There’s no doubt that weddings in a Malayali household are indeed the ‘marriage between two families’ (2 states). Yet, we believe that the partners in union with each other need to have a common understanding of a happy life. We have compiled a guide for you to contemplate upon if you are considering to get married in 2021.
Also Read: Why I No Longer Oppose Arranged Marriages
Sneham is Not Everything
‘Enikk sneham mathram mathi’ is a common misconception when we talk about the practical side of marriage. Though love plays an impeccable role in a fulfilling relationship, common trust, mutual honesty, similar thinking also play a major role. The Malayalam industry has often presented us with movies like Love which show us that mere love cannot sustain a relationship. So before you marry someone makes sure you know that you haven’t ‘just fallen in love’ but are ready to live by that love.
Family pressure is NOT an Excuse to Get Married
“Veettukaar nirbandhichu” is not a reason to get married. It may often be difficult to dissuade or reason with our parents who are desperate to find a good match for us. But marrying for their sake puts both your happiness and the relationship you share with your partner at stake. There are even people who are excited to get married after attending their cousin’s weddings but aren’t mentally mature to handle a long-term relationship. So, choose your reasons to get married carefully.
Marriage is a Commitment and a Journey
“Enikk thonunnillia ithu work out aavum” may seem the right thing to say while ending your relationship with your girlfriend/boyfriend but not your spouse. A marriage is a commitment to stick by the person through thick and thin and the ups and downs of life. It may seem difficult but eventually, it becomes a habit. Also, whether you are marrying a stranger or your partner from a long relationship, each day will be a journey. A journey that will make you a better person but will also require you to compromise and sacrifice when necessary. That said, if you aren’t comfortable with your partner and can longer sustain the relationship, you have all the right to break away from it. Over there, your mental health proceeds what ‘naatukaar will think’.
Partners can be Toxic
“Njan koruchu possessive aanu. Deal with it!” is a common dialogue many of us have heard. The movie Love depicted a picture of a couple where both partners were toxic to each other and eventually resulted in physical assault. It is difficult (and sometimes heartbreaking) recognise that your partner can be toxic and to raise your voice against it. Over possessiveness, attempts to control your life, verbal abuses, physical abuses and violence are amongst the few red flags you should look out for. Divorce is a huge step and is rarely seen as an option especially for women who are supposed to ‘adjust’ and continue in a toxic marriage. Signs of toxicity start early and often escalate soon. If you believe you are being toxic, try to work on yourself and vice versa.
Marriage is not a License for Sex
“Kalyanam kazhinja pinne full-time action alle”. Kettyolaanu Ente Malakha showed us a marriage where the husband didn’t know how to consummate but eventually felt it was his ‘right’ and raped his wife. Though sex can be the high point (pun not intended) of married couples, marrying for the sole purpose of sex is absurd and unacceptable. Sex before marriage is frowned upon by society and this uncovered lust by people sometimes drive them to marriage. But evils like marital rape are often refused to be acknowledged because of the ‘you cannot rape someone you love’ idea. The present generation is more outspoken and understands the meaning of consent even between partners. Exploring sexual intimacy between partners in an arranged marriage may take a while compared to a love marriage but it’s important to keep in mind the likes and dislikes of each other.
Minimum Financial Stability is Important
Though we won’t say “paisa aanu ellam”, we would like to reiterate the fact that financial stability is very important. The financial independence of both partners lays the foundation for equality of funds within the relationship. Heavy finances and money should not be criteria for marriage but basic financial stability help keep both partners at ease. Knowing that food shelter and basic necessities are taken care of will allow the couple to enjoy their married life. The couples can always plan for the future and start saving up for more stability.
Self-respect and Ego aren’t the same
“Njan sorry parayilla” to “Njan enthinu eppolum sorry parayanam”, self-respect transitions into an ego. Many see marriage as the balance of powers where one spouse has more say than the other. And during a fight, the spouse with ‘less power’ is supposed to apologise. This progresses to an ego clash where no one is ready to compromise. Marriage is all about understanding that disagreements are different. Being the first one to say sorry or understanding what went wrong in the first place says a lot about self-respect in a marriage. One should also understand that your relationship is more important than being right.
Partners should understand what “Sharing Responsibilities” actually mean
“You are the beef to my porotta.” From cleaning the dishes to raising a child, sharing responsibilities between couples are very important. New-gen couples, where both partners are usually working, myths like ‘women should run the house and men should only earn’ etc. need to be busted. And the perfect way is to share responsibilities. These extend even to finances. Further responsibilities even mean taking care of each other, being there and ensuring that whatever it is, you are in it together.
Communication is key
“Ee kochu entha onnum samsarikyate?” is another common phrase introverts are familiar with. Communicating your feelings and needs to your spouse both for introverts and extroverts is essential for a smooth marriage. Most quarrels or difference in opinions can be resolved by open communication. Communication can also be helpful when you want to talk about uncomfortable things or things that are bothering you. It will definitely draw the married couple closer.
So, are you ready to get married?