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Arranged marriage and no chance to do anything

(123 Posts)
Sash0301 Wed 16-Dec-20 18:34:45


I really want to find some support, advices what can I do. Although, now I understand I’m powerless and can’t do anything, just let go.

I slept for 2 hours last night and cried the whole day and night. I never could imagined it could happen to me.

I love a guy from Pakistan. We met while studying in the UK, I am from Ukraine. Almost 8 months we were meeting every day, we had always so good time with each other, understanding, respect, could say everything and support each other, and never said anything bad to each other. First few months he was scared to promise me something. But then he said that he wanted to be with me. And I really love him and it’s my first time I met such a person. In august I went home to Ukraine. We talked on phone every single day. In December he went home (they live in Saudi Arabia). 3 days ago he heard that his parents were discussing that he’s gonna marry soon as he’s old enough. And he decided to say about me. He said yesterday to his mom. And then he told me he didn’t expect this and he doesn’t have hope anymore. That his mom is against me as I’m not Pakistani. Few hours later he said that actually it all happens as they told his aunt to marry his cousin and all her relatives know about that already. He told her parents he loves me and I’m the best person, but his mom says they know better what he needs, and that his dad did everything to him and he should listen and respect them. If he says no, his dad’s sister will have fight with his family. And they will have fight with him. And they will never accept me probably. And he said that he doesn’t want me to go through this and said to breakup. And it’s likely that he will marry that girl as he doesn’t want to fight.

At night I wrote this: i still can’t believe and can’t accept this. I still hope that I or he can do something and something will change. Though maybe it useless hope which will make me feel worse. And he is not even gonna do anything I think… but how is it like this? I love him and he really loves me. I imagined future with him and thought how good man he is. The best for me. How can he be with cousin who he doesn’t know and doesn’t like? How will he be happy? His mom says he’ll be happy and if with me, he won’t, and that our children would blame us that we chose each other. But how can he listen always to them and even “love” someone they say? I can’t believe this is happening.

This morning I planned to not contact him as he told me that that’s and he didn’t really want to discuss anything else. But I woke up and called him, he didn’t want to talk. And texted him, I had hope we could do something, I offered him ways and wanted to be with him. But again he said he can’t do anything and he will marry and manage this. That it will be better for everyone, it’s so painful to understand. But after so much trying and hearing that he won’t do anything for us, I finally accepted that nothing depends on me and he really has this decision. And I have mixed feelings about him. I love him, I’m sorry for him, I know it’s so difficult for him. But I can’t understand why he can’t do anything if he loves me. If he loves, he can find ways to be with me. IF not, I was a bit mistaken... but felt that he loves till the last evening. Maybe it’s so normal in their culture, but I really can’t understand it.

EllanVannin Wed 16-Dec-20 18:39:53

Customs are customs and there's nothing you can do about it.

Sparklefizz Wed 16-Dec-20 19:02:24

I am so sorry for you, but he is not strong enough to fight his family in order to be with you. He would be cut off from them for the rest of his life.

Also, he is protecting you because you would suffer a great deal from the way they would treat you even if he did stand up to them. You deserve to be with a man who has a lovely family who will accept you and love you.

I hope you can deal with this. Try and be strong.

BlueBelle Wed 16-Dec-20 19:12:11

Unless you both feel the same depth it can’t happen his pull of his family for centuries are stronger than his pull to you however sad that is
I really feel for you so much but he has it ingrained into his very being that he has to do this for the family pride, upkeep his family and his happiness and safety
Sometimes it happens that ‘the trapped one’ chooses to escape with his or her true love but often forever looking over their shoulder and living in fear for their life or their families lives that may well be damaged In this case he has decided his route has to be with his families wishes
He has made his decision and it is terrible for you but you have to accept it as there is nothing else you can do
Read up about arranged marriages you will be amazed at the stories, women and men have been killed for going against their families wishes
In time you will heal but you ll never forget this love it is like a bereavement sash
take care 💐

sodapop Wed 16-Dec-20 19:12:32

I can't add much to Sparklefizz post, I'm sorry you find yourself in this position Sash but for all your sakes you need to let him go now.

