An email: “I said I would look for second marriage with following conditions.”

Sharing an email from 31 year old.

Subject: Can you please help me organize my thoughts.

Hi IHM,

SORRY FOR SUPER LONG MAIL. I find you and the blog being one among the most interactive and thought provoking blogs i have come across.
This mail may sound very immature for a 31 year old but i am feeling totally confused and helpless these days. Fear, insecurity and uncertainty is not allowing me to live in peace. I am creating problems to my mom also. I cry loudly out of fear and condition is getting bad and want to put myself on right track before it gets worse. I tend to cry and shiver badly if i discuss this in person . And i hate myself to be seen seen crying by others.Please do not think I am some mad lady who has lost her sense. I request you to please let me know where I am being wrong. If you fee this can be published on your blog and can get some more point of views…. I need help and practical guidance.

I am from South India. I belong to a middle class family. I lost my father at the age of 6. Since then, my mother brought me up well in all terms. I am basically a science graduate with MBA degree in correspondence. I work for a pvt company and earn around 3 lakh annually currently. I am curious to understand anything good around me and much open to adopt it in my life if it can be applicable.

I look extremely ordinary and simple. I may appear like a dumb fool also to many. I have been overweight from past 5 years and working on it occasionally. (I know i am lazy) I converse to people with matching wavelength in detail but i am smart enough to handle the remaining people on day to day basis. (Mentioning this as i did not want to sound insane.) Since, i started working have been quite independent financially and have been working on financial requirements of my house.Life remains peaceful till the marriage topic begins.

I got married at 26 in 2008. The marriage turned out to be a disaster on its second day, as my husband said that he married just to win some challenge and out of pressure as his cousins and friends were married. I tried my level best to make it survive from 6 months using all possible brain, patience and skills i had and could think of. But no use. Later, i lost my job due to recession after 4 months of marriage, he announced that he will continue to remain irresponsible, emotionless, needless and totally unconcerned towards me. My presence or absence did not matter him absolutely but when there were neighbors /relative or guests visiting his home the family wanted me to be present and actively participate and show off. I could not take it for long. He finally gave me 2 options of staying there like a show piece or divorce. I chose the second one and came out for it with mutual consent. I had good support from my family during my bad times. I am great full for everything. I never saw a single day with a peaceful mind. I was financially independent. I would get gifts for him on my salary day for the family. The Parker pen which i gifted was deliberately used to sign the divorce document. And i was thinking that marriage is all about mutual understanding, emotional support, giving, learning, security, stability to learn its gamble and illusion. Anyway..it was an arranged marriage. Things were blocked and i was not smart enough to understand and stop it at right time.
Now the major part is…I have learnt enough from this marriage. I have heard of marriages going even more wrong and felt that i am more fortunate to escape from the emotional torture and insecurity i went through. I do not have a positive outlook for marriage anymore. Its 5 years i have been fighting this. Now i do feel lonely at times but the fear of another marriage heals my loneliness. I just want to remain safe. My mother is struggling to convince me to for next marriage. I can see the pain and helplessness in her but i am just unable to trust new people anymore. I am loosing trust on myself gradually. Sensible people wants me to come up with alternate plans for my life if i am not getting married. I am unable to put in some thought there also. Things are on safer side now. But how long can things be the same way.

So I said that I would look for second marriage with following conditions -

1. He should have a decent personality and ability to mingle with people and converse responsibly. I meant without much reservations an ability to maintain healthy social life. Should have decent blend of modern and conservative family values. A balanced outlook to negotiate with ups and downs of life.

2. The guy should not be a business man but an employee with a decent job with stability. (I have some reservations due to uncertainties with business family)

3. Should be physically, socially, psychologically ,economically healthy with ability to respect my values without domination. ( I am not looking for richness but financial stability) Mutually thought wavelength should be matching and should have enough room to get better.

4. Should have a healthy, clean and a transparent lifestyle with fair vision for future.

5. I want to stay in this city only and not interested in distance relations where there is need of living separately.

6. Should have enough freedom to stay in touch with my mother friends and relatives. Basically, freedom of thought, action and words is very important.

I do not know if this is too much to expect. But this makes sense to me.
A stable job, qualification and ability to create a secured future is my criteria.
My mother and elders say that life is uncertain hence compromising is required to get married. My concern is am I too demanding when it comes to social status of the guy, lifestyle, materialistic, spiritual and social values of the guy. I know this question is immature to be asked by 31 yr old but I am scared of burning my hands again. I am scared of taking risks and want to play safe but not really sure how much sense it makes. Its gambling. But I don’t want to jump in an unknown well. I am looking at marriage for security in all possible ways and companionship. Not as a playground to create history and become history. Please let me know am I being wrong with expectation. Or should i compromise being a divorcee and average looking over weight? I am unable to sleep out of fear of getting in to wrong things. Decision making is becoming a problem day by day. Trusting is difficult. Its making life more difficult. Please help me .The topic of every new proposal scares me. I feel i am no more eligible for marriage with this mind set. But at the same time get confused. How do I handle this… I am unable to unlearn the lessons I learned  in my previous marriage and have a positive outlook. Please help me.

