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As Women’s Web celebrates ten years of love, here’s the ten best Relationship posts published on Women’s Web in the past 10 years. #ADecadeOfWomensWeb
Humans and relationships are two things, I realised, you can’t really separate from one another. So whether it is a love-hate relationship between siblings or the bittersweet one of an MIL and her DIL or even the ever-so-coveted one between a couple, we crave people and love and a bit of hate in all our lives.
And our writers, over the past ten years, have shared with us every aspect and every kind of relationship. Be it finding the first love or their soulmate or writing sassy scathing letters to a toxic MIL or even being best friends with their sisters-in-law, we have them all.
Now without much ado, here are the top ten relationship posts from the last ten years. And as I was reading through these, believe me, I managed to feel to do everything from feeling happy to sad to irate to even laughing at some of them.
6 Subtle Signs That Told Me I May Have Found Mr. Right
Ahh, the search for Mr. Right! Whether it is your college sweetheart, or someone you found on a dating app or even someone your parents introduced you to – finding Mr. Right, I am sure, is a heady feeling.
And Kanika, who found hers at 18 tells us why she believes he is the one for her! Other than the fact that he made her comfortable and wanted to know and understand her best friend, he also boosted her confidence. Now isn’t that what we all want from the person we love?
We had been dating less than a month and I got my period. It was a little earlier than I had expected – my usually very regular periods. I noticed my pants had a fairly wet stain when I went to the bathroom before leaving college. Luckily I had a pad. But he was giving me a ride home. His dad was out of town and did not need the car that day. I was concerned about leaving a stain on the seat, and somehow I felt comfortable enough to tell him so.
Without the slightest sign of embarrassment, took out his notebook and tore out a few sheets of paper and said, you can put these on the seat if you like and never mentioned the episode again. (And don’t we all want someone who makes us feel comfortable, especially during our periods?)
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before; A Thank You Note
Well, not everyone is as lucky as Kanika was when it comes to finding love. There’s some of us who find someone, believe in true love, only to have our heart broken! Which was the level Eesha’s article resonated with me. She too, seemed to have loved the same kind of men I did.
But instead of turning vengeful about the men who broke her heart, Eesha thanked these men for the lessons they taught her. Right from her first boyfriend to the musician she loved, they all had lessons for her (and me too!)
I cried, I healed, I got back up And I realised that people have issues. That they wouldn’t always be able to love me the way I’d like them to. And that it’s completely fine and probably means there’s something better in store for me.
Many more came and went. This post is a thank you note. To all the boys I’ve loved before. And to all these amazing boys who came in and out of my life, teaching me a few lessons along the way, and enriching my worldview the way only they could.
The Wedding Night
Gita’s short story is that of a newly married couple on their wedding night. Both new to the relationship, and both unsure. Told from the husband’s perspective, it gives you an insight of sorts into the pressure the ‘first night’ has on the couple.
A few steps away from his room, Aditya felt a strange feeling overtake him. Entering his own room, where he had spent almost all his life, felt different today. It actually felt uncomfortable. With his heart pounding nervously, he entered his room.
The bride was sitting on the corner of the bed. She had changed from her crystal embroidered heavy lehenga into a red silk saree. Aditya, closed the door behind him, and kept standing next to the door, without moving a step. He did not know what to do now. What should he say, it all seemed so awkward.
But he had friends to answer the next morning and return victorious smiles to inquisitive eyes. Without thinking much, he switched off the lights. Darkness gave him the confidence which he lacked in the light.
8 Things Every Newly Married Indian Woman Should Do
Since we are on the topic of marriages, Women’s Web’s founder and CEO, Aparna’s eight commandments have to be on the list! If you’ve seen any of the oh-so-sanskaari movies of the 90’s, you probably know what you don’t want to do as a new bride. The shy, coy, ‘aapki marzi sar aankhon par’ bride has finally made way for the sassier, smarter and more self-confident bahus.
In case, you’re getting married or are newly married, these eight things are for you!
Startling as this (calling your husband by his name) may sound to some of you, I’m routinely coming across young Indian women who will not call the husband by his name, especially in the case of arranged marriages, but I’ve also seen this in love marriages where the spouses were classmates or colleagues pre-marriage. Shyness, tradition, deference to custom, call it what you will – I believe this is one unhealthy habit we have to drop.
Think about it, the people we don’t call by name are our elders – amma, appa, baba, dada, dadi, mama, mami….does your husband fall in this category? If not, why can’t you use his name? Not calling the husband by name (but of course, the husband feels no such hesitation) says something about who in a relationship is worthy of deference.
5 Ways To Stay Sane While Dealing With A Narcissistic Mother-In-Law
I’ve taken you through the process of falling in love, falling out of love, marrying and a little after married life too! But what do you do when your mother-in-law is narcissistic? How do you deal with the Maya Sarabhai to your Monisha?
Fret not for Priyanka has a handy guide to dealing with a narcissistic MIL. She will crave appreciation for everything right from her mental and physical attributes to the fact that she was the one who taught you to cook a certain dish.
I insist that you leave all the hopes of changing her, you cannot change her. Understand that, if a person is a narcissist, then it is a part of their personality which can hardly be altered.
The more we urge on changing that person, the more they become defensive and things will go haywire. Stop making efforts to change them rather start taking efforts to maintain distance and stay positive to create a balance.
