An email : I feel I should never get married to him because nobody is anyway going to accept him.

I am sharing the second one of the emails I received from Indian daughters. This is the other side of what the American Woman faced in an earlier post.
I have substituted the name of the American boyfriend with The American Man.

I got married when I was 25. I married a man whom I knew in school but mainly stayed in touch online for almost 3-4 years before getting married. After I started staying with him I realised that not only were we incompatible in many aspects but he always treated me like a child and didn’t really respect me as an individual. He kept saying I had the potential to be a better or more ideal person. I was hurled upon constant critisism which made me bitter, frustrated and low self esteemed person. I dealt with this for 3 yrs until I met someone (An American guy, I live in US) who initially was a friend but slowly I started to feel he had more respect for me than my own husband. I was more comfortable being myself and I thought I was a worthy person. Anyways I started liking him so much that I literally told my husband I wanted to leave him. I acted on an impulse cause I had found my freedom and my husband’s first decision was to divorce me. I am not discounting the fact that though I am with this American guy currently I am still grieving about my divorce. I have been struggling with the social stigma I have faced since then, the rejection, the remorse, the guilt.
Though it was my own decision to leave my ex -husband I started doubting myself even though the American guy has been very very good to me all this while. Has treated me like an equal, has been affectionate and valued me as a person. Now almost 2 years has passed since my divorce and my ex husband wants to get back with me. He doesn’t know that I am with the American guy. He never asked me, I never told him. The question I wanted to ask you is I have doubts of making a life and also having children with this American guy. Though he actively participates in Indian culture like we go to Indian movies, he loves Indian food, we go for cultural shows etc. he has never imposed anything on me and has never put any restrictions, I still feel I will be struggling with him due to our cultural differences (specially when we have children). Also I don’t know if  American guy will ever be socially accepted, matter of fact any guy will ever be socially accepted by my family, relatives. My parents even lie about my divorce in India and that makes me feel a very lowly person. They hide this information so I feel I should never get married to the American Guy  because nobody is anyway going to accept him.
I miss the feeling of being at home when American Guy’s  parents visit because they are so different from my parents. I have no adjustment problems with the guy but I don’t know how I will deal with the cultural aspect in the future. Should I still continue with the relation knowing that we are so different in our backgrounds?
Can you please advice? I cannot make another mistake in choosing the right person for marriage. Thanks for listening.
I am happy with the American more than I was with the Indian guy but I can’t tell my extended family that I got divorced cause they will look down upon me and give grief to my parents.
About the Indian guy, when you are young people leave a lasting impression and its hard to forget them and you are attached, even when its negatively affecting you. If the society accepts the American man I will be very satisfied and happy. I think they don’t accept him because I am divorced and he is the “second guy” and  second he is American.
Thanks for listening to me, I have been struggling since 2 years and have developed health issues due to this indecision and stress related with the divorce.
Excuse any typo since writing in a hurry in the middle of work.
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48 thoughts on “An email : I feel I should never get married to him because nobody is anyway going to accept him.

  1. I so not get the doubts here ! When you know you are happier with the American guy, more than your ex husband, why do you still want to get back to him ? If he could keep you happy, or wanted to keep you with him, why the divorce in first place ?

    And when you say, no one will accept this American guy, it stems from the thought that maybe you have not accepted a life with him yet. You are not going to live in India i guess, so you have a better chance at avoiding the society’s reaction. If you say your happiness lies with this guy, your parents might eventually accept it too. But you have to be sure first.


  2. Dear letter writer,

    Your concerns are all very valid, and it shows great foresight and maturity that you are not rushing headlong into this relationship and instead looking at possible barriers with clear eyes.

    First: Don’t go back to your ex husband! That’s completely ridiculous. Why would you want to break up a happy relationship to go back to someone you have already decided is not right for you?

    Now, the bad news is that everything you say is true, and probably worse. Sorry. Cultural differences can be difficult to bridge. From your end, you will constantly be coming up against very strange (to you) expectations and judgements from your boyfriend and his relatives – but perhaps because you have lived in the US for a while now, that won’t be as big a deal as the expectations and judgements your boyfriend will face from YOUR relatives. Have you thought about how he might feel to be rejected by your side of the family? Does he really understand the way Indians feel about foreigners marrying Indian women? Does he know what to expect? Watching bollywood movies won’t prepare him for what’s in store!

