“I gathered all my courage and I have confessed about my relationship with the guy to my parents.”

Sharing an email.

I wonder at the parents’ lack of interest in finding out who their adult child wants to marry. If the parents claim to be so involved (as most Indians parents do) and are so sure they ‘know better’, then how is it that they don’t want to be sure that he is not abusive and controlling?

What if he is an amazing person and someone just right for their child? How is it that this isn’t their main concern?

Also, with so much focus on seeking their parents’ approval, should the couple need to talk to someone, have second thoughts or sense some other issues, what would they do?

Here’s the email.

Dear IHM,

I am writing this letter out of misery.

I have been in relationship with a guy who is out of caste. It’s been three years now and I was always serious about him. My parents have been looking for many matrimonial prospects for me but somehow I gathered all my courage and I have confessed about my relationship about the guy to my parents.

My family is a very orthodox family and none of the guys in my whole khandaan have ever dared to have a love marriage. Everything gets fixed by the parents and once the parents decide the guy and the girl meet and after a meeting or two, when people get comfortable, they finalize the date and everything gets fixed and the next thing you know, you are married.

I have always hated the idea of getting married to a person you don’t know, and when I met this guy, he seemed perfect. I have done my engineering and am working. He has done his B Com and doing his distance MBA and working and earning a few bucks higher than me. He comes from a middle class family and I come from an upper class family. He only has his mother and his brother never keeps in touch with the family and his dad expired when he was little. His mom did all the efforts in bringing up the boys. These guys do not own a home but this guy who has working hard is planning to buy a home about in the 2016 first quarter, and by this I mean a 25 yr old guy is buying a home! It’s a huge thing indeed!

Forgot to mention I am 4 months older to him and a total spoilt brat.. l lived in all the comforts till was living with my parents now that I have talked to my family about him, they don’t seem to like the guy.

1- He is a North Indian and we are South Indians.

2- He is a B Com and I am an engineer (the fact that this guy is studying long distance is not a fact that my people would want to consider)

3- He does not have a home right now.

4- His brother doesn’t live with him… implying that his background is not great.

5- He does not have a financially sound background.

They say that if I forget this guy I could get settled in a family where I would have all the comforts and everything.

So when I came back to my hometown my parents discussed this matter and somehow this lead to a huge fight and and my parents told me that if I marry this guy I would have to cut off all my ties and leave my home, and forget about going away from home to the big city I am working in, as they wouldn’t allow me to go there if I chose him. I have always been professionally committed, so I convinced them that I would do anything they say, so they let me work… so they made all this bhagwan ki samne kasam khao n shit n made me promise that I would do as they say… Now after all this drama I thought that instead of lying to them and going back to this city, I should stay here and tell them that I need to marry the one I love.

I tried convincing them but its of no use… and my dad’s health keeps on going from bad to worse.. and everybody is convincing me that I should do what my parents say otherwise that could make my dad kill himself…

But the point is all the time that we had the discussion all they were interested in was ‘what would people say’ … ” log kya kahenge, thukenge hamare upar,… kahin muh dikane k layak nahi choda tumne…. dhoka diya… ullu banaya” …

Moreover about the guy, he seems to even “likh ke dene ko tayyar hai” (willing to give it in writing) that he won’t hurt me, will keep me always happy… but my family just wouldn’t even meet the guy. They haven’t talked to him ever… all the blames and assumptions that they throwing at him is because of the fact that North Indians people are this and North Indian people are that and stuff.

I am so confused. Please help. I can’t lose my job and I can’t lose my parents and I can’t lose my man.

Related Posts:

What would you not change for love?

‘My parents will be ignored and ridiculed. No one will let them forget my so called shameful behaviour.’

Marrying out of caste, Divorce, and Nuclear Families are Social Problems or solutions to Social Evils?

How would you react if you knew your son (or daughter) felt this way?

“Can you people help me on this? I only want to convince my parents that is all.”

Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.

“When the time comes to support them, they back out and and blame the children for misusing their trust and freedom.”

LOVE – Is it a Crime?

Against your child’s happiness

An email: I want my parents to know the real me, why do I have to lie?

18 questions for young women (and men) of ‘marriageable age’.


86 thoughts on ““I gathered all my courage and I have confessed about my relationship with the guy to my parents.”

  1. Another Disaster in making I must say . What does the LW see in this match is beyond understanding . We need to be prepared to read another sob story after 6 months if this marriage takes place . The LW would be then saying how she married a guy of her choice against her parents wishes and how he changed overnite . How he does nothing and lives on her salary.

    Dear LW


    • You’re entitled to your opinion, but i hope you realize that your comment is not very helpful?

      Also, it’s a little sexist. You’re saying that having a B.Com degree, a job,buying a house and completing an MBA is not enough for a man? Why do you assume that he “does nothing and lives on her salary” or will do so in the future?

      Why do you assume that it will be his fault if the marriage turns out to be a disaster? By the LW’s own admission, she is a “spoilt brat”, what if she can’t handle marriage?

      Side note, not to you but to people in general, can we stop painting working,educated women as helpless victims of big,bad,evil men? There’s no need to replace one type of sexism with another.


      • @ PURPLE ROSE
        when did i say marriage will not work because of HIM , its your hidden perception that you read in my comment . this marriage if happens will end in a disaster i said that and we should be prepared for another sob story in six months time
        My reasons , well if the LW will ask i will give
        @ Fem
        Did you even read my comment ? where did i say there is any thing wrong with the guy


        • This is where you said the marriage will not work because of him:

          The LW would be then saying how she married a guy of her choice against her parents wishes and how he changed overnite . How he does nothing and lives on her salary.

          What do these sentences mean? You’re clearly predicting the marriage won’t work because of him.


      • We are not painting or stereotyping:) We are just making observations. I used to think (even after my experience) that “not all guys would be this greedy or violent”. Nopes. When a guy in our office gets engaged, the first question to him would be something on the lines of “how much did u get?”. After that they would pound him down with “You have lost all your freedom..”, “Enjoy your last few days..” blah blah – all this inspite of the fact that all those guys’ wives pack very nice food for them, take good care of their kids, and obviously don’t beat them (but give lectures/whining, according to them). These folks greedily grab everything their wives & in-laws give, enjoy all the services of their wives, but will complain that they are trapped by marriage blah blah. These guys can fix up huge complex systems at work, but won’t spare a thought to listen to those “whining/lecture” and try to solve it.
        As I mentioned in my other comment here, one of my colleagues was married to a lower-earning guy. She also paid his EMIs for a few years. They had a kid in the meanwhile. Till the EIs were over, everything was fine. She was very happy & had no complaints. But once she finished paying all of his EMIs, he turned violent.

        Yet to see ONE girl whose husband has not greedily & authoritatively grabbed money from her (exceptions being those who automatically, without batting an eyelid handover their salary or give free access to their bank accounts to their husbands).
        I’m not stereotyping. I’m trying to find a good-case, but not finding any.


  2. Your parents are emotionally abusing you, and the sooner you snap out of this situation, the better. They have no right to tell you whether or not to marry someone. They can surely give you advice, but that is the extent of their involvement. About the job, as an adult, you can decide whether and where to work. You don’t need your parents’ permission.

    Also, as an aside, you are both only 25, and it may be too early to be considering marriage unless you’re absolutely sure. Do think very rationally about what marriage is going to be like for you – the living arrangements, your relationship with his mom and brother, the chances of this being an equal marriage, financial responsibilities, whether you both want children, etc., and then make your decision.

    Good luck.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hi LW,
    I am in a similar and not so similar situation as you are. The difference is in your case you are sure about the guy you want to marry and your parents are stopping you, in my case my parents wouldn’t mind (they wouldn’t be thrilled) if I marry my guy friend but I am not so sure myself.
    Call me selfish, but contrary to popular Bollywood and FB beliefs, I don’t believe that love conquers all. Its extremely hard work to keep a relationship all fired up and going and meeting your life goals and expectations at the same time. I myself am not a fan of marrying a stranger for stability or money but the end result of both marrying for love and marrying in a stabilised arranged marriage is that you will have to face a lot of issues, its only different issues that you might have to deal with or in some cases more in a love marriage when you suddenly discover that the man you loved is a completely different human being as a husband.