You do deserve better than this.

M0nica Wed 16-Dec-20 19:40:44

Your boyfriend comes from a culture, at least within his family, where you are expected to marry within your culture to someone who your parents are happy with. Not doing this will be seen as bringing shame on the family and if he stays with you, his family will simply cast him out and act as if he was dead. he will be completely cut off from family, and all that being part of a family means.

Your boyfriend is in a situation where he has to choose between you or his family because he cannot have both. He has chosen his family and accepted what this may cost him in emotional grief.

The best thing you can do, is accept that you are no longer part of his life and never will be. I know this advice sounds brutal, but it isnt. It is what has happened and it won't change.

I do realise how unhappy your are now and will be for sometime in the future, but constantly hoping for a change of heart or of him coming back to you, will only prolong your pain.

Sash0301 Wed 16-Dec-20 20:21:55

Thank you so much. I never thought it could happen to me. But yeah. I’m accepting it. And everything will be even better soon. Hopefully for him too. But in my culture it is nonsense when parents interfere and choose person for their kid. I’m sorry for people who don’t have any choice especially when they are in love with someone else..

Sash0301 Wed 16-Dec-20 20:24:45

Thank you, sadapop. I believe everything will be good. I think I somehow accepted it already and don’t have any hope that I can change something.

petra Wed 16-Dec-20 20:44:21

I know your hurting dreadfully at the moment but believe me, this is for the best. Even if your boyfriend had been allowed to marry you it would be expected that you go to live in Saudi. You have no idea how restrictive your life there would be.
For your own sake please read some articles on what life is like for women in Saudi. You will be classed as a second class citizen, is this what you want. Would you want your daughters to have arranged marriages because they will. You will have no say in it. In fact you will have no say in anything if you had moved to Saudi.
This will pass and you will find love with someone who respects you as an equal.

EllanVannin Wed 16-Dec-20 20:48:50

I actually thought that these type of marriages are illegal in this country ( UK ) or does that just apply to forced marriages ?

Dinahmo Wed 16-Dec-20 20:53:16

Earlier this century I worked with a Pakistani man who had been raised int he UK, went to Uni here and qualified as a solicitor.

The summer after we first met he announced that he was going to Pakistan for a holiday. When he came back he announced that he was married. His wife was about 27 and had studied English at school. You may be able to imagine how shocked we were as he seemed to be so English.

His wife lived with his parents and he used to travel from Essex to the Midlands every weekend to see her. It took him a long time before she would come to his home. She had no western ideas whatsoever. There was no way she would meet any of his English friends, let alone the wives of some of his Pakistani friends, who had also gone through arranged marriages.

When she needed new clothes he would take her shopping and she would ask what he would like her to have. He would tell her to chose what she would like but she never did.

His grandfather had served in the British army and loved to live in England. In his old age he returned to Pakistan because the family there thought that he should whereas he would have preferred to stay in England.

My friend's parents and siblings lived in the UK. The women didn't speak English and apparently had no wish to do so, although there were language classes that they could have gone to. I may be being inflammatory here, and don't mean to be, but I do think that this is one of the causes of anti immigrant feeling here.

You can perhaps imagine the questions that his colleagues had when he told us and we just could not understand it. He said that it was to honour his family but he disliked his father.

We met when he came to work at the same firm and eventually went our separate ways. We met up again when he came to work at a firm where I was already working. By then he'd met an English woman with whom he'd started a relationship.

He did not want to be married to his wife but he kept in touch with his family because he did care about his mother and his sister who was handicapped. He did worry about the extended family finding out about him because his wife has siblings in the UK too.

It is very sad that life has to be like this. Some people may find, if not love, companionship in an arranged marriage, but not everyone.

I am very sorry for you and wish that he could be stronger to stand up against his family.

Sash0301 Wed 16-Dec-20 21:16:37

EllanVannin He is not in the UK anymore. He’s in Saudi Arabia.

