I am a student in college, 2nd year. I am from a Hindu family. I was not good in studies in my first semester but I passed all the subjects in the next one. Now the thing here involves a girl, my best friend. In the first semester, she was going out with me casually and all and it was fine, but she got attracted to some other freakish senior, against whom everyone warned her. But she got involved and I got distracted. She is like the only friend who is that much close to heart. And my studies got deteriorated. But time changed and she broke up with him, got together with me and I almost topped the class in every single test. Meanwhile, some 4th year guy became too sweet towards her and she got a little bit attracted and I got soooooo distracted that I didn’t give exams easily. She was seeing him since halfway March to end of May. I could have brought better marks, but I couldn’t. Seeing her with anyone else who is NOT good hurts me. And actually, I want to marry her. The problem is that she is from a Muslim family and I am from a Hindu family. She doesn’t want to live without me nor do I, but how am I supposed to persuade my family, her family? Her parents are damn conservative. My parents might not be that much but are still, like, interreligion hai to dikkat hai. I don’t know what is wrong with me. We have classes five days a week and it is fine, but the moment Friday goes away, Saturday and Sunday makes me depressed, reckless and very destructive. I keep missing her and looking at her pic and I just can’t seem to stay half a day without her. I love her but how do I protect her from getting involved with wrong people? You know what girls be like, whatever you say to them not to do, the DO that. I want to marry her. How do I convince my parents first and how do I stop her from being falsely attracted to bad people?
Dear Darling Boy,
I see a few problems here that must be sorted out: 1. Your feelings are so very strong for her that when she does not conform to them or she is not with you, you feel handicapped in your studies. 2. There is a religious difference between your families and they might not conform to your request for her hand. 3. You want to protect her from her own desires. Do I have these correct? OK. Get yourself a cup of chai and sit with me. Let us talk about each of these.
- Your feelings are strong and distracting. You seem to externalize your success. It seems to not be in your control, but hers. This is a matter of discipline. If you cannot take full responsibility for your school work then you must remove all distractions. Girlfriends come and go (as she has done) but your future is yours alone to decide. If anything renders you incapable of fulfilling your responsibilities because of your desire, you must eliminate this factor as an alcoholic eliminates alcohol. Take a break from her. If you cannot do this, beta, I gently suggest speaking with a therapist. This is not healthy. What if she never wants to marry you? You still need a future.
- You cannot control what another person thinks, does, or supports. You can only weigh the consequences and decide your path for yourself. Can you live without the support of your family and take her from hers? Can she? If so, then marry her. If not, then don’t. Do not expect to ever be able to change anyone but yourself. Chacha and I come from different faiths. We have been happily married for a great many years. But not everyone can do this and we have always had the support of our families. This surprised me, that my family would agree, but they knew he was the right man for me before even I did. How will you raise your children? This is often the hardest question that leads to divorce. But it can be done if you can compromise on very big issues.
- Hai, beta. You will not like this, but Aunty is always honest and the truth is, I hope, liberating. This woman does not need you to “save” or “protect” her from her own decisions. These are her decisions, not yours. She has every right to see whomever she pleases. She is not your possession, she has her own will and if you care for her, you must respect it. Even if you do not care for her, you must respect her will and her decisions. She is entirely, 100% her own person. She can make mistakes and she can choose another man. You deeply disrespect her when you talk about protecting her from liking “wrong” or “freakish” people. You have no right to save her from her mind, her feelings or her decisions. Not now, not after marriage, not ever. You either respect her and all of her choices or you leave. Again, you control yourself, not anyone else. Frankly your desire to control her is a little frightening to Aunty. You must work on letting go. Darling, I say this as gently as I can, but with utmost seriousness: She is just not that into you. If she was, she would never want another. When I fell in love with Chachajaan, all other men ceased to exist. She is not there with you. This is not healthy for you or for her..
My darling, this is obsession. It is not love. From where you are sitting, it might be hard to tell the difference. My suggestion is to let her go. Move away if you must, go to another school. She is like an unhealthy drug for you. Someday I hope you will meet a woman who loves you as much, and you will be very happy together. Until then, beta, jeethe raho- Desi Aunty.