“My suspicions were correct. He contacted me yesterday and asked me to get back together!”

More drama has happened since my last message to you and your readers. We broke up about two months ago and haven’t spoken to each other since. Recently a friend of my ex bf contacted me and I found out my ex is “torn from within” and has been working on changing his parents stance against our marriage. He said that things are finally looking good and that my ex will be calling me as soon as it’s finalized in his family home. He said he did not do so yet because he doesn’t want to keep hurting me by getting my hopes up if they end up standing firm against us. This is all news to me! I thought he was done fighting and done with me! I’ve since tried moving on in whatever ways I could. I’ve been reading your blog’s history religiously to gain more insight and have seen a therapist. Now that my ex bf may come back with a proposal I’m suddenly really nervous!!! When we first met I was naive, he was naive, and we both thought we would all live as one happy family. The hell that they have put us through has shown me who they really are. The stories I’ve read here on IHM have also shown me what life likely would look like if we were to marry. My question to you all is, if you were in my shoes, what would your new demands and/or compromises be? If you are married now, what do you wish you would have voiced from the beginning? Is there a way we could make this work if he does come back?
My first request would be that I do not agree to live with his parents… at least not in the beginning of our marriage. I think given their ill treatment of me in the past and his inability to totally put me first, I am completely nervous about that sort of living arrangement. Also, I now think we should have, and deserve, time alone together to be as a couple before inviting anyone else into our home. If he can’t agree to this then there is NO DEAL.
What other suggestions would you give to me?
And then: 
My suspicions were correct. He contacted me yesterday and asked me to get back together! I told him I would take some time to consider it. When we speak next we will discuss what our expectations are, what we are willing and not willing to compromise, and if it’s possible at all to move forward together.
I would like it to be shared on the blog to get everyone’s perspective on what my reasonable expectations could be. Or any warnings for my possible future if I continue. Honestly, after reading your blog (and, of course, my experiences with his family) I’m very nervous to marry him!! How can I be sure he would put me first? If I were viewing this situation as a friend I would tell my friend to be very cautious. That her demands (whatever they are) must be met or else walk away. 😦

59 thoughts on ““My suspicions were correct. He contacted me yesterday and asked me to get back together!”

    • My suggestion walk away, the hold his parents have on him will not reduce. Please think about this: Will he stand up for you against his parents ? If you believe he will then go for it. else walk away.

      Liked by 1 person

    • DG will treat it as a second chance the universe has granted you, run, run as if there is no tomorrow. Finish up your karma with him bless him and move on. People do not change coz’ you want them to change they change coz’ their current behavior/actions are no longer serving them. It is very common for desi parents to put up resistance and then give in when son threatens what ever and once the wedding takes place they revert to their old ways. https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/emotional-blackmail/

      @phoenixritu, is very right about your differential growth during this period of separation.

      You guys are good people but universe may have different plans for you. If DG had known what she knows now she wouldn’t have wasted so much time and bore so much abuse in order to make things work out, it wasn’t the end of the world…
      Desi Girl

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I am a Punjabi Sikh girl..My advice to u would be to move on and not consider this..Parents are not going to change believe me ( might temporarily for the sake of their son, but their resentment will be always towards u). You might put some conditions now, after u r married what will u do if ur bf says u have to live together with them..before marriage promises are something else, after marriage reality is different totally. they will make ur life hell. the guy is so hung up on his parents before marriage, after marriage the guilt of marrying u will make him more inclined towards them. Being a punjabi girl and knowing about the mentality here, this is my advice. Rest, no one one knows what future will be like. All the Best 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely agree with this advice, dear LW, there is no point in marrying this guy. Initially he will promise the sun and the moon, after that, he will show his true colors. Please move on. I am sure you will find a wonderful life partner


  2. Sounds like your ex needed a change in status quo to really decide on what he wanted and take a stance. This is probably why he was able to convince his parents – because he probably sounded more confident in what he was doing. It is definitely a good sign that he may have finally realized that his parents are not always 100% right or think about his well being all the time.

    That said, you need to confirm what compromises he promised his parents in exchange for their agreement, if any. And if those compromises are OK with you. The parents are most probably going to try and pull you down even after marriage to show how they were right all along. Would your ex be able to realize when his parents actively try and sabotage his marriage and set boundaries? In the worst scenario, would he be able to completely cut himself off from this toxic relationship without affecting yours?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear LW ,

    If I were in your situation I would have confused like you are. Its very difficult to asses that whether he will take your side or not in future.But I would have let him go. You are already on road of moving on so move on before you enter in the cycle again.

    Last time many people said that it will be start of problem. Believe me it will be, whenever he will try to take stand for you they will blame you that you have stolen their son, all kind of demand will be asked, you are expected to pick the culture from day one and if you are not then you are useless this they will say in front of everybody. Controlling can happen from seven ocean apart which you have seen in previous phase.

    In case if you want to stay with him then do ask for assurance on following:
    1. You will not be moving with his parents until they are in a life threatening situation and same applies for your parents.