    The good news is this: you can make it work if you embrace *his*/western values rather than Indian values. In India we think that community, family, respect for elders, traditions, etc are the most important things. In the US, people firmly believe that your individual happiness trumps everything, and nobody gives a damn if your family even disowns you as long as you are happy. It’s two different extremes, nobody can decide for you which suits you best. You have to be willing to choose the latter, though, if you want to make a life with this guy.

    One more thought: is it necessary that you get married to this man? Can you not continue as you are now for another few years? Is your (or his) heart really set on marriage and children and the whole shebang? Because you know what they say – don’t try to fix what isn’t broken.

    And finally, a strategy: maybe if you stay unmarried for another year or two, and in the meantime, visit India and be very open with all your friends and relatives about your divorce so that everyone knows about it and your parents cannot lie anymore. Soon people will start pressuring your parents to get you remarried. Your parents will start feeling the pressure also. And then when they start pressuring YOU to get married, you wait and you wait and you wait… and then when they cannot stand it anymore you produce your boyfriend. By that time they will be willing to ‘settle’ for anyone you choose. Do you think that will work for you? 🙂


    • Well, she has already stuck it out for two years and been perfectly happy. So why not take the plunge if she wants to? Ignore society, is what I say. I have been doing that for years, and the pleasure it gives me is really immeasurable. Aunties fuming about your “tejness” but unable to do a single thing is the greatest fun ever!


    • @samosaofdoom, I like the last two paragraphs of your reply, my thoughts exactly!

      What I would like to ask the emailer is, at present is marriage on the table? Are you ppl discussing about it? If not, why take unnecessary stress? why not live together for some more time and be happy? Mean while let the news of your divorce float into public domain. This might be a difficult time for you, hopefully the american guy will support you through that and you will come to realize that whatever anybody else say, you really need this person in your life!!


  3. Go with what makes you happy. Forget the society. The society would not come to help you if you were starving and naked in a gutter. Marry the American, and put all unhealthy thoughts out of our mind. Avoid the people creating negativity, instead of letting them shun you. Bring the power back in your hands, instead of giving it to random people you don’t even know.


  4. Hi ,

    I read your e-mail and the first thing i feel is you need to be true to yourself. Remember you made a conscious decision to leave your Indian , socially-accepted husband in-spite of knowing the consequences. It just shows that you were really unhappy with him..

    Now you say the american guy treats you well , you’re happy – then why the thought even going back to your ex. I know the cultural differences exist, but just think – if you’re still with the American for two years , then there is certainly something beautiful between you both.

    The society and the world who look down will not be there for you always. They will forget you the very second after they criticize. But a companion who loves and respects you will stay by your side always.

    So choose wisely – why do you want to face a lifetime of unhappiness for somebody else’s approval?


    • Moreover, elders will pass away and you will be left alone with those of your generation and younger. It’s your responsibility to decide who you want to share the rest of your life with!


  5. Choose the partner who makes your life beautiful. This will enable you to be a better person, a better wife, a better mother and a better daughter too.

    Your unhappiness and frustration will trickle down to your most significant relationships eventually.

    Culture is a part of our identity. This is true for you and the American guy. If both of you are happy cherishing “the best of both worlds” in your relationship, then you have nothing to worry about.

    Basing your decision on what society thinks is a very bad idea. Their fascination towards your story will eventually fade and you will be left to deal with your own life. No one will come to your rescue then.

    Good luck!


  6. As a woman married to “an American guy” for more than two decades, I have some experience of what an intercultural marriage is all about.

    Keeping aside everyone else’s reactions (desi family, his family, friends etc) look within yourself and answer the following fundamental question honestly.

    When you talk to your American Guy, when you cook/clean/fight with him, when you eat dinner with him, when you talk finances with him, when you sleep with him… do you feel he is a different creature than you? Does his being American figure in your interpersonal relationship? Are you afraid of how his “american side” will react to events that concern you? During the day, when you think of him offhand, is he your American Guy or is he just “your guy”?

    There is no right and wrong answer to the question. But your answer will be fundamental to predicting SOME (not all) important blessings or pitfalls for the future for your relationship.

    Very often your relationship with your own culture has a very profound influence in whether your relationship with someone from another culture will work. Often we so jealously hold fast to our ties with our own culture (due to fear of the unknown, social approbation…whatever) that we fail/forget to build a bridge to anywhere else. It is possible to build those bridges and move seamlessly back and forth between cultures with dignity and peace intact, if you are sure of where you stand vis-a-vis your own cultural attitudes.

