‘You do not marry the guy, you marry his entire family’ – By Sreyashi Kochhar
Girls do not just marry the guy; they marry his entire family. And surprisingly while growing up, as young girls we all imagine what our lives would be once we marry our own prince charming but no one gives a thought to our lives that would be with his family.
What messes up the situation is that if you marry young, you do not have enough young married girl friends to look up to and with most of our mothers, we already have a generation gap to deal with. There is no practically no fall back plan!
In this write up, I have summed up some observations from my own years of marriage and also from my other married friends. I have my girlfriends across all age group – unmarried, newly married, married for long and some divorced too. They all agree to the below points.
These are the observations on some of the things that all the married women should do and abide by, especially of you are new married or about to marry.
*Communicate with your husband*
I had a courtship period of more than 3 years, so we knew each other pretty well. But even after, post marriage we both had to make efforts to adjust we each other and the key is to verbally communicate. This communication on the initial days will make your marriage stronger. Let him know your likes and dislikes and if something needs to be changed. Do not just start expecting things from him, he isn’t a Saint – so verbally communicate. At the same time, do hear him as well and know what he expects. Your comfort with your husband is of prime importance even before you adjust with his family.
*Have a Job / Source of Income*
I cannot stress this point enough. Even if your husband is earning well, even if your in- laws are financially well and they do not need your money – your own source of income is still a must. You should never be financially dependent on anyone. Your own money will not only give your monetary independence but would also socially empower you. What your job will give you is not only a source of income but also give you a brush of financial sense which will go a long way with you. Quitting the job for marriage is the worst mistake anyone can make. This will obviously differ in case you are changing location post your marriage.
*Be open with in laws*
Keep an open communication channel with your in laws. Try to maintain this even before the marriage. Honestly, we Indian women have a negative perspective regarding our in laws; which is not always true. Chances are this may be due to difference of opinion and/or a generation gap. You must communicate constructively with them to make any changes. Be civil in your ways. Do realise that not only you are adjusting at your new home, but even your in laws have a new member in the house to live with ; so they are adjusting with you and your ways as well. If there are any changes that you want, you must reason if with your in laws in a civilized way. This will help you to bond as well.
*Managing Household work*
This is a by-product of the previous point. You might initially feel boggle down with the household responsibilities immediately after the marriage. Do not get intimidated by their expectations. Let your in laws know how much can you contribute. But while you set your boundaries, do remember that marriage is based on adjustments as well. Doing something you don’t like to do for your in laws sake, will keep your in laws happy in the long run. Learn the shortcuts of the household chores from your mother or your married friends and use it to the fullest. Plan your week, well in advance and it should be fine.
*Your ‘Me Time’*
The initial days post your wedding are undoubtedly fun filled, full of activities and stressful. You and your husband are constantly under public scan. Everyone seems to be wanting a piece of the new couple. Friends and relatives are constantly looking at both of you to know your next moves. Amidst these stress, do not forget to steal in your personal time. This couple of minutes of personal time will give you chance to reflect on your surroundings and to gather your thoughts. This may be by way of going for a walk, meditation or just by sitting in the room all by yourself. This will be actually very de stressing.
*Stay in touch with old friends*
You will be making new friends post your marriage, some may be your husband’s friends or his colleagues or even your new couple friends; but do keep in touch with your old friends too. Chances are that your equation may change with the old friends, but trust me over the time your will cherish the old friendship. No one connects with you, the way the old friends do.
*Be available for your parents and siblings*
Although post your marriage, you will have another set of parents and siblings to look after, but you must always be available for your parents and siblings. You must continue to make yourself available for your parents’ and siblings birthdays, anniversaries, festivals and other important days. Do call and visit them regularly. Accompany them to the shopping trips or other outings. Trust me, these will be a part of your happy memories later.
*Planning your children*
Almost immediately everyone around you would start questioning you the obvious. Do not get swayed by the pressure, discuss this with your husband and plan it accordingly. We are no longer in the age whereby pregnancies just happen. There are many considerations that must be given a thought before kids come to your matrimony scene – your financial situation, your work, your support system and key important thing – your health. Discuss on each of these aspects with your husband and then plan your children.
#BeingWoman is “Making married life, better”