“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’.

But do we have any benchmark for ideal parents in our traditions?

Sharing an email from Kajal.

A thought has been bothering me for a few days. Indian mythology or cultural texts have several icons and references for the ideal son/daughter i.e. the ideal children. But do we have any benchmark for ideal parents in our traditions? Mostly what I remember from atleast the two major epics is parents who abandon children, torture them to please another spouse or society or ask of impossible sacrifices from children for the larger good. Do you remember any ideal/non-controlling parent in our stories? Would you say this has impacted how we see parent child relationship till date in this country? Is there a parent version of Shravan Kumar? Or is it just assumed that by virtue of being parents they are selfless and right?

So do we have any role models? What did these role models do for their children?

Indian mothers are seen (in movies) frantic, worrying about the amount of hot and freshly cooked food the male children have eaten [Like this, Link]

They are also seen fasting for the male child’s long life. In the movies they seem to feel responsible for finding a sanskaari and obedient daughter in law as a spouse for the male child and collecting dowry for their daughters. Traditional mothers are expected to raise the paraya dhan to become obedient daughters in law.

Fathers seem to be responsible for ensuring obedience, school fees (if they approve of sending the children to school), dowry and Honor.

In many movies, loving parents are seen working hard, despite illness sometimes, to feed their children, to get urgent medical treatment for their children, for the children’s (more often male children) school fees and for the girl children’s dowry.

What about the parents in Indian mythology?

Related Posts:

Mommy Guilt: A Western Influence.

“This man is openly threatening his daughter and is instigating others to burn alive their daughters.”

“You can listen to your parents and be unhappy or you can go against them and feel guilty – those are your choices?”

“I am betraying my parents, country and culture by not having an arranged marriage, people are talking, younger sisters not getting married.”

“I am glad that my parents never thought of raising us as ‘future daughters-in-law’.”

Only when raising ideal daughters in law is not their goal, would Indian parents be able enjoy having and bringing up girl children.

An email: Is it fair for parents to say that their happiness depends on who their kids marry?

The Changing Role of Dads

Fortune Mother Exchange : Mother’s cooking for Indian male children.

हमारी बेटी संस्कारवान है और मंत्री बनने के बावजूद पति के पांव की जूती ही है।

Don’t let me down dear daughter!

15 lines from ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’.

Let me just share some dialogues (roughly translated/in my own words) from Dil dharakne do and you decide what you think of the movie.

1. ‘Does he beat you? Is he a miser? Does he stop you from shopping? No?! Then what do you mean you want divorce?’ [Rahul Bose is the ‘he’ here, and the entitled look on his face, when this is being said, makes the movie a must-watch]

2. ‘There has never been a divorce in this family and there never will be.’

3. ‘What have we done to you that you are punishing us like this? Do you want me to fall at your feet? Let me cut my wrists with this knife…’ (picks a butter knife)

4. ‘How times have changed he heh… when we were young we women could never speak like this in front of our elders he he he…’ [The effect is the exact opposite of Saas Bahu serials]

5. ‘What you write about is so depressing, why do you exaggerate so much? Can’t you find something positive to write about? Like, look at us, in the previous generations women did not work, but I have allowed my wife to work!’

(The response is amongst the things that make the movie worth watching.)

6. ‘You are offended because I insulted your husband? But he was insulting you… doesn’t that count?’

7. ‘She is married, now she is a **** (husband’s surname). Now his home is her home, his family is her family.’

8. ‘I am on top of the world, god has been kind. There is only one thing I want now – dear daughter please give us a grandchild.’

9. ‘What do you mean you are not sure you want to marry her? The business (that’s floundering and can be salvaged with this marriage) is not just our business, you are our only son, it’s your business too.’

10. ‘Who is that girl with him?’

11. ‘You want a divorce? What will our friends say?’

12. ‘Every marriage has problems. The easier way out is divorce. That’s not the right path. The difficult path is the right path.’

13. ‘There is no place for you in this house if you divorce him.’

