“Being a girl, that too, engaged yesterday would like to share the new fresh changes I noticed in my boyfriend”

Sharing an email.

‘Boyfriend to Husband – Interesting transformation.’

Hello Dear Indian homemaker,

I had written to you earlier about my fears as I am getting married in 2 weeks. Hope you remember. I just got engaged yesterday and will be getting married in next 10 days.

So now getting to my point. There are always talk on how a girlfriend changes when she becomes a wife. Now changes are required. And some changes are actually not. But being a girl, that too, engaged yesterday, I would like to share the new fresh changes I noticed in my boyfriend. And some changes I’ve started to already expect for future.

I met my in-Laws the first time yesterday. Our parents met when we told them about our relation. There was not much disagreement on our marriage from both families and the discussions atleast were smooth. It’s an inter-caste marriage.

As it  was my engagement, me being the bride had to look my best that day. Also, every girl has this aspiration to do all the makeover on herself on her special day. I had booked a parlour to do my make-up and saree fitting that day. Like many girls do. Not very unusual I think. I even shared this with my bf and he pingd me something like “u getting all pretty for me. thats nice.”  I had asked them to do the most minimal makeup on me as I myself hate much Gawdy look of brides on wedding functions.

Before the engagement started, I went to my in-laws and fiancee in the hotel rooms we had booked for their temporary stay. All was well, just a 10  min quick meeting and I left. When the customs started, my boyfriend came and sat next to me. and says “baby itna make-up? sabne notice kiya.”

I was like little bit confused and asked him was it much or something serious? He says ” nahi mazaak kar raha hu. Sister said isko bataa de hum itne makeup vaale nahi hain. she was kidding“.

May be it was a joke. May be since I was stressed that day, i took this all seriously. But then he never before gave me a feedback in such a way. Never expected this out of him because although he is frank and never hides anything from me, he has a certain way of saying things.

Also I am confused exactly whom would I have made happy by just coming without any makeup? The family? The sister or him? I never got a feedback on what exactly he thinks of his girl getting decked up for her own function.

I mean do guys loose their own thought/opinions when parents are around. If not, is it really necesary to communicate each and every little feedback he gets from his family about me? I am never going to be perfect for them. Right?

I’ll try my best to change everything I am comfortable in changing. But change my preparation plans/ excitement towards my own  marriage too? And make me feel guilty about it? If people were really joking, then how come it was the first thing that comes out after meeting me?

2.

My inlaws had come really late for the rituals/prayers that we had arranged.  Priests/organisers there are very particular about their timings and they even scolded (not literally) my mom for not letting them start on time. finally my mom had to go upstairs and have them start the prayers/rituals. she left my uncle to recieve the inlaws when they arrive. I waited downstairs with my uncle. As soon as they arrived (20 mins late), we had to rush them upstairs so that we are present (bride and groom) for atleast remaining 20/25 minutes of the prayers.

My in laws got confused about what was happening since these things were new to them. I understand that, but we had pre informed them about the strict timings. We had already begged the *place of worship* people to delay the prayers by 1.5 hours since there was a flight delay for my in-laws. They had come the same morning. All this happens during marriages. It’s not much of a deal. But I got really stressed when my fiancee said “No body was there to guide my family. They are not very punctual types. why was half of your family upstairs.” He calmed and apologised only when I told him about how we had already changed the timings once with a lot of diffculty. It wasn’t really our decision to go upstairs. It was supposed to be that way so that the priests do not get upset.

Why are families not understanding specially during marriages?

Why are 5 mistakes pointed out and 15 good arrangements never appreciated?
Why do guys get scared when they are well aware before time that 2 different caste people have no clue aout each others traditions?
Confusions will happen. They are unavoidable. After some point people forget these little things.
And why is the bride informed about these things by the guy?
Will a girl be in a position to inform her relatives during that time? And what should the girl respond when her usually caring and understanding bf suddenly becomes complaining for little things?

My elder cousin brother in a light mood, told me back home, that, the guy/groom is the most tensed during marriage. Is it really that true? Was all this the outcome of this tension my fiancee had all the time?