    As for not feeling comfortable with his parents. Ofcourse, you do not. And why should you have to feel like they are your parents? That is never a given. They are not your parents and they have not read the Indian Culture rule book where inlaws have to behave familiarly whether they like you or not. Are you looking for readymade everything? Mutual respect will grow given time and patience.

    I will say that my own American inlaws made lots and lots of allowances for me as I figured my own way through American social and family expectations. They were aware and respectful that I was adapting to a different culture and came out to meet me more than halfway on our journey to finding a good place for our relationship. American’s can be quite generous in that way, if they like you as a person.

    You are going to live in the US. Do what makes you happy in the US. A confident and happy person makes it easier even for disgruntled familes (yours?) to relate to and be happy for. Family comes around eventually. Compatible good men to spend the rest of your life with… they don’t come by always.

    In anycase, do not rush into anything. From the arms of one, into another’s – is a recipe for disaster sometimes. Live with him, spend time with him, make your own life and then see how seamlessly you both blend into each other’s life.

    And please remember liking Indian food and movies is no predictor for whether he wants to be desi like you. He probably does not. Best is for you to enjoy your desi things, for him to enjoy his familiar things and for the both of you to enjoy some things in common without the whole American/desi thing rearing it’s head in every instance. It is about values(not MORALS…. which is often a cultural construct) held in common. Celebrate what you have in common and it is all good.


    • First of all congratulations on finding a partner, who treats you as an equal, is making you happy, respects you and above all values you.

      Now for your parents / society. Did you ever tell your parents the true story of what went on in your marriage before your divorce? If you did, what did your parents do? Did they intervene/ try to help you in some way or did they come up with the it’s your fate / destiny or he will eventually change dialogue.
      If you did not tell your parents, then you have to come clean now and tell them about the time in hell that you had with your ex. This is not because you are required to tell your parents everything, but because you feel that their approval is necessary. Its going to be a slow road, but i’m sure that if they really love you, even if they disapprove on the outside they will be secretly happy that their daughter found happiness.

      Society, culture and traditions’ real purpose was to create order out of chaos and to help people live a harmonious life. Culture wasn’t supposed to be stagnant, culture is supposed to evolve and accommodate. Having lived in the US for close to a decade I can tell you that there are aspects of both cultures that are same, nosy MILS, abusive husbands, dependent parents, tiffs with family and siblings, etc. The only difference is that here I feel people give themselves permission to be happy and find happiness more easily. Which is what you should do too. Also, you are not the first person in the so called society to divorce or marry out if caste/culture/ religion etc. Its been done before and will be done more often in the future.

      If your new guy (i’m not even going to call him american guy) is all what you have said then he’s probably smart enough to know that you are still conflicted and he still is with you which also makes him extremely patient. Which is also a good quality in a partner.

      Do not even think of marriage yet, try to be happy in your relationship first. Make a two column list write down things about your ex and your boyfriend and compare, read it whenever you feel a longing for your former life. Find a good therapist, go alone first and sort out your feelings, then go with him. Do a workshop for inter racial or intercultural couples, start a blog ( there are many blogs written by women who aren’t desi married to Indian/paki/bangladeshi guys).

      Lastly, while its certainly possible to go through life without a partner, a loving, supportive and caring partner enhances that experience a hundred fold. So GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION to BE HAPPY. Hope this helps.

      P.S. I have added this reply as a post on my blog


  7. Am sorry, but the writer is thoroughly confused with both people and in both the relationships. If I were you, I ‘d not be in any hurry to get married. Having burned myself once, I’d rather take things very slowly and plunge into matrimony only when I am 100% sure. Why does it have ot be like this american guy or the ex. Give time to yourself. Enjoy the company of those who respect you and love you – take things slowly!


  8. IHM, After reading this letter I somehow got a sense that this girl was feeling guilty for not just walking out of a loveless marriage but also for finding happiness in a man other than her ex husband. And the reason for this unnecessary guilt is the same old social conditioning that Indian girls are brought up with, wherein all through their lives they are drilled into achieving THE goal of finding a husband and seeking happiness in him even if he keeps treating them them like doormats. If they can’t win their husbands’ love they had better be content with being resigned to their ‘destinies’! And if they do find the courage to walk out of the marriage and seek a happier life, the very societal pressure cows them down to make them feel guilty for their own happiness.
    So I’d just advice the girl to just ignore the society and do what makes her happy. If being with American guy is what makes her so then nothing or no one should come in the way.