Regards,
31 year old.

Related Posts:

18 questions for young women (and men) of ‘marriageable age’.

A detailed check list of conditions from modern young women of marriageable age.

Are these the eight reasons you would give in support of Arranged Marriages?

Hey IHM, I love your blog. But all the horrible news is making me a misanthrope…

An email: What worries me is, will we be able to find guys who have a similar thinking process?

45 thoughts on “An email: “I said I would look for second marriage with following conditions.”

  1. Welcome to the club! I am thirty one years old as well and single, and I had two words that worked remarkably well under all situations. “Fuck off!” In fact, it’s about the only thing that works whether we are talking about interfering relatives, nosy neighbours or pretending-to-be-concerned parents.

    There are less ruder options you might try first, but remember always that it’s your life and your decision, and make sure everyone around you knows that.

    As for advice, wait until you meet a guy you can trust instead of making a checklist and marrying a stranger once again. A checklist can go horribly awry if you don’t take human elements in the relationship. You have to toughen up, or you will end up committing the same mistakes again and again. Only YOU can care for yourself the way you want to be cared for. Unfortunately.

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    • I cosign this wholeheartedly!
      “Fuck Off!!!” works amazingly well, I can fully testify.
      Actually it has been the only thing that’s worked with my Desi in laws.

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      • I’m giving this a thumbsdown. I don’t agree saying fuck off to anyone is a good idea.

        Wouldn’t being polite, yet firm work?

        I have found “Exactly which part of NO don’t you get” quite useful.

        If they decide to let expletives rip at you, then it’s ok to retort in similar fashion, I think. If someone keeps a level head and doesn’t use swear words even if the other person is going at you full on, that’s even more awesome I feel.

        But then, whatever works best for you. :)

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      • I’m concerned about both comments above, since they appear to encourage using the actual phrase ‘fuck off’ as a way to manage relationships (parents/in-laws/relatives). Of if you are just expressing sentiment that people shouldn’t interfere in your lives, I want to suggest that you’re writing a little carelessly on a public blog. There may be people who listen to your advice and learn to use expletives as a way to manage relationships.

        I get even more concerned when Fem says there are ‘less ruder’ options. That’s really not the way to look at it – how is using expletives a reasonable way of managing any relationship, let alone in-laws/parents who you have to be in touch for a lifetime?

        My parents are micromanagers. they’ve had issues with me all along – they didn’t want me talking to girls, they didn’t want me to stay up late, they didn’t want me to drink, they didn’t want me to roam around unnecessarily, want to try to control my finances. All along, I’ve only given objective opinions and clearly stated what I want to do, and continued to do that. If I’m not in the mood to speak clearly and firmly, I’d much rather not speak, rather than throwing expletives at them. What purpose does it solve other than hurting the relationship? Sure, there are times I have thrown expletives out of frustration, but that is never the norm, and I’ve made sure to apologize for the bad behavior.

        Thanks for listening :)

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        • @Arun,

          I am really sorry it came across as that. I am the last person to swear for any reason. But when people are simply not listening and giving your phone number to guys you don’t want to talk to, some amount of rudeness becomes necessary. I tried explaining nicely to my cousin once, twice – she seemed to think she knew better. I told her to bugger off. She understood! Same with my parents – for three years, I kept trying to explain my pov to them. Didn’t work until I got rude and threatened to stop talking.

          My point was not that she should go about using expletives, but to make sure that the others understand where they get off. And they get off at the very place where the OP starts feeling uncomfortable. And if she has to be a little rude for that, so it be. Diplomacy doesn’t work with Indian families, and not everyone can withstand the pressure of emotional blackmail.

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        • Fem, very nice of you to leave a response :) Sorry if I got a little hotheaded. Your comment makes more sense now

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    • THIS –> “Only YOU can care for yourself the way you want to be cared for.” — I’d rather say fortunately :-), good to have your happiness under your own control.

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  2. Hi, I also fall in 30 plus bracket and single. You must not rush into things and adopt a positive outlook towards life. Life is beautiful and I am sure, you will find someone who will understand you better. There is nothing wrong being a divorcee or making mistakes in first marriage.. Neither it is wrong to be confused about life or crying. I do it often when I face a lean phase in life. Go out, meet friends over coffee and most importantly, love yourself and take good care:)
    Cheers

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  3. What is your problem really?
    I am not able to see any serious problem in your situation.
    Look at the bright side.
    You were able to get out of a bad marriage.
    You have a job and an income.
    You have education and are qualified.
    You have a family that supports you.
    Thousands of women are worse off when compared to you.

