Advice to a new bride

Published: February 21, 2013

As a new bride, I made it a point to talk less and listen more. PHOTO:FILE

Someone once told me,

‘Getting married is not the achievement; getting along together with each other after marriage is the real achievement.’

This statement repeatedly echoes in my mind as I observe the rising divorce rate in Pakistani society. Of course, this is becoming an issue in all societies around the world, but only a few are left as high and dry, both emotionally and financially as a Pakistani divorcee girl.

When I go to a wedding, I often have an itching desire to have a chat with the bride before her nikkah ceremony and give her my two cents on her impending journey.

Though, I have a similar desire to chat with the groom, his mother, the bride’s mother and the bride’s father- but those would constitute separate articles!

Simply concentrating on the bride, here is a gist of the discussion I would have:

1. Try not to be too quick to judge your new family

Enter your new life and house with your senses tuned int0 ‘observation’ mode. When hiking up a mountain, you have to judge the stability of the ground and the rocks before you attempt to put your foot on to them to hoist yourself higher- same goes for marriage! Keep an open heart and mind. Haste is likely to make you slip.

2. Remember that you have married a human being who is as much of a mature individual as you are

He is not a piece of clay so please don’t enter the marriage thinking you can ‘mould’ him to your liking- because you can’t!  Both of you have to adjust to each other’s ways and respect each other’s requirement for space. Don’t attempt to force him to act like you want him to act.

Compatibility is a fostered trait; it cannot be forced. When you see couples who look very ‘compatible’, it is because they work at becoming compatible with what they have, not by attempting to create a whole new person out of each other.

3. The girls in our society do not marry a man, they marry a clan

Even if you are not part of a joint family system, your hubby was not picked from a tree and is now yours to enjoy alone. He is a major part of a herd, and you are the new addition. Extend your ‘observation’ mode to the other members of the family as well. There are many things you will like about someone, yet there will be many things you will dislike. Until, you find amiable ways to deal with unsavoury situations, it would be advisable to keep own opinions to yourself. Try to develop these relationships as wisely as you are developing a bond with your hubby, because they are as important.

4. It might seem like the only thing to do at times but try not to tell on your in-laws to your husband

Being a new arrival, you are being judged as closely by others as you are judging them. Your husband has lived with his family for decades and you cannot win his heart by creating rifts, intentionally or unintentionally between family members.

If you do, it will lower your respect in his eyes and in the eyes of the others. However, if there are serious issues, look for a calm yet dignified manner of resolution such as, politely ask the contending party about the issues they have with you rather than tattling to your hubby about them and making matters worse. By experience I can tell you that even if you don’t mean it as a ‘tattle’, it will definitely come across as nothing else.

5. You will gain more respect over time by allowing time to take its course while dealing with a lot of issues

For instance, I found this to be true in matters related to the kitchen. Every woman has her own way of running a kitchen. Let the in-laws take the lead, don’t enforce your ways. Invariably over time, they will start allowing you to take the lead too. Yes, things are bound to get out of hand sometimes because all humans are made differently. But, lowering yourself to exhibit similar childish behaviour, in my case from a sister-in-law, will do nothing to strengthen the bond between yourself and the groom. Again, try to find a more dignified mode of resolution.

6. Yes, it is hard to not visit your parents frequently in the early days of the marriage but do try to keep your maika-visits limited at this time

In addition to making it harder for you to adjust into the new environment, it is also likely to give your in-laws and your husband the impression that you are unhappy in your new house.

Think about it, what man wouldn’t like to feel that his new wife likes his house and family?

Be gracious towards your new environment and the new members and good things will evolve over time.

7. Try not to talk too much or too excessively

In other words ‘brag’, about your father’s high post, your mother’s jewellery, your bhabi’s great house or your brother’s sports car. Even if you don’t intend to, you will be unconsciously putting down your husband and his family.

As a new bride, I made it a point to talk less and listen more. This gave me an insight into the new personalities that I have had to face in my life. This insight was an added advantage as I figured out how to best to develop a healthy relationship with my in-laws.

8. Avoid getting too familiar too fast

You might feel like you are being friendly but others may feel like you are imposing on their territory too quickly. In the early days, advance only as far as you are permitted to advance. I was especially cautious of my speech, behaviour and habits during this initial ‘trial’ period and reminded myself that is not my amma’s house.

However, over the time when I felt like I had won enough hearts, I relaxed -just as I was in my amma-abba’s home.

Hint: In these initial stages, especially try to control any irritating habits. Most of us are quite well aware of these in our heart and it would be in our long term favour to put a cap on them.

9. Don’t get into the competition mode with the female in laws at all

You are not there to win a competition; you are there to make this new union work by winning hearts and developing a level of compatibility with your husband. Yes, some men are very difficult to live with but it will only take more effort on your part to make this wheel run smoothly. I’d like to mention here that, unfortunately enough, there are certain situations that cannot be compromised with at all.

10. Do not enter the marriage with divorce as an option on your mind

It shouldn’t be an option except in extreme cases and certainly never for minor, petty reasons. If you have ‘divorce’ or ‘separation’ lurking at the back of your mind all the time, it is like you have given up the fight before it has even started. Not that a marriage is a fight in the literal sense- but it is a fight to make sure you succeed at having a successful marriage despite all the ups and downs.

Last but not least, please remember that men are very, very different creatures. Their minds and their hearts function according to the rules of an entirely different planet than ours!

