Does marriage change a person?

**For the long rant, blame me not, but PNA :D. Her post prompted me to write it :D**

————–

Let me rephrase it and ask that question to myself. Has marriage changed me? Well, I’d say it will depend on the way I look at change. If it means change in the way I smile then I’d say no, marriage hasn’t changed me. I still smile the same. If it is change in the way I walk, then no again. I still walk the same- very fast! If it means change in my choice of clothes, then no. I like to wear my saris and suits just as much as I love to wear my jeans and tees. And I still wear them, albeit the size has changed though :D.

Thats the kind of change the society normally expects a girl to undergo as soon as she attains the ‘married’ tag, right? She is told, ‘Ok, now that you’re married, this is how you should smile, this is how you should eat, this is how you should sit, this is how you should talk to your husband, this is what you should be wearing,” ” What? Jeans? Nooooo, you should only wear sarees” so on and so forth. She has to endure piercing glares from them if she is heard addressing her own husband by his name and not ‘ettan/chettan** or A-ji, O-ji Sunoji. She is expected to change her approach towards her parents and give more importance to her in-laws. She is even asked to seek permission from them if she wishes to see her parents. Oh yes, I’ve come across households where such norms are practiced.

This is what bothers me. How can the society judge how a marriage should or should not work. Its for the people involved in the relationship to decide isnt it? If I choose to address my husband by his name, does it make me respect him any less? If I spend time with my parents just as much as I do with my inlaws, does it mean that I’m dishonoring my marriage? Or if I choose to put sindoor in my forehead can I claim that I wish for my husband’s well-being more than any other woman wishes for her husband? No. It will be so wrong on my part to even compare my love and respect for my spouse with anybody else. Its a matter of choice and understanding between the people involved. If my family and R’s family know what they mean to us and if R & I know and accept what we mean to our respective families, then I dont think any society can or should tell us how we should make our marriage work.

If thats what changing is then I can safely say I’ve NOT changed one bit. I’m fortunate and blessed to have grown up in a family which hardly paid any attention to these ridiculous societal norms as well as married into a family that didnt care for such norms either.

So when I was married some 10 years back I was accepted along with my giggly smile, my loud laugh, my brisk-walking style and much more. Not once was I made to feel as though I had to change myself. In fact R & my parents-in-law went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and welcome from day one.

My mother-in-law, who hated cooking, used to make my favorite dishes and wait for me to get back from work so she could surprise me! Imagine coming home after a hard day’s work, to the delicious sight of your favorite mutton-curry! When it was the season of mangoes, my father-in-law, who couldn’t stand the sight of the fruit, would go about in search of the ripest mangoes so I could gorge on them.

When my mother-in-law, an ardent follower of Mata Amritanandamayi, expressed a desire to take me to her ashram in Vallikavu, I agreed to go, despite having my own reservations about ‘Amma’ because I felt for someone who cared so much about my happiness, my likes and dislikes, this was the least I could do to make her happy. No I was not forced to change my beliefs, I still maintained my reservations. I went there out of my own will, purely because, to me my mother-in-law’s happiness mattered more than my staunch beliefs. A mother-in-law who cared about my happiness just as much. Believe me, when she was showing me around the ashram, introducing me to her friends there, the glee and excitement that I saw in her eyes is indescribable.

If this is what change is then I’ve no qualms in saying that marriage has changed me. I have become more understanding towards relationships, more tolerant, more patient, more giving. And I can confidently say the same for my husband too. If I, who was a shy meek girl, am molded and pushed by my husband, into becoming this strong bold woman who is much surer of herself and if my husband who was a blunt and rough person, is molded into becoming a more sensitive and thoughtful person, then I’d say this change is totally worth it. If marriage changes you in a positive way, if a husband and wife help each other to grow as a person, then the change should be welcome.Of course it has to be two-ways. You cant expect only one person to change. The other person has to put in just as much effort and care to nurture the relationship.