14. ‘There is no place for you in this house if you don’t marry her.’

15. ‘I don’t want to hear about this.’ (But don’t you dare do what you were about to suggest you might)

And here are some points the movie made:

1. Financial independence and success does not automatically give women the confidence (or mindset) to expect to be treated as an equal, to object to misogyny, or to walk out of unhappy relationships.

Why PepsiCo CEO Indra K. Nooyi Can’t Have It All

2. Parents don’t always know, and/or even want the best for their children.

3. No divorce does not mean happy marriages.

4. Many women stay married because they have nowhere else to go. Women also stay married because they are pressurised to stay married.

5. ‘Get Married Stay Married and bear male children’ is viewed as the main goal for every Indian woman.

6. Daughters are viewed as Liabilities, or Paraya Dhan.

7. Sons are viewed as precious – but only because they are Assets, to be controlled for parents’ benefits (dowry, obedient and/or rich daughter in law, family business etc).

8. Creating a good impression on ‘everybody’ is more important for many Indians, than happiness of loved ones.

9. A son spending a night with a young woman is not the same as a daughter spending a night with a young man. One set of parents smiles proudly.

10. I am sure this movie succeeded in making atleast some conservative viewers look at Successful Divorces as a Happy Endings. (Queen managed to do the same thing with broken engagements)

Related Posts:

Eleven questions the family elders ask women in unhappy marriages.

Are Happily Married Daughters a status symbol in India?

Please watch Dum Laga Ke Haisha – where a man is asked to Please adjust and save his marriage.

Please watch ‘Tanu Weds Manu Returns’ 🙂

Piku in Patriarchy.

Shuddh Desi Romance : When Getting Married and Staying Married is not an Indian woman’s life purpose.

‘Both families arrived at a compromise and she decided to continue to live with her gay husband.’

An email: “He told my MIL that he doesn’t like me. I knew he was depressed so I tried to console him.”

Recognizing Emotional Abuse – Priya

Why do men NOT have to choose between being a CEO and a father, but women have to make this choice.

Pretty brides who respect elders and identify themselves with their husband’s families.

Catch all the dialogue promos of Dil Dhadakne Do here

“Why do many young Indian men say they are interested in dating, but leave the decision of anything on the longer term to their parents?

Sharing an email. 

Dear IHM,

I’ve been a regular albeit silent reader of your blog for quite a long time now. I would appreciate it if I could have your views and those of your readers on the following :
Why do many young Indian men say they are interested in dating, but leave the decision of anything on the longer term to their parents? Is “my parents wouldn’t approve” a sort of excuse to pre-empt any kind of long-term relationship?
In this case, if a girl still chooses to date such a man and maybe get into a short-term relationship, does sex remove all chances of a possible future?
How important are age and age difference in a long-term relationship (with the possibility of marriage)? I find that men are willing to date older women, and cite the age difference as an attraction, but they also mention the age gap as being one reason their families would disapprove.
Also, if a couple is compatible (and have worked out their differences, say financial or religious beliefs), then why would any reasonable parent disapprove of the relationship?
I personally don’t believe in an arranged marriage, and my parents are understanding, and I am sure they won’t have any problems so long as they get to meet the man I’m interested in. I have heard of people having to give up someone they are in love with, under family pressure. I do not know if I’m missing something of the larger picture, but how does choosing a partner from the same caste/community assure compatibility and happiness?
I can understand that in case both partners choose to go the arranged marriage route, choosing someone with a similar background would help in finding some common ground, and I also assume both partners get enough time to interact and are not pressurized to say ‘yes’. I find that if I go on a date with someone, the only thing I know at the end of a few hours is whether I want to see that person again. So I can’t understand how one can consent to marry someone after having hardly interacted with them.
I would like to know the views of you and your readers, especially young men.
– A confused young woman trying to understand the complex Indian young man.

And here is why women are so helpless in marriage issues and in their martial home.

Sharing an email. 

‘Is this love where you want to follow the society more than your children’s happiness?’

