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Marriage, for women often, is a never-ending saga of adjustment. First, adjust with the husband and in-laws. And then the child!
‘Get married or you will be left alone.’ We’ve all heard this one. A lot of us also believe in this line. Many people get married because they believe it is a foolproof method to alleviate loneliness. People stay in abusive relationships so they are not left alone. But does marriage ensure togetherness?
If a companion is defined as having a human being in the house then marriage does put human beings in your house. But does it provide emotional companionship?
How many of us are in marriages where we can open our soul to our spouses? Women are expected to adjust to their husband and in-laws after marriage. In such a scenario who listens to a woman?
A woman is saddled with advice on how to adjust to her husband and in-laws. But are the in-laws and husband ever advised to listen to their new daughter-in-law?
Is a new wife or daughter-in-law ever asked if she is comfortable in her new house? In her new relationship? The mother-in-law lays down the rules of her house to her daughter-in-law but does anyone ask the daughter-in-law about her expectations?
A marriage in a patriarchal society turns out to be a never-ending saga of adjustment. First, adjust with the husband and in-laws. Then comes the child. Women are expected to prioritise their children above everything else.
Soon, the husband and children get used to a pattern where the woman squeezes herself dry to accommodate their needs. And this pattern never ends.
How many of us can boast of relationships where we can open our hearts and not be judged for it? Husbands often look for ways to berate their wives. Many wives do it too.
Parents compare their children among themselves as well as with other children in their friend’s circle. We all have family members staying in our house with us.
But are we able to articulate our true feelings inside our house? We are often judged by our close family members. So, we hide, lie and sidestep the real issues affecting us.
Our repressed emotions find an outlet in the form of unexplained aches and problems like hypertension. Women especially get used to ignoring their mental health. It’s high time we concentrate on the quality of our family rather than quantity.
Our society gives utmost importance to expanding our family. Newlyweds are constantly asked, ‘When will we hear the good news?’ At the same time, the quality of family life is ignored.
We equip our house with important gadgets and comfortable furniture. But we fail to create safe spaces for healthy interactions. Safe spaces in our house will go a long way in improving our mental health and also the overall quality of our life.
Women can and should take the lead in creating such safe spaces within their homes. It is high time they articulate their emotional need. Merely getting married is not going to create fulfilling companionship or loving relations.
Understanding relationships are a result of lifelong efforts. It is high time women take the first step. Mention their emotional needs clearly. Once the children see their mother talking about her emotions, they too will learn to speak their minds clearly.
It is time we as a society understand that companionship is not merely the presence of another human being. Companionship is the free and frank sharing of opinions and emotional needs.
Picture credits: Still from Hindi TV series Shakti – Astitva Ke Ehsaas Ki
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