It is your job to find out where exactly their planet is and then build a pathway for the two of you to shuttle happily between these two planets, without attempting to move him to your planet or be forced to move to his.

That is compatibility.

Good luck. Now go and sign those papers… the guests are waiting for their food!

Read more by Aalia here

aalia.suleman

Aalia Suleman

A freelance writer and poet who is keenly interested in the status of women in 21st century Pakistan. Her writing also zones in on Pakistan's new social and political status on a redefined global chessboard. She has a masters degree in English Literature and blogs and invites debates at 'Socio-politically Pakistani'.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Tumbleweed

    very nicely written article. As a 26 year old, I can sense that marriage is around the corner. This article has also given me some insight on what girls expect and what we, as men, should do to make their transition to the new house, easier. Recommend

  • random1

    haha the last line was funny. a sensible blog indeedRecommend

  • javeria

    Now this is one sensible, most needed blog, unlike the many rubbish articles we see at Tribune.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    10. Do not enter the marriage with divorce as an option on your mind

    True ! Never enter a marriage with that mindset.

    But before you enter into matrimony ensure you are financially independent and have a good career to fall back on in case something goes terribly wrong. It’s very important for a girl to have her own source of income to maintain her self respect and independence. What if your husband is a complete douche who abuses you and divorce is the only way out? Or what if he passes away at a young age ? In such scenarios, a woman should have a good solid career to fall back on. Before you take on the responsibility of a family – Ensure you know how to take care of yourself first.

    Another point – Never have children immediately. Wait a while – a year or two. Enjoy your time with your spouse. Go on holidays, romantic dinners – spend time with each other.The early years of marriage are bliss and these are the only years the two of you will have with each other with out the responsibility of children.Also, have kids only when you’re sure your marriage is a happy one – there are couples who have kids within the first year of marriage only to realize that they are incompatible and then get divorced. In such cases – the kids end up suffering and the woman may not be in a position ( emotionally and financially ) to take care of her offspring. So decide wisely. Recommend

  • afza siddiqui

    i soooo loved this blog.one of the best i hv come across at ET. food for thought for all girls.may ALLAH grant us all the patience and strenght to work upon these smart advice of urs.Recommend

  • ahsan

    *When I go to a wedding, I often have an itching desire to have a chat with the bride before her nikkah ceremony and give her my two cents on her impending journey.

    Though, I have a similar desire to chat with the groom, his mother, the bride’s mother and the bride’s father- but those would constitute separate articles!*

    Are you the rishta baji? Recommend

  • I am a Khan

    Beautiful Blog and very sensible-

    I absolutely loved points 3, 4 ,5 & 10.

    As a guy, I dont mind points 6 & 7 for my would be wife. As a newly wed, she has every right to visit her parents ‘Maika’ frequently, and her Hubby should be supportive of that. and I do not mind a talkative bride :)Recommend

  • Sidrah

    Advice to women everywhere: Marriage is not the goal, it is a part of life. The achievement is making yourself a valuable member of society, so instead of worrying about how you are going to tip toe around your inlaws, focus on being yourself. Why make life miserable for yourself in your attempts to be an ideal ‘bahu’? Focus on becoming a better person as a woman in society. Your future inlaws should know your personality before marriage and if they do not like it they should not ask for your rishta. Ridiculous that women are expected to mould themselves into behaving as they are expected to by traditional members of society.

    And advice to men: if you cannot support or stand up for your wife then do not marry her in the first place.Recommend

  • I am a Khan

    @Sidrah:
    Honestly marriage is about showing flexibility and accomodating your spouse and their family. This goes for both the guy and girl. both have to show respect and flexibility to each other and to their respective inlaws. If you are very rigid or arrogant and continue as you did when you were single, then your marriage will not work .period. each person of marriageable age should understand and be prepared for changes in their lifestyle after marriage. If they are not prepared for any change in their lifestyle, then its best not to get married. Recommend

  • Sarah

    how sad this article is. it really highlights the sad status of women in Pakistani society and how other women, like the author, re-inforce itRecommend

  • erum.shaikh

    @Nobody
    This is Erum Shaikh from The Express Tribune’s blogs desk.
    We would like to run your comment as a separate counter blog-post.
    Could you please send us your email address for further details at [email protected]

    Thanks a bunch.

    Hoping to hear from you soon.

    Kind Regards,
    Erum Shaikh
    Web Subeditor
    The Express Tribune

    5 Express Way
    Off Korangi Road,
    Karachi, Pakistan
    Ph: + 92 21-35800051 to 8
    Fax: +92 21-35800050Recommend

  • sk

    very sensible advice!
    agree with the author on almost all the points, this is stuff that a bride should understand before marriage, it will definetly make things easier, inshallah. Recommend

  • random2

    Well written. Strongly agree to the last para! I don’t think compatability just ‘strikes’ or ‘clicks’. A couple has to work towards being compatible with patience and a positive attitude!! Recommend

  • I am a Khan

    With the attitude of @Nobody in her long long comment, I do not think such ladies will be compatable with a Pakistani (or any eastern man). They should design a high tech robot for themselves or go for a ‘Firangi’ westerner. But the divorce rate is very high among western men also, so a cyber robot may be best. May Allah help the young Men in this country and their families also…there seems to be a 180 degree shift nowadays with mothers having to pray for the good fortune (Naseeb) of their sons!!

