February 3, 2012

Three Mistakes Non-Indian Women Make In Marrying Indian Men

Through the last fifteen years of being involved in the Indian community and interacting with many non-Indian, Western,and white women who struggle with relationships and commitments with their Indian boyfriends, I share the top three mistakes that most of these women make while trying to overcome the challenges of acceptance from their Indian boyfriend or to-be's family.


Mistake #1 - Thinking Love Can Conquer All
Many Americans hold an ideal that regardless of social standing, culture, economic status, educational background and religion, love will overcome all these problems and make everything ‘ok.’ This can be true if and only if the couple have extensive discussions before marriage about expectations after marriage and into the long term, such as both partners’ career aspirations, family planning, traditions, values, choosing the place to live among many other variables. Of course, not everything can be breached ahead of time. Situations do change after marriage and through time. 


Mistaking Love for Commitment
To many Westerners, the statement “I love you” often stands for a long-term commitment. That is one reason why many American programs broach the hard choices people make and situations that arise when one partner says “I love you” and the other isn’t ready to say it yet.

This being said, when most American [women] hear the words “I love you,” they take this very seriously. Due to mistake number one, she believes the man will do anything and everything in his power to create a long term commitment which will sooner than later evolve into marriage.

The problem is that in many Indian families, many may still believe love comes after marriage. This is of course due to the arranged marriage which is prevalent among many segments of Indian society regardless of geography. Thinking of this from the point of view of the Indian’s relationship with you, keep in mind he may hold back physical and emotional forms of affection as well as verbal confirmations of love. This is not because he doesn’t love you. In fact, many Indian guys who really do love you will withhold this out of respect for you and wanting to reserve these special occasions for after tying the knot. The problem here is that, in many Indian’s minds, they may not commit to any of these forms of affection until their parents have given the go-ahead. His relationship with you in this case, is not separate from his relationship with his family in that way. When his family accepts you; you are now family, so in his mind he is more willing to be open and available to you.


Giving Up Everything – Even Their Very Identity for “Love”
Due to the upsurge of the Internet, the incidence of cross-cultural love affairs takes place without the two people ever interacting face to face (in person as compared to Skype, which is not the same). The first time these couples meet face-to-face is when one saves up enough money to travel to the other. In some cases, their first face-to-face encounter is also when they decide to marry. The irony in all this is that this set-up is very similar to an arranged marriage minus the family pairing you up. You as the girl are acting as the super-traditional Indian girl who gives up everything; including her family, place of home, independence and identity to marry and move to India. Ironically, as the incidence of Western women taking part in this behavior increases, Indian man’s desire to marry the Westerner may increase as more and more modern Indian women are not interested in being so confined and traditional. Ironic that a Westerner is willing to be more traditional than an Indian (who is stereotyped as more traditional), isn’t it?

Because the Western woman is wrapped up in the exotic that is India; the traditional culture with the perceived higher sense of family values due to living in an extended family, and the idea of love conquering all, she is blinded by the reality that is about to hit her like a pile of bricks. The honeymoon in many of these cases never begins or ends before the marriage takes place. There is no honeymoon because the culture shock, reality and gravity of the situation hits the woman sometimes as soon as the heat hits her face as she deboards the plane.


Tying Things Up
Many say “The first year of marriage is the hardest.” This is often said among Americans who marry other Americans – not in a typical cross-cultural relationship. Yes, the first year of marriage can be the hardest even when the mindsets, environment and communication challenges seem very similar. Even for those who have traveled extensively within their own countries or abroad, they quickly realize living in another country, and with in-laws is worlds different than visiting a place on a vacation and staying in a resort!


As a side note: this post is not meant to discourage you from attempting a cross-cultural marriage; it’s meant to help you think about the reality that stands before you. Life will NOT be easy, the romanticism and exoticism will die fast and love may not conquer all when you land up in India and are in the midst of culture shock and your new family doesn’t approach life the same way as you. In these cases, many begin to lose themselves, feel misunderstood and become bitter toward their new family and life in general. 

Jennifer Kumar, Managing Director of Authentic Journeys helps Indians build the skills to be confident and successful in managing business relationships with Americans. She works with Indians in India and Indian expats (NRIs) in the US over Skype, telephone or other VOIP programs.