Hi IHM ,

I frequently visitor and replier on your post. Your posts have cleared my thought process a lot and seriously I think a lot on marriage. I have written a very long post.

I am not able to understand, why women are so helpless in marriage issues and in their martial home.

Sometimes I feel that seriously our parents love us or are we also a social responsibility to be completed? I am not a parent neither I am married so I cannot answer this question. But I am daughter and sometimes I really think that they are simply fulfilling their social responsibility.

In my family we are only two sisters and no brother. Never my parents tried for son. But their expectations are no different from us. My friend’s parents also think in similar ways.

Most of the parents educate their daughter because in their peer circle everybody is educating their daughters. Professionally unqualified daughter is a shame to them. They want us to do well in our careers. That’s it. Anything beyond this point is “tum hawa main udne lage ho, ladkyion ko jayda bolna nahi chahye, ladki ho ladki k tarah raho etc” (You have started flying in air. Girls should not talk too much. You are a girl, live like a girl.)

They want their daughter to be earning but not independent. They want the same thing which a parent who has not educated their daughter wants. They always want that we follow what we have been told on phone and no question should be asked. They will make all decisions- what we will do in future, when we will get married, to whom we will get married, the list goes on???

They will export you to another family. There also the same has to continue. They expect that you don’t reply back, never come back to them and be a good daughter. They are ready to cry in your pain if you have married as per their wish (this has been said by my parents and many of my friends parents).They will support you in case a martial problem and what is that support? That they will warn the groom/his family and send you back.

One of my friends is recently married and her husband started complaining within two days of marriage that I was not given watch in marriage, your brother doesn’t respect me, and marriage was so simple. Parents’ reply that this was not discussed during the marriage negotiations, why you are saying this thing. But nobody realizes what the girl is feeling right now. But parents have done their duty they married her, they are sad for her, they are helpless. Maybe one day they will fight with the guy and ask him to treat her properly job done. But how anyone can live with the person who doesn’t respect her and care her?

Another friend she is working was very close to guy from her college. They belonged to same city , so he use to accompany her and care for her during to and fro between college and city. Parents were aware of this and encouraged them to move together. This means that guy was nice and trustworthy. Now when the same guy went and asked parents about their marriage then they are saying that he is not trustworthy and he is a cheat. Isn’t it hypocrisy? Where is love for their daughter? Isn’t it using one person and insulting them when they have served their purpose? They want the daughter to go first way, marry their way, if she is unhappy then she is responsible for it as she is not able to adjust and forget her bf, they want her to laugh on her wedding even if she is feeling dying from inside. Is this parental love?

Another friend went ahead and had a court marriage. They are happy. She is continuing her job in another city and her husband is in another city. No demands from In-Law or husband. From day one she is living her life as she was living in PG. Still her parents are sad because she had an inter caste marriage. Where is love in this case? They are not happy seeing her happy? Isn’t all parental scarifies is a drama? Why they cannot say our daughter is happy, we are proud of her.

Coming to my situation, I too want to marry a person who is out of my community. He is well settled and loves me. I have met his parents and they have said yes without any drama. They encourage my bf to talk to my parents so that they can fix marriage. Now my parents want the same that is situation one. They don’t want to listen to anything. Is this love where you want to follow society more than your children happiness? And since I am living out of home city all the wrath have fallen on my sister. They have restricted her movement, don’t want her to pursue professional education otherwise she will also go out of hand. Is this the love and scarifies they always claim about?

I think its girls’ parent who have left them in such a helpless situation because this is the norm of society. Don’t they keep their daughter dependent so that she doesn’t start making her own decision? Can you tell me where is all this love everybody claim?

Thank You,

In Love

Related Posts:

Are Happily Married Daughters a status symbol in India?

“He has decided that we will stop trying to have a child now as he wants things to improve between his mother and I.”

When she says she no longer wishes to stay with him, why isn’t her word enough?

“I don’t want such education… I want no career… I want to be loved.”

An email from a Happily Married Indian Daughter in law…

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.”