    @Erum Shaikh- Kindly have mercy on the young men of this country :)) though I respect freedom of speech, and will not advise you, not to publish a counter blog…Recommend

  • Pessimist

    Who on earth here is ‘Nobody’? I don’t see any comment by him/her? Was it moderated?Recommend

  • khayam

    awesome ariticle dear bravooooooooooooo alaaaaaaaaaaaRecommend

  • Nitish

    In india divorce rate is .1%.In india No one will worry about this long written piece at least for marriage.Hindu society doesnt allow divorce.Guys here r determined from very beginning to be one woman man.Thats why GOI promotes love marriage and even provide protection to couple.This even helps to reduce difference created by Hindu caste system and promote harmony b/w different sect of hindism.By the way what is divorce rate in pakistan ..curious to know….Recommend

  • MK

    I haven’t come across a more sexist article in a long long time. ‘dont visit your maika house too often’, dont talk too often.. umm where do you live madame? why is the woman only supposed to be the one doing all the sacrifices – matter of fact, why is this article so bigoted that it had to be called advice to a new BRIDE – why not advice to the newly married ‘COUPLE’ – try treating the couple as a unit – thats what marriage is about, its really not about the girl making all the sacrifices, adapting to a new home, not talking much, not judging etc. Sorry, but this puts all the onus on the girl. Couldn’t adapt, couldn’t produce children etc etc.

    Enough said – wisen up people. Recommend

  • Hassaan

    Very Fine Suggestions!….Being a man, I request you to write an article as same for men, so that they should get an outlook about expectations of their wives and in-laws from themselves too.

    Thank you once again ma’am!Recommend

  • I am a Khan

    @Nitish

    please…I have so many Indian Hindu Friends who work with me in the west. I am not exagerating but divorce and re marriage among them is very common. Regarding divorce not alllowed in Hinduism at all, does not make things any better. What if the husband or the wife or the inlaws are extremely cruel to their spouse? does it mean a practicing hindu guy and girl will never get the chance to have a second chance with someone else to find happiness?? Not fair by any means. as unfair as the caste system…Recommend

  • Socrates

    Continuing with the authors theme, I would like to add another piece of advice for the new bride. She should stay silent if she suffers domestic violence. As you say its all about compatibility and adjusting with the new family. The new bride should leave her self-respect and dignity at her maika, because it can be a hurdle in adjusting to her new home.Recommend

  • A

    @Nitish: You are so full of trash!
    I can’t stop laughing. Recommend

  • Amer

    Good luck. Now go and sign those papers… the guests are waiting for their food!

    That’s exactly why I hate Pakistani marriages or so called Shaddi functions. The guests act like hungry dogs and have nothing else on their minds. Most of the times they don’t even care who’s getting married and as soon as the food opens, people rush to the food trays like mad hungry animals. Disgusting!!Recommend

  • Nitish

    @I am a Khan:
    please…I have so many Indian Hindu Friends who work with me in the west. I am not exagerating but divorce and re marriage among them is very common
    True ..thats why it becomes difficult for them to find a good deshi bride from india….People r scared coz of this unnecessary and unwanted development among NRIs abroad…
    What if the husband or the wife or the inlaws are extremely cruel to their spouse? does it mean a practicing hindu guy and girl will never get the chance to have a second chance with someone else to find happiness?? Not fair by any means. as unfair as the caste system…
    Whether they like it or not but hindu law doesnt permit second marriage.They have to sort out their matter by their own otherwise their life is doomed.
    By the way hindu code of conduct is not based on hinduism as a religion.Recommend

  • EK

    @MK:
    Advices of people like u ruins lives of married girls. I am not saying that girls should only give sacrifices but the thought of women equal rights mostly becomes cause of problems. If I as a husband, My mom dad as in-laws do not treat her well how we can expect a happy life our married sister , this thiking is more than enough ..Recommend

  • Nitish

    @A:@Nitish: You are so full of trash!
    I can’t stop laughing

    It depends.Can i say same to pakistani as a whole.I mean its ridiculous to read such a blog.I just cant digest these things.Ya in india as well some nuts like mahesh bhatt is available.he converted himself to marry second time.Recommend

  • Hardliner

    Thats a rare gem on ET………………. a truly sensible article to read about……….. however, i have this feeling that your article is not going to go down too easily with Pakistani Liberal Atheists……………… :-/Recommend

  • Saba R

    I started this article with an open mind but could not continue reading past the second paragraph. It is excruciatingly offensive to Pakistani Woman, stereotyping them as inflexible and plain stupid. I would have preferred if the article included responsibilities of both partners and not leave the duties of men for another blog. I’m surprised to see such measures been taken to reinforce orthodox views on women where as they are already suppressed to unacceptable situations worldwide. why not bring that up here ?? Very upsetting. Highly degrading, Recommend

  • Hardliner

    @Nitish:

    Have u seen the movie Liar Liar??? Man u even beat him!!! India might be full of rubbish but not successful marriages………. lolz…….Recommend

  • A

    @Nitish: You really do live in a fantasy world with your stupid ideas. Recommend

  • Pessimist

    Hardliner
    Thats a rare gem on ET………………. a truly sensible article to read about……….. however, i have this feeling that your article is not going to go down too easily with Pakistani Liberal Atheists……………… :-/

    Lol, after Secular Extremists, Liberal Fascists and Pseudo- Liberals, we now have Pakistani Liberal Atheists. Waah!Recommend

  • Individual

    You didn’t need to waste so much so much time and energy breaking that down into 10 points. Your one and only point is “BE A SILENT, OPINION FREE, MALEABLE DOORMAT”. You could have simply said observe the “good bahu” in an Indian soap and copy.

