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Marriage is not only a social custom but a culture also. Most of the human societies, all over the world, agree unanimously that the persons reaching the matured age must marry. This ‘must’ is very tuff to be fulfilled as the mate selection is a very difficult task in the life of a person. Socrates has said, “My advice to you is to get married. If you find a good wife, you will be happy; if not, you’ll become a Philosopher.” This quote is subjective and satiric also as the credit to make Socrates a Philosopher goes to his former wife who was most probably quarrelsome; but the latter, named Xanthippe, was a noble lady. Any way, the youngsters, both male and female, have the equal right to select an ideal spouse for him/her and anyone of them need not be a Philosopher!
Marriage is one of the most important relationships in human life. Moreover, it is also important who arranges the marriage whether person itself or someone else like parents or friends. Marriage may be either self decided or externally supported; but before getting married, both the persons should know each other very well. Marriage is a very sensitive and serious issue. It is a bond between two persons loving each other. These are two persons who decide to become one, unite with their love, start a family together and spend the rest of their lives with each other. Marriage is a commitment and it has also a great impact on life, career and personality of both the persons.
Now before we proceed further, let us discuss the role of parents into the process of the marriage in brief. Here, a question may arise whether the parents should decide the marriage or it may be left to their offspring. Most of the people will go positive in favor of the parents with their genuine arguments that they are more experienced and well-established in the society. They understand the people and also their children better. Being the parents, they always wish the best of their children. There is no risk to rely on goodwill and wisdom of the parents. Being matured in dealing with social affairs, they will not make a hurried and emotional decision (as found in Love Marriages) which might become a cause of regret in future.
To make a married life successful, both husband and wife have to learn to accept each other’s faults and differences. Any of them should not try to bring the other in one’s own mould. To marry is easy, but to maintain the marriage is difficult. Relationship between husband and wife is very delicate. Marriage is such as we may bring the horse to water, but we cannot force the horse to drink it. Marriage may join two strangers together, but ‘to make a married life healthy, growing and lasting’ is purely and jointly dependent on understanding of both husband and wife.
Psychologists & Sociologists have developed several theories which deal with mate selection. These theories mainly suggest the factors that govern an individual’s choice for a mate, consciously or unconsciously. There may be a great number of theories for a mate selection, but some are common and popular in the various societies. They are as follows:
(1) The most of the individuals give priority to such a spouse who may be of one’s own religion and caste (particularly in oriental countries) and never go out of their circle either by their own will or parents’ insistence. Here the social and economical status of the spouse is also taken into consideration. In their view, any imbalances in the moderate criteria become the causes of the failure of the marriage and; suppose that if it does not end into the separation, it is surely to pass through dissatisfactions of both; and they might have to face many problems in future, particularly in bringing up their offspring lovingly and properly.
(2) This theory is quite contradictory to the first. Here, no emphasis is given to the caste, creed or religion of the person. The individual selects a mate who may be a co-worker or a class-mate or living in same area or locality for a long time. They come into constant contact and become familiar of each other. Their attraction towards each other results into the marriage. Thus, in this theory, the environment plays a very important role. Their daily meetings develop a kind of attraction which may influence upon their decision of a mate selection.
(3) It is known as the complementary need for one’s own personality, profession, hobby, financial standing, physical deficiency etc.. In other words, we may say that the person chooses such a mate who may fill out the weaknesses or drawbacks of one’s own personality and/or expectations.
(4) This is the Parental Image theory. A child since its birth to maturity remains under the influence of the parents. But, it is generally observed that the daughter is attracted towards father and son towards mother. Thus the parent of the opposite sex becomes the mentor of the child. The girl wishes to marry a man who has similar traits of her father and the man likes to marry a woman who has similar traits of his mother. This type of tendency develops in a natural way either consciously or unconsciously.
The above theories have been worked out by some learned people, but those have no concern with our practical life. Our life is not such a laboratory where we may undergo any experiments, make comparisons, do studies or get findings to solve our prime issue of a mate selection. Some religion-leaned people believe that the prospective Life Partner is decided at heaven. We should not criticize them; but apart from their beliefs, we should think out some practical approaches to lighten the task of the mate selection.
Here below, I would like to give you some hints in a typical style for what precautions and measures should be observed to capture the castle of proper selection of a life partner. Let me be clear here with the disclaimer that these are simply the guide-lines and not any rigid rules and regulations. Secondly, the views and ideas are applicable to the Arranged Marriages only and the persons involved in love affairs and desirous going to Love Marriage are free from observing any norms. I remind you my words ‘a typical style’ in this para above and hope you will not expect any interpretation from my end. Some supportive quotes and narrations for my counseling will be there and you may go through them and pick out some HIDDEN HINTS to select a life partner wisely and successfully; and make a married life peaceful and happy. Please, proceed on:
(a) “A wise bird will not be the prisoner even if the net might have been knitted with the silk threads.”(A Persian verse)
(b) “Why should we care which side of our bread is buttered on when we eat both sides anyway.” (Unknown source)
(c) “A volley of questions may arise in our mind, but we should sort out some important only and try to find out their answers.” (Author)
(d) “Never marry anyone you could not sit next to during a three-day bus trip.” (A funny quote from unknown source)
(e) “Person, in selecting the spouse, is free either to follow one’s inner voice and rebel against parents and society or give in before them.” (Author)
(f) “To use own best judgments over any issue.” is wisdom. (Author)
(g) “Divorce – Legal, but undesirable” (Author’s Blog post of May 27, 2007). Isn’t it cute to harness a bull behind a cart i.e. divorce before marriage? But, it is just like ‘Prevention is better than cure.’ Please, do read if you might have missed.
(h) “No life without wife” is true; but “A bad wife is a good knife to cut a married life easily” is equally true. Remember that ‘a bad husband’ also may become ‘a bigger knife’ to finish all within no time. (Author)
(i) “To wear an artificial smile on face” is an art and any unsuccessful spouse in married life has to perform it willingly or unwillingly.” (Author)
(j) “Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.” (Alfred Hitchcock); but, it may be read as “Life is a drama without the dull bits cut out!”(Author)
(k) “Between husband and wife, there should be no secrets from one another. I have a very high opinion of the marriage tie. I hold that husband and wife merge in each other. They are one in two or two in one.” (Gandhiji)
(l) “Love does not consist in gazing at each other but looking in the same direction together.” (Antonne de Saint-Exupery)
(m) “Don’t marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the person you think you can’t live without.” (Dr. James C. Dobson)
(N) “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” (Mignon McLaughlin)
(o) “Marriage is that relation between man and woman in which the independence is equal, the dependence mutual, and the obligation reciprocal.” (Louis K. Anspacher)
(p) “Relationships, marriages are ruined where one person continues to learn, develop and grow and the other person stands still.” (Catherine Pulsifer)
(q) “The trouble with wedlock is that there’s not enough wed and too much lock.”
I would like to bid you good-bye, meanwhile, leaving you to dive in the depth of hidden thoughts in above quotes and narrations.
– Valibhai Musa
Dtd. 9th February, 2008