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Boyfriend breaking up with me because of his parents

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  • #313105
    S
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    That sounds good to me. He hasn’t taken any of my calls for the past 3 days citing different reasons. When I asked him do you really want to talk about this over text, he said he’s experiencing panic attacks (which I know are very scary). I am expecting that all of this would again happen over text also because of the huge time difference.

    I’ll choose my words carefully. And yes I wish him the best for his future. He was my bestfriend. He’s been with me through thick and thin. It’s hard to imagine my life without him playing any role. That’s why I’ve asked him to take his decision wisely before its too late.

    #313109
    anita
    Participant

    Dear S:

    Maybe it will help his anxiety/panic attacks when you let him know that you are out of his life- that way he will no longer experience any pressure to be honest with you about the choice he already made (U.S over you), he won’t be anxious about ever having to explain himself to you, fearing future anger from you- you will set him free this way.

    anita

    #313205
    S
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    I was/am not the only reason for his anxiety/panic attacks. There are bunch of other factors too. But I understand that at this stage, I could be the biggest factor. I know I’ve lost him and I know there’s no way we could be together now but it’s hard for me to come in terms with this fact. It’s easier for him to move on since his whole life is different now. He’s got new clothes, new college, new house, new friends whereas I’m stuck here with memories of him associated with everything I do or anywhere I go or anything I wear. How do I move on? How do I make it easier for me? I can’t move to a different city since I’ve recently got my dream job! I’ve even got a memory of him attached to my new office. I will set him free but I also want to set myself free.

    #313261
    anita
    Participant

    Dear S:

    I hope that before you set him free you do tell him very clearly that he hurt you by not being honest with you, aka betraying your trust in him. You don’t owe him to shield him from knowing that his dishonesty hurt you!

    Regarding setting yourself free: think of the positive of setting yourself free- you are setting yourself free from dishonesty and (his) ongoing anxiety and panic attacks.

    Whenever you remember him as a good friend, add to it the memory of him lying and misleading you.

    Whenever you remember his comforting presence, add to it the memory of his panic attacks.

    Remember it all (not selectively), and you will set yourself free sooner than later!

    anita

    #313293
    S
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Thank you so much for all the guidance. I’ve started the moving on process. I have stopped texting him. I’ve deactivated all my social media handles because apparently everybody around me is getting married to ‘love of their life’. I’m happy for them though. But I’m only a human after all! I’ve also started writing my final speech. And, I have decided to not to speak to his mother. I’ve realised it’s not my duty to try and convince HIS mother. It’s HIS duty, he should lead this front. He too knows how good of a person I am.

    I would be lying if I say that I’m handling this situation pretty well. I’ve started crying in front of my family which was never the case. I used to sneakily cry in the bathroom. This pain is just too much! The mornings and the nights are especially difficult.

    #313303
    anita
    Participant

    Dear S:

    I re-read your posts on page 1. You wrote there: “his father lives away from them because of his job and he’s the one taking care of his mother. He’s been taking care of her since forever. This is also the reason they didn’t want him to leave”- maybe he was given the role of a surrogate husband to his mother.

    If he is a surrogate husband to his mother, to make up for the absent father, a role that maybe the absent father supports because.. someone has to take care of her, and a role supported by his sister.. because that way she doesn’t have to take care of her, then was there ever a future for you and him as the primary couple, having a life of your own, I wonder.

    You wrote in your recent post (I like your sense of humor!): “apparently everybody around me is getting married to ‘love of their life'”- what if (and it is an unpleasant thought even for me, not having been his girlfriend myself), what if the love of his life is and will be his mother, and the reason he is in the U.S is to be better able to provide for her in the future.. am I being carried away from reality here, do you think?

    anita

     

    #313371
    S
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    I’m sorry, I should’ve mentioned this earlier. There are two other things as to why he’s so attached to his mother.

    1. His mother has back and joint problems. She has had various surgeries and has been in constant pain so much so that she couldn’t even walk properly. And he’s been the one taking her to doctors and everything. His role has been very instrumental in his mother’s well being. (And I ASSUME that’s why maybe she doesn’t like me because she thinks I’m very modern- courtesy green hair. And she wants to find a homely girl for her who can take care of her as well.)
    2. In India, the girls of the families are married off but the boys bring in daughter-in-laws. The boys continue living in with their parents. And he fears that there’s no one to take care of his parents apart from him. (His father would retire in the next 2-3 years and would then live them.) He feels its solely his duty to provide for his parents. And that’s why he doesn’t want to fight his parents for me because that might mean that he’d have to separate from them.

    I don’t have any problem with him taking care of his parents. I don’t want to separate a mother from her child. (It’s a huge deal in India.) The only problem is he’s not even initiating a fight with them. Start the damn conversation! Atleast tell her that I can take care of her too! I have a family too. I know the family values and importance of a family. Both of us are 26 and are in no hurry of getting married. But I can’t wait for him to come back here after 2 years and then talk to his mother and she rejects me eventually. I don’t want to start the moving on process when I’m 28! I know age shouldn’t matter. But I feel my parents and I would succumb to societal pressure. I don’t want to get married to an unknown person and especially not in the process of moving on.