    Simply live life as it comes. Have hobbies interests beyond your job.
    That will keep you occupied and out of depression.
    Do not rule out a second marriage, but do not obsess about it either.
    Make friends, socialize, and be on the lookout for a person with whom you can hit it off.
    Resist pressure from your mother or other relatives to compromise on your basic requirements in a husband, simply to be able to get married again.
    Do not set a time limit for marriage.
    If you get married, fine. If not, it’s no great tragedy, in these modern times.
    There is life outside marriage too.

    All the best. Cheer up. Look ahead with confidence.
    Regards and best wishes
    GV

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    • Great advice. Especially not to rule out marriage and not obsesses about it either. Even I am not sure about the problem. When there is no guy as of now why are you worried? Just retread the list mentioned above about the right side of your life.

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    • Agree with you sir.
      OP: First of all, take it easy for some time and lose this mindset. You shouldn’t marry someone when you’re feeling so weak

      I was in a very abusive relationship and got dumped by the woman because I wasn’t significantly more successful than her (which apparently is a bad thing). She continued abusing me through friends for several more weeks, and my friends at that point were total idiots. That experience scarred me and left me feeling worthless for several months. I dumped those friends, took time off for myself, never thought about relationships/marriage, picked up running quite seriously, ran 2 half marathons, focused more at my job, came out with good results. One fine day I started feeling that one bad apple doesn’t mean the rest of the world is bad, and that’s when I considered looking out for more girls.

      Shelf this question, go explore the world or do something addictively fun, meet some good humans and in a few months, ask yourself the same question. You’ll know what to do then.

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      • Oh.. and I should clarify: take the spirit of my comment. I’m not saying our situations or timelines are similar in intensity. I know you’ve been battling this for 5 years, but how much longer do you want this to haunt you? You have to get out of this mindset and think clearly

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    • Fully agree with everyone in this thread. Relax, forget about trying to listen to anyone except yourself. Tell your mother you are happy and don’t need a husband, rather if and when you feel like you want one, you will find one. There is no ‘eligibility’ for marriage as such, marry if and when you feel ready and find someone you want to marry. Marrying by lists beats your reasons to do it.. it adds more risk and stress to your life when you’re looking for stability and peace. Live your life happily the way you want, married or not.

      I feel concerned that you repeatedly mention you are no insane in your email. Trust yourself, you are not insane. Please don’t let people make you feel that way. Take your time and discover yourself, what you like doing, what makes you happy. Marriage is secondary and optional, it’s primarily essential to be happy with yourself.

      Good luck!

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  4. Dear email writer, here are some suggestions in order of priority –

    1. First and foremost, love and respect yourself. You have achieved a lot. Be proud of yourself. Who cares if you’re overweight? No one is perfect. If you’d like to work on your weight for health reasons, great. Don’t do it for anyone else.

    2. Your mother feeling ‘pain and helplessness’ is (although common and expected in our culture) a highly unwarranted and misplaced emotion. She should be happy and proud that her daughter is educated, independent, survived a bad marriage, and is still okay. But for some mothers, none of those count. The only thing that matters to them is whether their daughter is married or not. Learn to deal with your mother’s emotions. You can tell her you understand how she feels because she grew up in a certain environment, HOWEVER, you happen to disagree with her. You can empathize with her but do not let her negative emotions rub off on you. The more you show her this balance (being supportive but assertive about your own needs), the less drama you’ll see on her part.

    3. Marriage is not the central and biggest part of our lives. Somehow we’ve all been lead to believe this. NOT TRUE! Marriage is optional. Survival skills are compulsory. Personal happiness and fulfillment are the primary things in life, once survival is taken care of. Do what makes you happy. Make friends, pursue your interests, read, travel, volunteer, paint, whatever brings you joy.

    4. If in the future, if you meet someone you are interested in, you will need to use your brain and your heart to assess if the relationship is going to work out. The conditions you have listed are good, but they are the ‘brain part’. You also need to find someone who’s a nice guy, someone who’s happy with himself and secure, someone who generally treats people with caring and respect, would treat you with respect. Such things are hard to assess in an arranged match. They are possible if you meet someone at work or through your friends.

    Take care of yourself and all the best.