    Potentially, taking your advice onboard would make a marriage, or any other relationship such as professional, social etc work because one party (naturally the bride / woman) is a lamb…not speaking, not relaxed, not open, not anything really except there.

    I can’t see how there is any enjoyment or satisfaction for the bride under your scenario but then who needs that, right? Recommend

  • I am a Khan

    @Nitish:
    “Ya in india as well some nuts like mahesh bhatt is available.he converted himself to marry second time.”

    You forgot to mention Dharam Paaji aka Dilawar Khan to marry Hema Malini. One thing I dont understand is why did Dharam Paaji change his surname to Khan, after converting on paper?? Because of this, poor sunny deol became an enemy of Khans and to date makes anti pakistan films and anti Khan films..lolRecommend

  • citizen

    it is a gem ! beautiful article . as anew bride i am having some issues adjusting with new set up . but this article gave me lot hope . “our time” will come :)Recommend

  • Dr Asif

    @Aalia Suleman Bohat Aala…. Very nicely written article. Recommend

  • Close_enough

    Waiting for your next blog written on “Groom”.Recommend

  • ab

    ‘It is your job to find out where exactly their planet is and then build a pathway for the two of you to shuttle happily between these two planets, without attempting to move him to your planet or be forced to move to his.’

    i think that this sums up the very balanced and sensible post. this is surely one of the point that will gurantee a very good and happy marriage. secondly i want to add (to all the sensible heads) that one or two years of sabr and keeping quite will surely gurantee long time of hapiness in most of the cases. if not then other doors are open. Recommend

  • Aneela

    I’m not married yet, but it is not that I am anti-marriage, and I do realize that marriage does involve compromises, which I think I’d be willing to make for someone I really care about.

    If I were to summarize the advice you are giving though, what I see is a spineless woman with no self esteem, no self worth and a complete doormat. It sounds more like you are counselling women on how to get a role in a Pakistani drama. My advice to you would be to stop advising women, who already have a very low status in society, to live their lives repressing their emotions. also, about divorce, as a lawyer who has dealt with women seeking divorce (of whom 90% percent simply return to their abusive marriages), i promise you women seldom think of divorce due to minor reasons. even if the reason is simply that you just dont love that man, it’s not a minor one. also, if only women did consider the possibility of divorce when they are getting married, perhaps they wouldnt have many of their rights struck out of their nikahnama… Recommend

  • http://www.fatinnawaz.blogspot.com/ Fatin

    This article is trash, and it reinforces several negative stereotypes.I want to feel bad for whoever wrote it because they actually think they’re “helping” but I dislike the person too severely already to muster up any damn sympathy.Recommend

  • Insaan

    Author “This statement repeatedly echoes in my mind as I observe the rising divorce rate in Pakistani society.”

    Reason for rising divorce rate in Pakistan is women no longer can be treated as slaves. Men can no longer beat “women” lightly.

    There are some couples who fight over little things. Over time these fights can lead to bigger fightsRecommend

  • Insaan

    Author “Last but not least, please remember that men are very, very different creatures. Their minds and their hearts function according to the rules of an entirely different planet than ours!”

    Every individual’s mind and heart works differently whether a man or a woman. Your above statement is totally wrong.Recommend

  • Aijaz Haider

    Version 1.2 of the Robot Housewife?Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @Nitish:
    I don’t know where you get these fantastic numbers from. It is correct that there is no scope for divorce as per ancient Hindu laws in the Manusmriti, which is why we created the Hindu Marriage act post Independence which lists acceptable grounds under which divorce can be sought (the list is pretty exhaustive), and you should be happy that many people living in loveless marriages avail of this facility – or does being Hindu mean that a woman must suffer an abusive marriage in silence? As far as Hindus being one-women men point goes, the Puranas are replete with glorious examples to the contrary, so I don’t understand the basis for such a comment. The government does not ‘promote love marriages’ (can’t help but snigger at the thought of some love marriage minister posing for photos with the errant newly-weds :) – it only protects the rights of consenting adults to marry whoever they like in the face of possible threats. Recommend

  • Parvez

    Sensible and good.
    Question that comes to mind : Were people happier in the days before the concept of marriage was introduced ????Recommend

  • Nadir

    Wow! Advice to new bridges, or should we say, tie up the old cow with her new owners. Why should the women have to bend over backwards, change her attitudes to insure a successful marriage? This blog is a sorry excuse to justify the perpetuation that a new “bride” should suck it up! Recommend

  • gp65

    @Pessimist: “Who on earth here is ‘Nobody’? I don’t see any comment by him/her? Was it moderated?”

    @Nobody is a frequent poster in the blogs. Most of her comments are very level headed and she appears to be a feminist. It appears that she may have disagreed with this blog and posted a long rebuttal which the tribune team would like to pubish as a separate blog instead of simply one one the many posts in response to this blog.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Nitish: “Hindu society doesnt allow divorce.”

    YEs divorce rate is very low in India and it is rising. The rising trend may not be all bad either. A large part of the low divorce rates is that many women are economically completely dependent on their husbands. Another reason is that the fear of social sanction may prevent parents from accetpting their daughter back. This is even more so if there is another unmarried sister in the home. Sometimes (and this happens in ctities), the parents may be living with the son’s family and the sister in law may not be very keen to get 3 additional mouths to feed in the home (woman and 2 kids) and thus make it difficult for a woman to come back. So there are a lot of reasons that women may be stuck in bad marriages.