Sash0301 Wed 16-Dec-20 21:27:09

Dinahmo thank you. I wished that too but in my case it’s sadly not like that... I don’t even know what is going on with him now. If he still thinks about this , about me, or he really accepted and let go everything. Maybe he feels the same bad now. But still I don’t think he will do anything... and I should understand that if he doesn’t , it means he wasn’t that right person for me... but everything changed from ideal to the end in few minutes... really can’t understand this. And now he doesn’t even texts me and probably won’t, but following everywhere. And maybe it’s good, better than reminding with no reason. But sad.

Hithere Wed 16-Dec-20 21:52:04


Trust me when I tell you you are so much better off.
It hurts like hell now. I know. Time will help

Not all the families are like that. My dh is Indian and they respected his choice without drama.

geekesse Wed 16-Dec-20 22:05:51


I actually thought that these type of marriages are illegal in this country ( UK ) or does that just apply to forced marriages ?

Forced marriages, where one or both parties do not consent, are illegal in the U.K. Arranged marriages are perfectly legal and happen in many communities, including some Orthodox Jewish communities, British-Indian and British-Pakistani families, and some communities with cultural roots in Africa. Indeed, it was quite common in this country among middle- and upper-class families until the end of the nineteenth century.

ExD Wed 16-Dec-20 22:17:41

How old are you both Sash?
I am so sorry you are having to endure this, but sadly you will have to accept that there is no future for you with this boy. He had accepted this, and so must you - estranging him from his family and culture is no base for a long and happy marriage.
Grieve for your lost love, then pick yourself up and move on with dignity.

M0nica Wed 16-Dec-20 22:28:35

In any relationship superficially both people can be ideally matched and have much in common, only to find when push comes to shove they discover that on the nitty gritty of lives, children, money etc they come from different families and have different core values.

That happens within groups with shared cultures. When cultures are different these problems can be so much greater.

Hetty58 Thu 17-Dec-20 00:54:22

I'm really surprised that anyone could spend eight months with a boyfriend from Pakistan - and yet know nothing about their culture. Family ties and traditions are very strong,so it's sad, but the situation has to be accepted.

My Pakistani neighbours have a grandson with severe disabilities, not unusual as a consequence of the tradition of marrying a cousin.

Sash0301 Thu 17-Dec-20 05:51:32

ExD thank you. I’m 21. And he’s 24. I think I already accepted. Maybe still can’t believe 100%. As it’s so unexpectedly for me. I didn’t know this culture, didn’t know that it could happen although I knew they might be against me. But never thought they already agreed to marry.... And his mind for me seemed like not that at all, he was telling me he would convince them if something and he always showed that he understood things differently. But now I probably faced typical Pakistani culture...

Sash0301 Thu 17-Dec-20 05:58:53

Hetyy I didn’t know it as he bahaved so differently, I was looking at him. And didn’t know his parents are sooo much different. He was probably telling me good. And unfortunately never prepared for this situation. I even feel bad now that person who I love will marry someone soon.
And I was thinking about these disabilities, I know it happens with so close relatives. Hope he wouldn’t face it. But his parents told him that our children wouldn’t be happy. But with that girl they will be as she is Pakistani..) I just can’t understand if they really don’t know it. Or they don’t care about their sons , maybe it’s just profitable for them, but feeling of their beloved son seems like nothing for them. I can’t believe parents do it.

BlueBelle Thu 17-Dec-20 06:36:10

Sash please do read up about other cultures as they are not necessarily bad people with bad traditions they just aren’t our traditions and many arranged marriages work out well Of course they are not all inter marriages they are arranged to marry someone who is considered a good catch not necessarily a cousin
You were only with him 8 months and met in a country far away from his own and you were both carried away with this world wind relationship he obviously seemed Westernised to you but he isn’t, it’s been a big shock to you his family and traditions are within him
You seem convinced the parents are bad people they are not, they are doing what they believe right for their children and the children (including your lost boyfriend) are doing what they believe right too His big mistake was getting involved with you when he knew he wouldn’t be able to follow through He was probably swept along with the western ways
You will hurt for a while and have the ‘what if’ feeling but you will move on eventually
It was a short whirl wind relationship which you both got carried away with it but you are very young and will meet someone else

Just for my curiosity how did you find this forum and choose to look for answers here ?