Editing and photography in this is done by Kristy Robinson.

Building Relationships at Work:
How can I start a conversation with an American? 
Learning about American Mannerisms During Small Talk  


57 comments:

  1. I think your perceptions are exactly right. I can't say I didn't make some of those mistakes myself. While I was sure love didn't conquer all, I wasn't aware of that pile of bricks you mentioned lol. I think you covered a lot of what women I talk to as well didn't realize. They didn't get the stars out of their eyes long enough to think.

    Too many girls think they can change everything about themselves to be a good wife and it's just not true and I don't know why they think that because they wouldn't do it for a US husband. The reality is that the more you change the more they demand you change and it becomes a never ending cycle until you don't know who you are anymore and you get sick of it and the marriage fails. You're cheating yourself by deciding to change everything. A few things must change and that is to be expected but none of them should require you to change your personality. If ANY man chooses you, then he likes you the way you are and shouldn't expect or want any changes other than those expected from natural maturity and intellectual growth.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kristy.... thanks for your feedback. I'd agree with your statements of course. I wonder how much our mindsets about accepting oneself for who they are and not expect change is 'typical Indian'. As we know traditional Indian culture expects the girl to marry into the house, leaving her family behind and her identity - this presupposes change!!

    Of course, I understand this is not the case all over India with all families, but when the Westerner woman tells the man she is willing to change to the extreme 'because it's the culture' and 'they want to experience the true culture' they are misguided, and the man is also mistaken this can happen as easily as the woman claims it to be. Many of us Western women are raised to be independent and 'know what we like' preferences and dislikes, we have our own opinions which may or may not be suitable in the traditional Indian family role for a demure wife who gives up everything to be part of a new family.

    What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think you're right. Most don't realize just how much they will have to change. General expectations of the non-Indian women tend to be around changing living habits when in reality they have to change living standards among other things. It may seem easy to both parties to be able to change how they shower, when they go out and how (like via motorcycle instead of car) and those all seem easy enough. Then once they get here they realize (and I was one of them) it is actually frustrating to always be waiting to go out and get things done until the stores open, someone can take you, until you find a taxi and more. Then once you get there you have the extreme differences in how customers are handled, guests are received, etc. Even things that you think will be extremely similar in the India and the US can be vastly different in small ways that are hard to adjust to. All of these little things add up quick and can cause a significant amount of stress. Unfortunately most women (and I was one of them) plan for changes but they don't even think about or plan for the stress and the hardship of these changes. They are blindsided without any preparations to help them find comfort when they need it most.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this. Often times, people come to me asking for cross cultural marriage advice and I struggle, because each situation is unique. I can't use my relationship as a template to guide others because the circumstances of our relationship were atypical. I am going to refer friends of mine to this blog in the future.

    ReplyDelete
  5. OUCH!
    Brilliantly said though.
    I think the thing that surprised me the most on marrying into an Indian family was the 'hierarchy'. Wow, did I get a surprise when I - a 40 yr old professional woman- got the full on 'choti bahu' treatment from my teenaged nieces. (I married the youngest son.) That didn't set too well with me at all. Still doesn't. No way was I prepared for that nastiness.
    I REALLY upset the 'pecking order' in that household.
    Oh well.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jessica. I agree. And, now, after interacting with so many different kinds of situations, there are unique aspects of each. Many girls in these situations want a one size fits all answer, and a quick 'YES", but I'd warn them against this thinking.

    ReplyDelete
  7. P... thanks for sharing this. Yes, place and status means a lot in Indian society and the family, particularly. How did you deal with this? How do you deal with this?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Reprinted, an Indian friend (NRI) in the USA writes:

    Jen this is a great article..one of your best. You're spot on in pointing out the possible pitfalls of a cross cultural marriage.

