“I need suggestions – these girls are ruining their lives with their stupid ideas about love.”

Sharing an anonymous email.

Hi IHM,

Please do not dismiss this mail as its really long but I needed to write it in detail. request you to please read it carefully and kindly do not neglect it.

This is a tale of 3 friends and one among them is me. Let me call them A, B and C.

A is a girl from a very well educated and extremely rich and well to do family. Her parents are the best set of parents that any body especially a girl can ask for. Both her parents are working and her mother is a fiercely independent woman who has been able to work and do whatever she wants to with full support from her father. A has a younger brother and both the kids were treated equally by everyone in the family. A is a happy go lucky girl, has never seen any kind of violence in her life except in movies and is very friendly and open. The only problem is that she has always been attracted to wrong men and was molested as a teenager for many days and she did not tell her parents about this until much later reasons which she herself does not understand till today (A is 27 yrs as of today) she later told her parents and they dealt with it in a very matured manner and gave the girl all the confidence in the world and she moved ahead in life, went on to complete Engineering and then MBA and worked in a reputed MNC. Despite the past A’s family never restricted her movement with boys or stopped her from interacting with men because both her parents believed in deleting the wrong impression about men from her head and thus encouraged healthy friendships and relations. When A was in her 3rd year of graduation, she met a guy at a place where she was doing her internship. The guy started calling her up and played the hide n seek game of telling her to find out who he is and she being the silly 19 year old fell for this “mysterious man” and she was curious to find out who he was. They ultimately met at the internship office and slowly started going out.
Lets call the guy D. When A and D met, A told him everything about her family and her background, D on the other hand lied about everything right from his name to his family background to his birthday and also education details. D told him that he was from a business family and despite A repeatedly asking the nature of the business never told her. He could not even talk in English whereas A was from a convent background. But still A fell fro him and within 15 days he said that he wants to marry her and that she should decide and immediately tell him her feelings. A said yes (the stupid 19 yr old) and then he started insisting on physical contact like kissing etc, but they never had sex. He would insist that she come to a local park everyday almost from her college which was 30 kms away from his office only so that they could make out. When A would hesitate he would tell her this is what couples do. He lied to her about his birthday and when that “lied day” arrived he insisted on meeting her. She said that she cannot as her there was a family function at home and there was no way she could get out. She apologized to him and said that she would make it up. Guess what he did; not answer her calls for the rest of the day and finally at 11.00 pm in the answers and when she asked whim why he did not answer this was in response” I went out with my very good girlfriend from college since you did not come and she is better than you, she gifted me a marble tajmahal and took me out for dinner”. A was shocked but she left it at that.
Then after a few months randomly during a conversation he blurted out the truth that his name is not what he told and that it was his wrong birthday and the reason he gave was that he thought she might not like his name and wanted to test how she will react if its his birthday….
Then on another day when they went for a movie and while waiting outside she saw a handsome man and commented saying how handsome he looks and that sparked off a fight. Throughout he movie they did not talk and then finally after she reached home he calls her and tell her she is so cheap to stare at other men and that she does not have character and that girls with character do not do that. He did not like the fact that she had guy friends and he would always dictate to her whom she should talk to and whom she should not talk to. In his words” Cut off with your friends because I do not like them” this included both boys and girls because as friends we used to have arguments and so he would ask me to cut off. All this was while A was doing MBA and was staying in a hostel but in the same city as the college was very far from home. While in hostel she had to call him after every class, during every break and he actually convinced her that all her friends are bad ppl, so much so that every time she made friends with some one in college or hostel he demanded an explanation and warned her that these friendships should not continue once married. He would not allow her to interact with friends or go to the canteen for more than 30 minutes and the reason he gave was that she should concentrate and study and get good marks. A thought he was concerned for her and eventually started neglecting her friends in college and hostel so much so that she started eating alone in the mess because he would always be on the phone with her when she would go to eat and A thought he was so concerned about her that he was actually spending so much time with her neglecting his activities.
One day when he called A was watching Dostana movie and she him that, his response” How cheap can you be that you are watching a gay movie, I never thought you are like that” and cut the call, she had to apologize later.
According to him A’s family was very posh and did not have any values and he called them “Page 3 people” and all the time insulted them in front of her.
A put up with all this because she thought it was all love and he cared for her. He also never cared for her comforts. This because A and D went on a trip and during the trip he had not booked accommodation, to her shock she called up just-dial siting on the railway station platform and found out about hotels in that city and finally booked one. Then took her around the city in crowded city bus because he felt there is no need to hire cab. A again put up with this nonsense  because when she complained he told her that her father had spoilt her by providing her comfortable life and that she must get used to hardships as life is not always easy.

