Madhan:   First, we would like to thank Jesus for his love and causing us to be at right places at the right time.

Leema and I were distant family relatives and I first met her in her sister’s wedding. Since then we were in contact through emails, chat and social media. We started enjoying each other’s company and after three years we expressed our love for each other.

Our courtship days were all about love. We wrote letters to each other, sent gifts, made surprise visits, but we seldom met each other. Those meetings were the most precious memories that we cherish even to this date. We decided to get married with our parent’s blessings. We wondered: what if our parents disagree on our relationship. Then it would be difficult for us to convince them, but they agreed and we both were very happy.

As a part of our Indian tradition, our families met to discuss the wedding day preparations. During this meet, there were disagreements on expectations between both the families so much so that they thought of calling off the marriage.

 Leema and I were deeply disappointed on this situation as we never expected it. My parents were adamant that Leema shouldn’t work after marriage, but I already had agreed to let Leema work after marriage. So, I sat with my parents and I explained to them that Leema and I had mutually agreed to work after marriage. My parents finally consented and preparations resumed.

After this experience, as we planned to stay with my parents, Leema and I discussed potential problems that could affect us, like the choice of dresses she could wear, visiting her native place, not following rituals/customs, attending a Pre-Marriage Course together and other matters. We talked about our expectations and came to agree on common grounds regarding certain topics.  We thought that other issues would get resolved after marriage.

Leema:   We attended our Pre-Marriage Course separately. We both didn’t like that arrangement, but it was due to situations into which we were forced. That is when we realized that preparation was not for the wedding day alone, but must be for life after the much-awaited wedding day. We regret not having been able to attend it together.

We thought we were the decision makers for the issues we faced, but after marriage my in-laws made decisions for us and wanted to stick to them, not realizing that we were a budding family ourselves.

With issues starting from the day our families met and accusing one another even after marriage, we couldn’t fully enjoy the initial days after our wedding like we thought or as we had seen in movies.

With post marriage experiences of staying together with in-laws, we think it’s important for couples preparing for marriage to attend PMC together. Also, a pre-marriage counseling with parents could set the expectations right, so parents understand the couples, respect their decisions and guide them to a happy marriage life.

We would like to thank Fr. Arul Raj for giving us this opportunity to share our experiences which we believe could help readers.

 Leema & Madhan Joseph G.