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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

To have kids or not: Discuss it with your partner before marriage

Counsellors feel that certain issues, which are sure to have an impact on the couple’s future, must be discussed before marriage.

Written by Amrita Sharma | New Delhi |
Updated: June 15, 2015 12:58:36 pm
divorce-main Kids: To have or not to have (Source: Thinkstock Images)

Most couples I know were not in favour of pre-marital counselling at all when I broached the subject and their argument was, well, very logical.

They all felt that the whole idea of pre-marital counselling took away the romance from the relationship and killed the “butterflies in my stomach”.

But I have seen of late that if certain issues are not discussed well in advance, then it is likely to end up killing the marriage itself.

This is what happened with Sneha and Rajdeep. When they got married, Sneha had no idea that Rajdeep was not keen on having any kids of their own.

“When we were dating, he would love to play with his niece and nephew and I often saw him smiling at kids passing by, so I assumed that he loved kids. But when two years later I told him we should plan a family now, he just rejected the idea and I felt terribly cheated,” she says.

For Rajdeep, the fact that he had had a troubled childhood with his parents divorced and he and his sister shunting between two houses and parents, was enough to put him off the idea of his own child.

“I had no inclination to bring a child into a world where there was no surety about how life would turn out,” he said.

What enraged Sneha was that it was not just about his child but hers as well.

“How could he take a decision about a child that was not just his but mine as well? I wanted a child of my own very badly but he would not listen. I felt betrayed and hurt and angry,” she said.

Rajdeep on the other hand felt there was nothing like betrayal since he had never said he wanted one.

At such times, one is faced with the dilemma of choice – of accepting things the way they are or opting out because what the couple wants from life is very different. No doubt, it’s a difficult choice and one that could have been avoided if only the couples had spoken about it.

In the case of Sneha and Rajdeep, they decided to end their marriage because for Sneha, who was a certain age, there was a desperate need to have her child and it was more important to her than anything else.

It was a sad end to what started out as a happy love story. It was also something that made one wonder – what if they had discussed the issue earlier on and he had made his position clear. Would they have fallen apart then? Would they have thrown away all that they had together? Would they have called it off on something so far in the future?

Counsellors feel that certain issues, which are sure to have an impact on the couple’s future, must be discussed before marriage, however uncomfortable or unpleasant they might be. Otherwise, the whole mixture of emotions couples feel – hurt, betrayal, pressure, deception – can all ruin the relationship and eventually lead to an end to the marriage.

Amrita Sharma is author of the book “What Did I Ever See in Him” published by Penguin.

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