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I had been dating an attractive 30 yo Eastern Indian man for the past 7 months and we just broke up two weeks ago. I'm having such a hard time dealing with this and moving on with my life. He lives in Florida, an hour away from me, and has lived in the US the past 8 years...and is pretty "Americanized". I'm a 35 year old divorced woman with a 12 yo son. When my boyfriend's family in India discovered we were serious and planning a future together (his older brother works with my boyfriend and we all went out to dinner so he could meet me in the beginning of December - the brother really seemed to like me and invited me to come visit his place the following weekend to meet his new wife (by arranged marriage), but what happened was the brother called his family in India immediately to tell him how serious we were); and the mother forbade my boyfriend to see me and threatened to kill herself if he continued. She never met me or had seen any pictures. But because of his culture and strong family bond, he kept me a secret again telling his family he's no longer with me to protect his mother's health...and after awhile I just couldn't take it anymore and broke up with him. He agreed that this would be best for us the next day in an email.


We were becoming more and more distant as he was working more and taking on more work responsibilities, spending less and less time with me. I tried to be understanding but after 7 months it seems like we were going backwards instead of moving forward together. We only saw each other every Saturday evening and if I was lucky, one night during the week for a few hours. Over the holidays we spent a wonderful and romantic week together in Arizona - we truly enjoyed our time together and being with one another 24/7. Coming back to reality after an incredible vacation is/was also difficult for me to forget. He made soooooo many promises to me and promised to be strong and fight for me and he didn't. It just makes me so sad that a beautiful relationship has to end like this. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. He was my best friend and I love him very much.


He obviously doesn't want to see me or talk to me and we really never had any closure. The last time we saw each other two weeks ago was when I was just getting over the flu and still wasn't healthy looking the way I usually do.


What scares me the most is that I've never dated anyone like him... the respect, chivalry, his kindness, thoughtfulness, his caring for me, his accent and sense of humor, will be hard to get over and I'm afraid I won't meet anyone else, and if I do, then the guys will never treat me as good. Right now, I'm feeling so lonely and I think I made a huge mistake breaking up with him.


It's been 6 days with no contact - I've been so sad and depressed and I am having a really hard time wondering why he hasn't contacted me either??? He said he loved me so much.


Thanks for reading - any advice and input will be appreciated. Thanks again.

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Hi and welcome to eNotalone. He sounds like he was a great man, except for one big "BUT." But... he's from a very traditional family that refuses to accept you, and he does not want to anger his parents, so... it looks like he won't be with you.


I'm sorry - that is a very difficult thing. One part of me thinks that a 30 something man should make his own life decision, but Eastern Indian culture is different, so I guess he doesn't want to upset his parents by being with you....


so... no, I don't think you were wrong in breaking up. If he won't marry you, better to meet someone else. I'm sorry, I know it's hard, but unless he makes his parents accept you, or he decides to go against his parents' wishes..... It looks like the breakup was the right decision....


Personally, from my point of view, if I were dating a 35 year old man, who wouldn't tell his parents that he loves me and wants to be with me, despite my race, I would think that he's a big whimp and I wouldn't want to be with a man like that - a man that can't tell his mother that it's the 21st century and race shouldn't matter.

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You know, I really don't fully understand. I'm not from such a traditional culture. If I met the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, but my mother didn't approve, I would tell her, "Mom - you've already gotten married, you've lived your life, it's time for me to live mine. I am an adult, trust that I am making the right decision."


I wish he could say the same thing to you

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I agree with Annie here. Her advice is solid.


I have a little something more to add...

This guy knew how his family would possibly react to you...but he continued dating you for 7 months. What was his motivation?

He had to know his family being as traditional as they are..and their culture, that this was the possible outcome. Maybe he was hoping you would be the "exception"?


I can't really offer any "advice"..mainly because I do not understand other cultures like that.

I do agree though that no matter what culture you're from..at a certain age

you should be able to live your own life the way you wish, so as long as it does not hurt or inflict harm on other people. We should all be able to choose our OWN destiny.


I cannot give you false hope...and say he might come back...but I hope for your sake he does.


Best in all to you.

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Have you told him how much you love him? And that although you understand his parents' concern, that it is more important that he is happy with a woman of another culture than it is for him to be in an unhappy marriage with another indian woman? Tell him that you would really like to make things work with his family. Have you told him how you feel?

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Thanks, Lady Bugg. Yes, he really believed that I was the "one" and his family would eventually accept me...in the meantime it was too stressful for both of us to handle. I want to go visit him and talk to him. I'm getting very weak and I miss him terribly...but I wonder if he's relieved and happier not having to be in this situation any longer. I fear he'll go the traditional way to please his family and soon marry an Indian woman. He's a sensitive guy and I can't imagine he's not going through the same pain I'm enduring at this time???

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Yes, he knows I love him with all my heart but he can't deal with not having his family speak to him and being completely cut off from them. Also, he said the guilt would be too great if his mother wasn't "bluffing" and really harmed herself as threatened. He then continued to tell me how much he loves/d me and wants to be best friends since he can't have me as his girlfriend/future wife. After we broke up, he told his parents that we were back together and how much he loves me, I believe just to get their reaction, well, they must have been extremely upset because he told his mother the next evening that we broke up and will remain friends. Mind you, we're not friends at this time, it's just too painful for me.

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Cultural traditions are vety strong for some people and when they are mixed up with family pressures it becomes even more problematical. I hate to tell you this but I think you should walk away as hard as that would be to do. Even if he were to be with you these problems would never go away and they would be worse if you had children together. It is very unfortunate when culltures clash - there is no right or wrong about it.


The way that other people manage their affairs has worked for them for centuries and it is of no use telling them they are wrong. They don't think they are and see western culture and the high divorce rates as proof.

