Living as a Nuclear Family: Not Always a Rosy Picture


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Sadaf Farooqi is an award-winning blogger, freelance writer and home-schooling mother of three.

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“I have reached the end of my patience. My in-laws know that I now want to live separately. However, my husband cannot afford the rent of accommodation near his parents’ home, and he doesn’t want to move far from them.”

It is natural for a married couple to desire the autonomy and privacy afforded by living as a nuclear family, which is not always there when they share accommodation with extended family members.

Living in what is known as a “joint family” setup involves considerable compromise of a married couple’s independence, privacy, and living space. They often need to live in a single room with their small children for years.

Living in a joint family more often than not totally kills the spontaneity in a married couple’s sexual relationship because they cannot be intimate anywhere besides their bedroom, or at any time of the day besides night time, and that too only when their children have fallen asleep. Many a time, I listen to sisters living in joint families express their justified desire to move out into a separate home for this very reason.

However, what they do not always realize because of their lack of experience in living independently is that living as a nuclear family is not always the rosy picture that it seems to be.

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