Teenage Pregnancies – not our culture…

Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.

“I am trying to make a list of soooooooo many advantages a girl can have if she is born in a Western family as compared to being born in india.”

“I don’t see the point of forcing parents to give birth to unwanted girl children.”

40% of rape charges were filed by parents of girls who had eloped consensually with a boy

When a daughter refuses to go back…

“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. 😦

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

“… It will be like throwing them to the wolves.”

Why do we need family (or a community or a society)? What is the purpose? What is the least that you expect from a Society or a Community or Family that you belong to? 

How much would you be willing to compromise on your expectations? Would you permit blackmail or threats in return of whatever the community provides for you? 

(An average Indian is raised to understand all about what the more powerful members in a society/community expect from it’s members)

Sharing an email from a young Indian woman.

Hi,

I read your blog and I was able to relate to a lot of articles. You see I am also going through the same issue of convincing my parents for intercaste marriage.  I am a *** and the guy I love is a ****, from a lower caste. Personally I don’t believe in all this but my family does. They are opposed to the entire idea of marrying a non *** and that too lower caste. I am in a big fix.

Ours is a 8 year relationship. I tried everything to convince them but to no avail. It’s been more than a year now that I disclosed about my wish to marry that guy. All my family members, cousins, extended family are trying to discourage from my decision. Cousins who are only in their early 30s and may be even younger are against intercaste marriage. Its either choose that guy or your family.

My dad has taken an oath he will never accept me nor let my mom accept me. And I have seen examples where he has broken ties with a certain relative over small issues. I fear he will stand true to his oath. **** are a conservative community. Such cases are seen as very humiliating for the parents who then stop socialising and going out.

If at all my parents accept me, my family will not allow them. They say they will cut ties with my parents as well, if they support me. At this juncture I stand to lose the safety and security of my family. My parents will be ignored and ridiculed constantly by not just community but family members as well cos my decision will affect them also somewhere.  No one will let them forget my so called shameful behaviour. I can’t bear to see them like that.

Now I am thinking of giving up for the sake of my parents but the thought of life without that guy and with someone else of my parents’ choice is equally frightening. Here I stand to lose all my dreams and hopes for a future and life of my choice and liking. The guy has always been supportive and understanding. It not his fault to suffer so much. Thoughts of leaving him is tearing me apart. There is a lot of emotional upheaval going on with me.

I am out of my depth here trying to decide what to do. Please advice.

Second email:

They say with time you will forget him and get on with your life. Their argument is a woman whose spouse dies that women also moves on and marries somewhere down the line. She doesn’t die with him or stay unhappy for life.

The new development since 2 days is that they have already started alienating my parents. they have cut all contact and gradually breaking ties with them. Just because their daughter is maligning their name as well.

My parents, who don’t support me, blame me for their suffering. At a time like this it’s like throwing them to the wolves.

Related Posts:

Love Marriages spoil the Family System of our Nation.

How illegal bans on Valentine’s day and birthday parties are connected with dowry deaths and sex selection.

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

Why do we hear concerned voices about ‘misuse of freedom’ the moment we talk about Freedom?

‘We grew up in a very liberal family. We knew what our limits were and our focus was our education. We never betrayed our parents.’

An email: I am 18 year old male from a traditional (read:backward) Indian family.

An email from a 30 year old Indian man, “Marrying a divorcee and an older woman.”

What would you say to this email writer? Should the woman being older or being divorced be the biggest concern here? 

What would your advice be? 