  9. You are suffering from interracial relationship stress that can literally drive you crazy ! That ominous feeling of ” I will be struggling with him due to our cultural differences (specially when we have children)” trust me; will not go away no matter how hard you try.

    In this stage best to discard both men and make some time for yourself. Once the stress is gone, you will be able to see/think more clearly and wont need strangers like me providing advice. You’ll be able to see the path for yourself.


  10. I agree with Samosaofdoom and AnotherKiraninNYC and others.
    Forget your Indian Ex husband. Don’t even dream of renewing that old relationship.
    Stick with this American for some more time
    Wait a little before marrying him.
    Discuss all your reservations and fears with him frankly.
    Set yourself a target date ( some months, or some years, that’s up to you)
    If you both continue to love each other, then go ahead and take the plunge and care a damn for what Indian society will say.
    If you are still hesitant, then stop torturing yourself and gently disentangle yourself from this relationship and try your luck elsewhere with some one else in future.

    If you decide to marry him, and if you are going to live there for ever, his non acceptability to Indian society is a non issue.
    Don’t expect him to become a desi. He can’t.
    You also don’t have to become an out and out American.
    Find a common meeting ground between these cultures, and enjoy the differences without allowing them to separate you.
    Settle in advance what religion your children will adopt if you both are the religious type.
    But let the children be culturally American. Don’t confuse them with twin identities.
    Tell your parents to inform everyone about your divorce.
    Get that off your back. You will all breathe easier after some time.

    In short, keep everything simple. Be direct, Be straight forward.
    Sort out this confusion in your mind early before it affects you physically and emotionally.
    Being on the horns of a dilemma is not a bad thing. Staying there for ever is bad.
    At some point you must decide. Trust your self to take the right decision and go ahead.
    My best wishes.


  11. Forget about the Indian guy. You might have had some good moments with him, but the total effect of the realtionship on you was negative. Your decision to leave him was not hasty. You gave him a good 3 years before leaving him.

    Understanding your parents’ concern for your future is one thing. Feeling guilt about ruining your parent’s reputation on account of the divorce, is another. Don’t sink in guilt. Convince your parents that divorce was the best option for you. Only when they are convinced, can they declare your divorce without any sense of shame.

    If you and American Guy have children, there will be parenting differences. But they are all solvable. Parenting differences are very common even with the same ethnicity parents.
    Some of the cultural differences between Indian and American parenting can be on the following issues:
    1. Children sleeping on the same bed as parents vs. sleeping in different rooms
    2. Age minor children are allowed to date
    3. Choice of career (Indian parents are controlling here)
    4. Table manners (washing hands before meals and eating with hands)
    5. Moms feeding kids more than 1 or 2 years old (I haven’t seen an American woman do it)
    (I haven’t mentioned “arranged marriage” because I don’t see why you would want your kids to go for it)

    All the best!


  12. wow!! 2 years is a long time to suffer!!

    first.. who expects u to be married all the time? ur parents.. and also ur own cultural conditioning. ?

    two , the first husband is a no go. the guy did not even ask u why u want a divorce and his first decision was to divorce u. this man sounds like bad news whichever way u look at it. nightmares shld be forgotten. not invited back into life.

    three, forget abt societal approval. society disapproved of the sati act being passed and people predicted that the earth will go to doom if sati pratha is stopped. no ok, the point i m making is, if u do get married to the american, you will be “that one” but slightly envied. and if u stay single or unhappily married, you will still be ridiculed. so , its abt u. its not abt them. or ur parents. this one time dont even think abt ur parents.


  13. You don’t need to be in an intercultural relationship to experience problems with family non-acceptance, lack of support and pressure to do “the right thing”. The bottom line is, either you develop a relationship because it makes you happy, or you do whatever your family expects you to do, because you can’t live without their contentment.

    Living with the guilt of “making your parents” lie to the relatives about your divorce is like chaining yourself to the wall. It was their choice to lie. If they don’t feel capable of dealing with the truth it’s their issue. Marriage and its probability of success is a matter of the couple in focus, not the whole family with every single relative having something “wise” to say. It’s time people realized that already!

    If you wait for having both – happy new relationship and a green light for re-marrying from your parents, you are gonna get old with that hope. Nobody can tell you which of the two is more important to you. You need to be honest with yourself about this. Happiness is not a matter of approval, it’s a matter of choice.

