An email from An Adult Male of India : “Every single family sitting or phone call will eventually lead to….”

Sharing an email from An Adult Male of India.

Dear IHM

I am an adult male of India.

Family background is moderate as parents are govt. servant and we have been nuclear family since 1986. I am an engineer by profession having typical life style in Delhi. Parents stay in home town. I have a younger (6years) brother, who is studying as of now.

My mother has been fierce and open rebel against societal stereotypes in many things which she could understand and comprehend as stereotype as much as I have seen her though my father is a product of patriarchal system and stereotype which he pretend not to be so as far as it does not hurt his own interests. You have to imagine what kind of battleground home can become in with these two personalities in same room.

Because of studies and work I had to leave home town a long back (~11year) and since inception of my comprehending abilities I have been an introvert person who don’t interrupt anybody as far as it does not intrude in my space but at the same time have very strong but logical view point at his own.

I have made my own decisions so far which I intend to continue till death and everything was hunky-dory till a year back. In last one year my folks have started showing a pressure on me (including my brother – surprisingly) to get married. Every single family sitting or phone call will eventually lead to a holy grail – my marriage.

I tried to tell them to mind their own business in every possible way – love, reasoning, compassionately, fight and what not. They agree at that point of time but later on like weeds it comes again.

I asked her/them why they are doing this and in reply I get answer like,

1. Societal pressure(?) – I asked her that when she be rebel all her life whats wrong now which silence her and to en extent father and brother too but then again.. like a weed.. comes again
2. There is a right age to get married
3. Other people my age have kids by now
4. Why I don’t want to get married

There is cross fire every time and after that a deathly silence.

I love my family beyond doubts but this is become burden I just cant keep saying same thing all the time and ruin my time and their too. Its damaging my relation with them. It damaging family in whole.

I fail to understand why cant they leave this to me to make this decision too?  What is the way out?

On the other hand, I don’t know why one should get married. I don’t know what to say when I am asked why am I not getting married. Its like I don’t know.

I meet ladies and I have many friends but at the end of day I don’t see that understanding part in them. Ladies are interested in getting settle down living in one city whole life and babies etc. Well that not my cut. I don’t know what is settling down.

The thought of settling in one city with a family with kids makes me restless. I want to travel. I travel a lot for personal and professional reasons. My idea is when I am on my death bed my passport should have every damn country’s stamp on it. I want to make money for that. I am having a business acumen in me and keep trying. I am happy with my self professionally but if come back to ladies. I don’t know why it is difficult to just live and let live.

So far my family were source of my energy but now they are sucking my energy like anything. I feel tired after talking to them. I don’t feel like talking to them.

Is there any way out of this?

Cheers,
An Adult Male of India

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47 thoughts on “An email from An Adult Male of India : “Every single family sitting or phone call will eventually lead to….”

  1. hi dude.. first of all not all ladies believe in”settling down”.. I myself hate the d idea.. I have dreams n even I wish to travel n fulfill every wish of mine.. tis is d reason I m against d idea of marriage wer the whole n sole purpose of my life is to “take care” of husband n kids.. one whole year I fought I cried bt they dint understand ..one day I just kept smiling n said if u call d boys parents I ll tell dem im nt interested in marriage .. den u can imagine wat “society ” wil say.. I kept smiling n also threatened tat if u keep forcing me I ll commit suicide! ! it worked🙂 they do talk of marriage bt nt like b4.. nw im able to concentrate on my life n goals

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    • OMG, Exactly my story.. Every single person I meet has the exact same question “if you already have a bf, Why aren’t u married yet” and the reason most of my friends gave to get married was ” Women’s physiology – that we must have kids before we hit 30, else there wud be complications”

      I ask them “Its not made mandatory in this country to have kids, is it?” And I’m really really tired of answering all of them.

      No going out, no talking to guys, stay at home, don’t do anything fun, cook, clean, get married, have kids and then get them married, force them to have kids.. Is this what they call settling down? I can’t even imagine being locked in one place for the rest of my life..

      After all, isn’t the world way too big and beautiful for that.. I just wanna give them all the finger and walk away…

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  2. LOL@ the “Parents of Shravan Kumar” tag.

    As a Indian female born to reasonably-caring-about-what-society-thinks-and-says parents, I went through a similar phase. While my MO was hardly the high road, it was effective.