    It's almost like the business term 'Buyers Beware' which only means know what you're getting into. Only in this case you're losing much more than money. So many things apply to a non cross cultural marriage as well. I think the whole "Hum Aapke Hain Kaun" phenomenon in India (I'm sure you know what I mean) is so misleading and unjust especially towards young women getting married.They get so wrapped up in the romanticism and the frills and thrills of a marriage that they completely ignore deeper and more important issues.I do feel the Indian young woman today is so much smarter than she used to be.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Well, I was a bit confused at first & dealt with it as my middle class American parents taught me- 'ignore bad behavior'. I made the mistake of buying expensive gifts & even paying off some of their bills. Still hubby & I were treated slightly better than servants.
    The 'last straw' came when I was pregnant & within earshot as my nieces told my hubby he should leave me because I was 'old & fat' and they would find him a 'nice young village girl'. My hubby& I packed our suitcases and left immediately. You could have probably heard all the screaming & bellowing (from his family) from Srinagar to Kolkata.
    We haven't spoken to that branch of the family in 7 years now. No apologies have ever been offered, no attempts at contrition have ever been made. They finally stopped spreading malicious gossip about me 4 yrs ago.
    I'm not sure how I could have handled this better, even though I understand the culture better now. Hope my nieces realize they'll be some elses' 'choti bahu' some day.

    ReplyDelete
  10. i loved this! ive been married to my husband (a punjabi) for about a year and a half and he's a sweet as could be! i talked with most of his familly members via skype, telephone, facebook etc etc....and they seem to be perfectly content with me. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think these comments rae not true.I am an Indian(right now in US doing reserach) and my uncle who is a doctor is married to my aunt(Scottish,and a doctor as well)since last 18 years..and they are very happy with each other.Two uncles of my father(both of them engineers)are married to Germans women since last 35 and 40 years respectively,whereas in US I find the divorce rate is pretty high and even couples cheating on each other in not very uncommon....

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think these comments rae not true.I am an Indian(right now in US doing reserach) and my uncle who is a doctor is married to my aunt(Scottish,and a doctor as well)since last 18 years..and they are very happy with each other.Two uncles of my father(both of them engineers)are married to Germans women since last 35 and 40 years respectively,whereas in US I find the divorce rate is pretty high and even couples cheating on each other in not very uncommon....

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks Bilo. I am happy things are working out well for you! I am also happy to hear that you had took a more serious approach to relationship building.

    May you have a long, happy, fulfilling married life.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Devemk,
    Thanks for your valuable comments. I am happy to hear you have extended family members married inter culturally with happy marriages. That is great news. That fact also doesn't disprove the comments in this article for all intercultural (Indian- non-Indian marriages), though. Not everyone may face such problems, as everyone's situation varies. But some or many may face some or all the problems mentioned in this article.

    It's really great your uncles have been in long-lasting cross-cultural marriages. However, the people you mention who are the men. The comments in this article, though can refer to men, mostly refer to women. What about their spouses? How have they adjusted to being in an Indian family? Now if they have never lived in India, this is yet another facet of the comments in this article they may not relate to. None the less, one of the reasons people prefer to marry in their own culture is the expectations for just about everything do not always require as much discussion and adjustment as between two very different cultures. Of course, one can argue that cross-cultural marriages can happen even between two people from the same culture who even grew up in the same town, and to that I'd also agree. In this case, cross-cultural means nothing more than 'a difference of opinion.'

    It may be an interesting experiment for you if it is possible to talk to your uncles non-Indian spouses and ask them about any of the aspects of their cross-cultural relationships and adjustments to be accepted into their Indian families that went well and the things that did not. Even more eye opening may be learning about things people still struggle to accept, adjust to or understand even after being married for so long!

    Do send my wishes to them for such long, successful marriages! Many more years to come!

    ReplyDelete
  15. It always is exciting to hear of intercultural couples who have been happily married for years. My only thoughts as to your response is how old were you when they got married? It's possible they had some of the issues from this article and didn't share them with the family and instead worked through them on their own. Thankfully gori's like Jennifer and I are able to learn from those who have worked through these differences in the past and we both try to help newer gori's who are not familiar with Indian culture understand things they may face so that they too can have happier, long lasting marriages. It's great your family didn't seem to face any of these challenges but we do see a lot of younger girls that aren't so lucky.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi Jennifer. Have you written a "3 mistakes Indian men make in marrying non-Indian women" yet? If not then may I suggest one major point:

    Indian Man - just because the woman you like is into eating Indian food, dressing in saris or other desi-wear, likes Bollywood films and Indian classical music or filmy tunes, celebrates Diwali, is interested in Hinduism (or any other Desi religion), or even if she is a trained Odissi or Bharat Natyam dancer, all of this DOES NOT mean she is going to be into other grass roots aspects of Desi culture like living in a joint family household, and it does not mean that she will want to live in India or have an easy time assimilating there if she does.