Sash0301 Thu 17-Dec-20 07:30:15

BlueBelle I understand that they are maybe not bad. They think it’s normal. But I believe that this tradition is silly, it hurts people if they love someone else. But I think this love just doesn’t exist in that culture. They think they do good, actually now I understand our culture is much better, where parents give choice to children. And I understand how different each country is. And better if at least they choose not cousin. But because of that he risks his kids too.

I always wanted to start relationship when I’m sure it can grow and lead to family. And love someone so much for the first time. And was sure as I started this topic and finally he supported me and said that he wants that too with me. But when this happened he told me that he was always afraid to promise me something and to speak about relationship and family. For 3 months it was “going with flow” for him. And probably I had to understand at that time. But another 8 months he was talking about family with me. So, I thought everything will be alright. I didn’t know exactly his parents are like this. But yes, I think he knows them much better and could predict since the beginning and just didn’t let it go so far. Good at least I’m not there and it’s not that I would be alone in another country because parents don’t like me. Don’t have children. And it’s still probably not so far. So, I’m not saying they are bad, but I think that parents can’t know better as it’s not their life, but now they live for him and now it will be forever like this, and for his children too.

Hopefully will meet someone else about whom I will be able to say only positively and love as I could do with him.

Just random forum that I found in Google. I don’t remember what I searched as I was emotional and sad. Maybe I looked for arranged marriages.

BlueBelle Thu 17-Dec-20 07:54:34

Every country, every culture, every ethnicity, has its own deep rooted traditions and each believes wholly in their own, what is right for you and your culture is different for him and his

In Europe well certainly in U.K. they also used to be arranged marriages if you read any classics like Jane Austin etc you will hear about them, but this has phased out with modern society

There were many things expected of children in many countries Right up to the last generation in Ireland it was recognised that the first born son would be a priest or if a girl a nun Did you know that one?

My plumber told me he had never been happy as he wanted to pursue a career in art but his father had insisted he ‘got a trade’ and became a plumber, which he hated all his life !

We all have a choice whether to follow these traditions or not some wear out sooner than others and arranged marriages especially amongst family members if less now as people become more westernised and global but still is completely recognised in some cultures
You are so young you have not grown up in an era when these things have happened in our countries, so it’s all unknown to you
Many of us had a first love that we thought we would never get over, your intense 8 months will dissipate over time it’s all a big shock at the moment you are young and you will heal

Very good luck in your future life and relationships

Sash0301 Thu 17-Dec-20 08:14:18

BlueBelle thank you. I knew nothing about all that. It’s so sad some people couldn’t choose and remained unhappy. I feel now that western culture is much better where people have choice... and I’m so lucky I have parents who worry about me and will always help me but never ask me to do what they want and let me find whatever I need without interfering..

Yes, it is shock, it’s unexpected and difficult now. But I hope it will be better soon. And will remember this without tears later , like just a story.

Thank you so much.

ExD Thu 17-Dec-20 11:21:22

You say you're from Ukraine, what differences are there between those of your country and the UK? I'm sure there would be quite a lot of clashes if you married a British man. Not as huge, but still some.
I have a friend who married a Polish boy, she converted from her religion which was church of England to Roman catholic. After they married she found he believed her money should be his, and tried to take over her bank account for his own use. This different view of money wrecked the marriage as he also expected her to OBEY his every wish and they parted.
They are still married as he cannot divorce being Catholic, so she is unable to marry her current partner, it doesn't matter so much now but in the 1960s there was quite a stigma with so-called 'living in sin'.
You've had a lucky escape my dear and I wish you well.

PS, you do realise we are all (well mostly) grandmothers on here don't you?