“I know my dad is short tempered but he was never this aggressive until my relatives started making him over think about my marriage.”

Indian parents seem to continue to believe that their children’s (only girl children’s) self reliance and happiness is less important than creating a good impression on the relatives/neighbours/peer group/colleagues. 

All the news about women being harassed, abused and even killed by in laws/spouse doesn’t seem to make some Indian parents question the idea of Get Married Stay Married as the only goal for some of their children (daughters). 

Such is the power of established norms. 

And short temper continues to be seen as a rational reason for inexcusable behaviour – with those who can be forced to tolerate it.

Hi IHM,

I am in a fix and i thought of contacting you and your readers for help.

I am a  24 year old girl working in an IT firm in Mumbai  for the past one year. My family lives in another town. I graduated In B.E and got campus selected in the same firm. Due to some issues I was given my joining date after two years. In the meantime I was working in another firm.

My father started asking me to get married when I was 22. I always wanted to work and be independent because i never wanted to be a housewife. He brought one proposal and when I said no to him, he didn’t talk to me for a while and started creating issues to his health. Some how people made him understand and he was alright after a while.

After about a few months he again brought a proposal and asked me to consider and when I said ‘No’ again, he asked me to never come back home and we didn’t talk for a month or so. I am someone who is scared of my Dad because he is a very short tempered and controlling kind of guy. I have always been a good daughter and have never had any different views from my father. So I always try to give in rather than fighting with him. I always made it clear to him that my career was the most important thing in my life and until and unless am stable, I won’t be getting married. This somehow my dad is not very comfortable with. He wants me to get married ASAP because apparently if a say no to a guy, Thats an insult to him. I have tried making him understand but he never gets it and whatever discussion or point I throw in, he ends up humiliating me and never listens to me. He is a man who you cannot win an argument with.

Now he brought a proposal again and when I said it clear that this marriage stuff is not something I want right now, he again started scolding me and told me that he will meet the guy and his parents and if i say no, he will make sure to make me resign the company am working right now. I am a career oriented girl and I would never sacrifice my job for anything, and my dad is aware of this. I told him that I want to focus of my job and be independent and then we can talk about this stuff. I just joined my company and it will take a minimum 2-3 years for me have a decent money and savings. But he did not get this and said that he will make sure I don’t work in the firm if I create a scene or say no to the guy.

I love my parents and I know my dad is short tempered but he was never this aggressive until my relatives started making him over think about my marriage. My parents will be forcibly making me meet the guy in about two weeks without my approval and the more I talk to parents about this, the more they become aggressive towards me. What do I do.. please help me.. I don’t wanna fight with my dad, I know he loves me but this marriage bullshit of him is something I cannot stand.

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66 thoughts on ““I know my dad is short tempered but he was never this aggressive until my relatives started making him over think about my marriage.”

  1. This is not a short tempered or even simply an aggressive man. This is an abuser. He is threatening to have your firm fire you if you do not agree to, what, quit anyway and marry a man of his choice immediately? That’s a classic abuser right there.

    I would suggest not talking to him on the phone for a long time–start with the silent treatment and let your parents know that you’ll only talk to them if they stop harassing you. You’re going to need a lot of strength to deal with such an abuser, especially since said emotional abuse is coming from someone you love, a parent no less.

    As for your work–is there someone in the HR dept you can talk to? maybe let them know that you’re being harassed and ask security to escort your father out of the office should he attempt to show up at your work place and cause a scene to get you fired? You are an adult and you have certain rights–if I were you, I’d definitely alert my office security and ask them not to let relatives in.

    You do say that you love your parents–have you ever considered whether your parents love you? I don’t mean ‘love’ in the whole ‘we’ve done so much for you and paid for your education’ crap that many parents pull–I mean, do they respect you at all? Without respect, there is no love. And frankly, your father does not respect you at all.

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    • ****I wanted to add:

      You say your parents are forcibly making you meet a man soon. Does this mean they are physically going to kidnap you (or have you kidnapped) and tied to a chair while you meet this person? Could you alert the police or some friends who could help you with this?

      I would suggest you stop taking calls from your parents (as I’ve said above) and simply keep your door locked. Your parents cannot force you to do anything, especially considering that you’re living independently and do not rely on them financially.

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      • Kay’s advice is spot on. My dad is similarly conservative but when the threats got too much, I stopped speaking to him for a year and never met them either. This panicked him as he feared losing his daughter forever, so he backed off. Also, I was able to talk to him and tell him why I wasn’t interested in marriage right now, etc. It worked for me, and while he keeps trying his luck every year to force me to settle down, he now at least has been forced to respect my decision to back off.

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    • “This is not a short tempered or even simply an aggressive man. This is an abuser. He is threatening to have your firm fire you if you do not agree to, what, quit anyway and marry a man of his choice immediately? That’s a classic abuser right there.” Agree 100%.

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  2. What about your mom? Or siblings? Who can talk your dad out of this?

    1. Can you meet the guy (since your dad is not going to rest till you do) and tell him about you. Workaholic, loves career, work is passion, independent, loves taking own decisions, and other things about you. Talk clearly and pass on the required message. Most men won’t like being talked to like that on the first meet itself. And if he happens to be the other kind, you can tell him that you don’t think marriage is a good idea at this age. If you like him, you can ask him if he can wait for x no. of years for marriage. If you dont like him / he doesn’t want to wait, he will deny the “rishta” himself.