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  5. I think the first piece of advice is stop thinking you are creating problems for your mother. Nobody is creating problems for anybody just because he/she is single especially when you are so independent. Please do not get married to relive your mother of her tension. You need to explain to her that you may or may not get married and she has to accept that because you can’t go through the same stress of a compromised arranged marriage. Secondly please do not think too much about future. If you are lonely make some friends who are also single and develop hobbies. Pets are great too. You can also go for counselling if you are still not able to take stress. But please don’t take hurried decisions under any kind of emotional blackmail and resonings which glorify compromise/sacrifice. You have one life. Do what you like. Also no need to worry when there is no prospective guy. Judge each case on its merit. If your views don’t match just say no. Do not involve relatives/mother. Tell them only when you find the right man. You are an adult. You cannot let your relatives/mom/peer pressure make decisions for you. Take charge of your life. Think about today. You say you have good safe life so enjoy it. And no you do not have to compromise. Incase you do not find the right person enjoy your life anyways.

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  6. I definitely do not think that your expectations are ‘too much.’ But the issue with arranged marriage is: how can you be sure the candidate is who he says he is. On this blog and others, I’ve read of so many cases in which the boy’s family says they’re modern, they don’t have issues with the wife working etc–the minute they get married, the table turns.

    Objective/ tangible things like financial security (to a certain extent), property, physical features etc can be determined for sure. But subjective/ intangible things like mindset, attitude, ‘social values’ etc, can easily be fabricated.

    I don’t think you should compromise on what you want, but I think the only way to go about getting it is to start dating (without thinking of marriage as the ultimate goal). Who knows? You may meet someone for whom you’re willing to bend the rules a bit.

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  7. Are You are self sufficient and do not rely on anyone. ? — check
    Are you out of a bad relationship ? – check
    that’s it.. the world is yours, enjoy. be happy

    Marriage is great if and when you have the right partner, it cannot be forced, modified or pressurized to suit any ones needs.
    it doesn’t work with restrictions or conditions. and it is not a MUST for happiness.
    marriage is just the icing , not the cake. for some people the cake itself is so sweet that there is no need for icing :-)

    You need to be happy by yourself , love yourself and stand up for yourself then if you meet someone who values themselves as you value yourself, get together and both of you will value and understand marriage. you cannot marry some random stranger based on a set of conditions. would you like if if someone set you conditions?
    marriage is a combination of love, trust, comfort, passion, joy and a host host of other things. don’t rush it , don’t push it .
    be comfortable and happy in your own skin .

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  8. I think getting someone who satisfies all your requirements is impossible. One has to compromise wrt something or the other.. but compromise doesnt mean marrying someone you feel you wont be able to live with.. I think what you need to do this time is to talk to the guy multiple times, see how he reacts to what you say, make sure he is really interested in the marriage. Talking helps in arranged marriages.

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  9. Let me tell you my observations –
    Almost in all marriages I’ve seen, you know what makes happy partners – individuals who can live with or without a spouse. Individuals who are independent enough to take their own decisions and execute them. It is unfortunate that Indian parents don’t equip their daughters to think independently. Don’t let other’s take decisions for you. If you are wrong, you are wrong. That’s completely okay. Don’t beat yourself for it. You take decisions, sometimes you are right, sometimes you are wrong. No big deal! Don’t be afraid of making wrong decisions all the time.
    Use this time to develop your independence.

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  10. Hi Email Writer,

    I completely agree with GV sir’s comment. You do not have a problem now. Don’t think too much about it and make it a problem. Do NOT, i repeat DO NOT give in to pressure from family and relatives. Your life is your own…specially when you are much better off being single. You are educated, have a good job-so take care of yourself.

    I agree its good to have a life partner who is on the same wavelength. But just because you have not found someone, do not fret. Yes, its difficult when you see your friends and relatives with their spouses, having a nice life. But I would say, you are much better off than married to a creep-again.

    Let me tell me about my very very close friend. My friend is a Dentist and she liked her cousin–father’s sister’s son. He is a doctor working in M’sia. Though he did not have “feelings” for her, he was a typical casanova flirting with everyone. She was very happy when her aunt brought forth their marriage proposal. They got married and left India to his place. Imagine her shock when she found out that he was forced into this marriage. He was in love with somebody and his parents did not accept it. This spineless idiot did not stand against his parents (i think they threatened him he would not get the ancestral property/cash) nor did he disclose all this to my friend. He told her about this in a couple of days after marriage and also told her “Don’t expect any husband-wife relations between us. We will just live under the same roof in the same room”. He continued his life and relationship with the other woman, whereas my friend underwent enormous emotional torture. Imagine your own aunt spoiling your life by getting you married to her son who is not interested in the marriage..on top of all this there were demands for huge amounts of dowry too. My friend stayed in the marriage for a few years and tried her best to make it work–but it was of no use. Finally she left him, applied for a divorce and got it, just with the help of her parents. Her husband did not even respond to the divorce proceedings and she was awarded her divorce for that reason-“spouse not responsive to summons” or something like that. All her dowry was not even returned to her. No alimony-she did not want anything.

