What kind of life and future can a woman expect with a man who has made it clear to his parents that he would not marry her without their approval?
How does the email writer benefit from being married ‘into this family’? (because she would not be marrying the man alone)
Sharing an email.
I am an American white girl with a Punjabi Sikh boyfriend. He told his parents about me from the very beginning. They were open to the idea and agreed for us to spend time together to see if we wanted to get married. We wanted to marry. They refused. I was confused. It was too late. We were already in love!
For months, he called them and tried to convince them to approve our marriage. They cried, they yelled, they threatened to disown him. They told him to never come back to India. He was the reason for their new sicknesses. He was the reason they were now bedridden. “What would society think? She won’t be able to cook Punjabi food. She will take you away from us.” They repeated all of this on a daily basis. Somehow, some way, he got them to agree to meet me. We were so elated. We flew to India bearing smiles and gifts. I adorned my best salwar kameez. I was polite and demure. I looked through all their first daughter’s wedding photographs. I did everything any other Punjabi girl would have done in my situation. Then a neighbor came over and gave his two cents on our possible marriage. He was very opinionated and very negative about me. His mother began crying and refused to speak to me. My boyfriend cried. And then it was all over. We changed our flights and flew home early from India…defeated. Why would the words of one person be enough to change everything?
This was almost one year ago. Since then, my boyfriend has cried and begged. He’s pleaded his case to them to PLEASE agree to our marriage. He made it clear to them he will not marry me without their support. He will not leave them behind…ever. They refuse even to this day. They continue the emotional blackmail on a daily basis. They have X, Y, and Z health problems now, where as before he met me they were in perfect health. They’re bed ridden. They’re dying…..because of HIM. They continue to send him profiles of other “suitable girls”, even though he protests. He says fine, then I will never marry ANYONE if you don’t let me marry her. They said fine, don’t. It appears they called his bluff too.
At this point my boyfriend wants to give up. He’s completely brainwashed by them. He believes their health problems are his fault. He believes their unhappiness and my unhappiness is his fault and his fault alone. He thinks he’s a loser. He can’t go on seeing his parents “suffer” like this anymore. I asked him who is going to be there for them when they die? He says he knows no one will. That he will die alone.
Why is he so blind to the clear manipulation and control of his parents? Why is he not able to see through it? Why is he not able to stand up against them? I know he desperately loves me, but he’s willing to lose me for them. I just don’t understand it. Now he is willing to make everyone miserable for the sake of his parents when if he married me we could at least try to be happy and hope they will come around. I can’t imagine that they would disown him forever. They have no one else. Their elder married daughter no longer speaks to them already. My boyfriend claims this is why he cannot abandon them- because she did. He feels completely responsible for them in every way. He tells me he has tried every thing he can to convince them to allow us to marry and there’s nothing left in him. He said if I think if anything then I should go and do it. I can’t think of anything I can do to change their minds!! I just wish I could show him the light of love. 😦 Help!!
IHM: If there was no emotional investment, would the situation appear different to the email writer?