Arranged Marriage

Just had a huge argument with my parents over this issue, apparently my mom found this girl back in her country and wants me to marry her when I graduate in a years time. This has been going on for a couple months and I'm vehemently against it. My parents keep guilt tripping me and saying they worked hard to raise me so they should at least have this joy. I don't fucking know... help me. They don't even want to move out of the house and just think it's best we all stay in one place and never go anywhere. Fucking help me. Maybe if you're middle eastern/south Asian you will sympathize somewhat.

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Comments (105)

Mar 1, 2021 - 11:28pm

Don't really care about that.

Can't you just say 'she isn't hot'?

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Mar 1, 2021 - 9:41pm

I sympathize. I'm from Edison fucking New Jersey so it's the absolute epicenter of the Indian diaspora in the US (bay area aside ig). I've seen far too many people have situations similar to yours including close cousins. First and foremost, I have to ask what your financial situation is like. If your parents are paying for you to go to school, then there's no way in hell you can risk them pulling their money out or something like that. If they are paying for your education, the smartest move is to play it cool and just keep things relaxed and not overly crazy until after you get your degree AND a job that will sustain a lifestyle for you that doesn't involve you living with your parents. No need to risk your future over this. After you've gotten your degree and you've got a job and a living situation outside of the home (essentially after you're independent), you need to make it clear to them that they can either have a relationship with you or they can't have a relationship with you. Whether they do or they don't depends on whether they're willing to be okay with life choices you make with your life. It's your life.

For now, just relax. This is a year away right? No need to go ballistic. Just say you want to wait until after graduation and you're focused on studies and recruitment (which you should be). Just a guess, are you MaxEbic? Not too many Pakistani interns in commercial real estate on this forum lmao.

  • Intern in RE - Comm
Mar 1, 2021 - 9:55pm

No, I'm not that guy. There is more than one paki on this forum, sir. Thanks for the advice. You're right I should play it cool, it just gets my blood boiling.

Mar 3, 2021 - 1:08am

I agree. Arranged marriages have worked for thousands of years. Why do you want to be a special snowflake and weasel your way out of it? Just man up, marry the bitch, father children, convert your entire bank account to Bitcoin and Monero, go out to buy milk and eggs at the store, sneak off to Medellin Colombia and become a drug lord.

Mar 8, 2021 - 11:59am


some of the greatest marriages of history were arranged marriages

  • Developer in RE - Comm
Mar 1, 2021 - 10:30pm

Not an immigrant or from an immigrant family so I have no perspective on this. But it raises an question I've had about the mindset of immigrants like OP's parents.

It seems obvious that if you permanently move away from your cultural homeland, you're effectively deciding that you don't want your descendants to be part of that culture. Some kids will rebel from it within a few years, and some will partially go along with it but then their kids will be disconnected from it. So within a couple of generations, the kids will not be Pakistani (or Indian, or Korean, or Ukrainian, etc...) in any meaningful sense. That's basically preordained when the immigrants leave their native country. 

There are a lot of Americans with last names like Rossi or McGregor who love to talk about their grandmother's pasta or corned beef recipe, but apart from that they have very little in common with people in Sicily or Ireland whom they share a great-grandparent with.

It's one thing if you just don't care, or actively dislike your native culture. In that case immigrating for economic opportunity makes perfect sense. But if you care a lot about your kids sticking to your culture, it makes no sense to pull them out of that culture and put them into another one. Kids assimilate. Not sure whether some prospective immigrants are just unaware of how this works or if they're in denial, but fighting against the tide isn't likely to work.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Mar 1, 2021 - 11:31pm

I'm not sure about this one. On one hand, I've definitely seen what you're referring to. On the other hand, I think it's possible to preserve that culture through things like food, religion, cultural events, language (if possible, cause this one is tougher to pass down), and other things like that. Take my family for example: assuming my kids and their kids and their kids remain Hindu, they'll always have a permanent connection to my parents (the original immigrants). If we can keep at least 1 of our languages going (we all speak 4 outside of English), then that aspect is preserved. If they keep the religion, then they keep all the cultural events that come with it. If they engage in the cultural events, they'll be eating the food. Just seems like if you make an active effort to keep yourself and future generations connected, you can do it.

Would love to hear further thoughts.