    This the big assumption that Indian men make when they become enamored with goris who like *some* aspects of Indian culture. Those are usually the high culture aspects of India like classical dance/music or philosophy, or the more pop culture aspects like films, fashion and food. Many Desi guys think "wow, she's 'more Indian' than I am."

    NOPE. Nor should you expect her to be.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thank you for pointing out this point. I agree that this point can apply to a majority of situations. The other thing is if a foreigner is doing all these things, in most cases, she is doing it in her home country. Doing all these things in one's home country 'to be different' is completely different than doing these things in India and then kind of 'being like everyone else.'
    Also all these behaviors as I think you tried to point out, are learned, or part of ones 'likes' consciously, but living in a joint family, understanding and living in an Indian mindset, these kind of things take time to really understand, appreciate, and possibly like. For a majority of foreigners (and even nowadays, some Indian women, too) these concepts are foreign and create a big culture shock.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The last thing I would ever discuss with my partner, who happens to be an expert being a west palm beach divorce lawyer, is the status of our relationship. Because the moment you are troubled already, that's when doubts begin to surface as well.

    ReplyDelete
  19. How about the mistakes men make marrying women?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Agreed, Pianki. I need to round up men who are willing to share!

    ReplyDelete
  21. A lot of Indian men seem to think/expect American women to be like the people they see on TV. Some may be like that. I'm from a completely different part of the US though and where I come from women are nothing like the girls in movies. I've lived in 6 states where the women are nothing like that. It would be good to come up with an article listing some of the common mistakes Indian men make when getting into a relationship with western women. You make a great point of not expecting a western woman to be able to live in India just because she likes certain aspects of the culture. Even women who have traveled throughout India or lived there as a single woman may still have difficulty surviving the joint family system or the expectations placed on them after marriage.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thanks Jennifer for sharing this with us! And please let me know when you decide to write about Non-indian guys who wants to marry Indian girls. It's very difficult to find people writing about this topic. I have a very recent experience (not successful so far!) in which I'm dating a super smart Indian girl (we both live in UK), and although I can tell with total confidence that this relation we share is completely special and fulfilling for both of us, she keeps "retracting her steps" all the time...and I guess it comes from the fact that she doesn't want to disappoint her parents and her family. And, as you can tell, for me being a latin american is not easy to understand, so here you have me trying to research as much as I can in order to be able to put myself in her shoes and, of course, respect her decisions.
    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have had a similar experience. Trying to marry a sikh girl now. Basically, she is completely western (raised in north america) and is very much into it, but its turned into a total mess w/ her dad. They're pretty progressive (it appears on the surface) but on this point the dad has gone back to his roots. I mean way back. Completely obstinate. I earn a great salary, have two master's degrees at a world class University, two passports, worked all over the world, am very family oriented, and all that. No matter. Gora's need not apply, seems to be the story. Wish I had some reference points here.

    ReplyDelete
  24. What about me? I am an Indian guy been in love with an American woman for a little over ten years now. In these ten years we met twice, first time in the middle east and the second time in India. Forget it, its complicated. Not gonna talk about it. Its painful. She doesn't want to marry but says love me, wants to keep in touch. It hurts me and I have told her to leave forever. Why the hell I got into a long distant relationship I sometimes think. It has given me nothing but pain. it has given her nothing but pain. I don't understand if she doesn't want to marry then what is she doing with me, why she wants to keep in touch forever. I just don't understand that. I was 30 when this relationship started and now I am 41, can't go on waiting for her forever. Enough, enough! If she doesn't stop, I swear to god I will end up killing myself someday.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you so much for writing this. I was just in a relationship with an Indian man for 5 months and he just told his family about me and we had to break up because of their reaction. It's so hard because his love of his family and respect for his culture makes me like him more but it's what is keeping us apart. I liked your article because it made me feel a little less crazy. That this isn't the easiest thing to accomplish. I just wish things could be different.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Please don't. What you feel in your heart is love for her. I have been in that situation before when i was younger. I was young and stupid. I know it's easier said but you must try to move on and see other people. If it's meant to be one day you and her will be together.