    Now I am not criticising the institution of marriage per se. In fact it is the best way to raise kids. All I am saying is that while being happily married may top being single, being happily single tops being unhappily married.

    @Nandita : Good points

    @Author : While many of your points were sensible, the impression I got is that you want the woman to be self effacing and suppress her personality. I don’t think that is wise. While anyone can do it for a short period, over extended period, this leads to resentment which will get expressed either through unpredictable outbursts or through ulcers, high BP etc.Recommend

  • gp65

    @Nitish: “Whether they like it or not but hindu law doesnt permit second marriage.”

    You are just flat out wrong. Neither the law nor religion forbids divorce though soical norms do frown on divorce.Recommend

  • Caltha

    Amazing. How You people live. Shocked.Recommend

  • boco

    While I appreciate the advice to new brides on being the best version of themselves: to keep in mind that its never a smart idea to get into petty competitions with the in-laws and to respond to aggressive or vile behavior from the in-laws by taking a similar stance – taking the high road always pays off in the long run – I cannot agree with the tone of the rest of the article which seems to advise new brides on being the best version of a bahu caricature rather than being the best version of ‘themselves’.

    While its important to observe and listen (in any social setting for that matter), if you are naturally talkative don’t stay silent and bottle up your personality, just make sure other people are allowed to get a word in and you don’t end up hijacking the conversation (again, its true for any other social setting). Listening to others, tailoring your communications approach to others, being accommodating of others (within reason) etc is something any mature adult (I am assuming all new brides are, if not, please wait until you are one and then married) should be doing in any new social setting in the first place.

    Lastly, I don’t think the primary concern of this country is the rise in divorce rates but the rise in abuse (physical and emotional) against women often at the hands of their families/in-laws so if you feel an in-law is emotionally abusing you, make sure your husband and people who genuinely care about you know that and remove yourself from that situation as quickly as you can. Nothing should take precedence over your emotional and physical well being. Recommend

  • experienced wife of 9 yrs

    @I am a Khan:
    obviously you are a man who wishes we were still in dark ages conforming to the ridic whims of the inlaws and the ever lilly-livered husband not be able to make a stand.

    We are free to make our own choices the inlaws will not be throwing us back to our parents dishonoured anytime soon. if man marries knowing of our personality, lifestyle etc that he too should have the conviction to stand by us as society expects us to be subservient stand by him. Recommend

  • saba

    Totally relatable! I still remember those early days when I felt prying eyes on me all the time, being observed for each n every tiny step I took and being agitated to see my husband’s over indulgence with my densely populated susraal. However now I have come to terms with the fact that he was not grown on a tree and my probation(observation period ) is also over so all is good. The key I guess is to increase tolerance level atleast for few initial months till the marital bond becomes strong enuf..
    @ Ppl who r saying that there shud b guidelines for the groom as well – its girls who gotta adapt themselves to the new environment not grooms unless they aim to be ghar jamayi :pRecommend

  • Ayesha Mallick

    A very practical article indeed! our generation has grown up seeing fairy tale cartoons like cindrella and beauty and the beast and expect our husbands to be nothing less than prince charming! Most marriages are arranged and just like any job or new contract u hesitantly go in all the offices unsure what to say and decide to say less and observe more till you are familiar with the demands of your job and the nature of your colleagues. I mean u dont go and sit in your boss’s office the very first day , sharing jokes! We are still a conservative society which respects people who respect values and i think thats the beauty of our society!Recommend

  • John B

    Compare this blog with the “Perfect wife” blog. Can anyone tell the difference. No wonder all men seconds this advice.

    I guess this is Perfect Wife Version 1.0.Recommend

  • Muhammad

    Perfectly written piece!
    Kudos!Recommend

  • Sindhi_Sufi

    Good advice and good blog but seems that male chauvinism is ripe in Pakistan as it is evident from suggestions of this blog :) oops sorry. Recommend

  • Gary

    My addition to this list…

    Learn how best to disagree. (Conflict is bound to happen in any relationship, why not have a mechanism to manage and resolve when it occurs).
    Have a common mission/goal for a year. (i find having priorities just make it easy to say no to unwanted things).Recommend

  • gp65

    Some parts made sense but many parts made me gasp.

    Is the goal of marriage to be happy or is marriage a goal in itself? If the goal of marriage is to be happy I am not sure that some of your advice will lead there. The notion that a woman should not speak much or express her opinions seemed terrible. Such self effacing behavior maybe valued by the woman’s in laws but it is sure to cause resentment and/or depression in the woman herself.Recommend

  • Hardliner

    @Pessimist:

    We’ve always had the liberal atheists…. we just didn’t recognize them……..!!Recommend

  • Benish

    For people who are opposing the article terming it male chauvinistic, the mentioned advice is just for the initial period after marriage. Once the initial period is over and girl become fmiliar with the husband’s home and family she can be herself again. and bye the way no one can pretend forever ;)
    I my self bieng recently married fully support the idea of writer. Initial period took time to get adjusted and now I fully enjoy the trust of my hubby and my in-laws. Wait and observe is the best strategy for new brides :)Recommend

  • Syme

    @Nitish:
    0.1% of one billion population, assuming only 25% are married equate to 25000000 divorce and in what time?Recommend

  • Nobody

    @Sarah:
    Lol, you have, in very few words, stated exactly what I thought (and expressed in a long winded way).

