You’re getting married. Congratulations. I hate to sound like a party pooper, but the excitement of the wedding is going to play games with your brain. Games in which you’ll lose yourself temporarily and feel absolutely giddy with joy. However, all that giddiness will overshadow the important things you need to think about. No, not your lehenga or the jewellery to go with it. There are a few other things that you need to think about because after the wedding, comes marriage. And that, ladies, is when life can really put you to the test.
So, if you want to go into your marriage prepared and fully committed, here are a few questions you should ask yourself and have answers to before the wedding.
1. Is this the person you see yourself actually growing old with?
This isn’t about how your partner will look at 80. This is about going through life together. Growing old comes with numerous significant milestones, some joyful and some tragic. Do you see your partner dropping everything and caring for you if you’re seriously ill? Do you see yourself sitting in silence with your partner even when the sight of their face is enough to irritate you? ‘Growing old together’ doesn’t just mean becoming parents and then grandparents and living the Hollywood dream of a house that’s big enough with a verandah and a garden in a quiet, green neighbourhood. ‘Growing old together’ means being able to tolerate each other when everything else is going to pieces. It means being able to make each other laugh in the toughest of times.
2. What are your individual financial situations? Can you support each other if you have to?
If one of you loses a job or suffers heavy financial losses, can the other offer the necessary support? If your husband loses his income, can you support him? Is he willing to do the same for you? Money may feel like a boring issue when you’re caught up with the wedding preps but it can break your marriage. You need to be clear in your head about your financial situation – both together and as individuals – before making this commitment.
3. What are your views on children? Do they match your partner’s views?
If you want kids, don’t want kids, or aren’t sure yet, this needs to be discussed and communicated clearly to your partner. This isn’t a ‘try-it-and-see’ situation. Having a child is an irreversible decision, whether or not the marriage survives the pressure of parenthood. So, think of all this and decide whether you do or don’t want to raise another human being with your partner.
4. Where do you see yourself five years down the line?
Does this picture involve your partner? If you have to force it or compromise on your dream to include your partner in it, think again. Maybe this isn’t the person you should be marrying. Maybe you should stay single for a while and focus on yourself and your dreams, both personal and professional.
5. Are you being asked to change anything about your life?
Whether it’s learning how to cook or quitting your job, if you’re being asked to make changes in your life that don’t seem okay to you, marriage isn’t worth it. If men don’t have to make these significant changes to their lives after getting married, women shouldn’t be forced into anything either. Even it’s something ‘small’ like being told to make time for a regular social commitment despite your already full schedule, please know that it’s just the beginning. There will be many more such demands of your time in the future. If you are not okay with these changes and compromises, you’re setting yourself up for a life of resentment. And that’s an awful way to live.
6. Are you a hundred per cent okay with your post-wedding living situation?
Will you be living with your in-laws? Will you move to another city? Will you be living in an area that you don’t like? If you have these concerns, discuss them with your partner first. They may be easily resolved. But if you’ve discussed these concerns with your partner and have been told there’s no room for your opinion, run. Remember that this will be your home now, and no one should have to compromise on their comfort in their own home.
7. Does your partner ask about your day?
Yes, I know this sounds really trivial but this is one thing that can begin an endless cycle of resentment over the years. If your partner doesn’t ask or care to listen to you about your day or constantly interrupts you, think hard about what it will be like to live this way. And no, things will not ‘get better after marriage’.
8. Do you like each other’s families?
Do you actually like your in-laws or are you trying to adjust to people who disturb your mental peace? How does your partner behave with your family? How does he talk about his own family and yours when they’re not around? Think hard about this and it will tell you what you need to know about your partner. No matter how much you think that you’re marrying the person and not the family, we all know that’s not true.
9. Why are you getting married?
Don’t say ‘Because I love him.’ This is a question that you need to really, really think about. Why did you decide to get married? Is it because you got sick of your parents pestering you to get married? Is it because you think this is the ‘right age’ to do this? Are you trying to catch up with your friends who had grand, beautiful weddings? Are you doing this because you just want to have a baby? Did you decide to get married as an excuse to quit a shitty job? Did your partner propose and you just couldn’t say no without ending the relationship? If you answered ‘yes’ or even ‘maybe’ to any of these questions, you should think beyond marriage as your only option. Because if you get married for any of these reasons, it won’t be a happy relationship.
Don’t take this decision lightly, ladies. Save yourself the time and effort of trying to fix a marriage that never should’ve existed in the first place.