fought to make that choice.

        Thank you for this blog, you have a knack of writing very clearly without emotion or prejudice, it is a rare quality.

        @Glacier,

        It is a system and it is a process too that has worked with such a precision over centuries that is perfected to the T’s that anyone trying to break out will be tortured so much that it will scare next few generations to think of breaking free. :)

        In any abusive relationship breaking away is the most difficult part because there is not only lots of emotional and physical investment but lots of bad counter balanced by lots of good. Dysfunction, manipulation and control is sold to you is synonymous to a bitter medicine or painful vaccination that is ultimately good for you. Abusers are not bad all the time so it makes it difficult to plot them on the T graph and count pluses and minuses.

        It really requires strategic planning to leave. Where will you go? What will you take with you? What will you do if your allies sabotage your effort everything has to be kept in the mind.

        Ah, tell me about the “naseeb,” “kismat,” “bhagya,” and destiny, fate, luck… there are so many words to shrug of any personal responsibility of inflicting harm on others and sabotaging their efforts towards freedom. Irrespective of religious differences desis have one thing in common here- fate. What you can’t control blame it on the undefined and unforeseeable.
        Yes, God helps those who help themselves instead of waiting for a masiha to come and deliver them.

        DG is assuming both your posts and comments are opening doors for many desi men to a word their domestic agony but none has commented :)

        Thank you for the compliment on DG’s writing style. Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit.

        Peace,
        Desi Girl

        Like this

  3. Giribala March 23, 2011 at p03 #

    I agree with you, Desi Girl! Most of the Indians marry for wrong reasons. Changes are taking place in India, but very slowly. And it’s a universal fact that marriages are not good for women compared to men.

    Very true and scientifically provem Marriages are injurious to women’s health across the globe. :)

    Like this

  4. Indian Homemaker December 4, 2010 at p12 #

    I agree all the reasons you mention are wrong and very common. Happy marriages happen when the two getting married marry for companionship and love and not to get a helper for their mothers or a protector/guardian for themselves. I like this list of simple questions couples could take a look at – because Healthy relationships are Happy relationships.

    Is your relationship healthy?

    http://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2010/02/02/is-your-relationship-healthy/

    Like this

  5. gallas December 2, 2010 at p12 #

    divorce is most genuine liberating experience, revives your outlook, senses if you choose to recognize it positively. even if its not an abusive marriage its better to be single rather than in a loveless one.

    the agony lies in the legal system, the courts take ages to pronounce a verdict; by the time you get one you already stopped thinking what happened.

    So true

    Like this

  6. anjugandhi November 30, 2010 at p11 #

    i think and feel no one is happy in his/her marriage but every one enters into it and tries their level best to make it work.
    regarding anniversary me and my husband don’t wish each other on this day. we hardly celebrate it. i dont know why but both of us feel the same
    i don’t think any couple is perfect. how can they be, two different persons with different personalities, likes and dislikes,
    and some how celebrating marriage anniversaries is just a formality rather a farce. do couples really feel it to be a day worth celebrating? i have seem many couples fighting likes cats and dogs one day before and one day after the big day.

    Like this

  7. Roop Rai November 29, 2010 at p11 #

    oh wow! and here is me … i only see happy couples around me … or maybe that’s how i perceive them? :|
    i am truly happy to be with my husband and think he is too. so DG knows one happy couple now :).

    @Roop Rai,
    Welcome to GGTS, a safe space.
    DG is very happy for you. Hey now she knows a happy couple. Oh, there is Zaira Hakeemshah too. :)

    It seems we are birds of feather flocking together. My folks in my generation are pretty happy, but they are my folks not friends. Friends are special. :)

    Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit.
    Peace,

    Desi Girl

    Like this

  8. Sue November 29, 2010 at p11 #

    Rather sweeping generalisation, don’t you think? It reminded me of college days when we kept hearing of girls who married NRI guys being ill-treated and abused and abandoned in the USA. Those were all real-life stories and yes, it did take me some time to stop tarring all NRIs with the same brush!

    @Sue,
    Welcome to GGTS, a safe space.
    Would you please quote the sweeping generalization you are refering to. GGTS is committed to providing evidence based information and entertainment. DG proof read the post but she could not find a word NRI anywhere in the post :) .

    Here are some resources that may help you understand the NRI issues better. These are peer reviewed resources.
    Warrier, Sujata, (Un)Heard Voices: Domestic Violence in the Asian. American Community
    http://www.vaw.umn.edu/documents/unheardvoices/unheardvoices.pdf
    Natarajan, Mangai. “Domestic Violence among Immigrants from India: What We Need to Know and What We Should Do.” International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal JusticeFall 26(2) (2002) 301-22.

    There are two good studies about abandoned wives abandoned by NRI grooms from Punjab and Kerela. DG will provide you the references once she is able to trace them in her cache’. If you need first hand account DG is one of those beaten, bruised and abandoned. :)
    Please share this message of hope with anyone who may benefit.

    Peace,
    Desi Girl

    Like this

  9. Bikram November 29, 2010 at p11 #

    WEll thats what is life..

    people dont give a damn, a pure relation like friendship is tarnished so what is there to say about love

    soon we will have a society where marriage wont exist, living in relations will be there , come and go as u please will be the motto

    Simple solution…

    Don’t you think marriage is an obselet institution :) Either it needs to evolve or parish? Coming and going is restricted in marriage but what good is to be in marriage and not be there emotionally? The way we read things on GGTS and IHM’s it seems marriage is not very equitable for women at least.

    Like this

  10. preetidutta November 29, 2010 at p11 #

    its same story everywhere … unhappily married or happily seperated ..even when u marry for love , after few days love finds the nearest window and flew out of it ..and then remains the marriage and you to make it work …some keep on going ..some like me and you quit ..

    I recommend your list of ask before marrying to everyone , but then people have their own reasons and reasoning to fall into the pit of marriage ..there are few happy couples that i have seen , and if I look back at the time when they started couting they looked so unusual match , i mean this guy and this girl ..do they have anything in common …and now they are perfect ..happy and loving ..just like the fairy tales..or so it appears :) :)

    I have some incidents to share about my frends as well … will come back again later tonight ..

    Yup seems it is more like hit and miss case. :) You and me are the kind if it works then good or find the nearest exist why be miserable.

    Like this

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Is marriage an overrated institution?? | Shail's Nest - March 24, 2011

    [...] Desi Girl says, marriages were sold to women on glossy covers. [...]

    Like this

  2. Marriages are sold to women in a glossy cover…? « The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker - March 22, 2011

    [...] Desi Girl argues, Marriages are sold to women in a glossy cover, remember once a woman got married she got to wear good clothes and jewelry that was forbidden for single women. [...]

    Like this

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