Lastly, should I ever share this with him? Discuss my point of view with him? Or will it be like “ghade murde ukhaadna” as they say?

Related Post:

His family seems a bit traditional type.I googled “how to behave with in laws after marriage in India.’

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28 thoughts on ““Being a girl, that too, engaged yesterday would like to share the new fresh changes I noticed in my boyfriend”

  1. I think over time, your husband will learn to NOT convey every single comment/concern/query that his family has about you. If you try to change yourself based on feedback in order to make his family like you more, then the comments/concerns/queries are instead going to increase and continue being conveyed.

    I also feel that your husband was being defensive in saying ‘half of the family was upstairs’. You pointed a finger at him for bring late so he pointed a finger back at you.

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  2. I am the Happily married daughter-in-law of the post which you said you liked in your last letter.

    These transition periods are difficult, when you are getting to know the other person/.family. Misunderstandings are a dime a dozen, and naturally you tend to get worried about how it is going to be in the future, but that is usually nothing to worry about.

    LEt me give you an example – my husband and I are from the same caste, same state, but from different regions of the state. So though we speak the same language, our tone varies a little. So I used to get insulted when my mom-in-law told me something which was totally innocent (which I realized later.) Similarly, when I made a comment about something lightheartedly, my mom-in-law’s face would crumple and leave me wondering what on earth I said. Very soon, both of us understood each other, and we are fine now. Similarly, my husband’s extended family is the commenting kind and he would always be very wary of what he said or did to me when he was in their company. It used to annoy me a lot (like is happening to you – how can he be a different person when family is around?) But then I realized why he is doing it – and over the years, he stopped caring about what they comment about, because he saw that I didn’t care. There is a lot of history in every behaviour of every person, and until you understand the reason behind that, you wiill not be comfortable.

    My thumb-rule to dealing with anybody (not only in-laws is) – do what you think is right according to your personal ideals – mine is to be polite, helpful, cultured, and firm about what I believe in. Hurt nobody intentionally. In spite of all this, if you are not liked, then it is not your problem. You just have to learn to be unaffected by what others think of you as long as you know in your heart that you have been doing the right thing.

    Don’t worry so much. Go with an open mind.

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    • This comment should be framed and mounted on every bride-to-be’s bedside table.

      There is a big difference between polite, respectful and considerate behavior and the sort of self-effacing, servile, slavish behavior that a typical DIL is expected to display.

      Society’s notions of appropriate DIL behavior are extremely unhealthy psychologically speaking. That comment had very sensible advice to offer to every bride-to-be Anon.

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  3. Well, as expected in most Indian marriages, the guy is a different person in front of his family. It is also in a way guilt induced by family for betraying them and having a love marriage and many families milk the maximum out of their sons using this excuse. Think people should grow up and for your case, move out, do not stay with his family nor yours, and ignore. 2 weeks act like a guest, be polite, and avoid these situations of staying with either families. more you show your vulnerabilities or bend, more the pressure as STF says.

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  4. To The LW ,

    When I was getting married, I got mehandi done on my hands, which is against the Bengali tradition, and didn’t apply “alta” on my feet which is in keeping with the traditional make up of a Bengali bride. In fact, the only “adjustment” that I was asked to make before the ceremony itself was when my MIL requested if she could adjust my “crown” ( Bengali brides wear a decorative crown on top of their veil) since it had apparently been worn the non-traditional way, and would look better a little further back. Being a bride, and eager to please , I agreed. Then for our wedding reception party ,five days after the wedding, she asked if I would wear my hair in a bun, something which I would never do on my own. Again, the eager-to-please self agreed, but when my mother saw me later at the reception , she was quite disappointed that I was not looking as good I would have with my usual style of leaving my hair open. At the time I told her that it really didn’t matter, because the man I had married was a good man , and this was the extent of adjustment that I had been asked to make in five days of being a “new bride” .That incident and a few initial requests to “wear a sari while visiting relatives because I look so nice in one” have been the only comments about my appearance from my MIL over the course of nearly nine years of marriage. In fact, she has actually defended me from rude comments about my not being “fair” enough ( I blogged about it once at http://minisblog.blogspot.in/2010/02/i-have-been-tagged-by-shai-l-so-heres.html ). A few years down the line, I had a conversation with my MIL , where she confided in me that she didn’t like the way my SIL (who got married much before I did) had been dressed at the reception by her MIL.

