Response from the email writer accused of betraying her “parents, country and culture by not having an arranged marriage”

Sharing the response from the email writer who was accused of betraying her “…parents, country and culture by not having an arranged marriage”

Hello IHM,

Many hanks for posting my email on the blog and for your kind supportive words. I am very grateful to you for doing that. I would like to thank everyone who has responded too for their very empathetic responses. I will follow the advice and not speak with my parents till they treat me like an adult and respect my wishes. That is the only sensible solution to this and giving up my life for this is not worth it. Like one of the respondents said ” that would be an easy way out”. I would also like to take this opportunity to address some comments made by some respondents:

1. Yes, I would like to get married but I want to choose my own partner.

2. I have spoken to my parents on numerous occasions directly and through my siblings to explain what kind of guy I would like for a partner. They refuse to listen and claim that they don’t understand what chemistry, compatibility and similar outlook to life means. If a guy they pick is fair, 6 feet tall, earning more than me in a decent job, has well educated parents with good financial background then what is my problem?

3. My parents have been to see me in UK once but they are refusing to come again because the society in India will think that they are “having time of their life by travelling instead of thinking about getting their 3 daughters married”.

4. I did think about not speaking to my parents but then thought what kind of life would be that and it’s better therefore not to live to relieve them of all the pain I have caused in 11 years.

5. When I came to UK all those years ago, I was staying with very close relatives initially, who paid for my first degree . One of them in the family (who was married) tried to sexually abuse me. [IHM: Study finds 98% of India rape victims knew their attacker.]

I was worried that he would attack me again as he was always following me around, so in-spite of my parents asking me to not say anything, I told other members of that family about him. No one believed me. I was beaten up, called names etc etc and the abuse didn’t stop for 6 months. I finally found the courage to leave that house and have not spoken to these people again. I went through 2 years of intensive therapy after that. All this happened between the age of 21 to 25. Long story short- my parents decided to stop speaking with these people. I did not ask them to but they did. I also offered to pay back what this relative spent on my education. So now my parents are calling me ungrateful and blaming me for breaking this relationship. My dad also insinuated in his rage that perhaps I bought all that pain on me, even though he knows the truth.

6. After I left the terrible house I mentioned in point 6, I told me parents then that I don’t want to marry yet because I need to sort myself out emotionally after what I have been through. But no one understood it and kept still going on about marriage. I actually fainted at my work and they though I was having an heart attack, which was a catalyst for therapy fully sponsored by my work. After I met my ex boyfriend, I didn’t have the energy to start thinking of defying my parents and loose them too. So when I said I am tired and I see no way out, its because I feel like I have been fighting one battle after the other ( with no fault of my own) and I just can not do it anymore. Not being alive seems like the easy way out to end it all. Yes I am content with my life in UK, if I ignore all this and I am proud of what I have achieved on my own but I just never thought it would come to all this with my own family. Thank you very much again. Hopefully one day I will write again to tell you that I have found a wonderful man of my liking and my parents are very happy for me and enjoying my happiness with me. Here is to hope and staying positive. Happy New Year.

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An email from an Indian Husband… and a Good Indian Son.

The Young Indian Woman’s response.

Where is the opportunity for Indian men to learn the most natural thing in the world – finding a mate??

Supreme court has made it clear that a girl above 18 can marry or live with anyone of her choice.

“Why didn’t these women find life partners by dating?”

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34 thoughts on “Response from the email writer accused of betraying her “parents, country and culture by not having an arranged marriage”

  1. Glad to have your feedback.
    Many persons who post here with their problems and seek suggestions do not follow up with either a comment in the same post, or a fresh letter giving their reactions to our comments.
    I am glad you are different.
    All the best to you.

    It would be interesting if readers who posted their problems in the past updated us on the latest position.
    Regards
    GV

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  2. It’s quite heart breaking to read all of what you’ve been through.
    The decision you have taken seems to be the best course of action to be taken after reading all of wrong accusations they have made on you.
    I do hope, wish & pray that you get everything that you dream of & that your parents understand the kind of strong & amazing person you are rather than thinking too much about what the society would say. I hope they understand that if anything (god forbid) were to happen to them, it’s you, their lovely daughter (who apparently caused all the pain) would come to their rescue & not the society, they seem to care too much about.
    Wish you all the strength & luck in the world to fight all of your current battles.

