“Everyone knows, when she decides not to keep relation, she will do that. But I don’t want to go far away from my mother, I want her to be with me.”

It seems the whole idea of having a son for many Indians is to enjoy the privileges of being the Ladke Wale – namely or atleast mainly, an obedient daughter in law chosen by the parents. The son’s happiness is generally not taken too seriously. A common reasoning given is that the son  doesn’t quite know ‘what’s good for him’ and the parents always want ‘the best for him’.  

Also, a happily married son is not seen as ‘successful parenting’, an Obedient Son or a Shravan Kumar is. Which is why even the gods we worship are admired for being obedient sons and not happy men who made sensible, strong and happy choices.

[The rules change a little for daughters, Happily Married Daughters (or daughters who appear to Happily Married) are seen as a status symbol]

What kind of parental love is this? Why would any parent want their child to go through this? 

“My mother is very stubborn ( Ziddi ), everyone knows, when she decides not to keep relation, she will do that with 100% guaranteed. But I don’t want to go far away from my mother, I want her to be with me.”

Please help this 25 year old Indian male who wants to marry out of caste, and whose mother asked : “How can you think about her without our consent ??” Is that an example of the much touted Indian maternal love?

What kind of life can his wife expect if they do marry without all these issues being resolved first?

His email was published here:

Is it possible that the ones whose disapproval is dreaded the most are those who are most likely to express disapproval (and occasional approval)?

Here’s his response.

Dear IHM Readers,

Thank you very much for motivating me with all your valuable suggestions on my last e-mail.

I took stand, and finally, the false marriage is cancelled. Happy at this part, as I saved Girl’s life, chosen  by my family,  I am always blessing her for her happy marriage life with decent guy of her choice. But some obstacles are lying in middle.

I again request IHM readers to give me some suggestion, which is required for final shot and for successfully marry my loved one.

Few days back I fought with my Mother and brother that I can’t marry anyone because of culture and standing. I am sorry for that, but I can’t marry a girl just because she is of same caste. Either I will marry of my choice or remain single forever.

Everyone in my family was fainted, angry….. Then again the same drama began, emotional blackmail, torture, crying, hunger strike etc etc. But this time I took firm stand by informing them that this is my final decision whatsoever you people react, I don’t care. My marriage is none of your business as far as my happiness is concerned.

The same drama was going on and on for last seven days, but I was unshakable. And finally two days later my elders informed everyone in girl’s family that I am not ready to marry, as I already have an affair.

Girl’s family made some drama, but eventually they agreed and marriage was cancelled.

Now my mother is not talking to me since last 4 days. She is continuously taunting me for spoiling her reputation in society and SAMAJ. She made me clear in front of everyone that you do whatever you want and leave my house. She indicated me that she will never see my face for entire life and same she is expecting with me. My mother is very stubborn ( Ziddi ), everyone knows, when she decides not to keep relation, she will do that with 100% guaranteed. But I don’t want to go far away from my mother, I want her to be with me.


Please help me with the valuable suggestions. How to get through.

Related Posts:

“When wives become too possesive of her husbands and do not want the affection to be shared with their near and dear…”

An email: I am 18 year old male from a traditional (read:backward) Indian family.

What kind of sons do Feminists raise?

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

An email. Aren’t the sons supposed to have their own family lives?

Early and arranged marriages within the community prevent social ills.

Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.

An email: “I have absolutely decided that I will not marry her, but I am wondering if I made the right choice.”

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

Of how men’s masculinities are connected to their wives taking their names.


53 thoughts on ““Everyone knows, when she decides not to keep relation, she will do that. But I don’t want to go far away from my mother, I want her to be with me.”

  1. Any relationship you forge with another human takes the effort of two people to make it work. If one person decides to not make it work, then the relationship is not something that can be sustained.

    You have made your stance perfectly clear to your mother. You want to live your own life, but not at the exclusion of everyone already in it. Your life is open to your family–they are welcome to spend time with you, be happy for your, and generally continue to remain a family. However, if they have closed that avenue to you, there isn’t much else that you can really do, unless they come around of their own accord.

    I know that this is not the answer you wanted to hear, and I’m sorry. This was a risk you took from the start. I want to say that this is a worthy sacrifice, having the freedom to live your life as you please. After all, what happiness have you got to gain from having people in your life who want to control you for their own selfish gain? You are not a status symbol for your mother. Her good name and status in society should never have depended upon you, but rather on her being a good person. She placed you in an unfair position, and then is trying to play the victim, when any person who knows better can tell that she’s the one in the wrong.

