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Relationship Advice

By November 8, 2012 - 8:24am
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Hi Susan,

I have been on and off in communication with you throughout my relationships since last year around this year when I was struggling with two relationships, which I have since moved on from. I am also in a much better position now pursuing my career goals in Canada. I moved here early in Fall and for my second M.A. and will be applying for Phd Programs in Canada this Fall. While I moved there, I had joined eHarmony while I was working and talked to a lot of people until I met the guy whom I am currently dating or rather am on a break with now. Its only been two days. We began to talk officially in May and things were going really well until now. We have similar life journeys - he has lived in India, visited places that I lived in and could relate and was even in CT, Wisconsin, and even Chennai where I was all the while. Unfortunately and most recently, we had been having repeated arguments over when our families would meet. Traditionally and also what I had wanted was the first meeting of our families so that we could officialize our relationship but most recently, our discussions have been turning into misunderstandings and wrongful accusations. My mother also finally called his mom a second time and things she said were misunderstood by his mother. While I do care for him and I know he definitely loves me, I am having strong doubts and my mom has advised me against it now that we know that when stress levels rise high, both him and his family might turn against me. He is also a very private person versus my family and I who tend to be an open book and are honest about everything. It is not to say that I have not contributed to our relationship's sudden stall which led to a break. I am just now confused and not sure what I should do. I am in the right place in terms of my career, I know which direction to take and next months will be make or break. I have a supportive advisor who wants my success (touchwood) and I will be fine. However, since I am pursuing women's studies, he even led me to believe he was open-minded and accepting even proud because he understood human rights and equality but when we were having our last argument, he even accused me not being moderate (which I am) and being unsupportive and not adaptable when I have accepted many things of his life including his sister who is mentally unwell and was willing to learn how to care for her. I am really shaken and not sure what to do. I am tempted to follow the advice of my mother but want more advice and believe that I am doing the right thing on my accord.

I am also 26 years old while he is 32 and the youngest in his family. Both of his sisters - one who lives at home with him and the other one who is separated from her husband of 15 years- are also there. I thought things were going well. Somehow though despite the fact that he loves me, I just feel like I don't want to marry someone on the account that they just love me but i thought marriage is something in which two people support each other. I was taken aback when he immediately questioned me and did not believe me on something that I had not done.
All our happy moments have boiled down to negativity and failing. He and I both decided on a break for 4 days before we resume discussion and resolving the issues because he wanted this relationship to work. However, my parents are not happy with what he expects from he. He even told me to put him above my family (which to some extent I respect) but I have been raised to view all families equally. I viewed him as a part of not above and I am not sure if I feel comfortable about this expectation. I have to call/text him tonight and I know its last minute but I would really appreciate a response sooner!
Please advice.

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EmpowHER Guest

i have a question to ask..i am 20 years old girl and my boyfriend is 23 years old..i am studying in a college..and i belong to a family of doctors..my parents have always taught me to be a good person..i am a kind girl with a good heart..and i am a very simple girl..with simplest of clothing..i dont look good..that's why no boy comes to talk to me..i dont talk to anyone much..i hate useless gossiping and i hate those people who judge others by their looks!! i had a liking for my boyfriend since i was in 8th grade in the school..but never told him..before coming to the college..i spoke to him through facebook..and told him everything about my liking for him..we started talking and then eventually he started liking me..he hadnt seen my pics properly..the day we met..we got physical..and then he went back to his place..told me that he didnt like me and doesnt want to continue this relationship...i cried a lot and then the next day i messaged him that people like u will never understand the pain of someone who loves a lot..i told him he would regret later...but then he said he was sorry and wanted to come back...after few days i forgave him..and now both of us are in love with each other..he lives far away and because of which we havent met since 1 year..we understand each other well..but the thing is he is very good looking...and i am very ugly..earlier he used to tell me to put make ups n all..but then i told him i wanted to be simple as i have always been..(i dont like putting make ups n all..its very irritating)...we had this festival few days ago..and i wore a traditional cloth...it was simple yet elegant..i sent some pics to my boyfriend..now after looking at the pics he said that..'hey dear please get a sleeveless dress..a bit shorter..yours is too long..bla bla bla' i have a question here:
why would a boy ask for al this? when he knows i dont look good..why does he keep asking me to all that??? Is it wrong to be simple and have a high thinking?? because what i see here is..it doesnt matter whether or not i have a good thinking or not..people look up for what u wear..and how you look!!

