Arranged marriages have been an integral part of the Indian society. It has been reported that approximately 90% of marriages in India are arranged. A marriage is termed as “arranged” when it is proposed by people other than those getting married. The people responsible for the arrangement of the marriage can be parents, matchmaking agents, matrimonial sites or a trusted third party.
Indian youth, particuarly women, find themselves under immense social and parental pressure to get married by a certain age. That’s what 25 year old Aditi experienced too. Aditi, 25, is a Product Manager from Bengaluru. She had been under pressure from her parents to get married for sometime but it increased when lockdown hit. So intense was the pressure that despite not being interested in the idea of marriage, Aditi finally relented.
“My parents started pressuring me to get married and signed me up on a marriage portal, but I wasn’t really ready for it, but I also gave in because I wasn’t preparing for my higher studies either”
Aditi statrted conversing with some prospective grooms over the said portal. However she found that this was adversely impacting her mental health. She would get particuarly upset when she would get rejeceted by someone she was speaking with. She did not expect the process to be this overwhelming.
The conversations I had on the marriage portal app impacted me, which was when I signed up on YourDOST
Aditi connected with YourDOST Expert, Ms. Mamata Harish. Rightaway, she opened up to her about all the things that had been bothering her but she could not discuss with her parents. One of the things they worked on was actually understanding what relationships are all about.
As a society, we aren’t open about relationships. As kids, we are expected to study and get good grades, get a good education, and a job and then get married. Without any guidance, it can be quite daunting for adults to understand the aspects that come with a long term relationship.
Sadly, in general, we don’t know much about relationships. They tell you to just grow up and get married. Nobody tells you about the intricacies of relationships, how to go through a break up
They discussed about the difficulties Aditi was facing with handling rejection. Mamata helped her understand the psyche of the men she was interacting with on the marriage portal. She realised that the men on the marriage portal were looking for more long term relationships before they could commit to a marriage rather than a short term commitment.
“Rejection was hard for me to accept, but my therapist helped me understand their perspective.”
The therapist (Mamtha) from YourDost helped Aditi put her thoughts together and understand the different points of view of her parents and the men she was interacting with on the marriage portal.
Aditi also spoke to us about how it is often hard for many to open up to people around them, and that having an external support system like YourDost helped her in a big way.
“It is very hard to open up to people who are close to us, even if we have somebody in our life we cannot really talk to them about these things because they make sure they are not hurting us, which might not help us the way we need. This is when a third person helps because the therapist does not have any preconceived notions about your life and come with an open slate and are non-judgmental. For people who find it hard to open up, this is a great opportunity to get in touch with themselves.”
Counselling can help us understand ourselves better, as Aditi talks about how it can help us find a voice for the problems in our mind and find better ways to solve them in a non-judgmental unbiased way.
I was able to share whatever I wanted to without the fear of being judged and made me feel comfortable. Mamata told me things that I knew but was not ready to accept. She really helped me understand different points of view
When we asked Aditi about her thoughts on the Mental Health Support she received, this is what she had to say:
“Emotional support is just like any other physical thing, if we break a leg we know we have to get it fixed, it is equivalent to that. People often tend to ignore the hard feelings and hope for them to go away, which is not the case. I am extremely grateful for my therapist and would like to thank her for listening to me. At some points, I wasn’t even sure if I was making sense. I could rely on her listening to me. She helped me bring my thoughts together and I thank her for being very patient with me”
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