Marriage: A tradition turning into taboo

MarriageBy Saba Aman Eusafzai:  Marriage is a lawful union amongst men and women. In the present times, individuals are reluctant to engage in such union. A pattern of avoidance is emerging in the society for the institution of marriage. Several reasons, ranging from individual to societal, are observed for such tendencies.

Marriage is a major duty; there is no doubt about it. It is evident and natural to be nervous before jumping in. Moreover, traditional relational unions are not quite the same as contemporary relational unions. In the present time, men and women prefer not to tie a knot. Women, nowadays, are hesitant to engage in obligations of married life as they attach primary importance to their careers. Nobody needs an obstruction in his or her life, and marriage is something about association and about holding on to something. Most working women see marriage as a full time job. A report shows increase in employment rate of women from 16.3 pc to 24.4 pc in 2011 and with the passage of time a rapid growth is observed in this regard. Consequently, the reluctance to marriage rate has likewise increased.

With the slogan of freedom as the crux of twenty first century, time has changed numerous things including the concept of marriages. Now people see marriage as the loss of opportunity. In Pakistan, most of the men are biased and have double standards. They work with women, converse with them, even having affairs with them, yet having the expectation that their spouses should be submissive, faithful, and stuck to domestic activities. Their wives are not permitted to pursue careers at any work place, in light of the fact that there is a shame word on beat and that is “honor” in Pakistan. The concept of honor impedes the lives of women and these misconceptions about honor defame the very institution of marriage. Henceforth, the idea of marriage is taking a back sit in the priority list of the women and to extent men as well.

Furthermore, freedom regarding the choice of spouse is scarce in Pakistan, and this is also one of the reasons behind the reluctance toward marriages. A survey indicates that there are 96%-arranged marriages in Pakistan and just 4% love marriages. Love marriages are taken as an attack against the honor; hence the individuals are deprived of their say in the most important decision of life. The rate of successful marriages in old circumstances was up-to 95%, but at that time individuals were not instructed that much, there was less awareness, less freedom, and fewer rights. In the contemporary period, everybody believes in reason and does not tolerate dictation.

A hypothesis of relationship commitment given by Carl Rusbult is called Interdependency Theory. It demonstrates that people commit to a partner, and depend on that partner. The dependence is an aftereffect of satisfaction, alternatives, and investment. Interdependency theory clarifies why the people in present day are hesitant to commit.

The more recent social changes have adjusted the current sentimental scene. We realize that women’ strengthening developments have decreased women’ dependence on romantic relationship partners, particularly for economic, childcare, and social help needs. This is, without any doubt, an advantage to women who felt pushed to acknowledge unacceptable or even abusive relationship.

There is a great obsession in today’s generation to be successful in his or her professional life. This obsession leads to reluctance. In Pakistan, women face many hurdles in this process, because they want to be something before being a wife. Marriage is seen as a hurdle in her way. They happily avoid marriage in order to get their dreams.

Contemporary Pakistan is loaded with desperation as well. Men and women fall in a relationship yet they would prefer not to get hitched. Why? They appear to be less sweetheart beau and more spouse-wife. They get physical instantly; indulge in post-marital activities hence taking away the interest in marriage. Apart from such physical reasons, the built-in capacity of men to instruct women is witnessed by women in relationships. They refuse to submit their lives to men’s dominance. Instructions are instructions, and inference is interference. There is no justification to these two things. They understand that he/she is not the one whom she/he needs to get hitched.

Numerous people prefer not to get married in light of the fact that they have been experienced much in past. They have hidden scars. They might have experienced breakups, family issues or child abuse. They don’t feel trust in themselves; therefore, they prefer to lead a single life.

All in all, Fear of marriage and commitment is found in contemporary Pakistan. It is possible to defeat our own fears by understanding that marriage and commitment is not the loss of freedom or identity and comprehend that not all marriages end up with domestic violence. There is a strong need to counter the anti-marriage discourses to stabilize the society.

By Saba Aman Eusafzai


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