So 36 Biradari Panchayat in Baghpat wants no ‘love marriages’ ( i.e. Choice Marriages) and some political leaders are silent and some others insist that choice-marriages are permissible “if the parents approve”.They don’t say that ‘semi-forced arranged marriages’ are permissible without the couple’s consent. Not eloping is seen as consent?It seems our political leaders are taking no real action or stand against these biradari/khap panchayats because they fear losing the votes of parents like A’s in this email.
I am an avid reader of your blog but have never really posted. I am male living in USA. I am contacting you regarding a friend of mine who is undergoing some difficult circumstances with his family. He is male, 30. His family dynamics are very similar to the stories often published in your blog. To protect his identity I refer to him as ‘A’. I have known him for over a decade and sympathize with his position.
This guy has been living in some seriously repressive family, to be honest I am not sure how he does it, I need your advice as I feel he is close to breaking point & something serious is about to happen. I would like to help him without thrusting my view point but it is not exactly easy to do this.
First off his mother is extremely manipulative. She is over-protective, obsessive and constantly worry about how to steer the entire family in a direction which she wants. She is a master manipulator of circumstances, as a result of this A has lived in almost constant depression and stress although somehow he has managed to graduate and keep up at a decent job.
Unfortunately his father is colluding with her and the siblings rally around her to manipulate A.
The mother had already manipulated the elder brother into marriage. He too caved under stress, she broke him down just as A was broken down. Today the elder brother is childless two years into marriage and goes through regular cycles of rage & depression on what he has done. He is lost between leaving the wife and staying in the family. The mother never got along with the brother’s wife because according to A the elder DIL never accepted the mother’s controlling behaviors. The mother has tried all sorts of underhanded tactics to leave the elder brother but it never materialized. Today the parents are super nice to her face but curse her behind her back.
She was at the center stage when A was getting married, he never wanted an arranged marriage, it was thrust upon him & he caved under pressure. They went back to their homeland and got married under stress. At that stage he revealed to his parents (just before his marriage) that he his only doing it out of pressure but his parents laid some serious guilt trips on him, he once again caved under pressure. They did ask him but he felt the pressure is too great, his father turned his face away from him saying he should do what he agreed on. His mother giving him a choice yet pressurizing him at the same time, he felt extremely guilty for refusing and went ahead with the marriage.
Part of A’s predicament is that his issues go beyond marriage. The mother is controlling every aspect of his life, his marriage, she has even convinced him to stay in the family home basement. The parents are spending a load of cash to get a nice place constructed – but isn’t this just more manipulation? Handing out candies to eventually control him? So in this manner the parents have really controlled 80 percent of his life his marriage and his living situation. I feel A has been brain washed extensively and I am aching to see him being emotionally abused like this. Tomorrow the mother will control his career, his wife & any children… it will never stop.
After A came back from marriage and the fog lifted he realized what has happened. He started getting help and finally calmed down and studied his circumstances. He realized the guilty patterns and why they are occurring. I helped him a lot to see the family dynamics and realize what is really going on. He has spent time in rage and confusion. The parents are unwilling to accommodate any of his wishes, they manipulate him, guilt trip him and use the siblings to exert their point. The mother I have to say is domineering and fully planted herself in the life of her children pulling the strings as she pleases. As long as A and the siblings do what the mother wants everything is good, otherwise she goes around playing her games.
He is seriously thinking of calling off the sponsorship (his family made him sponsor his wife) & then run away from his family. That is a drastic move for sure, I don’t know what to tell him, if I were him I would be thinking like that too but there is too much at stake, family ties, a wife and uncertainty regarding the future. He says the marriage is not consummated, the wife is quite young finding another suitor will probably will be not an issue. He feels if he does not do this he will be one of those 40 year old men living in parents basement with a wife he never really wanted. Jeez what a situation.
Kindly post on this on your blog without any names mentioned. I would request A to read this with an open mind. I thank you for having an open platform like this that deals with these issues.
There is a small update on this situation, I have come to know that he only has about 6-8 days before the sponsorship process is complete, after which the wife will be coming over. I can safely say once this happens there is no way for him to get out of this toxic environment as he will be legally bound by the Canadian laws. The parents are well aware of this and they have brain-washing, butterring and stroking his ego to stay in the marriage, they actually bullied and guilt tripped him before the marriage. He knows this now but is paralyzed by uncertainty and fear.
I have tried to talk to him objectively as there is quite a bit at stake, however he is quite distraught and leaning towards running. At the same time he is afraid of running too as he is unsure of the long term consequences of this. It seems he is losing no matter what he does. It appears to me atleast that everyone around is happy for the marriage at the cost of him.
– What would you say to A?