Then to A’s horror she found about his family again which he blurted by mistake. His father had an ice cream shop which did not do well so they closed it. He has a sister who was married of into a random family because his family believed in early marriages and also they had to choose between educating him and his sister so they chose him. He did a diploma in a local college and then completed graduation through correspondence and was now in a job in a MNC thanks to the software boom. For his parents he was God because everyone in their family are shopkeepers who own kirana stores and only he is educated. Nobody says no to him and his word is final. His sister is married to an idiot who drinks and beats her and so 90% of the time she is at his parents place with her 2 children and he is only breadwinner for the family. Parents and sister have no money, do not know about health insurance and depend on D so they shut their mouth. D despite all this spends lavishly by using his friends credit cards for his clothes and gadgets and goes holidaying with his friends. A can meet people only whom he approves off and she cannot talk about or make friends with anyone he does not approve off. Also according to him A’s parents do not love her because they do not listen to her always like his parents and keep giving her suggestions.

She has to also dress as per his wishes. On one occasion he called her to meet his friends and after they met and she returned home he again called and told her ” Don’t you know how to dress up and come. My friends laughed at my choice and said that how did I like such a dark girl”

In the background A tells her family about her intentions to marry him and though they did not know all the above details both her parents sensed something wrong and discouraged her. A’s father called up D and told him that this will not work and that we should part.
Instead of coming home and talking to A’s parents he started pressurizing her saying that your family is bad and that its the girls duty to convince her family and that she should threaten them with suicide and then they will yield. D also told her that if parents don’t yield after this also then she should run away from home stay in a working woman’s hostel and then join some random local company and then marry him because according to him anyway a girl leaves her family after marriage and some father at a church had told him that if she truly loves you she will run away and one family is enough, you do not need both parents acceptance for love marriage. A felt all this was stupid and let the matter rest for a while as she was having her final exams.

Then the final jolt came; A had a friend (guy) who liked always from day1 of MBA and had even proposed to her, but knowing that A was already in a relationship he left it at that and they were not in touch. During the last semester in college they both met again as there was a music competition for the farewell and both A and this guy being good singers were approached by common friends to participate. A had never participated in any events thanks to D who never liked but this time she wanted to, it being the final year of college and all her friends including this guy really requested her and so she said yes much to D’s opposition. D hated the fact that she would practice everyday till 12.00 in the night after classes and though A told D she was in a team practice as there was orchestra etc he always suspected her. This led to him checking her gmail account. It so happened that the guy randomly commented on gtalk and told A that she was looking beautiful during practice and that she sung very well to which A said thank you and also said that he was good too.
D called her and started yelling her and suspected of her having an affair with him just because of this. She thought he was just worried and tried to explain to him but he just did not listen and in his words, “Why did you tell him thank you, that means you are dressing up for him and you want to impress him because your parents are not accepting me, they will accept him because he is educated and is talented”. A was shocked as to how could he first of all read her chats and email and then question her like this. That day she got really angry and after fighting for like 1hr she cut the call and went to sleep as the final program was there the next day.
The next day he called her up like some 20 times and left sorry messages and emails to which she did not respond.
On the farewell night their song was a huge hit and the party was going with music and dance and D calls her, she does not answer and cuts the call and messages him saying that she is in the party and it will take time and asks him to go the sleep for today. He insists that he loves her so much that he cannot go to bed without talking to her and that he will wait. Its 12.00 am and the while the party is still on he calls her again and again and this time she answered and he started shouting saying that she does not care for him anymore and that she should be happy he allowed to go to the party which was the mistake he did etc… Then as the argument progressed he suddenly shouted saying that “You are not meant for me, we should just break up as you are partying girl who likes boys and your family also encourages that” Now A got wild at this and told him that its fine if he thinks so and gave him back about all the incidents in the past and ended it then and there. The next day D all of a sudden realizes his mistake and comes to her hostel and starts apologizing and begging, but A clearly tells him that its over for good now and that she does not trust him anymore. D calls up A’s friends and tells them and begs with them to convince A and promises that he will never do anything like that again but A refuses to go back.
D goes away and A reaches home after her exams and tells her mother. A’s mother calls up D’s sister and tells her that her brother should not be troubling and that we should leave this matter here as both the people are very different and will not gel. D’s sister tells him about the call and D gets angry as to how can A’s mother call his sister and so calls up A’s home. The call is answered by A’s brother and D in his anger tells the kid of 17 years (A’s brother) that your sister does not have character, she had physical relationship with me and roamed all over the city with me and other rubbish. A and her family are horrified and A has now resolved to cut off the relationship. D again goes on to write her emails 3 months later telling her how he is spending life now and how he has met a girl who is so highly educated, earns lot of money, is a rank holder in entrance exams and spends half her salary on an orphanage and that this is called a cultured girl and that he thanks God for sending her into his life. He also writes saying that pure love does not have physical relationship and that pure love demands sacrifice.
A is now happily married to another man who is a Doctor and takes very good care of her and has no problems in life.