    2. Your culture will be respected that is they can not remote control you to wake up by certain time, cook certain food, dress certain way, celebrate certain festival, do certain puja etc

    3. No comparison would be made between the time you spent with your parent as couple than with his parents who are away. Since you are living in US your parent are physically closer to meet often. From your point of view it will not be big issue but from indian MIL point of view its a sin committed as DIL spends time with parents but not with In-Law

    4. He has to involve you in all the financial planning and decision making which shows them that you are also a authority.

    5. Don’t expect any dowry in from of marriage gifts.


  4. I believe you are better off without this relationship. What is the guarantee your demands will be met and maintained after the wedding?
    A male child is often paraded as a status symbol in the Punjabi Society. Punjabi’s fly to foreign shores to get their daughters aborted. We have the worst sex ratio in India. A woman is said to have done her “duty” once she has delivered a son. There are songs written how sisters long to tie a “rakhi” on a brother’s wrist. I do not mean to scare you but all this is what happens day in and day out in the Punjabi society. People may not talk about this openly. I agree your boyfriend is based outside India and does not subscribe to all these views. But his parents come across as the typical dominating and controlling in-laws.
    To cut a long story short, save yourself some trouble. You have broken up with him once. Let it be.He is just not worth it.


  5. Can I be honest? If you have apprehensions and see red flags now, let it be. He isn’t the only guy around, there are better men out there who WILL put you first and whom you live happily with … IF you get past this one.

    I really don’t think he will leave his parents’ home to move in with you, and if he does, they are likely to blackmail him no end and he will want to move back very soon.

    The main question is — Why do you want to be with someone whom you are so apprehensive about? Courting is supposed to be the fun and easy part of a relationship — moving in together is when you actually find out how the incompatibilities will affect your life.

    My advice to you would be to not go there.Walk away when you have the chance to make the cleanest possible break. Let your next update on this page be one where you are telling us all that you are happily married to a wonderful man who gives you your due! Good luck 🙂


  6. Red flags that I see:
    1. Their Elder Daughter doesn’t speak to them:
    For a married (Indian) woman, the support is usually greater from natal family than husband’s parents. If she is willing to forego this, I would be worried.
    2. He said he did not do so yet because he doesn’t want to keep hurting me by getting my hopes up if they end up standing firm against us.
    What is that supposed to mean? Is he marrying you know ONLY with their blessing? If they had stood firm, he wouldn’t have come back? He is even now putting them before you and him.
    Very dangerous. What happens if they change their mind later? Some neighbor passes comments? Will he abandon you then? Will you spend the rest of you life fitting in/ sacrificing since they sacrificed so much in allowing him to marry you?
    3. About making demands, you can make them, he can agree and then go back on his word once married. You will find it surprising, how many guys think once you are married, YOU WILL change and find all that you don’t like now more appealing, cause you are married.
    This trick work really well on Indian Women, once married we are expected to STAY married. So post marriage women find themselves doing all things they had specifically said they wont do. This way the guy gets to have his cake and eat it too.
    The whole we will do things our way works if both of you are into that. He seems more into what his parents want/ are OK with, you could find yourself doing that too!
    4. Not living together, at least not at first.
    That reminds me of Pinku’s Story by DG: https://girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com/page/12/?archives-list&archives-type=cats

    I feel you took the decision to separate after nasty experience and careful deliberation over a period of time. It was not a walk out in a lovers spat. And your instinct still points away (I’m very nervous to marry him!!)
    I wish you luck, send e-hugs and pray that you find the happiness which ever way you choose.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I too do not think it is would be worth [from what I have read] preparing yourself for another round of shock. Best to get it over with. Indian women who have grown up seeing this kind of issues still have big trouble dealing with it. And so for an outsider it is going to be very very difficult. Please save yourself all trouble.


  8. I still find it rather disturbing that the guy wanted to convince his parents even if it meant breaking your heart. He says he didn’t want you to put you life on hold, but he has now come back, assuming that you did do exactly that.
    Let me say this very clearly and unequivocally: Indian parents are hard-wired to interfere. Indian men are hard-wired to let them. Who is to say he wouldn’t need to convince his parents regarding his personal decisions in the future, say, if/when you’re planning babies, or even something as trivial as you getting a tattoo?

    That being said, there is no way any of us here can help you make a decision. You have to decide for yourself. But I can say for sure that you will need to set a timeline for yourself, say 2 or 3 months and set expectations – tell him you want to take that much time to get to know him better than you already do. During this time, test his commitment to you. Be vocal about your apprehensions, and allow him to present his case. Ask questions – as many as you can. When he responds, listen to his body language more than his words. If at the end of that timeline, you still see red flags, you will know for sure you can’t marry him.

