7 Reasons To Protect Your Independence After Marriage And 8 Ways You Can Do This

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.

However, this is not only unfair but also unjust. Why should anyone give up on their individuality just because they are married?

Why should you protect your independence after marriage?

As a woman, you have to maintain your independence no matter what. There are many reasons for that-

Self-identity: Individuals are born with a unique identity that distinguishes them from everyone else. However, it takes effort to maintain that identity. This is particularly applicable to women once they get married. They need to ensure that they are known not just as someone’s wife but as an individual with their own identity. They must retain a sense of self that is distinct and separate from their role as a spouse.

Personal fulfilment: It is a common practice in our society to expect women to let go of their interests and hobbies once they get married and instead adopt their husband’s interests. However, this is unfair and unrealistic and should not be accepted. Everyone has a unique set of goals, passions, and interests, which should not change due to marriage. Therefore, women must keep their passions separate and alive even after marriage. Pursuing one’s interests gives a sense of achievement and fulfilment, leading to overall happiness and satisfaction.

Psychological well-being: Having personal space, time, and freedom can go a long way in promoting mental and emotional well-being. When you have time in the day to do what you want with no questions or judgment, it will give you a sense of control over your life, thus contributing to your mental health.

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Balancing relationships: Life is all about balancing different aspects, which also holds for relationships. For a relationship to be healthy and long-lasting, people need to balance independence and togetherness. Excess of anyone can be a recipe for disaster. A healthy balance will allow for individual growth and encourage mutual respect, trust and support.

Preventing over-dependence: Maintaining independence in any relationship helps to avoid excessive reliance on the spouse for emotional or financial needs. When you rely excessively, you overlook your abilities and strengths, which can become frustrating in the long run.

Healthy relationship boundaries: For any relationship to thrive, fixing and communicating boundaries is essential. Boundaries ensure that both partners have personal space, decision-making autonomy and freedom to pursue their interests and passions.

Long-term Happiness: Studies have shown that relationships where partners maintain a sense of independence lead to greater satisfaction and happiness. Over-dependence, in the long run, can become toxic and may lead to the end of the relationship.

Ways to maintain independence

Considering independence is so crucial for a relationship to survive and thrive, both partners, especially women, need to find ways to do that. Our research shows that the following can be some of the ways-

Keep an open communication with your spouse: The first step towards maintaining independence is open and free communication. A woman should be able to communicate to her spouse the need for her to have her space, time and freedom.

Set boundaries: Establishing clear-cut boundaries and expectations regarding personal time, friendships, career goals, and hobbies is critical. Once these are set and communicated, it gives partners the liberty to have equal opportunities for growth and fulfilment.

Personal time is important: No matter how busy you may be, a woman should always allocate time for her hobbies and interests separate from those of her husband. This will help in maintaining a distinct identity in the relationship.

Maintain your friendships, the sisterhood that supports you: Most women abandon their friends and family after marriage. Never do that. Preserve your friendships and relationships, which will help you unwind and give you a time out from your spouse and marriage.

Pursue personal goals: Having and pursuing your personal goals and aspirations is critical for the health of a relationship. Whether it is furthering your education, pursuing a career or developing a passion, you must give yourself time, freedom and opportunity to pursue your dreams.

You should have decision-making autonomy: There should be certain areas of your life over which you have complete control and can make independent decisions. That will boost your confidence and give you a sense of self and individuality. You could take input from others, but the ultimate decision should be yours.

Continuous self-care: While caring for her family, a woman should never stop caring for herself. As they say, Charity begins at home. She must focus on her physical, emotional and mental health to maintain a sense of well-being, which can go a long way in helping her maintain her independence.

Reflect on and make sure your needs are met: it is always a good idea to take time out to reflect on your needs, desires and ambitions and how close you are to them. Taking stock of things always helps in knowing where we stand and where we want to be. If one has an open mind, there is always a chance for course correction.

If you follow these simple tricks, you can go a long way in becoming the kind of person you would love to become- Confident, independent and happy!

Published here first. 

Image source: YouTube/ still from Cutting Chai / Modern Love Mumbai

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