    Good luck!


  14. You need to be true to yourself and do whatever it is that makes you happy . Does he make you happy ? Does he take an interest in your culture and try to get to know things and is he open to them ?

    Marrying an Indian , of the same religion , region and caste could still give rise to problems of not being able to relate to him/them and being at different wavelengths. You don’t really his parents to be like yours. If they accept you , can relate to you and be there for you , they are already doing what a lot of family members don’t !

    You need to stand up for yourself, be happy that you are out of an unhappy marriage. Of all the people who talk, how many would come and help you if you are in trouble? Choose the people who matter and let them know of your divorce, the new guy and your decision to be happy (whether or not you end up with the American). Indian society often makes a bigger deal of what the society thinks than an individual’s happiness .


  15. Pingback: What to do when culture holds you back from happiness « Desi Woman's Guide

  16. I think the LW shouldn’t get married to the American Guy any time soon…Why? Because she obviously has doubts otherwise she wouldn’t have written this letter or even thought of going back to her ex (which, btw, is a ridiculous thought)…I wonder if her doubts about her current relationship are only cultural – maybe there is something else which she can’t pinpoint…


  17. I can so very well relate to the guilt of walking out of a dead marriage while having someone else in life. My guilt was more of “log kya kahenge…i left my husband for another guy…that will make me a bad characterless girl”.

    I have gradually accepted something I always knew- that my marriage was dead long before I met the ‘other guy’ who was initially a friend. I fell in love with this friend for all the right reasons and left my husband BECAUSE I found the courage and self-esteem to stand on my own two feet and NOT because of another man. Had this self-esteem been instilled in me by my parents I would have left my husband long back…or havnt married him in the first place.

    I have gradually made peace with myself and now everything else…society..parents…have stopped meaning the earth to me.

    Like we discussed in the previous post- parents wanting the best for their children is the biggest lie going around in our society. Like yours my mother too was more concerened about finding ways to disclose my divorce to relative than about me. And I ultimately realised that its just not worth basing my decisions keeping their happiness in mind. I am happier and at peace with myself and my partner and in no rush to get married.


  18. A friend of mine is married to an american. And he has wholeheartedly accepted Indian culture. And they have 2 adorable kids, with Indian names. SO much tht my friend’s mum says, my son in law is more Indian than my own kids. Have you spoken to him about this? quite possible that all this is in your head only. And whn this guy makes u so happy, why are you having second thoughts? Do you want to live for yourself or for the society?

    But first you need to figure your self out. Wht is it that you want? Another relationship? Maybe you are using the cultural difference as an excuse. Dig deeper into yourself and am sure you will have your answer. But u need to keep aside ur parents and their reactions to your divorce before you can sincerely do this.

    And I am a divorced mum, it all boils down to figuring out want you truly want.


  19. Of course I had to weigh in.

    One of the last times I saw my guy, I said to him: culture is a beautiful thing, but it can also smoother you to death if you let it.

    He agreed.

    I think it is interesting that so many people always want to say, “Oh, the cultural differences will make it too hard, best not to marry in the first place.” when these same people have never even been in an intercultural relationship! When me and my guy were together, we had some bumps in the road with explaining our feelings to one another, but I found that when we communicated openly, and honestly, we were able to figure it out. That is the same in any relationship.

    I ask our writer this: If you have been happy with this American Guy for two years now, why are you anticipating/assuming there might be such horrendous troubles down the road? Personally, I commend your guy because I know first hand how difficult it can be to be in a relationship with someone who might walk away from you at any moment because of their “culturally ingrained guilt”. He is more than just willing to watch Bollywood movies, and eat Indian dishes: he is still there, standing by your side.

    No, he will never be the Desi man your parents and society envision for you, but society is wrong if they condemn you for wanting to be truly loved. And this is largely where my grievance is: what the heck is up with society in India? Why so judgmental? Why is it acceptable behavior to put down others because of the life decisions they want to make? Why are people allowed/taught to treat each other this way?

    I think it is selfish for anyone to say that their happiness depends on you making choices that don’t ruin their reputation. You can make all of the “society approved choices” and still have people talk about you. That’s life. Some people are just haters.

    One day I said to my ex: “Baby, tell me this: if you marry a woman who is not Indian, will the rice stop growing in the fields?”
    Him: “No, it will not.”
    Me: “Then why the heck does anyone care who you marry and what you do? Are they paying your bills?”

