An email: “I am close with a person who is elder to me and married, but not happy.”

Sharing an email – what do you think should the email writer do? How can she go about it? What would help, what do you think would not help? 

Hi,

I never thought I would be writing here.

I am a 29 soon to be 30 years working in IT. Single but happy. I have a lot of my hobbies and plans I do not feel left out alone or anything. I like travelling, photography. Have been to top of mountains to deep under the sea. I am not good looking and absolutely do not like make-up and all those stuff and surely not to please anyone.

My parents want me to get married and are in search for past 4 years. I saw a few boys but never got a ‘yes’ nor a ‘no’. There was no contact so we assumed that they must not be interested. I myself have not denied anyone. But I must agree I pointed out to my parents, “He did not talk much. Kept looking out of the window while parents chatted.” Or, “Why talk in English? His parents are here. They must get to know me and my point of view”. For this my mother now says, I pointed out mistakes in every person. But I surely told them if I liked anyone when he made an effort to talk to my parents or it was not only me touching his parents feet (which I do not like to do just for the sake of it) but he did the same. I felt good meeting such people. But nothing happened.

Now my mother is in panic mode. She feels all the boys are already setting age criteria which you do not fit. All marriageable age boys are getting over. And now it’s getting difficult. You are not finding one yourself. Being so firm with your points that some person will ‘run away’ feeling afraid.

I do not agree to put on a make-up and show. I would like someone to like me for what I am. Not something I have posed. Being presentable is ok. But no painting. I have a younger sister. If I taking time it will make difficult for her it seems. I have told them if she likes/finds anyone please go ahead. But “You have no idea how difficult you are making this for us or for yourself!!!”

I believe things will happen when they intend to. There are people who have found partners after 30-31-32. But ‘this does not happen with all!’ is what I get. I have now taken up studies for entrance higher studies. My parents are not at all against it. But “it can happen together also! Are you going to wait till you finish it? How much late?” I agree. If anyone is accepting it I am ok.

I am close with a person who is elder to me and married, but not happy. We both know time will come when we have to change paths and we are prepared. It will be hard but we have to. He tried getting divorce but things are complicated as he is threatened with law. But he does not ask me to wait at all. Also my parents will be broken with such a relationship if I choose. But we share a good rapport and understanding. It is not a deep madly in love. But an understanding relationship that complements each other. He has kept me in high spirit, help me look at the positive side when I was down, helped me dared when I was afraid talking to people/managers etc.

Sometimes when I think what will I do if there is no marriage? I tell myself there are many things I can. May be open a shelter for stray animals I always felt like, roam around in jungles, may be join and NGO to teach kids, sponsor education of at least 1 child up to the time he/she wants to study.

Should I be trying with all my might to find a partner putting it on first priority? Daily checking the marriage sites to see possible matches? Or go on with life and decide when time comes? Or make the time come because of the age factor? Go on looking the prospective men around?

I have also told parents that if they are so tenses of me getting married. Then I am ready to any person who says first ‘Yes’. ‘To blame us later?’ – my mother asks. Then taking the pressure of the society(?) and fretting over it will make whom happy? I see so much of issues because of me. What if I am not there?

What must I do?

– Please Help.

96 thoughts on “An email: “I am close with a person who is elder to me and married, but not happy.”

  1. You asked, “What must I do?”
    My question, “What do YOU want to do?” Yes, you do have a choice. You are self-reliant. So, YOU get to decide. Not your parents.
    Do you want to find a partner? If so, is it possible to meet people, possibly at work (maybe different department), go out with friends, go to weddings, extended family gatherings, get to know people?

    You mentioned other interests. If you really want to pursue them, you should. You shouldn’t be pursuing them because the arranged marriage thing is not working out and ‘you have to do something’. You don’t owe anyone anything. But if you want to open a shelter for animals or teach underprivileged kids, you should do so, even if you find a partner/get married. Do those things if they give you joy.

    And I think you should let go of the relationship with the married guy. It is simply wrong. (I’m reading this as an emotionally intimate relationship, correct me if I’m wrong.) If it’s a platonic relationship and he’s been your guide/mentor/friend, that’s okay. If it’s something deeper, he needs to get a divorce before attempting a relationship.

    All the best!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Infidel discretions, trouble in paradise… a lost case.
    It seems wedding is all desi parents want for their children not a marriage. No one wants to take responsibility nor they want to let go of an adult to seek her path nor they want to her to make a choice that she can blame on them. Everybody wants to win.
    Make merry while the sun shines, who knows what awaits tomorrow… Tell the sister she is an adult and can find her path and happiness too.
    All the best,
    DG

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  3. Don’t waste your time with the married guy. He may be a nice person and sincere and all that. But he is in an emotionally turbulent phase and is no way poised to make good decisions. Do not put your life on hold for that.

    Be positive about the groom search.

    In an arranged marriage, it is an effort for both parties to get to know each other. Just like you are taking in first impressions of the guy and his parents when you meet them, they make about you.

    There is nothing inherently wrong in making oneself presentable. In fact trying to be ‘this is what I am’ – may be perceived as ‘not genuinely interested in pursuing a new relationship’.

    It’s not like the guy to genuinely likes to strike up polite conversation with random strangers and charted about like a showpiece. He is doing it as a nod to extant social norms in order to start a new relationship – which he considers important.

    Nor does it mean the other person will never take you for what you are. It is going to take a long time for you to get to know each other and accept each other for what you are.

    Think about your the people close to you – your parents, sister or even yourself. How much of their idiosyncrasies would be unpalatable to strangers – but doesn’t bother you much or you perhaps even like them for it! That’s how relationships will emerge over time. If neither of you judge at every single turn, that is.

    Long and short of it, don’t expect to be liked for what you are, right off the bat, by people who don’t yet know you. Don’t expect to wholesomely and unresrvedly like what you see – it is another human being.

    A human being with faults you will be quick to judge when you don’t know the person; faults you will be kind to when you have emotional investment with them. Same with you.

    If two people are reasonable, decent, basically good natured human beings – they can invariably get along and build a good relationship over time. You are going to have to assess this the best you can.

    And yes, get into matrimony search actively and positively. It is the single most important thing now for you – both personally and considering your family.

    Don’t inflate your interests for travel and scuba to think they constitute your very personality as opposed to the mundane marriage,family etc. That kind of passion is rare and is more of an aspirational identity than something which many will find satisfying. Shut out everything else and honestly yourself the question and you will have an answer.

    That said, just don’t be forced into getting into something that will suffocate you. That is bad for you, your partner and your respective families.

    Be open and positive – a wholesome life is ahead and probably much easier than you think.

    Wish you all the best!

    Liked by 2 people

    • “And yes, get into matrimony search actively and positively. It is the single most important thing now for you – both personally and considering your family.”

      I strongly differ with the advice given above. The most important thing for you right now is to trust yourself and be the person you are. Be independent, cherish your own interests. Matrimony might be important but it is NOT the single most important thing. It is important for you to be happy and at peace with yourself – how will you make a relationship work if you are not happy yourself?

      Also, be clear about your feelings for the married man. Are you comparing all potential matches to the understanding you share with him? If he cannot get a divorce are you prepared to let things remain the same way – you single and in a relationship with a married man?

      If you do indeed want to get married, trust your gut. If possible try and get to know the potential matches better – might be go out for dinner/coffee without the family? Date them for some time, maybe? I believe that in a relationship some compromises are involved. However there are “core” beliefs that are not open to compromise. It is up to you to decide when that line is crossed.

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      • She can do all of that and get married. I am stressing on the priority based on her age, her family situation – which most of you seem to feel, should not be a factor at all, which I disagree with.

        Acknowledging the pressure of the situation, acknowledging the concern of her parents as legitimate does not imply yielding to the pressure and getting married to someone whom she dislike – as I have elaborated in my comment.

        I agree with you that she should take time to get to know the person as far as possible and approach the prospect of marriage with an open mind.

        Just wary of ‘see if you want to get married at all’, ‘pursue your interests’ etc. as that is not for everyone – to put it lightly. And based on what conclusions I can jump to about her and her family, I feel ‘take your own sweet time’, ‘discover yourself’, ‘bloom as an individual’ etc. are not going to be instructive enough and may complicate things.

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        • @Uh oh

          “Just wary of ‘see if you want to get married at all’, ‘pursue your interests’ etc. as that is not for everyone ”
          Shouldn’t it be OK for everyone to find out whether they want to get married at all,pursue one’s own interests?

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  4. This is a classic case of parents assuming “Get married, stay married” life-path for girls in our society. If you have been following this blog, you’ll read many such similar stories. What can you do?
    I think you are confused in your outlook. You need to get sorted first before taking any serious decision. Relationship with the married guy needs to be cut-off immediately; be it platonic or not. He may have been there for you but if he stays around any longer, you risk being excessively emotionally dependent on him, which will be disastrous for you (not for him).
    Getting married to anyone saying “yes” is too desperate and lame; you won’t be happy in such a marriage.
    Take up a job or a course in different town or country; be self-reliant and explore your life. It may seem rebellious at this time but it’ll be worthwhile investing in yourself. Such emotional battles will drain your energy and give you nothing more.
    Understand ground realities. “Marriage” isn’t an all-encompassing solution; be it an arranged one or done with choice.

    Good luck.