So if I ask myself again, ‘has marriage changed me as a person’ I’d say it sure has. For the better :)

** In many parts of Kerala, malayali wives address their husbands as Ettan/Chettan as a mark of respect, which in literal sense means big brother

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60 thoughts on “Does marriage change a person?

  1. Exactly my point:) I love the rant :D :P

    We shouldn’t be resistant to change, changes happen to us unknowingly in some instances and by the time we realize it! It’s far too back in history…

    But the conditioning we undergo as citizens of a specific society makes these changes difficult, these days. Rearing differs from home to home, so do value systems and all the paraphernalia associated with it…
    we don’t grow up as those typical individuals!! Society is insistent and we will resist… clash begins!

    D: Exactly, if the society stops chalking out these stereotypical conditions, then it will be so much easier for people and relationships to grow.

    Why can’t the society and by that I mean the people who believe in stereotypes be broad minded to accommodate all the combinations… plurality is wonderful, why stick to just one type and be bored :D

  2. Well I gues it shud not be called a change its shud be called living together you start to do things for the other which you might not otherwise …

    and that is not change thats like I dont know LIVING TOGETHER :)

    i dont know what i am saying duhhhhhhhhhhhh me :)


    D: Bikkyyy, sach bataaoon, I’m a bit confused too :(

    anway congrats for being so good and the family around you excellent :)

    D: Thanks, Bik :)

  3. Aw lucky you. I wasn’t that fortunate, and thinking about the first year gives me the jitters. Marriage changed me too. Made me less innocent and more doubting. Made me less kind and more cruel. But over the years, also made me less expectant (I have absolutely ZERO expectations from people now) and more forgiving.

    D: Awww, I’m sorry P that you had to go through that phase. But when you say you’ve become more forgiving, then I take it as a positive change :). Hugs :)

  4. Brilliant post, Deeps!

    ‘If marriage changes you in a positive way, if a husband and wife help each other to grow as a person, then the change should be welcome.Of course it has to be two-ways. You cant expect only one person to change. The other person has to put in just as much effort and care to nurture the relationship’ Absolutely!

    Infact in a good strong relationship, this is inevitable. Both partners learn from each other. And as you say, such changes are welcome. It is the unnecessary, superficial ones that make no sense.

    After 10 years, I am happy to say that I am not the person I was 10 years ago.We have both learned and picked up stuff from each other.

    D: You know, I was going to mention this particular thing you just said. When someone says ‘I’m the same person he/she married some years ago’ I cant quite understand the meaning behind saying so. I mean how feasible is it to be the same always? A li’l bit of flexibility from both sides is important for any relationship to grow, I feel.

  5. I have changed after marriage.I became more responsible and mature compared to what i was before marriage.All my decision were taken by mom.Initially found it very difficult to take a small decision cause i was totally dependent on mom but slowly we both together started taking decisions.

    Husband gives me much space and never ever impose his decision on me,if the decision has to be taken it has to be a collective decision.Once i remember my m-law said you talk to ur husband as ur friend not as husband,maybe she wanted me to attach ji after his name i don’t know but in my inlaws house they never call each other by relation(bor,sis,sis-inlawect) but by names (initially i found it odd)

    D: Excellent, Sari! I can see how beautifully your marriage has shaped up. Touchwood!

  6. I totally agree with hwat you say! :D
    And what CB says – change for the better is always good and if change changes one to be a better person – then yay! :)

    And really?! girls are expected to call their husbands brother?!! :lol:

    D: Ha ha, yes in some parts of kerala girls do address their husbands that way. I guess the reason for that lies in the age-old practice of marriages happening within families. In fact marriage between first cousins is a common and acceptable norm among hindu malayalis.

  7. Almost ditto on the kind of changes you’ve gone through post marriage…and yes it feels good to realize that one doesn’t has to go through changes like the way one talks,walks or whatever.

    But ironically we are talking here about few of us blessed souls who just have to go through this ‘positive’ change !!

