If I can recall it with some amount of accuracy , it took me nearly a year to get over my ‘newly-wed’ hangover and rightfully so.
I was , am and will always be a tomboy. But for that short interim period I think I was a confused newly wed Punjabi with her red sparkling churra (bright red it was , not the new age subtle orange-ish reds , phew I sound like an old woman already).
My wardrobe was a random mix of subdued work wear and exuberantly overpriced trousseau . My workplace was not an insta-worthy corporate office out of Devil wears Prada but a humble government hospital where I was almost permanently found for the first year of marriage (yes, not very worthy of envy) . Hence , for the first year of my residency I ended up looking overtly accessorized with the novel twinkling wedding jewelry and the quintessential churra.
I used to look so much out of place that my patients started labeling me as the ‘Churre wali doctor’. So trademarked was I by the red bangles , that when I finally bade an adieu to them after 8 months of my wedding, my patients took some time to re-identify me without them.
I still remember when at the end of the academic year of my post graduation I read the notice regarding payment of fees for the next year, the naive me wondered whom should I ask to pay this .Of course, I was earning a very good stipend but the very fact that it was the first time I realized I couldn’t call my mum and tell her casually ‘Mumma, fees bhar dena!’ put a lump in my throat.
Mostly the hurdles you come across as a newly wed have very less to do with marriage and more to do with the fact that you have entered ‘Adult-hood’ where you are responsible and answerable for your own self.
Even your own parents start judging the way you dress, behave and deal with society as they cease to count you as one of their own . You and your spouse become a separate identity who are expected to function as a harmonious unit from day one itself. This sudden transition is tough, even for someone like my husband and I who knew each other for four good years before we tied the knot.
Even if you may be doing exceptionally well as a new match in terms of striking a balance , you might not realize it until you see in the coming years younger couples struggling even more than you ever did (Our sympathies with them, we know it is a difficult road to tread on).
Not to forget the ‘In-law’s challenge , and mind you , its not just for the female. A newly wed man with a decent school of thought strives for his own new equilibrium as well. While dealing with the ‘ In-law’s I believe only one thing works, whatsoever side you are confronted with , your relation as a couple comes first. Anything that compromises your spouse’s self respect and dignity is not acceptable whatever may be the situation.
Also , sometimes it is difficult to accept that our own kin may be more at mistake than the relatives of our spouse, hence a balanced approach of ‘ Innocent , until proven guilty‘ is the best way to move forward.
Do not dramatize your married life the way it is shown on soap operas.No one in real life has the creative genius of content writers to plot and plan against you and most of the times , a clear communication is the answer to all confusions.
One of the common misconception as a newly wed bride I myself had and later observed with other brides as well was our thought that ‘I will change this said thing once I get married’. Marriage is not a reform movement – where the bride/groom or the family you marry into need to change for the better. Its a new relationship where everyone has to make a space of their own in the new normal environment. Having a preconceived notion that one has the power to change a person or family because one knows better usually sets a domino effect which takes things in a downward spiral.
Having been married for 5 +years now, when I see things in retrospect , I see many innocent mistakes that I made. However, all of them now comprise my experience and I am happy to have learned from them and have come out a better person.
I remember just before my wedding , my badi-mumma told me in hushed voices that all this pomp – show and extravagance of the wedding rituals is a way of distracting the bride and groom from the impending mighty storm-ridden journey they are about to undertake . (I know she exaggerated it a little.)
Though I agree marriage is not easy however it is definitely worth the effort.
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