So, the Monday past, my husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. Last night, I asked him if he could believe we’ve been married for a year already only to have him nodding impatiently. (In his defense, I ask him that question quite often). But, the thing is, sometimes I find it difficult to believe that we have been together for that long. It feels like a couple of months ago at the most that I was sitting nervously in his parents house with my parents trying to decide whether or not I wanted to marry him. I can’t quite grasp the fact that a whole year ago, I suddenly became a grown up.
In light of my recent anniversary, I’ve decided to post about what I’ve learnt this past year…my lessons from my first year of marriage:
There is nothing wrong with different:
My husband and I decided to get married the day we met each other (it was an arranged marriage, this is kind of how it works!) and between then and the wedding day we met each other a handful of times at best. We didn’t really have the opportunity to get to know each before we said “I do“. So, it was only after we got married that we had conversations about anything really serious. Initially, it used to bother me that we disagreed on things I considered important. I would spend ages wondering how his ideas, sometimes radically different from mine, would affect our future. But I’ve learnt that just like I am entitled to my opinion…so is he…I am wiser now and therefore no longer worried.
Nobody is perfect:
Why point out the speck in your brother’s eye and ignore the log in your own? I remember reading something like that in the Bible…What I’m getting at is even though my husband is the love-of-my-life, there are things about him that annoy me more and more with each passing day. (I’m pretty sure there are things about me he detests too). But, no one is perfect and it wouldn’t be fair for me to expect him to change since I don’t really think I’ll change that much myself. Over this past one year, I’ve come to terms with the fact that neither one of us is perfect and I’ve accepted his shortcomings, just like he has accepted mine.
Of course I like to have things my own way! I’m only human after all. But, I’ve figured out this past year that sometimes it’s better to give in to my husband and just do what he wants rather than have a huge fight about it. Mind you, I wasn’t born wise and I didn’t arrive at this conclusion very quickly. It’s taken countless hours spent annoyed that my husband won’t do what I want him to do the way I want him to do it to realize that if something can be done another way that won’t cause me too much trouble, by taking a deep breath and doing it his way, it is somehow so much better than brooding. I’m not brilliant at the whole compromise thing yet…but I’m getting there…
A marriage involves the union of two families and not just two people…at least in India anyway. Now I was never naive and did not expect my in-laws to be exactly like my parents. So, I think I always knew that adjusting and learning to do things that the in-laws expect and want is essential to a peaceful marriage. I’ve made adjustments and honestly, so long as meeting their expectations doesn’t require me to change who I am, I’d rather do it than fight about it, because a disagreement with the in-laws means a disagreement between the two of us…which is never something I want so, bottom line, if it will help keep the two of us happy at the end of the day…more often than not, I’ll do whatever.
Men are not mind-readers:
Before I got married, I lived with my best-friend for years and usually, we didn’t have to say anything much to each other to get our point across. Just a gesture here or a frown there or in some cases, merely a hint would send the message very effectively. But then, she is a girl. I’ve learnt such subtleties do not work on men. No, I did not marry a mind reader but fortunately, I married someone who I am very glad can at least tell when I’m angry. I’ve come to learn that nothing beats being absolutely direct with a man. It’s like women and men are wired differently. While we learn to read body language and facial expressions, apparently they do not. Only direct instructions work and after I understood this, I’ve been saved from a lot of frustration…
Not every argument needs to turn into a fight:
I’m sure it’s not just my marriage so I’m going to say this, you are going to disagree with your spouse. But pick what argument needs to turn into a full-blown battle. I still haven’t worked this out entirely, but I’m a lot better today than I was this time last year. I’m trying everyday to let the little things slide…to swallow that irritation and remember that it’s okay to let him win sometimes…It sucks when we are fighting and if just shutting my mouth will save us both from a lot of unpleasantness, I’m willing to sacrifice my pride.
This is probably the most important thing I’ve learnt this past one year.
If you are married, do you relate to any of these things?