    ReplyDelete
  27. i stumbled upon this article while reading some research topics. What you write is a rule for any marriage, not just for an American woman marrying an Indian man. What you have described happens in American homes against Indian/racially different brides too. My friend who is an all-white american boy from Ohio married a Brazilian girl (with African roots). She faces the EXACT same discrimination, ostracization and racial jabs as you face from her redneck in-laws. While the goal of the article may have been to help those in cross cultural relationships the stereotyping could have been avoided.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hello sj, I do completely agree with you. I agree these problems transcend culture and even do happen within the same culture! There is no doubt in my mind about that, as evidenced by your friend's story and also many other stories I have encountered.


    The reason I have used "Indians" and "Americans" as the target group in this article is that my blog's target audience are "Indians" and "Americans", but yes, it can relate to people from all kinds of backgrounds Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  29. well a friend resently got engaged to an indian man, they have been dating for a few years and his family excepts her but she and i are woundering if she is able to have a traditional indian or close to it wedding, an indian friend (who likes my engade friends partner) said it is rude to expect it and she is an outsider so her confidece to ask has been shot she would ask her partner but he is away on work as he travels for it. and we were woundering your opinion.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I am not sure I understand your question. If I make a guess, is the question "Is a non-Indian allowed to be a part of a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony?"


    The answer to this is YES. I have myself been a bride in a Hindu wedding ceremony, and I am an American with no Indian background.

    Now, it does depend on the family, but most are very open to this, and my only thought is those that tell you it is not possible are doing this to openly discourage the wedding from taking place at all. Basically, if someone is saying that a foreigner cannot take part in the Hindu wedding, it's because they object to the marriage and do not want the two people to get married. This is my thought. It could be wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I am a Canadian woman married to a wonderful Indian man. We got married in a Hindu Temple in Bangkok, Thailand. We were well treated. There has been no issue in India or his family or mine. The issue has been Canada itself! I made the mistake of dealing with Immigration Canada. The racisim and the treatment was horrendous. India bound I am and welcomed there too.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thanks for sharing that, Rao. It's a perfect example of how the place we feel least likely to encounter problems is where we do. I am sorry you are experiencing that.

    ReplyDelete
  33. yes, this this very good article. My marriage I did wihtout permission of my family. All my Indian friend who is married in Indian are settled. they got help from both family while buying house, raisinng kids and I am with mix children who has no place to go. I cannot get out from this marriage and cannot continue this.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm not sure where you got married or who you married... but your children you call "mixed" like it's some bad thing. It's not. They are your children whether they are white, black, purple etc. Color does not matter. When you say "no place to go" do you mean you're looking for a divorce or to get out of the marriage? I kow Indian culture says...stay married forever no matter what, but I am a firm believer that if a marriage is effecting the children in a negative way, it's time for a divorce. Children can't fend for themselves, adults can.


    I would try talking with your "wife" about ending your marriage, you seem very bitter and unhappy. Believe it or not, us Americans don't get help buying a house or raising kids and we seem to do well for ourselves. Maybe you should try to be a little more independent. Be proud of yourself for doing as you wished, don't regret it because your children are "mixed".


    One thing I don't get is how it seems everyone in India is worried about what their family and friends think. They are also concerned about their status. Who cares what they think? If they don't like it, tell them to go elsewhere or look elsewhere. I do not envy this part of your culture at all.... Parents need to raise their children with the ability to be independent and free, not slaves who are sold for the biggest dowry and are dependent on them for the rest of their lives. Just my 2 cents... for what it's worth. :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. I partly disagree with this. I believe Indian men leave their love heartbroken for some religiously well rounded Indian bride and I pity those men for not standing up for their love. And it's because of these men that entire race has to suffer sometimes (not being rude). I am an Indian man. But I believe in love and not in some traditional norms of our society. I'd stand up for my love no matter what. In fact, I hate arranged marriage system.