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You have truly defined the meaning of love by making the ultimate sacrifice. I feel for you and hope that you are able to overcome this as you should. This isn't about whom you are, it's about what you are not. Cultural differences can put a deep strain on a relationship and it's sad that although "Americanized" as he may be, he's still his mothers son. I admire your selflessness and courage. Best Wishes,



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Thanks DN and RC for your replies. He really thought he was different and tried to convince himself of that...but deep down you are right, he's still his mother's son and she has powerful control over her family...too powerful and dangerous for me. My fear is that at age 35 I finally found what I've been looking for these past 10 years and now I can no longer have it...I've never been happier and now I suffer a great loss. Thanks again.

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Dear jsunshine


I am sorry for your loss, and i can't even imagine how much it must hurt you right now. I have been in a invertedly similar situation. I am pakistani/east indian same culture. i dated an american girl for a while and were in love..and i know i am really young but hurt comes at any age. ne way long story short, i am all those things you described..chivalrious, respectable,etc. It is a culture thing. ne way i did every thing for this woman and she treated me like crap in front of her family because she was worried her parents won't like me so my point is i was all those things and she didnt care...everyone is different, thats the funny thing about this life, you never know who your going to meet and what kind of person he/she really is. God i wish it was simple....

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Thanks Life101 for sharing your experience. I agree, I wish it were simple. I'm having a very difficult time especially with having no contact. It's actually getting harder rather than easier. I'm sorry the girl you were with didn't appreciate your kindness and everything an East Indian has to offer. My wish is that my guy was stronger to be able to be with me but as they say, blood is thicker than water. He really convinced me that I would be accepted and he'd stick by me no matter what...I think that's what hurts the most. I believe because of his culture he is able to dismiss me and our love and turn his feelings off and move on??? What do you think? I wonder if he feels the pain I'm going through? It's hard to know without contacting him and I don't want to get hurt even more. Thanks again.

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Trust me, i come from that same culture if not even a stricter one...and i managed to fall in love with an american and wouldve stuck with her till the end if she had potential/willingness. I mean if anything our culture tells us to love to the fullest and respect the one your with. And also stick with the good and the bad thats why our divorce rate over there isnt even half compare to here!


I personally believe that race doesnt come in between of Love..well true love at least and i think if he really wanted to be with you, he would stick with you till death, i know i would, despite of what my parents think(i love my parents and am extremely close to them) but God tells us to live YOUR life, not your parents or sons. and He also says if someone makes you happy and want to live with them for your journey of life then He shall be with you...I just want to clear that it was his fault for not sticking with you..because In love NOTHING stands in between. So don't think all easterners are like that, yeah their close to their families but they don't give up on love. God has a purpose for everyone in life and if i were you, i would start getting in touch with your spiritual side, it helps!

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Your story really touched me and I feel for you! I hope you can take some comfort in the fact that you were a great loving partner, but the obstacles were just too much. I think you are handling this great- of course you are sad- who wouldn't be? Give yourself time to grieve, and be good to yourself.

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  • 8 months later...



I was saddened by your story. I'm from an East Indian culture myself (Bangladesh), and while I recognise that the man who was in your life could have been stronger for you, I know only too well the kind of forces that came to bear on him from his family. I have had to struggle against such forces myself.


I am suffering at the end of a relationship with my English ex-girlfriend. In marked contrast to what I have seen many guys of my race doing, I took the step of being up front about the relationship with my parents at an early stage (2 months in). I asked them if they would like to meet her, and to my disappointment they declined, saying the reason was it was too early. I do believe that her race or background was not the issue here for them, but for all the world this is the message they were sending out, and yet refused to accept that they were doing so. At the time my ex-gf was hurt by it, she cried, but I was honest and said that this was not a rejection forever - my parents had said they merely wanted to give the relationship time.


As I reflect now though, a bad precedent was set and in the year that we were together, she never really believed that they were not being racist towards her. I myself was angry that they were being so pig-headed, but unable to make them do something they did not want to.


Now we're no longer together, to my deep regret. The family troubles were not at the heart of the split, (she said that she had just lost her feelings) but they contributed, or so I think. She was unhappy that while her family hosted me at Christmas, I had not revealed this to my family. (My family have a huge chip on their shoulder about receiving hospitality and in their words "being obliged" to someone). I tried to set up a meeting between my ex-gf and my sister, and again that attempt failed because my sister is extremely shy and put up resistance to the idea.


I will be honest with you. There are many times I am deeply angry with my family members for their behaviour. Had they only been able to show optimism and faith that the love would work out, my ex-gf would not have felt marginalised. They effectively made their minds up about the relationship failing, and sure enough, when it did they were vindicated. A month after the break-up I hate that I was in such a terrible state after she left that I had to call them for support.


jsunshine, I don't really fully know why i'm trawling out this sad story. I just think that the Indian guy you knew is most likely going through bitter regrets now, just as I am. Reading what you have written, he was put in a terrible impossible situation - he had something of an extremist to deal with in the form of his mother, much more so than me.


I read your thread and everyone, posters and moderators, are agreed that your ex should've been stronger and told his family where to go, he should've made his own life etc etc. I find these statements glib. Yes, as a grown man, by all means he should've committed to you, followed up on his promises but when dealing with emotional blackmail from an overbearing parent threatening suicide, I can't see what anyone, Indian or otherwise, could have done. I vociferously condemn the emotional blackmail - but these people in the older generation are the way they are.


I was as idealistic as you out there - believing that love matters a great deal more than racial or cultural differences. But in the end, I lost out. My ex-gf broke it off saying that she didn't have the strong loving feelings anymore, something a man is powerless to arrgue with. I lost the person i considered so precious, and to boot, I jeopardised my relationship with my family for her sake, only for her to walk away from me.


It is a hard place to be in.

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