    But do set a timeline – dragging it out too much is never a good idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My 2 cents. Once the trust has vanished in a relationship, it will never be the same. You have grown and become stronger. Spend your life with a guy you can trust and be happy with. With your ex bf, you will always have to have your guards up due to all the reasons everyone has written in these comments. Why risk so much? You have one life. Live it happily and peacefully. You have the option to. I sincerely wish you strength as you fight your situation and figure things out.


  10. Please please please.. do not get back with him.. You are already moving on..
    From your letter.. you are already planning to what to do after you get married!!! 😦
    Please consider not getting back with him.

    1. If he was really interested, he would’ve kept in touch at the very least instead of letting you go and completely shut you out while he negotiated with his parents.
    2. As someone already pointed out, his parents aren’t really going to change (nor is he).
    3. Irrespective of your demands before marriage, you will have to change (“adjust”) to keep him and his family happy.

    Please consider not getting back with him (can’t emphasis this enough :D)


  11. My advice will be to run away frm ths guy, I m Punjabi married for last five years wth a guy who is completely maa ka beta, frm my experience I can tell u he is nt going to change, watever promisese he made to , Aftr marriage there ll be a complete change, his parents will never change, thy as well as ur ex wll expect frm u to change n adjust .so plz be vry careful, if u want to give another try tell ur conditions n be very firm abt thm.All d best.


  12. I know some American – Indian marriages that worked out well but in ALL those marriages, the Indian parents whole heartedly-supported their son or daughter.

    I also know some American- Indian marriages that worked out well even when the Indian parents did not actually oppose the match but were clearly unhappy about it. But the Indian (either boy or girl) was not hung up on getting their “permission’ or “support” and he / she had not made that support a pre-condition for the marriage. He/she merely did them the courtesy of keeping them them informed and asked for support and blessings and simply went ahead with his / her plans when they refused. Some of the Indian parents came around later. Some are still mourning the loss of their off spring to a foreigner and they indulge in chest-beating in front of their relatives and friends to get their sympathy.

    Your case does not fit in with either of the above.

    There are too many red flags in your case.
    It’s not worth taking the risk.
    In your case, the opposition from the boy’s parents is clear.
    Your BF’s priorities are also clear. He values being a good son to his parents above being a good husband to you. That is part of old Indian culture which is still glorified today, and which no American can accept.

    Your BF may have now convinced them to allow this marriege possibly by making the usual threat “I will remain a Brahmachaari all my life! if you refuse.”
    In panic they may have reluctantly agreed.
    He will never convince them to welcome this marriage.
    Since their married daughter is estranged, and since they have plenty of health problems, there is no doubt they will depend heavily on their son for emotional and also financial support. They may even be forced to move in with you, if not now, then most definitely later. You may not be able to prevent it. Your family life wil be ruined.

    I will now repeat my short comment on your last post.
    Drop him.
    Move on.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. My advice would be to simply say no. Conditions put before marriage hardly ever make a difference because once you are married, it is very hard to do anything even if the conditions are not met.
    My experience is that one is better off without the relationship once it comes to point of having to put conditions to take the relationship forward.
    I repent my decision to day of giving in 6 years ago to my emotions and not breaking it off with my now husband. Dont get me wrong, I am still in love with him. But all the symptoms were there that my in-laws would make our relationship hell. I still put some conditions like not staying with them, at least for the first few years, etc. But when the time comes, those pre-marriage conditions dont hold and “old” or “sick” parents of the husband take priority over some promise made years ago.
    Its hard for me let go of my relationship now, but given a chance to turn back time, I would break it off at that moment when (in my case) dowry was first demanded.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. where is the Love in this? Is it still there? Is it being felt on both ends?
    We usually ask our parents but when we realise the clash, we put ourselves first. especially since we knew we were not the ones being unreasonable.
    I dont see the bond here. today you , tommorrow mom then you again. whats up with this. i dont know what’s right, i dont ever want to break up your love, your soul mate, but i dont get that feeling here. Maybe i’m wrong.
    but the only thing i can say is you’ve cut him off, let the past be past an dmove on. seriously do you want to deal with this mess your whole life. Its hard for love to survive unless its fed and this mess tells me thats a hard difficult path. why make your life harder – for what?


  15. Dear LW,
    Honestly I want to ask you that “What is it that you still love about him or the relationship”? He has made it very clear that you are secondary and his family is primary to him. It’s not upto you or us here to talk about whether he is right or wrong because each person has their own priorities in life – for some it is career, for some it is family…
    As far as his parents are concerned “THEY WILL NEVER ACCEPT YOU AND RESPECT YOU”. And considering how much he has been begging them for approval it only shows that in future you will be expected to listen to every demand of theirs and he will tell you that you should listen because “they agreed to the marriage”..
    If I were you, I would thank my stars that this boy was honest enough to tell me I am not his priority and I will not even think for one second. I will simply move on as I really think that I will find someone for whom I am primary.
    Don’t think that you are not worth anything just because this man treated you like this, you are worth better things in life and that is why the truth came out before its too late..