    What I found in dealing with my ex, is that he has been taught/culturally ingrained, to be a martyr for the happiness of others (primarily his parents). He was taught that his happiness doesn’t matter. I think this is wrong. It’s unfair for parents to tell their kids that their happiness depends on them doing x,y,z.

    People like to say so much about America’s preference towards happiness and independent choices, but what I never see is people mentioning how it works both ways. I believe in my right to pursue my happiness just as much as I believe in your right to pursue your happiness. I support your right to be happy, and I hope that you support my right to be happy. If you don’t, oh well.

    My father may not agree with every decision I make, but he supports me if it makes me happy. And I feel the same. I don’t like everything my father does, but I want him to be happy just as much as he wants me to be happy. We wish equal happiness for each other.

    That is how I have been getting over the situation with my ex. I have to say, if having an arranged marriage is what makes him happy, then he should do it. Now is he happy? I have no idea. But he’s free to pursue what he thinks will make him happy.

    So my advice to you, dear Indian woman who is in love with an American man: Follow your heart. Take your time. You don’t have to marry this guy now, but give yourself permission to do so later if that is what you want. If your parents can’t be happy for you, I’m sorry, they are the ones with the problem. If they want you to live an unhappy life so they can hold their head high amongst gossiping, back-stabbing family members and neighbors, I am truly sorry, for they all are the ones with the problem.

    Stand your ground. Be a woman your future kids can be proud of: one who stands up for what she believes in. Start with being true to who you are.

    Everything else is negotiable.


  20. And if that wasn’t convincing enough, I follow with this quote from Steve Jobs:

    Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. -Steve Jobs


  21. You can either be a martyr or you can be happy.
    “I was hurled upon constant critisism which made me bitter, frustrated and low self esteemed person” – this is called emotional abuse. Why would you want to go back?

    “…..currently I am still grieving about my divorce. I have been struggling with the social stigma I have faced since then, the rejection, the remorse, the guilt. Though it was my own decision to leave my ex -husband I started doubting myself even though the American guy has been very very good to me all this while” – I’m guessing your parents & extended family need to be applauded for the the blinker like conditioning you’ve been subjected to. See Mandooka’s post on Indoctrination. Any of it sound familiar to you?

    “Though he actively participates in Indian culture like we go to Indian movies, he loves Indian food, we go for cultural shows etc. he has never imposed anything on me and has never put any restrictions” You’re the one whose being unfairly demanding. He’s doing his best to participate in activities that are fundamental to your Indian-ness. May I ask what you do for his American-ness?

    “I still feel I will be struggling with him due to our cultural differences (specially when we have children). Also I don’t know if American guy will ever be socially accepted, matter of fact any guy will ever be socially accepted by my family, relatives.” Here’s a question to really ask yourself. Do you accept him the way he is? Do you look at him and say to yourself, it would be perfect if his skin was brown? And as for not having the same comfort with his parents as with your own, that’s never going to happen. Simply becuase your parents are your parents and its a fool’s paradise to imagine that will be replicated in your in-laws place

    “My parents even lie about my divorce in India and that makes me feel a very lowly person.” Your parents would rather you have stayed in a marriage where you were miserable than be happy, and YOU’RE the one who is ashamed?

    “They hide this information so I feel I should never get married to the American Guy because nobody is anyway going to accept him.” Clearly American Guy has bigger problems than the acceptance of a bunch of random people on the other side of the world. The woman he’s with cant digest the fact that she’s with a man who doesn’t fit her mother’s cousin’s bhabi’s brother’s wife’s chachi’s uncle’s daughter’s mother in laws definition of socially acceptable.

    “If the society accepts the American man I will be very satisfied and happy.” Be kind and let this man go. He stuck with you through divorce and two years of your waffling on and on about Indian culture and differences with American culture. he deserves someone better than a woman who will willingly give up her life and his to a kangaroo court or panchayat session held by busy bodies who have no business to comment in the first place.

    I’m really sorry that my comments are a little harsh, but think about it. The ‘society’ who you would give him up for will not stick around and give you comfort when you’re on your own again. Instead they will throw insults at you for being a divorcee and will plague your parents to get you married again. It never ends. You can spend your life pandering to them.Did your acceptable indian husband make you happy? Its up to your parents to say/not say what they want regarding you to outsiders. Between being miserably acceptable and happily left to live your own life why not choose to be happy?


