5 Life Lessons That Being Married in India Taught Me!

Marriage is not easy. It takes two to tango but it takes an army of people to make or break a marriage in India. Because living the “hum saath saath hai” life is not really easy, for anyone involved. Being married in a traditional Indian family can be challenging and rewarding, but it the one thing it most certainly is, is a journey filled with learning moments. And if you can make the most of these, then the silver lining is that you will be much more mature and stronger in the way you handle life. Here are some lessons being married in India taught me, and while I may have taken some time to get these, today they bring me much peace! 

Indian marriage
Photo by Aksh Shaurya

You are marrying ONLY your husband, not his family. 

Be it an arranged marriage or a love one, it is very rare that the couple goes on dates with each others family members, to get to know them and their life expectations. And you know why that is? Because, at the end of the day, you’re only marrying your partner and not everyone else in his life. His family will become an extremely important part of your life and it’s important to know and respect that. But that does not mean you are going to have to make them a part of your married life. Space, boundaries and distance are best when established early and clearly. 

There is a world of difference between compromise and sacrifice

Contrary to what you have seen in Hindi TV shows, life is not black and white. There is no “good bahu” or “bad bahu” archetype, and the only way to a happy life is to be a happy person. And that means understanding that while everything in life requires some level of compromise, it does not mean you make your entire existence a sacrifice. Life’s decisions need to be made where both you and your partner meet midway, and sometimes, you have to go the extra mile. But then again, sometimes, so does he. Blind sacrifice is never the way to a great marriage or a great life. 

Financial independence is not negotiable

In today’s day and age, if you have the education or the opportunity, there is no excuse for not being financially independent. And by that I don’t mean every woman has to be a lean mean working machine. You could do as much or as little, but you need to be able to support your basic needs, or at least have some savings. You also need to understand, if not do, your taxes, investments and other financial paperwork. Because financial independence buys you not just freedom but also respect and a decision-making power. 

No one can replace your parents

One f the biggest problems with the idea of marriages in India is that women are expected to leave behind their parents and make their in-laws their “new parents”. As not just a wife but also a mom, I can tell you one thing–NO ONE can replace the people who create you, give birth to you, and raise you. It is the only relationship that functions on unconditional love, and your in-laws can’t possibly reciprocate that. What they can be is really amazing in-laws whom you love and respect. So everyone having realistic expectations will make life a lot easier. 

A solid foundation is EVERYTHING 

Marriages are hard, as we all know. But the one thing that helps you keep it going strong is to build it on a solid foundation. If you and your partner are honest and open in your conversation and invest time early in the marriage to building mutual trust, respect and understanding, then everything that comes your way is background noise. You can work around it, distance yourself from it or just ignore it.

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Tanvi Saraf

Tanvi Saraf is a writer, editor and traveller who's recently moved to the south. Having worked with the country's leading publications, including Marie Claire, India Today, Harper's Bazaar Bride and L'officiel, she now heads marketing for WeddingWishlist.com & CherryTin.com. Her life's philosophy and choices are guided by her motto, "Enjoy it. Because it's happening", and with both our websites, she's all set to bring the joy back to gifting.

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