    Few years passed, she did not want to return to India for fear of “talk” among friends and relatives and stayed back in that country to pursue her work. Again the pressure of marriage started coming up and she resisted a lot-but finally gave in. This time, along with her parents she went through a matrimonial site, selected a guy, spent a few months talking to him on the phone and was convinced he was an ok person. She told him everything about her past life-even the fact that she is still a virgin, all the emotional problems she faced. He was also a divorcee and he was very supportive on the phone. Her parents went and met his family staying in Tamilnadu, they seemed ok. They got married…and within a week she realized that he is not the person whom he had projected to be!!!! He was only interested in sex, eating and sleeping. No feelings or treatment that they were a newly married couple.

    He works in Dubai and she in M’sia. After the honeymoon period both went to their own countries back to their jobs. He never took any initiative to bring her to Dubai (visa for her). She did not want to resign her Govt contract in M’sia and just go to Dubai without a job confirmation. He was not even taking interest in getting her to Dubai on a visit visa also. But he managed to come to M’sia twice, stayed with her, spent her money, managed to also take money from her for sending to his mother and sister. Finally after a year, she put her foot down and told him she is coming over to at least visit and stay with him for 10days. Only after going there she realized that his “contract” was expiring, he had no savings, even his DOB seemed fake. He would not go regularly for his job and keep taking leave.

    She was broken completely. There was more in store. One day she got a call from a woman saying that their family was looking at a proposal from this guy and they got her number from him as he had told him that they had applied for a divorce!!! He was already looking at another woman to marry and had the gall to give her phone number to another woman. That was the last straw, my friend told that girl everything that had happened and what a kind of man he was. She managed to stop that wedding – but her life is in tatters now. She now cries everyday that she should have remained adamant and not married again. The only thing she has achieved is losing herself to a jerk!

    Sorry for the long post, do not jump in or give in to pressure from anybody. If you are happy now, continue to live so. If you find somebody whom you like and would want to live the rest of your life with, go ahead after getting to know the person well.

    For some people “love” just does not happen. They are just not the “falling in love” types. But, please keep an open mind and take each day as it comes.

    And last but not the least, regarding your weight, do something about it for your own health benefit. Walking or gymming or swimming or whatever it is, do it because you want to be healthy.

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    • step no 1.

      Go to a spot , where you can hear no one except your breath.

      step no 2.

      repeat step no 1.

      p.s – Do not concentrate.
      Think about the most beautiful place that you have been and continue breathing.

      How is it going to help you ?

      When you hear your breath, you realize the powerful force that helps your body live, that helps you to take in the best “living force – oxygen” and the breath that flows down your body.

      Enjoy your breathing.
      Believe that what you need is already “done”., Now that is the command
      Think , if you were god what would you want – scientifically put – When you think your cells hear what you need it will start doing the job.
      Fill your mind with goodness, joy and loving kindness and let the energy flow within your body.
      Believe that all that you want , you have already got.
      Everything will fall in place, because you have already given the command

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  11. When I read your email these were the things that came up –

    – The problem is not with marriage but people doing things they do not want to do. Often, our experiences colour our view but if you were to look objectively, you would realise you should not be afraid of marriage, the person who went to the first marriage – you & your ex and the person who may go into the next marriage are different. You have changed and grown as well.
    – The main things is – do you want to marry in the first place – not my mom wants me, my society expects me – stop, think, analyse – do I want to marry? Do I feel a burning need to be with a man? What is my sexuality? Do I need a person to fulfill me emotionally/sexually/ mentally? What do i want from my life? First work on making yourself fulfilled in your life. Take this time out to discover yourself. your wants. your needs. your desires. Break your social patriarchal conditioning and see what your heart desires independent of what your mom/society/relatives want.
    -If after deep introspection, you want to get married, you know you need not fear because if you have a deep desire, most likely it exist for a reason.
    – I know traditional societies would make marriage a point of no return but it is life and we all make mistakes. Anybody can make mistakes in marriage/relationships too. Aren’t we forgiving when we make mistakes in career too? It is okay if you had a divorce.
    – The thing you need to learn from is nobody is happy when people marry under pressure and they did not want to. Do not repeat the same mistake of marrying again under pressure and making yourself & your spouse unhappy.
    -When you are sure what you want, it is so much easier to listen to your instincts and know if something is off.
    – If you do want to get married, why are you only looking at arranged marriage? Why are you not looking at dating? Look for men who are not mamma’s boys. If a guy is independent, he is more likely to be marrying coz he wants to not because his parents are forcing him to.
    – Every time you imagine your sad mom/relative, tell yourself it is not your fault. People cannot rest their happiness on somebody getting married coz marriage is a personal decision. They can feel sad but they need to deal with it. Imagine if we were to marry everyone who became sad that we did not marry them.
    – Have you tried moving to another city? country? being away is a very good solution to get out of the emotional drama of get married every single day. physical detachment often helps in emotional detachment.
    – Do what truly makes you happy because then at the end of your life, you would know you did the best you could for you with the knowledge that you had. And mistakes are okay. Take responsibility for your life and your marriage, even if the society wants to take the responsibility from you.