    2. Talk to your dad calmly and pass on your message. You say he loves you. Try making him understand. 22 is not a very matured age to get married. Age difference today creates a lot of issues, you have seen your friends (give some examples, creates some if you have none) In short, try and convince him. Calmly. Strongly. At the same time. And, you can tell him that you wish to get married, albeit someday, to the guy he approves. But you would like to get married to a person having x,y,z qualities. He can look for such a guy when you ask him to.

    3. If he doesn’t understand, chuck it. Go to step 1 and repeat it till necessary. I don’t think any company would kick out a hard working career oriented employee. They need you too.

    Fair?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When it’s a question raised on issues like marriage or other important aspects, an adult and educated woman has all the right to do things according to her discretion. Needed is to be assertive instead about the life choices one makes. This is one life and we have to live it fully unless it is encroaching or causing plausible harm to other fellow beings. You really nailed it with incorporating current social issues which is eTing away basic human spirit.

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  4. “My parents will be forcibly making me meet the guy in about two weeks without my approval and the more I talk to parents about this, the more they become aggressive towards me. ”

    How will they forcibly make you meet the guy if they live in another town? If you really fear physical force/danger/abduction, you need to file a police complaint. I am sorry, but I don’t think your dad loves you when he has no interest in your happiness and is in fact aggressively making plans to derail your career. As another commentor has said, this is an abuser. I don’t think you can face up to him or face the situation unless you first understand and accept that.

    As long as you keep telling yourself, that you don’t want to make your dad unhappy, you will end up doing what he wants. You need to tell yourself that it is quite ok to make your dad unhappy, rather than sacrifice your life for an utterly unreasonable man.

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  5. You may love your parents but that is no excuse to put up with abusive behavior. You love your parent but you need to love yourself as well.

    – If your family is in another town, cease contacting them. Yes, it hurts and you love them but sometimes, one of the greatest acts of loving is to let people go and you need to let go of your family. You do not have to hate or be angry, but let them go out of your life.
    – Many times you have to fight. You don’t want to fight? Well, marry whoever he tells you to. End of story. If everything could be obtained without fights, then we would have no wars.
    – Inform your company that you have no intention of quitting the job and tell them to ignore any messages they receive of you resigning unless you tell them so.
    – How can anybody force you to meet some guy? Don’t go back to town. Don’t call. Tell them you will come and not turn up on that date.
    – Inform your friends + police + company in Bombay if you feel physically unsafe.
    – Move houses/rooms if you need and do not divulge your address.

    If I were in your position, I would cease all contact with my family and not reveal any more details of my work or house. That cuts out emotional blackmail or physical threats.

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    • This, so much this. Please look carefully at all of the points mentioned above, especially getting your friends/ police/ company on your side and keeping your address safe. Forced marriage is about to become a serious crime in the UK, mainly because of the number of desi parents abusing their children in this way. Your father is not just being angry, he is being dangerously abusive.

      Quite apart from your career, you may not like the guys he picks anyway. He is aware of this, has heard this from you and yet wants to forcibly marry you off to some guy you don’t want to marry. Marriage is not just the wedding, you have to intimately live with your partner afterwards. This behaviour is almost like being complicit in your daughter’s marital rape and abuse.. in fact it’s setting you up for it.

      This is abuse, nothing else. Forget about the relatives, you father is a grown man. He is showing no care for your well-being, in fact quite the opposite! I suspect he may be scared of you falling in love and ‘getting out of control’ so he is trying to exert control on you. YOU need to look after yourself now. Sometimes we have to protect our interests even from those who claim to love us. It’s self preservation.

      Fight, discuss, ignore them, break contact for a while, do whatever it takes. This is your life at stake here. He probably sees that getting aggressive with you makes you want to back off and will exploit it. Don’t fall for this blackmail.

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  6. Your dad is simply blackmailing .. Does he has some source to make you fire from your job ? First check this . If yes then as Kay suggested talk to HR department. If not then do not fall for his threats. Do not give in.
    I do not understand how can one force you to meet someone. Please do not meet the guy if you do not want. Since you stay away from your family hence it will not be a problem. Do not give in.

    And relatives pestering is a lame reason to come up with. It is difficult to accept people you love behave in such abusive ways. But remember one thing, they are adults hence if they abuse you they do it in their free will, not because some XYZ relative or neighbor who has pestered them to do so.

    In short, it is very difficult, but do not give in to the abuse. Do not talk to them. If possible surround yourself with friends, talk to them often. Take up a hobby and try to socialize with like minded people. Remember many women of your page are going through this struggle. So you are not alone. Just do not give up because in the end you would need to build up the life you want for yourself.

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  7. You dad seems to freaking out becoz he’s probably scared that you ‘all get into affairs or love marriage thing.So he is trying blackmail of all sorts, is threatening you.
    If this is the case and if you are not involved with anyone,maybe you can tell him that career is the only thing on your mind.
    Assure him that you don’t plan to run away,or using career as excuse you are not planning anything else.
    If all this fails, meet the guys cordially and let the guy know how career is the most important thing for you,…….most Indian guys will run away hearing this.

    Your dad cannot tie you up and get you married until and unless he physically kidnaps you,holds a gun to your head.
    Repeating your wishes to your dad calmly like a broken record may work.

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  8. On a general note, relatives of moms and dads pestering,advising, on how the daughter and son should be treated is extremely real thing in India.
    They give advice and even get angry if you don’t heed their advice,pass sarcastic comments later if something untoward happens.
    The social fabric is so delicate that people have to lie convincingly even if you have to refuse rishta.They spread gossip which can prove damaging in arranged marriage market as years go by.

