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Rejected... Reasons Men and Their Mothers Turned Me Down for Marriage

Friday, January 29, 2021

 




As I sit here in my bedroom pondering the inexplicable intricacies of life and being human, my mind took a turn towards the complex topic of marriage and relationships. Perhaps watching Bridgerton also brought up memories of reaching the marriageable age in society and how that went for me. Being a Pakistani woman, my mind naturally raced down memory road and decided to focus on how I achieved rejections in my life amidst dressing up in colorful clothes and looking presentable to the aunties always watching me. The fact that I can sit here and laugh about the absurdities of my culture and chuckle over what these people conveyed to me at that time is an accomplishment in itself. I have decided that others should be just as entertained as I am on the various reasons for rejections and also consider the underlying seriousness of it all. Though this seems funny to me now, experiencing their brandished verbal weapons at that time was significantly jarring and resulted in the upheaval of my life. 



    Although the first person I picked could possibly be considered an "ideal" match in the long run because he was from the same caste, religion, and community, his parents were unhappy with me. His mother did not like the fact that she had no say in the relationship of her only son and she became very possessive about this fact even though she knew my family well. It soured the relationship between our parents and my friendship with his sisters. Despite his bravado, he was unable to truly take my side when issues arose and eventually began blaming me for all his problems and mistrusting me based on hearsay. When it came time to do the right thing and accept the proposal, he backed away claiming he was unprepared and did not have a job yet despite knowing this will put me in an extremely difficult situation after having stood by his side for several years. I would not have stopped him from completing his studies or finding a job it would have been a verbal agreement for an upcoming marriage in the future and we would be engaged. To his mother's surprise and pleasure, he rejected me and our relationship broke. Unfortunately for the mother, he eventually married a foreigner and chose to live abroad where his mother had no control of the situation and was forced into accepting. As for me, I thanked my lucky stars I did not end up with him because even if he did accept me that day, there would have been little respect left in the relationship based on the way it was heading. What I learned from this was that although I chased something I felt so certain about, life worked out a way to remove it from my life when I was blind to its vulnerabilities. Although I went through a considerable amount of distress afterward, this was the best for me in the long run. The difficulty that arose afterward was more to do with societal outlook and disgrace of the family name more so than a broken heart. This delayed the healing process for me and led to other questionable choices in the future because of confusion. Nevertheless, I am very glad I did not end up with this one. 


Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

    In another instance, my engagement was broken because my ex-fiance's mother did not want me to pursue college levels studies and medicine after the marriage and wanted me to focus on raising and taking care of the family instead. Needless to say, I refused because I was eighteen years old. However, putting age aside, if future goals do not align between families, it is not a good idea to jump into marriage. It is very unlikely that things will change after marriage and throwing yourself into a relationship in hopes to change the person means that you don't actually accept this person as they are. My ex-fiance did not fight for me and accepted his mother's wishes to end the relationship although he "loved me dearly." Another red flag in this situation was my age. I was unprepared to face the responsibilities that are brought on by the union of two families in our culture. Along with anything else I would have done, I would have to be the sole caretaker of the household and children even if I did fight to study and work. What my parents did not realize at the time was that this would cause mental and emotional suffering for their own daughter when they knew I wanted something completely different at this stage in my life and pushing me towards marrying just to please them would result in devastating consequences. The sense of urgency and pressure parents receive to marry their daughters off over better judgment can ruin lives and futures for the girls and women. It makes me really happy seeing that the next generations are moving away from this trend and focusing on their own mental health and what is better for their children instead of bending into societal pressures. This is not an easy fix but at least there is an acknowledgment that these are unhealthy practices. 


    The proposal that takes the number one spot in drama the family who led my family into believing everything was fine and dandy after we accepted the marriage proposal. Everything was not okay. They were hoping to put my parents and me in my place before the wedding and refused to acknowledge the engagement within their community until they were fully satisfied. They pretended everything was moving along and enabled us to book the wedding hall, photographers but became infuriated when we sent out the wedding cards through which someone we all mutually knew received them. This uncle greeted my ex-fiance's father congratulating them on the union. The father stood there looking at the uncle blankly in horror and then laughed it off stating there was no rishta (proposal) and shrugged off pretending not to know why this uncle had received a wedding invite. This was definitely the strangest circumstance I experienced to this date. This is a very interesting story and will receive its own moment to shine at some point but to say it flabbergasted us would be an understatement. This created mass confusion and resulted in arguments on both sides of the family. Eventually, my ex-fiance's parents admitted they behaved this way because they were worried about my "controlling behavior" over their son and diagnosed me as mentally unstable. They claimed I was not mentally ready to be married into their family and the only way there would be a wedding is if I was monitored for another year after which they would re-evaluate my behavior and consider if I was worthy of their precious son. Their son sat there quietly without saying a word, accepting everything spewing from his parents' mouths. This was enough drama for a lifetime for me so I walked away from this. 


Photo by Luis Galvez on Unsplash

    Laughs aside, anyone can see how damaging these experiences would be for a young woman who is trying to figure out her place in the world. The constant hits on her self-esteem and her worth weighed continuously by how much income she and her family made, the color of her skin, her height, and superficial features with no thought being given to her personality. The only part of her personality that they cared about was how malleable, submissive, and house-trained or "young" she was so that she could assimilate into being the lowest-ranked member of her husband's family. The requirements were that she not speak loudly or ever take offense to anything her in-laws said about her because that is what was done and accepted by large within the society. She wasn't marrying for love, contentment, or happiness, she married to become the new servant and baby-making machine for the man's family. How debilitating is it to have your voice completely taken away from you and observing the involvement of your parents in this matter? Aunties with sons would drawl about girls having high expectations in the men they wished to marry if a girl requested that the son have the same level of education as her. Girls from a young age are being continually taught to lower their expectations because a "good marriage" does not come from judging men in such a superficial manner. 


    Thus the moral of the story is that your self-worth and respect are not meant to be thrown away with the union of two families. You should bring your unique thoughts and views into the marriage with your head held high because you will walk to your new home with respect and dignity. You are the best as you are and if anyone claims to have a problem with you then the best thing to do is walk away and find someone who appreciates you for who you are and will stand up for you without a second's thought. People cannot be changed and if either side goes in with the expectation that things will improve after marriage, this is simply not true nor is it right. Why should either side have to completely change who they are in order to fit into your expectations? Nobody is a project or piece of clay ready to be molded into anyone's liking.  We are our own entities with hopes, aspirations, and dreams. Reach out if you need help escaping from these daunting and draining situations. We are living in an era where opportunities surround us and sometimes all we need to do is ask for help. Never settle. 



Until Next Time,


    



Intro photo by Fas Khan on Unsplash

3 comments:

  1. What a nightmare. These incidents you experienced are nothing short of a demeaning Experience. So sorry you had to deal with this at such a tender age. It is unfortunate girls are limited in getting opportunities to progress themselves and are put down. Those people sound very condenscending. Thank god they are not part of your life. Wherever you are I hope you enjoy peace and happiness:)

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    Replies
    1. Wandering Gypsy DocJanuary 31, 2021 at 5:51 PM

      Thank you. It was a difficult time to process but the important lesson I learned is nobody can force me into a relationship or situation. Sure, there were coercive tactics used at times that I bent to but eventually I worked my way out of these toxic situations. They are not the end all or be all.

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  2. They were blessings in disguise. Glad you dodged those bullets when you could. Wishing you all the happiness that life has to offer. :)

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