    In retrospect, I see from my photos that my mother was right, I would have probably looked better with my hair open , but that even with my hair in a bun, I looked very happy and bright.

    So while opinions have been aired, my husband , till date has not carried them from one side to the other, and not for lack of trying from either side. Thanks to his level headed attitude, we (my MIL and me) have a very open and cordial relationship despite disagreeing on many issues.

    My point is that your tastes and your in-laws tastes will probably never match,and being human they may even comment on it , BUT your fiance is not supposed to carry “jokes” about your appearance from his family to yours. Let him know this, if it happens again, but leave it alone if it doesn’t . Whatever you do, make it clear , as nicely as possible that you and your family also have a certain way of doing things, and while it is different from his family, it is not open to criticism just because of the difference.

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    • “My point is that your tastes and your in-laws tastes will probably never match,and being human they may even comment on it , BUT your fiance is not supposed to carry “jokes” about your appearance from his family to yours. Let him know this, if it happens again, but leave it alone if it doesn’t . Whatever you do, make it clear , as nicely as possible that you and your family also have a certain way of doing things, and while it is different from his family, it is not open to criticism just because of the difference.”

      Very well said Moonshikha.”

      It may have been just a silly comment. But your BF should have known that since you and his sister do not know each other very well yet, this one comment could become a roadblock to you and sister in starting off your relationship in a positive way.

      Also I am totally with the LW when she says that 5 mistakes are pointed out but 15 good things are unappreciated during weddings. The LW needs to sit her fiance down and tell him that Indian weddings are more like a production and there are a million things that can go wrong. So instead of whining and criticizing each and every thing it would be better if he relaxed and just enjoyed the day and asked his family to do the same too.

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      • I totally agree with Moonshikha, and i wish i had told my husband not to carry “jokes” too. He told me my FIL commented on my age(i’m about 13 days older), and that has remained with me ever since.(It of course does not help that my FIL and I don’t get along)

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  5. Which is to be expected, LW. All people change once they no longer have to woo and there is a feeling of ownership. It’s only human nature. The point is- how much do they change, and is it in keeping with what you know of them?

    Also, no way are the two of you going to see eye to eye in everything, love marriage or not. Point is, do you make an issue out of every blip, or do you agree to disagree? That makes for the biggest difference between happy and not-so-happy marriages.

    Pick your battles, I would say, and pick the right ones. Not all the wrong ones. I speak from experience, from things learnt the hard way. On both sides.

    This could well be advice I may give my daughter once she is all growed up.

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    • And no, it does not mean that there has to be any ‘adjustment’ to unreasonable demands. Just don’t start out thinking that the in-laws are all enemies. That is a sure shot road to disaster. Give them a chance, and expect that they give you and your family a chance as well.

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  6. hi, if there’s anything i’ve learnt being a wife and mom, it is that we ‘train’ the people in our lives to treat us the way they do.

    from the start you make it clear what you will and won’t accept, and what you expect, and that will become the norm in your relationship.
    behave like a doormat, because you are willing to over adjust to please everybody, because you are a new bride and want to make everybody at the cost of your happiness, and that’s what everyone will expect from you. and suddenly one day when you’ve had enough, they will wonder what’s wrong.

    tell your fiancee, that these are minor things (like your make up) that hurt none, that people do things differently, these are personal preferences , or whatever, and that your sister in law will forget it two days from now, but your hurt will remain, so it is really serves no point to bring it up at all with you.
    tell him you would have really appreciated it instead if he had stood up for you and said to his sister that it was your personal choice, your special day, and that you were looking awesome.

    i think you handled the puja issue perfectly by pointing out the facts of the situation in a non-emotional manner. emotions, even when justified, sometimes muddy situations terribly.

    none of these things have to be done in an aggressive manner, but said right, they will still get your point across that you expect your husband to stand up for you, and that’s what you would do for him too. you need to get your point across that what’s a molehill for someone else need not be made into a mountain for you.

    and its a law of life that one always misses seeing what’s out there, in their search for what is not.

    all the best in your married life.