Now the reason I have written so much in detail is that B and C who are A’s close friends are in relationships with men similar to D and are just not ready to give up. They call it pure love and A being their best friend cannot see them getting into mess like this. What kind of advice should A give to B and C and help them take correct decisions.
Both B and C are 27 years old: B works for a MNC and C is a doctor. Both B and C are also from very well to do families, both the girls’ fathers are big doctors and both the families know about their relationships and are discouraging but the girls are just not ready to listen.

Please help and kindly give suggestion and really sorry for the long mail but there was no other way out, these girls are ruining their lives with their stupid ideas about love.

Thank you.

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62 thoughts on ““I need suggestions – these girls are ruining their lives with their stupid ideas about love.”

    • Here’s some useful information-
      “To avoid getting involved with an abuser when you’re dating, beware of someone who:
      Insists on having his or her way and won’t compromise
      Has outbursts of anger
      Is rude to others
      Criticizes you or your family
      Is jealous or possessive
      Is paranoid
      Pay attention to these signs despite the fact that the person is pursuing you and expressing love and affection. An abuser won’t risk becoming abusive until he or she is confident that you won’t leave. First, he or she will try to win you over and isolate you from friends and family. Often, violence doesn’t start until after marriage or the birth of a child, when you’re less likely to leave.”

      From-

      http://www.whatiscodependency.com/the-truth-about-domestic-violence-and-abusive-relationships/

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  1. First of all who are you to say what she did was stupid or not? You’re being judgemental. She had a crush, it was a learning experience for her. I am sure the relationship taught her a lot – including how not to get into an emotionally abusive situation.

    It was a very childish idea of love she had … more of a man controlling her since she came from a laid back family which did not believe in controlling her. They allowed her the experience and she is richer because of it.

    Often teenagers get into relationships with men who are parental and controlling. It is their way of replicating a secure environment with boundaries. And often when they grow out of it, the relationship breaks. I’ve seen it happen so many times. The role of friends is to be there – to be supportive, in a non judgemental way.

    Sorry for the long comment, IHM

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    • I would think that being non judgemental in the event of my friend being in a bad relationship would probably do her more harm than good.

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      • I somewhat agree. I pointed out to my friend nearly 2 years ago that her BF, whom she was serious about, was controlling. She’s my best friend, and I guess I didn’t mind the risk at that time. She eventually realised it herself this year, and they broke up for that very reason.
        Although I will never remind her of my words , I’m secretly glad that it ended.

        In any case, my guess is that the OP and the ‘A’ in the story are the same person.

        As for advice, I have none to give. Many years ago I was in a relationship with a very controlling and probably slightly abusive person and to this day I’m bewildered by my own actions at the time.

