While marriages are said to be made in heaven, it seems God left it to us to prepare and complete the task. And when it comes to weddings, Indians have a checklist that covers vast areas — from checking social status to matching kundalis. While most parents still stress on checking the ‘guna’ (attributes) of the prospective bride or groom, how about taking small steps towards keeping it real… and safe. Before saying yes to a prospective bride or groom, see if he or she fulfills these five points…
Family health and genes
Discussing each other’s families might be an interesting exercise, but don’t take it lightly. Make sure to check all possible medical conditions that exist in the family. This may include getting into minute details such their skin type or accidents in the past. Major health issues, including surgeries, chronic illnesses or genetic details must be taken into consideration. It is important to not only do a background check or research these, but also address it openly with his/her family.
Most pre-marital counsellors advise couples to take up a genetic blood disorder test so that it can detected. Thalassemia is one of the most common genetic blood disorders, wherein the body produces fewer healthy red blood cells, and hence the patient has low levels of haemoglobin than normal. It is classified in three levels of normal, minor and major. Says Dr Anup Shukla, a general physician, “A thalassemia major patient has to undergo blood transfusion every three to eight weeks to maintain his haemoglobin level. More than one lakh in the country suffer from this disorder and approximately 10,000 children are born with it.”
Other issues that need to be addressed are mental health, even if it is still considered a taboo in this country; this also includes substance abuse or any kind of trauma.
Even if both (prospective groom and bride) are financially independent, it is still important to check each other’s financial stature for a secure future. According to reports, marriages can fall apart due to financial difficulties. It is also known to be the root of most marital problems. Don’t hesitate to ask relevant questions about the future, which includes the possibility of taking loans and their repayment, investments, liabilities, assets and debts if any. A thorough check of each other’s financial background will ensure you are well-prepared to handle any possible crisis.
Every family has their own legal issues — property or civil. It is important to run a thorough check on all legal issues a family might be dealing with, be it land disputes, criminal cases or property related issues. If any of the family members are involved in any criminal case or other legal situations, there must be absolute clarity, to avoid misunderstandings in the future. It is also important to discuss matters related to ancestral properties and wills if any, as well as the nominees. Lastly, if pre-nuptial agreements are to be drawn, discuss each point carefully, and get them checked by a lawyer.
Religious and cultural beliefs
At a time when the communal climate around the world has become rather divisive, it is important to understand each other’s religious temperaments. As human beings, each of us are defined by our culture, ethnicity, education, religion, languages and food habits. So, it is a must for couples to discuss their religious and cultural similarities, differences or preferences to reduce conflict after marriage. In fact, even if two people practice the same faith, they may differ in their views or how they practice it. Thus, talking about them in advance will help create and develop a healthy understanding and respect you need as a couple.
Our experiences with our families tend to influence our behaviour with our partners as well. However, not all experiences are happy ones. Make sure to interact with every member of the other family as they are bound to impact your marriage. It will also help you understand the roles children, parents, siblings and extended family play in a marital life.
And yes, don’t forget to talk about sex and children as well
There is the issue of sex — everyone has different ideas and expectations when it comes to physical intimacy. Even though it’s a given that the couple will discover each other’s likes and dislikes gradually as they start their life together, it’s imperative that they clearly talk about basic issues points before tying the knot. There should be transparency about their past sexual experiences, sexual health and expectations, other than discussing the possibility of children. Make sure you are ready to adapt to each other’s changing bodies, needs and circumstances.