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Marriage changes things completely. In the first month of marriage itself, one begins to learn to live with a new relationship.
It has been long time I wrote anything. I had been quite occupied with my engagement and then wedding preparations. Now, when I have been married for over a month and got time to spare, I want to write about my experience and things that I learnt during this phase of my life.
I would like to start with the wedding. Though there might be a few touches of bollywood romance or your favorite romance novel like your colourful pretty outfits, sangeet ceremony, your honeymoon phase, etc., you need to stay grounded.
Expect the unexpected! Not everything would go as you planned and it applies to everything from your wedding outfit, preparations, invites, guests, relatives etc. There would be many sweet moments like meeting your long lost friends, distant cousins, getting pampered by family, shopping etc. And then there would be people who are just next to impossible to please. You have to choose what you want to pay more attention to because every moment will pass, good and bad.
I never believed in this phrase till I got married. So many things that need your attention happen simultaneously that you get totally confused about your priorities. Let some reliable people handle that and distribute your work. Pamper yourself and relax as much as you can.
During the wedding phase or even after, you may hear some negative comments directly or indirectly from people or relatives that are hard to ignore but please, for the sake of your own peace of mind, let that fall on deaf ears. Almost everybody has some suggestion to give but you of course cannot make everybody happy. So, just smile and ignore. It’s an art that needs practice.
I am certainly not telling you to portray yourself like a meek and submissive girl. This actually means that you can do better with choosing your words and timing wisely. During the initial days of marriage, there are too many people around you who notice every single thing you say and do. This applies to both the bride and groom. Talk, but choose your topics and words wisely.
Your new family members are just normal people who want to get along well with you and make you feel comfortable. You too should play your part and try to adjust as per the atmosphere.
Don’t be cynical about anything and don’t keep any presumptions in your mind about your new family. Don’t make any image in your mind about any person and don’t judge too soon. For me, it was – ‘if I can have differences with my parents about a few matters, then it’s possible with anybody and everybody’. The real thing is how to get along despite those differences. I have been getting along with my parents quite fine so I can handle others’ differences too!
Like I said above, no two people are ditto same. You and your partner are two different people with different interests, different backgrounds and mindsets which is quite enough to cause occasional disagreements or arguments. It could be about anything like your family, his family, friends, habits, money, traditions, or just anything. You just need to communicate effectively with each other, to ‘agree to disagree’ and find a mid way.
You are two different individuals, not the extension of each others’ personalities. So, don’t expect the other to read your mind every single time. Just like you don’t want anybody to change you, don’t do this to anybody else. Learn about each others’ interests and occasionally give space to each other. Sort out your differences between yourselves.
Keeping your spouse and family happy is really a good thing but that doesn’t mean you have to neglect yourself. Participate in family matters and voice your opinion politely. Talk to your new family about your interests and ask them theirs. Let them know what makes you happy and ask them too. Happy and fulfilling relationships are always a two-way process. Meanwhile, stay in touch with your parents, siblings and friends too.
Accept the good and the bad in each other. Appreciate the good and when you talk to other people about your new family or spouse, talk about the good things only. No family and no person is perfect. You just have to see if you can accept the flaws with the virtues or not. Give everything a chance. Don’t be too harsh on yourself or others. Sometimes we are just too much in hurry to judge people and label them. Avoid doing this and observe more.
I belong to a Sikh Punjabi family and married a Hindu Brahmin guy. Though I liked wearing a saree occasionally, wearing it daily for the first few days after marriage was a tough task for me – it is just something that they did in my new family. But now I am happy that I did. All thanks to my mother in law, I have a spanking new collection of lovely sarees to flaunt, have learnt to drape a saree faster, and can walk around comfortably wearing it.
Cultural differences become more prominent when you marry into a family with different religion. I have never been the one to follow rituals or traditions properly but I simply followed what I was expected to do, just the way I would have done if my mother told me to do something religious.
After marriage, by default you start thinking as ‘we’ than ’I’. You are a team now. Your future plans and decisions now affect somebody else too. Marriage really increases your responsibilities and familial ties but it also increases the number of people who are there to share it with you. You learn to take responsibilities and act mature. You learn to spend wisely and save. You learn to negotiate.
Once I read somewhere, ‘Falling in love just happens, but staying in love is a choice you make’. Just like love, marriage too needs constant efforts. After all, ‘anything worth having, doesn’t come easy’.
Image source: Indian wedding by Shutterstock.
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Why do women have to go through so much trauma just for being women? Who gives men the right to behave in this way?
Trigger warning: This post contains depiction of normalised violence against women, and may be triggering for survivors.
My belly is living proof
of the life I have grown, held, and birthed
a ‘permanently pregnant’ swell
stretch marks and a caesarian scar
that still itch
an experience I wouldn’t trade in
except for what I was told by the father of my child.
It is easy to give in to patriarchal expectations from a married woman and lose your self in a marriage, but the path to happiness is in keeping your independence.
Marriage is often described as the joining of two individuals’ bodies, minds, and souls. Upon getting married, you are expected to share everything with your partner, including time, money, and all other aspects of life. Your life should revolve around your spouse from beginning to end.
But is it necessary to spend every waking moment with the spouse? Are you not supposed to have a life apart from your spouse? And do these rules apply only to women or men as well?
Although both men and women may face this situation, women are generally expected to give up everything once they get married. Despite progress in several areas, expecting women to abandon their interests, passions, and friendships to align their lives with those of their spouses is still considered the norm.
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