    The author has seemingly encouraged the already screwed up notion of a woman’s role in marriage. Recommend

  • Faisal khalil

    I’d like to say special thanks to author for such grandiloquent and meaningful piece of writing to advise the new bridals. As curse of media make the mind of young generation retarded and they think unrealistically. Shrewd and wise people, like author should keep on teaching the society in elegant way.
    God may give you more courage and tenaciousness to add more value. Recommend

  • Nobody

    @I am a Khan:
    The only reason such ladies wouldn’t be compatible with a typical eastern man is because eastern men don’t want to change. The set up is almost perfect for you guys. Why would you want to change it? Have you thought about how women feel about it?? And expressing individuality and independence is not a “western” thing. Slightly disgusted by your comment. If a free thinking woman isn’t compatible with you, then you ought to stay single. And don’t blame women for the high divorce rate; perhaps it’s time you men make some changes.
    Furthermore, I’ve met many such Pakistani men here who feel the same way I do so you’re doing your own men a disservice by grouping them altogether. Cheers. Recommend

  • Yamna Hassan

    you need a chit chat session with the groom as well! Recommend

  • gp65

    @Syme: “@Nitish:
    0.1% of one billion population, assuming only 25% are married equate to 25000000 divorce and in what time?”

    Bad math and bad logic.

    30% of India’s population is below 15. So let us talk about the 700 million or so above 14. You say 25% are currently married. In other words 175 million people are married. In other words there are 87.5 million couples exist. Now 0.1% dvorce means 87,500 couples will divorce. Now where did you get your 2.5 crore number from?Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @Syme:
    While I don’t agree with Nitish’s quoted figure (the actual number is at least 10 times that), his calculation method is probably slightly better than yours. The divorce rate is calculated per 1000 of population – otherwise a 50% divorce rate in the US (as per your method) would mean that even those who are not married are divorced.Recommend

  • abhi

    I think it is good advice, actually many things could be applicable for both males and females when the join a new workplace.Recommend

  • Milind

    @Author – So sad.. you wrote this 12 yrs after my marriage… This could have helped my wife…

    On a sidenote — Point no 2 can be disputed… – especially him being mature and possibility of him being molded like a lump of clay.. Don’t you know that the guys in our countries are (or expected to be) hard as rock/tougher than steel… So moulding is out, drilling or hammering is in…Recommend

  • Syed Khawar Imam

    Useful points. Any thoughts for the groom?Recommend

  • bis!

    This blog makes it seem as if the entire onus of making a marriage work falls on the woman. Why is it that she has to mold herself to make her husband, in laws and extended family happy, and has to work so hard simply to be “accepted”.

    Common sense would dictate that the default setting for a new bride would be acceptance, since obviously either the boy or the parents liked the girl to begin with.

    It is incredibly disturbing that young girls are being told to speak less, and not be friendly. I always thought having an opinion and mind of ones own were desirable traits as was having a friendly, pleasant personality.

    What is even more disturbing is the number of people agreeing with the points mentioned in the article. Recommend

  • Nandita.

    @Nobody:

    Read your comment to Sarah. Does that mean you are not going to write the counter blog? :( Please do. Recommend

  • I am a Khan

    @Nobody & other liberal feminists

    I cannot understand what made you all angry with this article or with my comments for that matter. This is a very sensible article for new brides, and if even one young bride were to follow this article, it would mean two happy families. I cannot understand the problem liberal girls have with staying with their Inlaws. In Pakistan there are large houses with different portions, so no privacy invasion issue. Even abroad, staying together has many benefits for the bride like having company. Secondly, marriage is not about one man and one woman, its about the bride’s relationship with her husband and His family and also about the guy’s relationship to his wife and her family. How can you expect a guy to abandon his family who have brought him up for almost 30 years or for a girl to abandon her family for that matter? pathetic thinking! I for one will keep a balance between my parents and siblings and my wife. If my would be wife thinks I will forget my family after marriage, then she is in for a big shock. and I would tell other young guys also to put your foot down and do not become a ‘Joru Ka Ghulam’ (wife’s slave) nor forget your old parents. Remember that Paradise lies beneath the feet of the mother and father is the gateway to paradise and its Allah’s command to be dutiful to your parents. Also its Allah’s command to be kind and nice to your wife, but that does not mean leaving your family for your wife’s whims….Recommend

  • ab

    can’t you woman be tactical instead of wining about the things :) . Is taking on the inlaws or the divorce is the only option when something doesn’t went upto your plan. yes many man are at fault but many woman are as well if they are not happy because for simple reason they are stupid. Recommend

  • Nadir

    I have rarely read such a narrow minded and sexiest article. Your article is nothing more but a reproduction of the the kind of sterotypical, patriarchal filth that spews from current day Paksitani dramas. I can understand where your point of view was coming from, but it was wrapped up in so many layers of sexism, that i had to force myself not to laugh while reading this ‘article’.

    The worst advice you have given is probably the last one, about divorce not being an option. There is a reason that divorce is not only a part of our legal jurisdition but also of the predominant religion in this country. Unless ofcourse the writer lives in a candy coated fantasy land, where verbal, physical, abuse, rape, child molestation, and general misoyny can not possibly be a part of the ‘land of the pure’ and is only an ‘imported western construct’.Recommend

  • Nasamajh

    what a beauty! maza aagya prh k!Recommend

  • Sane

    @Writer

    Very correct you are. This is a must read piece specially for to-be-married or just married ones.Recommend

  • Nasamajh

    “Nitish: Give this advice to Ekta Kapoor, the heroines of her sas bahu dramas do the same :DRecommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    @Socrates:

    shows your ignorance here.

