An email: The wedding cards are distributed and the family izzat is involved…

Sharing an email…

Hello IHM

Maybe you don’t know me but I count you as a friend since I think of the IHM and the readers of this blog as family.
Today I write to u as I am in desperate need of some advice, …my gut feeling has been veering towards you. The thing is I am stuck in a rut… please please hear me out, and give me your valuable suggestions, because I write to you with a lot of hope…
I was in a relationship for more than two years, my parents just did not approve of him but he is everything that I dream of in a guy, and much beyond that too. He is the sole earning member in the family of 6 and is going through financial issues. Even though it does not affect me it was a problem for my parents. It was a very rough phase, in the meanwhile a rishta was proposed through some common relatives. It made my family very happy and I said yes, the rokka was fixed and the guy came down to India to spend time with me.
It was all ok, and I thought with time we will fall in love, even when he was here we were short of things to talk about and did have a few unpleasant incidents… something seems missing… we have had uncomfortable silences between us and lack of communication… I have tried speaking to him, but unable to explain that the magic is missing, and how I want us to talk and work on the relationship.
Now the wedding is around the corner (next month), and I seem to develop cold feet, I am absolutely blank… I don’t seem to be in the right frame of mind to commit to somebody for life, as i feel i will not be able to do justice to both of us…
I don’t know what to do… whether to follow my heart say no to the wedding and go after love or get married to somebody with a secure future… the wedding cards are distributed and the family izzat involved… please suggest something as soon as possible, I don’t know why but I wanted to speak to u… hope you understand.
Lots of love,
Second email:
…. yes I am a career woman… it is all my mistake, I thought I would develop feelings for him. but it does not happen mechanically. I need to talk to my parents strongly. Even though I have been talking to them, they think prayers would work. My voice is not being heard and that is what I don’t like.

The boy is question is a nice person, the respect is there from both sides but unfortunately we both are individuals in our own rights but don’t seem to fit nicely together. as in this is not how I want my marriage to be – lonely.
My parents are educated liberal people but are acting strange😦
IHM do you think parents should fight with the world if their daughter says her heart was not in this marriage?

68 thoughts on “An email: The wedding cards are distributed and the family izzat is involved…

  1. Dear Email writer,
    Before I write anything, wanted to know if you have spoken about this to the guy you are marrying? Does he feel anything similar? If you can sense a distance, the feeling is probably mutual, I suggest you speak to him first and get his views.

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  2. I cannot imagine living with anyone if i did not have proper chemistry with the concerned person. In your case a lot of things are at stake, therefore you have to analyze the situation taking all the facts into consideration. First thing- You do not like the person. Second thing- you are financially dependent- hence you can stay on your feet comfortably. Third thing- You will be comparively happier once you reject the marriage. Fourth thing- Your parents wont be happy. Fifth thing- You are in a big hurdle and dont know what to do. Sixth and the most important thing ( Because this is my advise) – follow your heart and cancel the marriage because you dont want having to say to yourself that life could have been so much better when you are sixty and probably playing with your grandchildren. Theres nothing much more left at the point of time, i personally shudder at the thought so i can understand what you are going through. Go ahead and create a scene if you have to, haha.

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  3. Right first things first.. you said you had a relation which I presume is not their anymore, since your parents have said no.. Have you moved on too . or do are you still in relation with that person.

    I am presuming here that since you agreed to meet this new guy and cards have been printed etc, the previous relation is not there, Else why would you let it go this far in the first place.

    Know the person who has come to india did not work, maybe because you still had person 1 in ur mind and you probably never gave the person 2 a chance , I hope you know what i mean.

    If i was in your position I will make my position VERY CLEAR to my parents and the the Person 2. You should talk to the guy and tell him that you love someone else and don’t want to marry him.

    On the other had if your old relation is finished then I suggest you give it a Fresh start as you say the 2nd guy is nice and respect is there and all , maybe you guys will click who knows.

    and I strongly suggest if nothing works not to go ahead with the wedding as this will spoil not just urs but the guy’s life too,

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  4. What happened with the boy you really love? Where is he?
    That’s my first question.

    My second is: Do you know how lucky you are to have found a man you really, love, and who really loves you? You described your boyfriend as: “everything that I dream of in a guy, and much beyond that too.” Do you realize how truly special that is? You don’t say what happened between you two in your email, but I fear that you let this man go because your parents did not approve? Sure, this guy might not have had much money. But he seems to have had other things that a monetary amount cannot be placed upon: a sense of responsibility, love for his family, purpose, love for you. All of those things matter. Money comes and goes. You can gain it, and you can lose it. There is always potential to gain more of it. Sometimes when you love someone you have to see beyond the present moment, and into the future of what they could be. I am sorry that your parents could not do this, and I am sorry if you lost the man you really loved because of their shortsightedness, and your unwillingness to stand up for what you really wanted.

    Now, on to the present situation. It sounds as if you KNOW you do not want to marry this man. I hate to tell you, but that magic you say you want? If it’s not there now, it’s not going to develop. What you are looking for is chemistry. Something you recognize because I am sure you had it with your boyfriend. Chemistry doesn’t develop over time. It’s either there, or it’s not. Sure, you may grow to love your fiance in time. But it sounds as if it will be an “adjustment” love. Do you really want to be trapped inside of a lonely marriage for the rest of your life? Spend years pretending to smile?

    No one wants to disappoint their parents, but I believe it is beyond time for Indian parents to respect their children, and put them first.

    The real question here isn’t if you should get married or not. It’s, “Are you ready to be an agent of change?” “Are you ready to live life on your own terms?” “Are you ready to seek out your happiness?” “Do you believe enough in yourself to risk many things for said happiness?”

    I think if you ask yourself those questions, you will know what to do.

    Many Blessings, Strength, and Love.

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    • I’m not saying I believe the letter writer should marry this man, but I disagree with these statements:

      “What you are looking for is chemistry. Something you recognize because I am sure you had it with your boyfriend. Chemistry doesn’t develop over time. It’s either there, or it’s not. Sure, you may grow to love your fiance in time. But it sounds as if it will be an “adjustment” love.”

      I believe chemistry can develop over time. I have seen it happen. The odds may be better of a successful relationship if it already existed before marriage but I think there might be many readers of this site who can testify to chemistry developing over time.

      What is “adjustment love”? Love is love, whether it started out with a coup de foudre or not.

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      • The Bride:

        I can’t say that I disagree with you on the matter of chemistry, but I know for sure that I can’t agree. Perhaps chemistry grows over time…I don’t know. And I hope not to find out! I can only speak from my experience.

        Story time!

        So, being the sassy American Woman that I am, I have been in several relationships between the ages of 18 and my age now (late twenties). Of these relationships, all lasted over a year, including the one with my former Indian significant other. One guy, I dated for 4 years. I loved this guy. Loved him and still appreciate him to this day, but there was no chemistry.

        I think everyone defines chemistry differently. I was speaking with my ex (of the 4 year relationship) and he said something about chemistry being able to talk to someone easily. I remember us talking easily, and I remember the honeymoon period that lasts for a few months, but I never felt about him the way I feel about my Indian man.

        I’ve known him for 3 years, and we were together for one, and he STILL makes my heart leap, soar, swim, and any other verb that can be applied. He ignites within me a passion so strong, like nothing I have ever felt before. The energy between us is electric.

        That, to me, is chemistry. And if one stumbles upon that feeling later, that’s fine. But damn, I’m all about having it from the start. Seeing as I am losing my Indian man, I hope that I will be lucky enough to find these feelings with someone else. Of course I am left with the big question “What if?”

        Some might try to chalk this up as “infatuation”, but let me tell you, I’ve been infatuated. Infatuation fizzles out like a carbonated drink left open too long.Infatuation would have fizzed out when the words “arranged marriage” are mentioned. Love holds out hope for the happy ending, when it conquers all. Love is like fire. It may smolder, but it can always be ignited from the embers.

        As for adjustment love, that’s basically my polite way of saying settling. Basically accepting that this is your life, your choice, and just throwing up hands and saying oh well! I think of it as settled, co-dependancy.

        But I think we both just make speculations, as even when you see happy or sad relationships, no one is every really totally privvy to what happens behind the closed doors.

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        • American Woman, I know what you mean, particularly when you say that it’s different from infatuation. To share my experience: I had that kind of heady, euphoric feeling with boyfriend no. 2 and I will always cherish it but I somehow knew I didn’t want to marry him. It was more than infatuation or lust though. With my husband, who I married and was probably Boyfriend no. 3 (or 5, if you count two in-betweens of little consequence), there was definitely passion but it was much calmer than no.2. And I knew I wanted to marry him within 2 weeks. So I think there are lots of variations in “chemistry” and I also think that you and I may just have been really very very lucky to have experienced this sort of thing. I’m not sure it happens in exactly this way for everyone.

          And as I’ve grown up, I also have more respect for the quieter relationships, that don’t fizz but have their own value. Maybe the difference between champagne and merlot? Some wines need to be aged to really come into their own… maybe some relationships are like that?