    Whenever they brought up “marriage” or tried to bully me into meeting anyone, I’d kick up a hell of a fuss, and then “not talk” for a while. Since I live in a different continent, they couldn’t arrive at my doorstep to pick up where we left off. A week or so later, I’d talk again, and then if they brought it up again, well, lather, rinse repeat.

    Over time, my parents stopped annoying me about marriage, since a daughter who talks to them often, and picks up the phone every time they call, is a lot more fun (and a lot less worrisome) than a daughter who’s AWOL.

    I do have a India trip scheduled at the end of the year though, and all my tactics are most likely going to blow up in my face. As my advisor jokingly said once, they’ll probably meet me at the airport with a line-up of prospective bridegrooms in tow. Sigh.

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    • Yup… this has been my MO too in the past.

      Every call with them, and every visit would be filled with drama and yelling and tears. So eventually , I stopped calling but they would still call everyday just to talk about this…. and so finally I had to point out that the my phone number was the only connection they had to me.. and that I could simply changed it and ‘forget’ to tell them , that would be the end of all this.
      Not my finest moment , but thats what finally made them see that this was my decision to make when I felt like it.

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  3. They can’t force you to marry if you don’t want to. So don’t worry too much.
    They are motivated by concern for you since they believe that marriage is good for you.
    Learn to tolerate their persuasion and then quietly ignore it.
    You can’t force them to stop discussing this issue.
    When they talk about this to you, simply tell them “I don’t want to discuss this” and then keep quiet. Hang up the phone, or leave the room if necessary. Don’t answer letters or emails on this subject.
    After some time they will get tired and stop.
    Don’t antagonize them by scolding them or abusing them for bringing up the subject.
    Just be firm and polite till they give up on their own.

    All the best
    Regards
    GV

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    • It is not that easy. I understand where the LW is coming from. Marriage is a sore issue if you are not interested but are Indian. It does hurt when people you love don’t support you or your dreams & just care about society and marriage.

      Some people will drop the issue for the moment & bring it up again and again. It is frustrating. They will say you cannot avoid like that. Tell us why? They want to keep arguing on and on about it. So, ignoring does not really work in these cases

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    • And its not just parents. Friends, colleagues, neighbors, relatives or I can easily say every single person I talk to reaaally wants to why am I not married yet, as if it is some kind of illegal thing to do. Mostly I’d smile, ignore and walk away. But after a couple of years its getting into my nerves..

      If parents are concerned, whats the deal with the rest?

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  4. Sorry to say, there is no way out of this. My own relationship with my parents has gone through a phase of utter destruction because they completely fail to respect my wishes on my marriage. It was a tug of war for 5 years and I felt lonely very often, especially since I was really close to my family before this blew up. Being with friends helps, and venting anger with them around also helps. I decided to cut down on my conversations with my parents and reduced my visits to them. Whenever the conversation veered towards marriage, I would put down the phone and wouldn’t pick it up again for a few days. They would give away my email address to random guys as if it was on sale, and I simply never responded to their emails or phone calls. Then they started giving my phone number away, and I told the guys clearly that I’m not interested. They tried emotional blackmail, citing heritage, age, babies, every damn excuse under the sun. I told them it’s my decision. Finally, I hinted if they want to be taken care of and respected in their old age, the time to show respect to me is NOW.

    They still want me to get married but I’ve worn them down. They still bring it up, but they aren’t going maniacal. But the relationship is destroyed and the trust is gone. It will never come back completely again, though we are trying to rebuild it. I hope this is not your case.

    The only advice I can give you is to first get your brother on your side. My sister helped me a lot emotionally. Next, find out whether it’s your mother or father who is the crazy, unreasonable one and try to work on the one who is willing to talk. This might not work if they want to just keep the peace and won’t discuss it with you. Ultimately, just hang up when they mention marriage and stop visiting and make sure they know the reason why you have distanced yourself. You don’t have to justify your reasons to them, but you have every right to make major decisions on your life.

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      • I feel its more like “Fall in love or not, stay with him and endure whatever being thrown at you as long as you live” Oh and, don’t forget to produce babies..

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    • Yes, falling in love is a beautiful feeling and experience–when experienced in an enjoyable, consensual context where both individuals are happy with each other. Also, just because you fall in love doesn’t mean you have to get married. You can fall in love and not get married at all. The people who are adverse to marriage are most often not adverse to love, but rather to the institution itself and the pressure it places upon people.