    So the first question to ask yourself is are you ready to face the financial instability, your parents not being too happy with your choice and possibly aunties talking about how you could have done better? The other thing is because your parents are not happy with your relationship, if you marry this guy and have any problems or issues in the future, your parents seem to be more like the I told you so rather than the lets help you out sort of people, are you ready to deal with that?

    If you are ready to deal with everything to be with the love of your life, then the only thing you can do is try and convince your parents. Your parents are typical Indian parents who believe in blackmailing the children with health getting worse, promises and breaking ties drama. You could take the route of, fine I wont marry him so that you are happy but then I can’t marry anybody else and btw thanks for giving me no options and ruining my life. Then go on with your life and stick to not seeing anybody for marriage.

    No matter how wrong you are, it is the parents duty and responsibility to hear the child out and try and understand their feelings. If they don’t want to understand what your priorities in life are and even respect you enough to at least meet the guy then I don’t think your parents deserve any respect from you either. If they don’t understand that you are an adult and a separate individual with your own set of goals and priorities then forget the marriage for a while. First try and make them understand this simple point that you are not an extension of their minds, values and belief systems. change your style and behaviour. Don’t cry and create drama, but be very calm, confident and assertive. Talk to your parents like you know what you want and if you cant get it you will go on with your life but you will not marry any guy who comes along just for their relief because your happiness and health matters as much as theirs. Your parents will try and do all childish behaviour and probably even provoke you but you need to have very calm and mature replies and approach to all this. Carry on for a few months and see if this works?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Every successful relationship takes effort, whether it’s arranged or not. However, basic incompatibility cannot be “worked” upon. A certain amount of compatibility of temperament and personality needs to exist if the marriage is to have even a chance.
      Emotional maturity plays a huge role in any relationship’s chances of success. In an arranged marriage setup, one is given very little time to gauge emotional compatibility. All relationships require hard work and commitment, but the existence of some basic compatibility and synching makes it easier.


  4. Again Another one 🙂 hmm lets see.
    JOb, Parents,Man.
    Job – you dont have to worry about it’s not to be included in this drama. you are 25 and the constitution of india deems you an adult free to work where you choose . so that’s off the table.
    Man – If you are sure and think its a good thing it’s a good thing. 5 yrs down the line if you hate each other what can you do? human nature – no guarantees in life.
    Parents – you may not want to lose them but they may not mind losing you. That is not a choice you have to make. you are not the one telling them it’s them or him, you are being inclusive they are the ones setting boundaries. their problem not yours.

    So what exactly is the problem ? you want your parents to love and embrace your choice.? some parents are not mature enough to do that. some mature later some never. that’s not in your control. they have done their job, raised you, educated you given you a brain to think. do what is RIGHT for you. be an asset to society .be happy.
    They may come around in 2 yrs. most of them do anyway. I’ve seen v v rare cases where they dont accept a love marriage after a few yrs. its their face saving gesture. dont ruin your happiness for that. but be prepared to accept their decision.

    Love does make life easier, marriage to a loved one is more easier in the initial stages. . but it is also like all marriages , work and effort and cooperation. IMO it doesnt matter if its your choice, parents choice or mutual choice or whatever, in the end you and he have to take a decision to make it work or not. so whats better than starting out with someone you love. atleast that’s one thing out of the way.

    Money, class, power, etc., etc., are society’s boundaries on you . are your parents saying that if he was upper than you class and more educated , richer its fine??? now i have a beef with them. if possible ask them my question please — 🙂
    I have 2 boys i don’t care who they marry, as long as they are happy. Now we are reasonably wealthy, my boys have homes in their names. they have parents who baring a huge catastrophe will leave them quite well off . They are educated, going to be well educated. They come from v tight knit loving family all talking ot each other .
    so meets their criteria of an excellent match. please ask your parents if i should reject their choice without an house in her name, top class education. high upper class as mates ? without even meeting the girls? is that right? will it make my boys happy?

    where does happiness stand in the big scheme of things with your parents.

    Seriously it makes my blood boil when parents of girls expect the sun moon and stars and refuse to consider anything but the v top in money and education to marry their girls , yet boys can go low? why should he be earning more than you he should earn to his capacity. why should he be more educated than you .
    As a parent isnt that one screwed up priority to set for your child? dont they want someone who loves you regardless of status, wealth, class , house and what not ? ask them. and yourself.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Agree with you Radha. This is one of the biggest stereotype because of which men and women are discriminated. Men are breadwinner hence they have to be provided with best and women are dependent hence have to be submissive.

      This attitude is propagated whether it is a love marriage or arrange. If men are assumed to be breadwinner then women will always assumed to be homemaker. Her homemaking responsibility will be made her number one priority whether she likes it or not.

      Liked by 1 person

    • >> “parents of girls expect the sun moon and stars and refuse to consider anything but the v top in money and education”
      I beg to differ. Indian parents just “dream” of such matches, but in reality don’t look for all those.
      If that was the case, only IIT/IIM grads would have been able to get a bride.
      LW’s match seems eerily close to mine (which was an arranged marriage)
      I’m an engineer from the one of the top, prestigious tech institutes in India.
      My parents weren’t too picky about status of the groom – my mom only wanted someone who would treat me well.
      My ex husband was a B.A from a nondescript college (where they all bunk whole days & watch pron, as I later got to know after marriage), and an MBA from a not-so-great distance learning institute. 7 years older than me, and hence was earning marginally higher than me (again, similar to LW’s case, though LW’s friend is also her age)
      We left it to “Let God make things happen if it is His will”. It never even crossed our minds to even compare educational background. Blindly considerd marriage as a scarament where nothing else should matter. This is the typical middle-class Indian parent/girl.
      Long story short – even nondescript arts college guy wants tens of lakhs in cash & gold (talks about the jewelery in his Andhra friend’s bride’s photo, and makes assumptions that his car was actually a pre-marriage gift from his FIL.”Tens of lakhs” was many years back. As we all know, inflation has gone up like anything recently. Now a days, guys talk/dream about crores). He was so greedy & physically violent. An attempt on my life made me run away from that hell hole for good.
      Many of my friends have married lower-educated guys. One married even a much lower-Earning guy, and paid his EMIs for a few years. Till the EMIs were paid, he was nice. Soon after they got over, he turned violent. Started claiming that he gave “too much space” for his wife & in-laws, which he shouldn’t have, etc, etc.
      When you compare day-dreams, girls’ parents’ dreams may be bigger. But in reality, guy’s (and his parents’) demands & expectations are mind-bogglingly higher than the other side’s.


      • I too disagree with Radha. Its apples to oranges comparison. Her parents concern that the guy does not own a house might stem from the fact that when a guy buys a house it is meant for the entire family of the guy to live as a joint family(if his family does not own a house) if they are living like that previously in a rented house as well. So that would make it a default joint family set up for the girl especially in this case when his mother has brought him up as a single parent amidst difficulties. A guy not owning a house is not that much of a problem as his family not owning a house because that duty would inadvertently fall on the couple and its not easy to buy two houses even with the income of two working people. So the most probable solution to it is live as a joint family.Whereas its not expected out of a girl to buy a house for her family so it doesn’t not matter to guy’s family if the girl owns a house. She might chose to do so but most parents of the guy would not have thought of it.So here the girl’s family does not seem to demand sun and moon just some financial equality in terms of responsibilities. Finance has an impact on social setup and day to day life which cannot be denied. I might be accused of making assumptions but when you decide to get married its better to see the redflags, get clarity and then move ahead. Her parents are wrong to refuse to meet him because he might be able to explain an alternative living arrangements or think of a solution to it. I believe its possible to work out a solution if your partner is understanding. However most men would not even acknowledge it as a potential problem and would expect a joint family with MIL as default set up. It is discussion like this which brings the transparency to how compatible you are.


  5. Listen, OP. When you’re a child or a dependent in a typical desi family, life sucks. You have to put up with being controlled and abused in all sorts of ways by your parents because you have no choice except starving.

    But when you’re an adult? Especially an adult who has a job and an independent life?

    You have all the power.

    Wake up and smell the coffee, my dear! Your parents are desperately trying to make you believe that you still need to make all the sacrifices to earn their approval, but the exact opposite is now the reality.

    Because let’s think of the worst that can happen, shall we? Either they disown you, or you leave them. That’s the worst, right?

    Think, then, about who will be worse off?