    So tact and lying convincingly to relatives is very important.
    Then again,nowadays becoz of distance and nuclear families, you never really know what you will get into by arrange marriages.If you try to inquire abt potential groom,then everyone will say he is nice……or the girl is nice..reality of family or girls/ guys never comes out.Everyone has children who needs to get married off na !

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    • I agree with you @cosettez this is how usually the current situation in our society is. I am not sure why people love to spread rumors and then when chance comes up, they speak what not to damage one by passing sarcastic remarks. It takes a strong and open personality to face this. It often is not an easy task but do-able.
      Having said that, one should not compromise on what they want out of life and not necessarily should go with flow.

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  9. Being in IT and having beein through same situation….I wld give u best practical solution….get a long term onsite assignment and run aborad…stay there for few years till ur dad cools down.Atleast u will be away frm mental tension

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  10. My mother is not supporting me now a days and instead wants me married as well, When i told them that what if the guy kicks me out after a few days, without a job , where will i go , the answer they gave was – you can always come to ask. This comes from my very educated parents . I am in a relationship with a guy but right now both of us r not plannin to get married, so there s no point in breaking that news to my dad, he will probably do worse. If i deny any of his proposals, my dad startes taking tensions.. he s hypertension patient, so dat worsens his health and all my mom says that thats all coz of me that happened. My parents will be coming to mumbai to meet the guy who lives here and have decided to do the “ladki dekhna crap” and appparently i am to say yes.. He says all i have done till date is to insult him and trust me i have done nothing thats not the “sushil” kinda thing. I asked him to gimme a time period of 2 years which he nicely rejected.. When m own parents cnt get wht m trying to say , who am i to belive anybody else .. especially that random man will get me..

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    • ‘trust me i have done nothing thats not the “sushil” kinda thing’

      Maybe you need to do some non-sushil things then. This health scare is nonsense. What if you get raped/abused/stressed to the point of illness in this forced ‘marriage’? They don’t seem to give a toss about your health!

      Giving into their blackmail even a bit will only strengthen their approach. If you meet this guy, it will be another opportunity for them to blackmail you with aggression and emotional threats. If all else fails, blackmail them back with suicide threats and melodrama. I would hate to ever suggest stooping to this point but it’s still better than getting forced to marry some random person and compromising on your career and relationships.

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    • @lw
      If you are in a relationship, then that is your primary reason to refuse arrange marriage.
      You need to be truthful to your parents and also kind.
      I think your father knows and hence he is insisting by whatever measures he knows.
      If you really love your parents, you need to be genuine and honest and of course brave to deal with the outcomes your actions might bring.
      If you don’t love your parents you can do whatever you like, however you like,….
      Your father’s health problems are they genuine? If yes,then your actions will likely make things difficult for him,especially he seems like a person who takes things to heart.You need to decide the calm course of action.

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      • “If you really love your parents, you need to be genuine and honest”

        Really? This honesty can lead to physical harm, death and forced marriage in India. If they parents ‘really’ love their children, then they wouldn’t want them to forcibly marry someone they don’t like but somehow that’s acceptable as ‘love’. This sentimentalism would only work if parents ‘always’ had their children’s best at heart but the reality is that they don’t. Sometimes they want control for their own selfish ego or for ‘society’. That’s why indian kids have to ‘hide’ such matters from parents.

        OP, this is about self preservation not ‘love’. You need to protect your own interest if your family is hell bent on making you a financially dependant easy-to-abuse forced wife of a random stranger. There is not shame in doing what you need to do to protect yourself.

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        • @ carvaka
          Not in this LW’s case, …she has a job,stays away from home.Her parents sent her to school,let her work.Her condition is not bad as girls pressurised to get married in for e.g an UP village.
          In fact,if she is honest from the beginning she will have made a foundation of trust,….her one lie now will force her to lie further and will completely breakdown her relationship not only with the father but also her mother.

          If she ignores,stops talking to her parents, disregards their feelings, fights with them,then she should be also be prepared for the same things from her parents too.
          Most parents have children’s best interests at heart,….sometimes parents get confused,unreasonable and pressurised.
          There are children who are harmed by parents but that is a criminal offence and should be actually treated as one.Difference of opinions and ego hassles don’t automatically make bad parents or children

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    • – Don’t marry if you don’t want to.
      – If your parents are coming to Mumbai to see the guy, are they staying with you or somewhere else? I would recommend taking 3 days off when your parents are in town. Don’t go and see the guy if you don’t want to because the deeper you get into the process, the harder it is to get out. This is how people nudge you to do what they want. One step at a time. aaj ladka dekho. kal shaadi karo. parso beta paida karo. It never stops. So, don’t get onto that train. Who knows, the guy may say okay and nobody will ask you and your family may say yes on your behalf.
      – All guys may not react nicely. Some may get angry and create a scene because you are wasting their time.
      – Don’t tell about your bf because then they will put pressure to get married to him. Tell them ,if you can be strong under their pressure.
      – Your dad is choosing to get upset and raise his BP not you. It is his choice if he lets his BP rest on your actions. Stop being guilt tripped.
      – Nobody needs to give 2 years of your own life.
      – I have no idea of te guy you will meet. Maybe he is liberal, maybe he is not.