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      • True, no one really cares about love. In fact they would prefer if their son does not love his wife. All they care about is relatives giving them a scolding and asking them questions like “Don’t you care for your son/daughter’s future?”. They are scared of the family elders who take it upon themselves to educate parents about their duties towards their children, like getting them married, having babies etc. The relationship between elders and youngsters is based on fear. What can the parents do? Poor souls! They have to save their skins, don’t they?

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    • Not everyone has to fall in love. Some people are happy being by themselves. They may sometimes have friendships/relationships but essentially they don’t seek a more constant form of companionship. Nothing wrong with that, it’s how their DNA is. My best friend (who grew up with me in India) is 43, unmarried. She has had relationships over the years on and off. She has friends, hobbies, and loves to travel. She is a caring person but doesn’t seem to need companionship in the sense/way I do. She seems very happy being on her own. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Why does everyone have to “fall in love” and “find the one”? Not saying you are implying this …. just that she gets so tired of this question, sometimes from people she just met who barely know her.

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    • Falling in love is all fine when one themselves want it, not because others want it for them. Such important decisions cannot be forced. One should respect other’s needs and decision. Easier said than done.

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  5. LOL – The Indian marriage trap – never understood the “right age for marriage” reasoning. Stop looking at the family for validation, they are in a small town, and it affects their way of thinking. Live your dreams, seek your joy and validation from within you, from your dreams. Its your life

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  6. LW, I really, really feel your pain. I do. I’m watching a sister go through this right now, and from what I’ve seen, it’s just a horrible, torturous affair that I want no part in at all. I don’t want to get married after “talking” for six months. My parents are the kind of people who tell me and my sister that we have to constantly be careful about who we trust, and that we shouldn’t get too close to people, even if we’ve known them since childhood. The same people who have now not just done an entire 360 degree turn, but actually become full fledged perpetual motion revolving doors (I don’t care if this breaks the laws of physics, it’s the truth).

    I’m sorry to say this, but this fight is going to be a messy, long-winded one full of painful conversations and lots of temper tantrums. But at the end of the day, this is one of those fights that you have to fight. This is not the time to pick your battles, because this is not just involving you but also someone else. The way I see it, you can’t be iffy on the topic of marriage at this point, because if you are, and you buckle to the pressure, it won’t be just you who suffers but another innocent soul. Not to mention, you will face the consequences of a bad decision here for the rest of your life.

    So, yes, it will suck your energy. It will be exhausting, and painful, and downright heartbreaking at times. But eventually, the nagging will slow down, and after a certain point, stop completely. If this is too tiring, I would suggest that you maybe talk to the girls they introduce you to, but turn them down (politely of course), until your parents get the message. At the end of the day, it will hurt, but remember that nobody can make you do something that you don’t want to do here. They will try their worst tactics (emotional blackmail, the dont-you-want-to-see-us-happy card, the dont-you-care-about-the-people-who-raised-you argument, and a lot more), but if you are firm in your convictions, I guarantee that whatever pain you endure now will never be as bad as the pain you’ll feel for compromising your beliefs and not just hurting you, but other people in the process as well.

    As for this little comment: ” Ladies are interested in getting settle down living in one city whole life”

    You think ladies aren’t struck with wanderlust as well? What, you think all of us want marriage and pressure cookers and children? Have you actually met any women? Or do you just watch them from a distance and assume that all we talk about is “settling down”?

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    • I know, right?! What if one of these men turned out to be serial killers, rapists, or thieves? It’s not as if my parents knew them personally! I was honestly pretty shocked by this complete disregard for my safety, especially since I was living alone. They want you to ‘talk’ to perfect strangers and make a decision within three months and count themselves progressive for ‘allowing’ it. Mind you, all this without informing him of your previous relationships or future aspirations. ‘All will be well after the marriage.’ HOW???!!!! It’s like suddenly nothing else mattered to them except this mad mania for marriage.

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      • “What if one of these men turned out to be serial killers, rapists, or thieves? It’s not as if my parents knew them personally!”

        I’ve pointed this out so many times, that it’s started to become useless. Every time my parents and my sister and I discuss this, it devolves into a fight. According to my dad, things like a good salary, a “good” education, a nice job, and a reasonable personality are things that qualify someone for marriage. I’ve tried pointing out how this is unfair to the gentleman in question, because you’ve basically dissolved his entire human character into four check points. They still won’t listen. I’ve pointed out how this is unfair to my sister, but they always retort with, “What else do you need in a person?!”

