A common situation that many women face right after marriage is being judged all the time. You feel that you are constantly being pried upon as everything is being noticed, from the way you talk, the way you eat, the way you dress, the way you laugh and so many other things that you do on a day to day basis.
When you are being judged harshly, being commented upon or being rejected, it hurts. For instance, you may have always been praised for your dressing sense and the way you look, but after marriage, the way you dress up may be commented upon and criticized. Consequently you feel hurt, depressed and angry. In so many cases women take it as an attack on their self-esteem which gets shattered, leaving them feeling miserable. The problem wouldn’t have assumed such dangerous proportions had women been brought up in a more confident, self-accepting way. Unfortunately, we grow up listening to clichés like “Jaldi uthna shuru kar do, yaha chal jata hai, sasural me nahi chalega” (Start getting up early, it is ok here, but in your new family, this will not work) or “Acha khana banana seekh lo, nhi to saas kya kahegi” (Learn how to cook well, otherwise what will your mother-in-law say?”
Such statements convey that you need to change your habits, acquire new skills, change the way you do things, if you want to get accepted in the new family. What adds more to a woman’s misery is, when her own parents burden her with the responsibility of ‘keeping everyone happy in the new family’ and ‘maintaining the parent’s dignity”. Parents do this so that their daughter does not have adjustment issues in the new family. This comes from an inherent concern, worry, insecurity which the parents of girls feel, when it comes to sending their daughter to a new family, post marriage.
If only women were given important lessons before getting married, they would have been in a better position post marriage:
As you prepare for marriage, it is important that you are thoroughly convinced about yourself and your abilities. You need to have a positive self-image which is not shattered by comments, views or opinions. When you are about to go into the new family, you will meet people who are different than you and so they are likely to have a different opinion about how you are and the things that you do. How you handle the differing opinions matters a lot. If they shatter your self-confidence, then it is important that you need to work on it and at the same time, take suggestions which you feel are for your own betterment.
Embrace the Change
Change is a part and parcel of marriage, as you assume new roles and responsibilities. From your eating habits, to the place you live, to your daily routine, marriage does change a lot. Change always seems difficult at first and then with time things become easy. So welcome the new with open arms, be it new relationships or a new living situation or a new role. When you say Yes to the universe, the universe knows that you are prepared to set foot on an uncharted territory and so life reciprocates positively.
Self-acceptance and not Self-denial should be the Mantra
In Indian scenario, after marriage women are expected to prioritize their needs and preferences before others. They are expected to fit in into the role of a caregiver who should provide constant care to the husband and in-laws. Very often women deny their own wants and desires, in order to fit in. So many women go into a denial mode, where they ignore their feelings and desires, so before getting married you should stop believing in the clichés of how a good bahu is supposed to behave and act. Rather you should remember the fact that if you are happy, you can keep other people around you happy. Do not be the candle that burns itself so that other people can get light, simply because it is self-destructive. Understand your needs and wants, and have goals and aspirations in life.
Be Clear about What you Can and Can’t be
28-year-old Sneha has been married for six months and she recounts, “I have always been an introvert and take some time to gel with people and unfamiliar surroundings. My husband has so many relatives, staying close to our house and everyday somebody or the other would drop by. I always used to greet them but did not participate much in the interactions, as I am shy and also new to the family. One day my mother-in-law told me that she overheard a relative saying that I am arrogant, as I don’t talk much and I felt so bad.”
Very often people frame an opinion about you, without knowing you and understanding you at a deeper level.
So never feel disappointed and always remember that what you feel about yourself is way more important than what people think about you, mainly because they may not know you, but you definitely know who you are. Do not doubt yourself and your capabilities and stay strong.
Besides there is a chance that when they get to know you better they may change their opinions and even if they don’t you should be fine with yourself and confident about what you are and what you are not. Do not make desperate attempts to fit in, just because you want people to like you.