Two decades ago I asked a young man, “When you boy going to marry?” Knowing that he got a lucrative job and he was above thirty, I thought it was right time to get marry.
His body language expressed his mind. With a pause, Kamal, about replied reluctantly, “Aunty, I have not even thought of marriage. Actually, I don’t dare think of it.”
“Why?” With a bit anoyance I asked. He did not want to disclose his fear of marriage. After asked many questions he came to the conclusion,“Aunty, the fact is that everyday I hear breaking of one marriage. Last month only nine months old marriages of my two close friends were broken. Within one year, the sacred knot of the marriage is un-banded. One thing more, I am the only child of my parents. Now, I cannot live without them and vice versa. I have heard that no young lady wants to live with her in-laws. Under such circumstances only I have decided to live unmarried life.”
I asked, “Have your parents given permission?” “No, they are after me for my marriage, but I am very much afraid of marriage.”
I met Shubhra, an IT professional. I asked the same question to her. The answer was almost same as of Kamal. She told me, “I do not want to be burnt by my in-laws.” Hearing both the answers of two young, I could realise the situation of marriage in the cream class of the society. Both represent the highly educated and package earning class. I was very much perturbed, why the youngesters of the creamy society are afraid of marriage? Two decades ago, I came to the conclusion that premarital counselling had become need of the hour.
In 1980, first time I heard the word ‘Family Counselling’. I wanted to know the need and work of family counselling. Somebody explained.
I thought these works were done very effectively by the family members, relatives and friends of husbands and wives. These works were not institutionalised in our society. Now when our living pattern has changed, we have started living in nuclear family in cities, these types of institutional works are taking place. This work also comes into the preview of social work. Of course, after hearing the problems of husband and wife, saving one family from breaking is certainly a social work. I could accept the concept of family counselling in our society. Actually, I started giving counselling to younger ones and succeeded in saving the families. This work gave me satisfaction.
When realising the problems and fear of unmarried ‘youngesters, I immediately came to the conclusion that our youngesters need premarital counselling, especially they who have spent ten to fifteen years far from their family, in hostels.
I had a telephonic talk with a young man serving in USA. I asked him about marriage and got the same answer. He was also afraid of marriage. A thirty five year old chap gave me five or six examples of breakage of marriage. I wanted to show him another side of the coin. I said, “You must have seen the married life of your parents, sisters and other relatives also. They are not broken.”
His reaction was very quick, “No, I have not seen the marital relation of my parents. I was put in a hostel when I was only 8 years old. From 15 years I am in USA.”
Another problem of the youngsters also came in support of premarital counselling. There are thousands of young boys and girls who left their homes at very young age for education. They have not seen the relationship of their parents also. The children living in hostels are cut off from the families, do not understand the values of married and sustained married life. We must realise that young ones learn lessons for family life, only from their family. Now-a-days young ones are afraid of marriage.
They have invented “live-in relationship” to lighten the load of marriage. In their mind the responsibilities of married life is very hard. Both girl and boy have natural need of each-other but not any bondage. This mentality is ruinning the basic concept of marriage.
Marriage is not for entertainment. It is a duty. Duty of both. In our tradition marriage takes place not only between two persons but between two families. Now in a section of society the selection of bride and groom has been swifted from gardian to boys and girls themselves. In this situation also premarital counselling has become compulsory.
One must keep in mind that the marriage is not compulsory but necessary for man and woman’s life. The society cannot afford to make one generation’s marriage life hell or let the young people live unmarried life or opt for “living together” life in place of marriage. The situation will become very ridiculous. The number of live in relationship will increase, unmarried mothers will be visible in society. The government will have to give facilities to increased deserted women and society will have to bear with other unsocial repercussions also.
In my opinion, every university should have premarital counselling centres in its premises. Ten years back when I started giving emphasis on premarital counselling, several people asked me – “you mean sex education”.
A big ‘no’ word came from my mouth. Marriage does not mean sex relation only. Sex is prime base of marriage, but not only. Adjustment between two persons, coming from different backgrounds is important. Now when both are equally educated, earning same package, going to work outside, there arise some adjustment problems at the starting point of married life. It is advisable to learn some tips of adjustment, before going for marriage.
Counselling centres can help in making the mind of both boys and girls to select the partner. Sometimes it is very hard to take decision of marriage. One needs some help or tips. I am of the opinion that a proper course should be developed for premarital counselling of youngesters.
Formerly and now-a-days also boys and girls living in well nitted society and joint families do not need premarital counselling. They use to be much more aware of the theories and practices of marriage. They could see very closely the married lives lived in their surroundings. Premarital counselling has became not optional but compulsory course for the youngesters who have learnt to earn money, but do not know to spent the heavy amount for getting real happiness of life.
That is a happy and sustainable marriage life.