Women and Relationships – Managing the Three Essentials

How Women strike a balance between marriage, relationships and family

Neha Khanna felt her world crumbling around her. At 27, she had been married for two years, but had never realized how difficult it would be to strike a balance between her marriage, family and various other relationships she had built beyond her family realm. In these two years, she was always disappointing someone-either her husband was complaining, or she was being reprimanded by her parents and siblings for not being her old self, or her friends felt that she did not care for them anymore. Today couldn’t have been worse, as her husband had given her an ultimatum-that she would have to choose between him and her other relationships. He was upset that she was always running to attend a function at a friend’s place, help her brother with his homework, be with her parents each time they had visitors…the list was endless. Hence, he returned to any empty home day after day, never being able to enjoy a quiet meal with her, or think of brining a friend home because he was never sure whether she would be there. He had tried to be supportive all along but demands on her time from others kept on increasing. Could he blame her for being uncaring towards him? Probably not, because when they were together he could not doubt her affections. Perhaps she was unable to draw the line and decide where she had to stop, put her foot down and say no to friends and family. Neha sat with her head in her hands, thinking-blessed are those who manage to preserve all relationships, have a wonderful equation with their husbands, continue in the same manner with the family, and keep friends happy too. Where was she going wrong? Why was her life turning out to be such a mess? And why did things come to such a pass that she had to face a day like today?

Marriage is a crucial step in every individual’s life, with women having to, almost always, relocate to an environment that is different from what they have grown up in, where systems and the method of accomplishing even simple tasks is different. But women have to step into married life with the ability to adjust and adapt, accommodate and give in, yield but retain their identity, and even exercise self-control to not retort at an unreasonable comment just to maintain peace at home. They have to master the technique of being gentle yet firm, remain completely in control rather getting swayed with emotion, and learn to accomplish everything with a smiling face. A woman must try and start on the right foot from day one, devote time to husband, the home, in-laws and their extended relationships. Time management skills and prioritizing tasks will help her immensely in keeping her new family happy.

Complications arise when children enter the world. Here again, no matter how demanding parenthood might be, a system of taking out time for the spouse has to be evolved, since the new role of mother does not absolve her of her duties and responsibilities as a wife. No matter how understanding the partner may be, secret expectations remain, which when fulfilled strengthen the bonds of marriage.

For the working woman, the task is even harder, since demands at the workplace make things tougher. The need then is for greater planning and effective management because time constraints are high. The working woman is forced to give up on a lot of things and activities that she likes. She needs to spend quality time with her children and husband, manage a home so that it is a welcoming nest to return to, and juggle the endless chores involved in day-to-day living. Eventually then, in many cases, women tend to neglect friends and colleagues, cousins and siblings, who complete the circle of their relationships, have a lot of fun with, but are not tied to them by the strings of responsibility and duty. Meeting up with them remains a desire left unfulfilled. However, a few small gestures like a phone call, remembering birthdays and anniversaries, of all these people, go a long way in sustaining these lifelong relationships.

Successful are those who have mastered the fine art of managing relationships. These women are able to prioritize their work, cut out frivolous chores, spend quality time with everyone they are close to, and walk the tight rope of maintaining relationships. Successful women are also able to draw a line between reasonable and unreasonable demands of family and marriage, define boundaries so that the needs of the spouse are met but with limits set. As in everything else, commitment and sincerity must be transparent. Women may also find that they have forgotten to just while away time or be idle even for a minute.

Happy marriages do not involve couples perpetually glued to each other, but those who spend fulfilling moments together. It takes years of companionship to reach a high level of understanding, sensing the needs of the spouse and being there to share not just the joys of success, but also the worries and anxieties that might be weighing on his mind. Families are tied by the closest bonds of love and these are strengthened by the woman’s contributions. This holds true for all other relationships as well. Women form the fulcrum of the family, and envelop the whole family in their love and care, always thinking beyond themselves.

Thus women need to be perfect human managers. All the women who manage relationships successfully reveal an intense understanding of human character at all ages and at all levels. In all their actions are mirrored the finest human values like sincerity, humility, gentleness and their ability to be firm with the young without being harsh or cruel, love and commitment to their well being conspicuous in all their actions. It is these virtues that help them forge the most successful relationships.