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Importance Of An Old Age Marriage

Marriage is normally seen as a union between two young people across the world. In India also, the search for a bride or groom normally starts the moment a child attains majority. However, have you ever thought that even old people have the right to remarry? Most of you would have never given it a thought. Even if you had, then the very concept would have made you uncomfortable.

You can think from the other perspective. Old people, who have lost their partner, have already fulfilled their responsibilities of upbringing their children, settling them in their career, and finally marrying them. The children are busy handling the challenges of their own life. They hardly have any time to spend with their parents. Some of the children are not even staying with their parents. Though grandchildren in many cases turn out to be a big support system but that does not last long due to long hours in schools followed by activity classes, exams, and so on.

Importance Of An Old Age Marriage

Now imagine the loneliness of an old parent who has nobody with whom he can share his life, inner feelings, and problems. Therefore, many old people fostered the courage to voice their desire to marry. Some could manage to wither the storm of resentment from the society whereas others gave up and lived with embarrassment.

Despite a conservative attitude to old age marriages, they are on a rise in urban India. Old people normally do not go out of their way to search for a partner. They normally come across such individuals in social gatherings. The marriage is arranged on a low-scale with few family members and friends. Alternatively, court marriages are considered to be an ideal way of marrying in such cases.

Such marriages take place mainly to fulfill the need of companionship and security. However, the interests of children are always kept first while taking the decision to marry or not. If any harm or inconvenience to them is foreseeable, then old people sacrifice their own wish.

After the marriage, depending upon the comfort level of the children, the couple decides to stay with them or separately. Normally, legalities relating to inheritance of assets are worked out earlier to avoid the possibility of dispute between step brothers and sisters. Some people belonging to affluent families marry and move abroad to avoid stinging remarks of people or abandonment from the society in extreme cases.

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Evils of Child Marriage

Child marriage is a type of marriage in which either the boy or the girl or both are minors. A girl below 18 years of age and a boy less than 21 years is considered to be a minor. It is a violation of human rights whether it happens to a boy or a girl. ‘Child marriages happen only in India.’ This statement is a myth. As per a report by UNICEF, globally 36 percent of the women between the age group 20-24 years were married as minors. Evils of Child Marriage

Child marriage is the most prevalent form of girl child exploitation in India. At an age where they are still exploring themselves, they are forced to behave like matured adults and take charge of responsibilities. When they fail to perform at their tender age, they are either rebuked or abandoned by the family. Moreover, girls are separated from their friends and family. They are restricted within the walls of the house. They cannot interact much with their parents, peers, and neighbors. Most of them give up their education to take part in household work. They are taught to be obedient and submissive.

Young girls also become victims of sexual abuse and harassment. Neither can they insist their husband on taking precautions nor can they refuse his demand for physical relationship. This leads to premature pregnancy. It is estimated that around 14 million girls between the ages of 15 and 19 give birth each year. In most of the cases, both boy and girl are not aware of serious health risks like HIV/AIDS and other transmitted diseases.

In a country where around 26 percent of the population is below poverty line, parents opt for child marriages out of economic necessity. Minor girls are married to older men in lieu of money or land. Some parents see it as a way to protect their girls from lecherous eyes of landlords, prevent inter-caste affairs, and shift their burden on another person.

The government of India has enforced ‘The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006 (PCMA)’ to make such marriages a legal offence. Simultaneously, many NGOs are working to make its followers aware of the evils of such marriages. Despite all the efforts, child marriages are still widely prevalent in many parts of the country, especially in rural areas. The only way to discourage such practice is to bring about a change in the outlook of people.

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Love Marriages in India

Love marriage is no longer a new concept in Indian culture. It is still tabooed in small towns and cities but the phenomenon is witnessed largely in urban and semi-urban areas. Irrespective of caste, creed, culture, and status, more and more people are opting for such form of union. A marriage is called a love marriage when a boy or a girl love each other, decide to marry, and introduces their partner to their respective family members. Here, an individual’s likes takes precedence over the preference of the parents. Remember that marrying a person of your own choice is a challenging task in our society. One needs immense emotional strength and convincing power to seek family’s consent for the wedding. Love Marriages in India

Considering the rigidity of our social system, there are a number of issues that oppose love marriages. The most important issue is the possibility of a caste or religion difference between the families. Parents are reluctant to send their children in an alien cultural setting fearing that they might find difficult to adjust in a new culture. Moreover, other issues like financial and status differences might spoil the marital relationship later in life. Even today, any problems in horoscope compatibility make parents oppose the marriage. A love marriage can also become unsuccessful if the partners are merely infatuated and not in love with each other. In some cases, if they had spent little time together and hardly know each other well, then such marriages fall when reality sets in.