          That said, read my comment to GV below. I would not marry someone I felt no spark of interest in. Just that I would not make a categorical statement about chemistry never developing later. Some people find the fireworks in their life after 10 years of marriage.

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      • Totally agree with the Bride. In fact, chemistry, like other things also has to be worked on over time, even if the relationship starts of as the ‘perfect romance’ (whatever that is).

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  5. //– to the Email writer –//
    Dear Girl,
    You agreed to the marriage. I’m sure there must have been some disagreement before this with the guy you like. Now when you are on the verge of calling off the marriage (or thinking about it) wouldn’t it be prudent to talk to your earlier boyfriend about it?
    Is he still waiting for you to come back?
    Will his finances improve post marriage?
    Is he angry that you agreed to marry a richer person?
    Is he still interested in getting back with you?
    Please make sure that you take his feelings into consideration before you decide on backing out of the marriage.
    Secondly, there’s this groom you are going to marry. Not all men are outgoing and spontaneous. Some need time to open up (i know, I married one). If you feel uncomfortable with this marriage, then you better talk to him too! If there are any reservations from your side, he has a right to know it. If he has any reservations then ask him to spit it out🙂

    Marriage is a big thing. Hopping from one man to another at the last minute will not do you any good. If you need time, then ask for it (I personally feel that a month’s time is enough to talk to both the men). Don’t just declare outright that you want to call it quits.
    And, most important – Please confide in your parents. Many people overlook this, claiming that their parents will never understand. Thats fine. But at least let them know whats going on in your mind.

    All the very best for whatever you finally decide🙂

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    • I think that it is totally unnecessary for the email writer to check back with her (ex?) boyfriend. If she is so uncomfortable with committing to her now-fiancee, she needs to take a call about the marriage irrespective of whether her boyfriend wants to get back with her or not. It’s not like *needs* to be with a man, is it? Why can’t a girl just *be* for a while, without any attachments? If she calls this engagement off, then after she calms down–for I am sure there will be turmoil in her mind as well as that instigated by the family–she can think again about whether she wants to pursue her old relationship or let a new one happen.

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  6. If you don’t think this will work out, tell him that now and get out of the relationship as quickly as possible. Don’t screw up his life too because you can’t decide if you want to go with your financially weak lover or go marry a guy that your parents picked for you.

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  7. Talk to this boy, really talk to him. Get to know him. If possible, postpone the marriage. Don’t walk into the marriage with this ambivalent feeling.

    And are you sure you’re over the other guy? If you are still emotionally involved with the other guy, then you will ruin your life and this bridegroom of yours.

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  8. when you are in doubt and torn between a yes or a no the answer should always be no, especially in something as important as a marriage. I know this from personal experience. My brother was getting married. It was an arranged marriage,though he had full freedom to say no. He kept changing between a yes and no. We all felt something was not right, nothing we could pinpoint. Finally he settled on a yes, got married and the whole thing turned out to be a complete disaster and ended up in heart break and divorce(too long to go into here). The thing I learned from his experience was, if your heart and instinct is saying no then listen to it. Izzat is meaningless. A temporary embarrassment which no one will care about a few months from now. It does not matter whether you go back to the guy you love (although leaving someone you love over financial issues is a bit too calculating). What matters is how you feel towards the person you are about to marry. It is not fair to him to keep quiet and not open up about what is bothering you.

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  9. Dear LW,
    Stop the wedding, do everything in your power to get your voice heard…the one in your head, the one at your core…screaming and telling you this is NOT RIGHT!!!
    I am not being dramatic here, but speaking from experience. I also got engaged and had a wedding to a “nice person” but something always did not feel right. And I ignored it – was it the fact that on paper he was the perfect match, was it social pressure I felt to get married by a certain age, was it pressure of I don’t want to hurt my parents and ruin them. Who knows, the point is I did not trust my instinct/gut/whatever you want to call it that was telling me that this person, this decision is not the right one for me. I did not listen to my core but I hope you will to yours.
    I want to also say that today when I talk to my parents about it, even they were not happy but could not take the step to stop the wedding from happening. Let me be clear I am in no way blaming them, just as I do not blame myself for my indecision and inability to take a stand.
    I, like you come from a happy home, well educated and am financially independent. I have and continue to make many life decisions independently and live my life the way I please. But at that time I could not make a decision, I was like a leaf caught in a tornado and till today cannot articulate completely what drove my complete lack of autonomy and accepting watching my life like a spectator.
    It doesn’t matter if none of the above is reflective of your situation or even that you had a boy friend…that you may/may not be still in love/interested/want to get back with him.
    None of the above matter, what does matter is this – Wanting to leave is enough. It always will be. Leave because you want to and even though you don’t exactly know why you can’t stay. Wanting to leave does not make you a bad person or morally bankrupt or that you are incapable of love it just means that you do not want this person, this relationship. And that is ok.
    Lots of love,
    Dee

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    • //Wanting to leave is enough. It always will be. Leave because you want to and even though you don’t exactly know why you can’t stay. Wanting to leave does not make you a bad person or morally bankrupt or that you are incapable of love it just means that you do not want this person, this relationship. And that is ok.//

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  10. It’s easy to answer this – but difficult to do it. You should follow your heart. You’ve experienced love, yet do not feel any for this man. Thus you should not marry him. It’s as simple as that, but also as difficult as that.

    I do not understand the fixation on earning-potential of a man. I would much prefer to be in a loving but quite modest family, instead of a cold and distanced, but rich one.

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  11. Dear Email writer,

    You have the following options:

    A) Call off the wedding.
    B) Go ahead with it.

    If you choose A) you need to think about

    1)Your family Izzat
    2)His family’s Izzat (He will be an innocent sufferer)
    3)The fairness of your act to your parents and to this boy
    4)The disappointment your parents and the boys family will experience and possible effects on their relations with you in future. They may wash their hands off your marriage and leave it to you to find your own husband in future.
    5)Your chances of a happy arranged marriage in future will be seriously compromised.
    Even a love marriage will not be easy, once you disclose that two previous cases have flopped and the boys were innocent in both cases.

    If you choose to marry this boy the chances of happiness may be 50 – 50
    If you are happy later, well and good.
    If you are terribly unhappy later, then the option divorce is always open to you.

    You have been vague about reasons for not wanting to go ahead with the marriage.
    Can you cite a single compelling and genuine reason for turning him down at this late stage? Have you discovered something bad about him which you did not know earlier?
    If you have, then you must of course call of this wedding, whatever the other difficulties listed in 1 to 5 above.

    If you don’t have a compelling reason, then you may be a girl who will always have difficulty with taking marriage decisions. What is the guarantee that you will not have similar second thoughts about another boy in future as the marriage date gets nearer?

    As it is, right now, you have turned down the first boy whom you loved earlier.

    If you believed in true love, should you not have accepted him in spite of the fact that he supports six family members and now has some financial issues? If yours had been genuine love, you ought to have waited for him to solve his problems and been a support to him. Instead you acquiesced to your parents wishes and agreed to see another boy, who you admit is a nice fellow . You are also unable to pin point why exactly you are now having second thoughts about him except to say that “the magic is missing”.

    Pardon me if I come across as unsympathetic, but I belong to your parents generation and may be excused for thinking like this.

    If you turned down this marriage too, you would have notched up two successive failures. One, a love marriage to a good boy who was everything you dreamed of and another an arranged marriage to a boy whose only crime is that he is not able to kindle “magic” in you but is otherwise fine.

    I think the problem is not with the boys. It is not with the system of marriage, (love or arranged). The problem is in your mind and this problem may arise in future cases of marriage too.

    I think you should go ahead with this marriage, unless you have developed a strong revulsion for this second boy suddenly or have discovered something new about him that alters the picture. In an arranged marriage, these feelings and doubts are not uncommon. They usually vanish and everything is fine if both partners are good mature persons. If either is a bad person, there will be problems. But these problems would surface even with love marriages.

    Perhaps your fears are misplaced. Just as mothers bond with their babies gradually over a period of time, even if they feel no attachments during the initial weeks after birth, (please read IHM’s recent blog entry on this very subject) in many arranged marriages, even with less initial exposure than in your case, couples have learned to adapt to each other and live more or less happily. Mothers don’t look for “magic” when they first hold their newborns.

    I have been badly “thumbed down” in the past for my support for arranged marriages (in addition to my support for love marriages) and I am sure I am going to collect a record number of down pointing thumbs for this comment but I will take that in my stride.

    If I were your father, and you landed this bombshell on me now, I would just postpone this marriage, indefinitely, not cancel it. I would then leave it to you and the boy to sort this out between yourselves.

    I can put up with the wasteful expenditure on wedding cards and also brave the gossip that relatives and friends will indulge in. I will be willing to brave the ire of the boys family too and not bother about my “izzat”. Your happiness is more important to me than my izzat at this late stage in life.

    If you cancelled the wedding, I would not arrange your marriage in future but merely agree to finance it.

