In this day and age no woman/girl has marriage as the finish line. We don’t sleep with the hope of a knight in shining armor whisking us away to a land of forever dreams.
At least, I never did.
I was never the tutu-wearing, princess-loving, ogling-the-current-teen-heart-throb, kind of girl growing up. I never humored the idea of marriage nor giggled over a potential someone with my girlfriends.
But, I knew it was an inevitable life occurrence.
So, when the time came to sign the sacred Nikkahnama (marriage certificate) I entered it with zero romantic expectations and preset life goals (house, children, and etc). Even so, the changes that came afterwards took me by surprise. I felt out of place physically and emotionally.
Once the honeymoon phase fizzled and the deep red velvety love curtains were lifted, I found myself stranded in a new reality. Everything, everyone including myself, felt foreign. Strangely, even though I had moved to a familiar country and married in to relatives (its a phopo ka beta love story), it still did not warrant an automatic transition.
Me Before You
From the moment a neat signature was stroked in to dotted lines on a 4 paged marriage document; I had changed.
Change started with me. Begrudgingly, the greatest challenge for me was to accept this simple truth before anything or anyone else. I desperately wanted to believe I could evolve without altering bits of myself to fit in to this new role I entered. There was a sudden shift in identity.
I fought so hard to hold on to old habits, good or bad. I focused on what ‘should be’ instead of ‘what is’. I would have a check-list of compromises I’ve made for a husband of 10 days, and let the hypothetical perfect wife sitting on my shoulder dictate my failures . With all of this swirling in my head I had managed to sever important initial line of communication.
Mere Sarkaar and I never argued on the basis of who out-wins the other as the sacrificial spouse (Allhamdulilah), but the noose of self-expectations I had tied around my neck choked the right words to be said at the right moment.
If you are a newly wed then my advice to you is to cut yourself some slack. Social expectations are easy to cold shoulder but the way you treat yourself in a relationship defines the outcome of any given situation you have with your spouse.
Accept who you are becoming. True partnership can only happen if you are true to yourself.
Also Related: 6 Things That Really Change When You Get Married
Promises Your Fiance Made Will Not Be The Ones Your Husband Keeps
Men experience and perceive change differently. While women (me) try to micromanage every aspect of the relationship, men tend to go off track and gear up their comfort level. To them marriage means the legal pass to fart shamelessly, hit the mental snooze at will, and basically reveal their ogre like habits in one swift go.
And I don’t say it with spite.
I mean husbands shed the niceties immediately because to them a wife is like an instant cup of comfort. They forget to take baby steps with you and leap in to a new life head first, sensibility flying after.
They are clueless. But, while you have spent a portion of your day exercising ‘marriage best practices’, he thinks there’s nothing to work on and therefore is comfortably playing playstation in his boxers.
Mere Sarkaar made a ton of promises which he conveniently forgot the day after he brought me home as a blushing bride. I was grateful for the ease he felt with me, and for not playing ‘nice’ any longer but I do still remind him to this day about the long list of adventures we were supposed to do together.
It’s OK. He may not be the love eyed boyfriend type holding a boombox outside your window, but he is going to be the man to stand outside the loo as moral support when you fall ill. And, that’s much much much better.
Your Ability To Compromise
If you have a long courtship before marriage you manage to establish some groundwork before making things official. This may sometimes give you a false idea that may be you won’t need to compromise as much in the ‘after life’.
Brown mother’s won’t ever quit to remind their daughters the importance of compromise. Son’s, well not so much but that’s a topic for another conversation.
Marriage is 70% of the time spent bargaining, with your spouse and yourself. Whether you were lovers before, or blind folded at the alter, is irrelevant. You will learn to pick your battles wisely, and surrender graciously when needed.
I am not a very assertive person. I am still learning to stand my ground without letting guilt wash over for sounding too aggressive. Mere Sarkaar is headstrong but equally mellow when it comes to matters involving just the two of us.
We spent the first year learning each others tendencies. Where to push, when to tug, and when to stop. If one of us takes the first step, the other remembers it and appreciates the effort it takes to let go.
The Definition Of Independence And Dependence
If you’re a brown girl who has been raised in a typical ‘biryani fridays’ kind of brown family then you have probably been told countless times how you can find ‘freedom after marriage’.
Want to travel? Beta, shadi k baad kr lena jitna krna hai
Want to hangout late night with your friends? Apne shohar k saat ghumte rehna raat bharr
Want to study all the way to a Masters Degree? Beta, Shadi k baad PHD kr lena
So now, when you are married and finally think this is your lifetime package inclusive of visas, stay, and attractions. Think again.
The definition of independence becomes constantly worrying about the man child you have left home without a guided map to the kitchen so he can feed himself after returning from work. Disclaimer: Also put out water if you want to avoid a dehydrated 80 kgs man sprawled at the entrance.
Jokes aside, marriage is full of dependencies. You both develop it over time without planing for it. You begin to co-exist and eventually morph in to one body with two heads.
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