    You lose nothing in your life except for these controlling, manipulative abusers. You will be sad for a little while, and stressed for sure, but I GUARANTEE (from personal experience) you will very quickly begin to feel happier without your parents than you feel now while still under their thumb. When you don’t have them controlling you and guilting you and manipulating you, you have no idea how free that feels.

    Now think what THEY lose. They lose their (hopefully) beloved daughter forever. Trust me: there are few things a parent fears and hates more than totally losing their child. And! Your parents will lose face in front of their whole community. And think of the future! They lose all access to any potential grandchildren! (Whether or not you plan on having kids, THEY will calculate this as one of their losses if you leave or if they disown you.) Trust me, there is nothing your parents fear more than this. Even if they hate you forever, they will bend over backwards to keep you happy in order to keep seeing their grandchildren occasionally.

    The point I am trying to make is this: the consequences of cutting off relations are FAR worse for them than they are for you.

    They know this. They are desperately trying to keep you from realizing it.

    So here are two things you need to do now.

    (1) First, choose how to deal with your parents.

    You can tell them to butt out of your life and stop interfering in your choices – and if they want to disown you, so be it. Remember, they KNOW that the consequences are way worse for them than for you. This is what I did, and it has worked really for me. My parents are so terrified of losing access to grandchildren that they can’t even IMAGINE trying to control me anymore – in fact they happily follow all the rules I set down for them. (Mainly rules for interacting with my kids, e.g., they are never allowed to say anything sexist or casteist or homophobic when my kids are around, they are not allowed to hug or kiss my children unless my kids happily agree to be kissed or hugged, etc.)

    Or you can just walk out on them and be done with them yourself, if you are tired enough of their bullshit. (My sister did this, and she says it has been the best decision of her life. My parents, meanwhile, are going mad begging her to talk to them again, promising never to try to control her again, crying and pleading and groveling, but she is happier than ever without them in her life.)

    Or, if you don’t like conftontation, you can choose to lie your butt off to them to keep them happy while doing whatever makes you happy. I know all of us were raised to think we OWE our parents the truth always, but the older I get, the more I realize that the truth is a privilege that needs to be earned. If your parents will harass you and blackmail you for making your own choices, then they deserve to be lied to. Abusers have no right to your truth. Lie freely, happily, and guiltlessly. I know it’s easier said than done, but I spent 8 years lying to my parents left right and center about my boyfriend, and it was the best decision I could have made at the time. I felt guilty then but I have zero guilt about it now, in retrospect.

    (2) Make a commitment to live your life on your terms. Marry the person you choose. Even if that turns out to be a mistake, and you end up divorcing or whatever, the most important thing in life is to make your own mistakes. You live, you learn. You live under another person’s rules, you are just a slave forever.

    Liked by 6 people

    • the downvotes again 🙂 why? whats wrong in what he/she is saying. it’s a fact of life that kids dont ask to be born you have them because you want them . it’s your duty to raise them to be independent productive member because you had then. they owe you nothing the sooner parents realise this the better it is for all.
      they are not future PF fund. the most you can expect from them is love provided you have shown them how to love unconditionally !!!
      I agree with nandini. I walked out and never looked back, i loved my parents too, luckily for me i figured out the signs of control and emotional abuse. 🙂
      zero regrets after many decades. of course they came back but something was lost in between, the trust i guess, the blind trust that parents will only do what is right for you. which is v sad for both sides.
      im happier with min contact, my life has been fantastic with zero parents around. my bond with hubby stronger and fab sons , they keep contact with grandparents but do not get manipulated, its all in the open and trust me that makes for a happy easy life.


    • Second “Zalakwrites”. Loved your comment. It’s so very hard to stop trying to be a “good Indian son/daughter”. We are raised to be grateful to our parents for giving us life; which is absurd and hypocritical, because no child asks to be born. I have always thought that the Indian parenting philosophy is extremely selfish and self-serving. An Indian parent apparently does the child a huge favour by bringing it into the world.


  6. Dear LW,
    I would suggest waiting for a couple more years before marrying. If you have’nt already, please do discuss everyday practical aspects of your relationship with whoever you consider marrying. Things like, how big a home will you both be able to afford and will you have a say regarding it’s size and location, will there be enough room for you both and his mom (if she will live with you since she is alone), how it will it be like to live in this situation, is the guy and his family conservative/orthodox in their thinking, will you be expected to behave/live according to the wishes of his family, will you continue to work and be financially independent after marriage (this is perhaps the biggest one), will you miss the physical comforts of your parental home and are you prepared to ride out the rough phase should there be one, are you both secure about yourselves, or will there always be a thread of insecurity/perceived inferiority complex in your relationship, how is his relationship with his Mom, does he respect women in general, how do you feel when you are with him, do you feel free, joyous and optimistic about the future, or is there always a cloud of anxiety and gloom.
    I can tell you from experience that people change and equations in a marriage change, whether you select your own partner or do it the arranged way. And no, love does not conquer all. You can’t completely predict the outcome either ways, but you can ask the right questions to get a good sense of what you are getting into. This blog is full of stories of things gone wrong after marriage, and a common thread in many of them seems to be that both partners did not discuss aspects of everyday living before they married each other.
    I wish you good luck.


    • Absolutely! You have articulated my exact thoughts, but so much better.
      Dear LW, it’s very important that you two share the same values system. One can make compromises about an occasional wet towel on the bed, but on key things that matter you two should be on the same page. Love is no doubt essential in a marriage but so are mutual respect, trust, generosity and friendship. Just be sure you have thought about these things.
      Good luck!


  7. Dear LW,

    A few points:
    1) Do not get married to rebel against your parents. When people are opposed to something you like and want,it’s quite human to just dig your heels in and not see red flags.
    2) You love your boyfriend, that’s great. But are you compatible? Do your goals match? Do you have the same financial habits? Does he have different expectations for wives and girlfriends?
    3) You met him when you were 22, now you’re 25, that’s still quite young. There is no rush to get married, to anyone. Not every relationship has to culminate in marriage.
    4) Think long and hard about the above and then decide. You don’t need your parent’s permission.
    5) The north vs south divide is quite cliched, but cultural differences are real. What expectations will your bf’s mother have of you? Is she the kind to give you space and respect or will you be expected to conform?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Old familiar story.
    Nothing new.
    Standard solution.
    If you are sure, stand your ground.
    Don’t yield to emotional blackmail.
    Refuse to see any boys that parents arrange for you.
    Stick to your guns.
    Stick to your job (very important)
    Stick with the man you love.
    If he is meritorious, and loves you, he too will agree to wait.
    Don’t let caste matter.
    Caste will die out in another generation or two.
    Postpone your marriage by a year or two and stay in touch.
    At 25, you can do so.
    He too will be better off financially after a couple of years.
    Watch the situation. If you both are still committed to each after a year or two then simply go ahead.
    Don’t worry about losing parents support.
    In most cases after sulking for sometime, they will come around.
    If they don’t, then such parents are no assets. You would have lost nothing.
    All the best.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Good, sensible advice overall 🙂
      “Caste will die out in another generation or two.” Will it? I wonder sometimes. I hope you are right. But I see weddings in my family (nieces/nephews) getting more “prestige”, more elaborate, with more demands, more gold, more obsession with horoscopes, more obsession with degrees and titles and salaries, than say in my parents’ generation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • @ Priya,

        I feel like people in my parent’s generation didn’t expect so much from the bride and groom. They were ok with the couple building a life for themselves.Now, people want the groom to already have a high-paying job,car,house..the bride should look beautiful, “modern” and cook well, but still be highly educated, she should work so she brings in more money.

        As for caste, it will never vanish because for the upper castes, caste=property and wealth.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Will caste vanish after a couple of generations?
          Some of you have doubts.
          Okay, may be I was being a little too optimistic.
          As long as OBCs and SC/STs are given benefits caste identity will continue to exist.
          But even then, for us, the educated middle and upper middle classes, and where the couple is planning a nuclear family, or even settling abroad, it will cease to be such a major consideration as it was a generation or two ago.
          Or perhaps there will be reluctance if one of the couple belongs to any of the so called forward and the other to the so called backward class.
          But at least, internally within these two communities caste will matter less and less.
          The next generation will see so many the off spring of these mixed caste marriages for whom this would matter even less than it does to many of us now.
          During the time I got married and for a decade before that, I could count inter caste marriages in my circle of friends and relatives using my fingers.

