6 | Guest Post: An open response to Guest Post 5

Tips for Avoiding Marriage Pressure.

In response to ‘Mallu I am’

I want to help you. Things are really bad right now and I know it seems hopeless, but there are things you can do! This is the time when you have to be brave.

  1. Communicate. Tell you parents (in the most daring way possible without being physical) how you know that you’re not ready for this. Make sure this communication is CONSTANT.
  2. Make your own plan. Decide what is best for you. Be it further education, a better job or financial stability, having a concrete plan will definitely open up a conversation. Be prepared to treat this like a business plan. They will ask questions, you need to answer all of them well enough to convince them.
  3. Ask questions. Loads of questions. How old were your parents when they got married? How old was your cousin when she got married? There is likely to be a big difference. Ask about if you will be meeting several people and if not then push for that.
  4. Make them understand that you’re not likely to settle for anyone. You need to be picky because this is your life you’re talking about. You take it very seriously.

Possible excuses

  1. I want to study. You’re education will never leave you or hurt you. It will only take you further into success.
  2. Career focus. You want to make sure you are able to look after yourself. If you’re husband leaves you, dies or whatever else, you want to know that you will NOT depend on another person.
  3. I want to lose some weight first. This seems weird but if you can be charming about it, it might just be enough to buy you some time.
  4. I don’t know how to cook, let me learn first. We all know how seriously Indians take this.
  5. My boss said that I am up for promotion. I am not ready for new responsibilities on the personal front. Saying things like ‘If I get pregnant now and have to take maternity leave, I’ll lose this amazing opportunity.’ Don’t be nervous, this isn’t the first time you’ve lied to your parents.
  6. I’m still a child. Act like one. Get creative.

If it gets to the point where none of these are optional, then it’s time to get bold.

  1. Emotional blackmail. ‘I can’t believe you could do this to your daughter.’ Hit them where it hurts. Make them feel your pain. Talk about how you’re their little girl (or boy).  ‘If you love me, you won’t push this.’
  2. Threaten them. Yep, it can get to this point. If you need to force them right back. If you do this then I will run away. Push them as far as you need to. You don’t need to mean it, but they need to believe You can do this.
  3. Break the Rules. You’re about to get married, that means you don’t have to listen to your parents anymore. If your husband is cool with it then it shouldn’t be a problem. Wear that tight dress to work. Go to the super market in heels and short shorts. Talk about getting a tattoo of his name on your lower back. Make them as angry as you are. Then maybe they will listen to you when you say you aren’t ready.

Don’t lose hope!

Listen, it always starts out as a conversation before it gets real. Take it back to just the conversation. Tell them about your friend who got married when she wasn’t ready and how it was the worst decision ever.

If you can, try get some humour in there! I had a friend whose mother-in-law made her stop having tea in the afternoon. Imagine that. It’s so stupid and funny. But that girl got a divorce. (I swear this is true.)

Remember that this is your life; you can fight for it to be yours. Pray. PRAY. God is out there and will LISTEN to you. There are countless people out there who are proof of this. Don’t lose hope, don’t give up. You have to try. Try everything and be strong my girl. You can get through this. – DayDreamer

This was emailed to me in response to the poem posted in Guest Post 5. Thanks for joining the conversation, DayDreamer! The previous post, in my interpretation, was just an expression of one girl’s frustration/state of being overwhelmed by certain societal pressures we might face growing up in a Malayali household, but I am glad that people are engaging with this – and if you would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to. You don’t have to share your real name at all – and if you do, I am happy to keep it anonymous/use an alias. MMx

4 thoughts on “6 | Guest Post: An open response to Guest Post 5

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