  • Developer in RE - Comm
Mar 1, 2021 - 11:53pm

I think "make an active effort to keep yourself and future generations connected" is exactly what OP's mother is trying to do. Clearly it isn't going well so far.

There are a lot of if statements in your post. But the experience of past generations of immigrants suggests that what you describe isn't likely to happen.

Don't underestimate how strong the ethnic ties of the Irish and Italians I mentioned once were. They lived in the same neighborhoods, spoke the same language (in the case of the Italians), and practiced the same religion- in their own ethnic parishes, no less. They ate the same foods, celebrated the same festivals, and encouraged their children to marry each other. Now, aside from some nostalgia, it's all pretty much gone.

Culture is something much broader than the home environment that parents create. Kids absorb what's around them despite their parents' best efforts.

Mar 8, 2021 - 12:30pm

This depends on the immigrant group tbh. The UK South Asian diaspora mostly settled in the mid 60s and still hasn't lost much touch at all with their roots. There's a lot of factors that play into this.

A couple differences when you compare to Europeans that immigrated to America: they mostly did so before airplanes or affordable airfare which meant that moving to America you were likely never going back to visit your home country again once you left. This contrasted with South Asians who are traveling back home every few years. Most South Asians have immigrated after the advent of the telephone which means most have kept in regular contact with family back home. With FaceTime and WhatsApp, this has become even easier.

Keeping in such regular contact with home means that many South Asians have actively stayed involved in dealing with their ancestral land, real estate, or any family business. The rapid level of population increase vs. the limited land available in India and Pakistan has led to skyrocketing land and real estate prices along with appreciation of business values and great potential in emerging economies. There's very real economic skin in the game that they won't be giving up or cashing out any time soon. As the vast majority of South Asian immigrants who came over to the US in the 80s and 90s begin to retire (like my parents) they'll likely increase travel back and forth home and solidify these business ties which eventually with be passed down to their children.

European immigrants to America also practiced the same religion (Catholicism is hardly that different from denominations of Christianity) whereas South Asians are practicing and celebrating religious holidays across Hinduism, Islam, or Sikhism. Maybe their level of faith or devoutness declines over generations but these holidays will continue to be at the center of family get together and celebrations. Much like how most American Jews aren't religious necessarily but these holidays continue to be central parts of American Jewish families.

Go around most large American college campuses and you'll see American born South Asians mostly hanging out in groups among themselves and a part of student associations that celebrate their culture and holidays even though they're mostly assimilated to the American way of life.

This is not to say that there isn't a level of assimilation that's occurring because it is. That's inevitable and healthy. But I don't think it's fair to compare the assimilation of European Christians (to a country founded by European Christians...) to the assimilation of other immigrant groups. The Jewish American story shows pretty clearly you can assimilate without giving up entire parts of your culture and ancestry.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Mar 1, 2021 - 10:36pm

Contrarian take here but arranged marriages are actually a good thing if your goal is to stick to your cultural heritage. Going to be honest though, you sound more of a liberal desi so i would oppose it and i know mental health is not a thing in our households because of the stigma attached to it but can you honestly live with a woman that you may or may not even love?

I really hope you escape and live on your own if they force you to get married and live abroad. Not a good thing to be depressed before marrying the supposed love of your life. 

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Mar 1, 2021 - 11:15pm

Take a good look at the woman your parents chose. Maybe they see something in her that is really great for you. After all, I'm sure your parents care deeply about you. However, if you can't stand the person they chose, follow the advice above. Quietly finish up you college education, get a job, and tell you parents that you will be choosing who you live with the rest of your life.

Mar 2, 2021 - 12:04am

1) they shouldn't move out. you should move out.

2) find a girl yourself. your parents just want grandkids at some point, so they want to see you dating. so find a girl yourself, and they'll be cool with that. if you can't, then maybe think about their offer - better arranged marriage than forever virgin.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Mar 2, 2021 - 7:45am

1 is solid. For 2, they're gonna have very specific requirements for the girl (race, religion, caste, skin tone, education, occupation, and so much more) so it's going to be tough for OP to find himself.

  • Intern in RE - Comm
Mar 2, 2021 - 10:17am

I'm planning on moving - they try to convince to me to find a job in the city I'm in, but fuck that. In their eyes, it's out of love but... I'm not okay living like this anymore. As for the second point, actually have a GF but she isn't Paki and my parents don't know about her. She's really great, but isn't "one of ours" so will never be accepted. Will probably also break up with her when I get the job I want, not because she's bad but because I don't want anything serious for a while.