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    • well that’s what friends are for. To slap some sense into you. I (a guy) was in a very abusive relationship. I found out she was cheating one me, and tried to break up with her. She didn’t let me, threatened to kill herself. I couldn’t stand her for a minute, after I realized she was cheating on me, but she kept on pressuring me to marry her and all. It took a long time to break away from her.

      If only some of my friends had supported me and helped me end it, or atleast warned me when I started the relationship.(there’s a history there), maybe things would work out differently. Friends should always express their opinions, maybe even take a stand

      Liked by 1 person

    • If people learnt from other people’s mistakes, there would be no unhappy relationships in this world ever again. There is nothing new under the sun. Every single relationship problem faced by people today have been faced (and overcome) by countless people before. Getting heartbroken is like a rite of passage everyone has to go through. It’s not inherited knowledge like a wildebeest calf which knows to run away from a lion ten minutes after it’s born. People have to experience it for themselves to learn from it.

      Having said that, what A can do is to maintain close touch with warn B and C about the specific danger signals with their boyfriends that she herself missed with D. Specific warnings on specific instances may help where general warnings haven’t. She can gather up B and C’s other friends and try to stage an intervention. And if things do end up going bad, she can be there to support B and C as required. A cannot do anything except support her friends and be there for them. B and C will have to work this out for themselves.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can guarantee these girls from experience that controlling men who have no respect for the partner’s feelings or individuality are not interested in love but domination. There is no love in such a situation, only power, which the man wields by talking about love. Think it through. What is loving about a man deriding you, your parents, your lifestyle and choices?

    Love has to involve respect and support. Anything without this is not love

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  3. I don’t think there is anyway to ‘convince’ 27 year-old adults. One can only suggest, not force. Do you think they are totally oblivious to what they are doing? Many important lessons of life are learned the hard-way. If at all they are doing anything wrong, they will learn their lessons – like how you did. I would suggest you not to interfere. Think deeply within you and answer this question – Are you jealous of your friends?

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  4. At least A was a naive 19 yr old when she fell for someone like D. I can’t imagine 27 yr olds like B and C, who happen to be quite secure socially and economically, falling for such abusive guys. Well, apart from maybe telling them about her own experience with D and how she was lucky to find the good sense to walk out just in the nick of time, I guess there is pretty little A can do. After all B and C are well-educated adults fully responsible for their actions and personal well-being. There is only so much anyone can do. You can only take the horse to the water.

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    • Age and economic independence has nothing to do with falling for abusive men. Would you say the same thing to a woman in an abusive marriage? The men wouldn’t show their controlling and abusive nature until they have the women under their spell.
      But, I do agree that there isn’t much we can say to them to leave the abusive boyfriends. What the letter writer CAN do in this case is be a supportive friend and listen to them… and when the women finally realize and come out of the relationship, stand by them… just BE THERE for them. They will likely feel stupid and heartbroken and disillusioned at the end of it all.

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  5. First thing B and C needs to understand where there is true love (which is nothing more than a trust). one should not be possessive or authoritative . Love is not about changing a person you love it is about accepting a person as they are .

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  6. Do B and C know about A’s previous problems? If they do, then nothing A says will matter. They need to get a jolt themselves to come to their senses…and I hope before its too late. And if A still thinks she needs to help out, she can gently remind them of the problems she herself faced with the wrong guy. Or give them examples and ask them to look out for warning signs. But I doubt if people who believe they are in love will listen to anyone.

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  7. Is there anyone else who thinks the letter is dripping with class hatred?

    Themes like whose family is “well to do”, whose parents are “big doctors”, who “cant even speak English”, who “has a convent background”, who are “just kirana shopkeepers”., who “has a diploma from a local college”, who has “completed degree through correspondence”. In fact, the only reason this good for nothing guy A has a “job in MNC” was because of software boom!

    Further, people who have to take the “crowded city bus” and cannot afford cabs are “nonsense”. And not just this girl, apparently two other girls B & C, all belonging to the high class of “big doctors” have been poached by the lowly men of the street. A story of how the naive princesses have fallen for the charms of the king’s stable boy.

