A story of love, loss and second chances by Nikita Singh, releasing this Valentine’s Day.
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Here are some things that are important to today’s young women, and it is best to discuss them with the future husband before marriage.
Dating, meeting casually and spending a few hours together is always fun. Didn’t you always look at your courtship period with a smile on your face? But marrying and living in together is a totally different ball game.
Have you wondered why after the initial few days of marital bliss, the magic wears off? The couple may start getting irritated with each other’s behaviour and they start quarrelling. This is sometimes because of trivial issues which no one would have thought about or discussed in the past but they have snowballed now and are a reason for discontent and discord.
A few things which I feel are a must to be discussed before marriage and arrive at a consensus, which can avoid arguments and misunderstandings in future are-
Just like you never entered the kitchen as you were busy cramming your head into books, guess what – I did the same. So I make Maggi and chai just like you and if you are looking for that perfect homely wife who make makes a 7 course meal then you are in for a rude shock.
I am happy to learn and put my best foot forward but I need you to stand by me. And not just stand and bury your head in your Smartphone but help me chop veggies while I knead dough, help keep rice in the cooker while I season the dal and after we have our wholesome meal, help clear the dishes and wash utensils while I clean the kitchen and make preparations for tomorrow’s meal.
Coming to other household chores – like paying bills, buying groceries, managing the maid, I would expect you to chip in and take up a fair share of work.
I may sound like a money minded bitch to you but it’s important I say this. We both earn, and let us split the expenses. We can pool in a certain amount each month into a joint account and use it for our expenses. If we decide to jointly invest in a property I would expect we share the loan amount and initial investment as well.
If I want to hand them over some money after marriage for their expenses, why should I be stopped? I want to spend time with them on a few weekends just as you want us to spend time with your parents, I want to take them out on vacations at times and I would love for you to be a son to them, but if you can’t, then it’s fine don’t stop me from being their daughter.
I struggled to reach where I am, burned the midnight oil to get into a good college and get a good job. And the struggle has not ended; the corporate world is an altogether different game.
I might need to work extra hours, take calls at odd hours, stay back for office get-togethers, and travel for days together at times and maybe months. I might reach a stage when I am no longer happy in my job and need to move. This may require me to relocate to a different city.
How supportive would you be of my career? I hope you are for I have worked hard to get here and I am not going to give this up or sacrifice it just to satiate some false egos.
I hope one day I can treat them as my own but as of now they are uncle and aunty to me just like the neighbouring Sharma uncle and aunty. I have respect for them, and when do visit us I shall treat them with care, respect and do the best that I can but having unrealistic expectations because I am their bahu will not work.
I am an individual in my own right and I need to be respected for that. Any unreasonable demands like hand over your salary to your husband, listen to what he says, did you take our permission before visiting your parents, why do your wear a skirt after marriage – these will not be entertained.
I love babies and I definitely want us to have our own but only when we both feel ready for it. Just because people around are anxious for the good news, or your mother feels my biological clock is ticking away, I will not agree to have a baby. It is my body that will go through significant changes for 9 months and I would give my consent only when I am ready. I will also respect your opinion and wait for you to be ready to be a father.
The age old notion of taking care of the baby being the mother’s responsibility is obsolete. I would be as new to this as you- let’s do this together – changing nappies, bathing the baby, feeding it, singing lullabies… I want us to truly live and experience every part of this beautiful journey together.
I have my set of friends, hobbies, things I like to do, and you have yours. They may or may not match. If they do it’s great. If not, I would say it’s still great. I expect we both give each other space and allow each other to do things we like with our set of friends or alone. Let us thrive and not stifle each other.
No, I will not share my password, phone or ATM pin with you. If that makes you think I have a secret lover or something to hide then it only depicts your shallow thinking.
I have my own life and you have yours. Snooping on each other’s phone or email will only cause misinterpretations, doubt, and jealousy and harm our relation. Trust is the basis of this bond and let us respect each other’s sanctum. I will never snoop on your stuff nor will you do it on mine.
I am more than happy to share expenses, pay for a meal we indulge in at that luxury hotel and even share the expenses of our holiday to Paris, ask me and I shall chip in without any hesitation, but giving you my card? I don’t think I would do that. This doesn’t imply I don’t trust or I think you would swindle my money, but it just feels so weird – to hand over my card to anyone- be it my Dad or you or my son.
Let’s not take each other for granted, and let us value our relationship. It’s easy to get drowned in the daily grind of our jobs, parents, kids, responsibilities but taking time to complement each other and share a few moments together– perhaps a date night is what will make our relation thrive. I am equally responsible for this and let’s do this religiously and not neglect our relation ever.
I know this is a pretty long list and if it freaks you out, I won’t be surprised. I have seen friends around and read about couples who chose to remain silent on various matters which in reality need an open discussion. The result is that trivial matters blow up and cause discord. I would not want that to happen to us, when it’s so much easier to discuss these beforehand.
Did you just smile and say you have a list too? Well let’s hear it then!
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Published here earlier.
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Although I do understand where this post is coming from Akshata, something however about its tone is a little misplaced. Demanding and having a list of expectations is where the problem lies. After all marriage is not a business contract where one can state the terms of the contract and sign on it. That’s what the western pre-nuptial agreement is and that as we all know is really all about the terms of material and other conveniences, their barter and exchange. For too long traditional patriarchy has reduced marriage to a contractual relationship and the husband and wife to mere convenience providers. And just because women are educated and earning these days doesn’t mean they are changing their outlook to this aspect of the skewed concept of marriage. If people are entering marriage only for the sake of securing an insurance plan for the future, or exchanging conveniences, or improving their status in society, or for monetary enhancement of the family/household then this kind of contract may be temporarily useful to secure those conveniences, so long as the marriage lasts. It perhaps helps to also claim a larger alimony if it doesn’t! But if marriage is to provide companionship and be fulfilling and wholesome, it has to be a relationship based on much, much, more than the terms of a mere contract. A deeply shared willingness to be fair (and not to make profit!)and a willingness to be caring of the other’s emotional and psychological well being, is absolutely essential in both partners for a marriage to bring joy and contentment for the long duration of life. If these are there all else will slowly fall in place. If this is not there in either partner, it will end in too much ‘hisaab kitaab” between partners and absolutely no contentment.(which is far more important than fulfilling the social title of husband/wife) These cannot be demanded or forced, it is something that one’s lifetime thus far should have forged in the human being. It becomes a defining personality trait that one must actively strive for and seek as individuals and in marriage partners. That is why finding a partner is not something to be decided by any one other than oneself. First, we must always analyse if we are showing the willingness to be fair and caring as partners ourselves and then we may seek and find that someone who has that same core personality. Happy marriages do exist well past the beginning days of courtship and honeymooning, but the secret to that is that the foundation has to be right!
Hi Sonia yes I kind of got that feedback from a few but my view is that its important to lay down some rules. In today’s age I look at marriage as a partnership of equals, its no longer like the days of the past. Being vocal about these aspects may sound to some as being so rude and selfish but I think its necessary to avoid conflicts later
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