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Before even my readers proceed further, let me assure you folks that my marriage is very much on and running with its expected issues and workarounds, so this article is not based on my life’s real life events, though there would some similarity but that would be mere coincidence.
Off late I am hearing a lot of horror stories about marriages crumbling faster than the time it took for the parents to arrange one for their child, yes, I am talking about arranged marriages here and not about love marriages, may be that needs a separate post as the complexity involved in the later is much more than what we usually encounter in marriages arranged by parents. Mine being an arranged marriage, I too had my slice of issues which cropped up post marriage and not known before marriage, hence one theory which can be easily proved and agreed upon is, in an arranged marriage, the time given for the guy and the girl to select their partner is not sufficient. But why do they crumble when two families have whole-heartedly agreed upon and from where the problems arise. Let me put my vision into these problems and I am willing to take my readers opinion as well.
When I say insecurity, which is applicable for both the newly married girl who has walked into an alien space and also for the guy's parents who have made up their mind to invite this alien and live with her. The girl comes with a very valid statement saying “I have walked into your life, just by trusting you and not others” and what the guy’s parents (I am talking about parents who are not neck-pecking, not irritating and not demanding) say is, “He is our only son and we cannot leave him”, in both the arguments the centre coin is the guy and he has a tough job of managing these two groups who are generations apart.
I would give due respect to both the statements, but with a heavier weightage to the statement made by the guy’s parents, all said and done, they are old and they have to depend on their son to carry on with their rest of the life and they will not agree or allow a new comer to dictate terms and make them feel in-secured. Given their age and their way of brought-up, we cannot expect them to change their mind or leave the grip from their son immediately, and at the same time, the newly married girl who has walked into a new life should not panic and try to grab that guy from his parents and make him her own property.
I totally understand that the girl’s life after a marriage literally takes a big turn in a very different direction, right from her eating habits to cooking style to every daily chores, that girl has to either change or to adapt to this new environment, on the other hand, the biggest change in a guy’s life is, he will be sharing his bed with a girl, other than that nothing changes for him. Ok, what mistake these newly married girls do is, the moment they walk in to a new family, they tend to overreact and they are not ready for the changes, today’s modern girls have this attitude of “Who are you to say and why should I obey”, which is the first seed for dividing the family she has walked in to.
If you girls trust your partner and love your partner, first thing you girls should do is, make him feel comfortable, he is one poor chap who has to take care of both groups without compromising on anything.
This is another vital element which injects the first problem between the guy and the girl. Today’s parents are mentally corrupted after watching non-stop mega serials, where daughter-in-laws and mother-in-laws are characterised as evil, and yes that do have a very great impact in today’s life. Though they urged themselves in getting their boy married, just to avoid social pressure, they are still not mentally ready to leave their son to lead a life which would deviate from their radius, as they are not used to. To them he is still their old “chamathu” son and they feel, he will be lost if they do not guide him properly.
I have seen families where the guy’s parents will be bouncing on him to check his day to day activities and make sure that they have a say in everything he does, this not many girls of today would agree. They wanted to have a very independent life and they feel, she and her husband are more than matured to take individual decisions, and hence they feel the intervention of the in-laws an irritation, rather taking that as good suggestion. For girls who think this statement is right, let me tell you girls, for you the in-security creeps in, moment you guys accept the knot from the guy, but for them, the in-security has creeps in, the moment they start looking out for a girl for their son.
For the parents, it is not a bad idea to watch how your son handles this life on his own and guide him whenever necessary. Involving yourself too much in to the level of managing their finance, approving their purchases etc etc, may not be a flier. You have done enough work in your life, it is now time to relax and give your son and daughter-in law their own space. The majority of problems which arise after marriage are due to invading of private space. The girl should also understand that they are used to giving advice and they will feel lonely and disturbed, if you don’t consult them. It is always a good habit in getting into the good book of your in-laws. There will be a time, where you too will be a mother-in-law one day, and you too will behave the same like your mother-in-law.
Expectation is the first enemy for happiness, if you expect something from someone and if that does not happen, all you are left with is disappointment and worry. The guy’s parents by default will have a template about their daughter-in-law and even a slightest mismatch from that template will result in disappointment and end up in nagging their own son. Similarly, the girl walks in to her husband’s house with a template of expectations, and those templates would be mixture based on some “Geetha’s mother-in-law, Kausalya’s mother-in-law, Sridevi’s mother-in-law”, ok ok, father-in-law’s as well. Obviously you cannot find a person on this earth who satisfies all your expectations. When the girl sees even a slightest of difference, she starts to nag her husband “You know what your mom told me today ….” Blah…blah…blah
One thing both the boy’s parents and the wife forgets to understand is, with all these mismatch of expectations between these two groups, they put him under extreme pressure and expect him to perform and live up to the expectation both the groups have on him, how on earth that is possible? Comparison in a married life is a strict no-no. The in-laws should not compare their daughter-in-law with others and vice-versa, not all five fingers are the same, so never do that mistake and that will only aggravate the problem and will not lead to any solution. From a guy point of view, he has to invariably support his parents, because, the moment he starts supporting his wife, he may have to face a boomerang which will in-turn hit his wife pretty hard and the known statement the guy’s parents make is “He has changed a lot after marriage, she (that sirukki) has changed him”
Life will be simpler if we lead it with a pinch of flexibility. There should always be a common ground in life when it comes to the success of long-lasting relationships, there is nothing called a “perfect-match” that exists in this real world, to me it is an “oxymoron”. To make the life of their husband and their son peaceful, both these groups who are generations apart should come forward to meet at a common ground. The guy’s parents have to adjust and accept a few changes and similarly the girl should also give up on her ego and they both should start living for that poor guy who is mentally struggling to keep up harmony and peace at home. Girls should start taking their in-laws as their own dad and mom and treat them with due respect, similarly the in-laws should take her as their daughter and shower love and affection.
There is nothing that cannot be sorted out or solved with a bit of love. EEE is a dangerous word in a married life “Enmity, Ego and Expectations” if any one of the three qualities exists, that life is guaranteed for doom. Just Give-up and live-up, after all it is our life and we should do every possible thing from our end to make it happy. Show me a person who will never find fault on others? It is impossible right? You cannot expect GOD to offer life on a platter and ask you to pick and choose what you want; unfortunately life is not a buffet. You will be served with everything and you have to consume it, if you don’t like an item, spit it out, don’t keep it in your throat and stop the way for other good things to enter. Life must move on. Give respect to elders, obey them and keep them happy, once they are gone from this world, you will throng for them to be with you. It’s always “Better late than never”
The above article is for families who are caught in a tangle of expectations, I understand and agree that there are a million varieties (by character) of “in-laws” in this world, and I have just picked and chose the ones who are really good at heart and has some willingness to change their life for better.
The opinions expressed in this post are absolutely fiction and if this article strikes any resemblance with a real life entity, that is mere coincidence.