        I dunno. How about kindness? How about a shared sense of humour? How about friendship? How about trust? It’s ridiculous to expect someone to trust another person for the rest of their lives without any prior knowledge of who they are. And no, talking for three months isn’t progressive, nor is it enough. It’s stupid. People can go lifetimes without knowing each other. And again, these are the same people who keep telling us to think long and hard before making any decision, to not take stupid risks unless absolutely necessary. I guess putting your life in another person’s hands doesn’t qualify as a “stupid risk”.

        “Mind you, all this without informing him of your previous relationships or future aspirations.”

        Especially the future aspirations part. Apparently, women are to “keep their options open” for after marriage, because no man is willing enough or open-minded enough to move for the wife he’s supposedly going to love. It’s pure entitlement on the part of men in this case. All of the men my sister has spoken to have balked at the idea of moving to where she is, even though her job is great and has a lot of potential for success. She has plenty of opportunities where she is to either further her education or continue to work. And it’s not like its a loss for men either, because if my sister can transfer through her company, so can they. But none of that matters, because, “You have to get married first, right now, and then after marriage you have to adjust and think about all those things.” Why does the responsibility of making a marriage work always have to fall on the woman?

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        • “Why does the responsibility of making a marriage work always have to fall on the woman?” Completely agree with you. I once told this guy who expected me to stay with his family and told me that his mother would love me like a daughter that I have my own mother and I would prefer to stay with her if I have to stay with anyone. Why would I want to stay with someone else’s parents when my own are yet alive? But most guys think it’s fine but will never consider the alternative of moving in with the wife’s parents. I also asked a guy whether he too wants to work after marriage when he asked me the question. Such stuff scared them off. And to think all these samples in just the 3-4 guys I spoke to. I just refused to talk after that.

          But I think this kind of attitude also exists for the guys. They are also often told ‘Just get married. We’ll see about stuff later.’ That’s just the wrong way to go about it.

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    • “You think ladies aren’t struck with wanderlust as well? What, you think all of us want marriage and pressure cookers and children? Have you actually met any women? Or do you just watch them from a distance and assume that all we talk about is “settling down”?”
      One word – Perfect

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      • 50% of the women I know are like the guy mentions. Its sad. But its what they want. I look like a weirdo to them when I say things like I love traveling or I am super ambitious. Again sad, but true. I am so glad for the other 50% who treat me like a normal person atleast.

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  7. I have a niggle here –
    Why should ‘settling down’ mean tied to one place and never move out of there? And why should the wife (on whom you have already placed the blame even before knowing who she is) be a cause for it? Can I not be a settled individual if I can move from one continent to another every year along with my spouse and child/ren?

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    • To correct my last sentence –
      Can I not be a settled individual if I can move from one continent to another every year along with a like minded spouse and child/ren?

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      • Technically, if you have a child, you cannot keep moving all over the world or their education and friendships will suffer. Some children also find it difficult to adapt to new places all the time. So the potential for major life changes automatically decreases because you have a dependent human being whose needs you need to consider. And considering ‘settling’ in India means getting married and having babies, no, you can’t move all over the world and be settled.

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        • “Technically, if you have a child, you cannot keep moving all over the world or their education and friendships will suffer.”

          Not necessarily. It does depend upon parenting, and seeing and moving around the world can actually be a really good experience for many children. Of course, after a certain age, they’re going to have to pick a country and a school system if they plan on higher studies at some point, but if the parents have the capacity to be well organized and parent reasonably well, it can be one of the best experiences in life for a child.

          But you can’t call that “settled” either. But being settled is overrated anyway.

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        • I agree with you. I was just pointing out that if you decide to have children, you are necessarily anchored at some point and cannot keep changing continents every single year, as proposed by Art.

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        • I had the same thoughts as A when I commented about moving continents. It is a lot to do with parenting.

          Why talk about continents – I am sure we all have friends or probably belong to families that worked in the defence. I have loads of friends like that and they have lived in remote parts of India and changed more 5-6 schools and colleges in their lives and made friends everywhere. And still turned out just as normal as the rest of us who lived in one place all their lives. And these folks had working mothers as well.

          And really – with the world moving towards becoming a global village, setting boundaries like settling in one place etc will cease to be practical or exist.

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  8. I am one of the ladies who is married and settled down but also travels, doesn’t have kids and loves to live her life and her husband. I enjoy traveling alone and sometimes with him and I love the independence my job gives me.

    And yes I cook, clean, wash, iron and do everything else that super women like me do along with having a full time job. So please dear Letter writer don’t stereotype us ladies. Just like how not every man is a rapist, even woman is not dreaming of getting married and having kids.