    Class hatred and contempt dripping from every sentence! The letter almost sounds like something written by a French noble before the revolution, talking about how his blue blooded daughter has fallen for one of those lowly service people.

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    • I think D’s socio economic status came to be discussed in the email because he lied about it, and because he saw A’s socio economic status as Page Three, posh life and he told her, that not traveling in crowded city buses was being spoilt – in fact he wanted to correct this ‘fault’ of hers (along with many others).

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      • I agree with abhishek. It reads like a fable: A’s relationship with a poorer man turned out to be emotionally abusive so dont think about dating “below” you cos it has terrible consequences.

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    • The line about software boom reminded me how a woman once complained to my wife that nowadays every tom, dick and harry can send their kids to elite schools, thanks to the well paying engineering jobs as a result of telecommunication boom, as if it was all a terrible thing.

      Coming to the problem mentioned in the letter, I think there are adults who turn out to be quite “naive”. After all, that is how charlatans of different varieties make their living. Don’t know what really can be done about it. Its supposed to be a free society with freedom of choice, including losing your money at a dubious star-up or losing your emotional well being at the hands of dubious lovers .

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    • Maybe. It is possible that she was showing “class hatred” as you call it. But it is equally possible that she was just trying to say that all these girls had a good, education, exposure and parental support inspite of which they are unable to recognize an abusive relationship. And the main problem “A” had with her ex was not his background but the fact that he lied about it and insulted her family for being rich and/or supportive of her choices.

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    • I agree with Abhishek, I found these aspects of the email disturbing too which is a pity because that distracts from the real problem. I wonder why it is so common to see women get into relationships where there is control and abuse. Is it because they are not taught to stand up for themselves? It seems to me that this is another negative aspect of the bahu grooming. Girls who are brought up to be good bahus are probably more susceptible to giving in to control and abuse because they have imbibed the “adjust” mentality. After all if you are taught your whole life that the woman “adjusts” then where do you decide that the control is not ok. And the parents that are horrified at this behaviour in a non-approved boyfriend might condone it in an approved selected son-in-law and in his family.

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      • I think almost anybody, even men, might take emotional abuse for ‘love and concern’. What makes it worse is the way Indian movies show lying, jealousy, stalking, sexual harassment, threats to commit suicide and controlling as indications of deep love.

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    • Abhishek, sighhh….No, I do not see even a single instance of “class hatred” in this post (far from “dripping with class hatred” as you’ve put it). She does sound snobbish, yes. To paraphrase Wodehouse, she does seem acutely alive to the existence of class distinctions. But she has not advocated violence against any other class, she hasn’t suggested oppressing “lower” classes, she has not used any derogatory terms to describe people of any other class. She has not shown any sort of hatred for people of any other class. So I’m far more concerned with your deliberate and incorrect usage of a loaded phrase like “class hatred” simply in order to provoke an incendiary response against the person who has written the post.

      It’s a sad thing to say of anyone and I apologize in advance for it…but the person your arguments most remind me of is Rush Limbaugh. He is a US conservative radio talk show host who popularized the word “feminazi”. Listen to him when you can…you might find a lot of things in common.

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    • I agree with you about class hatred. People are often told (myself included) that we shouldn’t go out with men who are “not of our social status” because “they don’t have the proper education to treat women correctly”. We all know this is inherently incorrect, and it’s been proven time and time again. Lots of people have married those of lower class, and those individuals have had, by and far, been much better human beings than many, many upper class people.

      However, I don’t think this situation is what you are describing it as. The man may have been of a lower social status, but he was an abusive control freak who lied about his status in order to “test” a girl. That is red flag number one. If your partner is lying to you about things like their job, education, and circumstances, you should leave them ASAP. It has nothing to do with class and everything to do with the fact that they are dishonest. If your partner wants to control your dress, insults your family, calls you “page 3 people” (a class insult all on its own), tells you that you who you can and cannot be friends with, those are all valid things you can call a human being out on.

      You’re not insulting someone’s class when you point out universal faults that all human beings have. You ARE insulting someone’s class when you say they are lying, deceiving and dishonest BECAUSE they are low-born. The parts of the e-mail that you picked and chose carefully are parts which highlight that dishonesty, but they do not explicitly state that such dishonesty stems from being of “low birth”. The e-mail writer highlights the education of the girl because in India education = maturity, when it doesn’t. You can have all the PhD’s in the world, but still be socially inept.