Most Helpful
  • Developer in RE - Comm
Mar 2, 2021 - 10:38am

So your GF is "really great" but you're already secretly planning to dump her after you string her along for another year until you sound like a high quality human being. If you're going to break up with her, do it now and quit wasting her time.

Mar 2, 2021 - 8:06am

I am just some white dude with no real experience with this issue...   I think you need to sit down with your parents and have a long conversation.    As much as I would like to say, go ahead and appease your parents, you are going to have to live with this decision for the rest of your life.  Why don't you try to meet someone in the US who has your ethic background and convince your parents to like her.  I sort of get that parents want their kids to marry within their own group but how specific does it have to be.  There are plenty of middle eastern females in the US who value their heritage.  I am not going to try to convince you to marry someone outside of your ethic group because that might end your relationship with your parents.  Personally, if my kid chose to marry someone from a different religion from me, I would be okay with it as long as she/he checked off the other boxes.   Ultimately, it would be my kid's decision.
  • Intern in RE - Comm
Mar 2, 2021 - 10:26am

They don't listen though. I've tried talking with them, telling them this is not at all what I want. They just say I'm being disobedient and ungrateful to them for all they've done for me.

Mar 2, 2021 - 12:29pm

They don't listen though. I've tried talking with them, telling them this is not at all what I want. They just say I'm being disobedient and ungrateful to them for all they've done for me.

Well, I know you do not want to piss off your parents but at the same time, you might resent them and be disappointed in yourself if you agree to an arranged marriage.  Sometimes, you have to prioritize your own interests.  I assume that you would not get married until after college anyway.  I would punt until after college and then start introducing them to a few middle eastern girls in the US, and see what they say.
Mar 2, 2021 - 10:08am

I rate this view. If you move somewhere and plan on staying for the long haul (sounds like OP does) then you should aim to be part of the society - not create a sub group. This does not mean completely move away from you origins, but this means that you should culturally move towards or at least understand the culture of the country you settle in. 

Based on the argument above, just say that to your parents and as you evolve in an environment and group of friend (assuming you are not just haning out with people that are approved by your parrents and are married)  flash that 1) no one is getting married quite yet (kicking the can down the line strategy) 2) no one is undertaking arrange marriages, yet parental consent/approval is on the line. Doing 1&2 would raise substantial questions from people in your environmnent both professionally, socially and emotionally that you are not willing to go through at this stage as this is not the norm in western culture. But give them re-assurance that you are seriously considering getting married and will (despite not arranging it) let them be involved with the choice of your partner.

Mar 3, 2021 - 5:09pm

AMEN. They don't have to sacrifice their entire culture/traditions/heritage but the idea that everyone currently in the country should be avoided except for work is harmful. Imagine everyone subdividing into groups like that. 


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  • Business School in IB - Ind
Mar 2, 2021 - 8:27am

Got a good friend who is Indian and moved here around age 8. His parents fully expect him to get an arranged marriage, help pay off their mortgage, and live with them well into his 30s. He's almost 30 now and I've known him since 22. He's been paying them monthly and living with them as long as I've known him. He pushes back on the arranged marriage thing but will probably still do it, he's a highly agreeable guy.

I think inter generational living is incredibly common in India (other places as well) and the idea of "saving for retirement" isn't a thing. Your kids take care of you as you age. I'm not totally against it but I would hope people elect to do that and aren't forced to socially.

If I were you I would push back and not give in. Picking your spouse is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life. Arranged marriages can be good and from what the data says, usually they last longer but if you feel like you are forced then it won't work.

Mar 2, 2021 - 8:38am

I am white but a high school friend is Indian. He was born/raised in the US in a family of immigrants from India (not sure where, I think middle or south?).
He surprised a lot of people when he went back to India one summer and returned to the US as an engaged man, he got married to a lovely Indian girl a few months afterwards.
By now, quite a few of my other (white) friends are either separated or divorced. they are having custody battles over their kids and their family future is in shambles. This Indian friend is one of the happiest guys I have ever seen, his marriage is working out for him and, as one of the results, his other goals are also easier to achieve. He just seems to fulfilled.