Love marriages also have a brighter side. If two people, who love each other a lot and decide to live together for the rest of their lives, can overcome all problems with great ease. Moreover, every individual has a right to know the person well before tying the nuptial knot. Such marriages provide an opportunity to know about the temperament, ambitions, and expectations of the person before the marriage. Love marriage easily does away with the dowry practice. Parents are not under any obligation to fulfill each other’s expectations. It also helps to instill bonding and understanding between the partners much before the wedding.

As parents are becoming sensitive to their children’s feelings, a new trend of love-cum- arranged marriages have become popular in the country. Children choose the partner and the parents accept their choice and arrange for the wedding ceremony. The ceremony is almost same like an arranged marriage but without any strict protocols.

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Arranged Marriages in India

Arranged marriages have been an integral part of the Indian tradition since ages. In India, family values and expectations take precedence over individual preferences even in matters like marriage. A marriage is termed as arranged when family members select a boy or a girl for their child, and the child is expected to marry their choice without any question. In an ideal arranged marriage, courtship period is not allowed. Selection of a partner is based upon similarities between culture, values, and financial strength of the two families trying to strike a new relationship.

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The other people involved in this match-making activity can be marriage agents, priests, matrimonial sites or trusted family members or friends. The compatibility between the boy and the girl is gauged by matching their horoscopes and other credentials.

In ancient times, the bride and the groom met each other for the first time only on the day of their wedding. They were neither informed about their partner nor were they allowed to chat before marriage. However, over a period of time, the institution of arranged marriage has undergone a change. Now, parents look for a suitable match and seek consent of their child. After a formal engagement ceremony, the boy and the girl can chat on phones and meet often before their wedding. This makes it easier for them to open up and develop bonding and understanding.

The marriage ceremony is solemnized as per the rites and rituals of the families. The protocol for entertaining the guest is extremely formal. Utmost care is taken by the girl’s side to show extreme hospitality to the boy’s family to avoid any discontentment.

Arranged marriages are preferred because both the families come together to save the marriage when problems arise between spouses. The onus of a successful marriage falls on the parents and not on their children. Secondly, it is believed that compatibility between families makes it easier for children to quickly adjust to a new environment. They are protected from adjustment problems that arise due to caste, status, financial, and cultural differences.

Such type of marriages also has flaws. The partners may not know each other well before marriage. They are influenced by their family members to remain formal during the courtship period. Opinion conflicts and ego clashes may arise when they start living together forcing them to part ways. Dowry is another evil integral to this marriage system.

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Attitude towards Inter-Caste Marriages In India

‘Unity in Diversity’ is a statement commonly used to refer to India. It means that though India has a rich heritage of different cultures, castes, and religions yet it is united in its feeling of being an Indian. Such feel-good statements are generally used in newspapers, magazines, talk shows, etc. to show the brighter side of the nation. However, the reality is quite different. India is a country that witnesses caste conflicts through communal riots, atrocities on the lower caste, and opposition to inter-caste unions.

Attitude towards Inter-Caste Marriages In India

Inter-caste marriage is one such union where the staunch castiest nature of people comes on the surface. It has challenged the strong foundation of the institution of arranged marriages. Inter-caste marriage is an arrangement where a boy and a girl belonging to different caste decide to enter into wedlock. As per the rural culture of small towns and villages, marriage or even an intention to marry a person of different caste brings disgrace to the family of both the boy and the girl. Family members don’t hesitate to kill their beloved brother or sister, son or daughter, niece or nephew in order to set an example for others and save the family from disgrace. Such honor killings speak about the sad state of real India.

However, urban India has still accepted the concept of cross marriage to an extent. Such types of marriages are on a rise in metro cities because more and more females are going out to study or work. As a result both boys and girls get an opportunity to mingle with each other, which in turn, may lead to relationships more than friendships. Secondly, financial independence, and exposure at an early age has empowered the youth to take critical decisions of their lives independently. They are not dissuaded by the fear of been disowned by their families. On the other hand, parents fear separation from children if they oppose the union. In most of the cases, parents then accept the liking of their children for their happiness and for saving the family bonding.

A certain section of people, irrespective of their caste, creed, and status have started realizing that a successful marriage sustains on mutual understanding and compatibility. It is not imperative that the partners have to belong to the same culture to know each other better. Today, there are many cases where people belonging to two different cultures are living happily.

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Changing Trends in Indian Marriage

The Indian society is undergoing a drastic change due to economic prosperity and the Internet revolution that has exposed people to social trends prevalent across the world. Marriage has turned out to be the most revolutionized institution of our conservative Indian society. The way people perceive marriage, organize ceremonies, take vows, and build relationships are changing in tandem leading to a new face of the Indian society.