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  5. “What if I’m not there?” As in, if you didn’t exist in the first place? Please stop getting negative. I know thoughts can sometimes have their own direction so keep yourself occupied.
    You are earning your own living, independent and have a wide array of interests to follow. Follow your gut. Do what you’ve always wanted to do. If you really want to find someone and get married, do it yourself. If not you can always continue with your work and hobbies. Being unmarried isn’t a bad thing.
    But looks like you’re being emotionally taken by your parents and they have been taken by the society. Which is very common. You just need to be strong to support your decision (when you make one) and stick to it. Parents might be angry for a while but I’m sure they love you and will let it go with time. In any case it is you who decides to get married (or not) and it is you who chooses the guy (or not). Also marriage has got nothing to do with following your hobbies. Go ahead and do what makes you happy.
    Also have a heart to heart talk with them. I’m sure they want your happiness in the end. Tell them what makes you happy and how you want to live your life. if they understand, good. Else, atleast you tried.
    And please stop seeing the older guy, if he unable to get a divorce. Having emotional support is really nice, but it would be better to keep your relationship platonic and offer support and guidance to each other. If you can’t you’re better off without it.
    Good luck.

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  6. I agree with Wordssetmefree.
    1. Marry if you want to not because you need to.
    2. Move away to another city helps release the family pressure of marriage or at least nobody tells you day in and day out physically
    3. Stop dating the married guy. Most of the times, they end up going back to their wife and you will be the “evil woman who tired to break their marriage”. Do not date unless the guy is clearly separated or divorced.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Every single letter on this blog has at least one comment recommending ‘therapy’, irrespective of the situation being presented by the LW. While suggesting therapy for every situation is a bit over the top, I often wonder if we Indians are a collectively sick society and it is our society that needs collective therapy on so many counts.

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        • There are too few psychiatrists in for the huge population of India !So they prescribed antidepressants willy nilly,…while main hand holding is left to gods !

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      • I think we Indians have a long history of not talking about problems. Even naming a problem is taboo. It is not acceptable to say a host of things, and when you find the courage to do, the responses are so dismissive.
        – If someone says, “I don’t love my husband” the response is – Don’t be silly he’s such a good man, you ought to be thankful.
        – “uncle touched me inappropriately” – usual response – don’t talk trash about uncleji. And aren’t you ashamed of using such words (body parts)?
        – I don’t want to get married – standard response – if you don’t get married, what will you do at 35? At 40? At 65? You will regret this. Get married when you still have a chance.
        These ‘inappropriate feelings’ are assumed to go away if you ignore them or hush them up. But feelings don’t just disappear. They fester. We end up confused and ashamed of our own feelings and have no idea why we feel miserable. The more accepting the family is of feelings (even uncomfortable ones), the less confused and happier the children are and have a better chance of growing up into happier adults.

        So maybe not collective therapy, but out society and thinking needs a major overhaul. I wish someone would write a book about this and it would be read by everyone, younger and older people. For starters, we need to stop making a clone of everyone (every single person must get married, have kids, a flat, and a car). We need to stop this obsession with sameness and uniformity and fitting into rigid definitions of Bollywood style happy families.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. You should really mention clearly if you are having an affair with this married guy. I shall assume that you are, it is sort of implied here. If yes, then you need to sort yourself and your relationships out before committing yourself to a third person.

    Living life and marriage are not an either / or option, you know. You can open a shelter or join an NGO whether or not you choose to get married.

    Also, don’t meet guys. It’s not fair to waste anyone else’s time, and it’s not fair on yourself to go through this humiliation again and again.

    Move out of your parents’ home. Get settled in your own home and enjoy life as it comes. I really don’t have more to say about this. Your parents need to realise that all this is your decision and they need to butt out. If they are causing drama, best to put some distance for a while until they come to their senses. I think Indian parents generally lose their sense and take out their brains for a few years when their children reach a certain age. But eventually, they dust up the brains from wherever they have stored it and put them back. The brain will not function as well as before, but at least it’s back in the head again. Basically, I mean, ignore your parents for a few years.

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  8. Hey, your parents are absolutely wrong about the age bit! I left my first marriage and got a divorce at age 33. I was really happy being single until I found the most wonderful man on earth, whom I married again at age 34. He is five years older and had never married before. He didn’t care that I was 34, or a divorcee. I had plenty of interest from fellows (even at my age), so I never once felt that my prospects are over. Feel free to give them my example.

    There are nice guys out there at whatever age you choose to marry. It doesn’t matter whether you marry at 25 or 30 or 35 or 40, as long as YOU are the one choosing when and whom to marry. You are entitled to your reasons for ‘rejecting a suitor’, however inconsequential other people (even your own parents) might find such reasons, simply because YOU (and not those other people) have to live with the guy for the rest of your life. So choose wisely, and don’t be in a hurry. From experience, I can categorically state that it is better to remain single than to be married to the wrong person.🙂

    My advice to you is to tell your parents to chill. Unless you are comfortable and ready, refuse to even broach the topic with them. They will crib and moan, but, after a while, they will probably stop once they realize you mean business.

    Re. the married man, my advice would be to steer clear – for now. If he gets his divorce, great, go ahead. Otherwise, you are asking for trouble because he may likely start using you as an emotional crutch and a shoulder to cry on, and not be able to give you the stability & commitment that you are looking for. I have a close friend in the exact, same situation. She is totally drained from her so-called relationship; it’s been two years since the whole thing has gone nowhere. Let him get his divorce first. You be careful until then. You’ve said you’re not ‘in love’ with him yet. Don’t even go there.

    If he does get a divorce, and you choose to marry him, you parents might be shattered, but they will cope, and they will probably come round and accept things as they are. Go and do what makes you happy, girl. You owe yourself that much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, and being single is great fun. You can do exactly what you want to, with no encumbrances or responsibilities!🙂 Work all the hours you want, travel anywhere and whenever, go out, volunteer, learn a skill, meet new people…… I felt so free and light. Being single can be just as wonderful as being with the right partner. Don’t underestimate it.🙂

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      • Not so much fun being single !At least for girls in India here !
        especially if one has been single for a long long time !Especially if one is not sleeping around !
        So LW ,no fun being single in your 30s,40s etc but yes its better than being in unloving,pathetic marriage !!
        Besides Ash,you remarried after a year according to your post !!

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        • I enjoy being single in India. I have a flexible job, a great life, a few wonderful friends, and interesting hobbies. A man needs to make my life better, otherwise he is so not getting into my life!

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        • Single.

          Never been in a long term relationship. (makes me uncomfortable and I really don’t know what to do in one)

          Not sleeping around. (not that I’m proud of that, just haven’t figured out that side well enough. Plus I need a crash course on how to talk to boys).

          Yes there are annoying aunties, melodramatic mothers and nagging friends.
          The stupid house owners who wont rent out to single women.
          And the occasional lonely nights where I make up imaginary fairytales about me and some celebrity.

          But there is also the joy and adventure of solo travel. Of being able to do whatever the hell I want, when I want. Of spending my money on ME. Of having the time to stay in touch with all of my friends. Of only watching whatever movie I want. Of not having to worry about various in laws.
          Of being able to pack up my life and move to another city at the drop of a hat. And of truly, truly knowing me for who I am, warts and all.

          Marriage & singlehood are alike- good sides and bad sides to both.
          Which one you choose is simply upto which one you like better

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        • Cosettz, I married again because I found the right person. No other reason. I walked out almost 6 years ago, the divorce just came as a legal formality in 2012. For all practical purposes, I was single for years, did not even ‘look’, and I fully enjoyed it. I’ve been lucky to meet a good man, and would have continued to love my life even if I hadn’t met him.

          It all depends on you to make the best of your circumstances. Why do I get the impression that you seem to rely on the importance what others think (“esp for girls in India”?), than what might actually make you happy? Give yourself a shot, I’d say. You might realize that your own company is wonderful, too.🙂

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  9. Know that when you do what you love and are not fettered by social stigma, people will start to see you as a confident, contented, happy, beautiful woman instead of the insecure wreck you sound like today. And that will make you attractive to the kind of person you want to be with, because you only attract positivity when you’re being positive yourself.

    Think about it. If you love to dance, you obviously want someone who understands what it means to really dance – and where will you find someone like that? In a dance class. So what do you need to do to find that person? Take dance lessons, and dance really well – which will come naturally to you anyway. It’s simple, really.

    So my advice to you, very simply, is:
    1. Stop saying ‘yes’ to marriage only because you have to. Coz you really don’t.
    2. Get a life of your own. Get busy. Do what you really want to do. Open that shelter for stray animals. Teach young children.
    3. Stop thinking about “settling” down just because you’re 30. (My life started at 32, and I’m thankful for that.)
    4. Be in a relationship that fulfills you AND him. You’re not a doormat. Neither is he.

    Things will get better, I promise.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Why complicate your life with a married man ?
    First let go of false sense of security this man gives you !
    Regarding marriage ,sort out why exactly why you want to marry ? And then look accordingly !
    Yes,it might happen that you may not find a guy which fits your criteria and as you grow older it might get more difficult ,but then that is the way life is !
    To be happy with your decision s,you need to be hyperalert about yourself,your needs and reality and but then also some decisions of yours may go wrong !
    Give your reasons to your parents if they don’t accept them,ask them why !
    If they keep badgering, tell them they are affecting you mentally !!
    ……
    Even I am not married ,….now people don’t even ask why !! Sometimes I feel maybe I should get married and be done with it !Meanwhile, life goes on !
    But good sense prevails,I can’t get married just for the heck ,to any guy !!

