Give Space, Be Happy.

There has been posts on this already and I’ve read them here and here.

But still I want to put in my thoughts on this.

Upbringing problems.

Upbringing plays a major role in defining a person’s personality traits. A person can benefit by the upbringing by becoming more communicative, accepting people for their good and bad values, accommodating new ideas.  For this the parents need to be open-minded, with no stereotyped equations at home, based on gender. If the person grows in such a wonderful environment (which is not often), they sure should have a comfortable life ahead.

The problem begins when this person gets married to someone, who is from a closed outlook family, where values are insisted based on gender. You are a girl, so learn the house hold work. You are a boy, go to work. You are a girl, so you should learn to adjust, to accept the rules of your in-laws house as your own, you cannot have any mind-set of your own, you should always listen to your husband and in-laws. You are a boy, get married and enjoy. All these are not told on the day they get married, but from the day they are born.

So, when a girl brought up in such a closed outlook space, gets married to someone who has a broader outlook to life, and if the girl thinks that the things she had been taught doesn’t hold good in a relationship, there are probabilities of good change in her.

But when a boy brought up in such a closed outlook space, gets married to a girl with broader thinking and a quality to enjoy life in her terms, that is the time when real trouble begins.  Even if the boy thinks what his wife is doing is right, he is unable to accept them, as it’s against the teachings of the parents. And secondly, he doesn’t want to be any different from his brothers or cousins, in having a wife who has a brain of her own. It’s a state of total confusion for this boy, who has been brought up spineless, whether to support his wife or his family.

Accepting a person as they are and not asking them to change.

In a relationship, there are compromises and adjustments. When a person does this on their own accord, for their loved ones, there is no problem. Some women change from being non-vegetarian at mom’s place to a total vegan at the in-laws.  Some women start drinking coffee, because everyone seems to love their coffee at the in-laws place. These eating or drinking habits might be of minor consequence to talk about, but being a day-to-day affair, the person might get repulsed over a period of time. Of course, all the major changes happen in the woman’s habits and practices because of our tradition of the married woman going to live with her in-laws.

Just look at the woman, who goes to begin her newly married life, in a new place of her own.  She’ll be herself, never-changing forcibly. She might have tea, while the husband can enjoy his morning coffee.

A career woman is expected to change more. Now, there are restrictions to her career life – she cannot schedule meetings in the late evenings – she cannot attend office parties, which doesn’t include family – she cannot take up night shifts – she cannot call any of her male colleagues as friends – and she just cannot go to work on holidays.  But the man of the house can do all these, go with his friends for a drink and still enjoy life and be married.

The man can be what he was before the wedding – he is not expected to change – he is scared to change, for the fear of standing out among his other male counterparts at home.

The woman just cannot be the same as before the wedding. Period. No explanations.  There is no total acceptance of a woman – she is always expected to change.

Stop tagging along.

Does love require a man to go behind his wife all the time, wherever she goes ???

Can’t she go for shopping on her own ?? Will the crowd swallow her ???

Isn’t she capable of crossing the road by herself ???

Does bus or train travel scare her, that she needs to be escorted ???

Any woman who has done her college, would have commuted on her own, enjoyed a movie with other girl friends, eaten out, got wet in the rain, done all her work by herself.  So, why this tagging suddenly, after she is married ???

I know a lady, who learnt to drive a bike in her late thirties. She is very short and sometimes struggles to keep her feet down on the road, when she needs to stop her bike. So, she was quite hesitant to learn to drive. But her husband was the motivating force behind her. He told her to learn at any cost. She fell down many a times, trying to put her foot down and losing her balance. But he never allowed her to accept defeat. Treat the superficial wounds, but be strong to drive well, was his advice. Be on your own, he kept insisting to her.

And there are other men, who don’t allow the women to drive after marriage. They insist on dropping them, picking them up – just too much tagging or is it too much love ???

Doesn’t love understand the need to give space to the other person ???

If you have a dream in your heart, just let it go…if it’s yours, it’ll come back to you…if it doesn’t come, it was never meant to be yours  —  I’ve read it somewhere. I think it holds good for relationships too. Give the relationships space and see it blossom.  Cramp them with too much love or anything, it certainly will get crushed.


