Meet The Parents & Their Expectations

A friend was saying that he’d decided that most women were cowards because they would not stand up to their families, not stand up for the men they wanted to be with. For a fact, I’ve seen a good number of relationships end because of familial opposition – on the basis of religious, caste, linguistic and economic differences. It is truly sad for a relationship to end, not because of the couple’s differences but because of other people’s views.

However, I must also say that I have always had great regard for women who take their family’s desires into consideration while choosing a life partner. This isn’t quite the same as the Mama’s boy syndrome where some men unquestioningly gulp down whatever is shoved down their proverbial throats. The women I’m talking about, make their own choices and these choices definitely factor in their family’s ideas too. I so much stand by that.

The fact is that few people will ever care as much as your own blood family, misunderstandings and irritants notwithstanding. That said, they are no more than human and have a right to their own foibles and prejudices. My greatest admiration in this regard is reserved for two women, one a neighbor and one a friend. Both women met the men they wanted to spend their lives with and had to contend with parental opposition – due to differences in religion and in caste respectively. The families of both women (the fathers most particularly) ran the entire hullaballoo from tearful melodrama to icy coldness. Both women stood firm and held that they would not marry anyone else. And in addition, would not get married without their families’ complete blessings either. Persistence won out in both cases. The first couple has two children, both the darlings of their doting grandfather’s eyes. The second couple celebrates their fifth wedding anniversary this year, blissfully in love..and peacefully so too. All was certainly well that ended well in these two cases.

I guess not everyone is that lucky or even that tenacious. If it really came down to having to choose, I can’t imagine a man would be ‘right’ for me unless my family was aligned to my choice as well. Family is one’s own after all, and their well-intended perspective could be very useful in such an important choice. Does that necessarily mean that I am a coward, unable to go against them? Or does it make me any less independent – or feminist? You tell me.


* This is an earlier version of this post. A version is posted to Yahoo! Real Beauty.

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*If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.

About IdeaSmith

IdeaSmith is the digital doppelganger of Ramya Pandyan (intrepid train-traveller and frequent spouter of post-midnight rhymes and rants). As IdeaSmith she battles obscurity and slays boredom with her stories about men, books, digitalia and Mumbai. She performs live and also blogs, tweets, Instagrams, Facebooks, +G’s, Youtubes and Goodreads all as IdeaSmith. Ramya is a blogger, digital storyteller and spoken word performer. She also runs a forum for aspiring writers called Alphabet Sambar. Tweet-bomb her at @ideasmithy.

Posted on April 28, 2011, in Featured, Relationships, Yahoo! and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. “However, I must also say that I have always had great regard for women who take their family’s desires into consideration while choosing a life partner. This isn’t quite the same as the Mama’s boy syndrome where some men unquestioningly gulp down whatever is shoved down their proverbial throats. ”

    honestly I dont see the difference between men and women w.r.t this. I am sure in many male cases as well, its the family concerns which come into the picture.

    In most parts of India, both urban and rural, marriages does not involve just the groom and the bride, there is a whole lot of other people who are involved, and continue to stay involved. I do not see why a male or a female should not think about practicality of married life. If a person values his family, or wants to be involved with parents of either sides through their old ages, shouldn’t he or she make sure, he/she doesnt make the task difficult for themselves?.

    I do agree that all this should be thought of well before he or she gets into a relationship.
    But sometimes attraction is such a baffling thing, one cannot really keep tabs on their mind.

    • @Rambler: Well, true enough. But to act on that attraction or not, that’s something that is and well should be within a person’s control. Having acted on it, taking responsibility for it and not backing out because the family is suddenly remembered…that’s something I’d like to see more of.

  2. There is a huge factor called genenation gap which plays a significant role here.I believe that now a days most of the girls and boys are smart enough to choose the right partner.Few years back it was not the case. So parents-who belong to old school of thinking-definitely need to at least listen to what their kids have to say about their choice.Unfortunately they do not in most of the cases.Its not that they do not want to but they are bound by their policies.they cannot be blamed for sure.
    So what i feel is that this tug of war wil continue only for around 10 to 15 years. When the current youth and their children come into scene this intolerance will no longer be there. Our society would have undergone a sea of changes by then.

    • @Divya: The generation gap is nearly as old as humanity itself. By that time, our generation will probably the older one and at the other end of this gap. Woe is us!

  3. No, you are not a coward at all. It’s just how much your family means to you. Simple. I like the story of the two women.

  4. I think the situation also depends on whether its a love marriage or an arranged scenario and it’s definitley not an easy choice to make for any girl.

  5. It takes two to weather the storm of discontent. And yes, tenacity is the objective virtue to highlight.

    But the reality underneath the covers is that these two courageous women had two equally persistent men who backed them and remained faithful.

    In a poetic sense, enduring all this storming lent a sense of authenticity to their relationships – and that makes the future all the more brighter for them.

    • @Zubin Wadia: That’s totally true. I was thinking about it from the womens’ perspective but there’s no denying the backing of equally strong men.

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