Wanted to marry a girl I know but parents say no


Dear Didi

Dear Jyothi:
I am dating the most wonderful girl in the world.  She is everything to me.

My parents who have never met her have told me that I cannot marry her.  They have picked out a girl back home.  They say if I marry an American, they will disown me.

They refuse to speak to me.  I am so upset. I keep breaking up with my girlfriend. She keeps calling me. We can never end our relationship. Sometimes, I want to break  up with my girlfriend to please my parents. Then, I  am missing her.  She is so much a part of my life. How do  I let go? When I am not  with my girlfriend, I am  determined to break off our relationship. Then, I miss  her.  So, I call her.  What should I do?
— Heartbroken.

Dear Friend:

I am indeed sorry for you. It is not an easy decision for you.  You have said that you love this girl so much that you want to marry her. Yet, your parents have refused to allow it.

This is a problem for you, because you are caught in a cultural bind.  You obviously come from a thousands year culture which has entwined values of marriage, traditions and religion together. It is very difficult to step out of these traditions when you are living there. Here, it is a different story. You are independent and lonely and have found a wonderful person that you want to spend the rest of your life with.  This was probably your parents’ worst fear when you left home, besides your safety. How do you resolve it?  It is not going to be easy when your parents are so adamant.  They love you so much.

They are afraid that marrying this girl will change your cultural values. What will happen to your religion? There may be underlying selfish reasons that they fear you will not take care of them as they become older. They may feel that they will lose your financial support too. They may fear that an American girl will not honor your traditions. Of course, they fear the unknown. It is easier to for them to accept a girl from back home that they have chosen, because this girl will  know of the traditions that she is expected to adhere to.  However, this does not necessarily guarantee happiness either. The girl back home may not want to be so compliant.  Times are changing everywhere including back home. There have always been problems with parents and daughters- in-law.  Just because you marry someone with the same background does not insure a happy life. Now, how does your American girlfriend feel about these traditions?  Is she willing to accept them now?  How about in the future will she continue to feel the same when you are married for a long time? What about the religion for your children?  How will they be raised? Which religion will they follow? What is her background? Does she feel strongly against your traditions? Now you have to decide whether you love her and will go against your parents’ wishes.  Many have done so and are very happy.  Other have married according to their parents’ wishes and have regretted it and are unhappy. While others in life have learned to love their spouses too.  Only you can decide whether if you go against your parents, will they learn to accept your wife? Will you regret it and take it out on your wife? Do not make your lives miserable by trying to please your parents.

If you love this girl, then do not make her life miserable either by not making a stand.

You have to decide whom you want to spend the rest of your life with. It is cruel to keep doing this to her and to yourself. Your parents have raised a wonderful son whom they love and have instilled good values.  Therefore, they should trust your judgment!
— Jyothi

By Jyothi Rao

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