45 Replies to “Give Space, Be Happy.”

  1. The problem gets compounded by some mother in laws with double standards too. The mother in law has the liberty to be free and liberated …. but she wants to suppress the DIL because she feels its pay-back time or just because she wants to control. It adds to all the mess too.

    In such situations, I feel the biggest sufferer is the man i.e. if he can’t keep the balance and uphold what he feels is right.


    1. Very true, Ritu…I forgot to add that one. 🙂

      Its very rare and fortunate to get a mil who understands the other woman in her son’s life and give her space too. 🙂


  2. Good post Uma-I dido through so many DON’T Do’s in their lives! Makes me rethink all that I tend to grumble abt in mine-I’m much better off, and Thank God!

    Ritu is absolutely right, the Mil can be the crux to either further binding or liberating the woman post marriage! Whereas a sense of safety is necessary in a caring relationship if this is merely for subjugating and keeping a woman in her “place”-sadly this will only drag the entire family down eventually! A helpless woman in any day and age is a burden not only to her family but to herself-and true love would not encourage that!


    1. There are so many, whom I’ve met in these past years, from which I wrote this. Yes, there are space problems everywhere now… 😉

      The lucky are few. 🙂


  3. Very nice post Uma!

    The expectations from the DIL when she moves in with the in-laws add to the pressures she already has.. There are so many things changing suddenly for her.. new place, new people, new traditions.. add the constraints and rules to it and marriage starts sounding like a punishment.

    I agree completely when you say, it would be so much easier for her to shift to a new place, instead of in laws.. Sadly housing is so unaffordable for most people in India.. that living separately is just not an option. Even if it is affordable for someone.. there are these notions of being a bad son/dil for living away to make things worse.


    1. Yeah Piyu, moving to a place of their own seems ideal in many situations. But for every decision of the DIL, there’s a black side to it na…as told by the in-laws !!!!

      We are not allowing the flowers to bloom and find happiness in their bloom.


  4. Very true Uma!! Loved the last words.
    Had read this somewhere… ‘Relationship is like glass.. hold it too loose or too tight and it will shatter’
    Most pathetic are the in laws who dote on their daughter’s freedom but cringe when the DIL wants the same!!! Hypocrisy at its height 😦


    1. Thats a gud one Priya…isn’t so true… 🙂

      Absolutely…and there are some who purposely torture DILs, just becos their daughter is suffering somewhere…double standards and hypocrisy are the evils of a relationship.


  5. Nice post uma.I always believe in these words “Accepting a person as they are and not asking them to change” whether it is husband or wife,or with friends or with the relatives.A friend of mine once told me that he wants to change his fiance’s eating habits after marriage.How can he do that,the girl has been eating a certain kind of food which she likes and she has been eating since last 24 years and now that she is getting married she has to change the habits,that was stupidity of my friend to change her.

    Sometimes i feel it is not love it is possessiveness,even some women tag there husbands,they want to be with him always.Some women live only for their husbands,they cook what husbands eat,they wear what husbands tell them to wear etc… they don’t have their own brain.


    1. Isn’t that rude ??? To change the eating habits, while being engaged itself ??? Just imagine what all he’ll try to change in her !!!!

      Yes, Sari…if the changes happen from within, its welcome. My point is dont force it on ppl – give them the space. 🙂


  6. I loved loved your post Uma. CAnnot tell you how much I’ve been agonising the last few days, about this very same topic… the saddest thing is, when we are young, we wait eagerly to grow up and find Prince Charming. Little do we realise that Prince is a package deal, complete with a MIL that allows no space, and jing bang family that believes we are way below what the Princes of the land deserve :-(((


    1. Thanks Pal. Special hugs sent on speed post, to ease your agonising thoughts. 🙂

      LOL @ Package deal !!! 🙂

      But, sometimes the package is badly made…its tough to get even an inch space there…


    1. Now, do you give enough space to your wife ???? 😉 😉

      Why are you deviating from the post ???? Its not about getting married…its about the freedom in the circle of love… 🙂


  7. Intresting… Agreed, that women are expected to understand the husband’s family’s lifestyle. However, the level of adjustment just depends on the level of openness between the spouses.
    Parents have there way of thinking and one cannot change that. However with communication, the adjustment can be two way and a good one as well.