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    • I was listening to an interview now and this really rang true – we have 7 billion people on this planet and why would you feel that you cannot find 3 people you can get along fantastically with? We often find it difficult because we are shacked by our mental blocks/mental blocks of our society/parents and restrict ourselves to a certain caste/religion/race/nationality

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  12. It is your uncertainly of ending up alone in old age and financial/social security that is making you agree for the marriage. Dont! There are ways to combat those issues. Marry only because you truly want to. But ofcourse your expectations are not wrong or too much. Everybody has their own set of expectations. But having a checklist is not the right way to go about it.
    1. Do you have enough savings? HAve you done investments for future? If not, that will be the first thing you’d need to do. Think about long term/ retirement investments so you dont have to worry about finance in your old age.
    2. Stop feeling small about yourself, because of looks or weight. Feel proud of what you’ve done until now. Have the confidence that you can do whatever you want. Trust and believe yourself. Believe that you are worthy of happiness and freedom. Smile at yourself in the mirror and repeat “I will be happy no matter what” “I deserve to be happy”.
    3.Do you have friends? DO you have friends who you think will stay for a long time to come? Then you’re set for the companionship part too. Just dont stop making them, friends. Also have hobbies like gardening, travel, reading etc and you’ll find you don’t have much time to worry about things.
    4.Have goals for yourself which doesn’t include finding a partner or getting married. You have already accomplished a lot and should be proud of it. But having goals will make sure that feeling stays in your head :)
    5.Don’t fret about weight loss. But do something about it if it bothers you. Stop thinking what others will think about your weight. People talk and think regardless, because that what they do.
    6.Sit and talk to your mother. Tell her that you’re already happy. Tell her about your fears. Tell her how thinking about another marriage is causing anxiety and how it might affect your mental health. If she understands, good. Else, let it go. You are not responsible for what others feel. You did your bit to make them understand.
    7.Do well at your job and try to accomplish more professionally (get into a better paying job/ better responsibilities). It’ll satisfy you and up your self confidence.
    8. Go and be crazy at times. Cut yourself some slack and have fun. Spend on that spa visit or go on a vacation. If not that then think about what will make you chill and relax. You need a break at times.

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  13. Well lets not talk about the marriage or no marriage thing now…the best thing now would be to rediscover yourself and learn to appreciate n love yourself for what u r…to clear the insecurities in your head and remove negative perceptions about yourself…it is very normal for people to be conscious of their weight and looks but to demean yourself would only lead to low confidence levels…the feeling of not feeling worthy enough for some one else and the want to adjust/compromise or settle…
    Just keep a steady head and do things that would keep u happy and not listen to others…to eat that bar of chocolate in your fridge that u have been keeping away from just cause u r conscious of your weight as well as get up in the morning and exercise to get rid of the self pity that u feel…Only a happy person can keep others happy!
    Life is short to be catering to the needs and whims of others…so do what u feel like and let the rest of it go to hell!!!
    Increase the feel good factor in your life and that is something that only u can do :)
    Stay Happy!! :) :D

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  14. Dear letter writer,

    Very often us girls are asked to ‘compromise’ when it comes to marriage. No one actually comes out and says that by compromise, they mean sacrifice. A compromise is when there is a –give-and-take’ from both sides, not give from one side and take from the other. Having got that out of my system…

    I would say the following about your current situation,
    – Work on losing your weight. No for any other sake, but you are obviously conscious about it, and losing weight will make you feel better
    – Don’t be too critical of yourself. Someone has done a brilliant job of making you think you’re an idiot. Don’t give them the satisfaction of being right.
    – You are a smart, educated, independent young lady, who not only supports herself, but also her parent. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that.
    – Get out! Join a class, find a hobby and make friends. You’ll find that friends support you in a way that family cannot – or will not.
    – Consider seeking professional help. You seem to have gone into depression,and a counsellor will help you come out of it.