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  11. Be form but respectful and tell your parents NO, if they insist and abuse, tell them they are abusive ( yes use that word). it shocks them but some need that kind of shock.
    If worse case happens talk to the guy, tell him you are not interested and want to focus on your career, Men are not idiots, especially in the arranged marriage market, there’s no passionate love going on and men don’t want to marry someone who is not interested.
    be clear and tell him you were pressurized to meet him, and hence had no choice but to waste his time. be very clear that you will focus on your career even if he so chooses to marry you. that will likely send him running in the opposite direction.

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  12. sigh..i can relate to this….in my case it was both my parents giving me odd reasons on why I shouldn’t delay getting married..and I guess I was not strong enough to take a stand….Anyway, when it came to my younger sister,I jumped in to side with her and thus she is happily doing her pg…..

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  13. You should accept that you think very differently from your parents, and nothing you do or say can change the way they think. For example, just to placate your dad, don’t meet this boy. You hope this way, stormy scenes are avoided, your mom doesn’t berate you for spoiling your dad’s health, and you can convince the prospective boy how you really feel. Look at this scenario carefully – what do you really control? Nothing! For things to work out here, all you have is HOPE, which is not good enough.
    In your kind of situation, you should focus on things that you can control. Don’t be afraid. Fear of being a “bad” daughter, fear of your father’s temper. Face up to these fears, grit your teeth, and stand up to them. If talking to your parents is painful, avoid it. If they land up at your apartment, walk out and stay with a friend. If your dad threatens you at work, call the police and don’t be afraid to get security/HR involved. Forewarn your manager to expect trouble. Don’t give into blackmail even once. It will be very hard to claw back from a compromised position.
    Please know that you are not a bad daughter for not being married, for not making their wishes your priority or having a mind of your own. Live life on your terms, and don’t let others judge you for what you want. At your age, career should be a priority, as is saving and experimenting with your curiosity! Go for it, and don’t expect your parents to support or understand you. Be truly independent and take responsibility for your life.

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  14. I have known Dads like yours.
    My age group is full of people like them.
    One of them, (my former colleague) sabotaged his daughter’s marriage 7 years ago when she wanted to marry a boy she was keen on,
    The Dad is now claiming the girl has taken revenge by consistently turning down every single proposal that her Dad brought her. She is now wedded to her career.
    This has been going on for the past 7 years and she is now 34 and her Dad bemoans her “intransigence” and pleads with me for help in “making her see reason’
    He even roped me in to find a boy for her.
    For friendship’s sake I suggested a boy and even hosted an informal meet at my house.
    She played along sportingly just to keep her Dad in good humour and out of regard for me.
    She had a nice chat with the boy, enjoyed the tea and hot samosas at the get-together at our house and left us all in suspense about her intentions.
    The boy later told me she was not keen and he knew it but he didn’t want to spoil the evening for the elders so he willingly played along. They are now facebook friends.
    I have tried counseling my friend but he is is intractable and each time I meet him, he puts on a mournful expression and resorts to chest beating and bemoans his daughter’s “arrogance and over confidence”. The girl just goes about her life, even as she lives in the same house.

    So your situation is not unique. In fact it is slightly better, At least you live away from them.
    Be firm.
    Simply Say no! If you find yourself forced to attend the girl seeing ceremonies, discreetly tell the boy you are not interested and ask for his cooperation. He will most probably fully cooperate with you.

    Don’t marry till you are ready.
    Don’t allow your parents to emotionally black mail you in this matter.
    Are you financially dependent on them in any way?
    I trust not.
    Then in that case at worst you wont have a home to go to during leave/vacations.
    May be your Dad will disinherit you. You must ready for this too.
    Time will solve the problem. As he grows older, he will mellow down.
    If he does not, do not feel guilty in any way.
    Be brave and patient.
    All the best
    Regards
    GV

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    • Its so sad when this conflict cannot be resolved amicably and maturely.In avenging her Dad, the girl you mentioned isn’t doing anything smart either.….all for a sabotaged relationship ? which who knows may not have been too good for her either in long run !
      Along with her parents she is punishing herself too.

      Instead she could have shown resolute that time and seen how strong her relationship actually is !
      This is a problem with love marriages in India,..its either /or.And sometimes ppl fight with parents and estrange them completely without adequately knowing abt how strong their love relationship is in first place !

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      • I dont believe all ‘love marriages ‘ in india are like this. I had a choice too, i could marry the person i choose and forget that my parents existted or pick my parents and lose him. sometimes for some reason the older gen of parents did not see the bigger picture, they did per their ego, thoughts, ideals and society.
        I cant say they dont love their children, they do , but sometimes its not in an all-encompassing way , atleast with the daughter, !!! i dont know maybe I’m wrong.
        I’ve known many friends who gave up their right to a happy life with a loved one to please their parents . a few of the parents went ahead and married them to men of the parents choice and some are ok some not, few parents regret what they did few dont. it’s all conditioning. no 2 people are alike.

        I walked out based on what i knew and experienced with my spouse ( i knew himfor 2 yrs) . Its the best thing i did, but it could easily have been the worst. what girls require and boys too. is the confidence to survive alone. without parents , without anyone and that confidence will show them the right path.