      In any case, class-hatred is one thing, but that is no reason to not help someone who is being abused. Even if the e-mail does display class hatred, as you say it does, that doesn’t negate the fact that B and C are still in very real danger of ruining their lives by continuing with these men.

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    • @Abhishek
      That’s not the right way to look at the things. Let me share some points which come to my mind after seeing this kind of language in the letter.

      1. The letter writer is trying to show the differences between the two people involved in the relathionship, there educational, social, mental difference, it possible that it comes across as class hatered to some but the writer wants to show the differences between the two people to give the reader better information.

      2. The letter writer has come out of a bad abusive relationship, she will have feeling of anger or hatered towards her former partner and it’s possible that this feeling came out while she was writing the letter, nothing wrong or class hatered in that, it’s just her feelings towards that man which came out.

      3. When a person has been in an abusing relationship what do you want her to think about her partner, of course she may choose to use offensive words to describe him. What you should do is not read the letter from your point of view, but from the writer’s point of view, what she has gone through, what she has felt, how her feelings must be towrads her former bf and how it can come out in words in a letter. You can’t just pick words and say these depict class hatered you also have to pick the mindset of the person using those words, what she must be going through only then you can say something. As it happens it’s not an easy thing to do and that’s why counselling exists as a separate profession.

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    • Well ,if the king’s stable boy (or even a prince) starts with lying about himself to portray an image of what he is not ,gives the princess hell for being who she is and unleashes this kind of twisted mental torture then indeed he is a despicable one.

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  8. A can at best try to din some good sense into the heads of B and C. Both B and C are well qualified, professional women, capable of standing on their own two feet and old enough to think for themselves. If despite being shown the hard facts they are not willing to see day light, so be it. Let them learn through their own experiences.

    You do not clarify whether B and C are in love with men who are in a lower social rung or are controlling types too. If it is just a matter of social differences and they are willing to make the necessary adjustments, well, it is entirely upto them. If, however, they are in abusive relationships and think it is “true love” then they have a lesson or two to be learnt. Life and Experience are the best teachers. So A should after adequate warning just remain a by-stander and watch what is happening, or even better get on with her own life.

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  9. Déjà vu from college to me – seen guys and girls like this. I think folks during college have the maturity of a 14-year old when it comes to relationships. I always wondered why women get into such bad relationships. My college best friend (girl) fell for a guy who nobody liked, he just saw a pastime in her, while she saw a partner. One fine day, he went for a vacation to his town and came back with his wife. She was broken, and had to continue in the same class with him for 2 more years.

    Similarly, I got into a relationship with a terrible girl who nobody else liked, and she dumped me after several months, leaving me with a scarred heart and a ton of unpaid shopping bills. She refused to pay because she thought I didn’t deserve to be paid.

    All said and done, this is a part of growing up. Wish B and C all the best

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    • Been in the same situation too. =/ What I thought was a relationship didn’t even turn out to be one, not to mention that I had to censor a lot of what I believed in to make him happy. Shame, because ultimately, it came down to the maturity level that we both had. But it’s also where I learned that ultimately, I shouldn’t have to disguise myself to make someone else happy.

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  10. There is something called life, the perfect teacher, who gives question paper first and lesson later.
    B and C will learn their lessons as A did. Some things are best learnt the hard way else you’ll forget their value.
    Hindsight is great isn’t it? A can now(or at some earlier point) realize her mistakes/stupidities but did she recoganize them at the time she was going through all this? People close to her, her parents, friends, well wishes some of them must have told her what mistake she is making, did she listen to them? Then she must realize this is the exact same phase B and C are going through, they won’t listen (at least easily). Love isn’t called blind for no reason.
    What will eventually happen, things will take their due course and life will teach them an unforgettable lesson, which will make them more mature (hopefully). Till that time A can share her experiences, insights, thoughts, worries with them and hope they realize their mistakes and take actions to correct them. This is all I am afriad A can do, afterall you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

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    • One important point I missed in the earlier post.
      The post describes what happened to A, the incidents of her relationship with D. But it doesn’t say that about B and C, it only says they are in similar situation.
      It will help if A can give some incidents from B and C’s relations as well to let a reader have better knowledge about what’s happening with B and C. Because it’s possible that A is viewing B and C’s relationships through her own experiences and trying to fit them in her own shoes (not intentionally, but unkonwingly) while in reality B and C’s relationships are normal with their own ups and downs like any other relationship. It will hep if the letter writer can share some of B’s and C’s incidents as well which make her feel that they are too in abusive relations.

