Tag Archives: marriage

Torn between what I want and what my parents want

Dear globalcounselor,

All my life I have tried to please my parents. I am a Hindu born in Canada and of East Indian background. We are taught to revere our parents next to God.  I love my folks very much and do not want to disappoint them. I have gone to school, get a good education and now I am ready to marry and settle down. I am 28 years old.  I was raised in Canada and am a Canadian. I do not want my folks to pick a partner for me. I want to find the person I resonate with emotionally and this is where my fork in the road occurs.  I am very disappointed that my parents, having raised me in this country still want me to be part of that archaic part of the culture that gives parents the permission to choose a life partner for me. I do not beliee it is right and for me that is a slap in my face. I hae found myself a wonderful human being, a highly respected professional and someone who loes me passionately but because my folks did not hae a hand in it they are giving me a hard time; they do not want to meet him and I am tired of begging thvem to meet him because he wants to meet them.  I know if they meet him they would love him because if they love me truly, they would see that this man respects and loves me a great deal and that I Love him. I don’t know what else to do that is why I am writing to you to get some suggestion for a breakthrough of my folk’s attitude. What should I do

vA dilemna

Dear Dilemna,

You are so sweet and have a good heart for your parents. You are not doing yourself a favour for compromising your destiny to please your parents. With all due respect to your parents, they have had their lives and they have lived it and now it is time for you to live your life according to what you came in this world to do and be. You have to follow your own heart, you are the master of your life and responsible for whatever happens in your life.  Culture is great but not everything needs to be passed on to your children, Some needs to go by the wayside as we evolve. When your parents do not trust you, they are saying they do not respect your judgement and intelligence, that they know what is better for you than you yourself. That is wrong and it is dehumanizing. Parents have to learn to know when to lead, when to walk beside and when to step aside. This is where they have to step aside and respect you.

Having did a bit of preaching my simple answer is to follow your own inclinations and tell your parents to respect your decision. However your life turns out it will be your responsibility and not have anyone else to blame or shame or whatever.  They will come around once they find that they cannot manipulate you.

Cross-cultural barriers

Dear globalcounselor,

I am 32 years old and I was living with a man from Nigeria for about three years. We did a lot together. He said he loved me. I know I loved him a lot but six months ago he told he could not do this anymore. He said he has become a Christian and living in sin was out of the picture for him. I told him I was willing to become  a  born again Christian if that would keep us together but he made one excuse after the other  why we should not be together.

We separated and I was devastated. I thought for sure he loved me and would do anything to keep me but I was wrong.  I was not only hurt but I was ashamed of myself. My friends  (both black and white) and my parents kept telling me that he would not marry me or settle down with me because Nigerians are very culture-bound people most of the time. They return to their own kind even though they like to practice their shit on white girls but we’re not good enough for marriage. This is so hypocritical. And they say we’re prejudiced?   My folks always welcomed him in our family. They liked him a lot but they knew better than I did they say men like him (professional whom his parents put through college – he did not have to borrow a dime) do not go against tradition and their parents wishes and that he will return to Nigeria and find a girl or marry one in Canada. Lo and behold, this morning while browsing through face book, I did what I promised not to do and peeked at his FB page and there he was with this beautiful Nigerian girl – married. I cried my eyes out at what a fool I had been. I’m spreading this message to other white girls or girls who may not be from Nigeria to be careful with those men.   If you are looking for marriage, pin them down early on and know where you stand.  I am never going to trust anyone but my own kind from now on. I am mad and I am hurt.

Hurt.

Dear hurt,

Thanks for sharing. What happened to you could have happened with anyone. This man apparently wanted to end the relationship. Men and women do it all the time, not only a particular type of man. I know a man who slept one night with a woman had breakfast with her and then left and went to the registrar’s office to marry another woman. They were from the same race.  He was not into you anymore and maybe he had met this woman whom, you’re right, would be easier for him to introduce to his family and friends. There is comfort in being with a person whom you understand, with whom you speak the same language, to whom you do not have to explain common nuances etc. It takes a courageous person who believes in love so strongly that he or she would marry someone from a completely different cultural and racial background. I know this is happening more and more frequently these days but let’s face it, it is an added stress on a relationship which has its own stressors. Don’t see this as a racial issue, though it might be, don’t see it as a cultural thing, which it might be but see it as a human thing. This situation happens in every culture. People fall in love and they fall out of love. Don’t close the doors on other men who might see you as the one they want to spend the rest of their life with and he could come from any race or culture. Be open. Sorry this one did not work out.

Not ready for the big M

Dear globalcounselor,

I am a 21-year-old man  and I have been going out with girlfriend who is 20 years old since high school for about 4 years.  We’ve been seeing a lot of each other and it seems like the next step is either moving in together or getting married and I don’t feel I am up to the task. I feel that everyone thinks its only a matter of time before we’re married.   I love her but I feel I am not matured enough. I am trying to tell my girlfriend that we’re still young and don’t have to tie ourselves into  the marriage knot – not now.  I still feel like an overgrown kid at heart. I feel marriage is so serious that it takes all the fun out of a relationship. We get along fine and we’re both not heading for university or anything like that. I am learning a trade and she is working as a waitress. We’ve got to be sure that enough money is coming in.  I feel the pressure coming on and I feel like ending it and see what happens. I don’t know what else to do here. She thinks I don’t love her enough and she calls me immature at times and I am just leading her on and that jazz.  Can you give me some words to help me out with my girlfriend? She seems to think that at 20 she’s old and wants family and all that stuff which I can’t see myself shouldering at this time. I might as well bow out gracefully.