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  3. I understand you more after reading this….I can’t imagine how parents are concerned about some relation breaking up and not their daughter’s safety and protection…If, after marriage by agreeing to the choice of groom by your parents, I don’t think they will support you in any regard if any problems arise.They might send you back or ignore the problem for the same society.

    Just do what makes you happy. If one doing things to please others or giving in to this sort of blackmail, one will never stay happy.
    Hugs to you! Happy New Year!🙂 May this new year bring more joy into your life!

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  4. Hello friend
    I can empathize clearly what you have gone through. My story is exactly the same way as you have mentioned. I truly want to share some of my experiences.
    1. I have been molested by my maternal uncle various times. Not just me, several of my cousins by the same person. No one believed when we brought it in the open. Guess what happened, later on when he attempted on my 10 year old niece, my sister in law went to the extent of police complaint, and shaming them. He was thoroughly exposed and I have completely cut ties with my uncle. It is not our fault and ignore him. Guess what, after all this, I went to UK and I met the best of my friends there. I cherish every moment what I have spent in UK.
    2. We have been helped by several of my moms relatives during our studies. Yes we need to be grateful but unfortunately for these people “being grateful” means “being slave”. In my opinion this is not even worth. We can help them when they need and I would take it as we are just privileged to help. Dont negotiate any deals in the name of being grateful. Itz different.
    3. I married a person of my parents choice because I wanted to show my respect to them that way. I have seen incompatibilities(before 3 months of marriage) between my ex and me and tried explaining to my parents. Heck the same cycle, or if I stop the marriage, the family will get bad names, my sisters won’t be married. I yielded to the pressure which I deep,y regret today. I went ahead with the marriage and it did not even last for 2 weeks. At that time I was contemplating divorce!!! I went to my parents thinking they are going to support me. To my shock, what did I hear, if I divorce then the family honor is gone and my sisters not getting married. They mentioned they would disown me and I had the opportunity to travel to USA at that time. Heck, what happened, my parents disowned me and packed all their stuff cutting ties with me. It took several years for me n my parents to patch up through a common family friend. I honestly think yielding to this emotional drama is a vicious cycle. I was 28 when all these happened….little did I realize then I would have been much better off if I was stubborn, selfish and remained ungrateful.

    I am not married yet but I had the best moments of my life when I stay single, and I am happy. I focused on my work and got wealthy.

    There is nothing wrong in staying selfish, having ideas and sticking to it, and lead the life you want to.

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  5. I know how tiring it can feel. especially if it is your parents who tire you out with stupid obstacles. But hang, on do not give up for heaven’s sake. This is perhaps the reality of growing up, you cannot give up for your own safety and happiness. Even at times I too feel tired, but then after sometime I am able to pick myself up and keep chugging along.. After what you have gone through what I can say is you are super strong and I am inspired. congratulations on all that you have achieve. I feel you did make the right choice. Please relax, enjoy and take care..

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  6. In continuation with the above, I finally thought i met my match, found a man in USA. We have been in the relationship for the past 5 years. I am going through a breakup now because I found him to be a pathological liar. In the name of his parents, he played games with me, with his parents and he ended up wasting everyone’s time. I know life has hit me harder yet again but I am very confidant I will come victorious and in a way I am happy. Because if I would have married this person again, my life would only be miserable.

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  7. one day, my dear, you will be writing to tell IHM and all of us that you have found yourself and with or without anyone, you are complete.

    You are not alone. That’s no consolation, but it helps to know that one is not alone. And you are strong. that’s another plus.

    Its a tough day when we have to decide to walk out on our parents, but a necessary one. I know this is easier said than done, but really, look inside you – what are you and your parents bringing to each others’ lives except misery? This is not right for anyone.

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  8. Wow, now I am sorry I suggested you stop speaking to your parents. Not because your parents are looking like better people – they’re not, they sound worse than I even thought at first from your first letter – but because it’s clear that it’s the wrong solution for your gentler, forgiving personality.

