Marriage itself is a very overwhelming experience but if you’re moving into a joint family system you have got to move in mentally prepared for a lot of things. And there will be a lot of points you are later going to wish someone had told you beforehand. These are basically some points a very close cousin of mine told me after my marriage but I didn’t pay much attention to them. And I ended up regretting it later, so here it goes.
01. Be a doll:
No, literally – I mean it. Always manage time to get dolled up for your husband because in susral the ultimate key to success is always to have good terms with your miyaan. Petty issues are a part of life and we are not going to get into that. What the main focus here is to dress up, apply minimal makeup even if he says he likes you the way you are, do your nails, and most importantly be prepared to undress as well (Get waxed for your man). TRUST ME on this one, these small things matter.
02. Miyaan first:
Always keep him your top priority. If you have a strong bond with your man, no mother-in-law or sister-in-law is going to dare to point a finger at you…just for the sake of it. Having a united front is always important. Yes, the rest of the people in your house are also important but just remember, you are married to the guy and the rest of the family is related to you just because of him. So he should be your main focus. Also, normal mothers-in-law get happy that their new daughter-in-law is keeping their son happy so you should be good to avoid a lot of issues.
On the other hand, let’s not get into the details of the jealous kind of mothers-in-law… I’m talking about the ones who just feel insecure as if the bahu is going to steal their son from them. But even in that case, keep your man happy, keep him close and let the rest get used to the idea that you are here to stay and that they’ll have to get used to having to share their son now.
Never start bad mouthing your mother-in-law in front of your husband. I know and understand that you might feel that you have that kind of chemistry or bond with him that you feel like you just must pour your heart out in front of him and share with him every tiny little detail, but at the end of the day she is his mother and “beta humesha ma ka hota hay”. Mention the good stuff like” today your mother made a paratha for me, we talked and had fun, etc. and when your mother-in-law says something bad about you to him, he’ll eventually feel bad for you. He’d think “my wife was praising her and she is bad-mouthing my wife.” You would have the upper hand.
04. Maintaining boundaries:
Sometimes you have to set a certain type of boundaries like when I moved in with my in-laws, they had no system of knocking at the door before entering someone’s room. I felt awkward so I started knocking even on open doors of rooms to establish that entering a closed door with a couple inside is not okay. And then eventually they understood and started knocking.
And now that we are talking about maintaining boundaries, it’s not just about the boundaries you need to make sure that they follow but also you need to follow some restrictions about what and how much about your life you share with your in-laws. Never share your personal issues with your in-laws. Never let them cross a certain line and at the same time make sure you, yourself also don’t cross that line. Don’t overshare with your sisters-in-law when they visit, just talk about random stuff like clothes, some drama, some movie you watched, or a good sale that is going on.
05. Do not indulge:
If you overhear something wrong and bad but at the same time it’s something that wouldn’t affect you, learn to ignore it. If you get stuck in some awkward heated situation where two parties are fighting and again it is has nothing to do with you, do not indulge. If it’s unavoidable to stay away from the issue and people keep bringing you in, try not to pick sides. Calmly observe the situation and make a very political, uncontroversial statement. However, it’s always best to just say that you wouldn’t like to get involved or hurt anyone.
06. Don’t overburden yourself:
First of all, try to know your audience. If they are the kind that would appreciate your small gestures and efforts then try to keep them happy but at the same time make sure that they respect you too. Love and care isn’t a one-way street. It’s a ‘give and take’ relationship. Don’t die trying to impress everyone. Don’t become a “people’s pleasure”. Don’t commit to doing something you don’t think you can easily keep doing in the future.
07. Cool off quickly:
When you live in a joint family, and you are new to the family phaday (fights) are bound to happen because not everyone will like you. Now, there are two options: either move out with your spouse (if you think your spouse would be willing to do so and has the resources). Otherwise, just recall the old saying “jab do bartan ikatthay rehtay hain shor toh hota hai”. It’s but natural that differences might occur and if you are going to live under the same roof and interact daily, it becomes awkward to not let go of the issues. Don’t keep grudges in your heart. Learn to let go and forgive. Learn to move on. Life is way bigger than “who said what in which argument”. You’ll feel peaceful and happy by learning to let go.
How was your experience when you moved in with your in-laws as a newlywed bahu? Share the tips from your experience in the comments.