Let’s Not Romanticize Marriage

Let’s Not Romanticize Marriage

‘And they lived happily ever after….’ It sounds good, ain’t it? Rather it sounds a bit too good to be true. At least for once it takes you away from the pallid reality out there or may be from the one lying just next to you (your husband/wife –if you still don’t understand what I mean)


Where the ‘forever part’ seems to be a nice extension to the span of time people live happy for, won’t it be nice if we force the truth to come out for once? I, for one feel that our ideals about marriage are way too romantic to be even least healthy for the relationship. A bunch of A level students find the hunt for the ‘perfect life partner’ who is nice, loving, caring and all like it’s too little to ask for as compared to putting up a demand for ‘ a really pretty, gorgeous and to-die-for spouse. They also think if you are one hell lucky in your ‘search’, then all the problems that may potentially strike you in your lifetime are gone. Is that so?


Marriage for many is a purely romantic notion, where love is supposed to do it all. But reality is way too different than a life predominated or I should say obsessed with lovey dovey thingies, where all that the husband has to think on his way back home is to bring flowers for his missy and the missy is able to empathize all her husband’s repressed desires and hurts and lavish her selfless love on him. A little reality check here please! Marriage is a contract based on rules and regulations, on rights and obligations and love is a factor operative behind smoothing all it takes for it to function well.


Marriage is two people coming together for reasons that can vary but with a common aim to start off a family unit. Now this needs arrangements, positions clearly defined and laws to consult in case of any disaster. It also means two people who are reasonably attracted to each other, yes call it love if that makes you happy, and are able to put up with each other’s qualities and flaws, yes you hear me right-Flaws, deciding to come under a common flagship. And this, by default, means that there are going to be the good and the bad sides to a person, which means there will be troubles adjusting to it. The catch here is how far you’re willing to go to make it work.


And so end of the bedtime fairy tales! There’s a lot to be accomplished before hitting the bed, and trust me, by the time you are done with all; there will be no time for tales. I’m not trying to steal away the beauty of this union by making it sound a bit too mechanical, all I’m trying to do is to shock people (by people I mean unmarried folks, or some naive, married couples too) to accept that like any other relationship, this one also doesn’t have to be flawless. You should be ready for the unpleasant..umm..may be  little less than a plethora of happiness you’re eager to explore. So when the unpl—– part happens, it doesn’t shatter you and your ideals enough so you end up in despair and in unwanted misery.


Know that there are rules to be followed, codes to remain loyal to and behavioral issues that you may encounter time and again. This is precisely because it’s no snow-white story; here are real people involved with real stakes in the partnership, and the sooner you learn this the better it is. However, you’ll need to define what you can put up and not put up with which means defining your boundaries in relationship, which is not bad at all. It only helps you save the pain, which may follow if you avoid clarity.


And yes there’s love, loads and loads of it. Some time it may show and at other times, it may just choose to remain in hiding. That’s why we head for this ‘contract’, decide to live with that certain someone and start a family with him alone, but there’s more to it that needs not to be overlooked – a human side to a Cinderella story.

Madeeha Ishtiaque

The content writer & person-in-charge of the The News/Geo International Blog. She monitors the social media activity on The News. Follow her on twitter @charmed0000

  • M.S.Qureshi

    “Shaadi kia hai?

    Shaadi say pehlay laRki k liay oor baad maiN laRkay k liay;

    Only a blind wife and a deaf husband can make a fairly
    successful pair in marriage.

    Marriage is the divorce to freedom.

    Marriage is “Rooti, KapRa oor Mkaan changing hands” or,

    “A groom marries with the hope his bride will never change. But,
    bride marries with the hope she will change him to her own specifications.
    Invariably they are both disappointed.” Adapted from Albert Einstein

    • Bhai_Mian

      I truly feel sorry for your wife sir! ( if this is how you see marriage)

      • M.Saeed

        @Bhai_Mian, These are recollections of those who “saved the kitten” on their special-occasion!
        Have some more definitions:-Bachelors have consciences, married men have wives.