    You seem to be a brave girl !

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  11. Please ask yourself if you find a suitable groom for arranged marriage, will you give him up for the married man? If your heart says “Yes, I would chose him anytime”, then please go ahead with your relationship. If your heart says “No, when I have stable choice it will be convinient to part with him”, then please understand that you are comprising on yourself when you think of a relationship with your colleague.
    It is not about stability or trustworthiness here… it is about being true to yourself. So please understand if you are in love, or if you are feeling insecure. Do what is good for you and always be true to yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 1. Life is all about narratives. Marriage gives life a good narrative
    2. You are not perfect. So, you can’t expect the other person also to be perfect. So, compromise a little.
    3. If you search, you’ll get the right person, but don’t expect a perfect person

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  13. Relationship with a married man will only give you troubles and heartaches. 90% of married men dont leave thier wives for extra-marital affair. Please put an end to this relationship first. You wont be able to get along or like any other guy if you continue to stay in relationship with a married man. Once you have put an end to this relationship, then you can start meeting guys…I am sure you’ll find someone soon. You just have to keep your mind and heart open. 29-30 is not that late in today’s time. Take your time and keep meeting guys if you want to see yourself married in next 5 years. But make sure first you want to get married. If you dont want to get married in the first place, then there is no point to trouble yourself, your parents and boy’s family. Just ask yourself whether ” you want to get married or not”.
    Take life as it comes, but be sure you plan your future in advance. And most importantly, put an end to extra-marital relationship.

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  14. I don’t really have new advice to give you since others have said it already. So may I just be the first person to note what an asshole your lover is? “Threatened with the law”, indeed. Doesn’t want to give his wife any alimony or share or ancestral property, basically. How self-serving, and how utterly selfish.

    No judgement on you for having an affair, as such. You seem to have a responsible and reasonable head on your shoulders. You’ll get out unhurt, I am sure. But won’t you spare a thought for the wife and family of this awful man you are sleeping with? You’re hurting them with your actions whether or not you care to acknowledge it. They are real people, you know, deserving of basic human respect. What he tells you about them is not all there is to them. That’s the part I’m judging you for, having an affair with a married man rather than someone unattached.

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    • She is not sleeping with him. She has stated that the relationship is platonic. Also, you’re not giving LW the benefit of compassion as you are to his wife. Who knows what went down?

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      • Yeah, this is very judgemental. We don’t know what the situation is. Just jumping to conclusions and calling people assholes is a little unnecessary, not to mention extremely rude. Even if she were sleeping with the guy, we ought not to make comments on people’s characters until we know the whole story behind it.

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        • Aw come on, Fem. What “whole story” does one need to know about someone having an extramarital affair? They’re cheating scumbags, that’s all there is to it. What possible acceptable excuse could there be for not ending their marriage before embarking on the new sexual relationship? In my opinion there is none.

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      • At the time I wrote this comment, LW had not made it clear the relationship was platonic. Anyway: I didn’t attack the LW at all, not sure which part of my comment was not compassionate enough towards her?

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    • Whoa nandini
      calling him an asshole, self-serving, selfish, awful…..
      Not exactly non judgemental.
      Not exactly helping out the LWs predicamentl
      Not exactly necessary either.

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      • I said I was not judging the LW. I am definitely judging the married man who I thought was having a sexual affair at the time I wrote the comment – I am judging him only a little less now that I know the affair was emotional rather than sexual.

        There is really no excuse for a person to cheat on their spouse. If that makes me judgemental, so be it.

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    • Why get involved knowingly with a married man ?
      What purpose does it serve ? Except to create a tangent when two people legally married are squabbling/maintaining status quo /whatever ?
      And women don’t really need to sleep with the married man to have a full blown affair !
      In her subsequent response,LW has made amply clear that she has not spared a tiniest thought for children involved !
      The LW has made morally irresponsible choice at 29 !
      Are we now condoning affairs by women with married men in name of feminism ?(sarcasm)

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      • Why are you blaming the LW, though, instead of the married man? You’re acting as if he is helpless and she is manipulating him – when in reality both are equally consenting partners in the relationship. The difference between them is that HE has a direct, personal responsibility not to cheat on his wife emotionally in addition to any impersonal moral duty, and she only has an impersonal moral duty. The moral culpability is WILDLY different for both of them. He is unquestionably the asshole in the equation. She’s just… thoughtless.

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        • In my other post,I have held the man responsible !LW has written here not the man hence I’ll respond to her !
          She is involved with a married man is she not responsible too ?You are wrong !
          If my husband has affair and the other woman is knowingly involved with him,dilly dallying to break off, asking him to leave his wife and children ,I’ll blame her too !
          I don’t care how confused,how bechari she is ,.…she is active participant in breaking my house !There is nothing to think,……once you come to know the guy is married, you need to cut off !

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  15. Others have already given very good advices….I will just say forget abt this married man….assuming tht its an intimate emotional bonding not a platonic friendship.
    95% of them never leave their wives.If they are so unhappy why dont they make any efforts to seperate ? Thts one reason I feel divorce laws shld be easier in India…too many couple stay unhappy just for the sake of society..anyways thats another topic.Since this guy dosent seem intrested in having a divorce.You will just get heartbreak.Since you are already dependent on him you will not make the effort to find a life partner too…..assuming that you really want to be married.There’s nothing wrong in being single too…just do whatever you feel like

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  16. From your letter, it doesn’t seem to me as if you are in love with the married man, or cannot imagine a life without him. It seems to be a relationship of trust and friendship, and while that is great, if you are not actively interested in pursuing a life with him (and he cannot/will not get a divorce), I would say that save yourself heartache at a later stage by loosening that bond now – or talk it out directly if you do want to pursue it and his marriage is really over. Otherwise, there does seem to be some unhealthiness building there.

    Now coming to what you should do about getting married – I know some people have advised you that its alright to stay single – and yes, no doubt it is, but that doesn’t work for everyone. Some people crave marriage and companionship, and that’s ok too. If you are in that camp, work towards getting married, beyond the traditional arranged marriage route.

    How important is it to you to get married within the usual boundaries of caste/community? If not, you may find that it is easier to find a person you like…just a thought.

    Good luck and good wishes to you.

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    • “Loosen the bonds” — perhaps this is the most enlightened advice that comes from this discussion… because, if you suddenly let this take the form of a taboo, that can be counter-productive. Sounds like, this man has more to gain from the relationship than you (the LW).
      My only advice is — “therapy” has less chance of helping than praying to Rahu and Ketu. This is proven.

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  17. Sometimes i get the feeling that on this blog, there is just one solution to all the problems.. You are independent, financially stable. Live ur life in your terms. You will find a good guy. Age doesn’t matter etc etc

    I will advise differently.. Since the time u started looking for guys, what have you learned. What efforts have you made to meet guys on your own, guys other than your parents want you to meet. It seems you are blaming your parents for pressuring u to get married, whereas u have not taken up the same responsibility yourself.

    I believe things will happen when they intend to…. No they don’t. You have to make efforts in that regard. After that also they might happen and they might not.

    You are not finding one yourself. Being so firm with your points that some person will ‘run away’ feeling afraid…. What is the answer to this. They atleast are making efforts. You don’t like what they suggest but are not doing anything yourself in this regard.

    I do not agree to put on a make-up and show. I would like someone to like me for what I am. Not something I have posed….. This is most ridiculous.it doesnt sound like a confident person but an arrogant person… There is no harm, nothing wrong in being extra polite, extra prepared and a little formal in the first meeting.Than when u meet up the second time u can open up more and be more casual and yourself. Don’t be so judgemental so soon. Imagine if the guy dressed up and he saw you were less well dressed.. Anyone will think that if they can put effort to dress up why can’t you? This is clearly considered a sign of disinterest on your part.. And again nobody expects that everyday. You can be yourself later on as will be the guy

    First thing u should ask yourself is if you want to get married. If no, tell ur parents you don’t want to get married. Than Birth of you can stop making uselesd efforts

    If u wish to get married, i will suggest you to draw your own roadmap.. Things which you will absolutely not do, things which you can do. Take responsibility and not blame parent’s for it

    Like

    • What’s wrong with make up ?Finally,since indian economy has became better,we are getting great brands in makeup !
      What’s wrong in applying some to look a better version of oneself,…its great fun especially if you are doing it for yourself !
      Since when did pandering to little vanity become unnecessary !
      LW,make up is great !!

      Like

      • Why is a version with makeup a better version of oneself?

        Nothing against makeup, I agree it can be fun, but a makeuped version of self is just a different version, not a better version.

        Like

        • Thumbelina,
          Its just a play of words ,…makeup by a regular girl will not transform her especially if she is not a makeup artist !
          Yes,just make her look better ,more polished !
          I am surprised by thumbs down,…so many people don’t want to look polished and well turned out ,…of course make up is a small part of it but still significant !

          Like

      • Makeup, because you want to, is fine. No questions asked.

        Being asked to doll up – against your wishes – just to ‘look pretty’ to a prospective groom and his parents and siblings is not fine.

