17 Mistakes I’ve Made As A Married Woman That I Hope My Daughter-in-Law Will Avoid!

Marriage is a commitment from both sides so why should only the woman do all the adjusting? Here's what I tell my daughter in law - that she has these rights.

I was married 3 decades ago. I made mistakes back then because I was not mature enough, had less life experiences and no one guided me in the right way. In fact, people put in a lot of effort to misguide me and pushed me to make wrong choices. At that time giving up my education, career, financial independence and many other decisions did not seem that bad, because I was made to believe that is the right thing for a woman to do. I have changed today.

I was raised to believe that women should adjust, make huge changes in their lives after marriage. Like it is normal. Man, on the other hand, need not make any changes. Habits, behaviour and appearance, everything had to change to the extent of being toxic for the woman’s emotional health. Maybe some like it, but not everyone is comfortable with the change. I was not.

Life does not go on as we imagine or plan

I had a child with special needs, followed by my own diagnosis of breast cancer. These unexpected challenges taught me new lessons. I realised that I had made wrong choices a bit late but not too late. It is very difficult for us to accept that we have been fooled, but the sooner we accept it, the better. It took some time, but eventually I agreed that I made wrong choices and I was not a very smart person. I could salvage my life – but not easily.

Learning my lessons through experience and with time had its drawbacks. It was too late to reverse a few things though there was salvation for some.

I did not want my daughter-in-law to repeat these mistakes. She is a smart educated girl, but it is tough for most of the girls to overcome the long ingrained indoctrination, because it happens by the people we love and trust.

My experience has taught me a few things which I would like to share. You are welcome to disagree with me, but I am damn sure that I would undo these mistakes if I could, and tell my daughter in law this.

Keep your maiden name

Do not change it completely after marriage. If for some reason you want to, add surname but do not change what it originally was. My son has his father’s name as his surname, I don’t see why my daughter-in-law cannot have her father’s.

Use your time wisely

Do not waste it doing menial tasks around people who can manage their own life. Once you start, there is no stop to it for many women. Everyone can prepare their tea, coffee, food etc. Besides, every adult should be capable of washing, cleaning and managing their own stuff. You don’t have to answer the questions like, “is the tea not ready yet?”, “Where is the breakfast?”, “Where is my towel?”. It will quickly become one of your everyday tasks and instead of being thanked for all you do, you will be blamed for not doing your ‘duty’ properly.

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Keep your money

That does not make you selfish or greedy. Spend on your family, but ‘YOU’ spend it if you want to. Just because you married someone does not give automatic right for his family to control your earnings. Money is not everything, but it plays a big role in our everyday life.

Concentrate on your career

Seek growth. Never take your job and ability to earn for granted. I have lost that and found it again and I know very well the huge difference it makes to your life.

Your emotions are important

Every person is different and everyone has different emotions. If you want to let loose once in a while, get angry, be sad or cry, but do not let someone tell you that you are ‘creating unnecessary drama’. You have every right to express yourself the way you want to …. But by not hurting others. Keeping your emotions within will eventually hurt you from within, which is going to be tough.

Give importance to your families

The one you were born into and the one you adopted equally and as long as they deserve it. You were not given away nor were you taken. This is just a new addition to the family. There is nothing called Kanya Dhaan or Paraya Dhan. You are a human being and all relationships matter to you.

Wear the clothes you enjoy wearing

I have heard many moms tell the girls, “stop wearing those short dresses. You cannot anyway wear them after marriage”. Do not believe it. Do not let unreasonable judgements stop you. We never know where life takes us or how we feel about clothes later. When you enjoy them, wear them. For me, after having children, it was always comfort wear. I couldn’t even manage a sari. My weight also became an issue for me to try many dresses which I could have worn earlier. It is different for every person but the point is – you should always wear what you like.

Your sleep is just as important as of other family members

Sleep – it is not a crime. Many will make women feel quite guilty about waking up late, or getting a nap during the day. Ignore them.

Every woman needs her friends

Keep in touch with your friends. Make new friends as well. Family is great, but there will be times when you need a friend and not family. They add a different flavour to your life.

Share ownership with your spouse

It is your right to be an equal partner. That is what marriage is all about. Be it a business, property or bank account, share it. You may trust everyone, but there is nothing wrong in having things on paper.

You have a right to your privacy

Privacy is your basic need. No one should cross the boundaries you set for yourself.

Your boundaries matter

Do not allow everyone to give you the advice you never asked for.

As does your voice

Voice your opinions, concerns or ideas. Do not remain silent.

Respect is your right

Never allow anyone to disrespect you. NO ONE should treat you the way you do not want to be treated.

There is nothing called a ‘good wife’ or ‘good daughter-in-law’

There are people who you can never please, no matter what you do. Just be a ‘Good human being’, which is more than enough.

Your ‘me time’ is important

Keep your ‘Me” time safe and secure. That is what keeps you sane and happy.

Be yourself!

“Be you”, whoever you are. You are born to be that person for a reason.

Marriage is a commitment from both people involved and it will bring in some changes. Let those changes be for smiles and not stress. Let the requirements be realistic.

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About the Author

Farida Rizwan

I am Farida Rizwan, 57, Counselor and Psychotherapist working as Senior Curriculum Developer with Chimple Learning. I am the founder of My Giggle Garden, Preschool, and Daycare. I am an ardent blogger @www.chaptersfrommylife.com read more...

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