  22. Girl, grow up and get over yourself already!
    You have a wonderful man who loves and respects you and gave you the confidence to gain your self-respect back. If he is from a culture and family that has made him that kind of man, what exactly are you worried about?


  23. I’m not old enough to really ‘advice’, but I have an example which might help you. My grand mother’s sister has been married (for I don’t know how long..close to 50 years may be) to a man who has never considered her human. Recollecting a few incidents that happened during my childhood (which I couldn’t understand back then), I now know how much the lady’s been through.
    She never had a choice. She’d be an outcast. She was ‘dependent’ on her husband for ‘everything’. (She wasn’t educated enough to earn her living. Also, she didn’t dare to try to earn her living).
    But I don’t think you have to succumb to any of the above.
    You have already made a decision once to keep yourself happy. Why not do it again?


  24. WOW……
    Well, first of all, your first husband was trying to make you better where he felt you could improve, and your ego did not allow that. if you did not like to be treated like a child, did you talk to him about that? How did you deal with it?
    You made the decision to marry him after a few years of knowing him and then you dumped him. That’s what it is, with all your explanations. You cared for only your feelings, you did not care for how that guy would have felt. Did you try and talk to him about your problems? We do not know his side of the story.
    And you divorced him because you found another guy while still married to him, as simple as that. The grass on the other side of the fence is always green.
    I just hope your ex-husband finds a better person than you. I do not know him, but from your side of the story, he deserves a better person.


    • I guess Ananya is addressing the LW here but I am sorry I just cannot help pitching in

      WOW !
      Hail Ananya, our lady of ideal Indian womanhood, the patron saint of patriarchy.

      You, LW, you, letting your ego butt in when your Leader/ King/ Lord and Master was only trying to knock some sense into your head and make you a better person!! You had the cheek to dump him? You had the gall to think of your own feelings? How UNSUBMISSIVE of you, tsk tsk.

      And Ananya has a point (as always), doesn’t she–your ex-husband deserves a better person–in fact he , and every other male on earth, deserves to be married to someone who is just like Ananya.


  25. Even I do not like some traits in my husband, he does not like a few traits in me, we argue a lot…. but we don’t dump each other…… We try to accommodate each other as they are.
    I am being cruelly honest, your act was selfish and immature. Full Stop. If a husband treats his wife like a child, it reflects his love and protectiveness towards her. If the wife had issues, she could talk and let him know there are other ways to show his love and concern. And even if he goes on, that’s his way of showing his love. Not all men are born to be feminists’ puppets.
    But that’s what you feminists want. You won’t adjust one bit, but will expect the world to adjust. you won’t move an inch but expect others to buckle down. your feelings and wants are the most important things and you will use and throw others.
    If this leaves you incensed, so be it. That’s the truth.


      • Arguing and disagreeing are part of life. Being submissive does not mean I am a wordless slave.
        When two human beings come together, there is bound to be conflicts.
        And when one of them is ever willing to use her gender, play the blame game and walk out for small things, the matters get worse.
        Conflicts must be resolved and divorce is a last resort, in the rarest of rare cases where one cannot stand any more abuse. Not a panacea for small issues and self inflicted stress.
        What these women want is control, in the name of equality.


    • As far as I have understood you from you comments, I am sure you will not understand what it means to be not respected or the effect constant criticism has on anyone. As you yourself have mentioned, you are submissive by nature and very adjusting to the extent that you do not mind having an identity that is defined by what others want.

      But you have to understand that there are a lot of us who are not like that. We want to be respected for our thoughts and ideas, for who we are and not some mutated submissive version of us. We are confident that even by being ourselves and not giving up on things that matter to us, we can make a good life. We can find partners who treat us as equals and who in turn want to be treated as equals and not as some leader/king. We want partners whose sense of self worth is not defined by how submissive the wife is. We want partners who are confident of who they are and are not threatened by our strong personalities, who do not think cleaning their own baby’s bum is beneath them. And don’t you think even for one instant that such men don’t exist. They do. And I am glad LW found someone like this.

      Also, I do not understand why you are so decidedly biased against all women who stand up to their husbands. What does LW say that makes you feel she wants to control anyone else? If at all she wants control, its for her life and what she should make of it. You have so easily labeled all us feminists as control freaks, selfish beings who do not spare a thought for anyone else. But really you should ask yourself if that is right? Read this blog post. Read the responses. Read all the other blog posts. Most of the time it is just a group of people who are trying to help each other without any selfish interests. This blog is the biggest example of a selfless act.