        -Marriage is the state or condition of a community
        consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making in all, two. -Marriage should better be pronounced as “mirage”.

    • Khan

      One must keep a balance in life.Follow the teachings of Prophet Mohammad Pbuh in treating a wife and you wont have problems.if you do have then ALLAh will bless you for your steadfast deeds.

  • AA, Canada

    A nice ‘jolting’ article. Just a comment. Its unclear who your addressees are. If they are both genders (as the case rightly seems to be), then please replace the word ‘husband’ with ‘spouse’ in the end of first para. That would avoid the impression (hopefully wrong) that you are picking husbands as being the faulty party. Otherwise, a good read for not only to-be/newly married couples; but also the ‘experienced’ ones.

    • AA, Canada

      Thanks Madeeha for making the requested edit in the first para; and that is appreciated.
      I had a similar argument for your earlier article (Living withoug God). Would appreciate your thoughts there. Regards, AA

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=524040905 Sohaib Rasul Qadri

    all i could remember is “(your husband –if you still don’t understand what I mean)”..
    whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.. “your husband “… cant u just say “your husband/ Wife”???

  • Shehryar

    I’m an unmarried guy in my 20′s………what a realistic and human side to love……..beside every human imperfection, v r still in the pursuit of happiness/love……..gr8….

    • NASAH (USA)

      Count your blessings and stay single — don’t enter the lion’s den if you want to save your tail.

      • Anonymous

        NASAH Sb

        1) Surely you mean the lioness’s den…
        2) Somehow I imagined you advising that marriage value is ‘realised’ for/by sexa/septuagenerians when it truly is about companianship.

        • NASAH (USA)

          Qalim sb

          1) may be avoiding gender bias -:)

          2) not much of a companionship when your partner turns a wild Rushdi and you stay as caretaker of Rushdi’s wild oats.

      • Khan

        stay single and do what??

        • NASAH (USA)

          have fun without overpopulating the world?

          Did you know that in 2050 the world population will probably double to 14 billion?

          • Khurram52c

            you clearly have had a bad experience but that surely does not mean that everyone will have the same. Sure marriage is not all about love and fairy tale, but its also not all about what u are promoting about it …. give life a chance … you talk about mid life crisis and menopause .. surely u must also keep in account being 60 yrs old and sitting all alone wondering if you would be able to bear the personal shame of making it to the toilet in time … everyone needs a companion .. that’s the natural order of things .. no one can surely go budha… …. you can choose temporary relationships that ultimately will leave you stranded or give an institution a chance …it may or may not work out … if it doesn’t tough luck … if it does …. grow old … fight .. make up and fight again ..!! at least life will have some sense into it …!!

          • NASAH (USA)

            Quite an juvenile literalist you are — how old are you? Are you old enough to understand satire?

      • M.S.Qureshi

        If I remember correctly, you had once mentioned here that, you are blessed with a loving daughter who hosted Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali’s show in States. Are you not counting that being a glorious blessing of your marriage???

  • Nabeel Anwer

    Loving someone doesnt mean you always live in the fantasy world … its all about the realities which no one can ever look. It creates bond between the two and through this the strength becomes double. Marriage is not only effects the two individuals but also both the families. I believe if you love someone then the respect to the family values of the spouse must not be ignored. I am getting married soon, and luckily its a love marriage, but we both have taken this relation in a v realistic manner. Love is there but we both know very well that what will be the adjustments and the responsiblities which we both will doing afterwards.

    • NASAH (USA)

      Lad — lots of good luck to you and your love-chosen would be wife — because both of you will be needing it too.

      Right now — marriage may look to you — a paradise of blissful bondage and ‘understanding’ while you are young.

      But wait till YOU enter the mid life crisis — and SHE enters the menopause.

      You will turn into a Salman Rushdi with a racing mind of wild apostasic thoughts — with the unrestrained compulsion to tell the world as if they are so new — asking them for a bountiful bounty on your head.

