As a 23 year old female, the topic of my marriage has been brought up countless times. I am, as they say, in my ‘prime’. Due to this, I’ve been more and more aware of the marriages and relationships around me. Trying to find what makes them tick, what to know, what to look out for and to see how much of it is basically just luck. Does one ever really know?
The kind of community and family that I come from, love marriages (i.e. non-arranged marriages) are rare. I’d even go to say that about 95% of the marriages of people close to me are based on arrange marriages and they are happy. They have spent 50 years if not more together, with kids that adore them and a life that is what one would say, as perfect as it could get. But the one thing that I am constantly reminded of is the fact that it wasn’t easy. That everyone had to sacrifice a lot to get where they were. I understand that, I mean they don’t say marriage is work without reason. I’ve seen it with my own parents, I’ve seen it with countless others. There is work that needs to be put in but the benefit is that the outcome is wonderful. You have a best friend and you have a beautifully happy, difficult, but happy life.
But my issue lies in the fact that how do you know, from a meeting or two, that this is the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with. How do you know that they are made for you and that this is the right decision. Above all else, how can you decide to get married to someone not knowing and then just making it work. Does it require a certain amount of sacrifice, a certain, settling. But what if all that settling is for nothing, what if it isn’t worth it at 20-30 years down the line.
I say this and I have this fear because I see it with my Grandmother. My grandfather is an amazing man, do not get me wrong. He is a great father, one of the best, and he loves my grandma a lot, and whatever they have now they have built together. But, my Grandma is a selfless person, one that despite everything listens to my Grandfather and lets him get his way, no questions asked. And because of that she is taken advantage of – a lot. What I find hard is how do you decide where to draw the line between being selfless and settling and between when you decide to do what’s important and necessary for you. As a woman in my society, or any society for that matter, how do you decide to how much is enough? and should you even have to decide or should we just be those individualistic people and take care of ourselves first.
Which is better, and how do you decide?