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  7. I have been married for 8 years now. And we belong to the same caste, speak the same language and live in the same place yet there were numerous misunderstanding, expectations were not met. And they still discuss this not behind my back but right in front of me.

    One advice that I would give to all those who get married is that you have to work hard and keep yourself happy. Unless you are happy you can never keep another person happy.

    Good Luck with your marriage!

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  8. actually, this post reminded me of “hilarious goof ups ” or ‘most embarrassing story of my life ” or something similar.

    yes, there are cultural things that every religion/caste/community/locality does differently.
    it is not because you are different castes that the mix up occurred, it is because the parents of the bride and groom did not communicate properly. being the bride and groom, you are both stressed.. that is expected. but it should not be upon you to arrange the wedding.. communication is the all-important part before everything else.

    if there is a tambram wedding and the gujju brideside does not know the rituals (or even the process), the groom cannot blame the bride-to-be. it is the tambram family’s responsibility to clearly tell the other side what to expect, and how to behave..

    even if YOUR groom had an idea of what to expect, it is the responsible relatives’ responsibility (see?) to explain the rituals and the sequence of the wedding before the actual event, so the other side knows what to expect.

    my sister married a guy from our own locality.. they arrived one hour late. due to unavoidable circumstances. the church service was delayed so far, the guests suffered a lot in the heat, the lunch got delayed, there was a lot of grumbling from the senior folk.. but in the end, she is happily married with a few toddlers now.

    my friend married an entirely different religion.. and he had a civil wedding to escape the drama.
    they are happy too.what matters is NOT the function or the rituals or the stickiness to tradition.. what matters is the marriage between you and your guy. what matters is keeping the goodwill of the family, what matters is taking everything with a grain of salt, to make your life more tasty.

    if tradition was VERY important to either of your families, they would not have allowed the marriage. so keep a humble profile, focus on the life together, more than the rituals.

    like a previous commenter said, with time, he will learn NOT to relay every single comment to you. and you will learn, not to be offended by every small thing they say against you.

    yes, there are things that you can do to ease the transition. focus on the intention of the comments.. if it was innocent, then even if the words were provocative, forgive and forget. dont bend over so much in your ‘new bride’ phase that everyone mistakes you for a rubber band.. dont be so stiff that everyone mistakes you for a dry stick.. be yourself, be polite, these are people your husband loves.. that is almost all the advice… and that advice is universal. does not matter whom you marry.. what caste, creed, country.. after all, you are gonna share slices of your life with them..

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  9. @Small Town Feminist : Thanks for your response. Yes you are right. I should give it time! In time he will be more confident of our relation and will not worry or get tensed with his family’s reactions. Also you were right about my pointing finger first thing. Shouldnt have done that.

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  10. @Anon: your response is again the one I loved here. Thanks :) I am relieved on reading it. You are right. The transition period is difficult. May be later I will get adjusted and used to many things/ expressions etc.
    Yes like your experience, even I am expecting to face change in my husbands behavior when the extended family is around. It must be because of some reasons. I will get to know these later when I stay with him. Will keep patience until that.
    I have a similar thumb rule as yours. even my mother exxplains the same to me. Be good and polite to everyone. If you feel you are right just b happy with that. I am not going to go there with a expectation of love and affection from his family. Even if they are cordial to me that should be enough.

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  11. @Monishikha: yes adjusting to few small demands in beginning regarding looks, clothes should be ok. they are ok wih me too. I read ur blog. I have never come across such a nice gesture (the photo album) by any MIL I have heard about in my life. All the best and wish you more and more happiness. A MIL should actualy be a friend. thats the best a girl can ask for.We hav our own mothers to give us all the protection and care that we need.

