WELCOMING YOUR WIFE HOME
WORDS: SAMYUKTA DAWADI
A wedding is a great occasion for two different people to come closer but if only it was so simple. Not only does marriage bring together two people it combines the coming together of two families with versatile personalities too. Like they say, the girls in our society do not marry a man, they marry a clan.
For a newlywed bride, adjusting whole-heartedly into her new home with an entirely new set of family members is the biggest challenge she has to face right after marriage. The situation becomes all the more difficult, especially if a bride is entering a traditional joint family setup, while she comes from a nuclear family herself. In a joint family there will be all sorts of members with different temperaments, nature and perspectives. And amongst them all, there will always be those few who are more demanding than others. Plus there is the whole new system of doing things like additional responsibilities as a daughter in law and the role of keeping everybody happy and satisfied. Trust me; it is hard being a woman. But being a man, you don’t have to feel helpless. You are the only one who can and who must make all this easier for her. Here’s how you go about it.
HELP HER UNDERSTAND YOUR FAMILY DYNAMICS
Remember, the person you are marrying was not brought up under the same roof as you were. No two families are the same, so accept the fact that it will be difficult for her and give her some time to adjust. But at the same time help her by being open and willing to talk things in detail with her to help prepare her for what is to come. Just remember, opening up and sharing will bring her closer to you. It will naturally build your intimacy and trust. She will also have a better base for understanding what to expect as a daughter in law in your house and as your wife.
MAKE HER FEEL AT HOME
It is a good idea to make her feel comfortable in any which way possible. And it is the little things that make a difference. Of course, you have to go the extra mile. You can start off by creating an environment she is familiar with. It can be as simple as making your room resemble the one she used to be in before she got married. Or, if she used to have a pet before, get her one.
TALK TO YOUR PARENTS BEFORE HAND
Your parents and your wife are clearly the most important people in your life. Each one has their place in your heart. You must do your bit to ensure that neither feels neglected. They both need your respect and time. Show your parents that you marriage does not mean that they will be neglected. Ask them to welcome your wife into the family and to ensure that she is given the love and respect she is entitled to.
SPEND AS MUCH TIME AS YOU CAN
Your wife is an extra special priority during the first year of married life together, when the bonds between the two of you are still being formed, and as such are more tenuous. If at all possible, make a serious attempt at limiting the amount of time you must be away, and business travels which takes you away from home overnight should be curtailed to the extent possible. You don’t have to follow your wife around 24/7, but try not to be away so much during this critical time.
BE THE BRIDGE
No one understands your wife’s quirks better than you do and you also know the flaws of your own family. This is why you have to be the bridge between them for the first few months (or years) before everyone is settled in. For instance, if your new wife can’t handle the sight of raw meat and your family has the tendency to bring masses of meat every Saturday to cook, tell your family about it. Similarly, if your father has a nasty habit of belching after every meal, warn your wife beforehand.
ACCEPT HER FOR WHO SHE IS
She is not a piece of clay so please don’t enter the marriage thinking you can ‘mould’ her to your liking- because you can’t! Both of you have to adjust to each other’s ways and respect each other’s requirements. Don’t attempt to force her to act like you want her to , instead if she seems lost, talk to her, be there for her and try to make things better. After-all, compatibility is a fostered trait. When you see couples who look very ‘compatible’, it is because they work at accepting each other the way they are not by attempting to create a whole new person out of each other.
MARRYING A WORKING WIFE
Not everyone will be a stay at home wife after marriage. Your wife will probably have a job and career, expecting her to conform to the shoes of a traditional house wife is irrational. Your family, on the other hand, might expect her to do just that.
You will have to cleverly merge your wife’s life with your family’s expectations. You cannot expect her to cook and clean around the house, but it might not be entirely right to keep having your mother do it if that was how it was before the marriage. Maybe you can get some hired help around the house. Or you can move your lazy ass and help out too.
YOU CANNOT EXPECT HER TO COOK AND CLEAN AROUND THE HOUSE, BUT IT MIGHT NOT BE ENTIRELY RIGHT TO KEEP HAVING YOUR MOTHER DO IT IF THAT WAS HOW IT WAS BEFORE THE MARRIAGE.
DO NOT COMPARE HER TO HER OTHER IN-LAWS
We often see brides in the family being compared to her sister in-laws and their mother in-laws. Your intentions may not be wrong but doing so in the very early stage of marriage can really put her off. After all, she is not there to win a competition rather to make this new union work by winning hearts and developing a level of compatibility with the family. So make sure you or any of your family members don’t put in her in a difficult position and make her feel as though she is there to prove herself better than the rest. Take it easy!
GIVE HER SOME TIME TO ADJUST
Don’t push her or expect her to get familiar to everybody and everything too fast. Imposing her on your family territory might make it appear to be forced and make her more uncomfortable with the others.
TRY TO SORT OUT THE DIFFERENCES
If your wife has a problem with your parents or if your parents have a problem with the actions of your wife, don’t stay shut and let them be. Man up, it’s you who needs to step in and take responsibility of fixing it. Try to know what problem each side has, then think about it, come up with a solution and talk to both the parties.
CONTROL YOUR TEMPER
Things can get tough and adjusting to a new life may be overwhelming for you as well. Being a relationship manager between your parents and your wife can be a daunting task, and at times it is very easy to lose your cool. However try your best to control it and most importantly try to avoid showing your displeasure of one in front of the other. And more specifically don’t criticize one in front of the other.
A majority of how the first period of marriage turns out depends on your way of handling of the situation. Since the bone of contention is you, the responsibility is also upon you to maintain peace in the house. Do not be a good son without also being a good husband.