  16. Dear LW,

    Giving up on a relationship which you clearly value(d) so much must be very heartbreaking. Yet, I still think a short-term heartbreak is much, much, much better than lifelong unhappiness and resentment.

    The parents will never change. In fact, now that they have given “permission” to their son to marry you, in their eyes, you are eternally indebted to them and nothing you do will ever be a repayment for their “great sacrifice”. You will be looking forward to a lifetime of trying to live up to their arbitrary, unattainable standards and expectations.

    A boyfriend who is unable to stand up to his parents for the love of his life is definitely not going to change into a husband who puts his wife before (or at least equal to) his parents. Promises are mere words – are you ready to walk out of the marriage if they are broken?

    Sorry about this gloom and doom filled message. I have seen many Indian marriages arranged by parents, where the bride was specifically selected by the groom’s parents. Even there, the groom’s parents find plenty of faults with her and try their level best to meddle in the marriage (specifically to show the bride that they have the upper hand and to show their son just how “good” they are as opposed to the “evil” monster aka the bride). In these situations, it is expected that the bride will “adjust” and try to make herself pleasing to the groom’s parents – after all, she got to marry their darling diamond of a boy, right?

    So yeah, your boyfriend’s behavior truly does not augur well for the future. Yes, there is always a minuscule chance that your boyfriend may actually change for the better but do you want to pin your entire future on that highly remote possibility?

    You know you deserve better. Cut loose, move on. You’ll thank your lucky stars when you meet the guy who does not always treat you as second-best. Good luck and hugs!


  17. I went back and read every word of your last email. Based on what you described, it seems as if he is in an abusive relationship with his parents. He must first free himself from their abuse. We don’t know if he ever will, or if he does, will it take a good part of his lifetime to do so? I’m sure you are aware that abuse goes through a cycle of happy and unhappy phases. During the ‘happy’ phase, the abuser and victim arrive at certain compromises, things will seem rosy (until it all starts going down the drain again). Maybe he is in one of these ‘happy phases’, is feeling hopeful, and has chosen to contact you. Why would you want to marry someone who is struggling with his own demons? How can he be there for you, when he cannot be there for himself?

    You need to introspect on why you keep wanting to even consider going back to him, and back to the world of doubting and regrets and suspicion, when the whole wide world is out there, and you have the choice to pursue whatever makes you happy and find someone who loves you whole heartedly.


  18. You have gotten consistent advice to walk away. The pragmatic side of me agrees with this, the side that says that ultimately you alone are responsible for your self-care. However, a relationship built over a long time, in which you both have found lasting reasons to care about one another, should not be lightly discarded. Soul-mates are not easy to find.
    I might suggest something: ask your ex to read this blog and others where Indian DILs describe the erasure of their selves when they are in a marriage that includes interfering judgmental in-laws. Discuss these entries with him after he has soaked in the toxic soup. It would be a good test of his commitment to a life with you, to see if he is able to see things from your perspective, to see if can truly acknowledge your fears as legitimate. I guess the caveat is don’t be too eager to see progress if none is actually made. A lifetime of patriarchal immersion is not easy to detect, let alone discard.
    Feel free to ignore this suggestion. YMMV, etc.


    • Even I will suggest that talk openly about what you feel and ask your BF to read this blog and DIL related post. If he is able to think straight regarding the issues and understand the controlling behaviour of parents then you can give it a shot.


  19. LW,

    Your bf assumed you’d be waiting for him while he convinced his parents? And now he is passing off that as ‘didn’t want to hurt you by getting your hopes up’. I would say never get back with a person who let you stay unaware of things while he ‘finalized’ things at home. It will be a pattern – he will keep you out of the loop while he ‘takes care of’ the latest issue, and you will be out of the loop for your own ‘protection.’

    Your number one priority now is your happiness – current and future. Whatever decision you take now, you want to give it lots and lots of time and thought. Here’s my suggestion:
    1. Tell him you need time to think. Time in which you maintain no or minimal contact with him.
    2. Get in touch with his family and sister also. Talk to them without his being in the call.

    If I were you, I would decide against getting back with him. I would make sure I’ve given it enough thought, and close the matter well, so that later on when the mind wanders to ‘what might have been’ or ‘was it the right decision’ there is only a slight slight and a tinge of sadness and a rueful smile at how life teaches you, but no regrets.

    Insure you heart against future regret of things you choose not to do, as suggested by the famous quote:
    “Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.”

    I wish you peace and calm, now and in the future. Don’t do it. Don’t go back to him. End this chapter in a way that you have no regrets later.


