What do young people today expect when they get married?
It is worrying because this year I was closely involved with three weddings and the results are not too happy. They were all arranged by the parents and conducted in a grand manner, straining their means to the utmost. All three brides were involved a great deal with their trousseau and less with the bridegrooms. All of them are well educated, articulate and capable of thinking on their own.
By the end of the year, one of them has filed for divorce (mostly for reasons beyond control or reasonableness) ; one is flying back after constant friction with new husband, and the third is coasting along but one can’t say in a state of great happiness.
Belonging to gen-previous, parents are all puzzled about where they went wrong. The bridegrooms are people they would choose again, except for the first. Sober, responsible young men. Only they don’t want to stretch too much to accommodate young wives in their life patterns which seem to have set into comfortable modes. They would like the same food, the comfort they are used to, their friends, the same freedom to come and go.
The girls are happy to cook and clean and play the good housewife. Flies could be in the form of in-laws who come to stay or call too often.
But what they do expect is attentive husbands who ask ‘have you eaten? ‘, take them out as often as possible and generally be appreciative and grateful that this girl has left her parents to come and stay with him.
Both sides have a great deal of expectations which go unfulfilled and unhappiness results.
One key problem seems to be that both are still the child of their parents who haven’t let go of their umbilical cord. In this age of cheap phone calls, every little incident is reported and gets magnified as it reverberates from mind to mind. There is no space for the young couple to be by just themselves and find their own equilibrium even if parents are far away.
Have we spoiled our children by giving them too much? Too much attention? Too much materially? Too many expectations from a relationship? And too much comfort which they are not willing to relinquish to accommodate another person in their lives. Not to mention their families?
“The more personal harmony we feel the more we will be able to give in a loving relationship. All the elements for a genuine loving relationship with someone else are the same ingredients we need in order to fully love ourselves. “ Alexandra Stoppard in Living beautifully Together.
Is this where the problem lies? Within each person? When they haven’t learnt to love themselves first?
We spend a lot of time and money equipping our children to face the working world. The best education we can afford; classes for computer skills, sports, soft skills, foreign languages, camps -- anything that we think will help them. But we don’t seem to equip them much when it comes to sharing their lives with another.
What do we or they need to do?
on desicritics- 20th December, 2007