The institution of marriage has not evolved with changing times, and women are facing the brunt. This mother’s open letter tells us why she doesn’t want her daughters to get married.
While our Indian society would pressurize you to get married, I may be some of the few moms, who are advising her daughters to not get married.
Before you read any further, I want to let you know that while writing this open letter, I was fully aware that I might face backlash and may be labeled as the worst mom ever! But, I still felt it was important for me to let our daughters know how Indian marriages may not give them the happiness they deserve.
Now, many of you may be arriving at the conclusion that I wrote this open letter because either I had a bad marriage or because I had a fight with my husband or my in-laws. But that is not the case.
Sadly, the reason behind my advice about not getting married comes from the fact that marriage has nothing exceptional to offer to our 21st-century woman. And, why would I say that?
Because even when our daughters have proven time and again that they are no less than men, marriage as an institution still continues to follow a patriarchal mindset. It still prioritizes the financial, physical, emotional, and social needs of the husband over that of the wife.
I am not talking about a few handfuls of couples, who are striving to bring equality to the unfair and unequal concept of marriage. I am talking about those millions of daughters, who may have earned respect and equality at the office but are still struggling for the same at their own so-called home.
It is extremely sad that even in the 21st century when we have raised our daughters with role models like Kalpana Chawla, Indra Nooyi, and many more, we still expect them to make unparalleled sacrifices and compromises in the name of marriage.
It would be easy to say that marriage as an institution is struggling to keep up with the changing times. At one end, we raise our daughters to be equal to be son, but we still expect our son’s wife to change her name, leave her home, adapt to a new family, and becomes the chief of housekeeping, elderly care, and childcare. We don’t shy away from expecting her to give up her job when she becomes a mom.
There is a huge mismatch between the expectations of what men and women want from marriage.
While our daughters have been raised with the aspirations to fly high for their dreams, our Indian men still expect them to cook and do laundry for them.
Sadly, many women have started feeling how marriages are based on the unfair expectation of women being selfless and be ready for endless sacrifice and compromise for others.
A few decades ago marriage stood for different things. For women, it meant financial stability, social acceptability, kids, and age-old security. So it was probably worth the effort, sacrifices, and compromises. But with changing times, women are no more dependent on marriage for these aspects of life anymore.
The 21st-century woman wants to get married for companionship without compromising on respect, dignity, and pride. This is where the institution of marriage fails miserably.
That’s the reason I don’t want my daughters to treat marriage as a mandatory check on their To-Do List.
Marriage could be the best gift (that few lucky ones possess) or the worst nightmare. It totally depends on whom you land up with. If you’re lucky enough to be with a person, who is supportive, loving, and most importantly respectful about your life decisions – then marriage might be heaven.
But if you are like many others, then you should be ready to be insulted, criticized, ignored, and even beaten up.
It will leave you with a broken soul, bruises, and powerless, like many Indian Women. At that time, when you would like to stand for yourself, society will tell you to adjust and suffer in silence because – ‘Shaadi mein toh yeh chalta hai!’
So Dear Daughters,
Please don’t get married if it means you have to give up on your dreams. Don’t get married if you would be expected to be selfless. Don’t get married if you have to be insulted or criticized for your life decisions. Don’t get married if you would be expected to adjust and compromise for other’s happiness.
Rather find your own happiness in meaningful, equal relationships – with or without marriage.
A proud Indian Mom of two beautiful daughters!
A humble request to our readers:
IFORHER’s Open letters series capture articles contributed by our community members’ with the objective to share their deepest feelings with the community. If you can relate to them, please don’t forget to drop a message for the writer.
And if you don’t, please don’t judge them. We all go through different struggles in life. Just because we don’t have that struggle doesn’t mean their struggle isn’t real.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of I for Her. Authors are responsible for any omissions or errors. And, IforHer does not assume any liability or responsibility for them.