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    • Thank you :D You’re right , our mothers are there for all the mothering that we need, and MILs for the hubby’s “mothering” needs. It’s enough to have a mutually respectful relationship between MIL and DIL .I hope you have such relationships with your ILs too. Wish you all the best !

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  12. You said:

    @Monishikha: yes adjusting to few small demands in beginning regarding looks, clothes should be ok.

    I’ll try my best to change everything I am comfortable in changing.

    So tell me, are you not acting different or planning to act different around your in-laws? Why do you expect differently from you husband? You yourself seem to think there is something wrong with you as you are but want him to stand up for you.

    I want to second what magicalsummer said, you train people to treat you the way they do. If you yourself seem so eager to please and to change, you cannot expect others to respect your views out of the goodness of their heart. Be polite and nice but be assertive about your own lifestyle/ beliefs if you expect other people to respect them. Respect yourself first.

    Yes, he was wrong to forward that message from his sister (probably a harmless joke) to you. Be confident and convey that you know what you’re doing and he doesn’t have to bother about personal things like your make-up. He will learn not to be so concerned about other people’s views on you if he sees that you are not.. or at least learn to keep it from you.

    No one can make you unhappy or make you change or make you do anything unless you let them. Issues like people being late at functions and then being defensive happen in all Indian weddings I think. If your husband got into ‘your family’ this and ‘my family’ that.. try to discourage this divisive logic right at the beginning and assert that you are one team now and are (should be) looking out for each other.. so small logistical issues don’t matter.

    Also, please don’t be afraid of your in-laws or prep for problems before you actually run into them. They might be perfectly nice and not expecting you to change or anything.. in fact they might not know what to expect and maybe you’re setting the bar. Don’t go into it eager to compromise or to fight.. just be nice and fair to everyone (including yourself) and see how it goes.

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    • Loved your comment Carvaka, specially,

      //If you yourself seem so eager to please and to change, you cannot expect others to respect your views out of the goodness of their heart. Be polite and nice but be assertive about your own lifestyle/ beliefs if you expect other people to respect them. Respect yourself first.

      If your husband got into ‘your family’ this and ‘my family’ that.. try to discourage this divisive logic right at the beginning and assert that you are one team now and are (should be) looking out for each other.. so small logistical issues don’t matter.

      …in fact they might not know what to expect and maybe you’re setting the bar. Don’t go into it eager to compromise or to fight.. just be nice and fair to everyone (including yourself) and see how it goes.//

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  13. MArriage means you are a team, Just the two of you. your mummy is mummy and all other family is one step below. As long as he and you realise this and act accordingly then you should have no issues.
    ofcourse his mummy can talk about you and your issues all day long, she is not required to like you or love you at sight, as long as she treats you cordially her jobs done.
    Your fiancee can listen to his sis and a mature man will tell her to mind her our business in a sweet smiling non-critical way :-)

    yes it’s possible. My husband married me without even bothering to ask permission from his aunt and extended family ( no PIL’s) , Both of you need to project the ‘ we are a team image’ well meaning parents and relatives – event he thick skinned ones will usually get it and back off — again you both need to be on the same page.

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    • Agree but Ms. Radha my observation is that in most Indian marriages, the family interferes and the marriage is not allowed become a team of husband and wife only and this is one of the major causes of drifts in Indian marriages.

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  14. In your husband’s defense, may be he tried to slip in the message using someone else’s name that your make up was a lil OTT, which has to be as you will have lights focused on you, his only intention could be to avoid hurting you. Had he not bothered, he would have giggled over it and would have become a family joke later on. I agree with carvaka here.
    MILs usually come around after a few weeks/months, just be good. initial days are the days of judgement, your behaviour will form opinions among the older folks. My only advice is relax, enjoy the marital bliss, and welcome to the world of mega-adjustments!

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    • “just be good”; “initial days are the days of judgement, your behaviour will form opinions among the older folks”.

      How do you define being “good”? Also, as long as one is respectful, courteous and considerate, why should one care a hoot what “elder folks” think?

      Is one a cow at a cattle fair that one has to win “elder folks” sorry “buyers” over?