    Whatever you decide, my blessings and good wishes are with you.
    Regards
    GV

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    • Vishwanathjee, I wanted to applaud your comment but then I read your last statement. That you will not arrange the marriage in future. Isn’t that a like holding grudge with your own daughter? Rest everything you said made me kind of tear up because that would be what I expect my dad to say, and he never would. Never mind that.
      I want to say that even though you are from my parents’ generation, you’ve got your head and heart in the right place. Thanks for saying that you’d have understood the girl’s predicament and postponed the wedding until things sorted out. Most parents fail to understand how important a marriage is in the life of people getting married. You’ve given a different perspective to the issue.

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      • Agree to most of the comments in response to GV’s comment, particularly Desi Woman.

        Although I don’t share American Woman’s stance on chemisty-now-or-never or “adjustment love”, for it’s a question of odds. With as important a decision as marriage, something one is committing to essentially for the rest of one’s life, I believe it’s best go into it with the best possible odds. 50-50 are not good odds for me. I wouldn’t even invest in a stock if there was only 50-50 odds of success.

        In the past, possibly in your generation, GV, these odds were reckoned on the basis of material and cultural things – financial security, caste and social customs matching etc. I won’t say these do not factor into the odds in a modern marriage. It is easier when backgrounds match and you aren’t overcoming cultural difference. It is easier to make a marriage work if you are not dogged by financial troubles or adjusting to a new economic status you are not used to.

        But because our generation is different, these factors stack up differently and a new factor, that used to be a peripheral one in the past, takes precedence. And this is that unquantifiable thing called “feelings”, “attraction”, “chemistry”. This was scorned in the past as something ephemeral but I have noticed in modern marriage it is more often than not the glue that keeps a marriage together and is powerful enough to make all the other factors irrelevant, partly due to the fact that modern people don’t believe so strongly in those things (caste, social customs, even religion) that strongly anymore. While our generation still believes strongly in marriage as a lifelong commitment and would not walk out of it lightly, we do allow ourselves to think that we might end the marriage under certain circumstance and we know that society will disapprove but kill us for it. This makes a big difference too. As the taboo against divorce decreases, what will make marriages stick is this thing called “feelings” and therefore we shouldn’t take it lightly.

        Therefore, while I disagree that chemistry will never develop later, if I was getting married, I would rather not take that chance. I would rather link my life to someone with whom there is at least that initial spark of interest because that spark will carry us forward through the tough times of marriage more than the compatibility in our caste and religion. And it’s even more dangerous if you have experienced a passionate relationship before – you will know what you are missing if it is absent. We are a different generation and the structure of the previous one will not work for us, because even if our parents did their utmost to infuse their value system in us, we are products of our time.

        It’s why I warn my husband’s friends, who have all had relationships with girls they loved and were attracted to, very strongly against compromising on someone they are lukewarm about, whether in the “love marriage” set-up or the “arranged one” (most often when boys are ready to compromise, it’s the latter) and the two that went ahead, I have seen their marriages flounder and fail in a year.

        Marriage involves such emotional investment, not just financial, it’s no use embarking on it without good odds, in my opinion.

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    • Dear GVji,

      I have always found myself nodding in agreement to what you write, but this time around I’m going to have to disagree with most of what you’ve said. I hope you don’t mind it.
      You have the following options:

      A) Call off the wedding.
      B) Go ahead with it.

      If you choose A) you need to think about

      1)Your family Izzat
      I agree but shouldn’t their daughter’s happiness matter more than what soe nameless and faceless people think.

      2)His family’s Izzat (He will be an innocent sufferer)
      From what she says about this guy, he only seems to be going along with everything. She never says anything about him expressing any liking for her or any interest in her. She may even be doing this guy a favor by saying no.

      3)The fairness of your act to your parents and to this boy
      Was all of this fair to this girl in the first place. Being forced to give up a boy she liked a lot. Being forced into marriage. Being forced to take a 50-50 chance on happiness.

      4)The disappointment your parents and the boys family will experience and possible effects on their relations with you in future. They may wash their hands off your marriage and leave it to you to find your own husband in future.
      If they wash their hands off of her, then I say good for her. There are many many more men out there. Maybe something like this needs to happen before parents realize that pushing kids into marriages is not okay. Also I think its better to be single, one’s own boss and be happy than be married, lonely and miserable.

      5)Your chances of a happy arranged marriage in future will be seriously compromised.
      Even a love marriage will not be easy, once you disclose that two previous cases have flopped and the boys were innocent in both cases.
      It may take time for her to find the right guy, but I dont think her chance of getting married is totally compromised. If her future husband wants her to go over the list of all her previous BF’s then I would say run from that guy too. I don’t think a previous relationship should affect your present one unless one is bring something over to the present relationship like a child or an STD. More importantly if someone says they love you, but want to you to go over the list of your previous BF’s alphabetically, I say RUN from that person,

      If you choose to marry this boy the chances of happiness may be 50 – 50
      If you are happy later, well and good.
      If you are terribly unhappy later, then the option divorce is always open to you.
      50-50 is too great a chance to take, especially when one’s happiness and peace of mind is at stake. Why go through a wedding just to find out if she ican be made happy by the new guy. Wouldn’t calling off the wedding, getting the deposit back from the caterer and wedding be an easier alternative to divorce.

      You have been vague about reasons for not wanting to go ahead with the marriage.
      Can you cite a single compelling and genuine reason for turning him down at this late stage? Have you discovered something bad about him which you did not know earlier?
      On the contrary she says that “the guy came down to India to spend time with me. It was all ok, and I thought with time we will fall in love, even when he was here we were short of things to talk about and did have a few unpleasant incidents… something seems missing… we have had uncomfortable silences between us and lack of communication… I have tried speaking to him, but unable to explain that the magic is missing, and how I want us to talk and work on the relationship.”
      Like I said earlier, he doesn’t seem too taken by her either, and most importantly I don’t see them being able to communicate with each other. If he is unwilling to listen to her now, do you think he is going to be all ears and attentive in the future.

      If you don’t have a compelling reason, then you may be a girl who will always have difficulty with taking marriage decisions. What is the guarantee that you will not have similar second thoughts about another boy in future as the marriage date gets nearer?
      I don’t think she is the girl who has difficulty taking marriage decisions, rather as the girl who is not allowed to take her marriage decisions. Feeling a little bit of sadness going from one phase of life to another is okay. But this woman is not sad, she has doubts about being happy with the groom her parents have chosen for her.

      As it is, right now, you have turned down the first boy whom you loved earlier.
      Just because she turned down the first boy doesn’t mean she needs to marry the first one.

      If you believed in true love, should you not have accepted him in spite of the fact that he supports six family members and now has some financial issues?
      I think it was the mom and dad who forced her to give him up. It’s not easy to fight against parents and not every person can stand their ground.

      If you turned down this marriage too, you would have notched up two successive failures. One, a love marriage to a good boy who was everything you dreamed of and another an arranged marriage to a boy whose only crime is that he is not able to kindle “magic” in you but is otherwise fine.
      I don’t think rejecting two boys makes one a failure, and if it is I don’t see how its this woman’s fault. The fault lies with the parents who think their kids are cattle or commodities to be bartered or sold. Or worse, trash to be disposed off.

      I think the problem is not with the boys. It is not with the system of marriage, (love or arranged). The problem is in your mind and this problem may arise in future cases of marriage too.
      I agree. An easy solution would be to stop forcing marriage on women who are not mentally and emotionally ready for it.

      I think you should go ahead with this marriage, unless you have developed a strong revulsion for this second boy suddenly or have discovered something new about him that alters the picture. In an arranged marriage, these feelings and doubts are not uncommon. They usually vanish and everything is fine if both partners are good mature persons. If either is a bad person, there will be problems. But these problems would surface even with love marriages.

      I don’t think she should go ahead and marry this guy simply because she doesn’t want to. The simple fact that she wants out should be enough. He doesn’t have to have a have a defect or disease or a wife hidden away.

      In an arranged marriage, these feelings and doubts are not uncommon. They usually vanish and everything is fine if both partners are good mature persons. If either is a bad person, there will be problems. But these problems would surface even with love marriages.
      It doesnt matter whether the marriage was a love or arranged marriage. People change and grow and evolve mentally and emotionally at different rates, so what seems like a perfect person at 25 might not be the best partner at 45. Also, it is one thing to take responsibility for one’s own mistakes and totally another thing to suffer the consequences of another person’s bad decisions.

      I have been badly “thumbed down” in the past for my support for arranged marriages (in addition to my support for love marriages) and I am sure I am going to collect a record number of down pointing thumbs for this comment but I will take that in my stride.
      I have never given you a thumbs down ever. My marriage is an arranged marriage too. We will be celebrating our 9th anniversary this month. But what I cannot digest today is how I took that decision so lightly.

      If I were your father, and you landed this bombshell on me now, I would just postpone this marriage, indefinitely, not cancel it. I would then leave it to you and the boy to sort this out between yourselves.
      I would postpone the wedding to give the couple more time, only if this girl wants to. If she feels that she has no future with him why waste more time.