Dear IHM,

After a lot of thinking I decided to write my story to you and seek some advice.
I am 30 year old single guy and I come from a middle class family. My upbringing was fairly tough but manage to get good job and have been supporting my parents since I was 22. My parents have given me good value, education and everything they could get to make my life good. Today whatever I am is because of my parents and I am really thankful to them for all that.
I am a very reserved guy never really had any female cousins or friends and never interacted with any girls in school or college (studied in boys only school). I always thought first I need to get good job, start earning and then think of relationship. Also how do we guys get a chance in this conservative, Indian middle class society? Settling abroad was always my dream and by god’s grace, I did manage to move to US.
While working in my initial job in India when I was 22, I met this girl who became my best friend. She was five years older to me. She was married and looked as though well settled in life.
I later got to know from someone else that she had applied for divorce. We use to catch up on weekends for some classes and she used to tell me that she is just out of divorce and didn’t know what her future was and so on. Without knowing I had developed some sort of affection towards her but obviously the age difference and not knowing where things might end up in our conservative Indian society, I never really told her I liked her.
Just before I moved abroad, we and few of our good friends went on a trip and we caught up with some of her old school friends. One guy in that lot was apparently her ex from school days and was already married with a kid (Lets call him Mr. ex school friend). I noticed that she was very close to him throughout this trip and it actually irritated me although being the type of guy I am, I never showed anything. I don’t know if I was right or not but it looked to me as if this guy was just trying to get close to her. I didn’t say anything because it was NONE of my business.
After that trip, I moved abroad and started a new life. I got to know that she started a relationship/affair with Mr. ex school friend. Apparently he told her that he was not happy with his wife and was going to divorce her (but never really did) and continued relationship with her. I don’t know if it’s true or not, I always felt this guy was taking advantage of her vulnerability because she was just out of divorce and was scared of an unknown future.
Later that year she too moved to NY and asked me if we could share a flat since we knew each other. I agreed because she was my friend. After this we became close again.
Mr. ex school friend use to visit her once or twice a year or she use to go to India and spend time with him. Apparently he got places in a different city in India and he tried to separate from his wife.
I also had been to India couple of times to see some brides as I thought arrange marriage was my fate. Never really had the courage to even propose to a girl in my life. She knew all about this, in fact  she even tried to set me up with few of her friends but never really worked out. I kept rejecting all arranged marriage alliances at home because I always wanted to fall in love and get married to someone I know, although my family is very conservative.
She was forcing Mr. ex school friend for commitment, asking him to divorce his wife but he just kept pushing forward while having all the fun with her. I just couldn’t stand this guy because I knew what he was doing with her was wrong but I really couldn’t tell her anything because it’s her personal life and she had all the rights to live the way she wanted.
Then early last year we had a house party and most of us started discussing our personal lives. I got a little tipsy on that day and all my frustration came out. I told her how much I liked her since the beginning and how this guy was just having fun with her. I also told her I loved her.
After that somehow we fell in love. She was five years older to me. I didn’t think about our future, but just started liking everything about her.
She never hid anything about me from Mr. ex school friend, since day one.
He knew she was sharing the flat with me and he knew we were best friends. When he visited NY next they had a big fight. He told her that he will divorce his wife immediately and wanted to get married to her. She said she wanted a bit of time which he never really liked.
She told me all that love she had for 5 years was lost somehow. He was very gutted when he went back because he probably didn’t get what he wanted when he was here.
After he went back he apparently told her parents about their relationship including every detail of what they did (I hope you understand what I mean) and how she is not willing to accept his marriage offer. He spoke very bad about her character. This is when she decided to break up with him.
He also wrote couple of times to me saying some really cheap thoughts about her like he slept with her and I am with what he already used and left and so on… obviously I was hurt, very badly hurt… After all I am also human  and even I do have feelings.