I’m Not An ‘Arrogant’ DIL; I Only Want To Ensure My Traditional In-Laws Don’t Steamroll Over My Life
If dealing with a narcissistic MIL is tough, it is even tougher to deal with traditions you aren’t used to the day after your marriage! And that is exactly what Neha tells us – how she had to be the ideal saree-clad, head covering bahu she never envisioned herself as. But she has a solution to that too and it started with respecting herself first.
Although it is important to lay down rules, it is equally important to take one step at a time. Going all out will only label you negatively and will be too difficult for others to digest.
After several disagreements and a series of rebellious processions later, things are changing, slowly but steadily.
Yes, I was called names. There were some bitter moments, but all this was worth it. Now there is only mutual respect and love for each other in the family.
Work From Home Doesn’t Mean I Am Available To Do All The Household Chores And Be Your Maid!
Impudent bahus, narcissistic MILs and age-old traditions, all seemed to be issues Lucky started facing the moment the COVID-19 lockdown began. A working woman, her work-life went for a toss as her family expected her to serve them hot rotis since she was working from home.
No one in her house helps her and she is left to fend for herself with housework and office work. Getting reprimanded in both the places if she makes the smallest of errors.
Even when I was in office, I had to work long hours because of my job profile. But now, with weaker signals and all communications over video calls, phone calls, emails, tasks take longer. And as soon as it is 6 pm, everyone starts crying for tea. Come on four adults and not one of them can make tea! How did they function before I came here?
I need to set the washing machine, spread the clothes, take them off the rope, fold them and then supply them to each room. If I leave them in the hall or ask them to take it, the clothes will stay where I left them.
Will You Support Your Daughter For A Divorce If She Feels Unheard In Her Marriage?
If your daughter, like Lucky is feeling unheard and unloved in her marriage, support her for divorcing her husband? Made you think, didn’t I? These are the questions Karishma asks in her article.
In a society where even domestic violence survivors are often sent back to their husband’s houses for ‘log kya kahenge,’ Karishma asks some really interesting questions.
Families will say, oh marriages are all hard work, this is just a phase, nobody is really happy in a marriage anyway, most married women have it much worse, look at that lady whose husband is never at home, she’s still with him; look at that lady whose husband doesn’t support her financially, she still sticks with him; look at that lady whose husband drinks away all his money, she still sticks by him; look at that lady whose husband has affairs left right and center, everybody knows it, she also knows it, but she still sticks by him.
You have it so much better, your husband doesn’t do any of these things, then WHY CAN’T YOU JUST LOVE HIM? Why can’t you live with him? Why can’t you adjust and compromise like everybody else? Who are you, the Queen of Sheba, to want more?
An Open Letter To My Mother In Law: Please Let Me Be Your Friend
What if you were given a chance to write a letter to your MIL whom you disliked at first? Would you want to be friends with her? Or would you rather detest her forever?
Well, our author would want the bygones to be bygones and in a beautiful letter pens down all her thoughts from day one. If only we all could write such letters and hopefully have our MILs understand!
Please try to understand me, MIL. I really want us to be friends. I do not want our relationship to be defined by the stereotypical ‘saas-bahu’ rivalry. You see, I understand that you might have been brought up with a set of values different from mine. We might have different priorities but that’s alright!
We are multidimensional human beings and we all cannot like the same things, no? Please accept, that we will be different and that I can never be you. I might like to pursue my life’s passions with more zeal than looking after my household chores. Your son does the same but you think that’s natural, then why can’t you think the same way for me too, dear MIL?
Sisters-In-Law By Chance, Friends By Choice; 5 Women Share Their Sisterhood Stories
Tanvi’s article on SILs who are friends reminded me so much of my mum and my aunt! Rarely have I seen the two of them together and not giggling or talking about everything under the sun. I remember when my aunt had a heart attack, mum was the first person in the hospital who stayed there every night. Sisters-in-law by chance but the best of friends.
Tanvi spoke to five other such women who have found friends in their sisters-in-law and love each other to bits! Quite similar to Kareena Kapoor Khan and Soha Ali Khan, I’d say.
Shubhangi met her husband, Sanjay during her college days. She was a medical student, and her husband an engineering student. Shubhangi would ask Sanjay to get her final MBBS practice papers, and he would in turn procure them for her from a certain cousin of his called Sandhya. Despite being junior to Shubhangi, Sandhya seemed quite resourceful, and managed to get the papers from other medical colleges too!
Eventually, Shubhangi and Sanjay got married. Shubhangi finally got a chance to meet the helpful Sandhya at her wedding reception.
Few years later, Shubhangi and Sandhya were both settled in Bangalore with their families. Luckily for them, their husbands were from same engineering school and got on famously. Sandhya and Shubhangi also had the common interest of reading, which bonded them along with regular visits for festivals and family gatherings.
Not all relationships are hunky-dory but neither are they all horrible, some times, it is merely finding balance like a ton of our writers did! So go ahead, read up all these stories and more and help us celebrate A decade of women’s web!
So wait for one more day and we will be back with another set of amazing authors and articles. Check out this space for more #ADecadeOfWomensWeb tomorrow in a different category!
Picture credits: Stills from Khooburat/OK Jaanu/Dear Zindagi
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Reader, writer and currently an Associate Editor at Women's Web, I survive on coffee
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