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  11. I think when it comes to relationships, we lack role models. Whom do we look to? Our parents, uncles and aunts? They all practice patriarchy to varying degrees. Movies? They objectify women and preach absurd notions of “pure love” and “sacrifice”.
    Maybe discuss with your friends what makes for a good, healthy relationship.

    – both have similar priorities (ambition and achievement may be important to some, others may be more laid back)
    – both love each other (love means caring about the other’s comfort, happiness)
    – both respect each other and understand boundaries (treat each other like adults, are not controlling, suspicious, etc)
    – both have a sense of self worth (which has nothing to do with economic status, degrees, or parents’ qualifications or caste)
    – both can have some differences of opinion from time to time but are able to resolve it win a mature way without blaming, finger pointing, insulting, or humiliating each other.
    – Both share a sense of humor/fun, don’t take themselves too seriously.

    Hopefully having some idea of what makes a good healthy relationship will help your friends understand what to look for in a partner.

    And of course, it’s their life. You can only suggest and share your views. Ultimately, their lives and decisions are in their own hands.

    Like

    • I am rating this reply down because the author is trying to fit in patriarchy into a relationship problem which has nothing to do with it.
      If patriarchy is the reason for such abusive relations then there shouldn’t be any such relations in places and socities where patriarchy isn’t practised, but I am unable to find one such country where this type of relations don’t occur. This type of relations have nothing to do with patriarchy and they aren’t India specific either, they solely depend on the nature of partners. So please stop bringing in patriarchy into everything just because you have to.

      Secondly about role models, every religious book has one who possesses the qualities of a perfect person, if humans were to follow the role models then they would have followed them and there woundn’t have any bad in the world but it’s simply isn’t into human nature. One can be a good person without a role model and a bad person even with a good role model.

      Like

      • While it is true that abuse in a relationship can be caused without patriarchy (as we see in the West), the converse is often true – patriarchy creates abusive relationships. Since patriarchy is the dominant model for most relationships in the Indian context, it does influence men and women into playing controlling/dependent roles. I’m speaking in a purely Indian context here, since the email writer and her friends are all Indian.

        While it is true at least some of the time that some people can be good and strong and sensible even when they grow up without good role models (such people have an innate strength and are often independent), the reverse is overwhelmingly true. Children who grow up in homes with open communication, healthy relationships, and self esteem have a very high probability of making good, sensible decisions in their lives and relationships. Therefore role models are important and they need to exist and it is the parents’ job to create them. It doesn’t happen as much as we’d like it to, but that doesn’t mean creating good role models has no value.

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        • sorry got cut off …..
          The latter point is like saying … we could eat healthy food and exercise and we could still have a heart attack at 40. People who eat unhealthy may end up living a long life. That doesn’t mean we stop eating healthy or exercising.

          We could give our kids a good education and exposure and they may still not avail of opportunities. Some people become successful in life even without being given a good education. Doesn’t mean we stop educating our kids.

          We do what makes sense and HOPE that it will make a difference.

          Like

        • Patriarchal norms influence relationships in most societies, East or West, fathers and sons still carry forward family names, women do not have names of their own.

          Like

        • Patriarchal norms influence relationships in most societies, East or West, fathers and sons still carry forward family names, women do not have names of their own.

          Exactly what I was going to say! Patriarchal norms are thriving in the West as well, just under a different guise. While they may be less overt and less “traditional” (as opposed to “Indian” experiences), they make life miserable for women AND men in the “West” as well. And it isn’t just confined to names and “carrying the family forward” – its seen in the glass ceiling, the the judgements towards single moms, the lack of pay equity, to name a few things.

