I never thought I would be writing this (not atleast before 5 years into my marriage) but time and again I receive messages like ‘You guys are always smiling..what’s the secret’ and ‘You guys seem to have a great relationship, are you the same with his family?’ and also, ‘can you share some tips and advice on relationship from your experience?’
So, after having numerous discussions with Shez, I thought of writing some tips for both married and to-be married couples (for both boiz and gals) regarding what to expect from each other and people around you after getting married
Disclaimer: Nope, we are not experts on relationships but these few years have taught us a lot about building our relationship with each other as well as with each others families.
Adjustment needs time
For Khawateen: Yes, its a life changing decision to marry someone and leave everything behind to start a new life and it’s even harder to adjust in a completely new environment, adapting to a completely new lifestyle with a completely new person (the person is also new even though you have known them for years because living with someone is completely different) BUT it’s not just you who is trying to make adjustments, it’s also the people of this new house trying to adjust with a completely new person. In no way am I suggesting that it’s more difficult for you than them, but it’s about understanding the fact that you are not alone in this (empathy plays a greater role here)
For Hazraat: Someone left their entire life behind to start a new life with you and trust me it takes ALOT to do that. So cut your woman some slack, try understanding her. She will cry, throw tantrums sometimes, miss her family and her old routine (especially in the first few months) and it’s only natural to feel that way. Imagine if you had to sleep in someone else’s bed for a day? I am sure most people can’t even sleep. So just put yourself in her shoes and give her some time and in the meanwhile try appreciating her and make her feel as homely as possible. (Again, it’s all about empathy)
For Khawateen: I grew up with my sister (the only sibling) and no boys around so imagine how hard it must have been for me to begin my new life with a guy. It’s hard no matter if you had boys in your house or not but give it some time. I can so relate to the pain when guys aren’t organized and leave their soggy towel lying on the bed or floor (Guys, calm down! these are a few random examples… just wait for your turn) but it’s okay. All of this is as new for you as it is for them. It will take some time for them to realize and learn how you want things to be done in a certain way and trust me you have no idea how annoyed they too feel when they have to watch rom-coms with you on a weekend instead of their favorite episode of Gotham or Narcos. So yeah, the struggle is real for BOTH OF YOU!
For Hazraat: I know it bothers you when your girl doesn’t get ready on time or takes forever to get ready or keeps changing the place where you used to keep your stuff but hey welcome to the married life. Its new and hard but exciting and adventurous! There will be days when you will want to have your room all to yourself but she feels the same way too. (I am not talking about personal space over here, but talking about sharing the room and personal belongings) So when you feel exhausted with all the sharing, the changes around you, take a deep breath and get used to it because, well, you signed up for this!
His or Her Family? NO, OUR FAMILY!
For Khawateen: No one can ever replace your parents and trust me that’s not even my point but at least respect this new family and be compassionate towards them like you have been towards any other elder of your family. I am sure there are some of your khalas, mamus, chachus and phupos who have corrected you, criticize you or even ask you to do a thing in a certain way. Not because they looked down upon you, but as they want the best for you. And let’s just consider your parents too. I am sure they must have scolded you hundreds of times and there must have been times when you didn’t agree with them, so what did you do then? Did you doubt their feelings for your or did you start holding grudges against them? I am sure not (well, I hope not). So just treat his family and especially the elders the similar way you have treated the elders of your family. Give your relationships some time to grow before you form a strong opinion about people.
For Hazraat: Just because she has moved in with you and lives with you, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to respect and treat her family the same way you want yours to be treated. Yep, it takes time to mingle with people and there are times when we don’t even get along with certain folks but you have an edge over here..at least you are not living with them and just have to see them occasionally. Treat her parents, siblings and other family members with respect, love and compassion and trust me she will and already is (hopefully) doing the same for your family and relatives as well.
Communication is the KEY!
For Khawateen: There is no point in feeling things and not communicating it to the right person (the right person is your husband in this case). Communication is the key but the bigger key is the way you communicate your message. Talk rather than argue! Communication doesn’t mean that both of you HAVE to agree on one point, it’s about understanding someone’s point of view. If you don’t like certain habits of your guy, talk to him politely and make him understand your point. He might not agree with you but will definitely respect you for sharing your feelings (if you share it the right way)
For Hazraat: I know that a lot of guys are not very open and don’t know how to communicate their feelings. But this is one skill that you truly have to polish, not just for yourself but for your spouse. I am saying this because I have seen a lot of people who keep things to themselves and then when they burst it all out, things take an ugly turn. And at that point you are truly at mistake because the other person was clueless. Talk and discuss rather than enforce or argue
COMPROMISE – the two-way-street that keeps everyone together!
For both Khawateen o Hazraat: I have been a very stubborn person but one thing that this marriage has taught me is that there are times when I have to give up, not just for my husband but for his friends and family members as well (in short every one he loves or is close to). That does not mean that I have turned into a completely different person and changed myself according to their lifestyle BUT there are days when I have to be a bigger person and let certain things go. Shahzeb does the same. There are times when I am stubbornly wrong (I know it in my head too) but he gives in because according to him this ‘beautiful thing’ we have between us is so much valuable than our egos.
The most important point to remember is that compromise is a two way street in every relationship (parents, spouse, in-laws, siblings and friends) because if its one way, then it definitely leads to hell.
So, those were some of the very basic rules that we have been following since day 1. These might not imply to you or your relationship (because the situations might be completely different) but I shared these because they really work for us. I hope these work for you as well. ❤
P.S. I wrote this almost three years ago. A lot of things have made it to this list and I might actually do a part II of this article. Until then, you can share THE ULTIMATE MARRIAGE HACK that holds you and your spouse together.