Marrying Into A Joint Family? 10 Common Problems & Solutions!
Nasrin Modak SiddiqiGuest Contributor
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I’ve always mentioned in my posts that marriage is a whole sea of change for the prettier-looking gender. While all married women may not face problems (shhh…they might be fudging the truth), the ones who get married into joint families are often at the receiving end of unexpected complications. Here’s a sample of some common struggles - and how to deal with them. Tread with caution but confidence, my friends!
1. New tunings
The way you’ve lived your life in the last two or three decades ceases to matter because you will now be living with another family whose ways and mannerism are different than yours.
Getting used to this new environment, and adapting to a new lifestyle takes time and a lot of patience. Just hang in there, and adapt to what you can. As for the rest - quietly go your own way, and soon people will stop bothering. Best of luck.
2. The inevitable changes
If you’ve been that crazy, carefree and lazy girl who highly depended on her mum and maid to do things, be warned that it might be a bumpy ride hereafter.
Your new family (no matter how nice they are) will probably expect you to bring in various changes to your behaviour and attitude. Be proactive in making the changes you are willing to so that people focus on that rather than the things you don’t want to change.
Even if they seem like a completely crazy bunch whose behaviour gets on your nerves, you’ve got to show them some respect to avoid conflicts while you’re fitting in.
When the going gets tough, remember that they may not be nice and civilized, but you are. Let their words go like water off a duck’s back. Don’t take any disrespect yourself, politely say that you didn’t like what was said and absent yourself quickly to avoid a full-fledged altercation.
4. There will be gossip…
… Lots and lots of it. And people will constantly speak about each other behind their backs. You may even overhear gossip about yourself.
While it may shock you to see how someone can be so nice to the face and so nasty behind the back – stay calm and don’t indulge in the act yourself. Whatever you overhear, quietly observe, make notes on the people and carry on.
5. Watching your words
If you come from a carefree environment where your opinion was sought and appreciated, here you may have to mince your words so that you don’t hurt someone’s sentiments.
It’s okay – just maintain a neutral stand. In order to not step on toes, if the matter does not involve you personally, only voice your opinion once someone asks you for it. Once people get used to your presence and personality, things will get easier.
6. Can’t complain
Although everyone in the house is already doing it, when you complain, they may term the newcomer in the family as a “nag”. Unfair, but it happens.
If you’re facing problems and difficulties, try to understand the situation and work on resolving it. Reserve complaints for your friends, etc.. Instead, try to find a way of discussing the problem in a calm manner with your husband.
7. Added responsibilities
It’s not just your husband you need to worry about, but the whole entourage that came with him that you now need to keep happy. Who likes what, who hates what – everything needs to be taken into consideration and their expectations can be overwhelming.
It’s okay, you be nice. Do what you can. Your new family might have all sorts of expectations, but eventually they will accept that not all of them can be met. Just take deep breaths and paste a smile on your face even as you have to say no to something.
This one is the toughest because, obviously, you have some of your own - and now this!
It’s just like one of those bad boss troubles. Take a chill pill. Like you would try to ignore the negatives and carry on with your work in the office, same here. Avoid conflicts if you can - and the egos will automatically stay hidden.
9. Wardrobe changes
This one is a challenge for many. Wearing clothes as directed by husband’s family members may hurt your sense of individuality and the feminist in you.
Honestly speaking, this is a call you need to take before you get married, not after. Talk to your fiance in advance and figure out what the likely problems are going to be.
10. Invasion of personal space
Nothing will hurt or upset you more than this. Sometimes, it’s like a fish market in the house and wherever you go - a party, or dinner – there’s a convoy going along with you. There is constant eavesdropping too, and it will feel like nothing is private.
Spending quality time with the in-laws, looking after their needs and juggling this with your own professional commitments can leave you with little or no time with yourself. Learn to balance. At the end of the day, let the hurts and annoyances go. Because, after all, you’re doing this to spend your life with the man you love - think of the bigger picture. :-)