When the confetti settles…

We are stuck at home, and there is no denying that. A bit of grocery and ramen here and there, helps us cut through the monotony and the constant supply of banana bread is doing more than it’s fair share of placation. In the hustle-bustle of our daily routine, all in PJs, all day and everyday, we have been married for almost 5 months.

There is a whole lot of love in the air, with a generous sprinkling of hugs and kisses. We laugh a lot, lounge about with intertwined fingers and just enjoy the bliss of warm hugs. The world is still rosy and we don’t want to kill each other yet.

Its not all pretty though, everyone knows that. We are seeing issues that are not even directly related to us, and that is quite unfortunate. People are sweet, they are nice, but not everyone necessarily induces the feeling of ‘family’, right? There are expectations that look like normal in a certain cultural setting, but feel like burden to me. These expectation have somehow turned into a ‘need’ that I am unable to wrap my head around. I end up feeling quite overwhelmed. Perhaps, because I am a single child, or perhaps because of certain incidents in the past, or more because I am quite strongly and selfishly individualistic.

I have been wondering how are people suddenly supposed to develop love and affection for another family and feel like they have belonged together for decades? How can you just start thinking of another set of parents, like your own? Why is it such a huge deal to call in-laws like your own parents, even if you feel nothing of that sort? Most of all, there is a need to actually show that the love does exist, by calling or texting with the right frequency and the correct gestures, and what is that right frequency? Why is there even a comparison between how you treat your parents and your partner’s parents? Why can’t you just be friendly and carry on with it?

Expectations breed problems. Would you rather have genuine emotions and friendliness that gets built up over years or the fake show of affection?

To all the married women here, and specially who have married into a different culture, how have you dealt with this? If you have had issues in the past, how have you moved on? What do you call them? Do you ever feel overwhelmed and burdened by the expectations? I would appreciate any insight and advice on this.

This is a whole new ball game for me, and hopefully I don’t end up retired hurt.

9 thoughts on “When the confetti settles…

  1. Hi PB, first of all, congratulations 🙂 So happy for you two.
    Unfortunately, Indian set up encourages this fake show of affection and burdens the new daughter in law with unrealistic expectations. Do not think you are feeling this because you are individualistic or a single child, these are very natural feelings. I don’t have any helpful tips, but I’d say that don’t do or say things just because you are expected to. It’s always better to do what feels right to you, than do something that will cause bitterness or indifference in the long run. Take care!

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    • Thank you, Kavs! He is quite amazing and such a wonderful husband!
      I am with you about our desi setup. We have been in US for quite a while and have many non-desi friends. We have been able to appreciate the good parts of the culture and one of them is allowing independence and allowing relationships to develop per the comfort level. I have been trying to do what feels right and organic to me. But that is not enough. I am just working hard on not feeling bitter. Thank you for listening and writing!

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  2. Hi PB,
    My partner & I have been together 10 years & married for 3.5 years now. We live with his parents and the adjustment is still something I haven’t been able to make. In my case, i’ve known his family since we were kids & yet there wasn’t & isn’t that feeling of family. I’m come to accept it now and don’t worry about it a lot.
    We lived a year abroad and it made my partner realise the difference and especially what an adjustment it has been for me.
    We are now considering moving out. And this decision hasn’t been because I don’t get along with them, they are amazing and have been nothing but supportive. Of course, we would have to face the cultural aspect (hello Indian aunties), but we both have agreed that our comfort is more important.
    On the topic of what i call them, I started calling them Mom & Dad from day 1 but my partner is still not comfortable calling my parents that way. It did hurt me initially, but I realised that it is something that will happen with time and I feel no need to pressure him. My parents are also cool with it.
    Hang in there, do what feels right to you.
    Hope you guys are safe! x

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally get your point that they are very good people, but you don’t get the ‘family’ wali feeling. Also, I am glad that you understand your partner and have not pressured him. It has to come from within and organically. Also, just because he doesnt call them ‘mum n dad’ does not mean that he doesnt love or respect them. My parents have been cool with anyways Mr. PB wants to call them or treat them, but he himself started calling them aai-baba, because i forbade him to call them mummy-papa. They are only MY mummy-papa. 😀 Similarly, I will NOT call anyone else by that name.
      Also, from what I am seeing, all this is apparently crazy talk and specially if the daughter-in-law isnt calling them mum-dad.
      Hope you guys are safe and healthy too! Thank you for this talk. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmm, one has to consciously work towards what the eventual goal in life is. I absolutely loved the man I married. One day I wanted to have his children and the presence of grandparents in my child’s life was important to me. Also, since I loved the man I married I figured his family did have some contribution in making the man he is. With all that in my mind, while being very clear that no one took the place of my own parents or family, I was willing to make the effort. I was always willing to look past the small oddities for the benefit of my bigger picture. I’ve never lost sight of what is to be lost in petty fights. So I don’t pick them. It takes constant, consistent effort. Eventually, if you try hard enough everyone is lovable. 😂

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    • Haha I like the last sentence!
      It does take consistent effort but I also want it to be organic. If I feel like I am being forced to do something or show something, then the lord know how I rebel. I am trying to not let that happen. I really hope they understand that I don’t do anything just because it’s the norm or because they want it. I am more comfortable with how relationships are built naturally and I prefer them to be more like friendships than anything else.

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  4. Oh bruv.

    I’m five years in and I still have no clue how to navigate the waters in a manner that is satisfactory to everyone. Partner is the same as me, he has no expectations from me and we share the same value system but for his parents, boy oh boy, so many rules and whatnot.

    Having said that, they are extremeeeely nice people, VERY much so. In re: to that I try and become sati savitri when I visit them or talk to them. As much as I hate the “duplicity” (for lack of a better word, it makes them happy and it makes me happy that I can at least do that much for them because it is for SUCH a limited time (we live far away, that helps). However, I DO NOT extend that “duplicity” to my social media or general decisions because that would be messed up. I choose to live the way I want, do what I want.

    I think my privilege is my partner understanding his parents and I are from entirely different planets. That helps me set my terms.

    Let me know if you figure it out 😀

    P.S: I feel like I said CONGRATS PB OMG I SO EXCITED AND HAPPY FOR YOU before, but if it was in my imagination, please accept my heartfelt excitement :D<3

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    • Hahaha you have said it many times, but absolutely keep it coming!
      I totally understand about them being very nice people. My in-laws are nice people, but some part of the mindset is a result of their surroundings which has led to sourness in me. The issues have never been spoken about again but I worry that someday I will not be able to help myself.

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      • Lol sorry about that…

        Yea, it’s probably coming. Its coming to me too. Hopefully, we both will be adult and sensible about it instead of throwing hissy fits :/

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