    I want to say that she will eventually come around, but I honestly do not know. Perhaps she will make an exception for her son. If you truly want to try and smooth things over, you can go talk to her, but I warn you, she will once again start with marrying a person of her choice and relinquishing control over your own life for her gain. Tell her that she is always welcome in your life, but that she is the one ultimately choosing to not be there. This was her choice entirely, and any lost relations that she gets as a result is something that is on her conscience. Not yours.


  2. My advice to the LW is go ahead and take his own decisions. His mom might come around or might not. If she does not accept the situation, the loss is hers. No one owns anyone, not even parents their children. The sooner they realize it, the better, if they want to enjoy a good equation with their kids.


  3. Stick to your stand.
    Ignore your mother’s views but don’t ignore your mother.
    Even if your mother behaves badly with you, don’t behave badly with her.
    Give her time to cool off.
    She will reconcile sooner or later.
    Some mothers do it early. Some like yours will take some time to do so.
    You are only 25. Don’t worry. You have plenty of time.
    If she does not come around, learn to live life without maternal support.
    You are already 25. You should no longer need her approval for everything you do.

    All the best.


      • Thank you Krith.
        I am 65, and probably as old as a father to most of you.
        I am glad to bring another generation’s perspective to this blog and the issues discussed.
        I hope this blog goes on and on and I continue till I am old enough to be a grandfather to most of you! I got promoted to “grandfather” status last year.
        But, as they say, you are only as old as you think.
        I hope my thinking always keeps up with the times.


        • I totally agree about adding a different generation’ perspective to this discussion. I do discuss some of the things I read about over here with my father and whether we agree or not, it is useful to just gain a different perspective especially because I sometimes get emotionally attached to issues and cannot imagine that others may think differently. Please keep coming back here!

          Do you have your own blog?


        • No Krith,
          I don’t have a blog of my own now.
          I tried once and did write a few posts.
          No one came forward to read except a few friends.
          About 5 years ago I got a total of five comments in an entire year , mostly saying polite things like “nice”, “good to read” or some such inane comment!

          I now sometimes ride piggy back on other more successful bloggers when these blogger friends agree to host me and publish my posts as guest postings.
          IHM was kind enough to publish one of my posts about arranged marriages about 3 years ago. I have some other friends too who posted my writings in HIndi on their blogs.

          I have since then given up.
          I get more eyeballs for my comments on various blog posts than I get for my own posts.
          Not complaining.
          Just noticing.
          Thanks for your interest and for asking.


  4. I feel like she does have a point. If you live under her roof, you are giving her a massive amount of control over your life. I’d suggest you do exactly as your mother tells you and move out–if you can’t bear to be too far away from your family, then live somewhere close by. You can’t have a golden solution in which you can live with your parents, have an amazing relationship with them, and choose your own wife/make other life decisions etc.

    You can either let other people control your life or you can take control over your own life–the choice is yours. If you want your mother to be with you at all times then make peace with the fact that you’ll never get the life that you want for yourself.


  5. A tough call, but don’t give in to that emotional blackmail again because you want to stay with your mom.I understand what this means to you, but some people can be really really stubborn.More energy gets wasted in trying to convince them than being in the problem.
    You know your family the best, if the issue is only about caste, perhaps you can date someone who is from the same caste?
    [I’m all for inter-caste marriages and all liberal thinking but at certain situations, a work around is a better solution than challenging decades of conditioned thinking]

    If your family is forceful and dominating in all regards, -I mean, if they are controlling most things about your life, it is also possible they will continue to do this even if you marry someone from your caste or the girl of their choice.Then you will be at more problem with both yours and your wife’s freedom at stake.
    Every time you say ‘no’ to them, the same emotional blackmail will happen.

    Take complete responsibility of whatever choice you make. Also in situations of emotional dramas like these, one can feel very low and helpless…In such situations, seek a counselor’s help or some advice from friends or whoever.
    Be assertive because it is your marriage & your life. I don’t really get how every person in the family has to approve someone’s life partner!


  6. I have a couple of friends who faced a similar situation in the past.
    In both cases, they stood by their decision of marrying the one they love & went “against” their parents wishes. They too heard a lot of taunts & one of them was also disowned by her own parents.
    But they married the one they loved anyway because somewhere deep down they kind of knew that eventually their parents will realize & understand that it isn’t the society’s approval that matters but the person that your child is with that does (or I guess they just couldn’t see their life without the one they love).
    Anyway, in both of those cases, they did not speak to their parents for more than 2 years, they lived away from them (it was very hard but they moved out) & 2 years later when they got children of their own, the same parents who were taunting them & disowned them, started speaking to my friends again & now one of them even lives with his parents again.