Not every arranged marriage has to be a "bad" one or "not meant to be". I hope this insight was useful, even though I am not Indian.

also: in former times many marriages were arranged, across all of Europe. It was way more common than nowadays.

  • Intern in RE - Comm
Mar 2, 2021 - 10:03am

I'm not saying it'll be bad, it's just I don't want to get married at 22. I do not want that commitment and have to care of a wife + my parents + children (they will be expected within one year of marriage). All of us in one house on one income (wives aren't expected to work, dad will retire). 

Mar 2, 2021 - 11:27am

Like I said, I am a white boy from a fly-over state; was trying to help and don't really understand the small print of things. But could you have a say in when this all would happen, i.e. you find a good wife and just wait a little bit longer? Or you guys "get to know each other" through the internet or something?

Come to think of it, my cousin is also in an arranged marriage. As funny as it sounds, but he was introduced to his wife by his parents because they wanted them to get married. It all worked out in the end. "arranged" or semi arranged isn't as rare as we all may think.

Mar 2, 2021 - 9:50am

So from what I gather you still live in your parents house?

First thing you need to do is change that. The easiest way to do that is to look for internship and job offers outside your current city (best outside the state). This way you'll not only give your parents something to be proud of (and hence buy yourself time), it also ensures that at least further control outside of this marriage issue will be difficult. Your parents have made many friends over the past years and are not as likely  to follow you. Sure they may be discouraged at first that you aren't at home, but talk up the change in location ("Hey you know location XYZ is really good for real estate", "I got into company A which is highly prestigious."). 

Now you use this as a bargaining tool to buy some time with respect to marriage. "Hey parents you know during the analyst stint I have to work 70-80 hours a week." "It's really important I perform well in my early years. As such I would like to wait a couple or years before getting married."

Lastly, remember you've only bought yourself a few years. Actually try to find somebody during your analyst stint. Normally I think it would be a bit weird but somebody in your culture would understand the quick courting period. 


Mar 2, 2021 - 9:55am

Also when introducing the girl you've found, introduce her using the qualities you know that your parents are looking for ("Hey dad, I found this girl who works job Y, she's been a good friend and shares cultural traits X, Y, Z with us"

Bonus points if you go to a cultural club during your first few years at work and meet said person. Your parents will really appreciate that, and now you can control for other factors that matter to you.


  • Intern in RE - Comm
Mar 2, 2021 - 11:09am

Nothing seems to get through to them. They don't even understand the job I want or that it can entail long hours. They keep bring up other people, "Ahmed's son, Yusuf, has a great job in IT. He doesn't work more than 35hrs and makes 60k. Why do you want to be in NYC for a real estate role. There's buildings in New York and there's building here." That's not even that much of a stretch. 

Honestly, I do not want the commitment of a wife in my 20's. Ik some people prefer and can pull it off. But for me, I don't think I can. I don't want to go and ruin some innocent girls life because I want to please my parents. In all honesty, she was probably "persuaded" by her family to get married in the first place. Divorced or separated women are looked down upon and often no one else wants to marry them because their "used goods" and are shunned by friends and relatives because socializing with a girl like that is bad for the family image.

Mar 2, 2021 - 11:30am

I've had plenty of Asian friends throughout my life and I can say for a fact your parents are absolute control freaks. The fact that they would suggest you earn "60K" in some back office role next to them rather than go to NYC to work in a prestigious company is beyond ridiculous. Almost every Asian parent would be proud of their child for getting into a prestigious firm, prestigious college, doing good for the family name. 

You probably already know this, but this won't stop at "arranged marriage". I bet they even convinced you to stay at home at college "to save money" which turned against you. 

The only real solution I see here is to stop telling your parents about your internships and job offers. Get the offer in hand and leave.  Do not say anything until you have an offer signed. Either they'll come to their senses and realize you've done good for the family or will disown you. 

It's a difficult choice but I would recommend you sit and think of what will happen when your parents die. You know they won't live forever. Say they live 15 years. You'll be 36 with a wife you hate, a couple of kids you never wanted to have making $80-100K in a job you don't like, living a barely middle class life. Your entire life will be gone.


