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Society teaches women that they must ‘adjust’ and ‘sacrifice’ if they have to make marriages work. Do we teach men the same? How do we equip women to handle problems in marriages? This post asks the right questions.
When I was about get married, I got advice about the new life I was going to embrace, about how I might have to give less priority to my likes and dislikes, and how I have to accept those of the new home. All the advice was very subtle, but it did suffocate me a bit. It didn’t matter that I was going to marry a man of my choice, the sacrifices I must make were staring at me. None of this came from my fiancée or future in-laws.
Almost 7 years later, I am happy to acknowledge that I haven’t been asked to make anyone else’s likes and dislikes as my priority! Is it because we were outside India for the majority of our married life, or because my in-laws are not demanding people? I think both of these are factors. I knew my husband very well before our marriage, so did he. We were well aware of our flaws and faults. We knew each other’s values and strengths too. We had major fights before our marriage. But we wanted to get married to each other because we loved each other.
So when the advice found its way to my ears, I was surprised. Because none of the advisers knew the person I was going to live with better than me.
So when the advice found its way to my ears, I was surprised. Because none of the advisers knew the person I was going to live with better than me. Regardless, they pitched in. Because there are set rules to be followed in a marriage, and the most prominent one of all is for the bride to accept that the new life is going to be incredible at the price of her likes, dislikes, dreams, desires, etc. That’s what I understood. Because some of the statements were screaming that out, very gently, I might add.
Of course, the night before my wedding I wasn’t going to bother myself with all these new tantrums. I was hopeful about the new life we were going to build together. Because I knew that it was going to be new for him too. I was aware that he was also going to make adjustments to fit me into his life, and the same was expected from me too.
I wonder now why they failed to tell me about that. Is it because society sees (and wants) only the girl to make adjustments? I am happy to underline that my expectations were right, he too made a lot of adjustments from his side to accommodate me. And it should be like that.
Moreover, they didn’t ask me if I was happy, and they don’t ask me if I am happy now.
Then I realized; though everyone was generous in dropping their knowledge about married life on me, no one educated me on how to handle the bad situations, how to understand when I was exploited in any way, how to let them know if any such thing happens. Moreover, they didn’t ask me if I was happy, and they don’t ask me if I am happy now. And I am proud to say that there is only one person who cares about my happiness – my husband, the person I loved and got married to, who I fight with and scream at, who knows the ups and downs I go through. And I must say it is mutual.
There are a lot of misconceptions about married life. Yes, it is true that girls have to make adjustments to make it work, but so do boys. If men are not doing it, it is probably because they are not expected to do so, or they are not taught to adjust. Is it society’s mistake then?
If you don’t educate your daughters well about the situation then how can you cry when things go wrong? How can women complain about the injustice and inequalities suffered from the in-laws’ if they are expected to sacrifice and adjust by their own parents? How are men at fault when they are not made aware that they too have adjustments to make in the new life? Who is at fault here?
This post was first published here.
Pic credit: Image of a wedding couple via Shutterstock.
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