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  15. its normal to be stressed out at weddings. Even when both plp are from the same caste, there are arguments during the wedding. In ur case, its an intercaste so its normal to have these differences. I am very short and during my engagement I wore 6 inch heels. My husband told me that his sister was asking why i was wearing such high heels. Honestly, i was really angry. how dare she comment on it? But my husband helped me cool down by saying that he thought I looked amazing and thats all that matters. he is the one who told me to ignore such comments but he still wanted to tell me just like that. this is just the start. The extending family might make comments, his family might make comments, and not just during the wedding but even after u have been married for 25 years. its normal. Just listen from one ear and take out the other ear. Your bf has to keep his family happy as well as u. so if u feel like he is taking their side, just understand that just like u take ur own family side, he will also do the same. But at the end of the day, both of u should be in the same team. Don’t keep nagging him about this but briefly discuss these things with him so he knows how u feel. You want ur husband to understand u so well that in the future if there is any problem he should know the problem just by looking at u. thats the type of understanding u should have and it can only be achived if u act like a partner with him and communicate with him.

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  16. Dear anonymous bride-to-be, I too am getting married this weekend. Let me tell you upfront, im really not big on marriage as such and definitely dislike big weddings. Me and my guy (husband-to-be) know each other for a little over five years of which, first three we were courting, (i was in college) and the last two years we have been living together . We wanted to get married after the first 3 years..just to get his parents off our back. it did not happen just because we felt we are rushing into it. So we did the next best thing, we gave our relationship “our best effort”, we took a loan bought a home,(everybody said too early still we did it because we both like good financial investments and owning things:)) and lived together , worked and paid our bills, had fun. had huge fights, some of them were deal breakers and if we (any one of us) were not ready to accommodate and adapt to each others “non negotiables” it would have ended just then. It was tough,especially on me , as my parents took to him easily, his parents were vicious towards me. But i have to give to my guy ,he stood up for me in spite of all those decades of conditioning.

    So my point is, i think you are getting married too soon. period. I am getting married only because of the last two years we lived together, if that didn’t happen trust me… my marriage would have been trouble from the start. Our wedding, we didnt let my parents or his parents to take responsibility, we are paying for it ourselves,and took it under our control.. any other way (in our case) would be inviting trouble and we both know this because of the last two years. offcourse we hired a wedding a planner even though its “simple affair for 1500 guests” (rolling eyes!!) Clearly, you and your husband-to-be need to have an in depth discussion about how you would go about this marriage. I still dont think it would completely change things . atleast it would avoid disappointment early on. Im writing all this just as we pack our bags to leave to our home town to get married, yes we both are leaving together, will come back together. One thing im very sure of our marriage is that i m not instore for rude surprises from my husband-to-be and his family( they by now know i dont take their crap) That is a good place to start a wedding i believe. Hope sharing my experience helped you by giving u a different perspective. Anyways my best wishes for you both.

    P.S.: And PLEASE “the bride dreams about looking her best on her wedding day” is all Hogwash. I never dream about it..and i would love to look my best strolling in the alleys of paris rather than on wedding day..:) thats my “turf” and thats what i dream about !

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  17. All weddings, caste irrelevant, are stressful situations. Most likely the people meant to really focus and commit to each other are stressing about little details and missing the big picture. I hope my kids find their partners and then just have a huge big party to celebrate – that is what we should be doing, welcoming the new family unit being formed, with its extensions (boy/girl’s sides) able to handle each other for a few hours at a time. It would be nice if they actually thought good things of each other and became friends….I’ll settle for friendly….anything GENUINE.

    Please begin as you mean to go along. If it bothers you and you do it, sustaining it will require a lot of you. Breaking out of it will also require a lot out of you. And resentment can’t help anyone, much less a relationship. This ‘adjust’ business is over rated. We are all reasonable people and mostly able to do what it takes to keep social relationships healthy….so ‘adjust’ to what more?!

    A confident, smiling face looks best. And there’s little a beauty salon can do about that!

    Enjoy your wedding and the rest of the real stuff that comes after!

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  18. Pingback: Observations about marriages in patriarchal societies – 1 | Boiling Wok

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