  • 2
  • Intern in RE - Comm
Mar 2, 2021 - 11:01am


Seriously though, sometimes an arranged marriage isn't like you wake up one Tuesday and your mom tells you're getting married on Friday. It can be a fairly long process, where they introduce you to a girl (or boy) and you talk to them and what not. Actually, it's still not that long of process like a few months and you're in talks with multiple girls at one time and can pick which one you want.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Mar 2, 2021 - 6:23pm


Seriously though, sometimes an arranged marriage isn't like you wake up one Tuesday and your mom tells you're getting married on Friday. It can be a fairly long process, where they introduce you to a girl (or boy) and you talk to them and what not. Actually, it's still not that long of process like a few months and you're in talks with multiple girls at one time and can pick which one you want.

I guess it depends on when you agree to the marriage and how binding that agreement is. Like, you could be in multiple arranged marriages for years before you pick one.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Mar 2, 2021 - 4:09pm

Not quite the same because OP seems to be being forced into this and has no intention of getting married. All the people on that show were at least somewhat down for it and had a list of standards.

Also, they all seemed older (which made for entertainment because it's exponentially harder for an older person to make it in the arranged marriage market).

Mar 2, 2021 - 12:09pm

oof, I can't pretend to begin to explain the cultural pressures, but if you're a legal adult, you don't have to do anything your parents tell you to do. just be willing to be cut off financially. arrange your life so that you don't need their money. maybe that's taking on student debt to fund your last year at uni, maybe that's having a lot of roommates so you can minimize expenses, idk, but if I were you, I'd just tell them no over and over and over again, that you appreciate their upbringing and that they raised you, but you're your own person and will make your own decisions, and then before you hang up, I'd say "by the way, I've been dating this girl Emily for 2 years now and things are going really well, I hope you get to meet her someday." this will lead to some tension and maybe some intra family alienation, but ask yourself what you want more - acceptance or independence and that should drive your decision.

for whatever it's worth, I know two indian-americans who turned down arranged marriages (one even married a caucasian, the horror!), both found successful careers after the fact and their parents keep quiet about it now.

Mar 2, 2021 - 3:22pm

My sociology a-level is rusty but I feel like you aren't talking about arranged marriage but forced marriage - the former being consensual by all involved . 

  • Intern in RE - Comm
Mar 2, 2021 - 4:42pm

Man I am so sorry you have to deal with this. I have a similar background to you, Pakistani, very conservative Muslim parents, the way my parents understood was getting others to talk to them. I had my older cousins and an aunt talk to them and they understood. I'm 22 now graduating at the end of 2021, and I bought myself at least two more years. It also helps finding someone. I have someone in mind and I've communicated that to them which has eased their mind a bit. Good luck man, praying your situation gets easier. I know I posted anonymously but if you need a homie to speak to, I'd be more than happy to be someone you can vent to.

  • Intern in RE - Comm
Mar 2, 2021 - 5:18pm

I appreciate you man. Sadly everyone in the family is on their side, they don't understand why I don't want a wife. The thing with my girl is that she isn't paki, she's white. Also not planning on converting. Which I don't have much of problem with, but my parents most definitely will. It is what is for now, hopefully things get better once I have full independence from them.

  • Intern in RE - Comm
Mar 2, 2021 - 5:56pm

lmaooo. Nah I'm pretty sure OP is MaxEbicc or whatever lol. I'm pretty new to the forum but I'm a student in Texas.

  • Intern in RE - Comm
Mar 2, 2021 - 6:26pm

Um... yeah there can be 3 paki CRE interns with conservative parents and if I wanted my identity to be known I wouldn't have posted anon. 

Mar 2, 2021 - 6:48pm

Don't @ me.

Im not the OP, been trying to avoid this thread but apparently not. For the record my parents are the opposite. They say don't even think about girls until MBA is done and I've bought them a house. Which is bullshit and not something I take to heart of course. 

Mar 2, 2021 - 6:16pm

My friend was in a similar position. He got fucked pretty hard and had a really hard time when we agreed to let his parentes fix the marrige.

He seems to be happy now though and not having any problems but thats maybe because he was lucky and things worked out. I to understand your situation, just say that you want to find someone yourself and that they can also approve on it. Then continue school, and then find a girl, introduce her maybe they like her and maybe not.

You have to decide yourself if you want to live your life to get your parentes happy or think outside of the box and figure a solution where you can live to be happy for yourself and also get your parentes to live with it.

