Getting married is a very special moment in our life and a kind of milestone since you are becoming an integral part of someone else’s life and letting someone else be a part of yours.
As it is, this is one of the most challenging phases in your life, where you learn to live with another human being 24/7, find a common ground to live together, make adjustments with each other’s habits and idiosyncrasies. But what is more challenging is to deal with the in-laws that come as a part and parcel of your new relationship.
It is like a parallel relationship that you have to deal with, even as you are still trying to learn the ropes of your newly married life.
At such a juncture, to have in-laws who don’t make things easy, can be rather stressful.
Take the case of Anya and Roshan. When they got married, it came as a relief to Anya that her in-laws were in another city. But they had a routine of coming over every two months to stay with their son for almost a month.
Their coming was not the problem; what started bothering Anya was their interference.
“My mother-in-law would wake up early and start doing something or the other in the kitchen. I had to make and pack breakfast for Roshan and myself, and I couldn’t because she would be all over the place. Not just that she would constantly be giving me instructions about how and what I should cook and what her son liked and not liked. It was all so annoying early in the morning that it spoiled my day,” says Anya.
What most couples complain about is that the in-laws do not have the concept of privacy and independence.
“What I hated was the constant questioning about ‘starting a family’. It made me furious to have our private life and matters being discussed so publicly and crudely,” she adds.
Since issues like these are not uncommon in our society, an inability to ward off such prying questions become a task, which not many married couples can handle.
Experts say that since we are not in a position to do much, it triggers a lot of resentment and often spills over on to their married lives.
“Every other day Anya was upset with something my parents had said or done. I knew she was justified in being angry but what could I do? Why can’t she understand that they are my parents and I can’t suddenly start telling them off,” he says.
Most marriages crumble because one of the partners finds it difficult to put his/her foot down and tell the interfering parents – thus far and no further.
Experts say that an open and honest communication between couples is the only antidote to parental interference. If the couples openly share what they feel about the other partner’s parents and their role in their life, things would not go out of hand.
It is ultimately the couples’ loss if they separate – not because of their differences, incompatibility or even violence – but because someone else was holding the strings to their lives. That is something that couples need to guard against if they want to live happily ever after together.
Amrita Sharma is author of the book “What Did I Ever See in Him” published by Penguin.