        Methinks the argument here is not about makeup, but about being forced to do something you really don’t want to.

        Like

  18. Two observations I’d like to make (not necessarily advice to the LW)

    One, No matter how much a person may achieve in Indian society, they are considered worthless until they marry and reproduce. They are expected to have their lives revolve around this goal and sooner or later, I’ve noticed that it becomes an obsession for them. It can’t be a healthy start to a marriage, can it? This madness needs to stop!

    Two:
    There’s not enough information to judge whether there is an affair here (emotional or otherwise) but this thread is so serious that I just had to share this!😀

    link to img in case it doesn’t work: http://www.someecards.com/usercards/unsubmitted/MjAxMi0wOTRjYTdjZDYwNGIyYmZl

    Like

  19. While almost everything has been said here..my 2 cents- See, companionship is a very important factos for majority of individuals. In today’s time when more women are financially independent, the main reason why they want to get married is companionship,(than financial stability which was an equally driving factor earlier) i feel it can get quite lonely after a certain point of time, unless you make your interest the centre of your life..(whatever that may be- scuba diving, working in an NGO etc etc..)

    So nothing wrong in staying single and leading your life your way, and taking your own sweet time to find the man you are looking for,(if marriage is on your mind)…but then for that you need to assess whether you have the maturity to deal with the uncertainties that would follow. It may happen that you may end being single, which is perfectly fine if you are prepared for it. My experience and wisdom says, that for most human beings it may not be as it is made to sound…

    Once you have an answer to “are you really interested in marriage right now?”…you will be better prepared to handle the situation…everything in this world requires effort….not everyone is lucky enough to find love on their own….sometimes you have to search actively, and the results can be as good..:)…all the best…

    Like

      • Added:

        And of course I do mean that rush into marriage, or make it your sole objective to get married asap…definitely not. As someone has rightly said above, being single is any day better than ending up with a wrong partner. If marriage is what you choose, start meeting people with a free mind, and no pressure. Take chances to know about them, some may even be as disappointing even after several meetings…but some may actually not be as bad as they sound in the first go…And regarding no make up etc …do not put make up if you do not want to…but everyone likes people who are presentable/ make effort to be presentable….we do that even when we go for a job interview…we prepare because that is something we want…:)…

        Like

  20. Thanks all. Yes I agree with you at a point. I somewhere know he won’t be with me forever. Even if he does I will want him to break ties with the wife and child. With the child it will not happen. But even after we have fought over the most difficult issues we have come to talk out. I do not know how this happens. He never does bring his family to a gathering of common friends, she knows me but she only once made an effort to confront me. Otherwise it is ‘don’t care attitude’ (as per him) Threatened by law – will lodge a false police complaint, where generally women get the benefit. As per him its case of “men harassment”. I am not told many things as it would trouble me. But I have seen pics of good times which even more troubled me.
    Also I no longer feel the same way once I did if we did not meet. I somewhere have withdrawn but that phone-talk-support is there and I am not sure how to break it.
    As for me, I am not so social. I can’t mix with people whom I do not know, I am uncomfortable there. Otherwise its difficult to talk to someone I do not know much. I know I lack there. Some who are not so close do not believe when my closest friend says I can strike a conversation and go on talking.
    My parents don’t breathe down my throat daily. But just when someone younger gets married my mother gets in a depression mode ‘whats wrong in my fate…, I will fast to gods’ all that. So I get to a point where if I am the trouble I will find a solution even if I am not happy I will take a decision. But I cannot really see them in pain because of me. I understand their pain and un-comfort when people ask about their daughters marriage and they have to say ‘No’ (People should mind their business I know, but neighbors, friends who studied with them, people at office do ask about each others children and marriage. Its obvious) And I can not move away from them. I love them a lot. I just want to see them happy. Their efforts, compassion to a stranger brings tears to my eyes. I am an emotional idiot in both the cases.
    Make-up I am not against being presentable. But I wont be such 24×7. I do not want to create an image that I am not. I want the original me to be liked. The wheatish one but clear n clean skin, the simple one who does not fancy jewellery, lipsticks with big bright eyes. I want to accept me as I will be daily not once in a while. Please see me someone who instead of spending time will cook a tiffin (taking a partners help to make them capable as well😉 ) eat a fresh cooked meal rather than make-up! That’s a priority for me. You want a presentable, working, beautiful girl, that will cook may be a rare possibility!

    Like

    • You seem to be living in too much idealistic world !
      Nobody is asking you to be dolled up 24×7 especially at the cost of other chores !
      And BTW,any kind of emotional connect iwhich does not include his wife too is unacceptable with a married man !No matter what flimsy excuses you make ! It doesn’t even matter what he says !
      You don’t really want to see error of your ways do you ?

      Like

      • Cosettez, I think you need to back off a bit.
        Make up, waxing and jewellery are things that all women are expected to do irrespective of their wants and needs.
        Some women don’t like wearing make up because they feel like it forces them to conform to a stereotype. Or simply because they don’t like the idea of painting their faces.
        If she doesn’t want to do it, its her choice. Make up is not the same as personal hygiene. No need to judge her for it or try to ” educate” her to be more “presentable”.

        And its quite clear from her response that she appears to be having second thoughts about this man.

        LW all I will say is this – If there is a wife and child involved, it is extremely likely that one or both will be hurt. Please do think about whether this is something you are okay with, and whether you completely trust this man. Yes, it is hard to get out of relationships, especially one that is deep. But don’t let that stop you from doing the right thing.

        Like

        • Anita,
          I think you need to back off a lot!
          Nowhere I have forced my opinion ,…that make up is the only way to look more beautiful !! I never asked LW to do industrial strength makeup on daily basis and hide behind it !
          I pointed out and rightly that being presentable is no longer a choice ! Its a must have !!IAnd make up is just one part of it !
          I would have never mentioned makeup if LW herself didn’t brag about how she didn’t want/didn’t like to make ANY effort towards that !
          I absolutely agree some people don’t like makeup but there are many who do in various degrees !

          I also disagree that greater number of women who paint their faces are forced to do it for men! Especially in India ! Its a choice actively made by women whether its market driven,competition driven ,…..who knows ??

          Nowhere in LW’s above comment has she explicitly mentioned ‘second thoughts’,…in fact she goes about how ‘they talk it out later’ !
          I am only nitpicking in response to you ,…otherwise a LW ‘s post is far too little Information for me to make conclusive remarks !
          Infact,her response made me feel she’s too stubborn to change her ways !
          Lastly,affair with a married man is not a great thing no matter what the circumstance !I think its unacceptable ,…of course that guy is wrong too but here I am responding to the LW hence I hold her responsible !

          Like

        • 1. “I pointed out and rightly that being presentable is no longer a choice ! Its a must have !!IAnd make up is just one part of it !”

          Wrong. Taking bath regularly, doing something about odour, dressing neatly and speaking well is being presentable. Make up is a choice – one can look perfectly awesome without make up, as long as they are neat & tidy. Most boys & girls look presentable without make up.

          2.” I would have never mentioned makeup if LW herself didn’t brag about how she didn’t want/didn’t like to make ANY effort towards that ! ”

          a. She didn’t brag. She made a statement.
          b. She didn’t say she didn’t want to make any effort towards being presentable.
          In fact she says “I am not against being presentable”
          She said she did not want to wear make up. I don’t see why that is offensive or absurd. To say that she will look presentable only with make up implies that her face is repulsive otherwise. Which is really mean.

          Your comments seem to imply that ALL women should wear make up to look good. This is the same as saying that all women should wear only sarees/jeans/heels.

          3. “I absolutely agree some people don’t like makeup but there are many who do in various degrees !”
          Good. Then you must understand that zero is also a degree.

          4.” I also disagree that greater number of women who paint their faces are forced to do it for men! Especially in India ! Its a choice actively made by women whether its market driven,competition driven ,…..who knows ??”

          My original comment was ” Make up, waxing and jewellery are things that all women are expected to do irrespective of their wants and needs.Some women don’t like wearing make up because they feel like it forces them to conform to a stereotype. ”

          Ever wonder why make up is restricted only to women? Don’t men look better with make up too? The conventional way of thinking says that women look good with make up. Some women agree with this.
          There are many women who are uncomfortable wearing it and yet are constantly told that they must use make up.

          Case in point – you telling the LW that she must wear atleast a little make up to look good, while she says that she does not like to wear make up.

          5.Nowhere in LW’s above comment has she explicitly mentioned ‘second thoughts’,…in fact she goes about how ‘they talk it out later’ !

          Yes she has mentioned it, if you actually read past the first 3 lines without getting judgemental.

          “I somewhere know he won’t be with me forever.”

          “I am not told many things as it would trouble me. But I have seen pics of good times which even more troubled me.”

          “Also I no longer feel the same way once I did if we did not meet. I somewhere have withdrawn but that phone-talk-support is there and I am not sure how to break it.”

          Like

        • Anita,
          She said she did not want to wear make up. I don’t see why that is offensive or absurd. To say that she will look presentable only with make up implies that her face is repulsive otherwise. Which is really mean.,.…..unquote
          – its neither offensive nor absurd to me !You attributing your opinions to my harmless suggestion that make up is great !
          Again its your opinion and POV that those who do use makeup do so becoz they find their face repulsive ! I have never said that Anyone can look presentable only with makeup !In fact I said,its a small part of it in my earlier post !