    So at the end of the day, nothing that is worth it comes easy. For now, move out, get married to the one you love, try not to take those taunts they personally. Once they see that you are happily married & well settled & that the person you got married to is the best thing that has happened to you, they will understand & accept the situation.

    If they don’t it’s their loss.


  7. I think it should be 2 way – your mother should also want to live with you. right now, she only wants to live with her beliefs and stubbornness. if her love for caste is more than her love for you, there is nothing u can do. u cant make a person want to love you – parent or not.


  8. I’ve seen this melodrama (from elders) unfolding with my cousins as well. My cousins, god bless them, stood their ground and guess what – ALL IS FINE now. Nothing they threatened happened. Don’t worry too much about all this. Give it some time and everything will be alright.


  9. One of my friends was disowned (read thrown out) for daring to fall in love. Both the sets of parents were as stubborn and unreasonable as your mother. And they came around and apologized. Yes, they actually apologized. Your mother might too. Or she may not. But please do what you think is right. Personally, I think it would be better for you to move out and let things fall in place in good time.


  10. Frankly, you are an adult and you should be moving out anyway and building your own home. You can’t clutch your mother’s skirts all your life and you shouldn’t even attempt to. Putting a physical distance between yourself and your parents does not mean you no longer have a relationship with them. Blackmailing, controlling, bitching and putting your family in impossible situations is what breaks a relationship, and it’s already happened in your case.

    Leave home, set up your own household and enjoy freedom. I see no reason at all why you should stay in the same house as your mother. When you marry, do you expect your wife to leave her mother and come to live with yours while you don’t make any kind of compromise in the family department? Don’t you feel this is wrong?

    As for maintaining relationship with your mother, there doesn’t seem to be one to maintain. Whether you remain in the same house or not, the relationship seems to have gone down the drain. As long as your mother is not interested in keeping up a relationship, there is nothing you can do about it. You might as well move out, and when you marry, be happy in the confidence that you did right by your wife by not demanding that she leave her parents to come and stay with yours, which is an immense injustice to women, done in the name of tradition. Be satisfied you won’t be part of the problem.

    In other words, move out asap.


    • True. Why must an adult have to live with his parents anyway? Have a place of your own, learn to be self-sufficient, learn to do your laundry and cook maggi, and then move on to more complicated dishes.
      Learn what it’s like to live on your own, discover who you really are when no one is telling you who they want you to be. Marry the girl of your choice, not because you are sacrificing your relationship with your mother for HER, but cos you owe it to YOURSELF to live your own life and get away from the harmful clutches of co-dependency that is so commonly seen in India.


      • The glitch here is that India is not “Abroad”. Moving out does not automatically lead to fantastic new digs in places like Manhattan. Indian landlords will often not rent to single young men. The logistics of being self-reliant are seriously a problem for young people in India wanting their autonomy. One can’t go and live in the wilds like Kumar Gaurav and Vijeta Pandit in “Love Story”. In the Indian case, I suggest finding a government job type situation if the person is able to do so. Why? Because small, leaky and dingy as they might be, government flats come with government jobs. One step removed from the daily torture of emotional blackmail.


        • Eh? Who said anything about fantastic digs in Manhattan or living in the wilds? You’ve been watching too much FRIENDS and silly films. I am single and I live by myself – in India and not in the wilds either. Plenty of other men do the same. My neighbours in my previous flat were all young men living alone. The LW has a good job and should be perfectly able to find some sort of small flat for himself.

          As for the government job, government flats are not granted to every Tom, Dick and Harry. You need to be in a certain position before you are allotted a flat. Also, government jobs often are reserved for certain castes, so it’s highly competitive out there.


        • The reference to Manhattan is so ridiculous. Is that the only place you know of ‘abroad’?

          My BIL’s 22 and lots of his friends rent places in Gurgaon. There’s no anti-single men police preventing them from renting flats.


        • I see good sense in SRC’s post. It’s hard living alone unless you make a good amount of money and are willing to shell out for a decent apartment.

          Almost all graduates from my rather humble college (3 years after graduation) hold fairly ordinary jobs still can’t afford to stay even as roommates with other people because they make so little, or they live in really dingy places which flood during rains etc. Think of it – if you earned just about 20,000 a month, how would you live alone in a big city?

          Also, unless you live in a fairly developed area, apartments don’t rent to single men/women. Most landlords think of young men as noisy drunkards and try to police single young women. Even where I rented in a fairly developed area in Chennai, I had a mad time convincing the landlords that when I ‘returned late’, I wouldn’t come home drunk


        • Niketan,

          I agree that it is not easy to be on your own in India. But the LW said he has a good job, so the option is open to him. Also, I have lived by myself for a few years now and while landlords ARE annoying, I have been able to get flats to live in. It’s difficult, but it’s not impossible. I think another ten years down the line, it will be commonplace for people to live alone, and landlords won’t annoy one so much.


