Is marriage a dying institution?

Screen Shot 2017-03-14 at 5.10.08 pm

Changing lifestyles, changing thinking!
           Pooja Bedi in HeartchakraLifestyle, Times of India, March 12, 2017


(Note: Life is growth. Growth is change and the assumption is all change is a reform for the better. Hence the axim: “Ecclesia simper reformanda est”, Church must change constantly. So also the famous saying: “It may be different in a higher world, but here below, to live is to change and to be perfect, is to have changed most often,” (Cardinal Newman).

Is all change necessarily for growth, never for decline? There is also another axim: “Corruptio optima, pessima”, “corruption of the best, becomes the worst.” To a thinking person, this surely is also an equal possibility of change.

What about marriage accepted as the corner stone or basis of society on the understanding man is not fully human without woman, nor woman without man, that one without the is only a piece of humanity, incomplete? Yes they have to be together to complement each other for the growth of family and mutual fulfillment. Question is if it should be permanent and life long with the same partner in marriage.

In the west therefore we have the practice of living together to test and see if they can be permanent partners in a life long marriage. Hence family synod studies pointed this out as the reason for the decline of Christian weddings in the west. Does it mean that the whole theology and church teaching on sacramental marriage bond have to  be revised?

This question has divided the Catholic Church into traditionalists of Orthodoxy group led by Cardinal Burke and liberals of Orthopraxi led by Francis permitting communion for the divorced in particular cases. Does it mean sexual companionship is to be left to the choice, or whims and fancies of individuals concerned as Pooja Bedi, the author of this article seems to suggest? The practice among the modern generation seems to suggest that consenting adults are not to be harassed even by the law enforcing agencies of any government.

James KottorIn any case sex is essential for the flowering of a humane humanity. What governments and religions can do is to enforce rules and regulations to promote the good of individuals and  prevent any harm to anyone,  in particular to wife, husband or child. james kottoor, editor)

“I love you so much, that I’m going to get the government involved so that you can’t leave”. That’s how the younger generation cynically refer to marriage today. The difference in attitude, between my generation and the current one is mind-boggling when it comes to dating, love and marriage.

We grew up on unhealthy doses of Mills and Boons and fantasies about the kind of love and romance, that are well… err… found mostly in books and movies. We couldn’t wait to meet prince charming and have a fairy tale wedding and life.

Nowadays, it seems none wants to get married. Not the younger generation, not those that are out of bad marriages (once bitten, twice shy), and not those who say they “escaped” ever being married and now seem to enjoy the company of younger girls in their mid-life crisis way too much to ever think of getting married. “Why get married?” seems to be the new debate.

If it’s about money, women and men now work and earn equally, there’s no need to marry for reasons of dependency. If it’s about sex, it’s freely available and taboos on premarital sex are been rapidly done away with. If it’s about the need for children, they say, “we can have them without getting married, even get a surrogate if we’re too consumed with our work, or simply adopt”! They see the legality of marriage as a “trap to commit and stay forever unhappy if it doesn’t work”, because “divorce is expensive, painful and a familial and legal nightmare”.

In our generation, we bought homes and furniture to last many generations, now they buy furniture to last as long as their home rentals. The same headspace of “buy into vs rent” clearly holds good even for relationships today.  I guess every generation marches to the beat of its own drummer, and perhaps it’s time to either review the institution of marriage or revise the court systems so that it allows couples to divorce without dragging them decades of court dates and expensive lawyers. It was once said that the only reason for divorce, was marriage.

Now it seems it’s the reason for no marriage at all. Me? Call me old fashioned or out of touch with changing realities, but I’m just a hopeless romantic. I still believe in “happily ever after”, and walking hand in hand into my sunset years with someone who will be happy to share his rocking chair with me. I may not have got it wrong the first time, but I’m not going to let the government scare me into not taking second chances. Some dreams are worth the risk!

Question: I have been working for the past couple of years. However, now, I can’t get myself to come to work on an everyday basis. I have thought about freelancing but the remuneration from it won’t run my house. I have a two-year-old daughter as well and am a single parent. But this wish of not working is definitely depressing me. What should I do?

Answer:  If you are a single parent the one thing you should focus on is your income source. Thank it, bless it, give it your 100% and outperform. It enables you to get better care, education and lifestyle for your child. In this scenario, your daughter, your work and “me time”, are all equally important. It gets easier as they go to full time school. There’s nothing to be depressed about. You have a job, lovely child and a super life ahead. If you stay vibrant, life will be so.

Q: I used to date a girl in college and we were very serious about each other. Unfortunately, because of opposing families, we had to break it off and went on to marry other people. 10 years later we happened to run into each other and over time rekindled our relationship. We both realised that we are in loveless marriages and want to be with each other. However, our respective spouses are unwilling to give us divorces. She has two small children while I have none. What should we do?

First thing, if you are in a loveless marriage, please don’t have children and subject them to such an environment. Exit your marriage, even if it means a long process, as it’s never too late for either of you to find befitting companionship with someone else. Leave because you are unhappy, not because of someone else. Because if you fall out of love with her, then you have gone from the frying pan into the fire. As for her, she will have to weigh all factors and take a very serious life decision, as it involves children.

Q: I have been divorced since a year now and my family is pressurising me to settle down again. They keep setting me up with men in the hope that I will get married and move out. I am more or less financially independent. I am not ready to get into another relationship at this point in my life and want to concentrate on myself. How do I convince my family to stop hounding me?

A: No harm checking out who all they send your way. I always say, keep yourself open to all possibilities. I’ve been divorced 14 years, met many people, dated a few but always had ample time for my work, my kids, my friends, travel and pampering. Meeting them doesn’t have to mean taking it forward. Best case scenario, you will experience love, worst case scenario, you will have made a friend. Also, every relationship doesn’t have to translate into marriage, and if it does, it will only be because you want it to.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.

[Pooja Bedi is a popular personality across all Media… be it films, newspapers, television, theatre and digital media. She started life in the public on the big screen through popular movies such as Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, Lootere, Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayi. She’s been the brand ambassador to the Country Club, Kaya Skin Clinic and Allergan India. Pooja is an award winning Talk Show host of NOT JUST PAGE 3 and JUST POOJA and has participated in leading TV shows Jhalak Dikhlaja, Nach Baliye, Khatron ke khiladi(Fear Factor). She has also been the weekend anchor of Big Boss, Aakhri Salaam season 2… Maa Exchange and more recently, Bigg Boss 5! She is a relationship counselor and writes a popular column the “Heart Chakra” in The Times of India, Femina and Men’s Health magazine. Pooja has authored “TIMEPASS (Penguin) and published a story on female foeticide titled, “Born to die” in the book ‘Because I am a girl’ (Random House)].

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. Salman says:

    Nice article! i hope this opens the mind of people regarding marriage

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.