    Somehow I have not seen the post marital tagging.. but the others in all its forms I have.


    1. Absolutely agree with you…the level of adjustment depends on the level of openness. 🙂

      Marital tagging is the worst form of possessiveness or obsession to the spouse, which might just choke the person one day.


  8. The problem begins when this person gets married to someone, who is from a closed outlook family, where values are insisted based on gender.
    completely with you on this…. and i’ve seen this happen many times…. its difficult to find the perfect balance.

    loved ur ending lines 🙂 beautiful….
    wish more ppl realised it.

    when the feeling changes in a relationship from ‘expect’ to ‘accept’, life becomes different….


    1. So true Ash…the answer is change from expect to accept. 🙂 So true. 🙂 Thanks…glad u like it. 🙂


      Why no post updation ??? What happened to the WP shift ???


  9. this is quiet debatable .. I guess it all depends on how an individual is brought up, One does not need to change themselves .. that would depend on the couple itself..

    i think a relation is give and take.. and that comes with understanding and understanding comes with knowing each other and THAT takes time ..

    I dont agree with asking the girl to learn the ways of the boys family etc etc, but on other hands it HELPS i dont mean in wrong way .. look the girl will spend more time in the guys family so if she knows the ways about then its easy for her.. if u know what i mean
    but the same goes for the guy too he too shud learn the ways of the girls family..

    and yeha i too beleive that a woman in india needs to be self reliant, she has to learn to live by herself..

    I am sure these days the educated lot are perfectly fine the men and women both know about the new wyas of life .. i think the problem is more with the elders in the family ..

    also one point i will make .. I think till the MEN start to live on there own.. majority of the MEN live in there parents house .. thats y here in uk once a guy is 16 / 18 he has to go and make a living , set up his own house.. This mentality of staying in parents house also is not good.. Granddad build the house, father stayed in it then the son , and then HIS son will too stay there

    Independence is a must.. so if he stays out has his own place then he and the lady who comes will have there own decisions to make , little things .. problem also comes when she wants to do something and the guy has to ASK his parents or elders for the same and the girl might feel offended
    i hope i made things clearer 🙂 he hehehe


    1. Quite a debate, Bikram….interesting. 🙂

      I do agree on that point that when men start living on their own after 18 yrs of age, become more understanding of the amount of work involved in running a house…


  10. People now have started asking me this quesion “What qualities do you want in your life partner”…….

    and all I say is “Humility”………….. 😛

    nothing else is as important as that 😛

    nice article ums, 😛


  11. This article reflects the crucial problem of a married life; and the problem arises with the interference of the parents. Why cant conservative parents be a little thoughtful? Why dont they realise that their children are now grown up and can manage everything on their own? This unnecessary pampering creates confusion, misunderstanding and ultimate damage to an innocent couple who tries to please and pacify everyone and in the process, causes damage to their own lives. Often a man is sandwiched between wife and parents-in-law and eventually loses concern for the wife. The wife feels that her husband is a devil in disguise, who gives no respect to her family and, in turn, she takes drastic measures, like walking out, or filing for a separation. If God has created a strong personality in a woman, it needs only a little diplomacy to deal with major or minor situations. Hope every family be blessed with good and understanding parents.


    1. Its because the parents or the in-laws think that the children are forever indebted to them for bringing them up. Also because of the non-acceptance of the fact that the children have grown up and are adults, fully capable of taking their own decisions.

      Yes, finally thats what everyone seems to feel – its a blessing to have understanding ppl around you. 🙂

      Welcome here Ria. 🙂 Hope to see more of you here.


      1. Is it only because of “parents or the in-laws think that the children are forever indebted to them for bringing them up”. No, some time it will be there EGO and personal benefits which spoils every thing and just because they are the parents the couple could not understand that they are the only one who are destroying their life. It is the responsibility of the parents of both the side to first give space to the couple and don’t interfere in their life by any means and don’t create bitterness.


  12. I loved this post. It is something we all have to constantly remember. It is not all about us. If every person understood and valued it, how better the world will be. Thanks Uma for this great post.


  13. You know I loved this post, don’t you? 🙂

    Space, Privacy – these 2 things are so very important in any relationship!
    But, not many understand this… not many want to understand this when it comes to their DIL…

    Last couple of lines sums it up quite nicely!


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