Nov 4, 2011

Marriage - Simply a Convenience ?

This article in yesterday’s newspaper caught my eye. It talks about how singles in their 50s are now looking towards remarriage or Live In relationships. I find the idea very intriguing and interesting! There is no harm in getting married or Living In with somebody even if you are in your 50s. I have always maintained that marriage should not be treated as something one “Must” do at a certain age. Marriage should ideally be meeting of two like minded people who love each other enough to want to spend their lives together – irrespective of the age they are at.
What caught my attention in the article was this one Para :

“Most women still prefer marriage but many say they are fine with live-in companions if they provide them financial security" ………. A 51-year divorcee in Vejalpur, is keen to find a partner with whom she can live to the fullest, watching movies, eating out and travelling. "Once bitten, twice shy, I do not want to get into a marriage without knowing if my relationship with the man will work or not. However, I need financial security and want the partner to put some money in my name first”

What irked me was this Lady’s desire to get married for the sake of “Financial Security”.

Its funny isn’t it that women in their 50s – most of them who have gone through marriages earlier are still looking for a partner just because they need financial security! Expecting financial security or help from your partner once you are in a committed relationship is a different matter but just getting married because you want to be financially secure is so ridiculous.

I wonder what kind of marriage this will be. Obviously a marriage of convenience where the woman will have a Husband to “protect her” and “provide for her economic needs” and to hell with the companionship part! So none of us should be surprised if a man wants to get married because he wants to be “Looked After” – After all the woman is marrying him only for financial security so in return he can expect her to tend to his needs !
On one hand it heartens me to see that women in our country are looking towards Live Ins or second marriages even when they are in their 50s –Such things are generally frowned upon in our society. On the other hand it sickens me that most of them want to get married because of those age old reasons of social acceptance and security.
 I sometimes feel that most marriages in our country are actually nothing but marriages of convenience. Women ideally get married for security, stability and social acceptance and Men because they need to provide a good Bahu to their parents and someone to look after them and their families. Where do love and companionship factor in these marriages?

I wonder what leads to this attitude. Why is it so ingrained in our women that they must look towards male members for financial security? Unless women change this attitude the perception and behavior of the society towards them is not going to change!

Women must realize the importance of financial independence. They must understand that they need to take the responsibility for their own financial well being and not depend on their Father, Brother or Husband to provide for them.

Self reliance is the key here and that self reliance will come from educating and empowering women. Every woman must be educated enough to be able to work and fend for herself if the situation so arises.

What do you think – Is marrying for financial security a good enough reason? Are most marriages in our country simply marriages of convenience?

10 comments:

  1. Live in relationships for those who are 50 and more, even for financial and 'being looked after' reasons (though I found it disappointing too)are a good idea I think. Eventually these things are going to change our society for better, the elderly will not remain as controlling if they have a life of their own, and the age and marital status limit for getting married will eventually disappear.

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  2. @ IHM - I fully agree remarriages and Live Ins for the elderly are a fantastic idea and they will work towards creating a more open minded society. But what I can’t accept is the reason for them – its archaic and ridiculous – society is not going to change for the better unless women take it upon themselves to become more independent and not look towards marriage for security!

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  3. Remarriages and live ins for companionship are a welcome idea and definitely an excellent change when elderly people of our country are going ahead and accepting this change.
    Though the highlighted "importance of a sense of financial security" being the sole concern does raise a sense of worry. But since some positive change in the mindset is beginning to happen, we can only hope such ridiculous reasons on which women base their marriages will also change sooner or later.

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  4. Well all realtions howso ever they are .. are great
    as long as both are happy
    and fine


    Bikram's

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  5. Who said single (widowers, divorcees) men don't want to remarry? I am sure they miss the live-in maid in their lives who can cook, clean for them and look after their children (if any) and fulfill their other essential needs :)

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  6. @theerailivedin: I hope so too .. that since late marriages and Live ins are now acceptable women will start taking a good hard look at the reasons they want to get married !
    @Bikram: hmm .. I Don’t know … are such relationships necessarily happy ?
    @whatsinaname – You’ve hit the nail right on the head!

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  7. For me, marriage is about sharing a life together, living through the ups and downs, being in love and most importantly, being friends. I don't understand how two people can live under one roof just because they want a particular need to be satisfied.

    Maybe people who've been through rough patches lose all their hope in relationships and look at it practically.I don't like so much practicality though!

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  8. @Nisha -welcome here !
    true ! then its just something you are doing to fulfill a need .... friendship and companionship form the basis of a good marriage.

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  9. Financial independence and working outside the home are not enough to give many women a sense of security because they refuse to take responsibility for their lives. It is easier to depend on others and allow them to take the blame for their plight too. It is a sad state of affairs and only women themselves can change it by having some sense of self worth.

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  10. I agree with you...most marriages appear to be for convenience. I must say though, I think when some individuals get married (world over) they do so as a 'must-do' thing...like they have to tick off something on their list. Sadly, again, world-over, there is a weird stigma attached to unmarried individuals. I have a coupel of colleagues in their 40 who are unmarried (women) and are great at their job but when I mentioned this to my friends (again, women) they automatically assume something is wrong! What if someone is just happy being independent and single? Nice post...

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