I knew she had done a mistake by getting involved with Mr. ex school friend, but who doesn’t make mistakes? We are all human beings and we all do mistakes and that’s what makes us what we are today.
Sometimes I do feel am I the reason for all this but I never really planned any of this to happen. Things just happened. We just clicked and fell into this without knowing.
This year we started thinking about future. I know she loves me and I love her too. Early this year when my parents asked me if I liked someone in states as they didn’t mind me getting married to anyone I liked. Then I indirectly told them about this girl. As expected they were very furious and crying and all that. They had seen this girl closely because she use to live close to my house when she was initially married. Then they had also heard about her affair with Mr. ex school friend, from a close relative.
A few close friends who knew us from initial days also started advising, saying things like if she can leave some one for you, she can also leave you after few years, that she was very cunning, an opportunist and so on. Some relatives added fuel to fire, saying, “She has lived with someone, how can you live with her? How would your future be? Will she have kids? What will your kids think about her past? We had shown you so many good looking girls!” And so on. Literally everything.
I was so broken and had gone so weak in my mind that I thought I might as well break up with her and marry someone else just to be out of this trauma. But I didn’t.
I never told her about any of these because I know she will get hurt listening to all this.
Then I started thinking positive this was my first love, my first relationship, I should fight for this. All these thoughts held me. I just didn’t want to go with the flow and be another one in the crowd. So what if she is 5 years older to me, we have this great chemistry going together. She is with me now. I need to accept her the way she is.
I also don’t want to hate my parents because they are good people just that they don’t know what kind of girl she is. All they have is a perception about her from someone else. Also just because they disagree with some of my decision/opinion doesn’t make them bad people and I can’t stop loving them.
Some time I do go very weak and think about how she was with the guy I couldn’t stand and every time I come across any of his gifts to her or his message or an email I just go so weak in my mind. Feel very low and feel like I am going into depression.
May be it’s a guy thing and will take some time to get over.
I do get questions in my mind like will she be pregnant as she is 35 because I love babies. I would love to be a father in future. Also I love girl child and hope for twin girls in future. If she can’t get pregnant doesn’t mean I am going to leave her because I truly love her. I probably have to find other ways like IVF or adoption but just little tensed that’s it.
Now I need to somehow find a way to convince my parents. I was planning not tell her age to them. I will just say we are the same age and they already know she is a divorcee. They are just not accepting her. I probably will involve someone else in the family and try to convince them. I want to get married in our traditional way because that’s something what my parents did and I want to do it too. Not sure if this is all going to be possible in our traditional, conservative and judgemental Indian society but I hope I can do it.
I am travelling to India back again in a months time and I have already started thinking about it and feeling low.
It would take a minute to go against my parents and get married on my own but I want to do it with their blessings. I don’t want them to put their face down in society to say that I ran away and got married to someone. If they don’t agree I probably will end up doing this. I know they will be hurt at the same time I will be hurt as well because end of the day they are my parents and I know for sure she will also be hurt because she will think all this problem is because of her…
Also Mr. ex school friend has threatened that he will never let our marriage happen. He would make pics from his affair public to my family and so on (just goes to show how cheap this guy and what type of mentality he’s got). And guess what, he is going back to his wife now which pissed me off even more. Felt like this guy just had fun with her for a while and went back to where he was. Anyway at least it’s good for his kid and he won’t bother us anymore.
I fumbled across your blog when I was searching for how to convince Indian parents for marrying a divorcee and thought should share my story with you. Also if any of your readers have successful marriage stories of an older women/younger men, that would give me more confidence.
Some tips would help.
Not sure if this is worth publishing but do give it a read and let me know your opinion. And of course if you do publish, would love to hear from your readers.
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How would you react if you knew your son (or daughter) felt this way?