    And as far as your parents pushing you is concerned, most Indian parents have only 1 sole purpose to get their kids married and when you are married you will be pestered and emotionally blackmailed to have kids for their sake again.

    So be strong, stand your ground and don’t let them get to you. Marry when you find the right girl and if you don’t find her don’t settle for just anyone. Being single is a great place to be as well.

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  9. Love is a beautiful feeling, trust and friendship and passion thrown in makes a great combination, and marriage is just the icing on the cake. PROVIDED you find the person with whom you share all this. Till then enjoy your life, make friends and you will find someone.
    As for your parents, tell them Age doesn’t matter much. You want a connection and that doesn’t happen on a set time limit. tell them to stop blackmailing you . be firm and they will learn. they are your parents , they want the best for you, unfortunately they dont know whats best. They thnk since they raised you they do.🙂 tell them and also understand they are facing societal pressure, it cant be easy. but they have to put you before society and thats what they need to understand. some parents do some dont..

    so move on and love will happen and marriage too …

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  10. I hear you – have a couple of close family members who went though this – and yes, both are male. My family isn’t given to loud arguments but both men made their ideas very clear up front. Told their parents and other close family members to lay off, if they wanted to continue to have a relationship with them. And stuck by that decision – one persistent aunt kept harping about their lack of marriage and was cut off for a year or so until it sank in that she was the one losing out on interacting with her nephews. Being men, they didn’t have to deal with the losing-out-on-having-babies argument, and they also had siblings who supported them and told the seniors to stop hassling them. It’s worked out well.
    Good Luck. Whatever your reasons for not wanting to be married (expecting to be tied to a city by the woman seems rather unfair to her) – being single is not a crime – as long as you don’t try to rent a house in a metro!🙂

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  11. Hi LW,

    I thought about your letter when I chanced upon this blog today (url below)….why don’t you believe that you can have it all (of course, if you don’t want to get married, don’t, but if you don’t want to get married just because you think it will be a hindrance to your dreams and there’s no woman out there who wants the same things, take heart! there are so many women who have the same dream as yours! everyone is not the same!)

    http://www.ourtravellifestyle.com/

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  12. Simply ask your parents whether they want to continue a relationship with you or not. Tell them in no uncertain terms that this is possible ONLY if they stop nagging and pestering and the “M” word will not be mentioned unless and until you tell them you are ready for it.

    And if they care so much more for society than for you, tell them they can continue to live with their dear society and forget all about your existence at all.

    See if this works or not.

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  13. It’s funny, reading this letter, I get the feeling the writer thinks marriage means nagging, marriage means endless fights and giving up freedom.

    Ok, dear Indian male, just tell your parents you’re gay – I’m joking🙂

    Alternatively you could let them chose suitable ladies and say no at each meeting. That’s what my husband did… and finally he got married at 35 to a foreign divorced woman with kids (and a pressure cooker) 🙂

    Like

  14. From:
    An Adult Male of India
    Thank you IHM for publishing & Thanks to all commentor for their words.

    I am happy to see many like minded people and relieved that some body understand what it feels like.

    to vishvanaathji, how much is too much?

    Special thanks to DG and Fem.

    justagirlfromaamchimumbai pointed I was stereotyping girls/ladies. My letter shows I am a victim of the stereotyping. I know there are women out there who are like what would like to date. Just unfortunately I am not lucky enough to meet one.
    thanks to princessbutter for her comment.

    Karishma, you might be right but till I meet such a person, will it not be better idea for family to sit back and relax?

    To conclude, Lets see what happens.

    Thanks again to you.

    Like

  15. It’s simple…if you don’t want to get married & if you feel not ready to get married…then don’t!!!!
    Either ignore your parents or try to convince them. It’s YOUR life…. (I know I sound like a total foreigner, here…but it is true)
    Societal pressure / being the “right age” to get married is NOT a reason to get married. If you want lifelong companionship, love, partnership – that is a reason to get married. If you are perfectly happy/satisfied being on your own, then why change that? Live your life on your own terms.
    Not to mention, to sign up for a marriage when that is not really what you want is an unfair thing to do to a future wife.

    Like

  16. Pingback: Is it possible that the ones whose disapproval is dreaded the most are those who are most likely to express disapproval (and occasional approval)? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  17. Pingback: Indian Shaadi Logic – by Prateek Shah | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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