My views/opinions expressed here are from the perspective of a wife, based on the observations, discussions and exchange of experiences from the past couple of years. These are questions that I am sure all of us have asked ourselves at some point or the other.
When a girl gets married, she is expected to bring changes in her behavior, expectations and her lifestyle, to suit that of her husband’s. She is expected to leave her family behind and adapt to her ‘new family.’ Her parents tell her ‘now they are your parents. You must listen to them and obey them.’
But what is expected of a boy getting married? Is he told that now he has another set of parents he needs to obey? Does he bring about changes in his lifestyle? Does he leave his dreams and expectations behind?
A woman who obeys her husband and in-laws is a ‘good wife’ but a man who obeys his wife is ‘henpecked’?? The change somehow seems to come very naturally to women. Men change too. But, they are criticized saying ‘he has changed after marriage.’ Display of emotions or change of priorities is considered a sign of weakness in men.
A woman does not worry that her parents might get insecure after her marriage, but, a man does. Why is that? Is it because the woman’s parents are very secure of their relationship with their daughter? OR because they ‘willingly accept’ the fact that she now has her family and priorities? OR may be both! They are happy that the husband becomes the most important person in her life. And the wife has no qualms admitting/declaring the same.
How often do you come across sons who openly admit that their wife is the most important person in his life? Well, it’s not because she is not, but because by saying so he could be hurting his parents. It would make them a little (or may be a lot) insecure. Men prefer being diplomatic in such matters. They want to keep everybody happy. (Atleast that’s what they think they are doing.)
When a son takes care of his parents’ needs and securities he is considered to be doing his duties. When a daughter does the same, people call her parents a liability. Why? Does a girl love her parents any less than a boy?
I have heard a lot of parents praise their sons-in-law openly but haven’t come across parents praising their daughters-in-law. Not even 1/4th of what they brag about their own sons or daughters. It is very easy to say ‘she is lucky to be married into our family’ but how often do they consider the possibility that the family is probably luckier to have her?
This could be never ending. All I want to say is be fair and get real. Don’t treat a woman any different from a man. Long gone are the days when the daughter-in-laws would listen to any crap just because it is coming from her husband or in-laws. She is staying with her in-laws does not mean she prefers not staying with her parents. Stop challenging the daughters-in-law. Why risk spoiling a relationship before it has even had a chance to grow?
All these could be minor issues and quite common too. It is natural that in any new relationship there will be insecurities. How well you deal with them depends on how sensitive you are. Everybody has their side of the story…parents, husbands and in-laws. Most of us (the women) are lucky to have the capability and maturity to understand the intricacies of relationships and how to work around them. Some of us are lucky to have in-laws who are more broad-minded than others. But all of us are lucky to be women. We have a mind strong enough to admit our priorities.
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