Monday, February 16, 2009

"Kabool, Till Death Do Us Part"

As we progress into the world with many advances in various aspects of our lives, at times I question myself if we really are moving forward and whether this progress is for the good or the bad? Let's look at the basic institution of marriage, a practice that has been exercised since before time. Marriage? How has it changed? My oh my, has it changed from when our parents started to get married. Just for the record, this post is not going to be of a femi-nazi one where I just focus on how women have advanced in general, or nor is it going to be an IT geek post where I focus on how technology has really gone above and beyond.

Back in the day, if you think about it, making a marriage last for 50-60 years was key and the norm. Then, the couples barely knew each other prior to the wedding night. Heck, I know many who didn't even meet their spouses until they were supposed to consummate their I Dos, (Our grandparents and their contemporary) and yet their marriages have lasted for 30+ years. If my grandfather was alive today, they would be celebrating their 67th wedding anniversary this year...

Today it seems that a couple should receive a gold medal if they can even make it to 5 years, forget the 10's come down to 5 now. It amazes me when couples really get heartfelt congratulations when they celebrate every milestone anniversary. Actually it scares me more than amazes me that of all the weddings that I have attended in the last let's say 5 yrs, about 95% of them have ended in divorce in less than one year of marriage. In fact a good number of them called it quits within the first 3 months!!! 3 months?!?! Yes! 3 months is nothing if you think of it. Time flies like no tomorrow these days. It seems you spend more time prepping for the whole wedding shebang than actually give a chance to the marriage. As a joke, I was telling my friends that the new milestone anniversary should be the first 6 months. The other day, I was yapping with my cousin in Bangladesh, who every time I speak to asks me when I am going to visit, and I was telling her that I was just there a year ago. We debated this issue for a good 10 mins only to find that it has been over 2 yrs already that I've been to Dhaka!! (Side note: I need to go visit!) I just couldn't believe how fast the time flew!! Forget that, I can't even believe that the young me is going to attend my 10th High school reunion in October this year! Ok I'm going off tangent. But my point is that if time really flies so fast, how are these marriages lasting less than 3 months? That's like saying, if you were to compare, these marriages are lasting only a week. I just don't get it! Marriage isn't a game where you get married and then 2 weeks later you decide that you aren't compatible anymore therefore you get a divorce. What happened to THE ONE!! You've waited all this time, met each other, did you not foresee all this? That's just insulting the institution!!! Seriously people!!! You're making singletons, like myself, jaded about the whole concept of marriage!

What is this "sense of incompatibility" that is making all these couples not stick together? Shouldn't they have addressed all these issues before tying the knot? Is it so imperative that you break up because he leaves the toilet seat up or the fact even though she is an OCD cleaner, she doesn't even know how the oven works? Okay, before I go ranting off to the many petty reasons a marriage doesn't last; let me analyze this to the best of my ability with the many theories that could be out there. FYI...none of these theories are scientifically proven through's just what I think are the causes for break up.

Theory # 1: "Ooh Paris, Senior Vice President Promotion, Blind Date no. 33, ok fine, I will get married instead."

It's a no-brainer...There are too many options out there. It's not about not being able to lead a monogamous lifestyle but it's more about having too many things to do or accomplish in life that's the issue. When you are single, you really don't have to worry about a spouse's opinion hence the lack of feeling bogged down and not being able to do things at your own whim. At that stage, it's no longer an "I" as it is a "WE" or "US" instead.

For example, year after year you slave away at the same job and then one day, you get the opportunity of working at an exotic location. A new city, cuisine, locales to discover, and in an essence, a new you to unravel. If you were single, you could just pick up your bags and leave your current life to experience the new. Whereas if you were married (or some would argue that the situation could be same when you are attached but not legally bound), you would be compelled to think twice about the trip. Adjustment, commuting, long-distance issues and so forth. If you look were to look at the other side of the coin, back in the day, if the husband had to move somewhere for work, then that would be that. The entire family would have to move. So in a way, it’s good that a person actually cares for their significant other’s feelings but in reality, does it come with a grain of salt? Like let’s say when the relationship gets slightly sour or one random night when the couple gets into a fight, does regret seep in? “I could have gone to Timbuktu but noo… I had to think about you, the family, MY FAMILY!”

Theory # 2: “And Now the Double Jeopardy question, Define commitment?”

What does it mean when a person says, “I'm really not ready for a commitment”? Before I give my take on this theory, let’s look at hypothetical situations that could occur between couples but at different times in the course of their relationships.

