Nowadays, a joint family system is rare to see but in some cultures, such as the Pakistani culture, it is still a prominent tradition. When two people get married, it is a simultaneous union of two families. Generally, the bride goes to live with the husband and therefore his family. With this comes the responsibility and expectation to take care of the family as a whole.
Of course, all of this is preplanned and explicit, so no surprises. However, it is not an easy transition to live by. Getting to know your significant other might be a fun process because there is love involved, but getting to know the family and being on their good side is a whole other story.
Here are some tips to survive a joint family system:
1. Respect everyone’s space.
No one likes a clingy or nosy family member, especially if you’re a stranger— so to speak; a new addition to the house. Keep your distance and only get involved in situations when it is absolutely pertinent. If you respect people’s space, they should extend you the same courtesy, which should give you exactly what you need as well: space.
2. Individually create a bond with everyone.
It may not be so difficult for an extrovert to create a bond with people as it may be for an introvert. However, both types of people should attempt to create a private bond with each family member in the household. There is a balance that needs to be struck between giving someone space and befriending them to an extent of comfort. That balance may be better understood if a friendship was developed. Animosity will only stress you out.
3. Have kids.
It may sound strange, but kids are magical. For a grandparent or aunt or uncle to see the offspring of their sibling is special. It automatically strengthens the bond between everyone because kids bring hearts together.
4. Love your partner and yourself.
It may seem like you are the only one trying to make adjustments and that’s okay. You have to remember that you love your partner and your partner makes it all worth it. And love yourself because you know that even though you are making strides to make things work, at the end of the day, your blood, sweat, and tears are all for your benefit and hopefully a long life of friendships and love.
5. Stay positive.
It is very easy to say, “Why should I try?” and give up. It is very easy to become selfish. But selfishness never brought any positivity or happiness. If you put in effort without complaining or feeling burdened, it is better for your own mental and physical health.
Life has so much to offer us and we don’t take advantage of it because we get stuck in the petty things that doesn’t matter in the long run. We burn ourselves out so much that we forget to live in the moment. We forget ourselves in trying to make other people happy, but sometimes that is a necessity. Finding the balance between your happiness and the happiness of others is the purest joy of all.