      I can put up with the wasteful expenditure on wedding cards and also brave the gossip that relatives and friends will indulge in. I will be willing to brave the ire of the boys family too and not bother about my “izzat”. Your happiness is more important to me than my izzat at this late stage in life.
      I agree. A child’s happiness and peace of mind should always take precedence over anything and everything else in matters like these.

      If you cancelled the wedding, I would not arrange your marriage in future but merely agree to finance it.
      This should be the way to go.

      My apologies to IHM for hogging so much of her comment space.

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      • Thanks, Desi Woman for that detailed comment.
        I read it rather late and I will respond tomorrow.
        I expected stronger opposition to my views and am surprised that the “Thumps Up” versus “Thumbs down” is 14/9 in my favour at the moment.
        Let’s see what the score stands at tomorrow.
        Good night.

        Regards
        GV

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      • “I don’t think rejecting two boys makes one a failure, and if it is I don’t see how its this woman’s fault. The fault lies with the parents who think their kids are cattle or commodities to be bartered or sold. Or worse, trash to be disposed off.”

        Amen to that!

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      • That was an excellent rebuttal. I completely agree with each and every point you made, Desi Woman. Especially that if she wants out, it must be enough for everyone concerned.

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    • Vishvanath jee,
      I agree with you fully (though not the last part – not arranging and only financing – I would be broken if my dad to said or implied that).

      Dear Email Writer,
      “It was all ok, and I thought with time we will fall in love,”
      The above line seems like you are the kind who would prefer to marry someone who everyone approves and that would make you happier, than going against everyone’s wishes and marry who you want to. I’m going to hazard a guess and say that you started getting doubts when he did not meet with universal approval and were ok with the arranged marriage.
      We underestimate our parents – try saying you need more time to get over the previous relationship and want to know him better – I’m sure they will be happy to know you are trying. And use that extra time to talk to this guy – be blunt (like Pretiy Sinta in Dil Se – Are you a virgin? That ought to open him up!). I agree you need a stronger voice – but not against the parents… you need it for getting your life back on tracks.
      If you both can open and talk non-stop for hours, then that is the best and permanent magic, and much more viable than sparks flying.🙂

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    • GV I want to respond to some of the things you have written.
      “if you choose to marry this boy the chances of happiness may be 50 – 50
      If you are happy later, well and good.
      If you are terribly unhappy later, then the option divorce is always open to you.”

      How can you possibly say the chances of happiness are 50-50? There is absolutely no way of telling what may happen. In fact when one enters into arrangements reluctantly the foremost feeling is that of being trapped, not exactly an auspicious start. As far as divorce is concerned, unless things have changed, it is a long, long painful process and almost impossible unless both parties agree to it. One should never get married thinking I can always get divorced if things don’t work out.

      “Can you cite a single compelling and genuine reason for turning him down at this late stage? Have you discovered something bad about him which you did not know earlier?”

      People don’t have to be “bad” in order to be rejected for marriage. Simple incompatibility is enough reason. I have know a few males as friends, none of whom I ever wanted to marry, all wonderful people, yet I would have been miserable if married to any of them.

      “Perhaps your fears are misplaced. Just as mothers bond with their babies gradually over a period of time, even if they feel no attachments during the initial weeks after birth, (please read IHM’s recent blog entry on this very subject) in many arranged marriages, even with less initial exposure than in your case, couples have learned to adapt to each other and live more or less happily. Mothers don’t look for “magic” when they first hold their newborns.”

      The two scenarios are entirely different. Love between a mother and child is a natural bond, and it is an exception when when mothers do not love their babies. In very rare cases it does not happen at all. However, love between a man and woman is not inevitable after marriage. The hope to “adapt and live more or less happily” seems to be a very low bar to aim for when entering into a marriage. It almost sounds as if she should resign herself to a not completely miserable life, and be happy with that.

      “If you cancelled the wedding, I would not arrange your marriage in future but merely agree to finance it.”

      That sounds a bit harsh, and seems to be one of the way by which the older generation forces the younger to bend to it’s will. After all the LW seems to have rejected her true love, according to her, because her parents did not like his financial situation.

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    • I wonder if her parents ever sat down with her and discussed in detail the way you’ve elaborated GVjee. Gave her their perspective like adults, and LISTENED to her perspective as an adult. Its okay to have difference of opinions, it is okay to think in opposite directions – but the goal is the same – this girl’s future happiness.

      Actually coming to your last point, I will be very happy the day parents stop financing weddings altogether – be it for arranged marriage or love marriage!

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    • Know what you meant when you said I would not arrange your marriage in future, GV….you would be cooperative, not imposing your views on the daughter who said no, right?

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  12. -What happened to your BF?
    -Talk t your fiance. If he feels the same, perhaps both of you can break off the marriage together and it would be easier on you, than you breaking alone.
    -Do not marry for someone’s sake – your family, honour blah blah coz you will be in the marriage not anyone else.

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  13. I think this is a very messed up situation.
    The way you wrote about your boyfriend points to the fact that you are not yet over him. How you could then agree to marry someone else is a bit difficult to understand. If you are not over him, you will always have a point of reference. You will always compare and that is the worse you can do to your husband. Are you sure those awkward silences are not because there is always a flashback going on in your mind?
    I somehow feel that all this is very very unfair to the guy you are marrying. You are jumping from one boat to another with your leg still tied to the one you are jumping from. If you strongly believe in it, it will be OK to break off the wedding. Although I must admit that getting attracted to a guy rarely happens before weddings in arranged marriages. Its a gamble. It will be a good idea to open your heart to the guy you are marrying. Discuss it all to your heart’s content with him. Maybe you will end up feeling light-hearted and ready to take the plunge OR maybe both of you will decide to call it quits.
    And please do not act and then think. You could have said no at an earlier stage and stopped the cards from being printed rather than let the situation go out of control.
    It’s not too late yet. Talk to the guy.

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  14. ‘Izzat’ is a very, very weird term. Different people define it as different things. Some deluded people think virginity is ‘izzat’.

    What’s of paramount importance is happiness. Yours, that of the guy you were dating (not sure what the status of the relationship between you and him is now that your fiance is in the picture), and your fiance’s as well.

    If he really was your dream guy, are you still emotionally invested in/involved with him? I understand that finances and a secure future are important, but personal happiness is paramount. In fact, if you’re unhappy, that’ll hamper your work and affect your financial status anyway. Money comes and money goes.

    Where is the (ex?) boyfriend, is he still waiting for you to come back? Keeping him ‘on hold’ indefinitely is both unfair and hurtful to him. If you say you’re unhappy with the guy you’re engaged to, you’re being unfair to yourself in denying yourself that happiness. Similarly so with the guy you are engaged to – he deserves the right to be happy too.

    I’ve never been able to reconcile myself to the concept of having someone ‘picked’ for me or, really, arranged marriage as a whole. Don’t see why people should get married if they don’t have anybody in mind, marrying someone isn’t like buying a car is it?

    That said, I reiterate. Happiness – everyone’s – is paramount.

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  15. From your email, it looks like you have shown your reluctance, displeasure, apprehensions to your parents in many ways. It is not that they are not aware of your turmoil – but have chosen the most popular philosophy ‘shaadi ke baad sab theek ho jayega’, hence they ignore your voice. Mind you, I am not blaming them – in a way, I can understand their anguish at your first choice (even though it was not a problem for you). They were obviously worried about having to see their daughter live with a man who already has financial burdens, and a lot of dependents. Their worry would be more about you living in circumstances so different from what you are used to; they feel strongly you deserve a better life and partner (although you are the best judge).

    I am assuming the pressure was severe, and you did break up with the first guy. From your email, I gather you wanted to put everything behind and move on – because somehow it made you glad to see your family happy.

    I know you feel victimised, angry and extremely depressed, and everyone around you belittles your feelings – because of all the things, ‘falling in love’ is considered trash and immature in India. ‘Moving on’, ‘getting over’ are just words at the end of the day. When your heart is bleeding and your mind is bruised shut- you cannot really feel any ‘magic’ or ‘chemistry’ even if a young Pierce Brosnan stood naked in front of you. And all this comes across, no matter how good a mask you wear..trust me. Could this be the reason for the uncomfortable silences you mention? Of course, I don’t know what the ‘unpleasant’ incidents were. Also, think from the guy’s point of view. You are a stranger to him, just the way he is a stranger to you. So he travels to India to get to know you. Hell, even if there is nothing; I am sure such arranged matches can be nerve wracking. And I suppose he can sense you are under tremendous stress; and this could be a reason for the hesitant communication- he’s as bewildered, as much under pressure as you are. Have you considered the possibility that this guy really likes you, but has been advised to be formal; or is just shy by nature? Many Indian men have no clue when it comes to expressing themselves in front of a woman; and esp. when you talk about ‘working on a relationship’ etc. they blink – it is all jargon for them.

    I am no way justifying all the sad things you’ve been through – but I just hope that looking at the situation from different perspectives, it will quell your mind a wee bit.

    Frankly speaking, you are not yet mentally prepared for a life long commitment. You need to be left alone for sometime to figure out what you want.