  • Analyst 1 in CorpDev
Mar 3, 2021 - 4:54pm

Just say you aren't interested in getting married right now since you're focused on school and your career. It wouldn't hurt to talk to the girl though and go out on a few dates - she might be a good match or she might not be. You'll never know without giving it a shot. My parents might be a bit more chill than yours but you're all adults and you can talk it out. They might throw a tantrum but you just have to stay calm and not feed into it. Just make it clear that you don't want to get married right now and give them a time span of when you think you'll be ready.

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Mar 4, 2021 - 4:58pm

I'll throw in my two cents as I'm someone who has a similar cultural background.

First off be careful with your current girlfriend. I know plenty of dudes who have a gori girlfriend whom they use for some good times but deep down know it'll never be long-term due to hassle of having to tell parents, cultural differences etc. etc.. Don't string her along as that's a shitty thing to do and could lead to complications down the road. If however you genuinely really really like her and think she is worth all of the potential shit you got to deal with your family etc. then you need to start thinking about how you introduce her to your family. This doesn't need to be immediate but there needs to be a plan in place about how you can break the news to your parents without shit hitting the fan. It helps to have leverage in these scenarios such as being financially independent and also being a big contributor to family earnings.

She also needs to be very clear about what she's signing up for too (this probably ain't gonna be some bullshit Big Sick happily ever after scenario). From your post however, it sounds like she probably isn't the one which is fine, you just need to be honest with her and not string her along.

On the arranged marriage situation (which by the way sounds like a forced marriage given all parties don't seem consenting), if you have gotten some information about the girl and realised it's a definite no no then best thing you can do is just stall for time. Your argument should not be that you don't want to marry her and disobey your parents but that you don't feel ready for marriage yet (financially, maturity wise etc.) and need some time. I would then leave it at that and keep reverting to this point. Hopefully the girl may probs find some other dude in the background and you'll be gucci.

I've personally found I've never truly clicked with anyone who didn't share my cultural background and there were always some friction. I suggest you try looking at the local diaspora community and meeting people there. Someone you meet there could probably provide the compromise between your desires and your parents'.

You are in a shitty spot though dude and it can feel stifling. It also doesn't help when you have white folks who don't understand the cultural nuances and potential implications goading you to 'live your life' and be 'independent' and don't understand why you can't just stick two fingers to mum and dad and move out. This then leaves you with a deep feeling of resentment and unfulfillment. What helps is to move out temporarily (or go traveling or something) and do the crazy shit you wanted to do and realise that it ain't that fulfilling and that there is happiness and fulfilment in service to your loved ones. We live in a society where independence and freedom are highly valued often to the detriment of service, community and family (balance is key here).

DM if you need to chat further

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Mar 4, 2021 - 6:28pm

Idk why but "gori girlfriend" cracked me up. My parents use that term all the time (in my case "goray larkay" tho since I am a girl lol). Just out of curiosity where are you from? 

Mar 5, 2021 - 4:47pm

Let's be clear. The only answer here is "No". You'll be miserable your entire life, otherwise. Make your own decisions, bucko!

There is no big lie, there is no system, the universe is indifferent 

  • VP in RE - Comm
Mar 5, 2021 - 5:26pm

A good indian friend of mine from college got engaged. He was born in the US and it was a bit of a shocker. He went to India got engaged and everyone was surprised. However, shes a dime and a MD. I believe shes finishing up her residency here or something. Theyre very happen and shes probably going to make way more than him too. By comparison, I have two other friends that are divorced and only in their early 30s. It all varies.

Dont string along that other girl, if you do, then you don't deserve to ever be married. Yes your pretty damn young, at the end of the day nobody has a gun to your head, you could probably buy yourself a couple of years. Youll be okay. Respect the parents, but also take control of your own life. Its a balancing act for sure.

  • Assistant PM in AM - Other
Mar 6, 2021 - 1:23am

OK, so I married a Pakistani guy and I'm as foreign from the culture as it gets. Never converted and was never expected to. We have some pork sausage and wine in the fridge. I'm the one eating the pork he's the one drinking the wine. Our cultural disagreements are rarely practical and mostly hypothetical. He's never been observant around me and I find it hard to believe that he'll summon the willpower to pass down "cultural heritage" to our children. His friends who married foreign have done a pretty poor job at it and I'd be surprised if he's any different. YMMV. 

