Love, Advice

5 awful pieces of marriage advice from Desi aunties to ignore for your sanity

I did not marry an emotionally lazy man who needs me to change him, thank you very much.

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After the excitement around my wedding began to die down, I realized something: getting married never meant that criticisms and ridiculous statements were over.

Advice now came in the form of aunties telling me how I should live my life even in marriage. While all of this is well-meaning, I really could not help but find myself a bit irritated when they tried to rain on my parade of building my own marriage.  I previously wrote about some relevant advice I have heard. Here’s the stuff that isn’t as relevant.

1. Have children as soon as possible so that your husband can “learn responsibility”

joking season 2 GIF by Outlander
[Image Description: Character on “Outlander” asking “you’re kidding, right?”] via Giphy

No. Nobody should have children for this reason – ever.

It sounds manipulative.

I would hope that I did not marry an irresponsible man in the first place to have to teach responsibility. The first few years of a marriage is the time of getting to really know your partner on a different level, especially if you never lived together before. While we may never know everything about a person (which is also part of the secret to long-term desire, according to Esther Perel), that time is crucial to preparing for children.

2. After you have children, that role will fulfill you and you will not care so much about your romantic or sexual relationship

funny sex GIF
[Image Description: A couple banging on the walls and screaming to pretend they are having crazy sex.] via Giphy

What? So, all of my sexual desire will just go away?

And then what, I fall into the vicious cycle of looking to my children as a source of happiness?

I would hope that I did not marry an irresponsible man in the first place to have to teach responsibility. Click To Tweet

I understand that children can be an immense source of happiness for many people, but that type of attachment seems unhealthy. It is no wonder South Asian culture has some intensely infantile mother and son relationships that continue till after a son has gotten married.

3. It is your job as a woman to help instill the values, morals, and tradition of religion and culture into your husband

bollywood GIF
[Image Description: Deepika Paudokone in “Padmavati” bring her hands into a prayer position.] via Giphy

I never understood this one and why. I could never be responsible for someone else’s spiritual or journey, especially my husband.

That said, we got together because we had similar values.

We realize that we may not agree on everything, but we agree on the fundamentals which we both are confident will help us raise decent human beings when we get to that point. But to have cultural weight placed on my shoulders to maintain it all for the both of us is beyond me. We both influence each other positively. We also both have flaws that only we can change ourselves.

Maybe my husband has a different way of doing things, but sometimes that also means I need to step back and let him do it Click To Tweet

I did not marry an emotionally lazy man who needs me to change him, thank you very much.

4. You cannot expect your husband to do housework or take care of your kids the way you would

monkey chores GIF
[Image Description: A gif of a chimpanzee ironing clothes.] via Giphy

Right.

So, I should internalize the idea the idea that housework is women’s work only.

This is precisely why women across cultures are fed up with the emotional labor burdens placed on their shoulders. Maybe my husband has a different way of doing things, but sometimes that also means I need to step back and let him do it.

Guess what. He figures it out.

I prefer that over a new generation of men who devalue household work and caregiving by only paying it lip service.

5. Your husband cannot be anything like your father

advice GIF
[Image Description: Ron Swanson from “Parks and Recreation” recommending alcohol on someone’s mouth to make sure words don’t come out] via Giphy

Okay, this needs to stop. Like now.

My father played a different role in my life from my husband. I am grateful for having an amazing father figure, but, um, hello, plenty of women in this world did not have the best dads. These are the women who get the butt of ridiculous “daddy issue” jokes in popular media, which is already problematic. Regardless, my husband is my husband. My dad was my dad. End of story.

While I still have to hold myself from grabbing my hair, I have found my peace in disagreeing without being contentious. Click To Tweet

While I still have to hold myself from grabbing my hair, I have found my peace in disagreeing without being contentious.

Saba Danawala

Saba Danawala

Writing yogi and traveler immersed in all issues public health and social justice. Transplanted to Pakistan by way of DC, New Delhi, and Texas. Seasoned in the game of questioning systematic gender and social norms. Pragmatically idealizes a world populated with more self-aware and empathetic human beings.

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