          Like

    • // I will find a solution even if I am not happy I will take a decision. //

      That’s a terrible idea LW.
      Do you think your parents are going to be happy when you are unhappy? Do you think you can keep the pretence going for long?

      Why start with a negative attitude?

      As you say, “your parents are NOT breathing down youe neck”. When they are giving you the space and time, please appreciate (among the many sob stories here) how that is not universal. SHouldn’t you make the most out of it and take charge of your life and prospects?

      I am like this only, I don’t talk – how does that help? It is a big change for you – but it also a big change for who you are going to marry.

      Your last paragraph seems to trivialize and paint a parochial picture of what you think are the others’ expectations from you?

      Please be more open. How can someone get to know the real you if you have already made a decison about what they want, and how they will perceive you – and clam up?

      It is up to you to not make this difficult for yourself and those who care about you.

      I guess I now agree with some of the commentors who said you really really need to figure yourself out before starting a relationship with a fellow human being.

      Just snap out and do it already!

      Like

    • Sorry to be blunt but your man is an Asshole of the first order…laws favouring woman !! Seriously ?? To put it bluntly he dosent want to pay alimony n child support post divorce hence the execuse….He has too much baggage.He never had any intention of leaving his wife…..I dont buy this argument tht his wife is indifferent to the current arrangement of him having 2 lives inside n outside ……probably she is financially dependent on him and is under family’s pressure to “adjust” for the sake of the child…idealy she shld dump tht asshole ! It dosent matter weather you marry or not but please throw this person out of your life ASAP…

      Like

      • The man seems to playing along in a convenient relationship for him but I am surprised nobody is holding LW responsible into knowingly entering into a relationship with a married man !
        On top of that,LW also wants him to let go of the child and his responsibilities along with divorcing his wife !
        LW, your selfishness is unbelievable !
        And any further response on this thread is useless !

        Like

        • Cosettez, I think most of us find the thought of extra marital relationships extremely disturbing. I personally cannot abide by people who cheat.
          Unfortunately, the world is not black and white, there is a lot of grey.
          From the LW’s perspective, it is the man who is suffering – in an unhappy marriage. Yes, it does not appear the same to us.
          But there really is no point if we all start berating her. I think almost everyone here has told her to end that relationship.

          Like

        • Anita,
          Here is what I think : LW is bidng her time,using the married man’s support depending on her needs,dilly dallying !
          She is vaguely aware how the ‘thing’ with married guy is going nowhere yet she is selfish enough to not break off by taking an active decision !
          I doubt if she is even crazy for the married guy !
          She wants to continue by balancing hands,feet in as many boats as possible till something gives away ,….and she gets to exclaim ‘oh ,good riddance finally! On its own,…now nobody can blame me !

          Like

    • “As for me, I am not so social. I can’t mix with people whom I do not know, I am uncomfortable there. Otherwise its difficult to talk to someone I do not know much. I know I lack there. Some who are not so close do not believe when my closest friend says I can strike a conversation and go on talking.”

      There are hundreds of men out there who are as introverted, if not more , who would love a quiet girl who has passions and interests.

      There are also hundreds of extroverted men who enjoy the company of introverted women, no matter how simple/plain they are.

      Do not let the fear that you may never find anyone else prevent you from leaving this relationship. It seems to me that you have already realized that it is not going to work .

      Trust me, love happens. Without make up. Without talking on and on.
      It may take time,but it will. Don’t give up.

      Like

    • Dear LW, Your words above make me think that your “married man” is a weak-willed character who’s making excuses. “Threatened by law – will lodge a false police complaint” – well, that comes with the territory – so if he is using that as an excuse, then know that he is probably using you and has little intention of ever breaking up with his wife.

      “As for me, I am not so social. I can’t mix with people whom I do not know, I am uncomfortable there. ”

      That is OK, not all of us are extroverts. However to broaden your outlook, and have other people to talk to, you should at least try to find like-minded folk. Someone suggested this above, do something you like – dance-class, volunteering, and you will meet people who you might want to know better.

      “I am an emotional idiot in both the cases.
      Make-up I am not against being presentable. But I wont be such 24×7.”

      No offense, but you seem a bit immature. You may not be able to change what your parents think or do, but you can control your actions. I understand the pull of family, but ultimately it will be up to you to take a stand.

      Make-up and cooking are not mutually exclusive🙂. You seem judgmental about women who like make-up (24×7 or less). Pls. try and let go of thinking like this; it just shows your own insecurity. If you are more confident of yourself, what people think and do will start to matter less and less. Try and be more accepting of people who think differently, but understand that no one should force you to do anything against your will.

      Like

    • “And I can not move away from them. I love them a lot. I just want to see them happy. Their efforts, compassion to a stranger brings tears to my eyes. I am an emotional idiot in both the cases.”

      Good to know this. So you plan to stay with your parents after you get married? If not, anything you say on this topic makes no sense.

      Please grow up a little. Putting some distance between yourself and a bad environment does not mean you stop loving the concerned people. It means you love yourself enough to decide what is best for you.

      Unless people are going to starve or die because you don’t sacrifice for them, your sacrifice is meaningless. Don’t do it.

      If your mother has depression problems because of society, refer her to a therapist. It’s her problem if she chooses to take it to heart, and it’s something that can be dealt with easily with some outside help. You are not responsible for her depression and you cannot cure that, even if you got married. Marriage is not the one-stop solution for all problems and illnesses.

      There is no such thing as “men harassment”. The laws are made for the protection of women, not for harassment of men. Recognise that, read up on the laws, read up on statistics of divorces, alimonies, dowry, loss of income for women due to marriage, etc., then decide on this subject.

      You sound really childish and immature for a woman of 29. Getting out of the home atmosphere and seeing the world will do you a world of good. You will realise a LOT of things that people on the internet cannot make you fully understand. Go out and experience life to the fullest, learn how relationships work, and then think about marriage.

      Like

    • Dear LW,
      If you don’t like wearing makeup, that’s fine. You should decide how you want to look/dress, no one else should. You are not much of an extrovert and that’s fine too. That’s who you are and I don’t see anything wrong here. There are lots of quiet, shy people who like each other or sometimes opposites attract. It is okay if you want to get married or you want to stay single. I don’t see any of these as problems.

      But, you said “But I cannot really see them in pain because of me.” YOU are not the cause of their pain. They need to put your happiness way above the impression of the neighbors and relatives. They are causing themselves pain by being misguided, for this you don’t have to be angry with them, but you cannot take the guilt for someone else’s self-created pain. That is giving in to emotional blackmail.

      Mostly, it was heart breaking to read, “I will find a solution even if I am not happy I will take a decision.” You owe it to yourself to be happy. Your parents owe it to you to let you find your own happiness.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Dear, marriage is a beautiful institution. But no point in entering it for the sake of others. It is your life, it should be your decision. Though I do not agree with the age factor when it comes to love marriages. But definitely the prospects become scarce for arranged marriages that by no means mean end of hope.
    Hang in there, communicate with your parents, be positive about marriage if that’s what you want. Things will definitely fall in place. Make efforts in searching, socialize, meet people. When you find the right match, it will be worth the wait O:-)

    Like

  22. Response to aarti

    //Shouldn’t it be OK for everyone to find out whether they want to get married at all,pursue one’s own interests?//

    Couldn’t reply up there.

    Theoritically yes.
    But in almost all cases – and particularly in the case of this LW – the ‘if at all’ question is rather moot.
    Let’s not lose sight of that.

    Yes, my old-fashioned-ness shows, but – as another commentor D above has said – it usually takes an extraordinary amount of passion to find fullfilment in an activity/cause as a life-choice.

    In a bid to avoid the growing-up question that marriage is, one should not inflate one’s passion and interests to be a surrogate.

    Yes, marriage and building a family is not for everyone. But it IS for most people. It is quite reasonable to consider that as a default choice for a fullfilling life for most people.

    Of course if one is fired by a passion that marriage will limit – one should ask oneself the ‘if at all’ question.

    The risk is this: drawing one’s identity from one’s passions and interests is indeed quite pleasing to one’s ego.

    But it takes strength to acknowledge and come to terms with what one is and what one is not and never will be. There is nothing to be depressed about it. It takes some maturity to value experientiality as a thing in itself over viewing life as a series of milestones of ‘achievement’.

    The corporate world is thick with scuba divers, mountain trekkers, DSLR photographers, those who muse about puppy shelters, teaching kids and what not. For how many is it a life consuming passion that demands dedication to the exclusion of everything else?

    By all means, let us encourage the question. But let’s also indicate the strength required to introspect and answer honestly and not delude oneself.

    Like

    • “In a bid to avoid the growing-up question that marriage is, one should not inflate one’s passion and interests to be a surrogate. ”

      So those of us who don’t want to get married are not grown up?
      Or as in the LWs case, just because she doesn’t want to get married right away, she’s not grown up?

      What is growing up? Is it simply doing things like getting a job, getting married , making children? Or is it about taking responsibility for one’s own life and happiness?

      In a bid to be “grown up” one should not inflate marriage to be some sort of cure all. Passions and interest are an important part of discovering oneself. If some one wants to do that, its stupid to label them “childish”.