    Even today majority of the households practice the changes that you’ve mentioned in the second para of the post…the ‘bahu’ tag has to be exercised in the way it used to be in old times :(

    What breaks my heart is married women who are educated also have to go through such norms and they ‘have’ to succumb to these ‘changes’ compulsorily..educated women who can stand for themselves usually give up on their own and sometimes are made to give up..that’s ridiculous !

    It is. And so saddening also when women are forced to change. It becomes so difficult to make any relationship work when the element of force or imposing comes in, isnt it?

    But such is law of nature..everything and everyone can’t be happy…the balance has to be there and hence some are happy and go through only positive changes and the remaining go through hell of changes :(

    P.S. calling one’s husband like an elder brother :?: :roll:

    D: Ha ha, yes and the reason, like I mentioned to Pixie, lies in the age old practice of marriages happening within families where its an accepted norm to get first cousins married to each other :)

    • hmm have heard this whenever I even try to slightly imagine….*shudder* you know getting married to your first cousin and all that…sigh ! we and our traditions :D

  8. Knocking on wood! Marriage should bring out the best in the other person for sure.
    I dont think marriage changes a person: It makes a person grow. The more years one spends in marriage, the more mature the person gets in addition, age has a lot to do with it- we get moer tolerant and more acceptable of choices.
    Marriage changed/ enhanced me very subtle ways

    http://gnsd.blogspot.com/2011/01/are-you-softy-or-toughie.html


    D: “Marriage should bring out the best in the other person for sure. ” Precisely! Will hop over soon to read your post, Garima :)

  9. Bingo! A good marriage is all about bringing out the best in the other person. Congratulations. :D

    D: ” A good marriage is all about bringing out the best in the other person. ” Couldnt agree more.

  10. Simply loved it…
    I’m happily unmarried for now so don’t know how things would change for me but yes as long as change is for better and positive, its more than welcome… :)

    D: I’m glad you feel that way, Tanishka :)

  11. Deeps, Lovely post, yes, marriage does change a person, it depends how marriage treats you,mostly when the marriage is a good one , it is a big factor in changing one into a positive person.

    D: True, Rekha..the marriage has to be a good one where both parties give each other enough care and space to grow into a better person :)

  12. So nice of u and ur family Deeps. God bless u with such strongest of bonds ever :)
    Sweet post :)

    D: Aww, thank you Swaram. Hope you’re feeling well now :)

  13. i completely agree with u
    and ur in laws seem so much like mine! and yea, like you said, its always a 2 way process! May God bless u with many more years of wedded bliss!

    D: Thank you Amrita :)

  14. God bless u and ur wonderful mil !!! :) :)

    Such a lovely rant and I totally agree…as u said, I too have changed for the better, on my accord and nothing is forced. That gives us a sense of belonging, where no one tells us what to do, yet we do things for them. Sensitivity towards other’s needs too have increased for me and I feel glad to be of help to the near and dear ones, who do so much for me, coming from in-laws side. :)

    D: “That gives us a sense of belonging, where no one tells us what to do, yet we do things for them.” Exactly. When you do something for others, be it your family or friends, from your heart and not out of force, those gestures become so much more worthwhile.

    Ums, can imagine how glad you must be, to be there for your near and dear ones when they need you the most :)

  15. You’ve said it all. I don’t have much to add. It’s strange the way people expect you and your life to change once you’re married. I did a similar rant on my blog a while ago :)

    D: You did? Can you share the link? Would love to read it :)

  16. i guess this rant will drive home with all married men/women out there…yes marriage does call for changes ..best changes are the ones which are not forced upon rather like you said done because you care for the other person ..

    Sadly there are many cases because of in-laws pressure ,husband pressure or society pressure women sometimes have to keep on following so called society norms

  17. To me marriage is all about change.. but i think things like “Dont all your husband by his name” or wear a sari or wearing sindoor doesnt make any sense these days.. but i have to tell you that mils of some of my friends still expect such things..As for me,the first few years of marriage,everyone stared at me when i called G by his name .. but now they’ve accepted the fact that I care two hoots about their opinions :-) .

