In some countries, women (teenagers) still don’t have the choice of their husband. Their future spouse is just imposed to them by their family, so that the family’s honor is preserved. Not being married or married to a man the family disapproved is considered as an humiliation for the family.
In my country, only some communities still have that mentality. For the rest, women are free to choose any men they want to marry. Yet, I’ve heard around me some testimonies saying the contrary. When you belong to a certain social class, your parents expect you to make a good marriage, and they won’t appreciate if you pick someone who’s out of their league. When I was younger, one of my roommates dated a guy she was madly in love with, but her parents were clearly against this union. She told me her mom asked her to dump him because he wasn’t eligible enough for the family. Since she didn’t want to disappoint her family, she behaved to her mother and dumped him.
S., another woman I knew told me her parents asked her to find a MD. There were a lot of MDs in her family, so another one would be more than welcomed in that little circle. S. wasn’t smart enough to pursue any study (as she said), so her mother urged her to choose the right husband for her. She said that she was considered as the shame of the family because of her stupidity, and that she could redeem herself by marrying the right guy for her family. I don’t know if she managed to reach her goal.
C., 31, is the sole child of her family, who’s been running one of the biggest family businesses in our country. She told me her parents expected her to find a man able to run the family business, as they had no successor for it. C. studied in a complete different area than her family business, and couldn’t take over this function. In fact, C. had no choice. During family dinners, everyone kept on telling her that the faith of their business laid in her hands. And like S., C. didn’t want to disappoint her parents, so she tried to find a man eligible for them.
P., didn’t have that kind of pressure, but she told me that her mom wouldn’t approve if she married a much older man than her. “She would also be pissed if I stole a man already married to someone else” she said.
Depending on how influent your family is and the bond you have with them, you can face pressure coming from your parents to choose a man who’s suitable for them. Virginia Woolf wrote : “Across the broad continent of a woman’s life falls the shadow of a sword. On one side of that sword, there lies convention and tradition and order, where all is correct.’But on the other side of that sword, if you’re crazy enough to cross it and choose a life that does not follow convention, ‘all is confusion. Nothing follows a regular course”. I think it’s summarize the best every woman’s choice when it comes to find the man they will marry.
So, have you ever faced pressure coming from your family to pick a certain type of partner?