    As for your age, yeah! We’ve all been there, I’m sure. I myself am 39 and single. I made it clear to my family that when I marry, it’ll be because I met a guy I want to spend the rest of my life with. If I don’t meet that guy, then I am happy on my own. My parents understood that, and I am sure your mother will to, if you explain it to her. She feels that you need someone to support you. Show her that you can support yourself and help her become more confident. That’s the way to relieve her pain and helplessness.
    As for your checklist, well, it’s yours, and you are perfectly entitled to have one. However, remember that no one is perfect, and you might never meet someone who is all of that. On the other hand, you might meet someone who is all that you wish for and more. What I would say is – make your checklist from a position of strength. By that, I mean don’t base it on your one bad experience, but on what you want out of a relationship.

    Good luck, and have a wonderful, happy and fun-filled life… You deserve it.

    Like

  15. Dear email writter i think your entire thinking about life and marriage is wrong. “I am looking at marriage for security in all possible ways and companionship” “A stable job, qualification and ability to create a secured future is my criteria ” and are many other things in your email that show that you are wrong. Is nothing like security in all possible ways in this life. Married or not bad things can happen. Relation is a changeble thing. People are changing. People are passing away. You change yourself every single day. Jobs are coming and going depend of economical situation of country. Health is changing. Money coming and going. Everything is changing and nothing is forever. You can call this insecurity or normality. We should live every day with this in mind and to don’t be affraid. We don’t have power to control the things and neither to arrange our life. When we think that all is arranged something appear and disturbing the balance. This is the life. So accept that and if you want somebody on your life try to find it but not based on that stupid criterias. Look for humanity, look for feelings, look for understanding and compasion, look for somebody that will see in you more then a overweight girl. Rest of the things you will struggle to fix them when the time will come. Trust in you that you have power to fix them but if you can’t, accept this and live the way you can. Be good with you and don’t blame yourself for what you can’t do. In the mean time live happy and say thank you for what you have today. What will come tomorrow you don’t know but you will see it. Can be good or bad but this is the beauty of life: the unpredictable, the unknown, the fight, the lost, the succes and many other things. Take care of you and just live. Tommorow we may die and we spoil this beautiful day with bad and unnecessarily thinking of a future that we can’t control and maybe will never come. Be happy and smile!

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  16. Being a fitness freak, I kinda stopped at the ‘overweight’ part. It seems that you’re unhappy about your weight. If not why not do something about it. Like eating nutritious and exercising. Trust me, all these negative and depressive thoughts and stress will ebb away… when you sweat out, the beads of perspiration are actually bodily toxins and negativity.
    About feeling small and underconfident, staying active can solve that too… Its almost impossible to feel low when your fitness levels are high.

    But all this should be for yourself and your happiness rather than ‘I’d better get thin somehow or no1 will like me’. That will jus add to your stress and ruin the purpose.

    Like

  17. Dear email writer,
    (((Hugs))) to you. I have 2 stories to share, my sister’s & my SIL’s. My sister is in a love-less marriage, her husband used up all her savings for a family business, treated her like shit, walked all over her. I asked her to leave that son of a bitch, her argument was “how can I live in this society” etc. I told her to at least fight back, which she did, now he is slightly better, I still won’t say he is the best husband. My sis is a housewife now with zero savings, she has no money to even pay the auto driver to visit my parents, her cell phone bills are taken care of by my dad, she has an MBA degree, but of no use. In everybody’s eyes, yes, she is married.

    My SIL was in an extremely abusive relationship, her husband was a psycho, he used to torture her physically and emotionally. He also had an affair with another girl, he even got her to his house and took her to his bedroom and kicked my SIL out. She walked out after a year of her marriage. She is 36, has a job, is physically very fit and very attractive. She has made it very clear to her Mother that she will marry only on her own terms otherwise she will remain unmarried. She is very happy with her current lifestyle, works for a big multinational, since she is single, she has a lot of savings too. I admire her very much.
    Another thing that she noticed was, 5 years after she divorced, my in laws started pressurizing her to get married. She “met” with 20-30 guys, all divorcees. Every one of them told her clearly that she will have to learn to adjust to live with their parents, they all wanted to live under the same roof as their parents and put all the blame on their ex-wives for the divorce. This, frustrated my SIL so much that she decided that it is not worth it to get into this shit again.

    Just wanted to share 2 perspectives. I wish you good luck, I know how parents can be in these situations. My MIL ended up with cancer as she just could not accept her daughter being a divorcee.

    Like

    • Im sure her mother didnt get cancer because her daughter’s divorced, is that what she actually tells people. Indian parents are masters when it comes to guilt tripping their children.

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      • I guess the fact that she went under so much stress might have triggered it. Not sure. That is one of the many reasons cited by her doctor. But, my MIL doesn’t go around guilt tripping anyone by saying she got cancer because of her daughter’s divorce. She is not so immature. She was someone who was extremely healthy, she was a yoga exponent and used to run her own school.