  20. Dear LW,

    I know how exciting it can be to hear from someone you thought was out of your life forever. The butterflies that develop in hearing his voice again, and honestly, I was excited for you. However, after thinking it for a bit, the fact that you feel apprehensive about it and want to set conditions to begin with, it sounds like even if you gave into your emotions, a part of you will always nag you about whether or not made the right decision. I do not think you should jump to any conclusion just yet. It’s not about setting the conditions and then seeing if they get upheld after, because no one can guarantee that. You need to assess the situation again with your new found “glasses”. You’ve learnt a lot about our culture and how our parents can be, and this new information can help you assess the situation a lot better than you could before. You were heart-broken then, couldn’t believe the emotional blackmail, the extent of brainwash your ex had been brought up with…now you know. As someone said above, “listen to his body language”, read between the lines. Get as much information about the conversations with his parents, what did he have to tell them? What did he promise? How do you feel about those statements/promises? Question comes: if his parents turn around the day before the wedding refusing to go through with it, what will he do? I’m guessing you two are not from the same religion, will there be equal importance given to both ceremonies if you decide to do both? The ceremony may seem like a trivial thing to you, but it is not in Indian culture. I have a feeling his parents would want the ceremony their way….wedding “gifts” and all.

    Your nerves do not seem like “I’m so excited to see him again” nerves, rather “what will I get into if we get back together” nerves…and this is not the way to enter (or re-enter) a relationship. As someone said above, the trust within your relationship has been tainted. Trust can be rebuilt, BUT that requires time. What sort of timeline is he giving you once he convinces his parents? Does it mean immediate engagement and marriage, or will you have time to work on your relationship? Just a quick point: your relationship, if you get back together, will need a lot of mending. You have changed as a person, and regardless of whether he has or not, you two need to relearn this new version of you. That requires time, and a new dating/courtship ritual. Will you have that time once his parents are convinced? If not, then keep in mind, your marriage will be no different than the thousands of arranged marriage situations where the bride and groom are essentially strangers….you will need to be ok with this.

    I hope you take the time to really think through all your thoughts and re-assess the situation with your new knowledge. And whatever you decision you come to, own it. If you are with him because you think that is the best for you, then own it (his parents and all). If you decide to walk away, own it (heart-break and a very deep wound). Either way, the decision can only be yours.

    Good luck!!!!!!!


  21. I went back and read your original letter and then this one, and I cannot stress how hard I am hoping you run (and run fast) away from this guy.
    A relationship that requires demands/conditions will not work, whether that is a demand for dowry from them or a condition from you that you both don’t live with his family (and let me be clear I am not condoning the practice of dowry). Whatever the parameters are for your relationship it must be a decision that each of you reach separately at and agree on, not one that is reached at by either party due to an ultimatum. That is not the case for you and your ex, case in point:
    1. You believe that a relationship is first and foremost only between the two partners, he clearly has invited his parents to the party and his parents in turn have invited the neighbours. Even now post your breakup, it is his parents’ consent (which has not been given freely) that has led to his return – not love or the fact that he misses your life together.
    2. You want your home to be one that you share with your partner first and foremost, and clearly think it is something you require to set as a condition to him. Your home has to be the one place in the world where you are most at peace, if this basic requirement is one you need to negotiate to achieve – it’s a recipe for disaster.
    Finally can I also say the fact that his friend happened to call you to let you know your ex was “torn from within” just a few days/weeks prior to him calling you is NOT a coincidence. Do you honestly believe that if you had made it clear that you had no interest in talking to/about your ex and/or if you had expressed no interest in the information that your ex was ”torn from within” your ex would have called? I firmly believe one needs to be adult enough to do the hard work in any relationship, whether that be hearing from an ex directly that they have moved on or initiating the conversation that you want to break up or calling a friend to have a difficult conversation. From where I stand it’s not just you and your ex and his family and their neighbour, but also all of his friends that are in this relationship.
    I agree with all the voices who have come before me on this comment board to ask you to please not go back when you clearly have worked on moving forward.


  22. My 2 cents –
    1. Looks like his parents still matter to him and they may have agreed to yo guys because they saw that he will do anything for their approval. So, they know they can control you both in the future and he will not stand up.

    2. Still, if you feel a strong pull to be with him, go ahead and WAIT AND WATCH. See, how he behaves. See if he supports you in front of his parents or let them walk over you. Observe and decide.

    3. It is easy to say yes yes I agree to all the conditions but that does not mean he will follow through. Best thing is it is not what he says, it is what he does. Of course, if you tell him you will observe him for 3 weeks, he can fake it. Tell you him you want to take things slowly and base your decisions on his behaviour.


