I am sure that most people have heard about marriages, which have ended up in divorce or failed in other ways. Still are there people who inquire why a certain marriage ended in divorce or what are the reasons for the failure of some marriages
? Only very few people inquire into the reasons behind the divorce or the failure of marriages.

Marriage counsellors say that most marriages fail for certain similar reasons. If the concerned people are aware of the reason for the failure of many marriages then they can take appropriate steps to prevent their own marriage going in the wrong way. The course of marriage, which heads for failure and divorce can be rerouted on the right path and such marriage can be saved with appropriate steps taken at the right time.

Recently in my neighbourhood two marriages ended up in divorce within a short time of their marriages. On enquiry I found out that for one reason or other both the marriages were conducted in a great hurry. Both the marriages were arranged marriages by their parents and other close relatives. The families of both the couple had not inquired into the background and culture of the families concerned. In both the marriages the boy and the girl concerned had no opportunity to meet each other at leisure and talk at length about their ideas and dreams of married life and get to know each other well.

There are many such reasons for the marriages which have ended up in failure and divorce. In many such failed marriages the parents and other elders in the family played a major role contributing to the failure of the marriage of the young couple. And yet often the parents and elders wash their hands when the marriages arranged by them are on the rock!

In arranging a marriage the parents often take into consideration only their prestige and the financial benefits. They also want often in a great hurry to get rid of their responsibility and worry about getting over with the marriage. In th
e process the parents often force their sons/daughters to accept the life-partner chosen by the parents even when the son/daughter has objection. They put inordinate pressure on their son/daughter to marry the candidate of their choice by inducement and using unfair means. The parents and elders hardly change such behaviour and we should not expect them to change as age-old traditions are behind them. But there are also parents and elders who read the signs of the time and allow their children to make their own choice of their life-partners with appropriate guidance and advice but without any moral or psychological force.

Sometimes parents have come to me asking me to help them to find suitable partners for their son or daughter. I tell them that I am not a traditional middleman or a marriage broker and I am not interested in the least in the job of a marriage broker. But keeping in mind the boys and girls who come to me for advice in choosing their life-partners, I have a few things to say here. Some times back two girls known to me came to meet me. “Father Varghese, please find a suitable match for my friend here”, one girl said to me.

“I am not a marriage broker. It is not my job to look for and arrange a life-partner for her marriage. All I can do is to give you some guidelines concerning how to go about in looking for your life-partner,” I told both the girls.

First, before looking for your life-partner, you think and become very clear in your mind about what do you seek to gain or achieve through marriage. What do you want in marriage? What are your dreams and expectations from marriage? What kind of lif
e-partner you are looking for? What are your ideas of a life-partner? You cannot neglect these basic things. If you are not sure about these things, then you will be choosing your life-partner merely on the basis of his/her appearance. It would not be a proper thing to do for a mature person.

Second, take the responsibility on yourself for selecting your life-partner. Some young men and ladies leave such responsibility to their parents or elders in their family! Not so rarely a girl and a boy go to the marriage hall saying that, “Their choice is my choice”! It is for the girl who has to live her whole life with her spouse and not her parents or any other elders. You certainly take the guidance and advice of your parents. Take the help of the elders. But make sure that you are choosing and deciding who is your life-partner. So it is not enough that your parents make the enquirers about your future spouse.
You yourself meet the possible spouse and inquire and observe his/her behaviour, ideals, ideas about marriage, married life together and about children, etc. Then, if you are fully satisfied, make your choice, not otherwise.

Third, meet the persons who could become your spouse. Let him/her know your ideas of marriage, your hopes and aspirations and everything else a spouse wanted to know about you. Share everything through personal encounter and dialogue. Let the opposite party know your doubts and anxieties, your difficulties and questions. Make sure if there is the meeting of mind
and complimentarity between the two of you. Make sure as much as possible that you would be able to live with the person for the rest of your life. Check the reliability and the dependability of the person. Ancient Tamil poet Thiruvellur has said that, “there is no other great happiness as family life if the husband and wife can trust eachother.”

Fourth, evaluate the possible life-partner both from you own point of view and also as others judge the person. Look into all aspects of his/her life. Meet the persons who know well your future life-partner. Evaluate the person together with your parents or other trustworthy persons like a friend who could help you. Examine all the information you can get about your future spouse. The success of marriage depends on both finding the right partner for you and you yourself becoming a suitable life-partner to your spouse.

Fifth, one can see some sort of cheating in many the marriages, which have ended in failure. So make sure about certain basic things about marriage. Get correct the basic information like the age of a person, education, job, income, financial commitment, the suitability to contract marriage, (that is, is the person previously married or single; is the person has any relationship which may come on way of marriage?), etc. If you take initiative and provide the information to the person, whom you think of marrying, then that person too will feel obliged to help and provide you such information. But do not depend only on the person concerned. Collect and check the veracity of the information gathered.

Never take these matters for granted nor put yourblind faith in the person whom you are going to marry without satisfactory information.