Marriage pact, real or not?
Marriage is often lauded for its benefits and the happiness it brings. A lot of people go to great lengths to make their marriage feel and seem perfect. However, wedlock just isn’t meant for everyone. During a recent interview with HT City, when asked why she never tied the knot, Asha Parekh said, “I would just say that I wasn’t destined to get married. Now, when I look back, I feel I’m happy that I never got married.”
When it comes to an average Indian, most people are married by the time they turn 35, and even if one doesn’t want to get married, societal and parental pressures often convince people to take the leap. But, times are changing, and an increasing number of people prefer to stay unmarried, despite being in relationships.
Consultant psychiatrist Dr Ambrish Dharmadhikari says that people these days are of the opinion that marriage is just a social contract and relationships are built through effort and not by social compulsions. Living in, or cohabitation, offers the advantage of freedom,” he says. But clinical psychologist Tanushree Bhargava has a different take on the issue. She says live-in relationships are popular only in bigger cities. She says, “In traditional families, the compulsion to get married at a certain age hasn’t changed much. The change has been seen in metros, where highly qualified and professionally competent youngsters are living a life that is different from their traditional backgrounds.”
MAKING A CHOICE
There’s a big difference between a person who didn’t choose to marry and someone who is unmarried because they didn’t find a suitable partner. Bhargava says people who chose not to marry may have fewer problems in life than those who couldn’t find the right partner. But she adds that staying unmarried can be problematic in the later stages of life. She says, “Staying unmarried throughout one’s life can create mental imbalances, leading to aggression, or mood swings.”