    I agreed with him that his mother’s final decision would be binding. But he promised me a fair fight before that. There are variations in his statements now. Last year he told me that he’s neither leaving his mother nor me. This time he said that even after all the fighting, his mother doesn’t agree he would leave me. I told him that he takes the stand of not getting married to anybody else but me, his parents would eventually give up. He’s not ready for this too.

    My plan was to make him talk to his mother before he leaves for the U.S. He would talk to her and specifically tell her about me and find out why she dislikes me and to what extent so that we could decide our next step accordingly. But he failed in the first step. He just gave her a hint that we’re dating. His mother then responded that we want somebody with black hair! And that we’re spending a lot on you and hence have certain expectations! That’s it! That was all the big talk! This conversation decided my future! He said had I been standing on my own feet, I would’ve been in a better position to reply to my mother! I can’t risk my future anymore.

     

     

    #313375
    anita
    Participant

    Dear S:

    I read part of your recent post and will re-read thoroughly when I am back to the computer tomorrow morning in about 10 hours from now. My thought for now, again, is that traditionally, parents own their children.  I suppose traditionally, in the Indian culture, parents (in this case his mother)  own their sons and the daughters …are owned by their husbands’ parents.

    Will be back in about ten hours. Feel free to add anything that is on your mind before I return.

    anita

    #313385
    S
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    You’re absolutely right on the topic of ownership. That’s the case with majority of the population.

    I don’t expect anything from his mother. I don’t know if she’s right or wrong in this whole situation. I only have a problem with the guy. We haven’t discussed this whole situation with clarity. The only conversation we had was on the night he was leaving that too over texts. He doesn’t even know what I’m expecting from him and what I’m planning since I haven’t proposed it yet. I haven’t done that because I feel I’m coming across as desperate and that he should have a plan too. He’s the one that screwed up! He hasn’t touched this topic yet. We are not talking. One text per day that too about how he’s doing.

    Though I’ve given him deadline till last of this month but I’m sure his answer would be the same because he doesn’t have any time to think it over or think it through. He’s busy finding home, going to college, meeting new people, is jet lagged.

    My question is- Should I explain to him the whole plan and even write him a stupid script so that I get some clarity? Should I spoon feed him everything?

    #313437
    anita
    Participant

    Dear S:

    I am reading a bit of your recent post (and post before) and responding, then reading a bit more and responding more. I hope you have patience with this post of mine. (I will be processing my own childhood experience in this post as well as responding to your situation):

    “I don’t expect anything from his mother.. I only have a problem with the guy”- but the guy is owned by his mother, so your problem really is with his mother.

    I wrote to you yesterday: “traditionally, parents own their children.. traditionally,  in Indian culture, parents (in this case his mother) own their sons and daughters… are owned by their husbands’ parents”.

    You answered: “You’re absolutely right on the topic of ownership. That’s the case with majority of the population”.

    – so you see, you don’t “only have a problem with the guy”, you have a problem with the woman who owns him.

    “He’s the one that screwed up!”- he screwed up in context of the relationship between him and you. But his mother who screwed him up in the bigger context of his mind-heart-and-life. You can’t see reality as it is unless you see the bigger context.

    “His mother has back and joint problems. She has had various surgeries and has been in constant pain so much so that she couldn’t even walk properly”-

    -I will share with you my personal experience with my mother: she too had chronic back pain and joint problem from an early age, her thirties I think. She suffered from Rheumatoid arthritis which involves warm, swollen, and painful joints, chronic and intense pain and stiffness and other symptoms that get worse with time. My mother, my poor mother had me and my sister but her husband was a womanizer and she divorced him early. He didn’t help her financially and there was no government plan in my country of origin at the time to help her. She worked very hard cleaning and scrubbing people’s homes and places of work, working at three different sites per day in the hot and humid summer and throughout the year.

    Not only were her joints painful but her hands were raw and sometimes bleeding because she scrubbed people’s baths and toilets with much force and harsh detergents.

    She expressed her pain to me, a whole lot, showing me her raw, bleeding hands and complaining to me how very difficult her life was, how she has no one to help her, and not only that, other people take advantage of her and she ends up feeding them generously, spending her very-hard-earned money on expensive foods for guests.

    I tried to  help her with cleaning of the very small apartment in which we lived but she got angry, telling me I do it wrong and create even more work for her. I tried to help her assert herself- tell the guests to go away so that she doesn’t feed them, but she said she won’t. So  I told her I will tell them! She got very angry with me and said she will kill me if I say anything to them. I asked her to not buy me anything so that she spends less money but she insisted on buying me the best things.

    In my mind, not being able to help her in any way, and continuing to be the benefactor of her hard-earned money- my financial debt to her kept increasing and I had to pay her back, somehow!

    When I graduated high school I applied to the only medicine school in the country because I figured medical doctors make a lot of money, but I failed admission. Next I figured I will be an actress, a movie star, and make a lot of money.. for her. I applied to a famous acting school and failed admission.

