8 Arranged Marriage Problems (Don’t Worry, We Have Solutions!)
Rituparna SenguptaGuest Contributor
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Arranged marriages come with their own set of pros and cons. On the one hand, there is the joy of discovering something new about a person every single day while, on the other, there are surprises that may not always be so rosy. In every marriage, there are bound to be a few fights to balance out the love but when it comes to arranged marriages things can get a bit tricky. Here are a few common arranged marriage fights that may happen and here’s how you can handle them as well.
1. Working Late Again?
Sure, you made it clear to your hubby about how important your career is to you, but you may be shocked to find him differing in his opinions post the nuptials. Your in-laws might also raise issues if you dive into work immediately after marriage and keep the usual late hours. Things can get even trickier if you are a wee bit more workaholic than your better half.
How to handle: Ask your husband and in-laws very gently as to what exactly is the objection to working late. If your new spouse wants more one-on-one time with you post-wedding, he may have a point. In an arranged marriage, this time is important to build the base of the marriage. So if he’s willing to make time, you might consider it too. If the objection has been made by your in-laws ask your husband to mediate and explain how important your work is for you.
2. Endless Family Functions
If you have had an arranged marriage you probably don’t know your in-laws and their extended family very well. Post the wedding, you may have to attend an endless stream of family functions meant to introduce you to the “rest of the family.” Sure, it’s all getting onto your nerves and you are forgetting names but there seems to be no end to it. When you are alone with your hubby there is a chance that all the pent up frustration might make you explode, leading to a bitter fight.
How to handle: Take a deep breath and pull your hubby aside. Talk to him about how physically fatigued you are feeling after the endless parade of meeting people. Gently ask him if a few functions can be cancelled, postponed or spaced out. Don’t forget that they may be acquaintances to you but they are his family.
3. Khana Kaun Banaega?
Who indeed? Surely they don’t expect you to don the apron and wield the kitchen knife? At one time, Indian families were notorious for hustling a new bride into the kitchen in no time but thankfully things have changed. Still, god forbid if the new dad/mom-in-law make the naïve mistake of asking this question - all hell will break loose for sure.
How to handle: Play it diplomatically. Your in-laws come from a different generation and might have some archaic views but that doesn’t mean they can’t change. Explain gently that you’d be happy to help in the kitchen if someone is ill or there is an urgent need but cooking regularly for the entire family might interfere with your work or you simply don’t enjoy it. If the hubby interferes in their favour pull him aside for a private talk. Don’t be disrespectful at any point but stick to your guns, smiling through it all.
4. Who Pays For What?
In arranged marriages, one of the first things that is asked of the two parties is how much money the bride and groom make and where their career stands. But the division of finances post-nuptials is left to the decision of the couple. It is here that a rift may happen if they have not talked it over before hand.
How to handle: Just because you are married does not mean he has to always foot the bill. If you haven’t had the talk about how to share your finances already, you really should. As your marriage grows, joint savings, insurance policies and accounts will enter the daily vocabulary, so might as well clear up who spends where.
5. Alone Time Vs We Time
Before the wedding, you looked forward to getting to know your fiancé but post-marriage the question of getting some alone time might crop up. You might want it or your hubby might, whoever it is it might make the other person uncomfortable and question the future of the marriage. In an arranged marriage, it takes time to know the other person and asking for alone time may set the panic buttons running.
How to handle: The start to all marriages is a little stressful, be it love or arranged. In order to de-stress, a little alone time might be necessary. Also, there are a few people for whom getting some alone time regularly is really crucial for everyday functioning. Talk to your hubby about this, have a heart-to-heart conversation. But do not compromise on the “we time”. By choosing to get married you both have opted for the “us” as opposed to “I”. Respect that.
6. You Don’t Like His Friends
Or he might not like yours. Maybe his bunch of pals fit your worst nightmare of bad jokes and boring convo. Maybe he just doesn’t take to your girl squad. While this situation can just end up being a silent tragedy, every once a while it can blow up into a fight.
How to handle: In a love marriage, both parties are well acquainted with each other’s friend circles. They may even share mutual friends. With arranged marriages that takes time. Remember that even if you don’t like each other’s circles you may have to socialize every once a while. Instead of being set about how you feel, be flexible and open. People grow into us and with time you both may begin to find the company of a few members of each other’s squads enjoyable.
7. Saas Bahu Problems
Books have been written about this complicated dynamic and movies and TV serials have been made about the tussle between the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. While much of it is exaggeration. The truth stands that this relationship is layered, delicate and complicated. If you get along well with mom-in-law then there is nothing like it. But if you are treading on eggshells, a small fight may break out every once a while.
How to handle: Don’t drag hubby darling into this. There is no man more miserable than one who has to choose between his mother and wife. In an arranged marriage knowing the in-laws is a slow and steady process, so don’t give up easily. While you adjust in a new home remember that even your mom-in-law is getting used to another constant female figure in her son’s life. Being possessive is but natural. Talk to her to clear out misgivings. Give her some time. Give yourself some time as well.
8. His Parents Vs Your Parents
Marriages are doubly tricky because parents are involved. A host of parent-related problems may crop up every now and then. Does he feel you are spending more time with your parents? Do you feel his parents interfere in your day-to-day life? Are your parents more liberal? Without their knowledge both sets of parents may become the topic of frequent fights.
How to handle: Be mature and keep the parents out of this. While your parents may have fixed the wedding for you, making the marriage work is totally your business.