Bow out

 

Dear Bowout,

One thing you are certain of is that you are not ready for the responsibility of marriage and family. It is important that you know that and not be led into something that you’re not ready for because it is a recipe for disaster later on.

I think the best thing to do is to be honest with your girlfriend and tell her you are not ready for marriage and what kind of time line you’re looking at as to when you’ll be ready. Maybe this is not the woman you might want to marry anyhow and you have to be honest with yourself about this.  Most men are mentally ready for marriage and family I’d say in their late twenties. You might want to suggest a trial separation, agree to date other people and see what happens.  This may give a clue whether either of you are really in love with each other or just dating and filling time. Bottom line is your girlfriend cannot force you to marry her. You have a right to say no thank you not now.  Sorry can’t be of more help.

Good luck.

My wife cannot cook

Dear globalcounselor,

I have a big problem. I have been married for about six months now and my wife has not cooked a single meal that I can say I enjoy. She is absolutely ignorant when it comes to mixing ingredients and coming from a home of superb cooks – my mother and sisters, I find I get a little irritable just thinking about mealtimes at home. I love my wife but shamefully I must admit that I am beginning to love her less because of her cooking. Don’t suggest that I eat out or send her to cooking school, I have tried that. I am tired of eating out I am bored of that. I love home cooking that’s why I got married in the first place. If things do not change quickly, I can’t see my marriage continuing, in as much as I love my wife. Eating is my most pleasurable activity. I love to eat good delicious food, home cooked. Nothing makes me happier. What can I do to save my marriage.

Hungry

Dear hungry,

Well this is a big problem but there is an easy solution if you want to save your marriage. Hire a cook and let him or her do the cooking, perhaps your wife will learn over time to cook herself. If you married your wife because you needed a maid, I can see how disappointed you’d be but if you married her for love, you will be patient and make cooking a family time where you too can help make the meals you love to eat. Good luck

I am tired of taking care of my sick husband

Dear globalcounselor,

I’ve been married to my husband for 18 years. Then he got sick with Multiple Sclerosis. My husband has been unfaithful to me twice with two younger women and both times I found out and because I like to keep up appearances I forgave him so that we could keep our marriage in tact. We have two teen age children and they’re always my number one reason for the compromises I have made. Now my husband is ill with this debilitating illness and I have to take care of him. He has gone downhill very rapidly and need a lot of help and I resent the fact that I have to give him so much of my time. I feel I am doing a lot and always feeling tired. I don’t think I love him anymore and frankly I feel bloody trapped. What would people say if I left him high and dry with his MS. I never told anyone what he did so everyone thinks we are the perfect couple.  My resentment is turning into anger and that’s affecting my mental health. What can I do? I don’t want to be here anymore.

Trapped.

Dear Trapped,

It’s time to let your guard down, come clean and stop keeping up appearances. It did not work for you in the past and it will not work for you now. You have to be honest. Are you resentful with your husband or his illness? You’re mad that he’s let you down again.

It is very difficult to divorce a sick man. People feel guilty about things like that and stay because of obligation, something they feel they must do because of human compassion. In your case, you have two children together. How will they feel if you left their dad to fend for himself? Can they live with him and help him or would he be willing to get private care or be committed to an institution.? These are tough choices but you have to find out the source of your discontentment. I think you might be just tired of taking care of your husband. Looking after a sick person is tiring and takes a lot out of us.  Are you eating properly, getting the required rest, do you have help for you to take some time for yourself, hang out with your girlfriends etc. You do not have to be a martyr. Take time for yourself, go away for a short vacation somewhere fun – this will help put things in perspective for you and give you a break. I think talking to a counsellor or social worker will be very helpful in assisting you to sort out your feelings. Let me know what you decide and we can talk again.

 

A little chuckle for you

I got this in my mailbox today – hope it does not offend anyone

Note Found on the Refrigerator One Morning :

My Dear Wife,

You will surely understand that I have certain needs that you, being 54 years old, can no longer satisfy. I am very happy with you and I value you as a good wife. Therefore, after reading this letter, I hope that you will not wrongly interpret the fact that I will be spending th e evening with my 18 year old secretary at the Comfort Inn Hotel. Please don’t be upset—-I shall be home before midnight.

 

When the man came home late that night, he found the following letter on the dining room table :

 

My Dear Husband,

I received your letter and thank you for your honesty about my being 54 years old. I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that you are also 54 years old. As you know, I am a math teacher at our local college. I would like to inform you that while you read this, I will be at the Hotel Fiesta with Michael, one of my students, who is also the assistant tennis coach. He is young, virile, and like your secretary, is 18 years old.

As a successful businessman who has an excellent knowledge of math, you will understand that we are in the same situation, although with one small difference – 18 goes into 54 a lot more times than 54 goes into 18. Therefore, I will not be home until sometime tomorrow.