It is that time of the year when the wedding season is in full swing. Young couples are getting ready to spend the rest of their lives together. Their life right now is all about shopping, ceremonies, photoshoots, Instagramming, lots of attention and lots of pampering. There is an air of excitement and anticipation all around. The couple is happy, and the world is a beautiful place. Life is so hectic that there is no time to breathe, let alone pause and reflect, but what after all this is over? What will happen once the much-anticipated event is over, they are married, and life gets to a calm and quiet normal? What will happen once the euphoria wears off?
What will happen when they start living with each other and sharing space; once the blinkers are off, reality sets in, and life starts happening?
Living with a new family, a new person is like settling in a new country, getting used to their culture, traditions and way of life. That’s why the first year of such a relationship can be very trying, very challenging. So how does one navigate through such difficult times?
I can suggest a few things that can be kept in mind-
The first thing to remember is that you have entered a relationship that is supposed to be for keeps. Therefore it is essential to accept each other in every way, quirks and all. Yes, you may not like a habit, a particular way of life, but you cannot and should not try to change it. You are married to a person who you cannot customize. You could suggest a few tweaks, but that’s about it.
That is of utmost importance. You need to respect the other person for who he is, how he is. When you become part of a new family, you will find that certain things are not to your liking or interest, but that’s ok. That’s their way, and they must be having a reason for it. So respect it. Remember, respect begets respect. If you respect them, they will respect you. Don’t forget; your ways could be strange for them.
When you become a part of a family, remember you are the new one there. You have to make a place for yourself. So apart from accepting and respecting, also appreciate what your new family does for you. A caring gesture, a warm smile should not go unacknowledged, unappreciated. If they are making room for you in their world, open up your world and let them in.
4. Be flexible.
A new relationship means you have to become open and flexible. You cannot be rigid in your approach. To get along and make things work, you may have to bring some change within yourself. It may not be easy, but you will have to do it for the bond to become strong and deep. So if you did not shower before breakfast in your parents’ house but in your in-law’s house, it is a practice you may want to change yourself. It is obvious that five other people won’t change for you, and you may not want to stick out like a sore thumb.
5. Don’t go running to Mummy/Daddy.
Once you get into a relationship, it implies that you are a mature, rational individual who can handle life, handle situations independently. Like everything new, a new relationship will have its share of hiccups; it’s teething problems. So when faced with one, try sorting it out between the two of you; talk, discuss and resolve. Don’t go rushing to others, especially your parents, because the issue may go out of hand, leading to disastrous consequences. You could consult and take advice, but ultimately it is about the two of you, so handle it yourself.
6. Give it time
A relationship like marriage needs time to settle. You may have known your partner for a long time but living together within the boundaries of a marriage is an entirely different ballgame altogether. You will discover things, discover facets that are new, strange and even unwelcoming. So don’t do anything in haste. Don’t react to situations; respond in a measured and thought thorough manner. Have patience as everything gets sorted out with time.
7. Girls, don’t give up your job/ work.
This tip is mainly for the girls. Whatever you do, please do not stop working the moment you get married. Yes, marriage means duties and responsibilities, but it doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your work. Everything can be done simultaneously. Your partner, your family, has to understand the importance of your work, but you too have to understand it. Work is independence in every sense of the word. You must have struggled to get that job, so don’t leave it either because you love the idea of lounging at home and living off your husband’s money, or you feel you won’t be able to handle both sets of responsibilities.
So, guys and girls, you have entered into a beautiful phase of your life; it is a commitment; a union that can help you grow and flourish but give it a chance.