He married me in his mid-late thirties and at that point his family was just happy he was not gonna die alone. All expectations fell out of the window pretty much after he hit thirty. His mother didn't speak to him for a year or two in his early thirties. At some point his family even confronted him about being gay. Why don't you tell your parents that you want to do an MBA before you get married or something like that. It will buy you some time to earn your financial independence and then marry whoever you want whenever you want. I've seen this play out multiple times in his friends' circles.

  • Intern in RE - Comm
Mar 6, 2021 - 10:43am

Once I'm out, and am making enough money to support myself, I'll be good. It's just dealing with it in the present that shitty. If you don't mind me asking, how did the introduction go with the family? Was it tense or were they happy, how are things between everyone now?

  • Assistant PM in AM - Other
Mar 6, 2021 - 12:27pm

Just don't confront them - keep deflecting, say you need more time, find some cousin or their friend's child or even some famous guy who's making it rain and compare yourself to him. You just need to reassure them that marrying eventually is something you aspire to just not yet. 

Yes, of course. So I had to go to PK to meet them and they were actually very nice to me and all. It was by some margin my favorite trip to PK, because I didn't meet the extended family and didn't need to attend any major social obligations. I could only speak with my siblings-in-law because they spoke English so the parent piece was actually pretty easy to handle. I learned a couple of catchphrases in Urdu (like "food is nice", "thank you", "nice to meet you" etc.) and they loved that. We had to sleep in separate bedrooms which was a bit .. funny. Everybody was super nice, we drove around the country which wa fun and they actually showered me with a ton of gifts like jewelry and garments which I totally didn't expect and wasn't prepared to reciprocate. 

Our relationship is pretty good now, but frankly I'm not that much in touch with them as I just don't speak the language. If I'm being totally honest they're probably not happy that they can't speak to me in a common language and have sometimes expressed the wish I learn Urdu but that's about all the pressure I ever get. I send his mom some pictures from time to time and when we do meet we are on good terms. I'm the closest to his younger sibling who's also very liberal and sometimes we travel together. 

No doubt my husband has a better quality relationship in terms of depth with his in-laws than I do mostly because they speak the same language and they have a much smaller age gap (10-15 yrs vs.~30-35 yrs for me). My parents meeting his was probably among the most awkward thing we got to experience because they're night and day different. My mom likes her wine and my father is an active guy into extreme sports etc., also very outspoken. His family is very proper and formal, though nice people and as I said I was never expected to convert or at the wedding do traditions that I found weird. 

At the end of the wedding (it's a weeklong affair as you know) they were good with each other and both speak fondly of their counterpart, but there was definitely a possibility that this could go wrong. My in laws footed the bill for the Pakistani wedding and gifted me some very impressive sets of jewellry which was quite the expense and I'd take it as a strong sign of their benevolence and approval of the marriage. 

While his family definitely has way more drama than mine, I'm never really involved in it and I think that's great because I'm a very low drama person myself. I wonder if that's gonna change once we have kids but for now I'd say I'm pretty happy with my in laws and feel like I got very lucky.

Mar 6, 2021 - 11:51pm

Please grow some balls and put your foot down. This is your life. Leading a girl on is not cool at all. If you're gonna be such a wimp about this, go ahead and break up with her, marry some random girl, and appease your parents. But if you want to do what's RIGHT for YOU, follow the advice of the other commenters and tell your parents what you really think. This is not the 19th century.

Mar 8, 2021 - 5:47am

"ya bro just keep it cool and let them keep financially supporting you until you can dip" God, you scumbags. All you pretentious South Asian's replying to this thread recommending that shit, go f*ck yourself.

Your parents went through hell and back to immigrate and ensure you have a good life here in the West. They didn't force you to work a job to get through university and your mother probably still cuts fruits for you when you're studying because "beta is working very hard." The LEAST you can do is be honest with them, and if they pull the financial rug from you... man up. You're an adult, you can fend for yourself.

There are countless others (predominantly from white / black families) who go to the same university as you, same faculty, studying the same degree AND they had to move out at 18 to fend for themselves. We're lucky to have parents, even if they are "helicopter parents", that sacrifice their financial positions so YOU can have it easy.

Be honest with them.

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