Before I begin this piece, I want to clarify that whatever you read below is based on my personal experience and thought process. I completely understand that people lead different lives and not everyone will be able to relate and understand so when we reach that point, we will just move on accepting that fact and if there is something in there you really don’t believe in then we will just agree to disagree. Okay?
Alhamdulillah celebrated our first anniversary earlier this month (by celebrated I mean stayed home in our night suits, watched a comedy TV series and ordered chinese. Our kind of thing) and its still feel unreal. I am still kind of in denial about being married so naturally being married for an entire year feels very very weird. haha. Anyway.
This one year has taught me a lot and I’d like to share some things that I found were key to my happiness and peace during these past 365 days.
- Post Marriage Life is Nothing Like a Rom-Com Movie
Be realistic. Many girls expect that their husbands are going to be be their sides all day and night, taking care of everything no matter what time of the day it is or what circumstances are. Husbands go to work. They have responsibilities. They have the kind of stress we don’t have to deal with, so if they don’t live up to your movie like expectations, be understanding. If you give him shit for coming late from work, he will get even more frustrated than before because its not like he is sitting their by choice. Same goes for men. If your wife works, give her the respect she deserves and give her time to settle into both roles (Wife and an employee) and if she doesn’t work, please understand that doesn’t mean she spends the entire day in bed watching her favorite dramas, there are a million things to do through out the day, so think twice before you start complaining about things. (Please know in no way do I mean life isn’t great. Its freaking awesome. Promise. The only thing I am saying is that its not movie like.)
- Set Realistic Expectations
This is the best advice I got before getting married and this is the best advice I can give you. When a girl goes into a new house she feels like she needs to be perfect. Whether its clothes, makeup, cooking, spending time with the in-laws. But what we don’t understand is that everyone around us then starts believing that this is how we are going to be forever. Which is not possible, not everyone can wake up super early daily and put on makeup before having breakfast every single day for the rest of their lives. Be yourself from day 1. Not saying don’t dress up in the beginning. Do that, do that for a week. 2 weeks tops. But then start getting into your normal routine and state so that you are accepted for who you really are. Even with your behavior, be yourself, dont pretend to be someone you can’t be in a few weeks.
- Dont Dwell on Tiny Issues
In the beginning, brides tend to be super emotional. They miss their home, their families (specially if they move to another country/city) so basically we are emotionally unstable whether we like/believe it or not.There will be some very small and stupid things that will bother us. But create a system in your head that starts beeping every time you are being unreasonable and stop right there. Give it a thought before you go on shouting or picking up an unnecessary fight with your husband. Chances are you will get over it within minutes. Otherwise you are an idiot – sorry, but its true. Realize how tiny the issue is or you will regret it later.
- Give Love to Get Love
Always remember, your husbands family is now yours too. You need to treat them like your own. Think of his siblings and parents as yours too because they are extremely important and they play a huge role both your lives. My mother in law and I often discuss how people live together but find flaws in each other on purpose and create issues. When you HAVE to live together, why not live happily? Why not give them the love and respect you would give your own family? Respect is earned. You won’t get it in a day and your in laws can’t expect that within a day either. It takes time, but it happens. From day 1, make it a rule to think of them like your own and before you know it, you will grow to love and care for them in the exact same way.
- Give Each Other Space
Faizan’s FIFA habits annoyed me to an unbelievable extend but I eventually realized its a part of his “ME” time and I accepted his PS4 as his other wife who he needs every now and then. Also, spending time apart is very difficult, but it gives you perspective and also helps you realize how much you need the other person in your life. Earlier this year I had to go to USA for a cousins wedding and Faizan couldn’t come along because of his work commitments, then later in the year he went with a friend to Turkey for his bachelor trip (which made me highly uncomfortable for a bit but then I was like what the hell is wrong with me and I gave him my blessings), both trips apart bought us closer together and even though at the time it felt like a pain, I am glad we took those trips.
- Decorate your own space, slowly.
One of the best experiences you will have post wedding is when you decorate your own room/portion/apartment/whatever you have. Most girls get their rooms done entirely before moving in. What I did was simply send in the furniture and then when I came here, I did the setting and accessorizing. It took a lot of time (I am still no where near what I want this place to look like!) but its great fun. And the best thing is doing it with my husband. We go together to find lamps and rugs and photo frames. When he gives me his input it makes me feel extremely happy to see him involved in the entire process. Its a part of memories you make along the way and it feels absolutely amazing.
- Do Things That Make You Feel at Home
Its difficult to imagine yourself living in a place other than the comfort of your own home and then suddenly over night you are in an new environment with a new family and a husband. Sometimes it gets too overwhelming and it becomes hard to settle in. In that case start doing things that you would do in your own house. Don’t be embarrassed to open the fridge at 3 am or order food. Its your own house now and you should be able to do that. I started cooking as soon as I got here because that’s what made me feel most comfortable at my parents house. When I found my way around the kitchen, knowing where all the masala’s are and where all the pots and pans are, I started feeling at home.
- Learn and Accept Everyday
Even if you get married to a person you’ve been dating for 10 years, please understand that living together is a whole new story. You see a side of your partner that you’ve never known before. Learn to accept that side. Share your interests with him and be involved in his. Enjoy your time together and take time out from everything else and spend some quality time together. That is what brings happiness to a relationship. Not expensive gifts or a big house.
This post is getting too long, so I’ll stop here. I asked Faizan to share his learnings through out the year so I can share a man’s perspective with you too. He shared a few things with me that blew my mind, but he is in Karachi for the next few days (boohoo for me) so I will wait till I see him again, rack his brain properly and then share whatever comes out of it.
And once again, a very very Happy New Year to all of you. May this year brings brings you insane amounts of peace and joy!