Love comes to those who possess the patience to share and accept a plethora of amorousness. Love is not just in the air, but precisely in every living particle of this planet thanks to Valentine’s Day. What makes Valentine’s Day different from previous years is that this romantic carnival is more evolved with couples taking it slow and being extra cautious before they take the plunge on the palisade of “I DO”. An increasing number of couples are opting for pre-marriage counselling, which has became the new talk of the town.
Dismantling peer pressure
Talk about Indian social stratification and the concept of peer pressure tops the list especially when it comes to marriage and merging of two families. Sakshi and Shantanu have been childhood sweethearts and have always desired to be forever partners in crime, but long distance love has its own set of pros and cons which led them to opt for pre-marriage counselling to analyse their compatibility.
Elucidating this decision Sakshi said, “Shan and I have been together since childhood, but work and academic priorities led us to choose long distance love. As chimerical as it may sound, it was quite difficult to cope with the crossover timings and keeping up the spark. Back home, family was going gaga over our wedding talks. Somewhere down the line I was airily aware about this concept thanks to a few online articles and shared my inhibition with Shantanu. We decided to take a crack at pre-marriage counselling and have been glad ever since.”
Couples often undergo immense encumbrance from family over marriage and have to auscultate odious opinions. From “things will fall in place to you will soon gel' these statements tend to put a couple in double thoughts. Highlighting their counselling experience Shantanu said, “Considering the typical parental mentality opening up to them about pre-marriage counselling was a taboo in itself. So we decided to do this discreetly and later open up to the family. We laid out pointers, which will also help in explaining to our families how they can help build our relationship without a third party involvement. Things came out in a refined manner because the conversation was precise. We jotted down our issues as guided by the counsellor and accordingly worked on our altercations.”
Mental health denotation
In a country where physical appearance is considered as a ground breaking element for marriage, importance of mental health in a relationship is a subject that is considered the least important. Despite being in its nascent stages pre-marital counselling is gradually changing the concept of marriage thereby also resulting in low divorce rates feels counselling psychologist Chandan Raj Shekhawat.
Elucidating her opinion, she said, “As a counsellor I am completely in favour of pre-marital counselling. Today, times are different and both, the man and the woman, are financially and intellectually independent. Each one has an opinion of their own and varied perspectives towards living life. These perspectives and other requirements need to be discussed openly before couples get married.”
Despite the growing popularity, this therapy is still limited to the crowd of metro cities thanks to the reach of social media. But it is yet to reach the remotest town or village in the world. Western countries have evolved with regards to this therapy while in India it still is a work in progress feels Chandan.
“People are still uncomfortable with the idea of pre-marital therapy, but fail to understand that it is actually playing a pivotal role in ensuring there is no chaos post-marriage. Couples undergoing this therapy find it easy to understand each other and make the necessary additions and subtractions to help build a strong foundation for marriage. This therapy needs more social reach and must be campaigned across every town and village. Since it is yet to find its way into every home, it is restricted to metro cities for now,” says Chandan.
For Shyam and Sanjivni Dixit, it was an eyebrow raising moment when their son broke the idea of pre-marital therapy to them. Belonging to an era where parents took the call on the future of their kids, the parents of the groom found it difficult to swallow this new-found reality.
“Like they say every new cuisine begins with a pinch of salt and that is exactly how we reacted when our son opened up about going for pre-marital counselling. To be honest, we were not in the favour of this idea but then times are changing and so are mindsets. Back in our times we never dared question our parents' decisions even if that meant meeting your future partner. But with changing times we need to accept what is coming our way as parents and we are glad we decided to give it a shot,” feels Sanjivni.
The Dixits not just went for a couple therapy, but positively got involved in the session to understand priorities at both ends. The opening up helped them not just understand their son better, but also what the pros and cons were.
Sharing his experience Shyam said,“We were quite amazed at how things were unravelling because many times we are oblivious to our hidden behavioural clauses and how they might affect our kids. As a parent, I would insist that not just couples but also both set of parents indulge in this therapy for a better understanding of marriage.”
Taking in the overall scenario, pre-marital counselling is still in its 50-50 phase considering its reach. The social media reach of this concept is limited making it difficult for people to understand and accept this therapy. The curiosity around the subject and the intention to have a successful marriage is the magnetic element which is attracting new-age couples into opting for it. Thanks to the world wide web, pre-marital therapy will soon find its wings spreading over every nook and corner of the world.