    But what is the advice I would give you at such a late juncture? Because I KNOW you will not be able to stand in front of your parents and say you won’t go ahead – if you had this strength, you would have said no right from the beginning. Can you visualise yourself doing that? Visualise telling the guy you are not going ahead, visualise the humiliation your parents will face in the hands of the guy’s family and your own family and friends? If you can, and you feel you have the strength to face all that, break it off; and be strong and ready for the consequences too – of being a social outcast of sorts, of a completely damaged relationship with your parents, and a damaged reputation in your family/friends’ circle. This is YOUR lonely battle – so don’t expect your parents who have ignored your turmoil all along to suddenly stand up for you.

    If you feel you cannot do all the above – then my advice to you is have a good cry, blow your nose and be done with the past. Stop snivelling in front of your parents – pick up your dignity, pick you your life, dust your hands and go for this new relationship with everything you’ve got.

    Something tells me you’ll be okay, and you’ll find your magic. God bless you – just keep the door to your heart ajar, if not wide open.

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      • Wanderer – I guess I worded it wrongly🙂 I never meant to be harsh on the poor girl; I was trying to tell it like it is. No one will sit around with chai and samosas and say calmly ‘okay beta we will break it off’. It will be a huge drama and she has to girlde up to face it alone.

        I so, so wanted to write – break it off! But somehow I could not bring myself to write it, because I felt the girl is so confused, scared and lost that she herself is not sure what she wants.

        On the one hand, she says she absolutely loved the first guy, and was with him for 2 years – and yet, she went ahead and agreed to marry another guy. I know parental pressure can be tremendous, but so can conviction in your love. There are many who have overcome pressure and married against family dikkat – simply because they KNEW that was the right choice and nothing else mattered. Also it was not clear from the email about what the BF thought of the whole thing – I mean did they both discuss at some point about getting married against parental pressure – and did the girl finally say no despite his support? Whatever maybe the case – she made a choice – of going along with her family.

        She speaks about ‘working on the relationship’ with her fiance so I assumed she has broken off completely from the BF – and is making an attempt to move on. And if that is the case, then she should just go ahead.

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    • In the eyes of the Society, she’ll be more of an “outcast” if she marries him now and divorces him later. Plus that is more painful than a broken engagement.

      Dear LW, being super strong and courageous is not a pre-req to do what YOU want. If you do not want to marry this guy (sounds like the run-of-the-mill “forun” MS in US guy returning for a bride in India type) please break it off. You can always move to a different city/state/country, to make it easier on you (and for a good change of environment) – damage control with the parents will be difficult, but doable, as you say they love you. Just wait for the initial S***storm to blow off.

      At least postpone the wedding stating uncertainty, if you don’t want to call it off. That will buy you more time to get things into perspective, and decide what YOU (not your parents, not Society) really want.

      It is your life, don’t do things based on “Izzat” (which is loosely defined as your neighbor’s mother in law’s good opinion of you, really, who the F*** cares!) You don’t have to trade your happiness for your parents’, it doesn’t work that way. You may not be unhappy, and even find contentment of sorts with the bridegroom-to-be, but that’s not happiness. Please don’t do that to yourself.

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      • “being super strong and courageous is not a pre-req to do what YOU want” – In this case, don’t you think she requires all the courage she can muster if she REALLY wants to break it off? I mean this is a girl who gave up on a serious relationship when she came under pressure.

        “sounds like the run-of-the-mill “forun” MS in US guy returning for a bride in India type” – LOL! but don’t want to label a person about whom we know nothing about. For all you know he could be a genuine, affectionate guy.

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        • Someone I know (wink, wink) isn’t very good at handling conservative parental tantrums, and solves her issues by staying out-of-sight (if not necessarily out-of-mind) until the issues blow over. And it works for her, in that she does whatever she wants to, and isn’t forced to do anything she doesn’t want to do. All hail personal freedom. Of course, running away isn’t very brave. Standing and fighting is. But not all of us come with immense courage (or the ability to withstand emotional blackmail).

          Sometimes, if you stop to think about the repercussions of what you’re doing, you’ll be so full of fear and despair that you will choose the easier path. Even when it isn’t easier in the long run. Cheesy as it sounds, it’s the perfect time for the LW to “listen to her heart”. And deal with the S***storm afterwards.

          I can see how she is terrified of hurting her parents and losing her “izzat”. It’s more than a lack of courage, its social conditioning to put “duty” before happiness. It will take a miracle (or complete immersion in a individual-centric culture like the US) to pull her out of THAT rabbit-hole. If she goes through with the wedding, and doesn’t find her magic, will she have the courage to get out? Is it enough to have an adequate marriage of convenience just because she didn’t break her childhood (and most of adulthood) conditioning? It’s a quagmire in the making.

          Of course, the fiance could be compatible with the letter writer, but she doesn’t feel that, right now, and she SHOULDN’T commit to anything as drastic as marriage until she is absolutely certain. Genuine, affectionate men are plentiful (And I don’t mean that in a derogatory way, just that I’m not a believer of the whole one–true-love Disney myth). I’m sure she’ll find someone suitable when she is not as confused about what she wants.

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        • @Thumbelina,

          It is practically impossible to withstand emotional blackmail of the kind Indian parents practise at close quarters for a number of reasons, one being that you actually love them and that no matter what the bond cannot be broken. What takes courage is moving out and putting that distance between the tormentors and yourself in spite of this bond. Otherwise, you are doomed.

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      • I agree with the rest of your comment but this “sounds like the run-of-the-mill “forun” MS in US guy returning for a bride in India type” sounds really unfair to the guy in question. Nothing in her email indicates anything like this about him; and this guy is not at fault in any way here so we should leave him out of this.

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        • Didn’t mean to diss the guy, really. He may be a nice guy, but she did imply that he seemed equally disinterested. Most of the folks I know who go back to the Motherland for Brides are typically placating Mother dear. Odds are he won’t be heart-broken if she calls it off (IMO).

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    • Agree with this strongly. Be prepared to fight a lonely battle. You have two tools (its upto you to be prepared) :

      1) Money. (incase things go really bad and your family turn against you, I expect this to fully happen).

      2) Emotional Independence. Really don’t know what to say here. Some people have it while others struggle all their lives. It’s a matter of perspective nothing else.

      Above will come in handy if you are ostracized completely. Saying from personal experience, had to do this once….

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  16. Yes, parents should fight with the world if their daughter’s heart isn’t into the marriage. That’s why they are parents to that daughter and not to the rest of the world. Because they will suffer with her, sure but mostly because she will suffer. There’s no need for justification, any discussion they have with their daughter is their private business. If she’s not happy, she is not. And that’s enough.

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    • So true..ideally that should be the case. Most of the time though, as with this case, parents themselves push unwilling daughters (or sons) into matrimony knowing fully well their children are unhappy. The situation the email writer is in is really tragic. I doubt if her parents will stand by her.

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  17. I can tell you a small real life example – in this case of a male though. One of my immediate close relative (read as uncle) actually called off his marriage after engagement. Simply because he apparently ran through it again & again & again and couldn’t imagine spending his life with her. (Arranged marriage) . And he came from the usual very traditional kind of environment and it caused quite an issue at that time since engagement was almost tantamount to a marriage vow. It was like prestige thing for the social system. So, calling off and saying I won’t marry that girl was a big blow to everyone! (parents, relatives, etc..).. But in the long run, it all worked out. He married to another girl and living a nice happy married life.

    And I’m talking about 1980s! Today’s world is lot more open and lot of people are very accommodative about a lots of things. So, just go ahead and do what you think is right..Society izzat and all this nonsense are very very short term.. people forget sooner than you can imagine..

    also..as some people say- the first person to whom you should discuss should be the guy to whom you are getting married, once both of you agree amicably..rest of the stage is set!

    Isn’t it easier to break now, then say a divorce or something else? What is the point?

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  18. Very messy. Why agree to a wedding in the first place when heart was somewhere else? Things don’t workout in a timeframe. Relationships take time to develop and both involved guide it to the place they want to take it to. It doesn’t just happen. Especially in marriages where you have to live with the person, it is almost like a gamble. Both love marriages and arranged ones have all possibilities of failing, the love they had before marriage notwithstanding. So I’d suggest give it a thought of whether you really don’t like this second person and can’t imagine a life with him. Talk to him because your yes or no is going to affect this person. Have a heart to heart talk and express your concerns and see if he feels the same way. If he does then it is better to call it off. No grudges held. But if he is hopeful and really likes you, then there might be something in it. Now you have become the person everyone including yourself blames, because you left the first person and are now on the verge of leaving the second one. You still seem immature. Please take time and think seriously about what you want from life and relationships. Are your parents more important that love? Or vice versa? Are you capable of facing stigma from everyone including your parents? Are you ready to stand up for yourself and what you believe? You need to get these answers from yourselfm nobody can do that for you.
    The best advice I can give right now is, if unsure please call it off. Be ready to face the consequences and most importantly be financially and socially independent so you don’t have to face the music again and again. Take time out and think. And if you are ready to take responsibility of your life then go ahead and choose a guy, it might even be the first boyfriend (if he’s still around to accept you back) with apologies, or a new love. Falling in and out of love is not wrong.
    But most important is trying to leave past in past and forgive yourself and move on. Yes there might have been mistakes, but you learn from mistakes right? Chin up and brave it.