      Nothing you have said here right or of any help to the lady in question. You call her selfish and immature. I would just say there is nothing wrong in being selfish. Heck if everyone(esp. women) was a litte selfish, the world would be a better place. Only a person who is truly happy or say at peace with their life, can make others happy in a sustainable way.

      I would just want to implore you to be a bit sensitive and unbiased in your views. Everyone deserves a chance at happiness. Everyone deserves to choose who they want to be. Everyone deserves to be respected. Everyone deserves the right to decide what they should and should not compromise on. I wish you would understand that.


  26. How would you feel, if a husband was not happy with a woman he married after knowing her for a few years, lived with her for 3 years, had some issues, found a “better” woman outside the marriage and just told on impulse that he was leaving her?

    Ah! Then you will cry foul. All the feminist forums will discuss how cruel and heartless the husband was, how much emotional grief the poor wife went through etc……

    true. In that case, the wife can be supported. And so in this case, spare a thought for the first husband.


  27. The modern woman will respect and entertain the wishes of her husband as long as she is ok with those. If she is not ok with those, she will act bull headed, regardless of hos the husband feels.
    On the other hand, when her husband is not ok with her wishes, she will not budge like she expects her husband to. Because she is a woman, her ilk have been suppressed by men!
    What a feminist wants in the name of equality is superiority;
    A feminist will not want to be controlled, because it is in her nature to dominate and control. And to hide that psyche, she will claim that she is getting out of a shackle (that in most cases is non-existent).
    You can have your blogs and discuss in your own forums, but seriously, none gives you much thought in the big world outside, other young women included, self included.


  28. There is a lot that LW has written here that I can relate to. I know how it is like to be in a relationship where whatever you do is not appreciated. Being told that we can do better. The feeling of not being able to live up to someone’s expectations, somebody who you love. It makes a big dent in your confidence, self-esteem. When you are in love with someone, you tend to look at yourself through their eyes. So if all you get is criticism, then you take it to heart. At least that’s what happened to me. LW, I have learnt it the hard way that the only expectations that you need to live up to are your own and that you should cut yourself some slack every now and then.

    I am happy that you moved away from your marriage and found happiness again. My suggestion would be to not give up on your current relationship. As far as I could see all the reasons why you do not want to be with the guy are external to your relationship with him – society, parents, family, culture etc. Society cares only until they don’t find another issue/person to talk about. Most parents are happy when they see their kids happy. Culture is what you make of it. Personally, I like to follow the path to doing things that I think are right and that appeal to my sensibilities.

    And think about it – you were with a guy who everyone approved of but who did not give you what you deserve. So just because you had everyone’s approval it didn’t mean it was right for you. So in the same vein, even if you have everyone’s disapproval it won’t mean it is wrong for you.
    And being married to an American, I am assuming you would not live in India. If so, then why do you have to think so much about what the society would say?

    I am sure that being married to a person from another country would mean that even otherwise simple decisions(esp. when children come along) might not be easy but then when has anything, that is worth having, been easy.

    Take a leap of faith. Follow your heart. Trust the guy. He deserves it. More importantly, you deserve it.


  29. I might not be valid here. Never married and still fighting it. But my question is this: ” Could this reluctance on your part to get married to the American Guy be because you don’t really love him ? ” I mean i know you get along well, that he cares for you and gives you all you need. Or do you feel guilty that you don’t deserve it from him, that he will be short changed if he married you ?

    If its the first one, which i believe is highly possible (natural to be attracted to a person who is ready to accept you for all you are, but not necessarily be in love with them) you need to have a long deep look into yourself. The answer may surprise you. If its the second, I advise you discuss it with him and he will put all your fears to rest.

    Please not that both options do not involve society or your ex at all. You live in America and sooner or later that will become your society, your people and if you marry the American Guy, your family. So it doesnt matter. Your parents will also slowly accept the idea that you like him ( I think if they are ok with you living in America, it is not going to be too hard for them to accept you having an American husband.)

    Your ex is exactly that – an Ex. He belongs in the past. More likely than not, he thinks you are pining and waiting for him to call you back (yes, we men have huge egos).

    Hope this makes some sense.


  30. Pingback: “What is it in a ceremony of a few hours, that makes women fight tooth and nail to preserve the marriage, however unhappy they may be…?” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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