      “The risk is this: drawing one’s identity from one’s passions and interests is indeed quite pleasing to one’s ego.”
      And drawing one’s identity from romantic relationships alone is some sort of noble pursuit?

      Liked by 2 people

      • //So those of us who don’t want to get married are not grown up?//

        I am not sure if I said that.
        As long as you have thoroughly considered the question and decided not marrying is better than marrying.

        Just parrying the marriage question just because one doesn’t want to change the way things are, is what I call ‘not growing up’.

        //Or as in the LWs case, just because she doesn’t want to get married right away, she’s not grown up?//

        Yeah that’s my guess based on her letter. I sense somebody not facing up the tough questions and expecting simple external solutions.

        //What is growing up? Is it simply doing things like getting a job, getting married , making children? Or is it about taking responsibility for one’s own life and happiness?//

        Why the ‘Or’ as if they are necessarily antithetical?
        I sense a certain derisiveness in the choice of the phrase ‘making children’.

        Just putting forth my idea – which I think is far from unreasonable – that building a family makes life wholesome – and dare I use a big word – meaningful – for most people.

        There are those who have the strength to do without. Just ask yourself if you are one of those people and it takes strength to answer truly- is all I am saying.

        And yes – age matters.
        Just because something CAN be done later doesn’t mean it SHOULD be.
        Once again – please note that I am NOT saying – she should rush into something. But be actively involved and open minded and make a good matrimonial choice.

        //If some one wants to do that, its stupid to label them “childish”.//

        Inflating one’s marginal talents to avoid ‘marriage questions’ is fine by you?
        A course of action is valid because someone thought of it? What is concerned advice then? An external perspective, isn’t it?

        //And drawing one’s identity from romantic relationships alone is some sort of noble pursuit?//

        Well there is nothing ignoble about drawing one’s identity from relationships with people.

        And please do not reduce what I am saying. Some people are all about saving whales from harpooning and acing the piano and what not. Good for them. All I am asking is to really really ask if you are one of those who will feel wholesome with such a passion.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Why does it have to be some all-consuming passion for helping people or pursuing a hobby, or marriage and babies? Why can’t people just plough on, dealing with life’s simple joys and sorrows as they come, being open for whatever it wants to throw your way? I genuinely do not understand why people have to DO something if they choose not to get married. Or why people even have to ‘choose’ not to get married. Not married is the default state of affairs. If you meet the right sort of person, then you can choose to marry them.

          Like

        • Response to Fem’s comment below

          //Or why people even have to ‘choose’ not to get married. Not married is the default state of affairs. If you meet the right sort of person, then you can choose to marry them.//

          Getting married and raising the family IS the ‘default’ state of affairs.

          To be clear: I use the word’default’ is not a normative judgement, it how it is now, that’s all. Which doesn’t mean it is immutable.

          The onus of making a case, always rests on those who seek the change – any change. And I am not talking some grand social change – just at the individual level. One needs to be feel strongly about not doing the ‘regular’ thing. And such a choice should be respected and space provided for it.

          But not acknowledging that ‘not doing’ something IS the choice here underrates the strength required to make and live with the choice. It is not everyone’s cup of tea. Saying it is, is incorrect.

          Saying ‘it ought to be’, is another question altogether.

          I don’t sense LW is conceptually resistant to the idea of marriage and family as a wholesome life. Hence my advice.

          Like

        • Response to Fem’s comments above:

          //3. You are assuming rather a lot of things, and that’s not very advisable.//

          You can call my inferences from the letter incorrect and baseless, but we wouldn’t know one way or the other till LW says.

          But I feel obliged to explain my assumptions:

          A reasonably conservative family, parents who have given her space and not forcing her – despite the fact that she is pushing 30 and has a sister. She seems not to grapple with the choices to be made at this stage. Comes across as kinda naive actually. Not to mention a relationship – which has drawn almost universal disapproval here – which doesn’t look like that strongly important to her, to tradeoff upsetting her family – with whom there seems to be much mutual concern.
          (some people may think the family ought to have no say in the matter whatsoever – which I’ll disagree with preemptively)

          It is based on all this that all my comments were made.

          //How can you decide what the right choice for the LW is?//

          Well she asked for advice on a forum and I am suggesting something. If I read her situation wrong, she can always ignore me.

          //entire comment unhelpful to the LW//

          For the same question from an LW2 – whose family, attitudes come across as different – I’ll probably have different advice.

          “One size fits all” advice – even based on the noblest of principles – is often useless and sometimes dangerous.

          //obviously does not want to do?//

          My diagnosis(!) is that she ‘does not want to’ because she is not grappling with the question in its fullest extent and is merely blocking it out for now. I am suggesting she engage with the question without wasting any further time. And it is my surmise that if she does, and sheds her preconceives apprehensions, positive results may obtain.

          What does anyone here know about her situation anyway beyond her letter – which we all read based on our mental make-up!

          My suggestions are as valid as invalid as ‘tell off your parents now’, ‘go find your heart in Scuba’ is.

          //That’s emotional blackmail.//
          I don’t agree. We dilute such important words by calling even this ’emotional blackmail’.

          The parents’ concern is more than legitimate and I wish LW would recognize that.

          To relieve her of the ‘pressure’ telling her ‘your parents have no business feeling sad about your choices, so royally ignore them’ – is a PoV I don’t agree with at all.

          And – clarifying this one more time – this does NOT mean she should be feel pressurized to choosing something which she does not like (as she said in a comment she would and I strongly objected). That is going to only make things worse for everyone concerned..

          //You would do well to remember that not everyone desperately needs to be married, and that’s perfectly fine too.//

          And I didn’t recognize this from my very first comment? Did that not come across? Why serve me a reminder on something I have myself been saying all along?

          You say marriage isn’t for everyone.
          I agree. And I add staying single throughout life isn’t for everyone either.

          Asking the LW to truly assess which set she is before making her choice.

          And in her letter she doesn’t seem conceptually resistant to the idea of marriage – only has some (IMO unnecessary) apprehensions. Given that as a prior, I feel if she gets over them, things will turn out fine.

          I don’t have anything further to say on this, and I have actually only been saying the same thing over and over!

          Like

        • 1.
          ” Why the ‘Or’ as if they are necessarily antithetical?
          I sense a certain derisiveness in the choice of the phrase ‘making children’.

          Just putting forth my idea – which I think is far from unreasonable – that building a family makes life wholesome – and dare I use a big word – meaningful – for most people.”

          The “or” is to illustrate that without truly being ready for a relationship and having a certain amount of affection for the other person, one who choose to marry is NOT grown up.

          The derisiveness is in response to the notion that anyone who marries & reproduces is somehow more evolved than one who doesn’t. Getting married and having children is as self serving as pursuit of any other hobby.
          The question is : How good a parent are you? How genuine is your marriage?
          When one simply chooses to marry because it is what one “should” do , what they are doing is as perfunctory as a job. Hence the derisiveness.

          ” And yes – age matters.
          Just because something CAN be done later doesn’t mean it SHOULD be.”

          We are not talking about primary school here. We are talking about an adult relationship, one that involves a significant change to one’s lifestyle and one which is complicated for most women.
          Age is not the defining character here – it is the mental state of mind & more importantly – the desire to do so.

          2.” Inflating one’s marginal talents to avoid ‘marriage questions’ is fine by you?
          A course of action is valid because someone thought of it? What is concerned advice then? An external perspective, isn’t it? ”

          “talent” is not some magical god given ability given to a select few. In most cases, talent is evolved through passion & commitment to a subject. Life is not a job where you must be excellent at something in order to have the right to pursue it.
          In the LW’s case, I suspect her thoughts of opening an NGO etc are in response to a very common question ” What will give your life meaning if you are not married?” In this context her thoughts are extremely valid because her passions are associated with caring and nurturing people & animals – the very same thing that marriage & family is about.

          3. ” Well there is nothing ignoble about drawing one’s identity from relationships with people.”

          My original comment was in response to your statement that “The risk is this: drawing one’s identity from one’s passions and interests is indeed quite pleasing to one’s ego.”
          Drawing your identity from relationships is also extremely pleasing to one’s ego.
          It is no more noble than drawing your identity from your interests.

          4. “Some people are all about saving whales from harpooning and acing the piano and what not. Good for them. All I am asking is to really really ask if you are one of those who will feel wholesome with such a passion.”

          Now I sense some derision here. If someone was all about saving whales from harpooning, I would have the greatest respect for them because they are actively emphatizing with a species different from their own – and that’s what life is about : making connections. Your comments seems to imply that kind of love or interest in any living being which is not related to you is somehow superficial.
          As for someone who loves the piano, I would equate them with any happily married person – they are simply doing what they want to do in life.

          Like

    • wonderful comment! I read a book long time back- Do not remember its title..some thing similar to Long Island Ice Tea….It explored the phenomenon of quitting one’s regular job to follow one’s (perceived) passion full time! While it did not bring the marriage angle in picture….similar logic can be drawn.

      Like

      • Thank You.

        Sometimes I feel, folks do not sufficiently account for the inescapable disfascination that sets in with the day to day process of living your dream – any dream.

        Which doesn’t mean one shouldn’t aspire. Just that, when considering trade-offs it is important to understand what exactly entails living the dream day in and day out.