    I worked a few jobs and in one of them the boss was a rich man so I figured maybe he will give me money so that I can give it to her. I saw movies on TV where that happened. This man was very unattractive and 32 years older than me- I failed and he didn’t give me money. What I did get from the experience was unspeakable shame and humiliation.

    I ended up with a bachelor degree and living in another country where income was higher. I never felt comfortable spending any money I earned. If I didn’t pay the absolute minimum for  something, I felt guilty. All money,  in my mind, belonged to my mother. I lived in small rooms in people’s homes because I had to save my money.. it belonged to her. I couldn’t risk my money by investing so my/her money earned the minimal interest. When I was generous with another person who was not my mother, soon enough I felt very guilty.

    I was owned. I wanted to be free from her but I believed that I had to buy my freedom. There are many more details but I will cut to the chase: I gave all the money I made away (except for what I spent on living) and failed to buy my freedom from her.

    (Eventually I ended all contact with her, more than six years at this point).

    Back to  you: “At least tell her that I can take care of her too!”- you are employed, making money, capable physically to help her around the house and take her to appointments, if you lived with her, being married to her son- but an independent, intelligent woman like you may not persist in taking care of her. Does she not needs someone broken, someone who will take care of her because their will for an independent life is broken?

    “I have a family too. I know the family values and importance of a family”- what happens when one of those “family values” is a mother breaking her son’s will, having him marry another submissive, broken woman, so that the two broken people never forget who is number one.

    Owning the soul of one’s child forever more is not an admirable family value.

    And a woman who dyed her hair green is unconventional, not traditional and so, she may be a woman not easily owned.

    “he promised me a fair fight… he said that even after all the fighting, his mother doesn’t agree he would leave me”- if his empathy is with his suffering mother, with back and joint problems and severe physical pain- he will not be able to fight her and add to her pain.

    “My plan was to make him talk to his mother before he leaves for the U.S… tell her about me and find out why she dislikes me and to what extent so that we could decide our next step accordingly… His mother then responded that we want somebody with black hair! And that we’re spending a lot on you and hence have certain expectations!”-

    – a woman with green hair is too independent to be owned. She is a.. risk. “we’re spending a lot on you”- the clear message is: you owe me and I own you.

    My summary of this post: it doesn’t take a particular culture for a parent to own a child for decades. It takes a parent expressing her physical suffering at length and repeatedly. The child automatically feels 100% empathy that binds him (or her) to the parent, being 100% motivated to take away the parent’s pain.

    The Indian culture where adult sons live with the parent is an added touch to ownership of an adult child  by a parent.

    Do not underestimate his strong belief that he owes her and must submit to her. Even if inside him he desires to be free of her (I had such a strong desire to be free  of my mother!), he is bound to her. Her leash is tight around his neck.

    You can find this out for yourself: contact his mother. Ask to talk to her. Be very polite, very accommodating, listen to her, if she talks to you. Keep an open mind. How very much I would  like to be wrong about him being an owned adult son, most likely for as long as his mother is alive and maybe even longer. Get to know who and what you are against in this case.

    anita

     

     

     

    #313453
    S
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    I’m so sorry you had to go through all of this. I hope you’re in better place now and I wish my boyfriend was as strong as you are. Thank you so much for sharing your life with me. It’s so inspiring to see a person being so compassionate and empathetic towards a stranger.

    I love this guy and I know even if we do get married, the struggle wouldn’t end there. It would only be the begining. There are certain things that I want from my life like I ant to adopt a child. And I think it wouldn’t be possible if I get married into that family.

    I just love and miss this stupid mama’s boy!

    #313459
    anita
    Participant

    Dear S:

    Thank you for your empathy and kind words. My purpose in sharing with you was not only to continue to process my stuff but to make a point to you: do not underestimate the power of a mother over her child, particularly if the mother expresses to the child how much she suffers.

    His anxiety and panic attacks- that’s probably something he suffers because of her power over his life. So  she continues to suffer from back and joint pain while inflicting suffering on her son.

    Reads to me that he would benefit a whole lot from continuing a relationship with you but he can’t, because his empathy and loyalty is with her, not with you. So he is likely to continue to suffer as his mother continues to suffer from her back and joints. When her husband returns to live at home,  he will suffer too. Best you can do is not join that suffering party by marrying him.

    anita

    #313461
    S
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    I think this whole conversation has given me more clarity than my own boyfriend. My brain has made a decision, I hope the heart follows.

    Again, thank you so so much! I’m so glad I stumbled across this website.

    I think it would be sometime before I write here again. I’ll keep you posted.

    #313463
    anita
    Participant

    You are very welcome, S. Post again anytime and I will be glad to read from you and reply.

    anita

    #313545
    S
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    I never thought I’d be writing this to you this soon. This post is not about him now. It’s about me. The reality has hit me now. I’m not able to deal with this. I broke down today and texted him. Lots of texts! He hasn’t replied to any of them. He’s busy moving. He’s finally got a house there.

    How to deal with this? How do I cope up with post break up blues? How do I stop myself from texting him like crazy?

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