Before I start to write, let me tell you if you are not from a culture where arranged marriages are still a norm, this post may not interest you as much (assuming my other posts did). Also, I sincerely don’t intend to offend anyone who doesn’t think on the same lines as me and just like I don’t feel comfortable with people judging me for having an opinion, I would never judge anyone for the same.

Now after this unnecessary disclaimer, let’s get on with what I actually mean when I say what I have said in the title. And no, the reason is not of any medical or health nature; rather it has more to do with the emotional and mental well-being of a relationship. There are no two opinions about the fact that arranged marriages, during the initial months, are tricky and no less than walking on a rope juggling a few balls. They are called arranged for a reason, a third party sets the whole thing up and technically you don’t KNOW the other person (or the family for that matter), I mean you might know them through someone but you don’t KNOW know them. And even if you marry in the same family, every household has its own style of living. You get what I mean? In such scenarios, both the parties really have no clue what the other person or their family is like in day to day life.

In all honesty, you only know a person when you start living with them. For instance, people who meet me for 3-4 hours might have an opinion I am chatty, an extrovert, always on the go but what most people don’t realise about me except my near and dear ones that I am actually an extroverted introvert. I need to shut down after some time to recharge my batteries, back to back social events exhaust me and I love a quite weekend here and there and I very well enjoy my own company and days where I have no lists to follow and no social norms to meet. The whole point is, you can’t know someone till you spend months/years with them. Same goes for your ‘arranged’ spouse who, in truth, you hardly know. And no, the engagement, pre-rukhsati period doesn’t count. In fact, it’s a common myth in our society that if we let the two people getting married communicate and meet each other a couple of times before they actually tie the knot, they will know and understand each other better! HA! It’s a sham I tell you. It might be better compared to the ye old days of virtually not seeing your spouse till the wedding day but that’s that. And it’s not because either of the two people are faking their personalities during that time (well sometimes that’s also a case) but because when you are hanging out with each other with a presumed expectation to like each other, talking on the phone for a couple of hours, exchanging texts, you rarely discuss the big issues, and even if you do and end up arguing, you both go back to the comfort of your own homes, where you get time to recover from those feelings and are back to being cordial to each other. This, however, becomes out of question once you start living together. More so if you are living in a joint family where, in most cases, all you have as your own private space is a room so if you get mad at each other you have nowhere to go to vent it out. And it’s not always the big things and not always a person or a family is bad; Most of the times it’s just a case of being different. Small differences like one of the two partners coming from a family where people stay up till late at night and sleep till midday can conflict with the routine of someone who has always been an early riser and has been conditioned to have their breakfast early and day started. Then there is always the supporting negative characters – the close and not-so-close- family relations- interfering, either directly or indirectly, and since none of you have spent a significant amount of time with each other to have a bond as deep as you have with your own families, you are naturally predisposed to incline towards your side of the family. There are many such small and big issues that need to be sorted between both parties and respect and understanding developed. Only after that comes love. In fact, once you develop an understanding, comes respect, then a liking and finally love. But love takes time, often a lifetime.

So, in all of this initial chaos, having a baby straight away is definitely not a wise idea. And am not saying wait for a But being a mum I know, first-hand, once a woman becomes a mother, evolution dictates that our maternal instincts take over all of our other emotions and relations. And even if they don’t, you hardly get time for anything for the first few months (read years) as taking care of another human being who’s totally dependent on you is demanding and exhausting. So, imagine if you don’t have a bond, an understanding with your husband, you won’t have much time and energy on your hand to even bother. And let’s say even if you do, what if you realise you two can never be happy together and the problems or issues between you start multiplying so much so that you basically start living separate lives, cohabitating YES but living together, NO! Funnily, the elders (ironically women mostly) in our society are insistent for a young married woman to have a baby as soon as possible as according to them “bachay hojaey sab sahi hojaega” (all will become well once they have a child). In my personal opinion, this is totally insane. Yes they will have a common interest, a topic of discussion, a bond of sorts but that will be that. What this mind set indirectly reinforces is that once a couple has a child together, they will have to stay in the marriage whatsoever for the sake of their offspring. I just find it so sad.

Almost all of us personally know someone who stayed in an unhappy relationship due to this reason. And those who were courageous enough to break the set moulds of society and opted to leave such marriages, it took them a long time, why? Because any decision meant a direct impact on that child they had within a year and more emotional trauma for both the partners who were also parents by then. So my point is, why the hurry. I mean surely waiting 2-3 years won’t do anyone harm, given the average marriage age of females in our society is 22-26 years which is nowhere close to the reproductively challenged age range. If you are recently married or know anyone getting married, and are close enough to given them unsolicited advice on such personal topics then do tell them to invest in each other first, to enjoy the first few years, make memories, travel, read, eat, watch movies and, as funny as it may sound, but even watch those political talk shows and Mazloom aurat Pakistani dramas, as all this helps in understanding your partner better and you might not be on the same wavelength but at least you will know where the other stands. This will not only make better the chances of an amicable lifetime together but when you eventually become parents, the child born in such an environment will feel more loved, more wanted and not just like a connection between his parents and eventually will have a greater chance of being a happy adult!



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