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      • Read my comment above. Stress can trigger cancer along with other factors of course. I am no doctor, but this is one of the reasons cited by my MIL’s doctor.

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        • Not even doctors know what really causes some types of cancer. Even scientists are just getting their head around it. Your MILs doctor is only guessing too. There can be no way of really saying that the daughters divorce gave her cancer. While you probably didn’t it that way, it’s a shame to be subjected to that kind of guilt for unproven medical opinions.

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        • Stress can cause diseases, sure. There is a simple remedy for it – don’t take stress. Any stress on your MIL’s part is her own choice. No one forced her into it.

          Like

  18. I would highly recommend working out and exercising as others have mentioned. Don’t do it simply because you/others think you are overweight, do it because you want to live a healthy and strong life. We have only got one body that stays with us until our last day on earth (money/spouse/kids may or may not be there) so take good care of yourself while you are young. I am also under similarly immense pressure from parents to get married as soon as possible as if there is something wrong with me otherwise. I have a good career/savings/friends and live a pretty independent life but that is not good enough for my parents. Working out is often the best part of my day. After a workout I am dripping in sweat and utterly exhausted, but it gets me in the most amazing mood later on. Back in school and college, I absolutely hated participating in sports/running etc, so this is something I have only started doing recently. I was never very fit or skinny and I had to start slow. I felt very self conscious going to the gym with other super fit people around, so I started working out at home first. Check out some youtube videos with Jillian Michaels, she has some very good beginner level workouts without any fancy equipment.

    Like

  19. Hi All I am the 31 year old who has written the top most mail. I sincerely thanks each one of you to have responded so positively. I am grateful to one and all here. It has made me more clear.
    This blog, its content and especially the phase of life when i spotted it on net for the first time has bought in sea of change in me from what i used to be.

    Thanks for being so helpful again.

    Like

  20. Hi,
    * You are standing on your own feet – you are independent financially. Thats very good.
    * Sometimes things do not workout and sometimes they do.
    Do not define yourself based on your past.
    * You have very practical list of requirements – there is nothing that requires trimming.
    Basically a very basic set of requirements.
    * Find what you wish to do with your life whether marraige works out or not.
    I have few friends who are 30+ and not married. They are doing wonderfully in their career. They happen to be good looking. But they are in US/UK for most of the year. They travel a lot and post wonderful updates on facebook. They enjoy life!
    * Comeout of your shell – not for getting married but for enjoying life. There is only one life – do your best.
    * I wish you all the very best. Take care. There is more to life than getting married. Though most would not agree I would advice you to leave this country and find a place where getting married is not the only thing to do.
    * In India being sumanglini-soubhagyavati is very verry important. Why there are no similar terms for married men? Why unmarried, divorced, widowed women treated differently? Are they not humans?
    Tell all the people that you do not buyin this – GET LOST!
    Mukta

    Like

  21. I read a few of the suggestions and while I whole-heartedly agree with them ( start dating, tell relatives to mind their own business etc), I think it might sound a bit radical for this particular 31 yr old.
    I get the idea that she has a more conservative approach to life would not like the idea of “dating” in general or would face severe opposition even if she wanted to.

    I think GV’s advice is the most sound and one that can be followed without rocking the boat.
    She definitely must stop obsessing about marriage. She must tell her mother and relatives to back off and that she would get married whenever she decides to. She absolutely must communicate this to them.

    Also, the ‘conditions’ she write about are perfectly normal and she is not asking for anything extraordinary at all! I can’t understand why her mom and relatives say she shouldn’t ask for these basic things even and that she should compromise! Compromise on what really?!
    But I think the mistake is to meet men only with this list in mind.

    I think she should lay off the idea of marriage for a while, find other things to do with her life other than her job (like GV said) and then slowly broaden her social circle. Maybe take up a class, or try and travel a bit? Actively try and meet people from different backgrounds (I have lived in S India and I know how conservative and closed it is and how difficult it would be to meet people who think any differently about life than what is expected from traditional Indian society).

    Do not fall into the rut of thinking that you have no life if you don’t re-marry. Also do not get married out of pressure. Marry only if you genuinely like someone and feel like you want to be with them. It is perfectly normal to speak to a guy and be friends with him at least before you actually get married! It is, in fact, ABNORMAL to marry someone without knowing anything about them, no matter how many people in India do it.

    Relax. breathe. You’re only 31. You have a whole life ahead of you. Make it worth-while, with or without a man.

    Like

  22. Pingback: “Is this really it? the only person I’ll ever find? A sweet guy who has no interests?” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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