Getting married is a life-changing event, one that’s filled with excitement, and sometimes anxiety too. Not only are you embarking on a new journey with your spouse, but also discovering new relationships and yourself in the process. In exchange for the array of responsibilities that come along with being a wife, you shouldn’t start overlooking the bond that runs deep with your parents as their daughter. For most parents of daughters in India, marriage is bittersweet. While they’re thrilled to see their baby girl find the man she’s going to spend her life with, her move away from the house she grew up in can be heartbreaking. Your departure can often leave them feeling lonely and empty, with their lives struggling to move forward to a world without you always in it (24×7 in the house).
So, before you understand how to stay connected with them and help them through the transition, let’s look into what really changes in the relationship as an effect of you moving away.
Key Changes In Your Relationship With Your Parents After Marriage
Your relationship with your parents is bound to change after you get married. Here’s how it may affect you and them.
1. No Longer Your Emotional Support
Since marriage is an institution in itself, your priorities are bound to change. For long your parents had been your major emotional support and vice versa, but that might not be the case anymore. After you get married, your spouse becomes the main source of support and your parents may stop confiding in you, so as to not burden you with their problems. Also, because you’re not living in the same house, you may not know of all the little incidents that take place, which you would have earlier been privy to.
2. You Start Understanding Self-Reliance
You’re leaving your nest and settling in a new home. As a married person, things that were taken care of by your parents may now fall directly upon you. This could mean money management, cleaning the home, taking care of domestic help, balancing time with work and family, keeping in touch with relatives, organizing gifts for festivities and so on. You learn to be more self-reliant when you get married and this should be treated as an important and welcomed change. You stop relying on your parents and become both financially and psychologically independent. Parents may often worry and follow up to see if you’re doing okay, managing well, and need help.
3. Creation Of No-Go Zones
Most of the time, no-go zones get created automatically after marriage. For example, financial issues become one such zone as you and your spouse handle all your finances and generally wouldn’t like outside interference. This means you’ve to set up boundaries with your parents regarding your personal finances. There are chances where your parents might have given some advice on jobs, lent you some money, invested on your behalf, provided a share in the family business, or even set up a house buying fund. This involvement can to some degree cause tension between you and your spouse, or sometimes even between both the entire families.
4. Physical Boundaries Are Natural
Your parents are used to seeing you most of the time. After marriage, you and your spouse’s time naturally becomes more significant for each other. If you find your parents suddenly popping in unannounced or overstaying their welcome, this might make things between you and your partner quite uncomfortable. You need to focus on spending private time together, which can already be scarce with commitments to relatives on both sides, work, hobbies, home chores and so on. This change where you can’t see each other all the time is hard on both parties, you and your parents, but it’s absolutely natural and soon you will find yourself enjoying the division of space as your closeness with your partner flourishes.
Staying Connected With Mumma & Papa
Despite the changes, there are many small ways in which you can keep the bond with your parents going strong even after marriage.
1. Make Time To Catch Up With Them
Get into the habit of turning to your husband first regarding any problems you face and ask your husband to do the same. This creates a sense of trust and support between the partners. However, your parents don’t need to feel left out. Make time for coffee, lunch or dinner with your parents at least once in two weeks. You can even make it a habit to video call them every weekend when you’re truly free and can talk so that they can see you and discuss everything that’s on their mind.
2. Meet Each Other As Equals
Since there is much more stability in terms of psychological and financial independence, it’s time your parents get to know the ‘new’ you. One of the crucial points in maintaining a healthy relationship with your parents would be to meet each other as equals. Once they see how much you’ve grown and how self-reliant you are, the conversations may change. They may feel more comfortable discussing their own financial woes and emotional troubles because they can now see you as an adult and not their little girl. This transition helps you connect with them on a very mature level where there’s a newfound openness between you and your parents.
3. Don’t Let The Physical Boundaries Become Emotional Boundaries
As mentioned, it’s important to set physical boundaries after marriage but ensure your parents don’t ever end up feeling completely out of the loop. Bring them to participate in the big events and changes in your life. Let them know when you’re deciding something consequential, not for input, but to simply keep them in the know. This will help them understand that they matter very much to you, but that you’re just a grown-up now and need to make your own choices.
4. Work Out Insecurities Together
There are times certain issues boil down to the insecurities on your parent’s part as they begin to adjust to your new dynamic. The best thing for you to do would be to work out the insecurities together. Offer plenty of reassurance that you’re not going anywhere and be there for them during hours of need without them coming and asking you for help every time. Make sure to be loving and positive at all times. Sometimes even the most well-intentioned gestures can become a point of contention between you and your parents. So sit together and work it out like responsible adults.
5. Seek Their Wisdom
Seeking wisdom from parents in times of need doesn’t mean you are surrendering your right to make a final decision. There may be times when you’re stuck at a point where you need their insight. It’s not wrong to seek their wisdom since, after all, they are your parents and have much more life experience. They know you better than anyone and might even provide you with insight that’s escaping your mind because you’re feeling too emotional.
And these are just some of the many ways to stay connected to your parents after marriage. Do share how you’ve managed to keep the bond strong in the comments below.