Scenario # 1 Boy and Girl meet each other; they go on a date but at the end of the date one or both declare that they are not ready for a commitment. Clearly, I would say that this is probably a good time to mention this statement because it gives one/both of the players a moment to decide do they want to 1) casually date this person and not expect anything out of it or 2) not waste time and call it quits and move on to catch another fish who is willing to “settle down”. Agree?

Scenario #2 Boy and Girl meet each other, date for a few months or maybe closer to more than a year or so, and then one of them says they are not ready for a commitment anymore. Is this justifiable? You’ve already wasted/spent this amount of time with the person. There are two takes on this. Although you have spent time with the person at least they had the decency to tell you that it is not working out and want different things, and then you break off. If you can’t live without each other then the room for getting back together is there. The other take is that ok you’ve spent this much time with this person and all of a sudden when you want to move the relationship to the next level, your significant other says they aren’t ready for a commitment, you get frustrated because you feel that you had been cheated for those time lost since you aren’t getting any younger and want to settle down in life so other things can fall into place.

Scenario # 3 Boy and Girl meet each other, they date, they get married and then soon after marriage one of the partners say they weren’t ready for this commitment and want a divorce. Is it justified? Let’s say the first time the couple meets, they meet in the pretext of being set up for an arranged marriage, one person goes along with it to keep the family content and then after marriage want to break it off. Now is that justified? How would one respond to that?

So looking at all three scenarios, what can we say that is causing these scenarios to happen? Is it suffocation? Childishness? Well that is definitely the case in scenario 3 but I think it is more about having the lack of “balls” pardon my French to come clean to the person ahead of time and letting them know what they really want in life. I mean seriously, I can understand mentioning this before going through the whole wedding process…but after? Shouldn’t you be sure that if you are going to marry a person then you should know for sure that this is the person you want to live with for the rest of your life…till death do you part??Not only are you shattering your significant others’ dreams but also their belief in the marriage/ commitment system. I understand that there are some people out there who are hardcore not marriage material and in all honesty they should remain single for the rest of their lives. These people are just not cut out for marriage. They have mini relationships and move along and I think that should be enough for them but then they should keep themselves in scenario # 1 and not force themselves to be in Scenario 3. I’m really not going to discuss scenario 1 because it’s been predefined. However for scenario 2, it’s still a little iffy but even then you learn from the experience and move and really grow and understand what you really want your next partner for life. Thoughts? Comments?

Theory # 3: Hmm Marriage, does it have a return policy?

Over the years, women have advanced in a faster pace in their careers, standard of living and etc not only by just getting an education; a college degree. So when comparing them to the men of today, it seems that they are more qualified than most men hence creating instances where men are not living up to the female “standards”. This leads women having a harder time to settle for a man who is not up to the mark because as history shows it that most men have tendencies to suffer from inferiority complexes with their women hence creating more problems in the relationship than is necessary. Now I'm not saying all men, I know many men out there who would gladly sit at home on their buttocks and let their women be the breadwinner. I guess it could be more of an ego issue. So for a woman, a man having a penis and a bank balance isn’t enough. But then again I'm sure a lot of men out there are equally having a hard time to find a woman who can match up their standards so I guess in a way it could be a two way street. However if you look at reality, men have a bigger pool to choose from than women do. I wonder if the divorce rate is higher with women who settle for someone who is not the complete definition of what they are looking for? It's worth the look into...

Most people say that once they get married, it’s the lack of compatibility that breaks the couple apart. I personally feel that it’s not about lack of compatibility but it is more lack of compromise that is the issue. Back then, you met the girl/ boy and you got married and you live happily or miserably ever after and that was that. There was a lot of room for compromise. Even at age 85, you would still compromise. I think most people today are not willing to compromise because there are so many options out there and are not willing to work on the relationship maybe due to lack of patience and/time. There is such little effort these days into making a marriage work that I’ve seen marriage last less than a month. Can you believe it? Yes, less than a month.

So anyway, I’ve said a lot on this and am looking to hear/ read your responses and take on this topic.

But I must say that interestingly enough as I was writing this blog, I came across a few interesting articles on how men are preferring to remain bachelors because they are afraid to get into a bad marriage. Google this article topic and you will find a great deal amount on it. They are worth the read. I probably will have to update this entry but it’s really late now and I'm really not in the mood to give men some benefit of the doubt…HEHE…just kidding…I do trust them…or at least some of them. Until Next Time…Sleep Tight me AMIGOS!

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