        Like

    • “Yes, marriage and building a family is not for everyone. But it IS for most people. It is quite reasonable to consider that as a default choice for a fullfilling life for most people.”

      Yes, companionship is something that everyone craves. But …

      1. Marriage is not the sole or only means of companionship. There are many different ways that you can obtain companionship – from friends, family, colleagues or even people with similar interests.

      2. Marriage is also not the sole means of sex. I don’t need to qualify this.

      3. The main issue I am taking with your posts is that you assume that the LW does want to get married and that she should simply drop her expectations. I get that no one is perfect and she should not seek perfection but unless and until the LW feels happy with dropping said expectations, she will never be content in a relationship that doesn’t fulfil them.

      4. The main issue here is not whether the LW wants to get married or not but merely that she has begun to believe that getting married would solve all her problems, and her parent’s problems. That’s bunkum. Next step would be ‘does your daughter have children?’ And then ‘what marks are your grandchildren getting?’. Then ‘what stream have your grandchildren chosen?’. The buck never stops. Is the LW then going to force her children to confirm to her parents’ expectations because she loves them oh, so much. She needs to realise that the expectations NEVER stop until you put your foot down and say NO. And doing that at the beginning is far easier.

      5. No one is advising the LW to stay single because single is good. We are just pointing out that she need not be afraid of remaining single. This is actually reiterated so often only because society keeps trying to scare the shit out of you with ‘OMG! What will you do when you are sixty?!’ Answer: ‘I will kick arse, and yours first of all.’

      6. As long as the LW does not feel comfortable with something, she should not do it. Advising her to do anything that is against her will or her comfort is simply pushing her into confirming. I have faced a couple of arranged marriage meetings myself and I completely understand why she has taken offence, even if the guys are decent fellows. The system itself is offensive.

      7. She can always chart out a plan to start dating or whatever, but really, life does not work like that. If she finds someone, fine. If not, also fine. Feverishly searching for men is not really going to drop men on your lap. Really, it’s not. It really only means that you will force yourself into marrying the least offensive one, rather than being forced by parents or society to do the same.

      8. But agreed, she should be open to meeting people and enjoying life. If on the way, she meets a like-minded individual, marriage can happen any time.

      That said, if she really is going to not put her foot down, tell off her parents, or put some distance between herself and demanding people, then coming her and asking for advice is futile. She should just submit if she isn’t ready to fight.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Let me preface by saying, while making my comments I jumped to all sorts of judgmental conclusions about LW, her familial circumstances, outlook. And my suggestions were based on what I thought would best suit her.

        There are no universal prescriptions.

        //1//
        Ok. But I am not suggesting marriage in lieu of any of this.

        //3. The main issue I am taking with your posts is that you assume that the LW does want to get married and that she should simply drop her expectations. I get that no one is perfect and she should not seek perfection but unless and until the LW feels happy with dropping said expectations, she will never be content in a relationship that doesn’t fulfil them.//

        I assume she her refusal to engage with the qn of marriage is symptomatic of her refusal to engage with the life changes it entails.
        I wouldn’t say this if it looks like she has thought it through and doesn’t want to.

        I’m urging her to snap out and take control and decide. And yes, I assume if she did she would say ‘yes, marriage makes sense’.

        //4. The main issue here is not whether the LW wants to get married or not but merely that she has begun to believe that getting married would solve all her problems, and her parent’s problems. That’s bunkum.//

        I agree to the extent that she needs to get actively involved in the decision and not be closed and negative, like she is now.

        But I don’t at all think her parents are forcing expectations on her like you say. She herself clarified they are

        That said, I differ significantly from what the rest of the comment calls ‘parental interference’ that needs to be nipped in the bud. A response to that will call for an elaboration of my worldview which would digress this thread.

        Let me just emphasize, I am NOT asking her to say ‘Yes’ to please her parents. On the contrary I am saying, it is the right choice for LW herself and that’s precisely why she should engage with the matrimonial process. And I am hoping she will see it so – that is all.

        //she need not be afraid of remaining single.//

        I get that. And I am doing the opposite.

        I currently feel she has some really superficial ideas about marriage (like ‘if I am make up for him he will not take me for what I am’!). “Marriage isn’t as bad as you think to clam up like this. And being single – while nothing wrong – will require a lot of fortitude – just assess if you are up to it.”

        //6. As long as the LW does not feel comfortable with something, she should not do it. Advising her to do anything that is against her will or her comfort is simply pushing her into confirming. //

        Sure. I am pushing her to get relax, open-up and get comfortable. Not conform with discomfort, for the sake of parents. I think I made that very clear in my very first comment itself.

        //The system itself is offensive.//
        //least offensive one//
        //like-minded individual//
        //tell off her parents//
        //demanding people//

        Well, I disagree with this entire framing.
        But it is unproductive to discuss that for the issue at hand.

        //She should just submit if she isn’t ready to fight.//

        It is not binary. Nothing is.
        People have to find solutions given their environments, constraints, relationship priorities and what will make them feel wholeseome in the long run.

        The first step to striving to find it, is to actively engage with the problem, than assume simple solutions will magically air-drop into their lives.

        Like

        • 3. You are assuming rather a lot of things, and that’s not very advisable.

          4. It doesn’t look like she wants to get involved in a positive manner. I understand why because I have faced that situation. No, her parents are not ‘forcing’. They are merely looking sad and depressed when people ask about her marriage instead of standing behind her solidly. That’s emotional blackmail.

          How can you decide what the right choice for the LW is?! I am not saying you are wrong but you are making far too many assumptions again, which basically make your entire comment unhelpful to the LW. You don’t know whether or not she wants to ‘engage with the matrimonial process’. If she does, then she can. If not, then she need not.

          //I currently feel she has some really superficial ideas about marriage// – I agree.

          //I am pushing her to get relax, open-up and get comfortable.// How exactly do you suggest she do that when she is being pushed into doing something she obviously does not want to do?

          Your entire comment comes off as agenda-driven wherein you know best what the LW should do, instead of helping her find the strength to understand what she wants out of life, and act accordingly. You would do well to remember that not everyone desperately needs to be married, and that’s perfectly fine too.

          Like

      • “‘OMG! What will you do when you are sixty?!’ Answer: ‘I will kick arse, and yours first of all.’”

        Well said, Fem! I want to posterize the above words in big, bold letters and hang it up on my wall.

        Like

    • @ Uh Oh – you say, ” Yes, marriage and building a family is not for everyone. But it IS for most people.” Is this a socially induced notion or is this really true of most humans?

      I know 2 people (my nephew, 26, and my best friend, 44) who don’t have an all consuming passion in life but are happy being single. They have varied interests buth nothing too consuming. They have good friends. They have satisfying careers but they’re not scientists experimenting all night or artists composing melodies. Just regular careers. But they are genuinely happy. If they got married, they would be (in their own words) miserable. And I do believe them. They enjoy company but don’t need constant companionship. Both of them live in India.

      Here in the US, I see many more people singe and never married in their 30s, 40s, and sometimes even 50s. These people I know (coworkers, friends) are just like the 2 people I described above. The only difference – these people don’t face the enormous pressure and stigma that my nephew and best friend have to put up with.

      I think if you did a random sampling of people (and if those people faced no stigma for not getting married – note I’m not talking about light jokes/light pressure, I’m talking serious stigma) – probably half the people would choose the single life. But in our country because it is considered “unnatural” to be unmarried and a host of other unpleasant adjectives get attached to the single state, most people try to make a life through marriage. But inside they may not be happy and may never know why.

      So, does it not make sense to question yourself and ask, “Do I really want marriage? Does it really make me happy?” rather than assuming that most people want it or rather than thinking, “I don’t have an all consuming passion, therefore I must get married.”

      One thing that gives your argument weight – people who are single in the US are not without relationships. They enjoy emotional and physical intimacy. In India, although some people do have live-ins, for many people, the only way to get this human connection is to get married. It is either get married or be lonely. It shouldn’t have to be that way, everyone must have access to emotionally bonding with someone (if both are unattached, consenting adults) without having to get married, but this is seen as a sin and this will take a long while to change, if at all.

      Like

      • // Is this a socially induced notion or is this really true of most humans?//

        When you posit “really true” as opposite to “socially induced” what do you mean?
        Biologically, evolutionarily etc – then I do not know.

        But, for a lark, let us suppose it is only ‘socially induced’. Should that mean we should be dismissive of that?

        My assertion is that people wouldn’t feel wholesome without marriage and building a family. And it takes strength to choose not to. “Just ask yourself the hard question” is what I am saying.

        //(my nephew, 26, and my best friend, 44) //
        Good for them.
        I won’t presume to understand their PoV [thankfully for them, I don’t need to🙂 ] I admit I find that difficult to understand as a long term choice. Perhaps they have reasons to believe that marriage and raising a family would make things worse for them. If the LW has seriously thought through and concluded so, then fine. It didn’t look so.

        I am not trying to illegitimize radical choices. Just trying to call to attention the strength needed to make and live with them.

        //probably half the people would choose the single life.//
        I disagree.
        Without family and children the sense of it being all ‘sound and fury signifying nothing’ is likely to get accentuated. Atleast with a passion one’d atleast have some ‘objective achievements’ to look to.