  23. dear LW

    Like all the advises above, I am going to say the same thing. Dont let yourself get trapped in this emotional drama, it’ll exhaust you more and will drain you out. Just stay away from him. Even if he marries you now, he wont be able to break free from his parent’s emotional trap.You’ll be constantly judged by them, you’ll be under their scrutiny for every damn thing. Your boy-friend will show his true colors once you marry him….or may be not. But when you are in constant state of flux about this relationship and not sure the future of your relationship, I dont think you should marry him. Leave toxic people behind, they are not worth it.
    My family moved to a rented apartment and our new maid told us about our neighbours who are old and their son lives in US:- Bahot dukhi hai bechare, bete ne bahar shadi kar li ( Poor old couple are very upset and live alone as their son married a foriegner). When my mother told me this, I was like F&*k it. Annoyed me to the core. Mostly Indian parents see their kid as some sort of property they have copyright over. And when son gets married, they feel they have copyright over on their son’s wife.
    After listening to all the advices, if you still go weak in your knees, then put forward the condition of not living with his parents in same house until its life-threatening. No matter what happens.
    Also, talk about no dowry, sharing expenses of the wedding, no emotional drama if you visit your parent’s house or your parents visit you, no expectations of gifts from your or from your family, no interference between you and him, how you spending your money and where you spending should be none of their business. You wanna have kids or not, now or 5 years later, that should be solely yours and his decision.
    Life moves on with or without people. If you dont marry this guy, I am sure you’ll find someone better than him who wont break your heart on as silly things as convincing parents. You have alot to think about. But just dont jump on any conclusion. Think from your mind and not from your heart, its matter of your life.

    Take care


  24. Letter writer here! Thanks, yet again, to all of you for your advice. It hurts to read, but I am here for honest advice and not to be told what I want to hear. 🙂 you all made very interesting points that have left me realizing that it’s highly unlikely this could ever work out with his parents being as important as they are to him….or shall I say the unhealthy relationship they share!?

    I’m nervous to marry him because I realize he could promise me anything now and change his mind later. That has already happened to me before in previous relationships! People often tell you what you think you want to hear because they want you so badly, but the charade can’t keep forever. :/ I wish that weren’t true.

    I will speak to him to see what he sees our future to be if we were to marry. I honestly do not know if he has changed his thinking with our months apart or if he still expects everything to be the same. It would be surprising to hear he isn’t willing to compromise with me at all, but this entire relationship has been a shock at how selfish people can be!


    Liked by 1 person

  25. Hey LW. The guy will spend his life taking his parents’ permission for everything. He isn’t comnig back to you merely because he wants to… if his parents still said no, he’d back out — no wonder he didn’t even tell you he was pleading with them (he didn’t want to get your hopes up, ‘just in case they didn’t agree’)!!

    His whole life will be about getting their permissions for this and that. If you marry him, they’ll try and control you guys even more, since he has already gone against their wishes and they stand to lose face in society. So it’s going to get worse, because they will try and maintain whatever kind of control they can to make up for the ‘blow’ they receive when their son marries you.

    Please, walk away. Run from him and his wretched parents. Find yourself a worthwhile guy, who is his own person. He has no right to tie himself to someone else when he doesn’t even belong to himself. Everyone here is advising you to get out, and we all know first hand how most Indian parents think – they can be extremely selfish and manipulative. Like I said in my comment on your last post, marrying him won’t be the end of your problems, it will be the start.

    The decision is yours. However, since you asked for advice, all we can do is tell you what we think the red flags are. Next time, please tell us all that you’ve dumped him for good and are happily single or with someone better. We want you to be happy, and we want to hear about it!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Has anyone considered the possibility that the parents may not have come around at all? LW have you spoken to them at all? If it’s just your boy friends word I’d be very suspicious. He may be of the mindset that he’ll convince you to get married and figure things out with his parents after since they can’t object once you are married.But that won’t prevent the drama after.


    • I have not spoken to them. I have only heard from two mutual friend sources that they have softened a bit. Unfortunately, his parents hardly speak any English and I am a beginner at Punjabi so it isn’t easy for us to communicate without their son between us.


      • btw he has told me 1000000 times he would never marry without their consent, so I am not worried about this happening. I was the one who suggested we marry and convince them later and he was against that.. 😛


  27. My take, its 1:0 situation, 1 for you and 0 for parents. trust me they will waiting for the next opportunity to get back to you.

    Now its upto you if you want to be part of this game. because in my experience, after marriage – husband will play the role of referee and that too a bad one……


  28. I might have some controversial advice here for you 🙂 Maybe just so that you look at both sides of the coin. Let me start by saying his parents are clearly selfish, manipulating and care more about what society thinks than their own child’s happiness. They’re in the wrong, clearly.
    Now let’s come to your boyfriend. While it is easy enough to say why won’t he stand up to them etc one must realize that it’s easy to say these things but children do feel some responsibility towards their parents. It’s not going to be easy for him to give them up – I married out of caste, and although my parents came around very quickly, even the few days of fighting we had made me feel like a terrible, ungrateful child. So if you have parents who are claiming sickness and what not, it’s not easy. Cut this guy a little slack. Also, if he said that he won’t marry you without their approval, he’s probably doing it because he’s (foolishly?) hoping that in time he’ll be able to create a situation where somehow both his parents and you are happy. It’s at least worth trying for, ain’it it? Of course, there has to be an expiry date on it – when he says enough is enough, I tried and failed. But merely the fact that he’s trying to set it all ‘right’ doesn’t mean he’s “putting them first” or “doesn’t care for you”. Trying to find a resolution instead of just walking away from people you love (unfortuantely selfish and maninpulative in this case) isn’t a terrible quality I think.
    His parents will NEVER FULLY approve of you even if you get married. It’s a reality you’ll both have to accept. Since you’ll be living in a different country all together and will probably be seeing each other for only short periods of time, perhaps every couple of years, you may still be able to make this relationship work. But if you’re going to be living with them, then God help you :). I don’t think your condition of we shouldn’t live with them is a) very usual – a lot of women prefer living independently with their own husbands/families, b)unattainable – as you’re living in different countries anyway.