      And she will turn into a fireball of hot flashes — with hair-trigger temper and an instant tear-jerker — complaining night and day that you don’t love her ‘anymore’ — that will double your electric bill for air conditioning during winter months — besides telling her’s and your’s family what a jerk you are.

      So beware — follow Madeeha’s advice –don’t get married — WAIT till you get over with your mid life crisis in forties and have no bounty on your head — and find a better-half who is cured of Menopausal Syndrome in forties that would not raise your electric bills.

      • Nabeel Anwer

        I will be not having the jerky feelings in between her and my family. You know its all about how one can define the proper definition of the relations. I still have the potential to control my electric bills even though i am in late 20′s.

        Life is never that BAD after marriage as you are sketching it!

  • Anonymous

    “reality is way too different than a life predominated or I should say obsessed with lovey dovey thingies…….”

    Many thanks for the laugh Madeeha, in between some serious and relevant observations. Perhaps you can do a follow-up after a chat with a granny as to how match-making was done a few decades back. We may frown upon a few aspects of the arranged marriages of old but in my experience, those grannies were/are pretty savvy and pragmatic on the whole.

  • Sundus

    If this agreement has to be made as you said, after contemplating all the trade offs, responsibilities and compromises, who will be willing to get married? People do believe in fantasies and once they plunge into this life, they try to adapt to new environment.
    Being a realist and deciding to get married is like being a sensible person and still risk your money in gambling.

  • king alam

    hahah nice madeeha i agreed with you

  • Khan

    One must keep a balance : specially with their expectations.
    Ups and downs are part of life, and marriage is part of it and hence prone to it.
    overall rating to marriage is best thing that can happen.Not sure about the fall out effect!!

  • Shafqat

    Madeeha i can agree with you but for a very short while. while choosing some very hard way you are surely not stopped to plan or to have a good faith/ hope before starting off. It isn’t that much bad if you keep yourself consistent and realistic. In most of the cases what i have observed, it is the change in the mind of any one of the so called wheel of married vehile….
    When people start coming out differently from what they were previously than problems start coming in your way and the people who want such ideal fairy tales type relation, they manage to get that.
    I dont know what others thing but it isn’t that much bad. It depends on you that how much flexible you are…..

  • Umer Khan

    Looks like this article is the result of a heart break, too misleading I think.

  • Taj Ahmad

    True love start after marriage, build good understanding, trust and love, Your marriage will last forever, trust me.


    Yes Hadi miaN — it is my ignorance that keeps me curiously alive — and keeps my curiosity alive.


    Qalim sb — did you get to glance at Rushdi’s Joseph Anton yet?

    It reminds me of a Persian proverb — “oozre gunaah bud tur uz gunaah”

    • Anonymous

      NASAH Sb
      Must confess my contribution to Rushdi coffers as an undergrad through the ‘……Verses’ royalty. Learnt the lesson then, not to sin against my own meagre intellect…..
      Or as part of the verse ges ‘ aql bazaar b’deed w’ tajari aghas krad’


    Qalim sb — did not know I had so many well wishers on this blog alone.-:)

    • Has’aan

      Badnam jo hoNgay to kya naam na hoga?

    • Anonymous

      NASAH Sb
      Ee bassa Masur penhan, z’ aitmad’e jaan’e ishq
      Tark mmbar ha bagufta, barshuda bar dar ha

      As you note your self ‘ ibtada-e-ishq hai…..

  • Anonymous

    NASAH Sb

    Comparison : the other great physicist ‘Dirty Dick’ alias Richard Feynman married his first wife Arline knowing she was dying…..even wrote a love letter to her after her death with a “PS Please excuse my not mailing this — but I don’t know your new address.”

  • ank

    what men want is women who are ideal figure, wealth and apparent intelligent who should not speak for their rights

  • asif

    sweet madiha, most part of ur deep observation is based on good logic but one thing i would say that love and marriage can never be mixed up, it is incorrect that marriage is only a life time contract but it is often based on mutual love which even grows after the marriage