          During the last 10 years I have seen so many of them that I have stopped keeping track. Admittedly in all these are marriages the girl was economically independent.
          I have yet to see an intercaste marriage arranged by the parents, but in the next generation this too may take off.

          Who knows. Time will tell.


        • It’s not just about upper caste being associated with wealth and power (is that in North India?) In South India, the “upper caste” (I come from one, so I know first hand) is generally middle class, educated, not powerful or politically connected, but still keep their superiority, mistrust, and distance from other castes. Recently, one of my nieces married a guy from a different caste. The bride and groom seemed happy and the groom also seemed to meet all the crazy demands for education/salary/etc that the elders required. At the wedding, many of my aunts were pitying the bride’s mother and saying, “I hope this fate doesn’t fall upon us.” The general feeling was one of gloom. A “less qualified man from a poorer background would have been far better than a different caste person”, one of them said, “why did she do this, as if there are no men left in our caste.”

          I also agree with GVji’s comment below that all caste based quotas should be removed if we are to ever make caste a non-issue. I think government paperwork should stop requiring us to fill out ‘religion’, and ‘caste’ information if we want to start looking at people as individuals.


        • @priya
          What is your solution to caste-based discrimination then? And how do you think mainstream Indian society should atone for the sins it has committed against the so-called “lower castes”? Because other than a systematic, large scale re-structuring of Hinduism,I don’t see any.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Purple Prose – Instead of atoning, we could try and create a more level playing field. Blame no one, just make it easier for all to have a fair amount of opportunities.

          – Many jobs are ‘reserved’ socially, like those of cooks, priests, scavengers. I blogged about this here, Cooking jobs reserved for some?

          – Often reservation works through ‘contacts’ – relatives and friends from privileged classes and castes facilitating via information about opportunities (shared only with those deemed deserving i.e. privileged castes) and direct reference or ‘sifarish’
          – through opportunities to train to clear entrance exams, whether or not one has the aptitude or interest, or through denial of opportunities to others who can’t afford the coaching classes though may be more suited for the job (Imagine this in fields like medicine and engineering or teaching),
          – then there are first generation learners – we don’t know how many like Dr Ambedkar never get any opportunities
          – Then the stifling via social bullying – like hate crimes. Students from ‘reserved’ classes face including in educational institutions.
          – Objection to intercaste marriage is only a part of the problem, I think, our obsession with skin colour, the way our domestic helpers or anybody who doesn’t earn much or is less educated (it’s a complex system) accept it that they can’t sit on a chair in the middle class homes they work in – they sit on the floor and eat and have separate chairs. [More about chairs, Only chairs are offered. No charpoys. ]

          I think intercaste marriages where couples create and take on their own new names, like AbhiAsh, Brangelina or where they reject caste based surnames are the fastest way to end this hate crime (because it is a Hate crime).

          Liked by 1 person

        • @ IHM

          I agree with what you say about level playing fields, reservation of jobs, harmful cultural practices etc.

          I have to disagree with you about blame though. I think the atrocities committed against the “lower castes”, that are committed even now, need blame to be assigned to the guilty parties. They need punishment. We need people to feel ashamed that they ever took part and still encourage a religious practice that is ok with calling a person, an actual person, “untouchable”. That actually justified this saying that they are the “feet” of god.It needs to be condemned the same way people condemn slavery and genocides. It is our shame as a culture and should be treated as such. It shouldn’t be shrugged off as an ancient practice, it shouldn’t be defended, it shouldn’t be ignored. And people who proudly behave this way even today need to be ostracised.

          I somewhat agree that inter-caste marriage is the solution here. It is just one step.As long as the word “caste” is in our dictionary, it means we are implicitly ok with the idea of “high” and “low” castes.

          Also, perhaps i misunderstood you, but,”brangelina” and “abhiash” are not their actual names, just “cute” titles bestowed by the media. As far as i know, aishwarya rai goes by “aishwarya rai bacchan” after marriage.
          Completely agree about people choosing not to use caste surnames.

          And about reservations for OBC/SC/ST in college… I’m against it, it’s a bandaid for a bullet hole. It’s just a symptom of a sick society.


        • It’s also deep-rooted, ancient prejudice. My rationalist, erudite father, a proud IITian, firmly believes that Brahmins are more intelligent and intellectually superior to Dalits. This sentiment is widely shared by other Brahmins in the extended family, who derisively call Dalits “the Jai Bhim brigade”.

          My uncle, a successful surgeon, is emphatic in saying that Dalit surgeons can never rival upper-caste surgeons in skill and ability. Caste prejudice has ancient roots, and will certainly not disappear in a couple of generations.


      • Absolutely. My paternal uncle got married married in 1978. Well into the wedding rituals, the priest asked for the gotras of the bride and bridegroom. They discovered that they had the same gotra. Stunned, the priest looked askance at the parents.

        A minute later, my grandfather whispered in his ear, “We don’t care, proceed with the ceremony”. My grandfather never cared for horoscopes, gotra or astrology. All his children were married without having horoscopes and nakshatras compared.
        Now, horoscopes are de riguer even in choice marriages.
        Aishwariya Rai married a tree to rid herself of her “mangling daksha”. Two steps forward, one step backwards.


  9. I am not sure what to say. All I can do is give you a different perspective.
    My North Indian brother married my (now) South Indian bhabhi totally against my parents wishes. In addition to the difference in caste and culture, family backgrounds were an issue too as my bhabhi did not appear to be “khandaani.” Yes all the usual drama happened.
    After the honeymoon period was over, for some reason they both started seeking my parents approval. They started doing every possible thing to please them.
    Ofcourse my parents behaved like they they had been wounded for life and could never forgive them for their “wrong doing.”
    The relationship between my brother and bhabhi was also affected. I am not sure what happened but they both wanted to separate on and off. They dont live with my parents but would visit them on some weekends.
    These relationships lingered for 7 (!!!) years. Seven years that could have been spent forgiving, loving and getting to know one another as a family was instead spent in bitterness due to ego.
    My parents and then even her parents started to insist on them getting separated.
    This stress from my side of the family gives me headaches. I worry so much about all of them. My brother keeps regretting the way he got married (and not the woman he married).

    The point is, I hope you resolve all the relationships and set your boundaries (and their expectations) before you get into any commitment. Marriage is never a solution to any problem. It just resurfaces and adds on to the existing problems in the relationships around us.
    I wish my brother has listened to me when I told him the same thing. But the age of 24 is all about risk taking I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    • why? what disaster as in they splitting ? or parents blackmail?/ why should there be a disaster if you people fall in love and get married. its done that way the world over. and nowadays also in india.
      my spouse family is in the services so very much less money than my indistrialist dad. they house in india where his parents live in a house thats 1/4th the size of my parents. they bought a tv when he was in college and have never owned a car – ever. while there are 2 cars uselessly standing in front of my parents house doing nothing..
      he paid his way thru college , had ot work before he could even pay for his GRE , while daddy supported my whims and fancy.
      like i said no disaster as yet….


    • You might have a point in advising her not to marry immediately. It does happen that people don’t think things through when they are in love and do things they later regret. However, brushing the letter writer’s experience off as “sob story” is exactly the kind of callousness that drives people into making the wrong decisions, simply because they don’t dare any more to confide in others about their fears and doubts. For you it might be an old story, for her it’s the first experience of that kind and consequently very upsetting and painful. So please, if you really want to help the letter writer, try to communicate more respectfully.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Very nicely put aurinia. I was brimming with this one thought – wait she is a person, a human being, maybe in love for the first time, unsure, unsupported. She is not so nameless/faceless that we can lump her in some category and predict her life. But you said it so much better.