          Like

  12. Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh. What a horrible, horrible mess of a situation this was. I’m glad that the girl got out of the situation, but it’s always painful to see someone else go through the same thing you go through and not wake up. The only thing you can possibly do is tell them the story, explain the similarities between them, and pray that they wake up and smell the coffee. The links that GirlsGuideToSurvival is an excellent place to start as well. A’s story is anecdotal, but just seeing the plain facts might help them realize what they have gotten themselves into.

    Like

  13. This letter could have been cut short a LOT!
    A falls in love with D, who is socio-economically from a different background than A.
    A is insecure, jealous and controlling and makes her do everything he asks for, including breaking up with all her friends and forcing her to go to lonely places to make out with him under the guise of “love”. He does not treat her well, and when push comes to a shove, he calls and abuses her family and speaks ill of her character BECAUSE she did exactly what he asked her to do (like going out to places he asked for and making out with him as he asked for though she was hesitant).
    When she finally dumped his sorry ass, all was well with her world.

    Now she needs to convince two others that they are making the same mistake she made a long time ago.

    See? Simple!

    And really, these women will have to learn from A’s example, and plenty of other examples, and do it all in their own time. No one can force them to change their minds when they have such skewed ideas of what love is.

    Like

    • Giving the response a thumbs down.
      When someone shares his/her problems with you, you can heal half his wounds simply by being a good listener, the letter wirter is taking pains to wirte such a long letter because it will make her feel relieved to share her pain with others, so it becomes our responsibility to be good listners and make sure she feel better. And if you don’t feel you’re such type then no need to read such long letters I am pretty sure you’d be having many other important things to do in your life.

      Like

      • What I implied by my comment was that the person writing the letter did not have to bring about details of socio-economic differences by demeaning a poor person or someone who owns a shop or whatever. Being a doctor or engineer has nothing to do with being mature and sensible.
        In India, there is enough class bias as it is. The writer makes it seem like the guy is at fault purely because of his lower economic state, which is untrue. He is a jerk cos that’s who he is. There are plenty of rich people who come from “upscale” families who are just as messed up.

        I have no issues reading long mails, in fact, most of the mails (and comments) written by people on this forum are very long and never have I suggested they be anything less.

        Like

    • Thank God ! they will be spared from husbands who will not acknowledge that he is married 11 years of marriage . ( the wife found out after visiting his native village and realzed that the parents had kept their sons marriage hidden from all of their extended family members and neighbors for 14 years )

      She is now on her way out of the marriage.

      This husband pretends to be naive about all this , but the wife thinks that this naiveness is all very selective and a normally quiet guy is very chatty and friendly to his parents. Now the wife thinks that the guy could be mentally retarded ! ( but then how can he get into IIT with a rank of 108) . when questioned the husband said that he wanted to keep his parents at peace ! because his marriage was out of religion.

      Your thoughts will really be appreciated.

      Like

  14. I don”t have any advice for the lady. She has given way too much information on A(which i presume is the letter writer) including all the pain she has taken to bring out the socio economic differences . For B and C the only information we have is that their fathers are ‘big’ doctors’ and they are in similar situations. Does she mean they are in love with guys of from lower social background or abusive ones? No doubt the guy she dated was abusive and I congratulate her on getting out of it.

    Like

  15. A needs to talk to them about abuse, mental and physical, about controlling behavior and about living their lives happily. everyone is entitled to freedom and happiness. and leave it at that,
    so they fall in love with the wrong type, and then they get out maybe. and move on. maybe they dont’ you can advise and show them they are getting into a mess but beyond that everyone is entitles to their mistakes. :-) and if they are 27 and not mature enough, this will mature them really quickly I’d say, next time they will be wiser for it.

    Like

  16. After the reading the letter and the comments I agree with most of them who have said that A needs to support her friends and just stand by them as apart from explaining the pros and cons each individual is left to take their own decisions in life, no body can be forced to take a decision. And as far as “class hatred” and discrepancy against lower class, I am sure the letter writers intention was not to point out class difference but it became important for her to write about it as D had lied to her about it which is very disturbing.

    Like

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