Counselling

My liberal parents oppose my inter-religious marriage

Question: I am the only child (daughter) to parents who love me immensely. They have provided me with everything a parent should provide for their children. I too was always a great child, making them proud of my achievements in school and career.

Four years ago I met the most amazing person and fell in love with him. Before meeting him I had a couple of rough relationships and had come to believe that there is no true love for me in this world.

Now we have decided to take our relationship to the next level and get married. I asked my parents to bless me on this decision and they panicked. They are the most liberal and have supported many inter-religious marriages in our family and religious community. But now for me they have completed turned around and asked me to quit my job, cut all connections with my boyfriend and marry a boy of their choice. I tried to explain I will never fall in love again but for them, their face in the society is more important.

My parents have no problem with the guy, they find him amazing but will not tolerate us getting married because he is from a different community. ‘How does community matter between Indians’, is what my parents always taught me as I was growing up. But now they have changed and made it very difficult for me. My father also threatened that he will die if I did anything like this.

Please suggest what I should do in this situation. Thank you.

Answer:

Your parents do seem quite hypocritical and your confusion is understandable. I’m assuming you’re an adult. If you really love the guy and think the two of you have what it takes to go through with an inter-religion marriage, please go ahead.

Does love conquer all? Find out how marriages across cultures and religions can be made to work.

Also, keep communicating to your parents how their openness and secularism enabled you to fall in love with this man from another religion. It is how you’ve been brought up. Also, about past instances where they’ve supported other people doing the same. Ask them what their problem and issues with this alliance are apart from societal pressures? Also, can they seek an exact same alliance with the same qualities and guarantee that you will fall in love with that person? If yes, give them a month to find a match, if they can’t, marry your boyfriend. I am sure they won’t be able to find a match in a month with exact same qualities as your current partner.

I know this may be sounding rebellious and insensitive towards parents, but they need to face the music dear girl. You’re an adult who has the sensitivity to look beyond someone’s religion or community. My bet is, most parents do come around once the marriage is done. Sooner than later.

All the best!

Snigdha

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