Changing Trends in Indian MarriageTraditionally, parents found the match for their children and the marriage was formalized strictly as per the rituals. The ceremonies were very formal and the objective was to please the boy’s family as much as possible. Today, many children are choosing their own partners and prefer opting for court marriages to avoid arguments over rituals between the families. In other cases, parents accept their children’s choice and take charge of solemnizing the relationship with utmost pomp and show.

 

Earlier, the boy and the girl were not allowed to meet before the marriage. They saw each other only on the day of marriage. Eventually, it gave way to phone chats and then few meetings in the presence of a family member before the marriage. But today in the 21st century, both the partners try to spend maximum time together. They even buy their marriage trousseau together and spend long hours chatting on phone.

Unlike yesterday, many girls are working before marriage and they put forward their condition to continue working after marriage. As a result, girls are managing both their personal and professional lives smoothly. This, in turn, has dissolved the demarcation between gender roles. Today, boys are equally involved in household chores as girls. On the other hand, girls are also providing financial support in time of need.

As joint family system is being replaced by nuclear families, the closeness and the level of comfort between the partners is increasing. They have ample space to talk and strengthen their relationships. In a joint system, the partners spent very few hours together because of lack of space due to a large number of members in the family. This acted as a bottleneck in removing communication gap between the couple.

An increase in the women employment ratio and the number of women-centric laws has led to the empowerment of women financially and mentally. Now, it is not easy to subject her to any sort of harassment because she is equipped with all the means to live an independent life.

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Factors For A Successful Marriage

Though there is a difference in the customs and rituals to solemnize marriages across the world yet the values and attitude that sustains a marital relationship are same everywhere. A marriage is deemed successful when a husband and wife are willingly staying together and have feelings of love and affection for each other. In situations where the couple is staying under the same roof out of compulsion or for the sake of children cannot be called a happy successful marriage.

Factors For A Successful Marriage

Nurturing a successful marriage is like nurturing a small child. You have to carefully build a strong foundation, grow mature while withering ups and downs in the relationship, and evolve a relationship based on trust and understanding.

Making your marriage a success sounds to be a daunting task. Remember, it’s not. One simply needs to take care of little things to enjoy marital bliss. Given here are some of the factors for a successful marriage.

 

Communication

A steady communication is necessary to sustain a connection between the partners. The hectic schedules hardly leave any time for couples to interact with each other. Therefore, pick up a phone or log on to a chat messenger and talk with your partner whenever possible. You can discuss your daily happenings revolving around friends, family, children, etc. Remember never discuss issues of contention on the phone. Patiently wait for your partner to come home, relax, and then discuss face-to-face.

Trust

Trust is the building block of any relationship. If trust breaks then nothing can sustain a marriage. So, the simple rule is ‘Stay Away From Infidelity.’ Moreover, introduce and keep your partners inform about your female or male friends. For example, always inform your partner when going for a lunch or tea with the friend.

An element of friendship

A couple should treat each other like friends with whom you share, have fun, fight yet love immensely. A friendly element removes formalities between wife and husband thereby enabling them to discuss openly about their feelings and wants. You can crack jokes, pull each other’s leg, and indulge in good humor.

Patience

We all get bogged down when expectations from our partners go unfulfilled. But ensure never to abuse, blame, or get angry with the partner. You need to respect the fact that every person is unique. He cannot always become what you want him to become. Therefore, discuss amicably what you expect instead of thrashing out all the time.

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Planning For a Marriage Trousseau

An Indian marriage is full of fun and excitement. It is a phase of life where every boy and girl becomes a celebrity for few days. All eyes are on them. People critically observe their looks, clothes, deportment, and way of speaking, and so on. Their appearance takes the top priority and therefore trousseau plays a pivotal role in shaping the overall physical appearance.

Planning For a Marriage Trousseau

Though good clothing is still not important for a groom in India but it is indispensible for a bride. In the bride’s house, shopping for the wedding trousseau is a mammoth task that begins months before the wedding. Every girl cherishes to have the best of things in her trousseau within the given budget.

 

Some of the tips that can lessen your hassle of shopping and help you shop objectively are given below:

Firstly, take a notepad to jot down all details related to shopping. This will help you track your purchases, money spent, and revise your shopping goals. Identify and pen down the broad categories and their sub-categories under which you will list down the items you need. Some of the common categories are:

· Daily Accessories

· Cosmetics

· Nail paints

· Make-up kit

· Imitation ornaments

· Handbags

· Perfumes

· Talc

· Shoes

· Party wear

· Casual

· For home

· Clothing

· Indian clothing

· Western clothing

· Honeymoon Trousseau

Categorization gives you a snapshot of your needs and helps you to take buying decisions intelligently. You will not get confused and go haywire during the shopping spree.