    • This woman is not a statistic. She is a living, breathing human being with emotions and feelings. She is not writing here for your entertainment. Marrying someone against their parents’s wishes do not automatically lead to a disaster. The problem is not with her boyfriend but with her parents. If you can’t be helpful, at the very least, don’t take out your own frustrations on her and write irrelevant and rude comments which have nothing whatsoever to do with the OPs problem! That would at least be highly appreciated. Thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I thoroughly, totally, and completely agree with what Nandini is saying here. The only thing I’d like to add comes from experience – I am a very different person at my 30+ years than I was a 25. So, I think It’d be best to wait a while for the situation to get sorted out. However, you can start taking baby steps toward your own freedom. Get set in your work, make that a top priority, for now. Keep working on your relationship (with your special one) and keep protecting subtly but firmly from your parents’ opinion rather than going all out. Block conversations and unsolicited advices if and when they come your way. Let your parents see that you are growing into your own person. Simultaneously, start mapping out your future with this guy. However, all this “likh ke de doonga” and related stuff seems a bit exaggerated, frankly speaking. Because, getting married is one thing, and staying married is quite another. staying happily married is the name of the game and it requires a lot of skill. DO you guys know what it will be like when all the drama has died down? It’s not romance and happiness all the time. It’s helluva lot of work – any relationship.
    Forget for a moment the idea that your parents will stop supporting you. Wait till your guy actually buys his own place at 25, as you have said. Wait and watch, stay committed to your work, your life, your individuality, and your role in both relationships (parents and the guy). But give this some time. If your man makes good on the talk of buying a house and being financially settled, your parents know he means business. As for caste, well, it has been a constant scourge! it works both ways too – while your parents might have issues about you marrying lower, his family may have issues of another kind for the same reason. I’d say, stick to your guns if you will, but take your time deciding on this.


  11. Dear LW,

    What your parents are doing is completely unacceptable. If they do not want to treat you like an adult its their problem. However you owe it to yourself not to bow to the unreasonable pressure that your parents are putting on you.

    Having said that, let me tell you my story. I was in love at 24 with someone from another caste, region etc. My parents subtly told me that they are not too fond of him, as they were not sure if he was just a friend or anything more.. At that point I was very sure that I wanted to marry him. Luckily I got the opportunity to move to another city and thankfully I took that up. I stayed there for 4-5 months with roommates till my boyfriend took transfer and joined me. And let me tell you that something amazing happened when I was away.. I grew up, I started understanding myself better and I became very confident. A year later my boyfriend and I broke up because we realised that we were actually not compatible.

    I think if I had not moved away, I would have married him and that would have been a disaster (I really think that living away from family gives us much more clarity in making life decisions.) My ex and I are still friends and we agree that it would have been really wrong had we ended up together.

    All I am trying to tell you here is that life is not a bollywood movie and in all probability your parents are not going to have a change of heart overnight about the guy.So dont make this a war of wills and please don’t look at marriage as a way out of the toxic environment at home.

    Try to spend some time with him away from all the noise and then if you two still think that you are right for each other then please go ahead and get married.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dear LW,

    As we have lot of stories about issues with MIL, are you sure your boy-friend’s mother will accept you since you have a South Indian background and younger than him? Did he speak to his mother about you?

    Also, will you be able to ready to live in a joint family set up with mother in law? What if huge amount of friction crops up between you and her? Your parents might not support you at that time, do you have any back-up plan for that?

    Also, what if this man changes after marriage and put his mother first on everything? Like what to cook, who will cook, who will do household chores, how much money to spend on house, car etc? Do you guys have this much understanding yet?

    I would suggest you to wait for an year or more to see if you both still going strong.
    Sometimes, issues with inlaws or parents can harm the rock solid love or relationship.
    Tread carefully


  13. Two things:

    1. Parents who blackmail and emotionally abuse their children (esp. daughters), those who are primarily concerned about “what others think” are not particularly helpful when a daughter really needs help. So even if you have an arranged marriage to someone they pick, don’t expect them to support you if you need their help. Such parents are completely self-absorbed and self-centered. Your parents don’t care if you lose your job and won’t let you go back to work in the city if you don’t “obey” them? Proves my point. Your career and future do not matter much to them. If they judge your boyfriend without ever meeting him or talking to him, they aren’t really concerned about your well-being.

    2. If you marry the guy you love, are you going to stay with his mother or in your own nuclear family? Can his mother live next door or close by by herself? At least in the beginning of your marriage, insist on a nuclear set-up. Start off how you mean to go on. It doesn’t matter how wonderful his mother is, you need your space. Else, it puts a lot of pressure on a marriage.

    Think about these things.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Then there is something called remote controlling that doesn’t need living under the same roof; one has to just make a phone call to ask what time she woke up, what did she cook, who came to visit you…
      Healthy boundaries is an alien concept in desi context. The minute man marries out of his own volition he automatically becomes guilty of depriving his parents right to select the “bahu” (daughter in-law) hence all his energies go into make up to them by pushing his wife to meet their never ending expectations that their imaginary “bahu” would have met with her inherent qualities by virtue of caste, class, clan and what not.
      Desi Girl

      Liked by 1 person

      • Very True DG!!!
        Also, I as such do not have a problem with parents saying a “NO” provided the reasons are right like if they have met the guy and sensed something or if they talk to the girl and explain to her about the changes in lifestyle that she will have to adapt to, whether or not she will be able to adjust with future MIL etc.. These are issues that parents ideally should be concerned about.
        LW, my case is similar to the lady above who broke up after moving out. I too met my ex-bf at 22 and broke up with him at 25. The thing is my parents pointed out a lot of things that I had obviously overlooked thanks to my bollywood perception of marriage at that time. My parents asked me valid questions like:
        1. How I plan to adapt my lifestyle to his because like you I too am from a extremely wealthy family and my ex-bf was not. You know your lifestyle best and I will not say things like money does not matter etc. Because lets accept it, ultimately we all work for money, we all look forward to the appraisal, it’s just very natural. So automatically it’s not possible to adapt from living in a huge house to living in a tiny apartment. Some can pull it of, some cannot. Either ways only you are a best judge. Also, there is nothing wrong in expecting a good lifestyle, so don’t beat yourself up thinking that you are selfish or just shallow to be thinking only about money.
        2. My mother spoke to me at length about the joint family system.She took tremendous amount of pain to explain to me everyday that joint family is not what it looks like on TV. Like in your case my ex-bf’s parents did not have any income of their own and were entirely dependent on him for a living though they were living in another city. Both my parents asked me what my plan was if his parents moved and if he spends all his money on them and I alone will be left to run the house.
        3. My parents also asked me exactly what DG said, that what if he changes after marriage just because his parents had done a huge favour by agreeing. So my parents asked me to observe him around his family and to tell you the truth my ex-bf was an entirely different man in front of his family. Even to go out we had to seek his “mommy dear” permission. So you get the drift right, you must move around him with his family around to actually see through things.
        Also, as soon as I got my job my ex-bf started contributing less and less to our eating out and movies etc expenses and started sending more and more of his money home because apparently my family was rich and his parents had struggled to bring him up so he felt he owed them.
        So, you see it all got to me and we broke up after a lot of drama but thankfully I did not get married to him.
        Another thing is that the north-south divide is for real. Trust me, but it should not happen that after the wedding you will be expected to wear a pallu on your head and say “Maa ji” from the time you get up.
        So while your parents might be creating a ruckus for all the wrong reasons, you utilize this time to at least get a fair idea of how your future might look like and be very open about asking and clarifying your concerns. DO NOT ASSUME anything and lay down your expectations very clearly in all terms – financial, personal, things related to your parents (even though you might not have any relation with them later on, still ask about helping out your parents as this will really give you a peek into his ideas). For eg: I had told my ex-bf that irrespective of how rich my parents are I would like to help them when they become old and he flat out refused saying “girl’s parents are not to be looked after by a girl after she gets married”.
        So ya, take time, you don’t even have to tell your parents or BF anything, just ask the right questions in a polite but firm manner and seek answers and then take a decision because at the end of the day you have to be practical. God forbid you leave your parents and then you are unhappy with him, then you will have no support.
        And if you break up for any of the above reasons, then you can just go and tell your parents that you did it for them and earn brownie points but keep all the points in future for any guy. I did the same thing; broke up with my ex-bf after all the drama and happily told my parents I did it for them and they are extremely happy and have not forced me to get married or anything. I just told my parents ” Look I listened to you and broke up, so now you listen to me and let me live and work”. That’s it, they have not come back with any proposals.Don’t feel guilty about lying to them because truly speaking honesty is not always the best policy!!!
        Summary = Ask questions, seek answers, wait and watch and then proceed.
        All the best!!!


        • I agree to some of your reasoning except honesty is not a best policy with parents .Lying about bfs ,gfs completely especially if one is serious is no way to start negotiating with parents . All parents are not same .