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  15. Dear LW, as many commenters have pointed out, this is is not ‘fatherly love’, it’s abuse, plain and simple. Sure, many Indian parents put some pressure on kids to get married – BUT – threatening to get you fired from your job is abuse. Forcing you to meet a guy and forcing you to say yes and marry him is abuse. I think the problem here is the kind of relationship you have with your dad – these sentences of yours give away a relationship that is not healthy for either of you:

    ” he … brought a proposal and … and when I said ‘No’ again, he asked me to never come back home …”
    Loving parents do not forbid their children from coming home.
    ” I am someone who is scared of my Dad because he is a very short tempered and controlling kind of guy.”
    No child should be ‘scared’ of parents. Children should respect parents. Fear must be reserved for thugs and criminals.
    ” I have always been a good daughter and have never had any different views from my father. ”
    Why does having different views from your parents make you a bad daughter? How can you be a different human being with your own heart, your own lungs and other organs, your own body, your own mind, without having your own opinions?

    “So I always try to give in rather than fighting with him.”
    This then is the crux of the problem. He is used to you giving in – so he doesn’t understand why you are not giving in, as you’ve always done. You need to realize that giving in strengthens controlling people. Stop giving in. You are an independent adult. Start thinking for yourself and stand up for what you believe in.
    “I have tried making him understand but he never gets it and whatever discussion or point I throw in, he ends up humiliating me and never listens to me.”
    Loving parents don’t humiliate their children – even when they have intense disagreements – the minute someone humiliates you, there is no more point in reasoning with them. Respect must be the basis of any conversation/discussion/argument.
    ” He is a man who you cannot win an argument with.”
    Do not argue with him. Do not try to reassure him. Do not let him humiliate you. Do not let him hurt you like this. Certain basic conditions are absolutely necessary to have a relationship with anyone (parents/siblings/spouses/friends) – the conditions are respect, love, caring, commitment. Make those conditions clear (not just with him, but anyone else entering your life).

    What you need to do is break out of your conditioning, stop believing in stereotypes (loving but justifiably angry father, good daughter/bad daughter, etc.) and establish yourself as an adult. You’ve done a fantastic job becoming an adult financially and career wise. Now, it’s time to do it emotionally.

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    • Wow, in general, I’ve noticed Carvaka and your comments are the most sensible by a huge margin. Great response wordssetmefree!

      The relationship is bad for both of them. The OP needs to establish emotional independence, and still maintain the relationship

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  16. I think you have reiterate to your parents and tell them your plans for your life. dont get angry.There are some parents whose mindset has not changed , some who can change and some who will never change. so depends under which category your dad falls under.

    I have older kids and most of my friends also do, I have always wondered what makes these parents push their daughters to get married.
    and when i asked them they gave me a host of reasons including ‘ what will others say’
    but some of them seem worried about paying for the wedding, a friend whose daughter got married at 28 expected her parents to pay for her wedding and i know by then my friend and her husband had retired. true they had saved but i felt if they were working they could have handled the financial details better, but then again i firmly believe in telling my kids what i can and cannot do, so i would have simply told my daughter that i couldn’t pay for a lavish wedding and she would have to do with a simple ceremony and maybe a dinner.

    so i dont know whats going on in your parents mind, but abusing anyone is wrong and i cant really see the love in what your dad is doing, but you should ask him the reasons as to why he’s so desperate to get you married.

    again maybe this reasonable approch wont work. sometimes parents are just as blinded by their desires as others, s inthat case talk put your foot down and refuse to go meet the boy.

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  17. Please, please please don’t give in to your dad’s unethical demands. He is shit scared what if you go for love marriage, this is the only reason he is forcing you. You are an adult, take your life in your hands. Your life is yours, not his to control over. There is lot of culture bull-shit for women in India. Culture and society which oppresses women, control women, force women can never grow and can never earn respect. “Suno sabki, karo apne mann ki”. Don’t let him to force you in anything you do not want.

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  18. There was this line in an interview by Kangana Ranaut. Her father slapped her when she was all grown because (I think) he wanted her to marry and ‘settle down’ and she had other ambitions. She said that she told him, very calmly, if he ever hits her again, she will hit him back. I really admire this. Abusive adults need to be shown their boundaries. Our culture is too permissive of abuse by ‘elders’ (and abuse by husband of course, that one is enshrined in law).

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    • I’m sincerely trying to learn, is the position of a husband so high in our society? When you say things like ‘enshrined in law’, it makes me feel that most Indian men lack common sense, which I don’t believe is true.

      In my community in South India, it’s very acceptable for the girls’ parents to tell the man to behave, and counsel him if need be.

      I’ve seen both sets of parents step in and help the girl out in more than one occasion.

      Can someone tell me what I’m missing, please?🙂

      Like

  19. While I like that interview of Kangana Ranaut,I don’t really agree with slapping back,……until and unless it was a long standing pattern abuse.
    In India ,parents do a lot for children.We start working when we are 21 -22 years average in India,many continue to stay with parents, many grown up adults including women have never managed,helped at home.I have seen hi fi posh sons and daughters who don’t do any chores or even their own work.
    Here people seem to give blanket assumption about abuse….and about your father.
    But only you can decide what is abuse in your case.
    How much have you done for your parents after becoming an adult? Rights vs responsibility,… You need find that balance.

    What you do with your life should also not be driven by rebellion against your father !
    You need to be ready for all consequences of your actions.
    Stress and worry do cause heart attacks,…its not an imagined fear.
    If you can up with calm way of resolving this,nothing like it…and please be honest to your parents,….about the actual reasons for you to not even meet the guys.