Sharing an email.

” I wish they just become bad… too bad… too abusive that they start beating me. That would be easy for me then.”

What would you say to him if you were his parents? How would you react if you knew your son (or daughter) felt this way? 

What advice would you give to the email writer?

’24 year old guy: Help needed Desperately’

Hey there,

I am struggling with a challenge which might seem quite ridiculous at first, and may be it is, but I can’t seem to come out of the situation. I live in a traditional Indian family. But through my small rebels, I was able to create a tiny bit of freedom for myself. And, my parents are supportive of me at some level compared to the rest. Though they still are traditional parents, but compared to what I hear and what I read on your blog, they don’t stop me from doing what I want (in most cases). And that is the problem. They are just normal people… good…fine… OK people. Not abusive, not threatening. Nope. Nothing like that. Just common ordinary people of ordinary lives. I am 24 years old and staying with my parents.

I know it is being very destructive for my growth to stay at home and be lazy and continue the living style my parents inherited from their… and continue the same trend. I am big on personal growth, wants to come out of conformity, escape the rat race, living adventurous life and I keep doing what my current level of growth and confidence allows me to. I just can’t live fully at home, and can’t do all these things I desire, that I know for sure. I want to move out. I want to constantly travel, from one place to other. Try new challenges. And living at home is very limiting. My parents may be slight above in par than the traditional Indian society but that shouldn’t make everything OK.

They don’t encourage me. Don’t support my growth plans, even if they are good.

My parents even make fun of my goal of vegan diet. They think it is too impractical in India. They call my decision of leaving meat as “pretentious” and boring. Can you believe that? They don’t allow me to buy good healthy expensive cooking oil from my own money, just because it is expensive and they don’t know why I do such thing. They don’t understand my habit of reading books. They call me “Kitaabi Keera”.

They still constantly ask, not force, but ask politely to take a regular job. Which I have clearly told them I will not. And I am earning myself through a writing job which does not pay that well. But I take care of my own needs. And this discussion of job still come up every single day. But other than that, they are, I guess, nice people. Normal average people. Don’t abuse me. They give me some level of freedom which THEY think is appropriate but not the “real” freedom. So the problem is – I want to move out but parents are blackmailing me emotionally. Which I think is selfish nature. Whenever I talk about moving out they make sad face. Their tone of voice changes. They just WANT me to stay at home and live a mediocre life like they did. They are so bored and afraid of life that they can’t think of anything they could do themselves, without me. This is utterly sad and depressing. The love between mom and dad is totally gone. They are just living and counting days. (And are they expecting me to do the same?) But they never really pressurize me to stay, never really threaten me to stay, which is the problem itself. Because if they did, I would move out that day only. I know that is completely out of line. But they don’t do that. They become sad, helpless, lonely. that is where I get stuck. I wish they just become bad… too bad… too abusive that they start beating me. That would be easy for me then. I don’t know what to do. I can’t live at home anymore. I have a lot to explore and staying at home at 24 years of age is depressing. Don’t tell me I can stay at home and make it worthwhile without knowing about my passion and goals. And this is one of the hardest decision I have faced in my life. Can’t stay… can’t move out. It scares me to even think of a sudden crisis, an unfortunate event at home, which might happen when I am out of city. Will I who be blamed? I know I can not just stop thinking about it and move out with my stuff. That is just not possible. The solution is somewhere inside me, somewhere I have to grow, give a shot at making them understand, something, I don’t know.

Please give me some advice.

Thank for you reading the whole rant.

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An email: I am 18 year old male from a traditional (read:backward) Indian family.

“You can listen to your parents and be unhappy or you can go against them and feel guilty – those are your choices?”

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

Against your child’s happiness

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

Why do we hear concerned voices about ‘misuse of freedom’ the moment we talk about Freedom?

‘We grew up in a very liberal family. We knew what our limits were and our focus was our education. We never betrayed our parents.’

An email from an Indian Husband… and a Good Indian Son.

What kind of sons do Feminists raise?

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

What exactly is Misuse of Freedom and Trust? Why is choosing one’s life partner seen as a ‘betrayal’ by many Indian families/parents?

Sharing an email. 

Dear IHM,

I am back again asking for your help regarding a problem. Would be grateful if you could post this on your blog – I would like to know what people who have been in such situations have to say.

My husband and me had a love marriage – we are from different religions/caste/language and different states. We waited and fought for 3 years for approval from his side – which never came. He was given an ultimatum to go and lead his life or forget me and stay in the family. My husband chose the former and we have been so happy ever since. His folks (mom and 3 sisters & their husbands) gave more importance to society and relatives approval and “what will people say” rather than his happiness. But within a few months they back tracked and accepted him back into the household because his mom couldn’t be without seeing him. He lost his father a few years before we even became good friends… (and that also was brought in as a reason to oppose our union). His 3 elder sisters and family are cordial and warm to him. It’s going to be 10 yrs since we’ve been married, but I have not been accepted into the family. His nieces had not been told about his marriage, but as 4 of them grew into adults, they came to know of of the matter. But no one talks about it and the family prefers to brush anything regarding us under the carpet. “We” are never talked about, but assumptions are made by them on how we lead our life. We are more than happy to be away from all this family politics and orthodox values, superstitious beliefs etc.

