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Srija was a 18 year old girl. She married her neighbour against her parents wishes. She had accused her parents of trying to separate her boyfriend from her and married him stating that he was her life and love. Parents were aghast but could do nothing. After 6 months into marriage differences cropped up between Srija and her husband. She approached the court finally for divorce and asked her parents for help.

How could have Srija prevented her situation?

  • No marriage is free from conflict. It depends on how you handle the conflict.
    • Srija is definitely too young to handle such conflicts which she is not used to at such an age. She was always pampered by her parents and got what she wanted.

Resolve Conflict

  • Beware of physical attractions.
    • The fact that you are attracted to someone does not mean that you have to get married to him. Several other factors have to be considered before getting married which might include the family of the boy, education and job etc. All these factors play an important role in their livelihoods after marriage.

beware

  • Marriage requires a lot of emotional skills to handle day to day happenings and conversations
    • Skills might include learning when to stay silent and not argue, when to put your opinion firmly and at the same time by not hurting the partner, how to point your partner’s mistakes without an accusatory tone, etc.

 

  • Marriage is not a union of two people but two families.
    • In India, it is hard for two people to get married without any interference from families. Srija had interference from her in-laws at times. She deliberately cut her parents off and felt sad later as she was not getting any support.
    • Think properly and do not impulsively take a decision to let go off your parents who have supported you for all these 18 years both financially and emotionally.

two families

  • In Srija’s case, she had lot of expectations which came down after the honeymoon phase
    • Initially everything was like a fairy tale for her. Later realities like getting the groceries, procuring money for her parlor bills, paying rents, telephone bills, maintaining the house, cooking for both of them struck her really hard.
    • She was not used to all these works and no help from either side of the families got her overburdened, stressed up, which made her irritable and when her husband returned from job interviews with no job at hand, she got even more irritated and they started arguing.

 

  • People like Srija also get influenced by the movies which portray young couples as heros who fight against their parents for their love and to get married while they are in school/ college.
    • To fight and getting married to your love is not heroism. Heroism is to stay together, inspite of all the preventable odds you face, once you are married.

 

  • Sexual desires predominate the initial period of love and few people can not wait until the desires are quenched.
    • There is nothing wrong in liking a person of the opposite sex in this age group. It is quite normal. But one needs to draw a line before advancing sexually or legally getting married. Young people often practice unsafe sex which might be dangerous at times.

 

  • Do not act impulsively. Think and discuss else you might regret.

keep calm and do nothing

  • Parents also have a responsibility to talk to their kids about love and marriage openly once they seem to be understanding and highlight the risks associated with overt attractions.
    • They should talk and listen to their kids problems more keenly and try to empathise with them and try finding solutions rather than scolding them, putting lot of restrictions on them which will make the child to rebel rather than listen.

Marriage is a union which if healthy, would create happy families, happy kids and thus leads to a healthy and happy society. No wonder it is the backbone of our culture and thus we all have a responsibility to raise awareness to reduce the distress in marriages and to prevent divorces from happening.

Dr Jyothirmayi is a Psychiatrist

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