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haraa is not online. Last active: 6/14/2005 7:01:29 PM haraa
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Modesty In front of his family
Posted: 24 May 2005 11:41 AM
My BF and I are dating seriously and intend to marry. How modest does his family expect me to be?

He was born in the US and they have lived here for over 30 years. I am not Indian and in many ways am very westernized, although I have many traditional values as well.

Anyway, I know enough to conduct myself properly in front of them and in terms of my level of intimacy with my boyfriend, he said it's basically a don't ask don't tell situation.

They know I am American and probably don't expect me to be a virgin, although I would obviously never advertise that fact in front of them!, and having lived in the US for so long perhaps they are deatched from such strict ideals. But how modest do they expect me to be?

Another factor which I plan to keep secret from them is that I was once married and am still in the process of the divorce. I made a hasty decision and married a friend, which was a mistake. We seperated after only a few months and are now getting a divorce. I don't want them to find out about this because they might think I am unsuitable for their son, but I hate keeping major secrets too.

Anyway, my question is what do you think they really expect of me? I very much want their approval.
dollmommy is not online. Last active: 10/30/2007 8:18:24 AM dollmommy
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Re: Modesty In front of his family
Posted: 24 May 2005 03:02 PM
Haraa,

I have some thoughts to offer you as I have read this and several other posts you recently made.

First of all, you should know that neither my husband or I are Indian. My advice isn't coming from a cross cultural venue but from a person who is married for almost 24 years, and yes, happily.

First of all, many western cultures have traditional values, even American cultures. I do not think that most couples discuss intimacy with their intended's parents. This is inappropriate at any time.

Secondly, you want your prospective in-laws to like you and encourage a lasting relationship with their adult child because of who you already are, not who you feel they want you to be. Therefore, changing your religion may not mean anything to your future in-laws at all. This would be something you would want to do for your own journey in life.

Third, keeping secrets isn't a good way to begin any relationship. Are you dating BF very long? Has he mentioned marriage to you? Has he mentioned long term commitment to you? If so, he probably has already brought this up with his parents. Eventually, they will have to be told of your prior marriage. Although divorce is not common in India, if they have been in the US for 30 years, they probably are very well aware of the divorce rate in the states. I would think it is a matter of personal choice on their part on how they view divorce in general. As they get to know you better, this may not play such a large role in your future with their son. Let the relationship develop naturally and at its own rate. Your BF's references of you to his family as well as his inclusion of you in family events is a premier sign to any parent that he is serious.

I have an excellent relationship with my ma-in-law (and my dad-in-law when he was alive) but it developed over many years and many shared experiences. The same can be saidf of my hubby and my mom.

I have had two friends in east/west marriages. One succeeded, one didn't. But I think that is the success percentage of all marriages in the US as it is. I think the marriage that failed would of failed whether or not the girl married a western man. She was too young and immature for the realities of marriage. The successful marriage is between a nice couple who are very family oriented and are peeople who are willing to compromise (including all in-laws).

What I am trying to say is that the situation is as individual as the people involved in it. You, your BF, his parents and your family will al be a part of blending families together as all engaged couples are, regaredless of their origin.
haraa is not online. Last active: 6/14/2005 7:01:29 PM haraa
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Re: Modesty In front of his family
Posted: 24 May 2005 06:20 PM
Thank you for your insightful post. It's good to hear advice from someone who is happily married. I don't have alot of happily married people around me as role models. Yes, my BF and I have discussed marriage and I know that is what he wants. I know his parents expect that will be the outcome as well and I am lucky that they have been so accepting of me.

I know I probably sound a bit paranoid in my posts on this subject (ok I have control issues! ha ha!), but it is because I want so much for them to like me. Probably also because I see that they have a happy family and I would like to be a part of a happy family one day.

My own parents are divorced. They had a cross-cultural marriage, although I don't think that is why their marriage didn't work, it was more because my dad was not the best husband. Because of that experience I was afraid to get married myself for fear of getting divorced, but unfortunately I ended up repeating my parents situation. So I have a great relationship with my mom and siblings, I still long for that happy family with two parents-situation.

Now that I see I have a chance at real happiness I don't want to make any mistakes to spoil it. But you are right, I should take it easy and let things develop naturally, good advice is always hard to follow! Just kidding!

Anyway, thank you for your advice and I will take it to heart and calm down a bit :)
dollmommy is not online. Last active: 10/30/2007 8:18:24 AM dollmommy
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Re: Modesty In front of his family
Posted: 24 May 2005 07:43 PM
It seems that you and BF have an understanding which is a great step in the right direction. Something tells me that if his folks seem to believe marriage is the direction you guys are headed in, they seem to accept it. Don't make any drastic changes to yourself and let them grow to love you for who they are.

My parents were divorced when I was a young girl (not cross cultural) and many people on my husband' s side thought that I had no idea what a happy marriage owuld be because I was "surrounded" by one. SO here I am, 24 years and 4 children later.

As far as parenting, I am the mom of 2 adult children and 2 teens. My son just got engaged at Christmas (at age 19). We want our kids to be happy and try to guide them. However, this is not a guarantee that they will do everything we want them to do. We can just hope. A person has to make the distinction of knowing when to butt out of adult children's lives and when to intervene to save them from big trouble.

I like my son's fiancee. This is not the type of girl I would have chosen for him but they are both young and will grow up with each other. I can see her good qualities and can only pray that when they eventually get married that they will always take care of each other and live in happiness.

Most probably, your BF's mom is already seeing all your good qualities and praying that her son will remain happy all his days.
haraa is not online. Last active: 6/14/2005 7:01:29 PM haraa
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Re: Modesty In front of his family
Posted: 25 May 2005 04:50 PM
Thank you again. Your words are very comforting to me.
I think you are right and I know I have a tendency to over-do things, so I will relax and let things happen naturally.
Thanks again :)
Evergreesony is not online. Last active: 10/18/2006 4:27:31 PM Evergreesony
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Re: Modesty In front of his family
Posted: 26 May 2005 10:49 AM
very well said dolly.i was thinking same like you.it was like mywords coming from your writing.
yes hara dolly is saying right.

As you said you don't know what is happily married means.
even i saw so many relation in which person loves so much after seperation also and then come back and some times love marriages also notsucessful .that doesn't means fault is in marriage.

Marriage imeans,comprimise.,love,companionship,respect.,understanding.
don't expect more in any marriage you need to trust person and also you have to keep your marriage bondtogether.

In case indian whatever is the past we don't care untill you thinking more about that past in future.
leave the past if you have good future and just be good companion to your BF.
your inlaws will also like you any inlawslike if you love them and gives respect.that's all they want measure you have to keep their relation with their son better not worse.


dear if you both are deserve each other and heloves then you also love him and don't care about past but infuture belongs to him thenyou wil happily marriaed like dolly.



By the way I am also married . In my home there are so many relations which are not happily married butthta doesn't affect on marriage but after seeing those i alwayts try to keep my marriage in good shape.


best fo luchk dear for your future.

haraa is not online. Last active: 6/14/2005 7:01:29 PM haraa
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Re: Modesty In front of his family
Posted: 26 May 2005 08:12 PM
Thank you again to Evergreesony and to all of you.
I started the week very scared and worried about our future, after having read so many scary stories about how things don't work out for various reasons.
But as time goes on and I read your kind and informative posts and spend timewith my BF and his family I feel more that things will be OK. All the input from all of you has renewed my hope and gives me strength to move forward.
I am lucky to have found a great love and want to cherish it, so thank you for helping me on this journey.
:)
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