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How To Convince Conservative Parents?

Discussion in 'Parents & Siblings' started by EightKittens, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. EightKittens

    EightKittens Silver IL'ite

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    I am a 30 year old female, working and living alone in the US for nearly a decade at this point. I haven't had much luck in terms of relationships. My parents, who are quite self-confessedly conservative, would like to see me married. The irony is that they also wanted me to be highly educated and independent. Anyway, they now believe that they made a mistake in waiting too long in getting me married, and they want to get very aggressive in terms of looking for arranged matches. They did try to find matches for me earlier too, but I was able to turn them down, and since I was still in grad school then, my parents didn't push very hard then. However, according to them, I don't have any reasonable excuses left anymore. They are putting considerable emotional pressure on me, asking me to return to India, or to cooperate with them etc. I get blamed for every negative interaction with any random guy off a matrimonial website.

    At this point, I'm honestly so burnt out that I just want this all to stop. I don't want to get married. And I am so tired of men. I am tired of men always messing up my life. I am happy right now. I don't see what marriage with any of these men could possibly add to my life. If anything they are just going to make me miserable. They are rude, controlling, and demeaning. And my personality is quite unsuited to a traditional Indian arranged marriage setup. In fact most of the people that I've spoken to via these matrimonial websites have told me that I'm too outspoken for a woman, and that I need to behave in a more feminine manner (which is a discussion for another time).

    Plus I have never really wanted to have children. I have been communicating this very directly to my parents. But they seem to act like if they keep ignoring it, I'll have to give up and do as they say. To be honest, when I was younger I would give in to pretty much all of their demands after fighting for a while, so a lot of this is my fault.

    So, my questions are:

    1) People who are parents, how would you deal with your child telling you that they don't want to get married, and that they would like you to stop trying to "help"? Would you ever be able to accept this from your children?
    I am asking this just to understand if I should expect my parents to keep fighting me on this forever.

    2) Any suggestions in dealing with my parents diplomatically? They are my only family. I'd rather not hurt them more than I absolutely need to. But, I'm also not going to get married to someone I can't even have a normal conversation with to make them happy.
     
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  2. mangaii

    mangaii Platinum IL'ite

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    Any possibility of dating outside your this arranged marriage setup ?
    The feelings you expressed when you through arranged marriage process. It does drain you emotionally. Are you sure you want to spend rest of your life single ? Maybe it is the process which is making you hate marriage .
    You have lived a independent life for a decade. You would be better off finding your mate than going through arranged marriage setup. Since you are living in US do you see any possibility of finding some one who know you or interested in you ?
     
  3. shravs3

    shravs3 IL Hall of Fame

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    According to most Indian parents it’s their duty and birth right to get their daughters married off as quickly as possible.
    But for highly educated and independent woman it’s very difficult to find a man who matches her mindset through arranged marriage.

    Being independent is different from being feminist. When two individuals marry after dating there would still be some differences and both have to compromise.

    Now coming to your situation, I can understand that being forced to get married to some random person is very difficult.
    Maybe you can try explaining them calmly that without knowing the person you cannot get married to him.
    You can ask them casually whether it is important for them that you just get married to some person or they prefer your happiness by marrying someone you know who matches your mindset?
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
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  4. EightKittens

    EightKittens Silver IL'ite

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    @mangaii I did date a little, and it ended pretty horribly. And that is another thing that makes it incredibly difficult for me to trust people. If you can't really know what a person's true character is like after months and years of emotional intimacy, how could you possibly make that determination after a few conversations where people are being careful about what they say.

    It seems like the only people you can really trust to have your back at the end of it all is your parents. They may push me and scold me and make me crazy, but they never abandon me.
     
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  5. mangaii

    mangaii Platinum IL'ite

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    I'm sorry your feelings were hurt. You are in vulnerable state. Don't make any decisions now. Just because one relationship went bad doesn't mean everything will be same. Learn what you can from this journey. Next time keep your guards up. Every individual is different. It is very normal to through different phases before ending up with right one. Once you find the right person your opinions will change . Just keep looking. Keep the communication line open. You never know when you will find the right person. I'm not sure if you are spiritually inclined person. In local community I see many matches being made in religious meetups. Have you tried going to any meetups not specifically for this purpose but in generally to get some diversion ? You should be thankful coming from traditional setup your parents have been patient all these years. Maybe make a trip to India and see if you can convince them about your stand. Ask them visit here so they can they understand your life style.
     