        //It shouldn’t have to be that way, everyone must have access to emotionally bonding with someone (if both are unattached, consenting adults) without having to get married//

        Well I meant as likely ‘wholesome life’ for most people is getting a partner, building new relationships, having kids and building a family.
        Where- if at all- in the chronology of this, one wants to fit a wedding – is based on one’s appetite for managing things in one’s family/society.

        There are no universal prescriptions.
        My advice to this LW was based on what I inferred about her personality, her family b/g, circumstances. And felt she could be more open minded about the
        prospect of marriage. She seemed to have insubstantive apprehensions IMO, which I suggested she shake out of.

        Like

        • “But, for a lark, let us suppose it is only ‘socially induced’. Should that mean we should be dismissive of that? ”
          socially induced notions are less absolute because they have a greater chance of not standing the test of time. Society changes. Basically if you do something only because everyone tells you that its awesome, what will you do when people stop thinking that its awesome?

          “My assertion is that people wouldn’t feel wholesome without marriage and building a family. And it takes strength to choose not to.”
          Wrong. People wouldn’t feel wholesome without building strong social relationships – in todays world, this is no longer restricted to marriage. “Family” for many people is their friends, their co workers and even their blood family -sisters aunts & uncles.

          “I admit I find that difficult to understand as a long term choice.”
          For people who have enough social stimulation and relationships with other people, its a perfectly reasonable choice.

          “Without family and children the sense of it being all ‘sound and fury signifying nothing’ is likely to get accentuated.”
          This is like saying that being married would accentuate the sense of being chained. Its not true for everyone.

          Like

      • Wordssetmefree,
        If recall all single people who some are happy, some merely content with their status quo ,then I am sure you might knowing people who are alone,feeling the loneliness !
        Well,I know two friends of mine who are single like me ,not by choice but discontent with their life ! They are not single by choice ! And they are successful people who haven’t found the right person !I know a 60 year aunt of mine who is not single by choice,….brothers didn’t bother to find a groom for her after her parents died ,…when she was young ! Now ,she is alone at 60 and without much money !
        Of course,the people who were happy in their 20s single and wanted suddenly are ‘strange ‘ bachelors and spinsters in their 30s !
        I don’t know in which class of society you belong ,…but in my class,being single requires fortitude,plenty of money otherwise you are exclusively excluded !
        Just like you ,we too talk only from our experiences !

        Like

  23. Dear LW,
    I am writing this because this letter speaks to me in some way. I feel that only a thorough and clear understanding of yourself as a person and your unique wants and needs will help you get your answers. My observations maybe wrong, but I believe that they may help clarify your situation further for yourself.

    1. “I am not good looking and absolutely do not like make-up and all those stuff and surely not to please anyone.”
    I could tell you that NO BODY is ugly, and that you’re probably being harsh on yourself, but I suspect that you wouldn’t believe it. What I can tell about your personality from reading this & your other statements is this : You are not okay with pretending. You seek deep, meaningful connections and understanding in a relationship. Anything less than this will make you unhappy.As you said is very important for you to be accepted for who you are. You will not make changes unless you truly believe that the change is required.You are not okay with getting married for the sake of being married.

    2. I suspect that your relationship with the older man is strongly influenced by point 1. He is someone you trust and can rely on. More importantly, you can be yourself with him.
    While the type of relationship might be ideal, I would advise you to tread with caution as he is still married. Others have already detailed pitfalls so I wont get into that.

    3. Your interests are an important part of you. You will not be able to give them up just because you are married. There is a tendency in India to view these as pass times, but something in your letter tells me that if you do not pursue these you will be unhappy. You may not be able to manifest them to the fullest, but do what you can – travel, help people to the best of your abilities.

    4. I can see that you feel indebted to your family and that you care a lot about them. But they are behaving irrationally. I am not saying that they do not love you. But this is a decision that affects YOU the most, and they are only thinking about how it affects THEM.

    My advice – Sort out your emotions first. Do you want to be married now? Do you want to make the space for a serious long term relationship In your life?
    If the answer is yes, then you need to voice points 1-3. Whether you opt for an arranged marriage or a love marriage, you need to be clearly communicate the kind of person you are and what you need in a relationship. Keep looking. Never settle until you are satisfied.
    If the answer is no, do NOT let other people make you feel bad about your decision. If you want to wait, then wait. Yes people will say hurtful things, yes you may feel alone, but I feel that for a person like you, you will be MOST unhappy if you get into relationship that you are not ready for.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Dear LW,

    I can truly relate to you. Let me give you a quick overview of me, and hopefully it will make you feel better that there are many of us who relate. I turn 30 in less than a month, and definitely have my parents “worried” about me because I’m not married. I have no intention of being set up again with any more men…I did it for almost 9 years and I am now done.

    About three summers ago, I started seeing someone who fit the “checklist” that my parents have for who they want me to be with. Before I could tell my parents about him, I found out that he was married. I live in Canada, and he told me that this marriage was one for money and visa purposes only. I knew this was a situation that I did not want to be in, but I was so emotionally attached to him, I couldn’t separate myself. I was shattered, but at the same time, I was attached. I found myself still staying in touch, and still being his emotional comfort and that felt good. I was in a place in life where I felt like I HAD to be in a relationship because that’s all I had heard at home. I’m not sure what happened, but one day I just had enough of his lies. He told me many during the time we interacted, and against my better judgement (and even though I never truly trusted him), I’d believe him, though I knew deep down that it was all a lie and he was actually married. I’m not saying your relationship with the older gentleman is in any form the same as what I went through. You may have a very trusted relationship, but what I will say is trust your gut more. More than anyone else, trust yourself and your gut. If you make a choice, stick to it. If your choice is to break the relationship off, do it, but be ready to feel the “depression” of a break up. If you choose to be with him, you better be damn sure because everyone around you may be against it. Just don’t make a choice because you think you NEED to be in a relationship or that you will not find another. You will, and someone who will love you for you. Not for the make up, or the food you cook, or for passion you show in your eyes, rather for everything that defines you.

    After a lot of reflection, I’ve realized that one of the reasons I put up with the married guy was because of my insecurities. I thought I wouldn’t find anyone, I thought I wasn’t pretty because I don’t wear make up and I have dark facial hair, I actually even thought I was too “weird” for people because I’m a quirky, nerdy person. I didn’t love myself (something that I’m still learning to do). I’ve constantly heard from my parents about my dark facial hair. I had heard so many times about how to look “presentable” when it came to meeting with potential guys (sometimes even on for everyday hanging out at home), and how I should talk and what I should say. How to be “diplomatic”, “compromising”, how to behave, when to talk, which questions my parents will answer and which I am to answer myself…..it’s no wonder why I didn’t love myself. I had a very negative attitude about meeting guys as well because I automatically thought that they wanted someone who is more Indian, or more Canadian, or more pretty…etc etc etc. When the relationship happened with the married guy, it felt good because for the first time I felt that I was wanted for who I am, and it was on my terms. Which made the break away that much harder. Don’t let any insecurities you have define who you are, and who you are with.

    From your letter, it sounds like you know you don’t want to continue this relationship with the older married gentleman, but you need a nudge or a push. I would highly recommend that you take some time for yourself and reflect on what you want. As much as it hurts at the time, distance yourself from everyone (and I mean everyone, your parents, friends, the married gentleman). Reflect inwards…writing helps. I found writing a letter to myself everyday helped me figure out what was bothering me. I have also being going for counseling for almost a year, but that is dependent on individual situations. Another way to help reflect is to put it up in front of your eyes so you can see it all the time. I put up a sheet of paper above my bed and I have on there things I want to achieve in life, things that I expect from myself, things that bother me, things that stress me, and how do I react to it. All this helps with clearing your thoughts. Clear out your thoughts about what your expectations are about marriage, from yourself and your partner. Do not let anyone else define who you are, or what you want in life. BUT be honest and true to yourself before you even think about being in sort of a long term relationship with anyone (older married gentleman or anyone else). Be happy with who you are first, before you can expect to make your parents or your life partner (or even their parents and relatives, if you think this is important) happy.

    I hope you take some time to reflect. It took a few years to get here, but I have found someone who loves me for who I am (depression and all), and I have learned to take a stance for when I think something is wrong. You will get there. Believe in yourself, and don’t make hasty decisions.

    Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Pingback: An email from a 30 year old Indian man, “Marrying a divorcee and an older woman.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  26. Dear LW,

    I will not focus on what you should or should not do. That is for you to decide. But, Speaking as someone who had similar experiences (and thoughts) in an arranged marriage, like you, I too have an aversion to ‘painting myself up’. When I used to go meet guys (and their parents) I wore jeans and a top. Simply because that is what I usually wore.

    My question to you is when you are emotionally invested in the older guy, how much of an effort do you put in getting to know the guy who is meeting you through an arranged marriage?

    I met my husband through this way, and am friends with some of the guys whom I met for marriage but we did not click ‘that way’ but gelled along well nonetheless. First meetings are AWKWARD. For you and for the guy. Hardly anyone talks.

    What I had done was I had insisted we talk via texts and calls BEFORE we decided to meet. And had insisted to talk/skype/meet as often as I want before taking the decision. Also, the meeting with parents and all is ok…I had insisted on meeting outside in a coffeshop or some such place just the two of us…all these lessened the initial awkwardness and the conversation flows as you already know about the said person.

    But all these tips are based on IF you are really interested in getting married this way..

    Like

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