    Sorry for resurrecting the old post. Just felt like sharing my view :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Patel, thanks for sharing. Your view is much needed here. It will give others hope. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Mita, do you have family support at this time? Would your family support you to help you decide what to do next? Or have they left you alone because you married outside the culture? Is that why you say your kids have no place to go? Are they not accepted by your family or your spouse's family? I am so sorry to hear this. I do agree with Ellen, though, about using the word 'mixed.' I think we have to be careful using this word as it not only impacts how we approach children but the way they approach themselves. Children from cross-cultural marriages have so much richness in their life, but it's all in the way we look at it. Back in the day of many of our parents an English and a French getting married would have been considered 'cross-cultural', but on the outside it's harder to tell because the kid looks more like both of the parents. This may not always be the case with those marriages where the two spouses look different (and to be frank, have different skin color). But, again, it all is dependent on how we approach the situations and the children in how the children will accept it.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Ellen, your words remind me of a story.

    How people approach cross-cultural marriages depends a lot on how their social group, especially parents and family approach the world. If they are always saying 'They are too different from us' or 'We have to stay among our group' kids can pick up on this. So, when a kid sees two 'different looking' people get married, they may wonder how those two can really be a family. I know this sounds odd, but it has happened to me a number of times.

    Yes, I have also felt that Indians care too much what others think. But, to some extent Americans do, too. But, the way we approach this 'care' is a bit different.

    The other thing that one of my coachees reminded me of is how many Indians approach life as a formula- there is a time for everything- studies, bachelorhood, marriage, kids, raising kids, retirement, etc. Things should always go in this order. This is derived from the Hindu stages of life. Falling outside of this formula is so uncomfortable for many. Again, our Western society has these formulas too, but I don't think they are documented. People surely judge each other in the US on their age of marriage, having kids, and so forth, so on.

    ReplyDelete
  39. These are great discussions. I am soon landing down in India. I am prepared for the culture change as much as I can be. My husband and I are a middle aged couple and really do not care about "fitting in". He is his own man, hermit actually. As far as the general public,let them think I am a tourist with him my guide. Do I expect all of his family to accept me? No. I do not need it. There are always going to be people who like you and those who don't. So I figured out long ago to just be me and like myself. My husband doesn't like sarees at ALL. Oh yuk sarees he says. He can not tolerate the spicy food. When I talk of him coming to Canada and going to a major city with an Indian society group in it. He says I don't want to go and meet a bunch of..Indians! I joined a few online expat groups in Mumbai that has mixed marriages and there are lots. Don't get married to anyone who is not mature enough or enough of their own person. It won't work out, mixed cultures or not.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thanks Jennifer. Dinesh (Desi) and I ( Lucy) were friends first.True love is loving the heart and soul of the other first.We like and love each other. Our marriage and previous to it has been joyful and often downright hilarous. We get through ANYTHING together, even some quite tragic stuff. Hey Dinesh let's go to Goa to meet some cows.( I used to have a farm..cows ). His first answer is...no not the cows. Oh..Dinesh do you know any cows? Well...no. Dinesh cows are good people, what kind of Indian are you that you don't know any cows? Okay Gail, we go meet some cows. We have so many funny stories and lots more to come in our lives.To us a lot of marriage is a great friendship as a base. We both are deeply spiritual and no one is truly close to the higher powers until they come to that place of joy and love. I think I will put up on funny photo of part of our Hindu wedding ceremony. Note the look on my face..lol!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Gail, the last few sentences are so right on target. You are absolutely right. Love blinds us regardless of marrying outside or within the culture. These problems can be faced by anyone regardless of who they are marrying, but the particulars will change shape. That's great that you found someone so open and accepting of you. In fact, seems both of you respect each other for exactly who you are. Now that is TRUE love in my book any day! :)

    ReplyDelete
  42. This is great. I couldn't agree with you more. Two people (regardless of race, sex, etc.) can't give themselves to each other if they don't already know who they are. Basically, you can't give yourself to someone if you don't already know who you are. What are you giving them? A confused mess? Additionally, the other person should know what they are getting and accept it. If you don't like each other just the way you are then you could never grow together as a couple. The rest of the world just doesn't matter when it comes to your personal life. Your words couldn't be more true.