        • Brownie points 🙂 now that is what DG calls manipulation. Empowerment means making choices, good or bad and taking responsibility for them irrespective of the consequences. Empowerment means doing the right thing without fear and ulterior motives.


      • One of my closest friend experienced this remote controlling. They lived in Seattle and in-laws all the way back in Bangalore and yet every penny her husband spent or invested was with his parents’ permission. Skype calling to explain how Lakshmi puja should be performed. When to fast, when to cook a feast and whom to invite, etc.


  14. Okay I might sound cynical but here is a big red flag I see. The LW has mentioned that she is relationship with yhis guy for three years and is serious from the very begining. I think its extremely immarure to be serious about someone from tge very begining because you both do not know how compatible you both are no matter how much you love and care for each other. Secondly giving it in writing that he will not hurt her is too vague. Does he know what all can hurt her? Does she know what all can hurt her? Some men think women living in an enmeshed family will do nothing to hurt her but the wife might feel claustrophobic. So the man can go ahead and claim that he has done nothing to hurt her afterall he is not hitting her. So convincing the parents should be least of your worries. First its better to get a complete picture about how your life will be after getting married. As for your job how can your parents stop you from working? Why do you even have to beg your parents to let you. Please work on your confidence before you get married else peopl will walk over you if you hamd them over your power in a platter.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Speaking of that, I heard there is something called “Friends with Benefits” in India where a guy and girl try a live in relationship and see how they can manage. Maybe the LW can do that with her boyfriend and test how much compatibility there is.


        • Lol..that isn’t ‘friends with benefits’. Friends with benefits is where you have a friend and then you occasionally have sex with him/her. It’s called benefits because you get physical needs fulfilled without being in a relationship. A live in relationship is like a marriage but without actually getting married


  15. “so they let me work… ”
    They can’t LET you work. You have the RIGHT to work.

    LW, please live on your own, pay your own rent and bills, manage your own finances, cook your own meals, clean your house, and become a full fledged independent adult. As part of such a life, you will find yourself facing many challenges alone – something broken in apartment, and no one comes and fixes it. Problems at work – no one seems to empathize or give useful suggestions. A friend may be unreliable or surprise you with his/her meanness. You will be hurt. But you will learn from these experiences. Whom to trust. How to take it slowly. How to establish boundaries. How to protect yourself from other people’s negative/destructive emotions. How to rely on your own common sense. How to find your strength when everything seems to be falling apart. This is the process of growing into an adult, a process that is often denied to many women (perhaps even some men) who go directly from college to first job to marriage. This growth will ensure that any relationship you have will be handled with maturity and full control over your your choices.

    Your boyfriend – if you feel he is a good person and loves you as much as you love him, keep in touch with him. No need to rush into marriage. As for your parents, their control will automatically diminish as you take more control of your life.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Let’s get one thing straight, at this point getting all three isn’t possible. The best possible scenario is you get to keep two, job and the guy, and hope eventually the parents will agree. It is a dangerous path to take and there are risks involved.
    Having gone through the same scenario, i can assure you it is not a pleasant prospect but a necessary one at that. As Lord Krishna said to Arjun, sometimes Dharma in on your side, even though family is not. All you can do is hold your ground and say this is where i stand. It will pain you either ways, choose one with less pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Came here to offer hope. This was us once. I’m from a super educated, ‘liberal’ and rather intolerant family. My husband is North Indian and is the first in his family to graduate from college. My family refused to meet him, behaved as though I had announced I had an incurable disease!

    We stood out ground.

    16 years later, we are still very happy, have a middle schooler, lived in 2 countries & 7 cities, and have 3 masters and a PhD between us. What I’m trying to say is, life moves on. If you are sure it’s what you want, don’t let anyone bull-doze or blackmail you out of it. If it doesn’t work, that’s ok too. You’ll move on. Still don’t let anyone hold it over your head.

    All the best!


  18. LW,

    Like everyone has said. Don’t jump the bandwagon and rush into marriage. I would say discuss your personal issues with your partner first before going into the next step. Marriage is a complicated process, regardless it’s love or arranged. I don’t think it’s clever to marry someone just because you “love” them. There are a lot of responsibilities that come into married life, so it’s best to talk this through with your partner and see if he’s on the same page. So basically the outcome will depend on what steps you and your partner take to sustain the marriage and if you both share a mutual commitment and follow through it, no matter what obstacles you face later. If there is no mutual understanding and support, issues will no doubt arise and it will stress both of you out. As someone who witnessed a failed marriage in my own family, I would suggest you be careful and deeply think about the aspect of marriage with your boyfriend, view each other’s perspective and insights and decide what you can tolerate and what you cannot. From there, you can try to make adjustments convenient for both of you.

    As for your parents. Yes they will be mad at you for a while and will “disown” you temporarily, but if you can show and prove to your parents that your marriage with your boyfriend is very stable and strong as time goes by, I’m sure your parents’ perspective will change a little bit and they will see a different angle. Part of the reason why I think they are against because they are not used to people who don’t share a common linguistic/cultural ground as them, so it’s foreign territory, especially if they don’t have much exposure to diversity. However, it will also get them out of their bubble and see a bigger picture of things, and they will end up embracing and loving him. Only saying because a similar situation happened to one of my cousins who married a Non-Indian. My aunt and uncle were not keen on them getting married, but now 11 years later with three children and living the happiest life ever, my aunt and uncle see a new perspective, and top of that LOVE him to death. My aunt says often that my cousin’s husband is not her “son in law” but her own son. I think it’s cute to hear that lol.

    I don’t know why, but I have been hearing there has been conflict and a certain divide between the North and South, and also a separation among Indian states. Even here in the US, there are separate Indian associations like Tamil Association, Malayalee Association, Telegu Association..etc. Why not one big Indian Association where we all can learn and embrace all of India, not just our state? No one wants a sense of unity even though they are educated and have exposure to different ethnicities/cultures and I think it’s sad to say. I seriously wish we can become ONE India rather than staying separate.


    • Why not one big Indian Association where we all can learn and embrace all of India, not just our state?

      Because often, beautiful things get wiped out when you try to force different cultures into one big “indian” narrative. This leads to a lot of defensiveness from people who feel sidelined and superiority from the dominant culture.The whole concept of “india” is quite artificial, we’re more a federation than a country.


      • When bringing that thought up, I was actually thinking in terms of being open to everyone’s own beliefs and celebrating festivities, and learning about them. So when thinking about it, it was not about wiping out all the beautiful traditions, but adding them in so others can learn more about the customs and traditions. Example maybe the malayalees can host a Onam celebration and involve all the Indians to learn and gain insight about the festival, as well as doing Kerala dances, skits..etc, and enjoy the yummy food lol. Same with Diwali, Pongal.etc where people from that specific region can implement and share their celebrations, so others can learn about it. I agree that there may be some things best to be kept separate like when following religious traditions, lifestyle..etc. I’m of South Indian descent and have participated in a Holi fest one time, and I’m not even a practicing Hindu, but a Catholic. I loved it and would like to do more. It’s like how they host the Greek festival or Lebanese festival in my region. It’s not only Greeks or Lebanese who attend, but people from different cultures love to explore it, and learn more about it. I did go to a Greek festival one time and it fun doing the dances :). But I do see the point that some people who have a big ego, big on “culture” or not fond of other cultures or ethnicities may be against it. Hence you do make a good point that this divide makes the term “India” artificial. Maybe best then to make all the Indian states into separate countries.


        • “But I do see the point that some people who have a big ego, big on “culture” or not fond of other cultures or ethnicities may be against it. Hence you do make a good point that this divide makes the term “India” artificial. Maybe best then to make all the Indian states into separate countries.”

          I don’t think you understood what i was saying, or perhaps I am misunderstanding you. It’s not people who are big on “culture” that are the problem, it’s the fact that you cannot condense diverse cultures into one generalized narrative.

          As for dividing Indian states into separate countries, I don’t see why the behaviour of Indians in the US should affect Indians living here. As far as I have seen, most Indians abroad are quite different from the Indians who live here.It’s not people’s ego that makes “India” artificial, it’s the fact that we are an incredibly diverse country. Even within a state, there is a lot of diversity. Indians who live here are far more tolerant and far less “regional” than the Indians who go abroad. The state divisions you refer to have more to do with unfair allocation of resources that any “cultural superiority”.

