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Is marriage a partnership based on give and take?

8 Votes | Average: 3.63 out of 58 Votes | Average: 3.63 out of 58 Votes | Average: 3.63 out of 58 Votes | Average: 3.63 out of 58 Votes | Average: 3.63 out of 5 (8 votes, average: 3.63 out of 5)
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Financial responsibility in marriageThe relationship between spouses is often defined as a partnership. A relation wherein each of the partners share responsibilities and duties equally. But is that what marriage is really about?

Rita for instance is probably the closest one will come to when describing the ideal wife. She is kind, caring, understanding and always willing to chip in when Rajat is in a spot. However, when Rajat found himself struggling to pay off a personal loan to finance his sister’s marriage, Rita refused to chip in. Her reason being that it was his responsibility and she was unwilling to take undue stress upon herself trying to help him pay it off.

Many of us may agree with Rita’s reasoning. In fact, a friend of mine even went to the extent of saying, “why did he have to take such a huge loan anyway? One should cut one’s coat according to the cloth he has.” But, if marriage is about sharing each other’s life. It is also about sharing one another’s problems. No matter what. In this case, not being able to pay back the loan was a problem like any other. And more importantly it was Rajat’s problem. So, logically speaking the other facts shouldn’t have mattered to Rita.

At any point in time I am not trying to support either of the two people. But, the fact of the matter is that when two people tie the knot and decide to spend the rest of their lives together there is no question of equal contribution in the relationship fund. For instance, if the husband is better placed financially then, it should not matter whether his wife’s contribution matches his.

However, partnerships in marriage are not limited to sharing financial responsibilities. There is an emotional and spiritual aspect to it as well. It is not a deal struck and honoured on the basis of satisfaction of mutual needs and, realization of common goals. Something like- “you wash the dishes. I’ll sweep the house. Or I work throughout the week so Sunday is my day of complete rest.” etc.

Though people often talk of a successful marriage being a successful partnership being based on mutual give and take. It may not be the absolute truth. Because, true marital bliss can only be achieved when each of the partners just give, give and give again for no other reason than the love that bonds them for life.

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Responses to Is marriage a partnership based on give and take?

  1. 1 sanjoy

    Sangeeta, Your caption and conclusion are at odds with each other. Be that as it may, what I want to say is that the you have taken a very naive approach to marriage. No relationship can thrive on the principle of give, give and give. Satisfying each other’s needs and sharing each other’s dreams is a very vital and mandatory part of marriage. In marriage, more than the mother and father, more than any one else, the spouse ought to be priority number one. In the context of your article I feel compelled to take a stand that is different from yours. Because I feel Rajat should have taken his wife into confidence before he decided to take a big loan for his sister’s marriage. The couple ought to have given each other a chance to first of all ascertain whether both agreed on the help he planned to render.
    Secondly, if Ritu was expected to chip in, her views and permission should have been obtained. I speak from experience. A very close relative of mine had to bear for many years, the brunt of her husband’s magnanimity towards his sister’s marriage. Yes, there is a duty factor to be considered. But practical considerations and the logistics of repaying the loan are issues that must be very clearly thrashed out.
    I agree that marriage is give and take but certainly neither take and take nor give and give. Let’s not be too simplistic when indulging in truisms and cliches.

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