        • I completely agree with your previous comment Fem, I was only replying to SRC’s post – that I see good sense 😀

          But yes, I’m really waiting for the day when single men/women are considered acceptable tenants.


  11. I agree with what everyone else said but first off: congratulations 🙂 It isn’t easy to take a stand against family, because everything is drenched in tears and guilt and duty. So yay, you did well. Sadly the first step is never the final one, so you’re going to have to put it together and keep going. Your mother loves you, but she’s also manipulating you because she’s probably sure that she’ll be able to guilt-trip you into doing precisely what she wants.

    Moving out is a good idea. It will be shocking, your family will lament that it looks SO BAD that their son doesn’t even stay in their house, but that’s all right. Distance is excellent for relationships. Look at the bright side. You put your foot down, the marriage was called off, and not one person has died as a result, so you know perfectly well that all these claims are bogus. And you aren’t to blame for anything of their melodrama, because they are CHOOSING to be complete idiots.

    Also you haven’t really said how your girlfriend is taking things (does her family mind?), but like Fem says, you really do need your own place when you get married instead of trying to live your life with someone else inside that mansion of tears.


  12. I’m sorry my friend, it is not entirely up to you to keep a relationship alive. There are two people involved here, you and your mother. You cannot maintain a relationship all on your own if your mother wants to break it.
    Your mother threatens to end her relationship with you if you decide to be an adult and do what you feel is best for your life. She does not respect the fact that you are an adult who is capable, and MUST, make his own decisions. She does not need to like your choices, and while she can advise you against it, she has no right to threaten you with dire consequences if you don’t do things her way.

    So you must choose. Choose to maintain peace (until the next time she threatens you with something, cos obviously, the blackmailing will go on as long as she is successful with that tactic) and stay with your mother, or choose to make your own decision, what you feel is right for you, and take responsibility for yourself.


  13. Seems like a LOT of people are confusing the Downvote button for the Upvote button. 😉
    Either that or they simply cannot understand well-thought out, well-written, and non-abusive responses.


  14. This is not your problem at all. emotionally we are conditioned to feel guilt in such situations, but you’ll get over it pretty easily when you start enjoying your freedom, partner and the life you choose.
    trust me i was in the exact same boat, i walked out and can say had a fantastic life. after many yrs my parents wanted to make up. I have never seen a case where they havent come back and wanted to be included in your life.
    Mine realised that they were the ones with no contact to their grandkids while society and log were having fun with theirs..
    many parents dont realise that so much drama causes a break in trust which is hard to heal,
    go ahead with your life, move out, take decisions, it’s empowering. It may eb good decisions or bad decisions but in the end there is satisfaction that it is your OWN decision.


    • “Mine realised that they were the ones with no contact to their grandkids while society and log were having fun with theirs..”
      Its always like this in the end,isn’t it? For the sake of ‘log’, we dispute,disown and give up so much.But, ‘log’ never compensate for all that is lost. Sadly, its too late when this truth hits us.


    • Wise words about the trust. My cousin married someone of her own choice against her parents’ wishes. They did come around after the couple had children. However, my cousin’s husband still does not have the kind of respect he would’ve had for his parents in law had they been accepting initially. He is cordial and decent with them but you don’t see any sense of “family” when they’re all together.


  15. I wish I could dont worry ur mom will understand but that seems a little remote. You dont have to despair, unfortunately there are times in life when you just have no other option but to take a stand. We are all conditioned with moms are god images and forget that they are humans too. Its important to remember that no one is perfect, each has their own shortcomings – here ur mom wants to control u and have taken a stand against it. Nothing wrong. Till she comes around, just focus on staying happy. Good luck!!!


    The Many Faces of a Mother: Are Moms Gods on Earth……


  16. You have done the absolutely right thing: you showed them the limit and you stood your ground. Well done! Now comes the second part of the battle and it will require courage and perseverance. Of course they will try the blackmailing and manipulations again. It is the only thing they have to get you back in line. They can’t drag you to the altar by force, they can’t beat you into submission without committing crimes. So they are bound to resort to tantrums and taunts, and you need to find a way to deal with that without breaking down. One way is to move out, the other is to grow a very, very thick skin and play deaf and indifferent to any criticism or silent treatment. I personally prefer the first option, if only because constantly trying to blend nasty people out is a waste of energy.

