Guide to Healthy Family Dynamics in Marriage

Guide to Healthy Family Dynamics in Marriage

By-Surya Pillai

In the past, it was commonly believed that marriage was not just a union between two individuals, but also between two families. This notion holds true in Indian culture, as it is often considered the responsibility of children to care for their parents. In many cases, it is expected that newlyweds live with their in-laws, emphasizing the importance of harmony and cooperation between both families.

In the realm of building relationships, men and women often possess contrasting viewpoints. Men typically bond more effortlessly with other men than with women. Even within a familial setting, men may find it easier to connect with one another. Nevertheless, the relationship between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law can present unique challenges. It is important to acknowledge that both kind-hearted and considerate mothers-in-law, as well as respectful and loving daughters-in-law, are present. The cornerstone of a successful relationship between a mother and daughter-in-law lies in cultivating mutual respect.

A key tip for a healthy relationship with in-laws is to refrain from demanding that the other person treats us like their own mother or daughter. Assuming that the other person will naturally empathize with and conform to our actions is just naive. Respecting each other’s personal space is typically preferred. Consequently, trying to lecture or scold one another may backfire.

Another concern is the fear that the other person will replace us in the family hierarchy. A mother will always hold a special place as a parent, and the same goes for a wife. Asserting dominance over someone else’s authority can cause discord within the family dynamic.

Making decisions on their behalf is a common mistake in numerous families. The titles of ‘Daddy’s Princess’ and ‘Mother’s Precious’ should be cherished within us but not wielded to control their personal lives. They are capable of making their own choices as adults. It is important that we refrain from pressuring them into blindly following our commands.

In a relationship that stems from marriage, it is important to acknowledge that our role is based on the institution of marriage, which can be dissolved. We could potentially be substituted by someone else. Those we hold dear could easily grow distant and unfamiliar to us. Nothing is forever, including relationships.

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