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Is Marriage the purpose of life?

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  • #377979
    Anagha Sonde
    Participant

    Hi,

    I am  33 years old unmarried woman. I am an Indian hailing from a patriarchal society where girls are married at the age of 25-26, have 2 kids by the age of 30. I had a messy breakup and hence couldn’t come to terms with marrying anyone else. I do not feel like marrying at all and I am not sure about it. Is marriage the ultimate purpose of life? Does it give everlasting bliss? I am trying to be spiritual and joined a spiritual organisation where the sisters and brothers are all single. They advocate that we have to embrace God to be our ultimate companion and soulmate. The moment I think about marriage it makes me feel negative things about sex and I hate sex to the core. Although I have explored foreplay with a few partners, I am still a virgin and don’t feel like giving up my virginity for a man. Please enlighten me about the negative effects of marriage and other aspects that you deem fit.

     

    #377986
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anagha Sonde:

    Welcome back! It is very easy for me to answer your questions with confidence:

    (1) “Is marriage the ultimate purpose of life?”- no.

    (2) “Does it give everlasting bliss?”- no.

    I will add: marriage can be and is, for many people, a healthy, functional emotional, physical and practical arrangement where both parties benefit.

    For many people, it is not the case.

    “Please enlighten me about the negative effects of marriage and other aspects that you deem fit”-

    – when a girl or a woman has been sexually used and misused for the singular benefit of a man (such as was your case), it is hard to view sex as an experience that is free from the strong feeling of being misused and taken advantaged of, and it is a terrible feeling. You can’t have a healthy marriage that involves sex when you feel so negatively about sex.

    anita

    #378812
    Anagha Sonde
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Yes. Thanks for agreeing with me. But then I have decided to remain single and unmarried – question is what will I do when I am old? Others will be busy with their spouse and children, I will be all alone and lonely leading a miserable life. I am not saying that married life will be better for me. But I see that both sides there is no sunshine.

    #378821
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anagha Sonde:

    “what will I do when I am old?”- when you are old, maybe you will be able to pay for domestic help, a younger woman perhaps who will come into your home, help with cleaning, cooking, etc.

    “Others will be busy with their spouse and children, I will be alone and lonely leading a miserable life”- many of the other women who are and will be busy with their spouses and children are miserable, and will be miserable- that’s unfortunate for them and for their children.

    About being “alone and lonely leading a miserable life” when you are old, how is your life now, at 33-  is not alone, lonely and miserable?

    anita

    #379960
    Anagha Sonde
    Participant

    Hi,

    The problem is the baggage that I carry. I carry a lot of baggage of the past and I feel unfortunate that all this happened to me. I am unable to forgive myself. Please tell me how to do that. When I see the lives of other girls who got married in their 20s and have kids now, I feel far from perfect. My friends and relatives also ask me if I have been able to move on – tell me one thing, after the trauma I went through I decided to stay away from men. I decided that the things a man gets you – like may be a house or companionship – I will get for myself. I will invest in a house by working hard and I will treat God as my companion. Is there anything wrong with this? But friends and family want to see me married as if that is the only solid proof of me moving on now that sufficient time has passed. I am against this patriarchal set up of society in India. The woman keeps toiling in the kitchen and the man has a gala time at her cost. My point is if he has to eat he should participate in the cooking and cleaning process as well.  My well wishers tell me may be I will find such a man who will help me in the kitchen. But I know all these men. First 2 years of marriage they participate and then they show their true colours. Thats why I am against marriage. And men exercise control over women. We lose our power of decision making and thus they don’t really keep us happy. Its their needs that  gets prioritised over ours. Hence I find no pointing getting married. I want to remain single and enjoy my life by doing things I like. Is there anything wrong with that?

     

    #379966
    Maria
    Participant

    Dear Anagha Sonde,

    The answer is NO: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with your decision to stay single!

    I’m from Russia, and the society here is not so patriarchal as in India. But women have been taught to be “perfect wives” for so long that today it remains “strange” to be unmarried. Mostly, parents want to see their daughters with a husband and many children. And often, it doesn’t even matter whether the husband is caring and loving or not. Sometimes, in small villages, when a daughter comes home in tears with bruises and asks for help, mothers can say that “time will pass, and you’ll fall in love, just try harder to please him.” AWFUL, right? But every day the world changes and people become more conscious of their own lives and wishes.

    You say that your “friends and family want to see you married.” That’s the key. I’m 26 years old woman who still battles with the urge to please my mother. It’s hard, REALLY hard to stop doing anything to make HER happy. I even bought clothes only after she approved them. Now, every time I hear, “oh dear, what you do/buy/eat/cook/ is wrong,” I just say goodbye. At first, I feel like an “ungrateful daughter.” But next comes the realization that I finally live my own life.

    I’m not asking you to fight against your family and friends. You won’t probably even make them change their minds. It will take a lot of time and effort to make them accept your point of view. But please, put yourself first. The most important person in your life is YOU. You can make mistakes, change your mind, and feel happiness and sadness because this is your life journey. Take advice selectively and follow your heart.

    Hugs,

    Maria.