Now coming to the real issue – his 1st niece is in the USA. She went there 3 yrs back to do her MS and is now working there. She is in love with her good friend there. He is of a different caste-and that is the only difference. She has known him for the last 3 years and they have been going steady for the past 1 year. He is a good boy, with equal education, a great job and from a good family. The last couple of months her parents have been pressurizing her with proposals and when she could take it no more, informed her mom about her love last month. The nightmares have started since then, her mom doing the crying, lamenting, not talking phases, emotional blackmail, threatens and everything else.

They are playing the caste card, the boy being a non-Brahmin. They claim that relatives will desert them, no one will talk to them, marriages of the other 5 girls (her own sister and 4 cousins) will be a problem, how will they face the world etc etc. Another important fact – “how can we agree for this when we opposed your Uncle’s marriage?”. The same accusations and reasons and fights that took place 13 yrs ago is repeating itself. Horoscope, society, caste and everything else matters more. None of them have changed even a bit. It’s like living through all that emotional abuse all over again. She has tried in all her conversations to explain that he will keep her happy and her happiness should be important for them and how their interests, goals and likes match and how they will make a good couple. But none of this matters – the parents say “our happiness should be more important to you than yours”!!!!

Another problem – this girl’s younger sister just got her visa for her MS and will be going to the same city that her sister stays. The parents and aunts (mother’s sisters) have started to blackmail and brainwash the younger one asking her how is she going to stay with her sister because she has fallen in love, she will not take care of you. Why can’t you not go there now, do your PG here in India”, etc etc. They are trying to turn the younger one against the older stating that “she is doing a favour by spending for you, because she wants our approval in return. She has become rude because she in earning in $’s in the USA” etc etc. The sisters are very close to each other and are stunned by this divide and rule and lies and twisting of stories from the parents side.

Both of them are not putting up their views very strongly fearing that their parents will not allow the younger one to travel. It’s another torture to listen to all the arguments and emotional abuse and blackmail and not voice their opinions.

A few days back the parents laid down conditions to the younger one – that if they send her to the USA

1. You have to go and try change your sister’s mind
2. You have to come back after 2 years of studies
3. You have to work and repay your study loan yourself (as in not take money from the elder one)
4. You cannot think of having a love marriage.

The parents are in a fix because the elder one will not be coming down to India anytime soon, because she just had her visa status changed. They feel she is so far away and is out of their hands, so they are trying to guilt trip her into accepting that because of what she did (falling in love) she is responsible for spoiling her sister’s future if her parents decide not to send her to the USA.

They are definitely not going to accept this and I fear the boy’s situation would become the same as mine – a son-law who’s not accepted though they might accept the daughter back, in case they go ahead and get married by themselves.

All the years of growing up, achieving in studies, being a good child – all this apparently becomes of no use because you fall in love and choose your own partner. Why is it that parents think that their happiness lies in only whom their children marry whom they are told to marry? They do everything for their children, but when the real time comes to support them in their happiness, they back out and and blame the children for misusing their trust and freedom.

I want your readers to please advice on what they should do and how should they react to all this emotional drama and assumptions and mental torture. There might be many who have been through such situations…..I need their expert advice.

Note –
1. These are not some illiterate, from the village type parents. These are educated and young parents in their 50’s.
2. The boy’s side is very liberal and broad minded. His sister also had a love marriage and there is no problem from the boy’s side.

Thanks in advance to you IHM and all your readers.

Related Posts:

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?

Why do we hear concerned voices about ‘misuse of freedom’ the moment we talk about Freedom?

‘We grew up in a very liberal family. We knew what our limits were and our focus was our education. We never betrayed our parents.’