  29. I will give the contrarian view. We simply do not know enough to preclude a dialogue. We don’t know what’s happened. If I was in your place, I would go back and have a conversation. Not to put
    conditions, not to judge, but to understand.
    To have an open conversation. To check expectations and put up boundaries. One of the boundaries will have to be that he is not the mediator between the parents and you. If they ill treat you, you will retaliate and not wait for him to come home or be nice.

    All children need to fly the nest. Without that, we cannot fly. The elder daughter has flown the nest, and that precisely gives me hope.

    That man has had the decency to put fight, but keep the girl away from it. He is now taking a chance in coming back to this girl and wondering if she would like to get together. He is obviously invested enough to do this . He values the relationship enough to persist. What are his motives? Did he do that because he had no other girls to consider? Nope. He did that in spite of the fact that the village and 10 around it will be happy to “give” him a “girl”. He has fought his own demons and those of his parents to persist because what he has with this girl matters that much. Lets not belittle that.

    ok, bring on the down arrows.

    Liked by 1 person

    • @howdoweknow

      Ofcourse the ex is vested in the relationship. That was never the issue in my opinion. The issue is totally ignoring how much you are vested in a relationship and being ready to walk away if you do not get your parents’ approval.

      Yes, the guy fought and got his parents’ approval. But what would his actions have been had he failed to do so? And what is the precedence it sets for the relationship going forward – are they going to be in a continuous frozen state, unable to decide for themselves until the parents come along and say it is ok?

      Also, I don’t think keeping the LW away from the details of the fight is necessarily a good idea. That clearly shows that he may consider some aspects as his only, even though it will affect both of them in the relationship.

      I understand that having been raised in an environment where questioning parents and going against their “wishes” makes you a bad and ungrateful person and that it takes lots of effort to overcome that conditioning, but that said, I feel it is not the LW’s burden to bear if she chooses not to.


      • I like you saw it from the guy’s perspective. He has been trying and fighting his inner demons, but the question, in my opinion was not how much he loves the Letter Writer. No guy would argue with his parents, even initially, if he did not want to invest in the relationship. The fact that they went to India to meet his family, etc, shows that he has been completely invested.

        The question comes, how long will he let his parents define his life? If he has truly made a decision to battle it, and regardless of what his parents say, marry the letter writer without guilt, that’s a HUGE step forward. I know, first hand, how difficult it is to deal with the guilt of being a bad child. It does all come down to when will he put his foot down and start living his life his way. And if he has truly decided that he is breaking free, which the Letter Writer will only find out upon open conversation with him, then more power to him and their relationship. BUT, if he is still in limbo about it, and marries her while in limbo, what will it take for him to break free? And is that fair to the Letter Writer? At the end, it is the Letter Writer’s choice.


  30. Run before you are marred for a lifetime! It’d be a super difficult time if you continued to stay in a relationship that has no gratification. It’s not always about compromises from you. This shall pass too.

    Back again, after a long long time 🙂 Hope all’s been well with the regulars here.


  31. Hi LW,
    My honest opinion? Yes, it is not easy to find a soulmate, especially a second time around. And yes, he does care about you, a lot. But as others have said, if you both do get married, the fact that his parents “allowed” you to get married will ALWAYS hang over your heads, especially your head. At every instance when you refuse to “adjust”, no matter how hard it is for you, you’ll be told, “Hey, they agreed to our marriage, so can’t you do this much?” “This is such a small price to pay for their happiness!” and so on. Are you prepared for this?
    And like the comment above says (though it is said in a sympathetic way), his parents will always make you feel that he could have had any “girl from any of the 10 villages, but he chose you.”…thereby making it a BIG sacrifice on their part…foregoing the dowry etc. among other things.
    Just think very hard before you commit to this.
    Good luck with whatever you choose!


  32. You do want to get married and want to settle down ,….I can sense that ! The guy wants marriage too !
    Its difficult to fall in love and out of love,work at relationship s find soulmates who do want to get married ! I get that too !
    But marriage is not sustained by love alone !
    If you decide to marry this guy,you might have to compromise, adapt ,…so will the guy and his parents !if you live separate which is ideal scenario interference will be minimal !
    You will have to accept that ! Marrying Asians particularly the Indian,Pakistani lot means living with large extended family, participating in things one doesn’t want to just save face /show up ! And sons are very important to this culture ! Being the wife you will have to show up,contribute with work and help depending of course on social status !
    It will be up to you whether you do it happily or grumbling ! Basically, you will need to make attitude change about his parents,about him post marriage etc etc ! Let me also tell you ,you can expect the worse once married and nothing might happen like promised ! Or the guy might keep his promises !
    Other option is to dump this guy and start all over again ,continue to remain single till another soulmate comes along ! Marriages are gamble and more so for women !
    Love has got nothing to do with living a satisfied life ,….good life is about being practical, lucky ,fortunate and healthy and making good choices ! !uck and fortune is not in our hands but other things are !