November 14, 2012 - 11:11am

Hi Susan,

I am sorry I disappeared after Thursday. I was visiting and am currently visiting my relatives. However, I did end up having a talk with him and asked him for more time which he agreed to. He was apologizing for having over-reacted and though, I live only 25 minutes away from him here. I chose not to meet him over the weekend to think things through. Whenever I did not respond, he contacted me himself to make sure I was fine and was leaving but because I have been quiet. I think he is gradually getting the hint that I may not be following through with this relationship. I have talked to my family, peers, and even my professors and will end this relationship I am not sure whether tomorrow or next week depending on how gracefully I can end it. My main concern with him has been specifically how my relationship with his mother will be and the issue of mistrust. Those were my two concerns and I brought them up during our conversation but chose not to debate or as he said 'resolve' the issues that led to us disagreeing and arguing on the first place. He was accomodating and told me that he will always want to be happy but I could tell that he was in desperate want of saving whatever we had left. I will gently end the relationship sometime this week and move on with my career and will date more open-minded men in the future - I am sure they exist - I may have been looking at the wrong types of men. But I am only 26 and I count this a learning experience and something that I can carry with me for the rest of my life - I only wish it didnt have to end this way because I know he genuinely loves and cares for me but his anger issues and issues with his family will constantly place a strain in our relationship. In addition, his demand to prioritize him over my own family and keep our relationship in isolation is not a healthy relationship and not one that I want. It has been strange and hard since I did share some good memories with him of laughter and teasing, but these issues will always be a barrier between us. I had asked him for a couple of weeks to think these things through especially because I wasnt even sure if I even wanted this relationship. In the two days in which we had not talked, he had told me that he had missed me and realized how much he loved me. However, I have learned from past relationships that these are sometimes trigger words there to put me in a guilty position. I have been very formally texting him so that I can logically, gracefully, and respectfully end this relationship. I will not tolerate any man demeaning my career or my family especially my mother. I will still take maybe a week more to think of this through but I think I know what the right thing to do is. Please let me know that I am thinking in the right track or not?

November 11, 2012 - 4:31pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Anonymos1486

Good to hear from you again.

What I see going on for all the posts in total is that you are a modern, independent and educated woman who tends to date traditional Indian men who come from traditional families. This is not a good match for you and the likelihood of you giving your current life and studies up is very low (I hope!) and they are not going to change either.

Maybe it's time for you to either stop dating for a while and go it alone (three troubled relationships in a row may be telling you to go solo for a while) or start engaging in more modern-minded Indian men or just more open-minded men in general. Don't try and change his family - they won't change and they will all resent you like heck if you try. Don't change yourself or your family - why should you?

So you are in one kind of world - dating men from another. There are lots of progressive Indian men out there (if you want to stick to your own culture) - how about giving them a chance?

About your phone call tonight - you may have had it already and I can't tell you what to say. But if you establish a relationship with (or marry) a traditional Indian man, you marry his whole family and this isn't going to work for someone like you.

There are so many men out there - wonderful men who could make you very happy! Stop focusing on these negative men or men who just aren't a good match for you. It doesn't sound like the two families are a good match either. Don't sign up for a lifetime of drama with your in-laws. You have only been together for six months and already there is mistrust, fights and a short separation. This isn't a good sign.

Let me know how your phone call went-


November 8, 2012 - 1:54pm
(reply to Susan Cody)

Hi Susan,

I haven't called him yet but do plan to text him later in the day and basically asking for more time and saying that I am concerned that there was mistrust when I had not done anything but perhaps you are right. It seems that this guy portrayed himself to be both open-minded and liberal but in reality isn't or leans more towards conservative thought more than I would like. In addition, his life is extremely complicated and does tend to be too sensitive and judges everything beyond how much I would like. No, I don't intend on changing anyone's family but I have realized that I should not impose my own perfect ideologies on men before they even open up to me and truly come across as being who they are. I had thought that because he had been brought up by a single mother who raised three kids - that surely he will understand these things and be more liberal and open minded about things instead he is the right opposite perhaps because he is expected to or was expected to take responsibility of his family once he came of age. I am not sure. They are also a very private family versus mine which is close-knit and open and not just between the four of us but all my relatives. What I found troubling and exhausting was that he wanted to me to make him my first priority beyond even my parents, from my understanding of a healthy relationship is when we are all a happy family including his and mine. There is no hierarchy present in these relationships. I am sure and believe that there are progressive men out there and I do not plan to seek them out either. Instead, from this lesson and others, I have realized that I need to focus on my career goals and in time, naturally there will be people who will show up and also let my parents handle some of it. Yes, the funny thing is everything was going fine until suddenly it all blew up last week in a success of fights from Wednesday then over the weekend and then Sunday night and some accusations on Monday night. Among that the most troubling was that he didnt believe my innocence and continued to accuse despite my innocence in the whole confusion. I am also in no rush to marry if that is the case but rather wait for the right one who is honest to himself and others and not secretive about his life to my parents.

November 8, 2012 - 3:39pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to anonymos1486)

Hi anonymos1486

I think you answered a lot of your own questions here!

It sounds like he thought you were cheating or lying about something (which was untrue) but wouldn't really back down despite your innocence. I do agree that it's important to make your husband a priority in life, but not a man you've been dating for 6 months - at least not to the exclusion of your own family. And like last time, you have chosen a complicated man! There are so many more simple men out there that you can choose from!

Use your experiences to see warning signals for the future. And  I think you have a wonderful future ahead of you!



November 14, 2012 - 1:26pm
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