Marriage – A Solution to All Your Problems (Or is it?)

Ask that to any married person. You will get your answer. Marriage has never been the solution to any problem. It may have decreased a few problems but it has never made them 0 (zero). Rather it may increase all your problems, or even create new ones.

Then why is it that in our culture everybody is getting married off? Perhaps it is to have legal sex, to find a richer person, or even to find somebody who can take care of your son or daughter. When we say that parents want to get their offspring married to solve their “problems”, we are referring to legitimate mental health concerns as well as socio-economic problems such as stress caused by a lower socio-economic status, substance abuse, depression, being bisexual, being homosexual (gay or lesbian), or even having sexual health issues such as being asexual, impotent, or having vaginismus. All of these problems can have long lasting impacts on the well-being and life-satisfaction of individuals if not treated at the right time. However, people in Pakistan run away from even acknowledging these mental health problems because loug kya kahengay?(After all, what will people say?).

Parents (usually mothers) give this logic: “larkai ko larki sambhal lai gi or vice versa. They think that a gay individual would magically turn straight after marrying a girl, and that an individual suffering from depression would magically get cured after marrying. And God forbid if you are poor, you just cannot voice if you are interested in men or women, or if you even want to get married in the first place. I have been seeing this since my last 14 years of practice in Pakistan and the concept/ mindset hasn’t changed.

It is usually the mothers who make these decisions. About sexual illnesses, be it a man or a woman, they do not express that they have a problem and after reaching a certain age bracket, they themselves want to get married.

Also there is another concept and that is: if you keep it going strong (don’t leave the marriage) then you will get success and that includes status in the society, money and security from the other person’s family, one or two kids if there is no sexual dysfunction etc. But if you make it complex and don’t give sufficient time, fight that you have been deceived, and lack respect and understanding  to your partner (which equates to being quiet) then both lives are bound to be ruined.

So going back to our question, is marriage a solution to everything? No, not to everything but yes, if one finds a good companion, life can become much happier and healthier. However there should be no deception. If one has mental health illness then it should be disclosed. By deception I mean that if the guy or the girl has a problem, do let the other party know. If one has a treatable sexual dysfunction then one should get treated and then find a match. If one has an alcohol abuse/addiction or substance abuse /addiction then get it treated first and then find a match. Don’t keep it as a secret so that the boy/girl finds out after the marriage. And yes, if the person has altered sexual orientation, then let them be happy and please do not get them married to the gender they are not attracted to. Their happiness will bring you happiness and it is their happiness that matters at the end of the day. You are not the key agents in their lives. They are. In marriage one can find love and companionship or on the other hand one’s life can be a living hell.

I hope this blog of mind will have an effect on 0.1% of our population.