          Liked by 1 person

    • India is one of the most diverse countries in the world. There are lots of cultural differences between someone from Uttar Pradesh and someone from Tamil Nadu–about as many differences as someone from Poland and someone from Ireland. Makes sense to have seperate associations.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. First of all, both of you need to understand the differences of your backgrounds between yourselves. Talk, talk and talk and I cannot emphasize more on this. Talk about what is important “for both of you”. How you will handle situations if the parents do not agree and if and when they come around. The first, second, third and the last and the most important thing in your lives HAS TO BE—both of you. Will you consider each other as your first priority always, have each other’s backs, will not let either parents take your partner for granted, will you both stand up for each other in all situations? Are you the kind of couple who will give each other space, who will support each other? Are you the kind who will talk out your problems, trash it out between yourselves and not be swayed by opinions and judgments of others?

    Talk about your future. Where you will live, when you want to invest in big things like a car, house etc. Talk about kids. When “you” want to have them. If your parents come around after you have kids and want to be a part of their life, but still will not acknowledge or accept your husband–how will you both deal with it? How will you celebrate your festivals–the south indian or north indian way? Are you the kind of people who doesn’t bother about all that? Are you both happy just praying in your own way, going to a temple just for the bdays and anniversaries?. Or are you people who will get influenced when your family says “you should do this, you should do it this way. Ask him/her also to follow this way”. Are you the kind of person who will want to please your parents when they agree saying “my folks agreed to our marriage, so let’s do this for them. My mother is alone, she believes in this thing, so we have to do this for her”. If you both belong to the latter category—your marriage will result in doomsday. Because, trust me, all these small issues will become huge tornados in your life, ONLY IF YOU LET THEM. Live your lives your way, the way you want to.

    Parents will never listen to their own parents, but want their children to always listen to them. It’s a matter of prestige and ego. This ego is what brings in all the problems into a couple’s life. If you are the kind of couple who will listen to what they say, ignore it and go ahead and do things they way you both want, you will be happy. The caste, background and wealth issues will always be brought in. There will be jibes “you were brought up so well and in such wealth. See how you are suffering now. Is there any need to live your life like this”. You will have to hear such type of things. Though you live happily and show them you have made a good life for yourselves, they will not accept that and create stories how unhappy you are with each other. Will you let it affect your lives? There is so much manipulation and emotional blackmail that will happen—all to ruin your life, not to make you live happily. Will you be able to realize all that and stand above all that?

    As the others said, marriage is not a solution. It brings a lot of problems and there has to be a lot of adjustments and compromises—first between the couple. Even a simple phone call from a parent can lead to a huge fight between you both. Do you trust each other? Do you share everything with each other? This is what will help you in the long run. When you know your partner a little longer and are willing to take on their quirks along with their normal nature it surely helps in the marriage.


  20. You still have time to know the guy and his lifestyle inside out before you go about fighting with parents ! The first step will always be to get your parents to meet the guy before they refuse . Maybe you could just bring the guy home straight away if they don’t agree to a formal meeting .
    You have to consider how much will you conform after marriage . All love and arranged marriages I know is where the girl has fitted and ‘changed’ herself to fit into in-laws house ….its not pleasant but its true.The rich ones,the very educated ones all have changed their surnames,went to live with in laws without questioning at least in the beginning of their marriage .Some fought later and moved out or started a nuclear household when they had enough money .
    You need to be clear about this . Also money is a factor ……..mostly middle class upbringing is different than people who have always been rich so think and talk about your lifestyle and expectations too .
    An aside,my colleague just sent me alink to a blog on how white women adapt Indian culture and follow it better and adjust better and do more to please in laws ! When I read the blog I was shocked ! Not only that lady left her family,country behind but also her upbringing, culture and clothes ! She started wearing Indian clothes,sindoor and other accessories of marriage, did the mandir rounds and touched everyone’s feet !
    I mean here we are arguing on this blog at how women are forced to do things after marriage ,and these white women married to Indian men are showing how dutifully they have picked up Indian culture and the food !(sarcasm)
    I wonder if they even know what they are participating in when they do things blindly to please their Indian husbands and in laws .

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think it’s more about buying temporary peace than “selling out” to the husband and in-laws. The LW wants to marry another Indian, and there is such virulent protest. Imagine how strong the opposition is when the woman is a “gori”.

      For some unknown reason, it’s somehow the duty of every Indian daughter-in-law, “gori” or not, to “win over” the husband’s parents. It’s as if the man has done the woman a huge favour by marrying her, and now she must prove worthy of this “honour”.

      Most times, the husband himself does nothing to build bridges between his wife and his parents — passive spinelessness comes easily to Indian men. So the “gori” wife feels grateful for every scrap of acceptance thrown her way, and bends backwards to receive it.


  21. Ugh, Indian parents. The biggest disservice they do their children in situations like these is they make ‘getting married y choice’ into the goal and themselves as the obstacles to overcome. When actually ‘happy healthy marriage’ should be the goal and a lot of thought should go into compatibility and expectations (and none into convincing parents).

    Forget about your parents for a minute. Work on your relationship first of all.

    Are you sure you want to marry? What are his views on marital roles and what are yours? What if you agree to try living with his mum but then don’t like it and want to stay as a nuclear family? What if you want to start off as a nuclear family from day 1 so everyone has their space?

    Will you be doing all the cooking + cleaning and also working full time? Will he do half the house chores since you both work? Will he do it even if his mother complains against it and forces you to do it all? Does he understand that your personal choices cannot be compromised in the name of ‘respect for elders’? Do you understand the same about him?

    What bout finances? Will he want you to give your salary to him/ his mum? Will you merge your money or maintain separate accounts and contribute towards joint expenses? Politics? Religion? Does he understand that your personal food, career, lifestyle choices are to always be your own even after you marry?

    Does he believe in the patriarchal structure of marriage where you are expected to change your name and your whole personality?

    Talk about this stuff before you decide to marry! These are the preliminary discussions that you should be having before you make the decision to marry. Unfortunately you are instead focussed on how to convince your parents.

    I would say get out of there and go away for work first of all. They cannot hold you prisoner, tell them your career is important and stand your ground. Then go through all the above discussions with you partner, give each other time and see if you really are sure you would make a happy married couple.

    Once you’re sure, you’ll just have to discuss it with your parents and get them to stop being dramatic and start being logical. Don’t respond to drama. IF they are completely unreasonable, you’ll have to go ahead with your decision without them and hope they come around.

    Parents who have such traditional views are not much support once a daughter is married anyway so giving up your job and your man might still mean you end up without your parents and miserable in a bad marriage of your parent’s choice. You are an adult, take control of your life, give yourself time, make your decisions.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Lots of good advice/suggestions already. Anyway, my 2 cents :

    Among the 3 things you listed, your job is utmost important. Then, you have to prioritize between your lover and your parents. It might be difficult but you have to do it.But the most important thing at this point is to make it very clear to your parents – politely but firmly, that you love them and appreciate them; but they can’t run your life. You are an autonomous, living, breathing Homo Sapien and can think for yourself. Whomever you marry, YOU – and ONLY YOU – are going to face the music – good or bad. So it should very well be YOUR decision. Your parents don’t OWN you. They had a marriage once and they can’t decide about your marriage.

    It is a very good idea to stay by yourself and run a household and see what it takes. It will also make you more confident and could help you think through thinks reg the potential marriage.


  23. Don’t go ahead with this marriage. Life will become a struggle. You will end up spending all your energy trying to be a great DIL, great wife and feel terribly guilty for not being great daughter to your parents. This does not appear to be a good match in any way. U should get out of it while u can


    • Whats with all the assumptions? Life WILL become a struggle. You WILL end up spending all your energy. You SHOULD get out of this.

      Why? The email doesnt indicate anywhere that there is something wrong with the guy or the relationship. Yes, she may not know his mom well enough. The MIL could turn out into a monster, she could also turn out to be a very supportive, respectful and loving person. We dont know that yet. So lets not jump to conclusions and give unhelpful advice without any data to back it up.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. LW,

    The way you have gone about trying to convince your parents appears a bit immature; it sounds to me that you are seeking their approval, perhaps because you are not convinced yourself if this is. the right time with this person to take things forward. I sense confusion. On this core matter.

