How should I convince my daughter to get married?
Question: I have a 30-year-old daughter, and she is adamant that she will only go for a love marriage. She was 24 when she confessed that she is against the idea of an arranged marriage and we gave her six years to find a man of her choice. But unfortunately, none of her relationships worked out. Now, we are growing old and want to see her getting married. But she does not even see the photograph of a guy we choose for her. Arranged marriage is not always a stuff of nightmares. How should I explain this to her? By Anonymous
Response by Ms. Rachana Awatramani: A marriage, which is a union of two people, can be arranged by parents or when two people decide to commit to each other when they are in love. Both the situations have their own positive and negative challenges. It is on the person to decide which one he or she is comfortable to cope with. Marriage is also a decision, which ideally should be taken by the person who is going to get married. Parents and family members are a support system to the bride and the groom. However, in many cultures, the decision is taken by parents and the marriage is arranged.
I comprehend that you are concerned about your daughter's marriage and you also gave her six years to find a partner for love marriage. I understand that her relationships did not work out and she might need some more time to find someone for herself. I respect your thoughts that arranged marriages are not always the stuff of nightmares but we cannot forget that your daughter is another human being with different thinking and personality. She has her own beliefs and values. She has the right to choose her partner in her own way and she will build her confider if her parents support her.
I understand you are becoming old and you would like to see your daughter getting married. The reality is that it might be your wish but at the end of the day, it is your daughter's life decision and she should be given time and space to decide. It can be difficult for you to have patience in this situation and therefore, you can remind yourself that children are born through parents and not to parents. They have independent lives and that should be respected. We cannot force anyone to make decisions based on our wishes.
I would suggest that you speak to your daughter and express your concern and feelings about your age and your desire to see her get married. It will be great if you give her the option to choose a partner the way she wants, and you simply trust her. As parents, the duty is to show the path and be supportive and not push or pressurize for self-desires
Ms. Rachana Awatramani is a Counselling Psychologist in Mumbai
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