    I still think it would be best for you to work towards cutting the emotional umbilical cord with your parents at the very least, no longer depend on their approval and acceptance, and not feel obligated to keep them happy. And I still think the best way to do that is to talk to your friends… or maybe start by MAKING good friends or deepening your existing friendships in order to be able to talk to them. Outside perspectives will really help to validate your feelings and give you the support you need to stand up for yourself against your parents’ blackmail. It’s a lot like what you are getting out of this blog’s comments – wouldn’t that be nice to have on a face-to-face regular basis?

    Here is what I wish you’d consider doing:

    – get an objective perspective on your parents. They’re seriously shit people. How can they even think of using your sexual assault AGAINT you!

    – get good and angry with your parents. Even if you never express it to them, just getting solidly angry with them will help you start on the road to not paying attention to their blackmail and abusive attitude towards you.

    – and like I said before, MOST IMPORTANT, find social support where you live from your friends so that you have people to talk to and rely on.

    Best wishes!

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  9. Thanks for the follow up email…

    IHM, I can’t understand how parents can turn a blind eye to their child’s sexual abuse…What’s the point of keeping appearances if your child is suffering?

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    • Sraboney I think they are convinced that so long as nobody knows about the ‘dishonor’, the survivor has not really been harmed… And I think the reporting and ‘badnaami’ is seen as the real harm, not the abuse😦

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      • That’s really sad. Status? Honour? Who the hell cares? A vast majority of Indians are too preoccupied with these inconsequential things. I’ve had numerous people ask me about my caste, educational qualifications, husband’s educational qualifications, salary etc. at the first meeting.

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        • This, Sraboney. What makes it worse for me now is that I am pregnant and I’m starting to show. Every single desi person I meet has this intense need to tell me what to do and not to do. No amount of “I’ve discussed this with my doctor and he has given me the green signal for my morning cup of coffee” convinces them otherwise.

          Which part of personal space do they not understand? Which part of unsolicited advice being unpalatable do they not understand? It is this intense need to poke into other people’s choices and lives that pressurizes parents to behave like perfect jerks. This however, is no reason for parents to feel any bigger obligation that to protect and support their child. As a to-be-parent, it hits me even harder now. You touch my baby with malicious intent and you sure as hell will find your hands no longer attached to your body.

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    • My folks did the exact same thing. In fact it was their first and only reaction – Why didn’t you tell us? (I was 6 when it started, 19 when I told them) You were always acting crazy, of course something like this happened. Yes of course a 6 year old brings abuse upon herself.
      I think what IHM said is true, I am constantly told to bitt bidu – leave it. Cause it wasn’t a big deal (I was systematically abused for 6 odd years).

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      • Isn’t it more painful when dear ones don’t support us the way we trust them to? My heart goes out to you…
        It isn’t easy to forget …The scar is always there… I don’t know how to react but I wish you all the best in your life.May your life be filled with loads of love & happiness.

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  10. When I came to the part about the LW being beaten up and abuse going on for 6 months, I had to stop reading.I was crying.
    LW,all the best to you.So glad you decided not to take your life.

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  11. That’s a sorry tale all around, and I’m so sad that you had to go through it all. And it’s not just one problem, it’s a series of them. And it’s very disappointing when your parents–the people you think will always have your back–have absolutely no sense of sympathy for your troubles, or any consideration for you at all. What jerks, honestly (no offence, but that’s sincerely what it looks like to me).

    LW, why not take a vacation and a breather? It might do you some good to get away from it all, while you’re not talking to your parents. Then you can come back and feel ready to take on the world.

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  12. Woah, after reading this, I am shocked. It is ridiculous.

    Now, I would suggest cutting ties with your parents & not talk to them & cut the phone if they bring up marriage. How can they let their child suffer than blame the abuser & blame you for their ties being cut?

    Don’t be guilty, go ahead with your life & do what makes you happy. Find a guy on your terms & things will fall into place at the right time. Do charity, volunteer, even that is paying back to the world for what you got right?

    If you date an Asian again, be sure, they are clear of their parental control.

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  13. I want to congratulate you for everything you’ve done for yourself. You’re an amazing person who found the strength to go for what she wanted in spite of hurdles (including your own parents/family members who were rooting against you). Some of us are lucky enough to be born into circumstances in which we have loving/understanding family members–to those of us who aren’t, they can only fight. You fought and come out as the victor in your own life.

    I’m so glad you’ve made your story public as there are going to be many people who’ll look to you as an inspiration.

