A young lady got married into a well settled family. She comes from a small family, she has only a brother. She married into a small family, her husband has only one sister. The wedding was grand, the feast that followed was well appreciated by all. Since it was held in a different city, not in the native place of both the families, relatives from both sides visited from their villages. It was an opportunity for all the relatives to take in the city and do some shopping, too.
They soon settled into their marital life. The young man is employed abroad, so they left for their home. When she visited her in-laws, the mother-in-law noticed certain behavior patterns which was not followed in her family. You see, the new bride was busy waiting on her husband.
Now this young woman has seen her mother wait on her father. The father wants his food served to him, he will not help himself. He will not eat any left over food, he wants all his food cooked fresh. The mother is a working woman, but does not protest at the extra jobs she has to do. So this young woman felt this is the role of a wife. She carried this assumption into her marital home.
Her husband did not object. Which man will? He is being treated like a master, his food is being served to him. He does not have to help himself. But her mother-in-law did not like this pattern. She has raised her children to be independent. There is no waiting by one on another. She does not believe in a girl waiting on the menfolk in the family.
If there are guests, yes, they need to be offered food. They need to be waited on, if they are elderly and traditional. But within the family, it was frowned upon. The elderly lady told her daughter-in-law that she can set the dining table, keep all food ready on it but sit down with the rest of the family and eat. No hovering around serving her husband. And the elderly couple too did not expect to be waited upon.
The young lady found this to be different from her home. She seems to have adapted to this; but she must have been disturbed in the beginning. Her assumption about the role of a wife is what she has seen her mother play. She carried the rituals of her parents’ marriage into her marriage. She is not wrong, neither is her mother-in-law. It is that different homes have different rituals, patterns and behaviors.
Normally this is what happens in marriages. The girls and boys bring their parents’ marriage template into their marriages. If the templates kind of match, there is not much upheaval. But if they are diametrically opposites, then conflicts could arise. But if one spouse likes the behavior pattern of the partner, if it suits him/her even though it is different from what he/she is used to, then also there is no conflict.
The couples need to watch and observe the patterns of the homes they enter. They can retain some of their assumptions, adapt some of their inherited family’s pattern and make their own too. Their marriage needs their joint imprint. It need not be the clone of one or both their parents’ marriages.
Your marriage is your own to establish the way you want it to be. As long as both of you are in sync, any new pattern can be set. Whatever you choose should not disturb your partner. It can be a lot of fun, setting your rules, selecting your beliefs and values and building your rhythm.
Of course you will need to periodically check if your values and beliefs need changing. If you are rigid, then you will not be truly happy. Also when you have children, then you will be bombarded with lots of advice and opinions from all over. Here too you need to be in sync, both of you need to be aware of what parenting style you need to adapt. And you need to be on your feet, what works one time will not work at another.
As time changes, you will change. Outside influences too will impact your personality. You will grow as a person, (hopefully) and so you will realize changes need to be incorporated into your lifestyle and attitude. Seeing you adapt to changes positively, your children will learn their lessons in life.
So do not try to copy your parental marriage. What worked for them, need not work for you. What works for you, need not work for another. Make your own identity and in major issues, try and be in sync.