    Like

    • Oh so my parents can abuse (yell at me, humiliate me, slap me) because they do so much for me. Apparently I deserve all that if I am ‘irresponsible’.
      If my parents think that I am not responsible enough (or since they ‘do so much’ for me) I they can use these lapses of mine to control me? Why dont they kick me out or stop doing things for me to teach me responsibility? Why do they insist on babying me even more?
      In Kangana Ranauts case- you dont seem to have any qualms about her father raising hands on her. But you do, if she hits back. Why?
      One thing I have noticed about typical Indian parent is that – they get insecure and throw emotional crap when their kids become self-reliant and do not need them for every single thing. They cant take it.
      Please dude. Parents are not saints. They are just as capable of making mistakes, misjudging, manipulating, bitching, committing wrongs etc etc as the next person.
      If being a parent justifies every wrong and automatically makes you martyr/saint, then I wouldn’t mind being one😀

      Like

      • If you count slapping,beating you up,humiliation by foul words or language,…these would be offences even if parents do these.LW here is not talking abt these things.
        LW calls her father controlling,short tempered…..if lw shouts back at her father, fights ,slaps him will you easily call her abuser?
        Kangana has not specified in what circumstances her father raised hand at her but if her solution is hit her father,then something is wrong with her inherent values too.
        And whacking children when they did masti,did not study,lied, etc was common earlier its only now when children are not smacked.
        Parents are not saints,but then daughters and sons are also not saints. But when husbands /wives,friends ,colleagues show their true colours,become mean and manipulative we can cut them off.
        But parents,we have to make do,…the same way parents make do with abusive or indifferent children,daughter in laws and son in laws.

        There is no right ,correct way to deal with unreasonable parents but estrangement should always be last option.

        Like

    • Rights vs responsibility has nothing to do with allowing your father/ anyone to slap you or abuse you. It is wrong from the first slap itself. If the father thinks its ok to slap a grown daughter then by his own rules it is also ok for her to slap him back.

      Kangana wasn’t actually slapping her dad, she was showing him boundaries beyond which she would not humor him.

      “Here people seem to give blanket assumption about abuse….and about your father.”
      Do you mean a little bit of slapping/ abuse by parents should be allowed? This is not about blanket assumptions, this is about boundaries. Indian children are not taught to set boundaries. They’re expected to accept everything from ‘elders’. Look at your own reaction. You are appalled at the suggestion of Kangana doing something her dad already did to her – yet you don’t seem to be nearly as appalled at her dad doing it in the first place.

      “What you do with your life should also not be driven by rebellion against your father !”
      If someone is not content to be brought up as a ‘bride-to-be’ and has other ambitions, it is not rebellion.

      “and please be honest to your parents”
      The parents are not being honest here either. They simply forcing her into a lifelong decision like marriage. This again is the brainwashing of accepting whatever the ‘elders’ met out to you. Abuse or dishonesty is ok if it’s being done by parents? Think of them as human beings for a minute. Children have as much right to be respected as parents, the basic human right to dignity.

      Like

    • The reason for me not getting married or meeting the guy is that I DO NOT WANT TO GET MARRIED RIGHT NOW. Its not about being in a relationship. even if he would have asked me to marry me right at this point, i would have said straight away No !

      All i want now is t ofocus on my career. Work for good 12 hours in my office , get appraisals and learn n grow and not get married n juggle between my household chores and office. I agree to your point saying that i should tell my parents about my relationship, which i will when i find both of us stable and independent enough to be held responsible for each other , not now when my dad s already acting wierd and m not ready for a lifetime commitment .

      I agree there is a appropriate age for getting married n may be according to social norms am all eligible , but there is a thing called “self-independence” and having a career where i can be self sufficiant enough to take care of myself n my family.. And there is another thing called being “in the marriage phase” , which i am not

      M not saying i will run away or bullshit , am asking for my decisions to be considered.

      Like

      • Hi LW, I understand you not wanting to get married now, but I am a bit confused as I thought you live alone so you would already be juggling household chores and office. How would sharing the house with a guy be different?

        Like

    • she didn’t slap him back, she said the next time he hit her she would, i think that’s very respectful. and i wouldn’t recommend anyone waiting for long standing pattern of abuse to start getting help or asserting themselves.. whats longstanding, 10 slaps? 20 slaps?
      We need to respect elders for their experience, life experience IF it’s a good life experience. Age doesn’t automatically confer respect, respect for age is respect for the life’s experiences they have accumulated and if after such a long life all their exp has taught them is to slap people when angry, then thank you, i don’t need to learn that or respect that.

      yes stress causes heart attack, the way to relieve stress is not make everyone bow down to your wishes and be a bully, A better way would be lead a healthy life and learn meditation or yoga… much better way.

      But yes i agree that tackling any situation in a calm way is the best.

      Like

      • @carvaka
        Maybe I didn’t spell out,….but it’s not that I condone lw father behaviour. Secondly,neither do I think slapping adult children is OK,…I m appalled by it, but slapping back by your logic is not a solution.

        @mr
        Yep, one slap by parent doesn’t mean you slap back.
        Long standing abuse will have broken down the relationship from all sides, ….so slapping back in defence will be just that ,…in defence.
        Also, yoga and meditation will help her father to manage his anger and frustration,….but if her father did that then we would not be having this discussion in first place.

        @lw
        You need to convince your dad that is the only reason ,….your career.or otherwise ,prepare him for the relationship as well if its a serious one.Either way its your problem I don’t care abt both.
        If I was in your place, I d be honest from start,…becoz I wudnt want my dad and mom to doubt my actual intentions.But then that’s me.