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  14. Hi,

    I don’t often comment, but this is a heartbreaking story. I really hope you read this comment.

    I have contemplated suicide several times, and I wrote to Good Samaritans even though I don’t live in the UK. They were wonderful! It was such a relief to write to them, and their follow-up emails made sure that I could go from one day to the next, because I was sure of getting an answer.

    I was going through a fraction of what you’re going through, minus the sexual assault and a lot lot of the other things, but I was still tearing myself up every day. Every day I would tell myself that it’s my fault everyone is unhappy, my father is old and doesn’t deserve it, I am driving all these unnecessary wedges into what was once their happiness simply by my choices. And yet I was too stubborn to let go of my choices, because it’s my life. There was so much guilt, guilt, guilt and it piled up every single day until I thought I would go insane.

    People will keep telling you that it isn’t your fault, and that you aren’t the bad person, but it took me a long time to get to that stage and accept it. Because it’s true. If they think you’re being rigid and cruel, so are they. We make excuses for our parents. We say that they are old and set in their ways. We say that people can’t change at that age. But that’s all bullshit, because people can and do; the ones who refuse to are the ones whom you make excuses for.

    My mother once told me that sometimes, you can’t change people; you can only change your reactions to them. It’s a horrifying scary idea to cut off your parents, but sometimes you need to pull the plug on something that is driving you to ideas of suicide and grief. There are positives. You live abroad and you don’t have to see them every day. You earn, so you don’t need to look at them for support (please don’t even go into feeling guilt that they “supported” you until you stopped pleasing them). And yes, friends can replace family. Don’t cut them off if you dont want to, but I would strongly suggest that you simply cut off ALL conversations about these things. If that means you barely speak to them, they can suck it up. They are choosing to lose their daughter; you didn’t choose to trash this relationship.

    Also, the fact that they’re digging back and blaming you for the end of the relationship with that bastard relative tells you a lot. Your parents didn’t do you a large wonderful shiny favour by deciding not to have contact with someone who molested you. They did what any decent person should do, so don’t worry about that “sacrifice”.

    Lots of love!

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  15. I am happy that you took charge of your life and things have worked out in the past for you. If you stay at it, I believe this will also work out. You have to be sure you want to marry the person, whoever finds the person, that is immaterial. But, you need to know, understand and be happy with each other.

    Be strong, and you will be happy and satisfied at the end.

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  16. Atta Girl – it’s not an easy decision to break ties with your family! Wishing the the very best in your journey to recovering and discovering your self. Your emails are cogent and articulate; your mind too will become this tame once you take control of what it is doing.

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  17. Dear LW
    I was unwell and could not visit this blog else would have replied long back.When I read your post I wanted to give you a warm hug. I am 35 year old woman and gone through a lot and still do though in a totally different situation. What I understand is that you have not completely healed from one hurtful situation and while you are still broken another is inflicted on it. But I would suggest from my own experience that you take small steps. First address your past issues. Abuse, broken relationship. Learn to love yourself all over again. Disover new things about yourself. Meditation, yoga helps, especially reiki (trust me on that). You will feel positivity entering your life. As you learn to love yourself, all self doubts and guilt will leave. You will be able to block all the negative influence of your parents without any guilt because each person is responsible for his/her happiness. If your parents base their happiness on controlling you let them take responsibility for their misery. Same way you cannot base your happiness on your parents reaction to you. A good relationship with parents is desirable but not a must for your happiness. About killing yourself…well I too use to think about it but then I think I will die one day anyways so why not do somethings while I am alive. I love painting and want to paint more and more…maybe one lifetime is not enough for it. I also want to help a few people before I pop off so till I do all that I will live and when I think about it it will take a lifetime. And since I am not here for ever I will live for myself. Anybody who comes in the way of my innocent and harmless goals and pleasures will only have themselves to blame if I block their negative presence. I have found my goals in life and pleasing people is not my calling. I believe in that and walk my path inspite of society, husband, inlaws telling me otherwise. Just dont let ANYBODY shake the belief you have in yourself, even if he is your partner, parents or ANYBODY. Sending you positive energy in my prayers.

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  19. Happy new year to you too. Wish you have all the strength and happiness you need. I think throughout you’ve been right all along and have made the right decisions. All the best to you. Good to know that you’ve made a strong decision.

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