My marriage, my decision
During 2014’s Spring Festival, an advertisement launched by baihe.com, a match-making website caused hot debate among the society and some netizens even started a boycott against Bai He by thousands of people. This advertisement is about a girl chooses to marry a boy whom she found through Bai He, the match making website, to satisfy her grandmother’s final wish, which as to Bai He, is a true story. To lots of girls and boys who have reached marriage age but still stay single, this advertisement, using family love to force them to get married, is a moral blackmail in a real sense.
In 2015 on February 14th, several girls claiming themselves alliance of leftover girls walked in downtown Shanghai, holding signs against being forced to marriage, “Mum, do not force me to get married during the new year, “my happiness, my decision” and etc. Strategies against being force to marry can be easily found from wechat, blogs and websites. To those who reach marriage age but stay single with no boy friend or girl friend, spring festival, which is supposed to be a happy family union time, is changed into a time for endless blind dates arranged by parents and warm hearted relatives or friends of parents, a time with endless questions from close and distant relatives about when you will get married, a time you want to run away from the family as soon as possible.
Forcing to get married in not a rare case around the world, but only the Chinese parents have made it a life priority especially to those who got married early, gave birth to child early and retire early. It is understandable that they have their own pressure from their parents, their relatives and friends of the same age who have the grandchildren already. To those parents, marriage is still considered as a must and to get married at marriageable time is normal. To those parents, the Chinese tradition, to have grandchildren around is still considered to be a major happiness in their life. To those parents, they believe the child is all they have and to marry their baby girl or boy well becomes their first and sometimes only goal in their life. The pressure they have and the expectation they have work together to force their child to get married when the child reaches the appropriate marriage age. The problem is marriage is the choice of their child’s own but not theirs.
I strongly oppose the parents’ forcing their child to get married against the child’s will. Yes, marriage does involve two families. Yes, marriage needs a good match which the parents must keep close eye on. But marriage is a willing choice made by their own child first instead of a task assigned by the parents that the child has to fulfill, to marry for marriage’s sake is unacceptable.
From the post 80s divorce cases I have handled, lack of understanding is the main killer to their marriage. I checked with some of our clients and their parents why to get married since the son in law or daughter in law is such unlovable one. The answers are almost the same, I am no longer younger and I do not have too many choices. Since my parents are so worried I do not get married at such a late age, pick up some one who seems appropriate and get married. The parents’ are since our child is no longer younger, to find someone to get married is not easy. Just get married or we may never have to opportunity to hold our baby grandchild. Being forced to get married, rush to get married, the marriage seems to be doomed a failure.
More often than not, parents who are forcing their children to get married will try every effort, utilizing every relation they have, catching every chance of promoting their children, arranging the blind date for their children whenever possible even against their children’s own will. Furthermore, the qualifications the parents set for their future son in law or daughter in law, look, education, economic conditions but never the personality or upbringing or character, anything that is really important for marriage. A perfect marriage in those parents’ eye ends up a total failure when the son in law born of a good family turns out to be a extremely person who cares nobody but only himself, the daughter in law with master degree is a lazy bone and a pampered prince or a good look son in law turns out to be a love rat at all.
Marriage, after all, is not a wishful thinking of the parents but a willing choice of the child’s own. Yes, parents need to take a close look at the partner the child chooses to spend the rest of life with but only as a bystander not a party involved. Yes, it is natural to get married at a right age but only when the child finds the right one. Yes, the elder the child be, the more difficult for him or her to find the right one as the choice is decreasing when the age is increasing. But the increasing age will make the child wiser in choosing the life partner. Yes, your baby child is too naïve to choose the right one but your choice does not necessarily mean the right one for your baby child. So trust your own child and stop worrying. Stay single, remain wise is a good choice if there is no appropriate one for marriage.