    ReplyDelete
  43. More Indian men need to feel this way. Love marriages can thrive just as good as arranged marriages if the man stands up for his wife and defends his choice. It may not always be easy but it can be great.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Are you only upset your family is not helping you buy a house and raise the kids? I know what you're going through is hard but sometimes it is better this way. You can stand on your own. You did it when you got married without their permission. You made the choice and you can choose to be happy. You may not have everything you want but you can find happiness in what you have. Even if that is hard, you can do it. Try to get support from friends, his family, etc. It's out there. You just have to find it. It can be online, it can be through local organizations, etc. No one wants to see you unhappy.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I have to agree. The families don't pay for the house once the male son is an adult and earning. They don't pay the power bill, they don't buy the food. So if they're not paying your bills then what they say doesn't matter. You have the money, you're in charge. Just as your parents were in charge when you didn't have the money.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I really sympathize with you. While I haven't been in the Canadian immigration system, I have been in the US one and it's tough. India does seem to be more welcoming of foreigners than western cultures are. May you find peace, happiness and all your heart desires in India.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I had a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony. All 10 days of it! It's a funny story actually. My Indian husband didn't really want all that fuss and his parents planned it anyway....and didn't tell him hahahaha. He loved it in the end. They did it for me. They wanted me to experience it all first hand. So yes, your friend can marry a foreigner with the full traditional Hindu ceremony. He may need to contact an Arya Samaj temple to do it but it can be done in India.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I'm sorry to hear you had this difficulty. Family acceptance is crucial. Most Indians really wouldn't know how to survive without their families and friends around them.

    ReplyDelete
  49. This is great. I couldn't agree with you more. Two people (regardless of
    race, sex, etc.) can't give themselves to each other if they don't
    already know who they are. Basically, you can't give yourself to someone
    if you don't already know who you are. What are you giving them? A
    confused mess? Additionally, the other person should know what they are
    getting and accept it. If you don't like each other just the way you are
    then you could never grow together as a couple. The rest of the world
    just doesn't matter when it comes to your personal life. Your words
    couldn't be more true.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Thank you American. The US system is much better then Canada.It was a shock to find out how bizzare,invasive and corrupt etc that system is. I am past that now. In many ways it ended up a blessing in disguise. I have ties in Canada, however India will be "home" coming up. I am an accountant by profession. Oddly I am getting quite a nice clientele of Americans.I likely will do quite well with the expats in Mumbai. I have been reading your replies to posts. You have your head on straight there. Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I totally agree with this advice....Look Mita, here's the thing man, I've been in a similar situation to yours, except that it's been worse. I'm an Indian, currently I'm in a soviet nation and not many people speak English here, I had a great "corporate" job in India but came here to pursue higher education... fell in love with a great woman, decided to marry her and stay back (with no financial security)... it used to worry me sometimes that I've left everything behind and stayed back for "love" in a country where I look different from everybody and hardly speak the local language (Russian).... But here's the key, your greatest strength is your awareness and your consciousness.... Keep your eyes wide open and grab every opportunity you can to make a good living.... Listen to audio tapes & video tapes to keep yourself motivated & positive....You will have a few good months (save your money wisely) , you will have a few bad months (learn marketing & search for new jobs)....I'm now earning 5 times more with my online work than the average guy here ...and my woman is proud of it.... It's not easy, I work 10 hours everyday,I have to constantly look for new writing jobs, nothing like the lazy ass comfort of a 9-5 corporate job...but you can win & create a peaceful life for yourself.. It's tough, but possible...Here are some suggestions....1. Keep yourself fit, 2. Release all the stories & regrets from the past 3. Learn marketing. You need to sell your services to make a good living 4. Keep yourself motivated. Remember the rule: If you speak to enough people, somebody will buy your services.(The same law applies whether you are brown or white.) 5. Create a great lifestyle for yourself & your family - It can be something as simple as cooking great food on weekends & watching a movie together with your loved ones...Hope it helped. 6. Improve your English (It matters!) 7. Be happy man, life is what you make of it.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Writing is such a great way to make money. You're right, it is hard work and sometimes long hours but it does become worth it in the end. And over time you will be able to raise your rates and work less hours. For people who can't write, there are many more work at home opportunities, you just have to look for them. Searching for "freelance" along with what you want to do will help you find the jobs.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hello, I'm an American woman in love with an Indian man. Single mother of wonderful little girl. Not being in a serious relationship for years because I've been busy working & raising my child, but mostly because I have not met the right man (until now). I have been swept off my feet and certain the Heavens opened up and Angels Sang when we first kissed. I will gladly love, honor, & please him and have a happy home here in the states, but my heart races with fear and anxiety when the topic of going to India arises. It is not a question of love for him, it is a serious panic of thickly populated crowds, culture shock, language barriers, and being white, we are certain to encounter racism and discrimination from either the family or the public. My other concern is the violent crimes against women (Just recently 23 y/o woman raped, beaten, vagina ripped off, objects inserted, and she died in New Delhi). I would be more apt to venture over there and visit if it were just me, but I have a child to raise & protect as well, and I have to make decisions for her life... do you understand my concerns? Trust me, I want this man FOR LIFE. No one has ever felt so right in my life. Please help me understand both sides of the story, and please don't be mean. I know India is a great country, with many wonderful people, but it's the intensity of the crimes, fear for my daughter's safety and the densely populated areas (and the airplane ride) I can't seem to overcome.