        Like

  20. @ Cossette – you said, “In India ,parents do a lot for children.We start working when we are 21 -22 years average in India,many continue to stay with parents, many grown up adults including women have never managed,helped at home.I have seen hi fi posh sons and daughters who don’t do any chores or even their own work.”
    I am a parent, am in my 40s and let me say this – this is what is wrong with our system, so let’s not continue to perpetrate it. Parents must not baby their children. They must teach them life skills and expect them to grow into mature, responsible beings. Lessons in responsibility can be taught at a very young age, like in pre-school. After babying their kids endlessly, they expect to control them for the rest of their lives, in exchange for this ‘sacrifice’. They control who they should marry, when they should marry, when to have kids, what career to pursue, etc. Now in their 20s, the kids finally wake up, and want to make a few personal choices in their life, and find that they are unable to. Nothing in their childhood prepares them to be confident, to make a single independent decision. Never once were they allowed to make a mistake and bear the responsibility of their own actions. So, they stumble through life, continuing to please their parents while hating it, afraid to take a chance, and give up their dreams. Every little rebellion is accompanied by enormous guilt that their parents gave them so much and all they give in return is rebellion. Making a personal choice is seen as rebellion. Having a different opinion is seen as rebellion. You can listen to your parents and be unhappy or you can go against them and feel guilty – those are your choices. Is this really a healthy way to live??
    Let’s break this cycle.
    As parents, let’s teach kids to be responsible and mature, and let’s not see all the time and effort we put into parenting as a sacrifice. It’s not. We chose to have kids and it’s a joy to help them grow up and understand the world around the. Our effort and love are not an investment and let’s not expect a ‘payback’ in the form of control. Let’s not interfere in their personal decisions, and allow them to be full-fledged, capable, happy, guilt-free, confident adults.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I happily agree,…and I am sure there are many parents who really set their children free after doing everything.
      I’m sure many parents are able to negotiate with adult children without resorting to threats.
      But if I am mother, and I don’t think the guy/girl my child is planning to marry right for her then I have right to not accept that relationship.
      I can do n no. Of things,…..I ask my child to leave my house,I can keep talking and still not accept the spouse.Parents don’t really need to like the spouse of their children, if they accommodate they do it for their child and becoz of emotional ties to their son/daughter.

      Emotional ties keep relations together but if there is no respect from children,then parent child relationship has withered already and its just like any other relationship.

      I think this is a complex issue,all depending how one’s parents are and how much one is attached to parents.
      For me personally, no love marriage is worth complete estrangement from my parents.

      Like

      • It’s very sad that you think like that. If you don’t think your child has chosen the right life partner, it is really none of your business and your job is to trust they know what they are doing and give them full support. My parents didn’t like the idea of me marrying an Indian but never showed anything but support and trust to me.

        Like

      • “For me personally, no love marriage is worth complete estrangement from my parents.”

        Good for you, you are clear in what is more important for your happiness. i think that’s what lacking in many kids nowadays and their parents are partially to blame. If a person realises that his/her ‘s first loyalty is to parents then the wise thing to do is not fall in love — yes i know easier said than done. dont muddle the waters and everyone will be happy.

        I’m the opposite, I always felt i have a right to choose my partner and my happiness. Sure i wanted my parents to be happy, but i was in no way responsible for that. for some reason i was not bothered by guilt at walking out. my husband says i was so sure i didnt do anything wrong that there was no space for guilt in my mind🙂 i also acknowledge that my parents and grandma raised me to be so confident.

        Now as decades have passed and my kids are grown , my parents want to make contact and are ready to forgive and forget, but I’m not ready for that. after raising my kids and setting them free and seeing them on the brink of a happy life , I feel terrible at the way my parents behaved. I now see their bad parenting!!! i want them to acknowledge their mistake and apologize for that. so in a way I’ve told them they have access to their grandkids but me and my spouse are offlimits . Its unfortunately not a forgive and forget case in my mind.

        Like

        • So, what they felt when you walked out,after raising you as a confident person didn’t matter to you ?
          Don’t you think they had right to feel let down at that time? They could have easily continued with ego and still after so many years has passed not chosen to talk to you?
          Don’t you think your ego is not letting you talk to them,… doing the same thing which they did years ago ? How are you different than them?
          They are going to die one day,…all that happened in past will remain there,….in the past.

          Like

        • @cozette,
          “So, what they felt when you walked out,after raising you as a confident person didn’t matter to you ?”
          — they asked me to walk out or forget him, so no i assume they didnt feel anything since it was their choice to ask me to choose.🙂 they are about 30+yrs older than me what happened to the older-wiser wisdom.

          “Don’t you think they had right to feel let down at that time?”
          — absolutely not. supposing tomorrow my sons decide to marry a person of their choice, and come to us and bring their partner and joyfully tell us they want to get married and they love each other and make each other happy, why the heck would i feel let down, I’d be jumping with joy, poking my nise in their wedding preparations , buying saris and booking florists and generally driving them batty🙂
          in addition my parents had the good fortune ( in a way0 that i picked someone from the same community, speaking the same language and very well educated and wealthy to boot !!!!!

