Love Or Arranged- Marriage is Marriage

Here at The Mom Views, I hardly ever talk about my personal life except for may be an occasional picture or two. But recently I have been itching to write on a topic which is as old as men & women themselves. Love Marriage Vs Arranged Marriage.

This blog is all about Parenting and I reckon sometime in the future I might have to give some relationship advice to my daughter (since husband will never accept that his lil princess has grown up enough to have a relationship let alone a marriage). So I am taking this opportunity to record for posterity my thoughts on Love marriage, Arranged Marriage, Marriage and a Happy Marriage.

A Little Background
I met my husband when we both were in our teens ( no high school romance though) and now I have known him for almost 14 years which for most people is a lifetime. Ours was no fairy tale romance with electrifying chemistry or hot-headed promises of bringing the stars or moon. It was rather a friendship of stolen glances, quiet admiration and mutual trust which slowly developed into love (I am hesitant to use this word because it is used too callously nowadays).

Within a few months of knowing each other my husband went to a different state for his study of medicine and we started a hesitant, long distance relationship. In the age of smartphones, texting, Facebook likes and instant messaging, our relationship might look like a quaint and vintage love story. A story where the boy met the girl once in may be two months and talked on the phone once in a fortnight.

It took almost 4 years for us to realize that this was more than a strong liking to and a marriage to each other was inevitable. Yes, inevitable because we knew that we balanced and made each other happy in a way that no one else could. Although soul mates is an extremely loaded word, what we felt for each other can only be described like that.

The Long Way Ahead
Once we were sure that we wanted to get married it was now the turn for our families to agree. Oh, by the way did I mention that I happen to be a Keralite Catholic and my husband a Hindu Punjabi. Yeah, that!!

For a few years there was a lot of passive aggression shown by both sets of families, constant nagging (mainly our moms), strong silent spells (mostly our dads) and petty taunts (the relatives-but that is their job right!!). The one thing that we never faced was the ugly side of such relations. No one from his family was ever mean to me or vice-versa.

Eventually after 4 more years, it took my husband’s 86 year old grandmother to show the light to our families. She emphatically put her foot down and said that they have been together for too long to change their ways. Since we were pretty clear that our marriage had to be solemnized with the blessings of everyone and our parents had pretty much resigned to the fact that their children might remain unmarried for ever if they did not agree, our marriage was fixed.

The next few months were a blur. Understanding each other’s rituals and customs, getting the extended families on board with the marriage, finalizing the wedding plans and so on. Finally on a cold wintry and rainy day my husband and I got hitched to each other both in a church and by hindu customs (all in the same day). His relatives could not compliment enough the peaceful and beautiful service in the church and the delicious malayali food. My relatives from Kerala were over the moon having witnessed a true blue Punjabi wedding (“Just like the movies”). Everyone was happy and no one could have been euphoric than me and my husband to see every one rejoice in our happiness.

Down the Road
It has been almost six years of marriage and our relationship has had its share of ups and downs. From my struggle to fit into the family (I started speaking real Punjabi within one year of marriage), my inner turmoil of remaining true to my self, the birth of my beautiful daughter to the daily chaos of our lovely life-Life has been pretty much a roller coaster and Wedded Bliss can certainly be used for our life.

Life may not have panned out exactly like we pictured, there were some unexpected twists and turns in our life which put a lot of pressure on us. There were times when I smiled, cried, screamed and laughed so hard that my ribs hurt. But what remained constant was our admiration of each other ( we are each other’s biggest cheer leaders) and the mutual trust.

What I learnt about Marriage so far
Marriage begins the day you are done with your wedding. There is only a LOVE WEDDING OR AN ARRANGED WEDDING. But Marriage? It is the same for everyone whether the couple has met each other ten years ago or ten days ago.

Marriage is a work-in-progress. Even after knowing my husband for around 14 years, there are things about him that constantly surprise me ( some pleasantly, some not so much!) and I am sure it is the same with him. It really does not matter whether you have known a person for a long time because when you live with them, they WILL BE DIFFERENT. What matters is how accepting you are of them, how accommodating you are and how much of a sense of humor do you have. Trust me, sense of humor should be a prerequisite for marriage.

Adjustment is good but Compromise is a no-no. When you adjust with each other it means that you give and take space to remain true to yourself while making sure the other person is not uncomfortable. But when you compromise then you change who you are, which is never good for anyone.

Marry for the right reasons. Do not marry some one because they are a habit or because you think you can change them. No one changes or for that matter should change for another person because then it is never sustainable. If a person changes from within, it should be self driven because that it is the only way it will remain permanent.

You should grow old with each other. Not just literally but figuratively too. Often one person remains the same through out their marriage while the other person keeps growing their personality, their life and their minds. After a few years they find that they are living with a stranger. Both partners should grow together. Communication, respect, friendship, freedom and love (again that word!) are the must haves for any relation to grow and maintain itself over a period of time.

I have nothing against arranged marriages, where families come together to join two people in holy matrimony, provided the couple is banking on more than just their families to keep the marriage working. Similarly love marriage is not evil as long as the two people involved know that chemistry is not everything because eventually you need the patience, maturity, the security of relationships and the experience of elders to keep the fire going. A love marriage which gets arranged (like ours did) is probably the best scenario but keep in mind that marriage is hard work whether you fall in love before the wedding or after.

If you would like to read more opinions on this topic and may be some more real love stories then a good place to start is probably the facebook page of Sony Television’s new tv show-Love Marriage Ya Arranged Marriage. Trust me, everyone has an opinion on this!

If you have any marriage advice you would like to share with the readers or may be your kids in future

then don’t forget to comment below

Disclosure: I am entering this post on Indiblogger-Sony TV Love Marriage or Arranged Marriage contest. Every vote means a compliment from you guys, so don’t forget to vote on Indiblogger now.