    ReplyDelete
  54. after reading your words . i'm so worry and confuse and i don't know what to do . i ll tell u my situation and i need your help and your opinion in it and please i really need help before i get involve in it . i ll tell u . There is someone who wants to marry me from India , we know each other for four months ago now , we are talking to each other all the time on the phone , on the skype , but we didn't meet each other , we didn't even talk face to face , he doesn't know how i look but he still always saying he loves me and wants to marry me and ready to do any thing to make me ensure on my life with him and he ready to give me any assurance i need to be sure about my life with him , but im so confuse after i read your article . i really need your help , tell me your opinion . is there any advice and if u want to know more information about it i really hope talk to me to discuss it with u . please . please i need your help and sorry for my english because im not american but please help me . please . thank you

    ReplyDelete
  55. after reading your words . i'm so
    worry and confuse and i don't know what to do . i ll tell u my situation and i
    need your help and your opinion in it and please i really need help before i
    get involve in it . i ll tell u . There is someone who wants to marry me from
    India , we know each other for four months ago now , we are talking to each
    other all the time on the phone , on the skype , but we didn't meet each other
    , we didn't even talk face to face , he doesn't know how i look but he still
    always saying he loves me and wants to marry me and ready to do any thing to
    make me ensure on my life with him and he ready to give me any assurance i need
    to be sure about my life with him , but im so confuse after i read your article
    . i really need your help , tell me your opinion . is there any advice and if u
    want to know more information about it i really hope talk to me to discuss it
    with u . please . please i need your help and sorry for my english because im
    not american but please help me . please . thank you

    ReplyDelete
  56. after reading your words . i'm so worry and confuse and i don't know what to do . i ll tell u my situation and i need your help and your opinion in it and please i really need help before i get involve in it . i ll tell u . There is someone who wants to marry me from India , we know each other for four months ago now , we are talking to each other all the time on the phone , on the skype , but we didn't meet each other , we didn't even talk face to face , he doesn't know how i look but he still always saying he loves me and wants to marry me and ready to do any thing to make me ensure on my life with him and he ready to give me any assurance i need to be sure about my life with him , but im so confuse after i read your article . i really need your help , tell me your opinion . is there any advice and if u want to know more information about it i really hope talk to me to discuss it with u . please . please i need your help and sorry for my english because im not american but please help me . please . thank you

    ReplyDelete

Authentic Journeys: Work Effectively With Americans

Do you work with Americans on a global, virtual team? At Authentic Journeys we help you build your context with American business culture when you work with Americans from outside the U.S.A. Follow our blog our get in touch with us for live, in-person online training programs to increase your business acumen with Americans today!