India in all its eccentricities, still believes in joint families. At least, the bulk of the population- the average middle class, for good or bad, still enjoys the comfort of family members being around (not to generalise). However, joint family, with all its pros and cons, fare hard on married couples and their intimacy. Even staying with in-laws, for that matter, hinder quality time. Or so, we thought!
This Quora thread posed the same situations and the collective answers to ‘How do married couples in India living with parents or joint families get time for intimacy?’ will change your perspective in more than one ways.
1. Point well made!
It’s always not about sex which you think while being close to your partner after marriage. A small help to your spouse, a small gift or even just keeping bed ready when she is less expecting makes the partner feel good. Even a small rose will get a beautiful smile on your wife’s face.
In a family, parents do understand you and quick kisses and touches are always there. Couples have to be romantic enough to find their way. There is no formula to achieve it.
Parents have been through this situation so they understand you better and always share you more freedom than what they had during their time. Over the generations there is change and it is well accepted by them 🙂 Parents give enough time for the new couple to be together as initial days after marriage are the crucial ones where the bonding starts well. And making love adds the calmness and trust building between both the partners.
2. Because intimacy isn’t just SEX!
I am a married person living in a joint family for the past 2 years. We have a tiny room for ourselves thankfully, but it is still very very different from what it would have been, had me and my husband stayed away from the family. There are of course two sides to the coin. Yes, your intimacy suffers. You cannot be as close to your spouse as you would like to be during the day. Intimacy isn’t just sex, it’s also about cuddling, small pecks, hugging, etc. And these other things matter a lot, especially for women. Plus, you cannot sit in the bedroom with doors and windows closed when the family is home and awake. Even after lights out, you cannot explore your sexuality fully as there’s a possibility of some noise. You end up doing the necessary stuff quietly and go off to sleep. The solution to this is taking weekend trips to nearby places or sending the family to overnight picnics.
P.S. I cannot place enough emphasis on the happiness you get in one big family 🙂
3. This one takes the award home!
Since my wife works I don’t want her to burden with my wishes when she comes home tired. Work takes a toll. We have all the time and all the space but the craving to intimacy has seriously gone down. I also think with age and times it changes it form too. At times to celebrate our independence we lie in two different bedrooms sometimes due to work sometimes due to arguments.When I go to my home on festivals, I enjoy every second of stay there, the life seems so enjoyable the presence of extended family, you get choices in food, you can eat whatever you wish anytime, the work is shared, for a change you enjoy the cacophony. We are so engrossed in joy and happiness of being with family that we forget about Intimacy. It’s expressed in warm hugs, soft touches and eye contacts.
4. And that’s how you define a modern day marriage!
I have experienced both the situations and I can hardly differentiate between both the situations. Basically I live with my husband, however, my parent-in-laws comes to live with us for a month or so in a year. But for that month I don’t need to sacrifice my short skirts or for that matter my usual clothing style, because my MIL wants me to be comfortable as for her I should change my stuff because of her presence. Also, my husband and I enjoy all those kisses, cuddling etc. in presence of my PIL as our relationship is so much comfortable, that if by any chance I’m angry with my husband for some reason, my MIL will ask my husband to spend more time with me. And they understand our privacy so they opt for a long evening walk or they use to sit in our society park to give us more space.
It is just that you and your husband have to be extremely friendly with your parents. And you have to make them understand that times have changed and they have to change their mindset too.
5. The most sensible of the lot!
6. When experience speaks!
Barring many exceptions of present day youngsters majority of people of my generation had faced this issue. I won’t call it a problem, though!
Yes…initially it is embarrassing..while everyone is watching TV both of you just get up (one after the other with a few minutes gap!) and go to your bedroom and close the door as noiselessly as you can. Oil those squeaky door latches well so that they don’t attract avoidable attention. Actually, it is more embarrassing if there are teenagers or young unmarried adults in the family.
Then go on with your life as silently as possible. Please do remember that other members of the family especially elders do understand the situation well and they also cooperate by either going to sleep early themselves etc. And it becomes a “normal” thing after few months!
I don’t know about you but I’m going keep some of these safe in a box while, I think out of it. Courtesy- These lovely Quora answers! 🙂
Few answers have been slightly edited for brevity and clarity