Sunday, November 23, 2008

On In-Laws and Family

I have often wondered recently why I have no in-law problems. No, I'm not complaining, thanks for asking. But most married people, especially women, seem to have them. I had put my lack of them to me being phenomenally lucky to have wonderful in-laws.

That part still holds true, but I realised I wasn't giving another factor enough credit. The Guy. (Okay, for those of you who feel this blog is beginning to read like a Guy journal, stop reading this post now.)

This morning, I was cooking up a quick lunch while the Guy spoke to his mother in a language that I guess I've begun to understand (or probably I only understand it when the Guy speaks it). And from what I heard of that one side of the conversation, I could see that she was suggesting we move into our new flat on an 'auspicious' day. And I heard with some amusement as the Guy brushed her suggestion off.

And I suddenly wondered, what if he had been the kind of guy who would take such a suggestion seriously - either because he believed in it himself, or just to 'please his mother'? I would have been hurt, angry - and if I had given in, I'd feel frustrated. And probably blame the mother, not the son.

I remember when things weren't this great, when we had just been together for some time and had started to get to know each other's families. There was apprehension and eagerness to please on both sides. There were cultural differences - they even speak a different language. And I was insecure and scared of the influence his family had on him.

In a way, the cultural differences probably helped - any unfamiliar behaviour on my part was probably put down to a culture they had little knowledge of, where a bride of the same community might have been criticised more strictly. Any wounds were minor, and caused totally by accident. They treated me with kindness and respect, taking pleasure in the fact that I made the Guy happy.

The Guy and I grew even more happy and comfortable together. We soon learned that any decision in our lives were ours to make, that friends and relatives might offer their opinions - politely - but we would do what pleased us. Most of the times, we want the same things. And because disagreements are rare, compromises are easier.


D said...

You are lucky indeed.
And the husband does have a crucial though often reluctant role to play in the relationship between his wife and parents.
That said, I also think it's always easier to get along with people you aren't living with.

Praveen VS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Praveen VS said...

Oh great to know that you do things which you both feel is correct because I am very sure that when we do things to please somebody else we cant do it for long and end up at the disapponting them and disappointing ourselves. So from the begining only if we do things our way then expectation set for others are very low and hence things look lot better

Indian Home Maker said...

Nothing like beginning like this. The credit goes to a very wise guy and his wise family.
We began the same way, literally growing up and learning together.

I can't imagine somebody else taking decisions for us, would have been a nightmare!

Unmana said...

D: I agree completely. Things are much more difficult when you're forced to live together.

Praveen: I totally agree!

IHM: "The credit goes to a very wise guy and his wise family." Indeed! And maybe a little credit to me as well? ;-)

Pallavi Sharma said...

"The Guy and I grew even more happy and comfortable together... Most of the times, we want the same things. And because disagreements are rare, compromises are easier."
I pray it stays that way. Even though I don't quite believe in that stuff... this is a "kala teeka" post :D

Unmana said...

Pallu: :-D