3 Hard Truths & Pitfalls of Traditional Marriage I Learned After Divorce

Diamond rings, silver pumps, bridal up-dos, and bridal lehenga, I had it all on my special day. I was nervous as I left the marriage hall with my husband and my new family. Nervous about the new life I was entering in. I had always thought about what kind of couple we were going to be. Would we be those lovey-dovey who can’t stay away from each other or the ones who are always quarreling but deep down still in love?

But I got my answer in the first six months – we were the couple who were pulling each other deep into the darkness.

Why most marriages fail?

We have all been there at some point. When someone talks about marriage, people think about weddings, grand hosting, decorations, music, food, and above all wedding attire. The movies and novels have played a huge part in spoon-feeding our dreams of big-fat weddings and happily ever after. Sadly, for many couples, their happily-ever-afters are as true as Disney fantasies.

3 Hard Truths About Why Most Marriages Fail

I still remember my wedding day loud and clear. The excitement, the nervousness, those wedding jitters didn’t leave me for days. Weddings are the biggest celebration of our lives and we all want to enjoy every moment of that magical day. Nothing can be compared to the moment when you say ‘I do’.

Unfortunately, that’s not true when it comes to marriage. And for many people, the agony of separation and divorce is just around the corner. Now, a year after, I wish I knew the truths and pitfalls of traditional marriage that I had to learn the hard and the ugly way.

I have seen couples dragging each other through the married life compromising with their wants and dreams. Not because they want to, not because they are deeply in love with each other, but because they have to. We all see many couples around us unhappy, miserable even but some of them choose to stay that way. 

So, why do people get married? If we know the risk of the misery and set-back after the divorce, why get married in the first place? 

#1 Traditional Marriage Pitfalls

Because you’re “supposed” to 

Traditionally, marriage was treated as a contract especially in the old days, for economic transactions. The bride then became the legal responsibility of the groom. Which is why women after the marriage had to take their husbands’ last name as their own.

Historically, when women weren’t allowed to work or even pursue education, they were depended on men in every way. Men provided financial security to their wives and in turn, women spent days looking after family and providing for their husbands’ needs. Those days, marriage was a necessity for women as they were dependent on men financially. 

By paying for the wedding, the bride’s family was basically buying a business and political connections in most cases. 

Our society is still reflecting old-age values & marriage pitfalls

I know most of you are well aware of women’s conditions back then and even think it’s not relevant in today’s world. But think about it, how much things have changed today? 

Though today women are educating and becoming financially independent marriage still remains to be on our plate. It is because our “traditions” are founded on women being owned, marriage ceremonies, contracts and our society still follow those ideas. That’s one of the biggest pitfalls of traditional marriage – we do it because we are supposed to.

#2 Traditional Marriage Pitfalls

#HeForShe : No gender equality in marriage

What is gender equality? It states that women are equal to men, that we have equal opportunities and respect in society as our opposite gender. That we can do everything men can do.

We all have seen male politicians and celebrities coming forward to support their female acquaintances, joining a cause and trending hashtags like #HeForShe. But when it comes to married life gender equality is nothing but a myth. 

Women are juggling between career and home responsibilities

Today’s woman is stepping out to make a career and to prove herself. Today, we can have it all – home, career, family, and children. Women today have broken the gender barrier to climb the corporate ladder with the dreams and ambitions of becoming someone.

We’ve added professional and financial responsibilities to our plate along with home and family. How much have our husbands rushed forward to fill the gap at home?

Instead, women are expected to do more today men are still laid back when it comes to taking household responsibilities. While this is almost the picture of every household in India, I used to believe things are far better in western countries. But after reading Melinda Gates’ interview on equality in marriage I realized gender equality is among the pitfalls of traditional marriage and worldwide issue that is staring us in the face.

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Men are less expected to help in household chores

Though women are climbing the corporate ladder, we are expected to do more to prove ourselves, have family, and raise children without flexible work schedules. 

And I’m sure most of us still do household chores too on top of everything.

So, why do we pretend that women are treated equally, especially in marriage when we aren’t? This idea, the myth I chose to believe before marriage only brought disappointment, burnout, and resentment in my life.

The other day when I was listening to the radio where they were running a show on the occasion of International Women’s Day, an RJ read an interesting comment a listener had shared with him. She said – and I couldn’t agree more – women don’t want to be someone’s Biwi (Farsi for wife) but they want to be someone’s Best Buddy. 

I think that thought is what should be the new reality of relationship. And will lead us to breaching the rules pitfalls of traditional marriage and creating a life we want without limiting our beliefs and expectations.

#3 Traditional Marriage Pitfalls:

Love is not enough for a successful marriage

“Love is enough for a successful marriage, everything else just works out on its own”, that’s one of most b*llsh*t advises I have heard in my life and still keep getting them since the day I decided to divorce.

Trust me, this trap only works in Disney movies and it will doom your marriage if you keep believing it. I always had this doubt and question that if love is all that we need, then why marry? 

Shared values between couples is a key

I’ve lived this lie for over a year, and now only realized after I decided to end my marriage that misleading values like that tend to push relationships and marriage towards break-up and divorce. Do you think that love is enough?  What about the things that are important to you are not even on the radar for him… and vice versa? 

Two years before when I met my now-Ex to share my career plans, and future ambitions and understand his perspective. The way he reacted to it all made it clear that he didn’t really care about it. But I went against my judgment and hoped that it will all turn out just fine after marriage. After a year of misery, losing my confidence and family’s support, I’ve learned the importance of shared values in a relationship.

Without those shared values, you both can’t understand what really matters to each of you. And it only risks of not seen or respected as who you really are as a person.

Love is important but not enough

Love is a foundation of every relationship. But I’ve learned that a true recipe of a happy marriage is having and showing respect, trust, care, appreciation, and attraction towards each other.

Just hoping for a happy marriage and lasting love while entering your married life will only bring back disappointment and resentment. So, before you start wedding planning, finding a venue, discussing decorations, cake, and wedding invitations, sit down and share your thoughts about married life.

Know each other’s perspectives. And understand how you are going to move forward with married life, together as well as individually as a person.

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