My daughter is barely 1 year old, and I know that her wedding is a long time away. However, based on what I have seen in my life so far, there are a few things that I would want to tell her when her big day arrives.
- You married the man you have chosen to spend your life with to be a companion and a friend to him. As the years go by, don’t let anything replace this primary role in his life. You may cook for him, do his laundry, take care of your house, take care of your kids, and do everything else that makes his life easier.
But don’t ever let these things overshadow the quality time that you spend with him.Years later, when your kids have left you to lead their own lives, he won’t reflect on how well you cleaned the room or the number of dishes you were able to cook for him. But he will remember the pillar of strength that you will be for him and the caring and support that you provide in times of need.
- Do not ever tolerate abuse in any form. Abuse need not always be physical; it can also be verbal and emotional. You might not always recognize the latter two right away, but whenever you do, make sure it stops right there. It is never ever okay to be called a bitch or an asshole, especially by the man who promised to love you and take care of you for the rest of your life.
Stop him, and if you can’t, have the courage to leave him.Yes, I said it. You will not be able to bring anything to the marriage if your self-esteem and dignity are constantly wounded. A hollow empty marriage is not worth anything to you or to him. The moment you feel that you are not treated with love and respect, take a stance and take action.
- Deal with your in-laws on your own terms, without involving your husband. Just as you are my little princess and always will be, so is your husband the little prince of his mother. Don’t expect him to see your point of view, however correct it may be when you have friction with his family. Would you ever believe a word said against me or your father or your siblings? It is unrealistic to expect your husband to believe you when you are pointing a finger at his family.
If your in-laws taunt you, stop them. If they mistreat you, stand up for yourself. If they spread gossip about you, confront them. If they expect you to carry all the household work on your own without lifting a finger, set boundaries. Do this without getting your partner involved.
- You will hear this Hindi saying, “Doli Maa Baap ke ghar se uthti hai toh arthi sasuraal se uthni chahiye” (You leave your parents’ house upon marriage, and the only way you should leave your in-laws’ house is when upon death)? THAT IS COMPLETE UTTER NONSENSE. Don’t ever take it literally. We will always be there for you. We didn’t get you married to get you off our backs. We got you married so that you would find love, respect, and friendship, have a family and live out your years happily and independently. If you ever feel that this is not the case, that you are being abused, you aren’t being respected or that you are simply not happy in spite of the best efforts, our doors are always open for you. Not a lot of parents will say this to their daughters, but I say this to you – Come back if you are not being treated right. There are plenty of men in this world who will be lucky to have you.
As women, our dignity should never be compromised and we should not stand to be ill-treated in our own house, the house to which we bring love and affection. It is important that every girl understands these points at the time of her marriage.