    I totally understand you not wanting to exclude your mother from your life. My relationship with my father received some serious blows and eventually I walked out too. In my case, the silence lasted for eight years before he extended an olive branch. I seriously didn’t expect it at the time of the break, but it did happen and we have managed to build up a relationship again. So even if your mother threatens to disown you, don’t take it literally. When people grow older, they realize they are the ones who suffer most from the separation, as they miss your development as well as grandchildren. If she indeed cuts all ties, you can at least take comfort in the fact that SHE was the one who refused a normal relationship, not you. I know it’s not much compensation for missing a parent, but it’s better than killing your soul by trying to please her. All the best to you and don’t give up! You are not the selfish one here.


  17. Great job standing up for your beliefs!
    If 2 people are in a relationship (mother/son, husband/wife, etc.), one person cannot THREATEN the other one of leaving. “Do what I want or else …” is a threat that kidnappers use to collect ransom or blackmailers use for extortion or terrorists use when they take someone hostage. And what do the best law enforcement agencies do when they receive threats? They refuse to negotiate with the threatening party.
    Now coming back to personal relationships – the minute someone issues that threat, they are taking the relationship down the drain. They lose their respect and standing in the other person’s eyes. It is a relationship no longer worth fighting for.
    The best response I can think of to her threats is, “Mother, I know you are very upset right now, but I do need to live my life. You are certainly welcome in my life, but only if you agree to treat me with respect and understanding.”
    Chances are, your mother will be angry for a while. We don’t know if she will eventually cool off or not. One thing is for certain – she will need to show her motherly love by accepting you for who you are and letting you find your happiness – for the relationship to be meaningful. Otherwise, it’s not motherly love, it’s just control.


  18. I’ve already posted my response on your earlier mail about how my friend is dealing with a similar situation. Beyond this, you just have to take a very strong and firm stance. Your mother is basically going to capitalize on your inability to break away from her (exactly what happened with my friend). Remember her strength is your love. The day she’ll stretch it to the breaking point, she doesn’t have that strength anymore. You have to decide for yourself if it’s really worth it to make a life-time of compromise just to be close to your mother or live peacefully marrying someone of your choice. I know it’s hard to make this decision on the face of it because the thought of having to break ties with someone you love deeply and feel indebted to (in this case, your mother) at some level is painful. But at the end of the day, you have to realize that it’s your life and you have a right to be happy. You don’t owe your life to anyone – it was your parents’ duty to bring you up. So think through it and make a choice which will keep you happy.


  19. Hi,

    I have a love marriage(inter caste -inter state,inter language with all the differences you can imagine,in term of finance also). My husband too face all this and he faced it at least for two years. After some time my in laws gave up and agreed for our marriage.So as and Adult you need to think with whom you want to spend your rest of life. Even if you marry as per your parents choice,there is no guarantee that your that wife and your Mom will have good chemistry ( you know relation of saas-bahu),than also all headache will come to you.So if you will go with girl of your choice,one thing is sure that you both will be happy.
    I also want to add one more important point,like in our case.We got happily married in presence of our both parents and my in laws shows all their affection towards me untill the marriage.After marriage they changes all of sudden because they have still that pain somewhere.They don’t even talk to me and my husband properly,and back bite me in each and every thing I do.But in front of society My in laws shows that they take good care of me but behind the wall,when I go to my In-laws house they don’t even talk to me.Every weekend I spend there,they make me feel that I am not good for them and I have been forced on them.I know How I spend those days there,no one ask me about tea,food,even though I stand in kitchen from morning to mid night.There are many things to write down,I can post them separate. But if you are going to marry girl of your choice keep in mind that your mother drama can hamper you marriage life also.So keep in mind from now itself with whom you will stand at that time,your mom or your wife.


    • one more thing this is my condition when I run their family financially and my husband pay for all their loans.They never have any problem with my salary.


    • Why do you visit them on weekends. If they don’t respect you, don’t visit. I see no reason why you should stand in the kitchen till midnight. If you are willing to be taken advantage of, they will take advantage of you. And what is hubby dear doing when his parents are mistreating you?


      • Even if we go there on weekends they say in front of people that I will not take care of them when we will become old,cause she is not of our caste,and just because of this,they fix the girl,in their caste, for my brother-in-law just after two month of our marriage.
        I didn’t told my husband about all this,when he came to know,he tries to take me outside home,with some excuse which annoyed my MIL more that I comes of some weekend and that days also she has to cook for everyone.
        we both now go there when there is must,otherwise we avoid.


  20. Sadly, I know quite a few guys who appear to be all open-minded but would spout their ‘majboori’ to get married to the girl of their parents’ choice (which is ALWAYS based on cast and horoscope!). And they are just in their early twenties! Well-trained, there guys are.


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