Early Years of Marriage
- By Sam George
- Published 07/14/2008
Sam George is the Executive Director of PARIVAR International - a non-profit initiative to address the needs of youth and families of Asian Indian origin in North America and to the Asian Indian community worldwide. Parivar means family in many Indian languages. Sam George also serves as one of the founding directors of Urban India Ministries
www.UrbanIndia.org Sam George and his wife, Mary have spoken at premarital and family events in many countries. They are parents of two boys and make their home in the northern suburbs of Chicago. Sam is the author of the book “Understanding the Coconut Generation: Ministry to the Americanized Asian Indians." Check out this website www.CoconutGeneration.com Coconut (brown on the outside, white on the inside) is a metaphor for the Americanized Asian Indians. Sam George can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Most casusalty happens in early years of marriage. Contrary to the popular notion, many marriage break up in the honeymoon year itself. Others within first three or five years. If couple survives ten years or so, they are likely to stick on even if they do not have a great marriage.
A recent study by the Creighton University Center for Marriage and Family suggests that time, sex and money pose the three biggest obstacles to satisfaction in the lives of newly married couples. In its report, "Time, Sex and Money: The First Five Years of Marriage,'' the center noted those three topics "were the three problematic issues reported most frequently and with the highest average intensity.''
This is true of coconut marriages. At PARIVAR seminars and conferences, we have found same issues to play havoc in addition to unique cultural problem of conflict with in-laws (which is the among top three issues of marriages in India). Marriages between those who were raised outside of India with those who are grown up in India also exhibit many unique problems similar to that of inter-racial marriages.
Most coconuts bring debt brought into marriage, balancing work and family remains a challenge, and frequency of sexual relations were of greatest concern to those ages 29 and under. Those over 30 tend to have problems with work/family balance and sexual relations. Marital communication, dealing with their past (absue, relationships, sexuality)managing expectations, interpersonal skills, resolving conflict, household chores etc are other problems areas in the marriages of emerging generations of Asian Indian around the world.
In the book, we have included some of the struggles of single coconuts face. We also have seen how these issues come to the surface when they get married. With almost one-third marriages breaking up within the emerging generation of overseas Indian community, family will remain one of the neediest area to work in. What a challenge before us all.