    #379968
    Anagha Sonde
    Participant

    I had a break up with my boyfriend few years back and I have still not healed from the shock. I feel so helpless and lifeless. I still get dreams about him in my sleepless nights. He got married abroad and I am thinking that he is enjoying his life out there but I am wallowing in self pity. If only I had a chance to beat him and take my stress out. But I can’t. I neither can forgive nor forget. I am so lost. All I can see is that he left me, he left me and he left me. Although my life is much better without him and I got to live life in a much better way than it would be if he was around, I still feel sad that he left me. How do I get over this obsession to inflicting pain upon myself for no reason? How do I forgive myself?

    #379974
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anagha Sonde:

    “I want to remain single and enjoy my life by doing things I like. Is there anything wrong with that?”- no, of course not. And you know it already, that there is nothing wrong with that. Problem is that (1) you care too much what friends and family think (“But friends and family want to see me married”), and (2) there is an issue of anger and forgiveness. At this time, I am not referring to your anger toward your ex-boyfriend, but your anger toward yourself (“I am unable to forgive myself”).

    Do you think that there is anything I can help you with in regard to either one of these 2 problems?

    anita

    #379977
    Anagha Sonde
    Participant

    I do not see I made a mistake by getting into relationship with my ex bf. I had carefully thought over it for a few days and then said yes to him. Moreover he was of the same caste so I did not see it as a mistake at all. It just that it turned out to be negative. So I am not angry with myself at all. I just feel unfortunate that all these things happened in my life while compared to other girls who are leading awesome lives with their perfect family – husband and kids. I somehow feel that there is no choice for me except to remain single because of my fear of sex since in India not having sex with husband is grounds for divorce. I am wallowing in self pity and feeling miserable. I do not feel good at all.

    #379980
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anagha Sonde:

    1) You wrote that other girls “are leading awesome lives with their perfect family- husband and kids”- can you give me some details of what you mean by a “perfect family” and by “awesome lives”?

    2) You wrote that you are not angry with yourself at all. Can you explain to me what you meant by “How do I forgive myself?” in your post before last?

    anita

     

     

    #379987
    Anagha Sonde
    Participant

    By perfect family and awesome life I meant was, here in South India girls usually get married off in their 20s and by the time they are 3o they have 2 children. That is the symbol of a perfect woman here. Girls like me – who are single and asexual are usually seen as misfits or black marks to the family. As if there is some deficiency within us. Nothing perfect could happen to us so we would be leading a life of misery and sadness. As a single woman ages, her life is usually seen to get more and more hard. And that is what scares me as well. I am not confident about the future.

     

    #379993
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anagha Sonde:

    “here in South India, girls usually get married off in their 20s and by the time they are 30 they have 2 children. That is the symbol of a perfect woman here”- that’s the symbol of a perfect woman, it is not the perfect woman, is it.

    When you talk to a 30 year old married woman and mother in South India, are you talking with a human or with a symbol?

    anita

    #379979
    Peter
    Participant

    Hi Anagha

    You may find todays blog post helpful “If You Want Closure After a Breakup”

    As a aside. The art of forgiveness isn’t about forgetting as if the events did happened or no longer holding those that hurt us accountable. Forgiveness is the art/process of creating healthy boundaries.  Either way if we choose to forgive or not to forgive boundaries are being created. The difference is that one tends to be more reaction to pain while the other is a response.

    When we refuse to forgive the boundaries we create are often founded on the negative energy of anger, fear, wanting to get even, hopelessness, victim and villain stories…

    Forgiveness as a process leads to the setting of healthy boundaries. We endure for a time, we forgo getting even, and we avoid dwelling. We create space to heal, to breathe, to protect ourselves, to learn, to grow and detach. Detachment not as indifference but a detaching of our sense of self from others, to memory, to the pain, we take back our power. We take back our power not in defiance of the other but out of love for ourselves and others. We can still hold those that hurt us accountable, end a relationship, but we do so not from anger or even justice but love.

    #380257
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    There is no purpose of life, other than that which we assign ourselves.

    #383515
    Murtaza
    Participant

    Dear Anagha Sonde

     

    I was thinking about your question (is marriage the purpose of life) i think the answer depends on the person, for me a purpose means a strong desire to do something, and its good for me, does marriage meet those criteria? It also depends, will you be less miserable, less lonely when you marry? Do you have a strong desire to marry? Note that i don’t mean physically loneliness here.

     

    To help you, women TEND to be happier when they become mothers (there is exceptions), biologically speaken, for some (men too) it is the purpose of life to reproduce and marry

     

    My only concern is that, you shouldn’t marry because of fear (fear how people look at you, fear how you gonna end up)

     

    You said that (girls like me seen..) it doesn’t matter how they see you, what matters how you see yourself, you see yourself through thier eyes, through thier minds, but you shouldn’t, you should see yourself through your own eyes, your own life.

     

    First you need to see yourself without comparing to other girls, without using thier pov to judge your situation, use yours, look at yourself, your desires and needs, how to make it easier for anagha, how to make her happy? Marrige? To be a mother?

     

    You seem to think that marriage will immediately makes you happy, and your life/mind will be at ease, if this is the case, then im sorry, its no, definitely not, think of marriage as something extra, if you have issues living alone, i believe that you should fix those first, there is no magic pill.

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