    • “Love has got nothing to do with living a satisfied life ,….good life is about being practical, lucky ,fortunate and healthy and making good choices ! !uck and fortune is not in our hands but other things are !”

      “Basically, you will need to make attitude change about his parents,about him post marriage etc etc”

      “And sons are very important to this culture ! Being the wife you will have to show up,contribute with work and help depending of course on social status !”

      Isn’t these above lines have made women’s life a living hell in Indian and Asian Community. Hey if you are having an unhappy life you are unlucky , Live with it never try to change thing around. Isn’t these same line parents speak when a married daughter is facing issues in her marriage.

      We are human and only species on earth which is blessed with expression of emotion. We are most expressive species made by god. Then why every time there is lecture that we should alienate ourselves from our feeling,don’t even show a remorse about it and especially given to women.

      LW should move forward. She has set of parents who value her emotion more than her number of failed relationship, a society who will not judge her for being failed and potential partner who will understand that past is past.


      • No I don’t think so ! There are people who have luxury to express themselves,money to reboot reinvent themselves, supportive non interfering people and they are still unhappy ! They are alone without any extended family !
        I am always cagey about the word happiness !
        I don’t think love provides happiness on its own !

        There is no doubt she could move on if she wants but the fact she is asking again the same question in this forum makes me doubt she wants to !
        To marry this guy she ‘ll need to be inclusive and try to know the guy ‘s parents before she decides to cutoff with them !!


  33. So we spoke…he wants to get married and still expects me to live with his parents. I can’t say I’m surprised, but I am disappointed after all we have been through that he hasn’t done a lot of thinking and come to a realization that it isn’t a good idea. He thinks they will love me, treat me with respect, and everything will be fine! I don’t know how he came to that conclusion based on their treatment of me since knowing him! I told him I want us to live alone if we were to get back together and I want him to put me first. He accused me of being “too Western” and stated he was afraid that would happen…..*sigh*


    • Listen to all our advices….He might be madly in love with you, but he wont be able to stop his parents from ill-treating you and that is almost inevitable. If he is ready to live alone with you, then you might give it some consideration…otherwise just move on. I am sure you’ll get a good guy soon.


    • I am disappointed in him too!!! You’re “too western”? What exactly was he expecting? You’d drop all that you’ve learnt in life and become a traditional Indian bride as soon as you marry him? Just because he is Indian, you should be too? You should follow his family’s traditions but none the other way? I’ve wanted to give him the benefit of doubt all this time, however, it seems like he is unwilling (or unable) to look at the situation objectively. He is caught up in his emotions and his guilt, and expects (as well as wants) what most Indian children are brought up believing will happen….one big happy family with no issues.

      If his concern was you being “too western”, did he not realize this when you two started dating? Did he think that after all the years of dating you, after marriage, you’d all of a sudden become Indian? I’d have you know (and him) that asking to be your spouse’s first priority and expecting equal respect from them is NOT being “too western”, it’s being human.

      A friend of mine, after 7.5 years of dating, was told that because she is black, her ex (who is Vietnamese) did not want to marry her because she won’t fit in his culture. BULLSHIT! These are facts that are in front of you when you start dating, and to use it as an excuse later in life is complete BULLSHIT!

      Honestly, if a person cannot put you first and give you the respect you deserve in a relationship, they do not deserve you…period.


      • Right!
        Show him this thread and tell him this is what most Indian women think….Mostly Indian men are conditioned this way….one big hapyp family wherein DIL behave like a meek puppet saying only Yes or No to whatever IL says….earn money and work like a horse in kitchen, serve his parents, forgett her own parents and siblings but her parents should bring gifts on all festivals for ILs…etc etc….
        They want a submissive person who shouldn’t speak her mind. THis is how an average Indian man is conditioned. And honestly speaking, this is how most of Indian women are conditioned too as they continue to take shit all their lives and dread divorce. However things are changing but it ll take another decade or so for women to fight this male opression.
        Leave him and move ahead. It ll take couple of months to get over but it’ll be lot better.

        Take care


        • One Correction. “DIL behave like a meek puppet saying only Yes or No” , DIL has to say YES. She has no option. She will be towed to line alongwith her natal family.


  34. Accused of you of being too Western?
    Accused you of simply being what you are and what you are supposed to be?
    You are American, aren’t you? So why should you not be western?
    He comes all the way from India to the west and wants you to be Indian?
    Tell him he must become Western if he wishes to settle in the West.
    I will repeat my earlier advice.
    Drop him.
    Move on.


  35. Pingback: A good divorce lawyer in Hyderabad? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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