    If I was a parent with rigid views, talking would never convince me of a position. Time might, other people’s stories might. Either way, it would not happen overnight. Also, if my daughter was brought up in a certain way and she decided to marry somebody who could not provide what I thought was important, I would have misgivings. Maybe not throw a tantrum, but be very concerned. At least I would tell her to give it some time. Emotional abuse is not OK, but do you see some truth in their concerns? If yes, what can you do to address them yourself? An undertaking in letter is just silly. I would need to see full financial independence at the very least. Maybe wait till he’s done with house purchase and see how the cards fall after that?

    I endorse opinions given here that you should go and live far away, be independent, enjoy your time and your life on your terms. If if the relationship is true, it will survive this phase of your independence.


  25. Pingback: Bird Watching | Hitchy's World

  26. Hey LW,

    Not sure if you’ll see this since there are dozens of strong comments above, but anyway.

    I went through the same thing. I’m from a super conservative family (Tamil Brahmin; hate being casteist but think it’s important to give some context) and I was dating someone for three years. Dad had been “searching” for me for a while till I finally sucked it up and told him.

    It was hellish. He said I was killing him, he wept, we wouldn’t speak, my grandmother wanted to attempt suicide, drama drama every single day. It was ridiculously bad and I didn’t really say much, just that no, I’m sorry you are upset, but I can’t change my mind.

    I’m married now and super happily so. My family sort of caved in after they realised I wasn’t changing my mind, finally agreed to meet then boyfriend, and things picked up very quickly after.

    I think there are important things here, specific to you:
    (1) You don’t live with your family. Make sure you don’t. Distance is good. Don’t move back!
    (2) You’re only 25. I’d say you should wait a couple more years. Things are clearer then. I was 27 when I finally got married. Not like I’m overwhelmingly more mature now than I was when I was 25, but it’s good to let things ride for just a while longer.

    Good luck 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh oh most importantly. Please ignore all this absolute rubbish of DONT GO AGAINST YOUR PARENTS, DONT DO IT. Please. Your parents are your parents but your happiness is yours, not theirs to dictate. I knew it would break my dad’s heart if he never did come around, but I’m setting myself up for a dictated life of doing what others what and resentment. Your life’s worth more than that.

      Liked by 2 people

  27. I’m no relationships expert but from the way you’ve written things, I don’t think you should head for marriage quite yet. I see that you are in a fun relationship, and you should continue having fun. I’m not quite sure why you told your parents yet, but continue to have fun and stop if/when it’s no longer fun.

    That said, on a serious note, I see a few red flags in his family, and I think you should definitely keep an eye out. This reminds me of a past relationship where the girl’s brother was trouble (addictions, serious behavior issues) and had been expelled from jobs etc. If my friends hadn’t warned me in time, I would’ve have a felon in my family.


  28. Ok…I want to offer you a suggestion based on my similar experience. I am a north Indian who went ahead and married a south Indian guy much against my parents wishes. May be you find something useful from what i have to say after many years of my marriage.
    1. Emotional abuse by parents is NOT okay. the more they will go against you – the more you will feel they dont understand you and the more stubborn you will feel in fulfilling your desire to marry this guy. For one NEVER feel guilty that you are the cause of anyone’s ill health – we are all responsible for our own mental wellbeing.
    Having said that:
    2. While your parents may be choosing the worst possible strategy to hold on to you – DO consider what they say very very seriously, They are your parents afterall. As you grow up – you may in fact realise that they were more correct than you thought.
    3. I think you should really really consider lack of family and social support network the man in question has. After marriage you may worry day in and day out about the lack of it. At least I do. It will be important when one of you fall sick or when you want to have a baby or other such events.
    4. Please do consider the north south difference – its not just about different eating habits – but what my experience says that there are some very nuanced differences that you will have to deal with – like difference in attitude to money/celebration ideas/noise levels/hygiene practices or how aggressively you may like to handle certain situations. while these may seem trivial to you now – they may, particularly if coupled with poor communication skills create a havoc in your married life.
    5. Also, finances will be much more important than you think they are now. What if you want to go for a part-time or work-from-home shift. Either the man must be able to earn enough to allow you such flexibilities (if not a complete break) or he should be competent enough to at least take over 50% of the household chores so that you can work ‘like men’. Also consider: would you be embarrassed to host a cousin to your place in future? will you have to wait far too long before you could take a vacation like your sibling did? Feeling pooerer than your relatives always hurts.
    6. Above all – be prepared that even if your parents finally agree – marry you rather happily with all love, keep in touch, send you gifts, accept your husband – STILL you may never be able to share any of your marital problems with your mother or sister or aunt – for you may always feel hesitant to do so for not wanting to be proven wrong or being taunted (i told you so!). May be if things are violent to the extent of putting one’s life in danger one does open up – but if they are below that – most proud women suffer in silent. They may have a high threshold for psychological trauma and may bounce back to life quickly – but it may become a life that oscillates between heaven and hell.

    Having said all of that – these problems are all that can be overcome. You can improve your understanding, talk things out, find middle grounds, learn to be satisfied with what you have and live together. But that would be a herculean task to do – and will take years and years to achieve. Assess how much he loves you and to what extent is he willing to go for you. Also assess how unthinkable it is for you to walk away from him. May be go away for a job or higher education for a year or 2 and think deeply about these things. take your time. Above all, know that relationships change – you may hate your mother, but she may become your best friend 5 years down the line.

    Personally, i would say its not really worth it – unless its an exceptional love that one can die for day-after-day.


  29. Some points to keep in mind:
    1. There are women who were in a relationship for 5 or more years, and still ended up getting beaten or killed shortly after marriage. Please don’t think you know everything about this person. He may be good, or he may be wearing a good mask too.
    2. Since you are from a upper class family, you need to think if he is after you for your money/inheritance, etc (This advice may sound cliched, but better to think realistically now)
    3. Most parents have a natural, pure love for their kids, though they may _seem_ very deaf-eared or irritating at times. At times they (loving parents) might even make mistakes or wrong decisions unintentionally. Your parents have lovingly cared for you, educated you, and in your own words, spoilt you. No matter what they speak when you argue, you’d still be the apple of their eye. There are parent who are exceptions, but yours don’t look like that to me. They may not be entirely feigning it when they say that they would kill themselves or die of a broken heart. Please don’t do anything brashly. Try to use different approaches (like comparing your friends’ experiences etc) to communicate your point – IF you are very sure about the guy, which I’m a bit doubtful.
    4. “willing to give it in writing.. that he won’t hurt me”
    Yet another way this story relates to mine! (Please read my reply to Radha, where I’ve mentioned similarities, though mine was an arranged marriage). My mom’s only question to him was whether he would treat me well after marriage. He told the same thing what your BF is telling now – he had repeatedly told “I can even get a court bond & write down that I will treat your daughter well”. What happened really was a tale of terror – I’m lucky to be alive and out of the marriage.


  30. Young lady please wait and rethink about it as love only cannot supplement your stomach. I am not discouraging you on loving, a person whole heartedly but think about the after effects of these kind of relationship after marriage as men in general have huge self esteem.😉


  31. Even i have came across the same situation but i chosen my love life. Now am very happy with my man. If you feel you cant be happy
    without your guy then whatever the situation maybe wait for your parents till they accept if not then run away and choose your own path and be happy.


  32. I googled Inter community marriages and found your post… I am still very young.. Going to pass out 2.. But I think my situation is going to be the same.. But the guy I was committed to is very bright and would earn handsome package of money.. And I would be a successful lady as well.. But the problem that would rise was about the community I belong to.. It’s a tribe from the North East state of India.. And the whole community seems to be orthodox including my parents about the inter community marriages… They don’t have any problem with love marriages but opposition is always there in case of other community… Before starting the relationship i thought that family would agree if we both are successful with our career in future. But recently one of my cousins fell into the same trouble and my mom couldn’t sleep that night and warned me not to do such shameful act… We had a very rough arguments about this topic.. But after talking i realized that my parents would never agree to inter community marriage because mom said if you do like this even if you are earning lots of money i will not allow you at home.. And before our relation gets deeper in future and it becomes hard to forget each other i took a step and asked the guy to break up with me.. He is understanding but tried to make our relation work.. But i know my parents and i don’t want to lose them for a guy whom i have known only for 4 years.. So i just ended the relationship but I still love him. I really don’t know whether i have done the right thing or not.. Please comment on my situation.


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