    The advice is to show you how to adjust. Not to put women respect down…..

    Most of the time the problem is that girls and guys are pushing their views on thier partners. this articles gives an insight to women.

    Please keep in mind a women is not behind a successful man but actually right at his side…..and for that she has to be able to back him up…a girl who cant back up his guy will end herself and the guy in disaster…

    To be honest a girl is like a Manager in a company who should know how to get things done with not spoiling the atmosphere…..which acutally means she has more responsibility and has higher rank…..Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    @Caltha:

    yeah right…Recommend

  • I am a Khan

    I feel sad reading some of the comments here. where is our society heading to? Marriage is a relationship of mutual love and mutual respect. When a person loves their spouse, how can they have so much animosity towards their spouse’s parents and siblings? Showing respect towards inlaws does not mean that a Bride is downtrodden, it just means that she has the values of respecting her elders. Same goes for the Groom. Marriage should not be a perpetual tug of war to separate the spouse from their parents, its supposed to be a loving, caring relationship in which each spouse cares for the other and respects each other’s family… Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    @Nadir:

    lolzzz…you really want to make a society who has no idea where they are heading……Recommend

  • m.

    Beheshti zevar inspired blog?!Recommend

  • Morons

    In short, just watch durr-e-shahwar. :):)Recommend

  • peace

    very nice and sensible blog on ET for a change.
    for all those bashing the writer, pls see that she is not advising you to be silent against violence or abuse but is only telling you to be patient and open minded.
    what is so wrong with being patient? in your own families if your own mom or dad scolds you,stop you from doing certain activity do you answer them back in uncivilized manner? do you start labeling them as bad parents or evil parents? no. then why do some daughter in laws term their mom in laws as evil or “BURI SAAS” if they stop you from doing certain thing or share their view on doing a certain thing in certain way?
    the problem I see is that many girls now enters into a marriage to see it as an opportunity to rule the new house and have their own ways. at times parents also encourages their daughters by putting into their minds from very young age that ” yeh kaam tum shadi ke baad kerna” ” yeh tum apney susral jaker kerna” etc etc. this conditioning results in girls developing a mindset that we can do all we want and the way we want once we are married.Recommend

  • peace

    @Nitish: the rate of divorce might be low in India as you are stating but what is the rate of extra-marital affairs in India? for my curiosity pls. Recommend

  • kanwal

    its a slightly pathetic blog. this is not islam either. this just depicts the culture of south asia mostly. this blog would ve made more sense and would look balanced if the advice was given to both bride and groom, so we could compare. Right now, i tempt to feel for the lady whose in laws will include you dear author. lolRecommend

  • ab

    @kanwal this is simply just a plain common sense at the start of the new life. which seems to be very uncommon here :) Recommend

  • Not sure

    @peace:
    Patience doesn’t always work though. My mum who is from Pakistan, I love her to pieces, is the strongest woman I know, my pride, my idol. The life she had when she got married, the most horrific thing you could imagine. Her saas treated her like a slave. They didn’t allow her to eat anything, she lived on biscuits. She kept quiet and was the “good bahu” and took all the crap that came her way. They accused her of disgusting things, she didn’t say anything. She wasn’t allowed to pick up the phone, answer the door, check the mail. Her in-laws would read her personal letters from her family before they gave it her, sometimes they wouldn’t tell her she had letters. My dad didn’t know about all of this, as he used to be away from home alot for work. Her in-laws almost got her to abort her first child, my dad still doesn’t know about this almost 30 years on. Her life is hell of a lot better now that her mother-in-law and father-in-law are dead. Can’t say I miss them, even though they are my dad’s parents. I hate them for what they did to my mum and for what they did to my dad. My dad moved away from his parent’s house with my mum once he found all this out (minus the attempted abortion bit, that would break him completely and I don’t know what he would do) and has never looked back. He has brothers and sisters, who he doesn’t want to see anymore because of all that. 30 years on, she still hurts from all that happened in her “probation period”.

    I realise this may be an extreme case, but it does happen, so I don’t know what a woman is meant to do? If you could explain to me that would actually be great. I genuinely want to know. Is a woman meant to take it all until her in-laws all die? or until she dies and then people remenisce about what they could have done to prevent it? I have difficulty in coming round to the idea of getting married into a Pakistani family, I can’t bring myself to be at peace with the idea. I have a hard time trusting Pakistani guys, although in my head I would love to meet someone the same as me and be with them forever. What if what happened to my mum happens to me? What do I do? It’s scary and sometimes I think it would better to be alone than have to go through all of that. I know that marriage is not the be all and end all goal of life, but this is a thing that’s meant to be thought about, right? Recommend

  • Amo

    I do not agree with the author. While you understand your new family and hubby, you have to make them understand yourself as well. At least, your hubby should understand your different view point on things and respect your opinions. Everybody should accept that you are a different person trying to adjust to the ways of a new family but it cannot be done instantly and very easily. There could be difference in education, difference in social class, difference in the way what is eaten at the breakfast, difference in what is worn, what is easily afforded, difference in what is considered inexpensive and difference in doing groceries.

