Counselling

He’s very conservative; how do I change him

Q: I’ve been married for five years. We had an arranged marriage. We just had a baby girl. My in-laws are from a very conservative background. Because of that my husband also has narrow thinking. How to take out my husband from such conservative thinking? It creates an impact on our life together. I try make him understand but he is so rigid that he doesn’t listen to my concerns. Please help me.

A: It can be difficult to live in close quarters and especially in an intimate way when you disagree on basic and fundamental things about life. I understand it might be a struggle. Having said that, I would encourage you think from two angles, are the differences (all of them that bother you) fundamental in nature, and are you being physically forced to accept their point of view and make decisions in your life?

Related reading: Living with criticism from the in-laws

Answers to any of those two questions will make the picture a lot clearer. If the answer is yes for both of them, then I guess you’ll have to work up the courage to get out of the marriage with your daughter. However, if the answer to the questions is no, then too you will have to work up the courage, patience and understanding that they do not have to agree with you on everything, for you to make your own decisions about your life. You have to tell yourself, every now and then, that just because my husband or in-laws do not agree with me, that doesn’t mean I should not choose and be on my own path. Sometimes we may also feel pressured under our own desire to see everyone agree with us, before we begin living our lives.

P.S. With patience, persistence and politeness, work towards moving out of your in-laws’ place, while still being interested in taking care of them.

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