Secondly, always make decisions keeping in mind the budget. Your aim should be to optimize your purchases within the allotted financial resources. If you have ample time before the wedding, you can wait and buy things during the discount season. You should also visit wholesale markets to get the best at the cheapest price.

Thirdly, prioritize your purchases as per your future requirement. Standard items like accessories and lingerie can be brought in good amount whereas restrict buying too many heavily embroidered wear because you will require them only for few months after the marriage.

Fourthly, ensure that you have all colors in the trousseau. Avoid having any one particular color dominating your collection.

In the groom’s trousseau, the most important item is his wedding dress and the reception suit. The main focus should be on the stitching to get a perfect fit.

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Building a Healthy Marriage

People normally believe that marriage is a gamble. Its success or failure is mere destiny. However, as per counselors and psychologists, marriage is an institution that needs to be dealt objectively to make it strong. Giving up a marriage should be the last step only after all the efforts to save the marriage fails. But trend shows that couples who work towards building a marriage from the beginning lead a happy married life.

Building a Healthy Marriage

Some of the tips given here can help you strengthen your nuptial tie. To make these tips effective, always remember that making or breaking a marriage is in your hands.

Respect the family

Every child invariably develops a strong bonding with people who nurtured him and befriended him during his growing days. Therefore, it is advisable to you to always respect people who are important in your partner’s life. Complaining about them all the time may hurt your beloved or make him defensive about them.

Constructive criticism

Criticize people in a way that it seems you are only concerned about some untoward behavior. Your intention is to deal with such people and not brusquely abuse them. This helps in dealing with sensitive issues without creating any misunderstandings.

Give space

Marriage should not be mistaken for slavery. Every individual needs some space or alone time in life even from his partner. By giving space, your partner won’t love you less or make you less important in his life. Instead, it helps to retain the charm of a marriage.

Mutual decision

Maintaining a balance is very important to build a marriage. You should not try to dominate or overshadow your partner. All important matters should reach a mutual decision no matter how hard you both have to try to reach a consensus. In trivial matters, you can decide independently but keep your partner informed about it.

Dissolve ego

Ego is considered to be the most common cause of broken marriages. When both the partners decide not to bent, no solution can be reached. Hence, don’t let the evil of ego overpower you. If your partner is angry, you can apologize and prevent things from getting worse.

Spent time together

With both the partners working, they hardly spend time together. In worse cases, they hardly see each other during weekdays. Therefore, make it a point to grab some time to chat with your partner everyday. This way you remain connected with your beloved.

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Conflicts in Marriage

Marriage is an arrangement where conflicts are bound to happen. In terms of marriage, conflicts refer to disagreements over issues arising in day-to-day life. Conflicts can arise over children, relatives, finance, and personal expectations from each other. In all such cases, it is important to know that conflicts should not lead to heated arguments that hurt sentiments. It can be detrimental for a healthy marriage.

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Some of the common causes for conflicts in a marriage are:

Taken for granted attitude

As marriage gets older, an increase in responsibilities generally changes the priorities of partners. Hence, they start taking each other for granted in every situation. They find it a waste of time and effort to deal with the partner’s complaints. Moreover, they are not careful regarding the choice of words in an argument. Such an attitude leads to strong conflicts between couples.

Lack of respect

In some cases, people no longer find their partner as worthy as earlier. Girls, for instance, give up their career to bring up their children. This sometimes make them less knowledgeable compared to working women thereby making them less competent in their husbands’ eyes.

Lack of satisfaction

It is a simple Economics rule that ‘Needs are unlimited but the means to satisfy them are limited.’ The same principle applies to a marriage. Couples who are never satisfied with what they have and spend time demanding or complaining about it will ruin their happiness. However, couples should try to strive for with lot of patience.

Misunderstandings

When partners use vague statements to convey their expectations, it leads to misunderstanding that again leads to more misunderstandings. Misunderstanding is a result of communication gap between the partners. It leads to counter-attack and defensive statements from both the partners thereby worsening the situation.

Shying away from responsibilities

Duties and responsibilities is a part of the marriage parcel. In today’s fast-moving life, it is impossible for one partner to take over all the responsibilities. A clear demarcation between the jobs is also difficult. There may be situations where a woman has to go to work and a man has to take a leave to baby-sit. When such co-operation is missing, conflicts arise.

Being critical

No human being is perfect. People in marriage generally forget this universal law. They tend to be critical about every action or behavior of their partner to prove themselves right. This may lower the self-esteem of the affected partner.

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