    If your in-laws are indifferent to your concerns, then you have to voice it aloud to your hubby and he should lend a sympathetic ear. This should not be called complaining to husbands, it is called lending to the last resort. Husbands should learn the way to gently convey the concern to his family and do it in the smoothest way possible hence no fights.

    If your mother-in-law gets to keep all what your husband earns, and you do not stand up for your and your kid’s financial rights, then this is not called compromising. What if the MIL does not leave any money with the newly wed groom hence he has no money to spend on romantic dinners, eating outs, birthday/anniversary gifts, honeymoon? Where would the bonding result from if your MIL and in-laws want you to stay at home all the time owing to ‘halaat kharaab in Karachi’?

    You should visit your family and visit more especially during those initial days. Your family can help you through the transition and can be very supportive. Visiting your family can give you a break from the usual routine you have at your susraal. Also, you van get back to your lifestyle though for a few hours or days only.

    You should talk, be expressive and be yourself but always remember that every word you say is being judged and could be taken in different context. Be sure to be clear always.

    Keep divorce as the last of the last options if nothing works out.

    In short, education in women should promote awareness of their rights and responsibilities. Education should make them strong. Education of a woman is the strong foundation on which a whole family is built upon. Use the education to protect yourself. All the best to all ladies out there!Recommend

  • Hassaan

    @Saba. Well guidelines for grooms is not about ghar damaad, either this is your personal perspective or you took my intentions totally wrong.The author has done a marvellous job by utilizing her observation to write such an articke which is highly appreciable.Simultaneously, I also made a humble plead to her to express her thoughts for awareness of married and unmarried men regarding guideness of newly wed grooms and married husbands. I believe the greatest sacrifice of this world is given by women when they get married and shift in to a new house with a men who either they do not know at all or who was previously a beloved and has now become their husband.They leave behing their,parents,siblings, maternal family, friends,house of their birth and childhood.So when so many infinite expectations are associated with brides then why not with the groom and his family? The bride should be comforted because it is human psychology to take some time for adjustment in new people and environment.Bride her self is worried and her parents are even more worried than anyone else.I proposed this request so that grooms and their families know how to properly take care and behave with this blessing of God which he has bestowed in their house and how to refrain from doing or saying anything that would hurt and cause resentment for the bride and her family.They should fear God in this regard. Recommend

  • gp65

    @I am a Khan: “I cannot understand what made you all angry with this article or with my comments for that matter. This is a very sensible article for new brides, and if even one young bride were to follow this article, it would mean two happy families.”

    You talk about 2 happy families. Does that include happiness of the bride herself? Speaking less and keeping her opinions to herself – is that the route to happiness?
    Can’t speak for others but as a liberal feminist, I am not angry – simply disappointed at some of the advice which pays little attention to the bride’s feelings. I do not believe anyone has said anything about staying with in-laws. But one is going as an individual not as an unpaid servant to the new household and while simple good manners and upbringing would make you treat the elders with respect, expecting the same in return is by no means an unreasonable.Recommend

  • gp65

    @peace: “@Nitish: the rate of divorce might be low in India as you are stating but what is the rate of extra-marital affairs in India? for my curiosity pls.”

    Extra marital affairs are not common in India. DOn’t take Ekta Kapoor serials as your benchmark of life in India.Recommend

  • KS

    What good advice….. For the 1950′s!!! LolRecommend

  • Kiran

    This article makes me sick. Did you know that in Islam a woman is not the slave of her in laws? A woman does not have to live with her in laws or even serve then or take care of them. If she does so it is out of her own good will. A man is supposed to get a seperate house for his wife after marriage if he can afford it. A woman is not at all stopped from going to her parents place or even taking care of them as they are her mother & father. Please author do your research – don’t just reinforce crappy rules made up by our crappy male chauvinist culture. Marriage advise should be for both man and woman and no a wife is not an unpaid servant for the husband and his family. Recommend

  • Syme

    @BlackJack:
    @gp65:
    Yes, It make sense. Thanks.Recommend

  • TS

    After reading this article, no girl would ever want to get married! It is sexist and insulting to the female gender. It is pathetic how the writer lays the entire burden of success of the marriage on the bride, by advising her to conform, please, comply and suppress her individuality. We have enough warped mind sets regarding women in this region without the likes of this writer reinforcing such stereo typical image of a woman. Save the bigoted advice.Recommend

  • Bis

    This blog makes it seem as if the entire onus of making a marriage work falls on the woman. Why is it that she has to mold herself to make her husband, in laws and extended family happy, and has to work so hard simply to be “accepted”.
    Common sense would dictate that the default setting for a new bride would be acceptance, since obviously either the boy or the parents liked the girl to begin with.
    It is incredibly disturbing that young girls are being told to speak less, and not be friendly. I always thought having an opinion and mind of ones own were desirable traits as was having a friendly, pleasant personality.
    What is even more disturbing is the number of people agreeing with the points mentioned in the article.Recommend

  • LA

    Aalia Suleman
    ”A Montessori teacher and a tutor who is keenly interested in examining the status of women in 21st century, Pakistan”. Really now? Are you very sure about the 21st century” bit? Judging from your article, you seem to be shoving your ‘Victorian era’ thoughts down our throats. Look around. Which century are you living in? Recommend

  • Clueless

    “Try not to talk too much or too excessively” , “Yes, it is hard to not visit your parents frequently in the early days of the marriage but do try to keep your maika-visits limited at this time”. How Sexist! Are you sure this article isn’t written by EKTA KAPOOR?Recommend