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  19. i know of a girl who called off the wedding 3 days before the wedding day! and i also know of a girl who went ahead with the wedding even though she liked someone else. The girl called off the wedding had plp criticize her and for a while everyone talked about it but after a year or so everyone forgot. now its normal again. the girl who went ahead with the marriage is unhappy. she went into the marriage, not liking the guy at all. and now after a year a half she is sitll not liking him . she recently gave birth to a baby girl. now the it looks like they are going to divorce. so if she had not gotten married at that time, all this could have been avoided. so make up ur mind, either say no now or go with the marriage but make sure u r 100% into it. don’t get married half heartily. whatever decision u make, u have to be 100% convinced that its what u want to do. don’t say no to marriage just because u r confused at the moment and don’t get married just because u can’t say no. whatever u do, do it with heart and passion. i think if u try to tell ur family that u want to call off the weddding, there will be a big scene. talking to the guy might be a better choice. explain to him why u dont want to marry him. I am sure he wont want someone to marry him and not love him. so get him on ur side first. once he is convinced, u both can stop the wedding. that way ur parents will have no choice but to agree. they can’t force the wedding when both the guy and the girl don’t want to get married.

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  20. Let me be blunt and harsh, you are completely screwed. You are absolutely and completely alone in this. Do not expect the parents or anyone else to understand your predicament. If that were the case, they would never have pressurised you into this position and would have respected your original decision about marriage.

    The question now is how willing are you to act alone? How much courage do you have? If you have the courage and the strength to stand by your decision, cancel this wedding. That is the right thing to do, considering you are so unwilling and there is the possibility that you would take it all out on the poor unsuspecting man who has done nothing wrong. If you feel you cannot stand alone in this, then go ahead with the marriage. You will not be the first person to enter in a thoughtless and possibly unhappy relationship, and you will not be the last.

    If you do decide to cancel this wedding, then my first advice to you would be to pack up and move out for a while so that no pressure is directed towards you. The stress would be incredible considering everything is already fixed, and I know from experience that even if nothing is fixed, it can still be horrendous. You owe yourself happiness, and if others cannot accept it, it is not your problem, right?

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      • The unfortunate thing here is that most people here seem convinced that the woman’s parents will not support her. Isn’t that sad for Indian parenthood?

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        • It is, but it’s also the harsh truth in so many many cases. Sometimes it’s just better to put a LOT of distance between yourself and the parents so you can figure out what you want. Most parents eventually come around, but will try their darnedest to prevent you from doing what you want in the first place. All in the name of love and care. It’s a shame that they actually believe what they’re saying too.😦

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  21. Actually the girl has not had much of a choice. She has to marry because the time is ripe. Neighbors, relatives and friends will keep questioning the parents and making them uncomfortable. The only way to shut people’s mouths is by getting their children married off, at any cost, to anyone considered good enough by society. It’s all about pleasing society. Maybe the girl is not yet ready for marriage and is confused. Can’t one be confused? Did she say she wanted to get married now? She is just going with the flow but is getting cold feet as the wedding day is approaching. She needs help to call off the wedding or at least postpone it for the time being. She needs to be left alone and not be pressurized to get married Parents get panicky as their children, esp daughters reach the age of 25. After that the panic gets worse.

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  22. OP probably broke up with the boyfriend to please the parents. Parents are probably the typical run of the mill, blackmailing, pity gatherers, acting old and frail types pushing her into marriage. Say no to the marriage, end it and move on independently from your parents. Whether they are cool with this or not is not relevant in the least – not their life.

    Be aggressive about this & piss off everyone around you. Get your life back.

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  23. Take it from someone who has been through a similar experience; you owe it to yourself (and others involved) to, at the very least, postpone this marriage else I envision a train wreck of a situation. When the heart signals discontent, there is usually good reason to explore it… and trust me, it’s NEVER too late this side of the altar. Those very people who you fear will titter today at the breakup of a potential marriage will have even more fodder for gossip were the marriage itself to disintegrate. Plus honestly, who are you living your life for? Yourself or these gossip-mongers?

    I cannot tell you what the right decision for you is; to marry or not to marry, to be with this guy or go back to your boyfriend… those are not things which anyone should feel the authority to dictate upon you. Having said that, who knows, perhaps the right thing is to refrain from commitments altogether at this stage. However, the one thing my experience compels me to warn you about is the need to trust your instinct. I did not and, consequently, not just me but everyone in my family had to go through a massive amount of heartache. Today, by the grace of God, I am happy and well-settled, but for a long time the journey down memory lane was littered with the painful shards of regret. Regret at myself for not taking action and for letting some irrational fear of society guide my actions.

    Sorry, I digress. Coming back to you; it is my sincere advice–sometimes the best decision is to not take one. The people around you might react with shock and horror but eventually they will both respect your maturity and your refusal to let circumstances dictate your actions. Wish you the very best in whatever you decide.

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  24. IHM, we see similar stories time and again on your blog of women stuck in unhappy marriages, women about to step into unhappy marriages, women stuck in abusive situations, etc. The details of each problem might be different, but the cause that landed the women in trouble is often the same. It would be great if you started your own certificate course on helping women to become smart and independent. You could call it Female Empowerment 101.😉 (Pretty sleepy right now, rambling)

    To the letter writer, it’s the usual drill you could follow: listen to your heart, be brave and remember, ‘izzat’ being reduced is transient, but the pain of entering a marriage without love as its foundation will be long lasting and enormously difficult to overcome. You have examples of commentators here who have shared the mistakes that they made, or might have made, and it’s not like the universe was turned on its head just because some marriages didn’t happen. One of the lessons of life, is not just to learn from your own mistakes, but to learn from the mistakes of others, and make sure that you don’t repeat them in your own life.

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  25. You listened to your parents and dumped your soul mate?
    Ok that’s past you don’t have the compatibility with this new guy you say so, in. Hind to make your parents happy – is he the Bali? Seriously why would you want to ruin not one but two men’s lives…. Mt sincere advice. Call off the wedding, sterclear of all thought of marriage, boy seeing etc for a few months abs figure out what you really want. If its the prior bf talk to him and your parents. If not fine let it go and spend sometime e listening to yourself. Do not rush into anything.

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  26. Everytime IHM shares an email, I know someone ( or in cases a handful) who went through similar situation.
    One of my ex-colleague had a similar story.
    She was 23. Just out of college and working. Some horoscope thing. Parents wanted to marry her off soon. She was home for a weekend. 5 prospective guys and families came and saw her over the weekend. She went back to the city where she was working. Few weeks later parents call and tell her the marriage is fixed with one of the guys. She did not even remember which guy he was !!! I was shocked when she told me her story. In this time and day, an educated, financially independant girl has to go through this, so you can imagine the condition of the rest.
    Anyways the similarity with this post is – once the marriage got fixed and she started talking with the guy, she found no connection – hell she didn’t even remember him. A few days before the marriage her heart was saying NO, and few days before the marriage she told her family and cousins she didn’t want to go ahead. Everyone neglected her concerns as pre-wedding jitters, and they went ahead with the wedding. From day one they had problems, I don’t want to go in to the details but she stayed with him for only 3 days. Then a messy divorce followed. Indian courts don’t give divorce if you aren’t married for an year. She had to fly frequently to her hometown for the proceedings.
    To summarize – If your gut says NO, it is NO. It might be wrong but you don’t want to go through the process of marriage to test your gut.

    Like

  27. Before going into a new relationship you should be over your last one. The question is , is the relationship to bf (boyfriend) over and you are still working on coping with it, or are you still in relationship with bf.
    You should have a talk with bg (bridegroom) and explain to him, you had a bf, you loved him much and you still miss him. He might call of wedding unable to have a wife who was romaticially involved with someone else, or he might be understanding and suggest you need more time to think about it. your parents knew about bf? explain to them you been rolled over by this wedding and you need more time to sort your feelings out and mend yourb heart wounds. It really isnt fair to bg to go and marry him when your still dealing with the postpartum of the breakup. In the meantime try to find out, what you really want. If its over, then give yourself the time and space to get over him. If its not, then be fair to bg.

    Like

  28. Long time lurker – delurking to comment on this since i have personally gone through a similar experience and i still wonder how i manage to suruvive those turblent months. I am sharing my story in the hope that you might find hope and courage to do what is right for you and others in the long run.