  6. EightKittens

    EightKittens Silver IL'ite

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    Thank you for the suggestions. I don't mean to sound like I'm shooting down your suggestions or that I am not grateful for your input. I am taking them into consideration. I am also just sort of thinking out aloud in response to them.

    I am not a religious or spiritual person in the sense that I could ever talk to anyone else about my beliefs. It is something that is completely private for me, so I find attending religious meetups very uncomfortable.

    My parents do visit me, or I go home, once a year. What they meant is I should move back to India to get married to someone living there, because given that there are more single educated Indian men in India, there would be a higher probability of finding a match. And sometimes I almost do get through to them, where they see how painful this process is for me, but then they go back to - but you have to get married somehow. And I know that however odd and contradictory and unconventional my upbringing was, I am very lucky that I was able to become independent and my own person as a result of it.

    And I have tried to not let some bad experiences color my viewpoint. But I also wonder when will it be the right time to just give up and stop looking.
     
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  7. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

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    Hmm...
    Their root of their worry is what will happen to you after them, if you remain unmarried. It’s a common worry. You can diplomatically point out that after a decade of living alone you have become set in your ways. What if you don’t gel with the guy? Do they want to see you unhappy? Don’t rule out marriage, tell them if you meet the right guy you will definitely be open to it but not to force you.
    If it is to happen, it will.

    I have friends who are alone - 2 after divorcing from unhappy marriages and few who came to this country to pursue PhD, working now, living productive lives and just never got married along the way. The former do dread living alone and complain about it, keep thinking what if and why me scenarios and more prone to feeling sad and depressed. They never imagined life would turn out this way.

    The latter are definitely more happy than the former. Apart from work, They are involved with multiple things, temple, causes, organizations so busy and happy. I guess you can never miss something you never had?
     
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  8. Amulet

    Amulet Platinum IL'ite

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    Conservative parents ? They cannot be convinced, that is why they get the label "conserv"ative; however, they reconcile to whatever that isn't in their control. Your mission would be to slowly teach them that what you do isn't in their control.

    Is your US visa situation such that you can be permanently in the USA (or some foreign country) ? This is usually the critical issue. I recall a 35+ single woman on IL forum, who had a similar predicament (conservative parents lamenting how they had done a big disservice to daughter by educating her too much, etc. etc.), to suddenly lose her job in USA and had to return to India. And likely to the constant drone of her parents, especially the mother, on a ballad'sy lament about "what shoud've been" and "what is".

    When you begin to think of the place you live in the USA as "home", you would be less troubled by your foreign parents' views on how you need to live.

    How parents view their duty to get a daughter married off, is a baggage they come with. For example, parents who have raised an American born child to an age in your ballpark will not imagine that they have any (or much) say-so in a daughter's marriage.

    If you had never used people search sites to look up people, try this: Look up a random indian name in America, you will likely get plenty of that and similar names, and their ages, living in various cities, towns. Click on people older than 60 (those likely to have sons/daughters married), and you will find data on their relatives, and their ages. For example, one Nitish Malhotra (66) will have relatives like Kamla Malhotra (63), Neerja Malhotra (32), David James Holverson (31), Priya Holverson (4), Ganesh Holverson (1).
    upload_2019-11-9_7-46-34.png
    There is no need to stop "looking". However, you may do what is pleasurable to you, and avoid taking on painful things in life.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
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  9. SinghManisha

    SinghManisha Platinum IL'ite

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    Why is a 30 year old letting her parents dictate one of the most important decisions of her life ? Your parents might have your best interests at heart, but need not be the best decision makers of your life . Asking you to chuck your job and move to India to find a husband is a good example of that.
     
  10. Sunshine04

    Sunshine04 Platinum IL'ite

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    Marriage doesn't bring happiness always.
    The posts in IL is an example for that.
    Please marry only after dating the person for some years.
     

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