  18. Have not read the post… but a marriage certainly changes a person… now I cant sleep alone on the whole bed… I have to share it :( Also I cant keep it messy any more… I have to keep things in its place ! thats so very boring ! :|

    I cant be out till 3-4 in the night alone with my friends at some highway dhaba rowdying… :( :( :( :cry:

    No longer do I go to my friends house at midnight to burst crackers at their house when they are sleeping coz even they are now married :( :(

    I cant now get linked to so many hot hot babes around… sigh… DOUBLE SIGH !!!! Also the babes think I m safe material now… which so sucks :(

    I have become such a doting husband… I go to shopping now !!!! I even learnt to buy guava’s !!!!! would you believe that !!!

  19. hmmm..Brat-ettan?? hmmmm…Count-ettan?? bahhhh!!!!
    Thts sounds terrible!!!! Blehh!! :evil:
    No way im gonna let anyone add tht extra ‘ettan’ on my super cool name!! YUCK!! I would slap her* if she calls me anything like tht!:evil:

    Anyway wht do u think abt me deepsamma? Do u think i will ever grow up? :( :roll:

    * UFO :Unidentified Future ‘Oife’ of brat :mrgreen:

  20. This is the most touching and beautiful post I have ever come across.. It is written such beautifully that I was totally engrossed in reading it and didn’t even realize it such a long write up..Wow!! U r one lucky soul to have such good in-laws and understanding husband..Touch wood..May God bless u..

  21. more than 90% of people are not so fortunate to have such an understanding family on either of the sides!

    *touchwood* you have found such household on both the sides :)

  22. So if I ask myself again, ‘has marriage changed me as a person’ I’d say it sure has. For the better
    Not everyone is as lucky. But ideally yes that should be the scenario. Most of the time girls have to do things against their will, which is sad…

  23. Gosh-talk about change! I think I have a completely different personality. Husband+in-laws+motherhood+ responsibilities + compulsions-and you have a completely different chemical composition. Is it for the better? Oh yes-I never knew I could be so patient!

  24. more than marriage i guess the incoming of the baby changes u a lot from a carefree person to a more responsible one but again I agree with u its definitely is for better

  25. Gr8 write up!! And u r indeed lucky to have got such good in-laws…most of the times things change for a woman when she sees a remarkable difference between her parents n in-laws. I hope i am able to tell this 10 yrs from now when i look back at my marriage. *fingers crossed*

  26. I have become more understanding towards relationships, more tolerant, more patient, more giving..this is what a marriage needs, rest everything is not important and are perpheral..this is core..central.

  27. My first time here . Well , im not married yet . But being 24, my friends and family are talkin to me about it . But i have my own views and reservations about it . Im not ready for it yet . Not ready to handle the responsibilities that come with it . Kinda scared actually. But your write up kinda went in my favour . I mean , i feel a wee bit less scared now . I found another case where in laws are understanding . I knew only a couple of such cases . Nice reading this . Nice blog . Take care .

  28. Dear All,
    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on the post. and also for checking on me :). Welcome to all those who visited this space for the first time. Glad to have you all over here :). Apologies for this delayed response. I have been away for way too long, I know. And I owe you all an explanation.

    Things had been a little rough my end as my father was not well and I was not in the right frame of mind to reply to comments or even update my blog.

    By God’s grace, he is recouping well and life is beginning to look up once again. However, I’m yet to bring myself to writing again but I hope I’m able to soon.

    Looking forward to visiting your pages and reading your posts :).

    Keep blogging!

    • Thank you, dear :). Yes he is progressing, although not as fast as he should. Praying hard that he gets well and is up and about soon:)

  29. Oh dear !!! Hope he is all fine and healthy now. Hugs to u.

    I just came to remind u that u needed to post and see this msg here….take care. Hugs. :)

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