For a new bride
Every new bride, especially a young one is lucky if she has people around her to give some good advice. Most girls grow up with fantasy tales of marriage. Society, movies and books fill young girls with all sorts of dreamy versions of being a bride. Nothing wrong in that, we definitely should have our dreams and our desires for that perfect dress, perfect wedding, charming husband etc etc.
Dream and be sensible
All this is great, but experience teaches most of us that nothing is dreamy and fancy like they show in the movies. It is for sure one of the most exciting phases of your life and you have every right to work in making it the most perfect day and trying to be the perfect bride and then wife. But amidst all this, one needs to know, that at this juncture as well, you need to be sensible, intelligent and have your head firmly on your shoulders and not get carried away in all the fanfare of the wedding preparations.
Know its importance
One must understand, it is a huge responsibility being somebody’s wife, someone’s daughter in law and with this comes a lot of changes to not only your life but also your outlook. Even if you have known your to-be husband for years and think you know him well, be ready for surprises, for reactions you never expected, for habits you never thought he possessed and for additional duties and social commitments that are all a part and parcel of being newlyweds.
Someone once said – don’t keep your highs too high and your lows too low.
Based on my experience, I’d suggest the following –
- Firstly, be realistic in your expectations and know that a marriage is a lot of hard work. Just because you fell in love and decided to tie the knot, doesn’t mean it will last. You need to make the journey worthwhile and happy while you’re at it. Don’t expect the world and think every day will be a bed of roses on its own, you can make a happy life but the key word is ‘make’, it just doesn’t happen by lieu of being married.
- Know, that it is a two way street. Both partners need to care, love, give, appreciate, share, contribute and be engaged for the marriage to feel balanced. You do a bit, your partner does a bit and with each step, you move to getting closer to that happy point.
- Respect his folks, their ways and acknowledge that every family is different and their habits could also differ from your own family and never be critical of these differences unless it is being forced upon you. Think of it as a new learning experience, adopt the ones you think are good and politely decline to refrain from those that you do not agree with. Voice your opinion and learn to be diplomatic. Learn to care for your in-laws and embrace the new family. When the same is reciprocated by your husband, your joys will know no bounds!
- Don’t rubbish any new idea or suggestion immediately, give it some thought before you take a stand and explain your views. It is a mingling of new ideas and a forming of a new world, be open for that.
- Don’t keep you pains & disappointments pent up inside. Have a close friend or relative who understands this phase and speak to them. Trust me, you will find yourself a number of times in situations where you cannot share your thoughts to your beloved, but need that girlfriend to reach out to. And definitely don’t feel guilty while doing this.
- Your social circle will naturally gravitate to other newlywed or recently wed couples and you will make friends with other brides. Don’t compare lives, we all have unique experiences based on the unique personalities involved in the marriage. What works for one couple, does not necessarily work for the other. Laugh at your common anguishes and experiences. Learn and get perspective from other womens experiences.
- I think even in these modern times where both partners have a career and work equally hard to bring the bacon home, yet every man likes a wife who can cook at least a bit. Learn to cook if you haven’t! Get your husband to help with the chopping or stirring, this is another place where togetherness grows and you hopefully even have a nice meal put together or something you can laugh about later.
- Make happy memories; don’t be defiant or difficult just for the heck of it. Have a good reason to fight and argue about. Express yourself- talk it out or wait for the right moment to, at least. The silent treatment is not always the best way to solve your problems!
- Don’t try to change him or control him- accept the varied interests and passion each one has. This doesn’t mean you put up with nonsense! Be a good judge of what you can accept and what is not at all acceptable. Identify that drawing line.
- Remember that you don’t have to do everything together for your marriage to be perfect. Give each other space; let him pursue his hobbies and interests and you do yours, this is one life and let us try and lead it by doing and letting others do what they enjoy! Each one will be a happier person for this and you will learn to appreciate each others varying interest or hobbies.
Honestly, the list is endless, but the essential thing is, be ready for changes, be loving and caring, don’t expect a whole lot and be ready to do things you never thought you would! It is OK, it is for the sake of hopefully a long and loving relationship!
As times pass by, you will learn to strike that fine balance- when to speak out, when to just shut up, the division of responsibilities and the admittance of how different each of you is and still love each other a lot!