          “Don’t you think your ego is not letting you talk to them”
          — no i dontmind talking interacting to them, i dont stop my kids if they want to make contact do i, all i want is an acknowledgement that they were wrong. I dont want them ( by them i include the whole horde of their siblings involved in this) to perpetuate the thinking it’s either go with the parents idea or get thrown out, i want themto acknowledge to the younger generation that they were wrong and hopefully wont propagate this behavior again.

          i have no ill will. i simply dont want them to try this BS on my kids, nieces, nephews again.

          Like

  21. Personally, I am not against love marriages,…but the ones I see around me ,…where women have changed food habits,do majority of the adjusting,change religion,can’t teach my language to my child instead adopt English orvteach fathers’ language,can’t teach my religion,culture habits by default….most of the interreligious marriages I know children are either not taught any religion or taught fathers’ by default.

    So much adjustment for love marriage,…no thank you ,just be cause I am a woman in this India.Life is anyway difficult.
    Having said that,my parents have been good to me.Guilt apart, it sucks not to have parents and siblings at my own wedding !
    Even if I fall in love, I wud want my parents to be there, if that means begging,pleading ,cajoling, till they accept fine by me,….. I would talk it out with them.Knowing my parents they would ultimately come around….most do in fact these days.

    Like

    • It’s very sad that the non-arranged marriages you see around you turn out to be like that. There doesn’t seem to be much love if only one part compromises. Are you very young? It doesn’t have to be like that. I see in India they seem to call all non-arranged marriages love marriages when sometimes they are infatuation marriages, lust marriages, stubborn marriages, been-intimate-so stuck-here marriages or afraid-to-change-my-mind marriages. A true love marriage is beautiful with communication and understanding and fun and respect and most of all love.

      Like

    • I agree that it would suck to have your parents miss your happy day, but why do some Indian parents need to do so much natak and drama and finally accept in the end. cant they be happy in the beginning itself???
      They have the life experience and nowadays they probably look around and realize they all come around anyway, why make the initial yrs messy for the kids???? i really don’t understand this logic, i thought once i had kids i would understand my parents point of view , but no, Now that i have kids of my own i think the stuff parents try and pull is even more ridiculous ,childish and very controlling.

      But i continue to be there for them and take care all the while lecturing them on what they are doing wrong and hopefully they will see us parenting our kids a bit better and understand …doesn’t stop them form trying the same trick on us and the grandkids🙂 luckily for me my kids are quite independent and dont need me to runinterference, it’s fun sometimes to see the youngsters blow away the grandparents with love and logic , ahh fun fun..

      Like

  22. yes, your father is abusive. yes you need to cut him off. yes, talk to the HR. other than this, i’d say tell your friends, talk to teachers who’ve loved you. if you are going to have to take on your father who is clearly intent on making your life hell, you will need a network to rely on. and there will be people who will support you, never fear.
    here’s something else to give you strength: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/katie-naum/motherless-by-choice_b_5417281.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000046

    Like

  23. RIght.. knowing me I am going to DREAD what I have written, you have got so much advice already .. some are good some are atrocious.. I wonder why people are always talking about breaking always ..

    This is what I would suggest Keep talking to your parents, (BECAUSE believe me all the so called well wishers , friends , people who are giving you advice , WILL VANISH into thin air when all hell breaks loose)..

    Talk to them, and be firm in your NO.. you dont want to get married well tell the guy who is coming to meet you .. and if you do it in front of your parents , they will get the hint as it will embarass them too and hopefully no more such meetings..

    its very easy to advice people i tell you.. and many will do that FREE .. but when the time comes to actually to help.. world is not like that ..

    I strongly believe that breaking is the LAST resort.. how can your dad ask the HR to fire you.. if he can do that .. then let me tell you , you are better off working for a different company rather than the one that will listen to a employee’s father and fire a employee..

    and I would take exception to people talking about my dad like that .. No one has the right to talk about someone like that ..

    Like

  24. FUN ADVICE : Tell your dad you ll marry but only after you are convinced he is good enough for you. Keep meeting the guys he brings, and then dump them and tell your dad they are not good enough…..you never know you might bump into a good guy with whom you find yourself compatible and totally smitten. DO NOT blindly trust your dad ever or marry a guy just because your dad suggested. Also, if he continues to force you, then be firm and say ” you are an adult and can make your own choice at the right time”.

    Like

  25. I Know My Dad Is Short Tempered But He Was Never This Aggressive And Scary To Me
    And Mom And We Sometimes Try To Avoid And Ignore Him Even Though Dad Tries To
    Have His Temper Controlled Which Is A Good Thing To Do And Not Always Angry And
    Aggressive At All And A Little Bit Of Rage But We Love Him As A Family!

    PS Dad Is Short Tempered But Not Always That Often Because We Try To Get Along
    With Him And Love Him Of Course!!!

    Like

  26. I Know My Dad Is Short Tempered But He Was Never This Aggressive And Scary By The
    Tone Of His Voice Screaming And Yelling And We Tried To Avoid This Aggressive Behavi
    or Of My Tempered Father But It Doesn’t Last Very Long Until My Dad Finally Controlled
    Himself And His Temper And It’s Good To See Our Dad Back To Normal!

    PS My Dad Is Sometimes Aggressive And Lost His Temper At Times But In My Heart
    He Is Good And Sweet And Loving Father And Always Does Best For Me And M
    om Because We’re A Family!!!

    Like

  27. Pingback: What about girls who are not very academic? Must they be condemned to forced marriages? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  28. Pingback: An email: “Advice for an ageing old maid?” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  29. Pingback: The Changing Role of Dads | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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