    I come from a traditional and conservative family where women normally do not question decisions made my the men. My family were pressurising me to get married and i had to put up with all kinds of MCP boys who wanted docile wife who would give up her career for them and their family. While i was young and did not know what i want, i did know what i did not want – so kept refusing all the proposals that i felt was not suitable. The thing is my father passed away while i was in school and it was my paternal uncles who took care of us and sponsored my higher education. While i was and am grateful for what they have done, i do not think the decision of marriage can be made by anyone else but me. But the emotinal pressure was becoming very difficult to handle especially for my mom and everyone around managed to make me feel miserable and worthless. During such a time, i met one more boy through the usual arranged proposal thing and he seemed like a nice person and it seemed like i had no reason to say no.
    I agreed for the marriage and there was an immediate engagement ceremony – it was a grand and very public affair.
    in the following weeks, when we started talking to each other, i realised we had no chemistry, no vibe and nothing much in common. I made a lot of efforts for the next few weeks to talk to him and relate to him in some way – I started getting this sinking feeling that if we get married it is going to be a disaster for both of us. Still I could not imagine breaking up while my whole family was enthusisatically making arrangements for the wedding which was couple of months away. Since the phone converstaions where not working, I asked him to come down to my city for a weekend so that we can meet and see if there was any hope in continuing this. It was a miserable weekend, since we could harldy have a proper conversation and it made me realise i cannot go through this for a lifetime. I told him that i want to break it off – he was stunned and more worried about how his family and society will see this rather than whether we will be happy or not. After many discussions and arguements he went back with the hope that he and my family can convince me !
    Thats when i realised that i cannot fight this alone – i thought of who can help me and support me through this in my family and only two names came to my mind. My younger brother and one of my cousins whose parents where broad minded and were close my mother. I confided in them and they helped me communicate to my family and gave me the support to withstand all the drama and controversies that erupted post that. the shock was too much for my mom who fell ill and had to be hospitalised. You cant imagine how guilty, scared, wrecked and horrible i felt – i had brought this misery and shame to my family but even then in my heart i knew this will pass and this was a battle worth fighting for. The biggest surprise was my grandfather who felt that my happiness and well being was most important and my wishes should be respected. Event then it was a difficult road for few more months – with many family members sulking and not talking to me. The incident made me realise who are the ones who geniunely cared for me. I also felt guilty about hurting the guy however unintentional it was – rejection is not easy to handle for anyone and i still deep down in my heart ask for his forgiveness. It also made me wary of saying yes again -but you would know to value the right person when you meet them. Today I am married to a wonderful man and have my own little family that completes me and makes me content.
    So this is what i have to say to you:
    – Talk to the boy – make an effort to know him. If it is not working out – tell him and get it out of your system.
    – Confide in a relative/family frnd who you know can talk to you parents and as well as understands your situation.
    – You will be scared and there will be scars – but thats ok. the short term pain is worth your (his too) happiness and contentment in the long run.
    – You will learn to appreciate the geniune people in your life and that is what this whole experience is going to teach you.
    This is not going to be an easy ride for you – but if your heart is not into it, take a deicsion immediately. If not, you will not only make your life miserable but also his life.

    email writer – talk to the boy immediately and tell him u dont want to go through this. In your heart you know whether u want to post pone this wedding or cancel it.

    Like

  29. By all means go with your gut feeling. If you feel something is not quite right, the only sensible thing to do is to call everything off. It might look like a blot on the family izzat in the short term, but eventually everyone involved will realize what a huge favour you did all of them.

    Like

  30. @Wanderer, @Archana, @pk

    Thank you for your comments.
    I think my last statement has been misunderstood.
    Let me put myself briefly in the girl’s father’s shoes:

    I would not arrange another marriage for her not because I am holding a grudge or being vengeful.
    It is simply because of regret over the past and the realisation that I have been partly responsible for this mess and my eagerness to avoid it in future.

    A sincere attempt at fixing up a good boy, and allowing her an opportunity to evaluate him and decide has failed. I can only check the boy’s health, the boy’s financial prospects and his character besides checking out his family. I cannot arrange for a boy with “magical” qualities. Only my daughter can discover “magic” in a boy. We don’t see them as boys. We see them as sons-in-law.

    Besides just imagine what my position will be if I go groom hunting after this cancellation of the wedding. I will not conceal the past deliberately. I will have no answer if they confront me with two facts viz: She loved someone and did not marry him or was not allowed to marry him because because of his poor finances and his awesome family responsibilities . She got engaged to another meritorious boy and then broke it off for mysterious reasons

    Why would any family have any truck with me and my daughter if I approach them with a request to consider my daughter as a bride for their son after these facts come out?
    It’s obvious, a good catch for my daughter is not likely to materialise. If some one shows interest after knowing all this, I would suspect there must be something they are hiding from me.

    No, after this incident, another arranged marriage is ruled out. Another love marriage or her going back to the original boy she loved is the only way out as I see it. And, I won’t be surprised if the original boy she loved is so hurt at all that has taken place and refuses to have anything to do with her again.

    Blood is thicker than water. After all this she still remains my daughter. While I would advise her not to cancel this wedding, in case she rejects this advice, I would support her decision , throw the invitation cards into the dust bin, write off any amount already spent towards advances for the marriage hall etc. face my relatives and friends with stoic silence and not criticise or bemoan my daughter’s behaviour in public, for what she has done.

    But now I don’t see how I can go about looking for a groom after all this. I would accept the fact that I have been incompetent in finding a groom for her who is acceptable and allow her to choose her own mate.
    ====================

    @ Bride
    Thanks for your comments.

    I agree 50 – 50 odds are not satisfactory. The exact figures would depend on individual cases and how much the concerned parties meet each others requirements.
    Only the email writer can decide what her odds are likely to be.

    I too share your views on “chemistry”.
    Chemistry can develop over a period of time.
    I know so many couples who have had arranged marriages and they are devoted to one another. Love blossomed later.

    I also agree that there is a generation gap in this “Kuch Kuch hota hai” feeling.
    In our case we waited for “Kuch Kuch Hone ke liye”, while the modern generation proceeds only “Kuch Kuch Hone ke baad”

    =========================

    @Desi Woman

    //Extract from my previous comment//

    —————-
    Your comment
    —————
    ==============
    My response
    =============
    ————————————–

    Dear GVji,

    I have always found myself nodding in agreement to what you write, but this time around I’m going to have to disagree with most of what you’ve said. I hope you don’t mind it.
    ———————
    ==================================
    Of course not. You are welcome to rebut all my views. I expected strong reactions to my comments and am pleasantly surprised to note that they have been rather muted so far.
    ==================================

    ———————-
    From what she says about this guy, he only seems to be going along with everything. She never says anything about him expressing any liking for her or any interest in her. She may even be doing this guy a favor by saying no.
    ————————–
    =====================
    No, I don’t think we have any information about the other party to make judgements like this. Let us give him the benefit of doubt. The email writer has already certified that he is a nice fellow minus a little magic. That is enough for me and I will sympathise with him.
    ======================
    ———————-
    //3)The fairness of your act to your parents and to this boy//

    Was all of this fair to this girl in the first place. Being forced to give up a boy she liked a lot. Being forced into marriage. Being forced to take a 50-50 chance on happiness.
    ————————
    =============================
    I am not sure she was “forced” to give up the boy she loved. She was strongly persuaded to give him up and she shares responsibiilty as she finally allowed herself to be persuaded.
    I should not have quoted exact figures like 50-50!! The engineer in me with a weakness for numbers is responsible for this slip. Please read my reply to The Bride’s comment.
    =======================
    —————————-
    If they wash their hands off of her, then I say good for her. There are many many more men out there. Maybe something like this needs to happen before parents realize that pushing kids into marriages is not okay. Also I think its better to be single, one’s own boss and be happy than be married, lonely and miserable.
    It may take time for her to find the right guy, but I don’t think her chance of getting married is totally compromised. If her future husband wants her to go over the list of all her previous BF’s then I would say run from that guy too. I don’t think a previous relationship should affect your present one unless one is bring something over to the present relationship like a child or an STD. More importantly if someone says they love you, but want to you to go over the list of your previous BF’s alphabetically, I say RUN from that person,
    —————————

    =====================
    My fear is that she may or her parents may conceal the past and if the boy finds out in time, he may do exactly the same as what this girl did, viz, call it off just before the wedding.
    She must be honest in her future efforts for finding a suitable mate.
    =================================

    ——————————
    50-50 is too great a chance to take, especially when one’s happiness and peace of mind is at stake. Why go through a wedding just to find out if she can be made happy by the new guy. Wouldn’t calling off the wedding, getting the deposit back from the caterer and wedding be an easier alternative to divorce.
    ————————————
    ===============
    Of course I have to agree with this. But is divorce looming? Why assume it. All I was saying is that it is an option available later if really needed.
    =============================
    ——————————
    //You have been vague about reasons for not wanting to go ahead with the marriage.
    Can you cite a single compelling and genuine reason for turning him down at this late stage? Have you discovered something bad about him which you did not know earlier?//

    On the contrary she says that “the guy came down to India to spend time with me. It was all ok, and I thought with time we will fall in love, even when he was here we were short of things to talk about and did have a few unpleasant incidents… something seems missing… we have had uncomfortable silences between us and lack of communication… I have tried speaking to him, but unable to explain that the magic is missing, and how I want us to talk and work on the relationship.”
    Like I said earlier, he doesn’t seem too taken by her either, and most importantly I don’t see them being able to communicate with each other. If he is unwilling to listen to her now, do you think he is going to be all ears and attentive in the future.
    ————————
    ============================
    I support the views of many commenters that she must talk frankly directly to the boy.
    May be, as you say, even he is not too sure. If that is true, this can be called off mutually and neither party is hurt. Even if boy was totally willing earlier, if he now gets to know about the girls misgivings, he himself may like to call it off.
    =========================

    ——————————
    I don’t think she is the girl who has difficulty taking marriage decisions, rather as the girl who is not allowed to take her marriage decisions. Feeling a little bit of sadness going from one phase of life to another is okay. But this woman is not sad, she has doubts about being happy with the groom her parents have chosen for her.
    ——————————-
    ====================
    All evidence so far, points to a girl who has difficulty sticking to a decision after taking it. She decided to love the first boy and then backed out due to persuasion by her parents who had misgivings over his finances and his domestic responsibilities. A girl who is strong willed would have opposed her parents and would bravely offer to stick with him and help him out of his financial difficulties and also share his family responsibilities if the boy was “all that she dreamed of”.

