I grew up in a joint family in India, which had 3 married couple and their kids. Marital relationships that I saw in my family were not great but not bad either. All the men used to work in the family business and the women used to take care of the children and the house. Many times my parents used to fight and my dad used to scream at my mom, but my mom never had the guts to say anything to him. I always saw that my mom was scared of him and I used to question myself why doesn’t she reply back. And being a girl myself I used to think that probably girls cant say anything when theirs husband are screaming at them.
I used to talk to my mom and tell her why cant she reply back, but I never really got an answer. I always saw my mom as the weaker one in the relationship. On the other hand we had a family friend and both husband wife used to work as college professors. In their house the husband never screamed at the wife, I am sure they had conflicts but you could totally see the respect that he gave to his wife. When I grew a little bit older my mom started telling me how she felt. That was when she told me that she was a housewife and my dad was the one who earned in the family and thus he could talk like that to my mom.
My dad always dominated her as he is the man of the family and is the one responsible for all the decisions of the family. And this was not only my parents I 4saw this trend throughout my family with the other two couples as well. Certain assumptions that I saw in the relationships were that even if it was my dad’s fault, my mom always had to be the first one to apologize. Also since my mom is eight years younger than my dad I saw that my dad didn’t really understand her and took her for granted at times. Bring the older one he tried to impose certain things on her.
I also saw that if I tried to calm down my dad he didn’t like it as I was a child and I should not be involved in their matters. This training has had a lot of impact on my relationships. As I always saw my mom being dominated by my dad, I didn’t want that to happen with me. When I grew up I had certain things very clear in my mind. I wanted to be educated enough so that I can earn myself and have a good job, so I never dependent on my husband for anything. For that reason I came to USA and decided to study here. In my past relationships, I made it very clear to my artners that my career is more important than anything in my life and I wouldn’t leave it for anyone.
I was also very clear about anyone screaming at me. Since I saw my mom always being screamed at and I always hated it. Also I have certain things straight for my future. I want my husband to understand that I will not stop working and be a housewife, so that later I have to dependent on him. I want him to respect my decisions and me. Many times I have seen that the women of the house are not asked to contribute in family matters, and I think that is not right at all.
So I want to have a relationship where we both contribute in the family matters and come to a conclusion together. I am not yet married but I think the things I have in mind for my marital relationship are very clear. According to the book women still do two-third of the household work. I think if women can earn like men do, then men should work the same like women. I think my idea of marriage is based on a simple rule, which is to give the amount of resect you get. And I think it is pretty healthy because if two people cannot respect each other for what they are then they cannot be together for long.
Moreover I have been taught marriage is not only about two people, but it is about two families that get together. And I expect my husband to respect and get along with my family as being the only child I think my parents are my responsibility and will always be. Thus whoever marries me has to understand the importance of my parents in my life, and on the other hand I want to be comfortable with his family too. I also feel that at times girls tend to be too clingy with their partners, and I think that is one reason why guys get irritated. Therefore I would like to give space to my husband when he needs and expect the same from him.
Some people might think that this is being stupid but I know I wouldn’t like if my husband gets over protective about me, and the same way I don’t want to be over protective about him. I know it’s not easy to be with a person like me who is over ambitious. And at times it can be a problem for guys to see the girl so much into her work, and for me my career has always been more important than anything. I think this can be a problem when I get married, because at times it has been a problem for my boyfriends to understand my passion about my work.
This is something I want to work on as most of the times guys don’t understand this. Also I like the idea of peer marriage as in a marriage where both people respect each other equally and understand each other’s likes and dislikes it becomes easier to be together. According to the book faithfulness is the number one reason for marital success. And I totally agree with this, even if the physical relationship between two people is not that good, if they both are faithful to each other nothing can separate them.
My parents have not only taught me to be faithful but I also have seen this in their relationship. Even though my father was dominating my mother, they are still together. This is because no one of them was unfaithful to the other. Also I think from a few years the fights between my parents reduced I think this happened because they saw that I am a grown up now and all this might affect my thoughts about marriage. Children are a big reason why two people stay together even if they don’t want to. But I think that’s not right.
I don’t want my husband to be with me just because of our children, because that’s doing a favor to our relationship. I would like us to be together because we make each other happy not because of a third reason. I am brought up in a culture where non-marital sex is not accepted. And these values are embedded inside me. I know now a days girls have sex when they are 14 years of age, but I am 21 years old and I am still a virgin. Being in USA and telling your boyfriend that you wont have sex with him because of your culture is not easy. Many times people judge my beliefs but that has not affected me at all.
I want my husband to respect my beliefs and understand where I am coming from. Because for me a relationship is not only about getting physical, there is a lot more to it, and what I have heard and seen around me is that guys only want to get physical. I know according to the book sex is the second reason why marriages work. But for me it is not. I am not against sex at all, but I don’t want my marriage to be dependent on it. Book talks about homogamous marriage, which is a type of marriage in which spouses share their race, ethnicity, age, or social class.
Basically a marriage where the two people have something in common. Obviously my parents want me to get married to a guy from the same caste and I agree with them. Because I think if the guy is familiar with my religion, my caste, and my society there is better change of understanding between both of us. In a nutshell I want a marriage where we both can share our happiness, and problems with each other without any problem. A relationship where I get the same respect that I give to the other person.
Courtney from Study Moose
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