    She agreed to marry the second boy after meeting him. Instead she should have kept the matter open, asked for time and resisted pressure from her parents to agree to this arranged marriage. I am not sure she will stick firmly to any future decisions she takes.
    ==========================
    ——————————-
    I don’t think rejecting two boys makes one a failure, and if it is I don’t see how its this woman’s fault. The fault lies with the parents who think their kids are cattle or commodities to be bartered or sold. Or worse, trash to be disposed off.
    ——————————————-
    Rejecting two boys for sound reasons is perfectly admissible.
    Rejecting a boy (or allowing herself to be persuaded to reject a boy) after falling in love and considering him a dream boy, because of bad finances or domestic responsibilities, may not be “failure” but it is not “success” either.
    Agreeing to marry boy who she certifies is nice and later rejects because he lacks magic is also not a healthy sign. She should have rejected him initially or at least not agreed to marry and asked for time to decide.
    ===============================

    ———————————-.
    I agree. An easy solution would be to stop forcing marriage on women who are not mentally and emotionally ready for it.
    ———————————-
    ======================================
    It’s nice to see we finally agree on something at least!
    ====================================
    —————————–
    I don’t think she should go ahead and marry this guy simply because she doesn’t want to. The simple fact that she wants out should be enough. He doesn’t have to have a have a defect or disease or a wife hidden away.
    ——————————————–
    ==========================
    I will leave that decision to the email writer. I will not criticise her if she calls it off. Ultimately it’s her life. I will definitely feel sorry for her parents and for the boy
    ==========================

    —————————–
    It doesn’t matter whether the marriage was a love or arranged marriage. People change and grow and evolve mentally and emotionally at different rates, so what seems like a perfect person at 25 might not be the best partner at 45.
    ——————————
    ============
    Agree
    =========
    ———————–
    Also, it is one thing to take responsibility for one’s own mistakes and totally another thing to suffer the consequences of another person’s bad decisions.
    —————————–
    ===============
    Agree. So who is making mistakes? Who is taking the bad decisions ? And who is the sufferer. The sufferers here are not just the girl who is likely to be trapped in an unhappy marriage but two innocent boys too. The second boy gets branded as one who was rejected by a girl at the eleventh hour. People will talk in whispers about this and wonder about the reasons and be even more careful when he tries his luck elsewhere.
    The first boy will feel let down totally and never trust another girl in his life.

    I would hate to be in the shoes of either of these boys.
    ============================

    ———————————–
    I have never given you a thumbs down ever. My marriage is an arranged marriage too. We will be celebrating our 9th anniversary this month. But what I cannot digest today is how I took that decision so lightly.
    ————————–
    ========================

    Do feel free to give me a thumbs down any time I say something not palatable to you or if you disagree strongly with. I must have feedback or else I will never know.
    Happy Ninth anniversary! You took it lightly? My marriage too (in 1975) was an arranged marriage was decided by a monkey! I am notorious on IHM’s blog due to this old story of mine that I had recounted over a year ago.
    ==============================
    —————————-
    I would postpone the wedding to give the couple more time, only if this girl wants to. If she feels that she has no future with him why waste more time.
    ————————–
    ============
    Postponing the wedding softens the blow.
    Cancelling it later can be an option after further discussion with the boy and his parents too.
    ========================

    ——————
    //If you cancelled the wedding, I would not arrange your marriage in future but merely agree to finance it.//

    This should be the way to go.
    ————————————-
    ===============================
    I am happy that we agree on this. Wanderer and Archana and pk were not too happy with this statement of mine. I have explained myself above while replying to them.
    =======================
    ————————–
    My apologies to IHM for hogging so much of her comment space.
    ————————–
    ============================
    I have taken up even more!!
    ============================

    @pk,

    Thanks for your comments.
    Some of your observations are similar to those made by Wanderer, Archana and the Bride.
    I have answered them above.
    As regards bonding with your partner I still believe it is possible.

    I know couples where the husband was a polio victim.
    They are a devoted couple after an arranged marriage.

    One doesn’t choose all one’s relatives. Don’t we bond well with our brothers and sisters in most families? Just as we bond well with our friends after getting to know them, if a husband and wife, become good friends too, it is possible to bond well later. A little homework is necessary of course before marriage to allow scope for this bonding.

    @Sumana,
    Thanks for your comments.

    Parents stopping financing of their children’s marriages is rather extreme.
    I would be a bachelor today if what you say is implemented!
    These days you software couples earn plenty and in a few years you can collect enough for a wedding.
    During our time, it would have been impossible.
    Remember, that you software folks start on salaries that we retired on!

    I am in favour of the boy’s parents meeting half the wedding expenses.

    Regards to all
    GV

    Like

    • Hi GV, having read your explanation on why you (had you been in the situation) wouldn’t put yourself forward for arranging a liaison again, I think it’s reasonable. I can’t imagine taking responsibility for choosing someone’s life partner even once…Hope my children never ask me. So having failed once, I would definitely not want to repeat the experience. Anyway, it seems like it would be wiser for this girl to take her time getting to know her prospective partner and the arranged system might not allow for that.

      “I also agree that there is a generation gap in this “Kuch Kuch hota hai” feeling.
      In our case we waited for “Kuch Kuch Hone ke liye”, while the modern generation proceeds only “Kuch Kuch Hone ke baad” This made me smile out loud! It’s so true. And I think neither generation is wrong. We just are different and the ways of one may not suit the other.

      Like

    • I agree with what you say, especially the part where you will be unable to approach the arranged marriage angle..
      IMO weather arranged marriage or love, both the boy and the girl need to think it thru, not rush it thru based on a few emotions.don’t make hasty decisions, this is after all your life for the rest of your time, wouldn’t you want to share it with someone who makes you all-round happy???
      why do you want to be with someone who makes your daddy happy ? or someone who makes you happy in a small contect of your college.
      life has so many hurdles it will throw you, both need to love each other and trust each other to be able to go thru those hurdles…

      As for wedding expense, i always say mine cost about 5000Rs ( yes 2 decades ago )🙂 of course my husband blew quite a packet onthe honeymoon and reception he arranged . but suffice to say we could have stopped with the 5000 and be no less married than we are today…

      i tell my boys our temple wedding ceremony was so peaceful, so beautiful and so calming i wish it on them too. i love those pictures …i love reliving those moments and tiruvannamalai holds a special special place for us both… so it’s not the money or the gathering it’s just what makes you both happy.

      Like

    • GV
      Thanks for your response. I think I understand better where you’re coming from when you say you would not arrange your daughter’s marriage again in this situation. As far as bonding is concerned, I agree that bonds can be formed, but I think when you start off with a situation of slightly positive feelings, or even indifference, maybe after a period of time it may change into affection or love. But if you start off with discomfort and unease and seeming incompatibility as seems to be the case here, the chances of a loving marriage seem poor. Especially as it seems that the LW is not over her previous boyfriend, and was compelled to give him up for financial reasons. I think if she marries this guy, the chances of failure are high. I may be wrong of course, he may turn our to be the love of her life, but the evidence does not point in that direction.

      Like

  31. yes talk to the guy and your family…things will get easier if this guy understands your situation..gather that courage..this will be for your good..dont marry in a confused state as marriage becomes hell for both boy and the girl..so clear out your doubts..you can postpone the date..Izzat is the least thing you should worry about at this time everything becomes fine with time..I always say that one should marry for right reasons..good financial future etc shouldnt be a priority but compatibility should be…
    Good Luck🙂

    Like

  32. i suggest talk to him u dont love him
    n see his reaction do. u stl lv ur bf n wht abt bf does he n his family r u ready to live not v rich life as u mentioned his earning speak to ur parents wd courage n dnt marry hm if u dnt lve i m in ths relationship n gna get divorce aftr a year nw parents r regerting plz think before marriage dnt cme dwn under any pressure r blackmailing pressure frgt abt izatbeaste this is ur ISLAMIC rite to chose ur husband by ur choice nomatter ur parents r agree but try to convince thm plz x bst of luck

    Like

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