Indian boyfriend broke up with me because of family

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    I’m new to this forum, but was hoping someone could give me some advice.

    I’m white, and was dating an Indian man for almost two years.  It’s been almost a year since we have broken up, but it was not a clean break and I’ve been quite a mess.  I’m much better than I originally was, but it all went down very poorly….leaving me with a lot of hurt, confusion and questions.

    We started as friends, both of us were going through divorces……this created a deeper bond between us.  We started dating immediately .  We live in the states, his family is still back in India.  They knew of me, but only as a friend.  His family is very strict, believe in arranged marriage…he is from a tribe.  For a year things were really really good.  Then pressure started for him to marry of his parents choice.

    We were doing a long distance relationship for a year, while he was completing his fellowship, but he had accepted a job where I work and we were just six months away from him moving here.  Suddenly, he became very standoffish and mean.  Not himself at all.  I later learned that his parents learned of me (a white, divorced woman with two little girls) and were pressuring him to accept marriage.  This was in December.  That January when he came to visit, he started talking of his birth chart, he took all the photos of us down in his apartment, but told me it was because his parents were video calling him and wanted to look around.

    It felt off, but I didn’t want to question, for fear of causing arguments.  He was set to leave to India in February, to visit family for a wedding.  His behavior kept getting more and more strange…it was hot and cold…I didn’t know what version I was going to get on a day to day basis and it was slowly depleting me. He told me he started going to the temple, which was fine….i thought it was good. Regardless, I thought he was just in a bad place…things would be better when he moves here and we just had to get through this.

    After his return to the US, it was mid March and COVID had hit, NYC was the hot spot.  Needless to say, we were unable to see each other.  He was not able to talk to me about his trip to India.  Whatever happened with his parents, was not good.

    By April, I didn’t know the person he was anymore. He went from this loving, compassionate man, who suddenly was mean & hated me.  Our relationship ended.  He said it wasn’t fair for me or the girls what we would have to endure if him and I stayed together.

    However, instead of it ending…I was getting I love you and I miss you and he would randomly pull me back as opposed to letting me move on.  He knows I loved him with all my heart and anything he would give me sucked me right back.  He told me he was depressed, that he didn’t think he wanted to be a doctor anymore.  He told me he deactivated his instagram (yet I knew he didnt because we had messages between us which showed he was active, he had just unfriended and blocked me).  All this made me question things and wonder what the hell was going on.  It literally drove me mad.  I went to NYC one morning and showed up at his door…he looked like shit….tried to push me away at first, but then held me, made love….told me everything will be ok when he comes to PA.

    A week after that he denied saying that and was really just all over the place.  I have a hard time determining if he is a narc or just severely depressed.

    Well it gets better.  I noticed he was back and forth with this one girl in particular on social media (a white girl), he had gotten into meditation and chanting.  Well after investigating on social media…I started putting things together.  The temple he was going to was an ISKCON temple, this girl was a devotee.  I asked him about her multiple times, he said they were just friends.  I later found that he stayed with her over the summer while he was waiting for his VISA.  Still was told they were only friends.

    In September, after he came to work at my hospital, we went to eat….he was acting very strangely….completely not himself.  A few weeks later the told me he told his parents to find him a girl and we was going to accept an arranged marriage.  It hurt…but I understood, as I would never be accepted.

    Well, one month later I found that this Hare Krishna devotee contacted his parents about marrying him, who of course they would not accept.  I confronted him and he says that they just started dating recently.  I find this hard to believe as they were close all the way back in the Spring.

    I guess I’m just lost and I want to believe him so badly, because I still deep down believe he is that kind hearted person in our first year.  However, he’s hurt me terribly.  I have a hard time determining if it was truly because of his family or if he got wrapped up in this other things and cheated on me.  I guess I will never know and it shouldn’t matter and this point.  He swears he didn’t cheat….but I don’t know.  I guess that is what hurts so much, I have no closure and no answers.  I know there is no going back, trust is completely lost.

    I just torture myself daily replaying everything.  Wondering if he went to Temple because he was searching for answers…why did he have to lie to me about it?  Why didn’t he just be open and honest and end things?  Is there any chance he is the good person I believed he was, or have I been completely fooled?


    Dear B:

    I will read and reply to you in about 12 hours from now.



    Dear B:

    There will be 3 parts to my reply (1) what seems to certainly have happened, best I understand it, (2) the information you have based on what he told you, if I understand correctly, (3) your current state of mind and my thoughts, and (4) your questions and my efforts to answer them:

    (1) When you met this man, you were going through a divorce, a mother of two girls living in Pennsylvania (PA), working in a hospital. He was a physician-to-be working in the same hospital, an Indian man whose family lived in India. You felt a deep bond with him, and the two of you “started dating immediately”.

    The last part of the relationship was long-distance because he was completing his fellowship in NYC. The plan, as you understood it, was that he moves back to PA to be with you after his fellowship. At some point,  “Suddenly, he became very standoffish and mean… it was hot and cold… I didn’t know what version I was going to get on a daily basis”.

    He visited India and returned to the NYC in mid-March 2020, when NYC was the Covid hotspot, and therefore you were unable to talk to him about his trip to India. By April 2020, he “went from this loving, compassionate man, who suddenly was mean & hated me”, and the relationship ended, but not quite: “I was getting I love you and I miss you and he would randomly pull me back as opposed to letting me move on.. sucked me right back”. At some point he unfriended and blocked you on Instagram, and lied to you, telling you that he deactivated it. His behavior “literally drove me mad”, and you went to NYC one morning, showing up at this door. “he looked like sh**.. tried to push me away at first, but then held me, made love.. told me everything will be ok when he comes to PA”. A week later he denied telling you that he will be coming to PA.

    You found out that he was involved with another woman while in the long-distance part of the relationship with you. The other woman was a devotee in the NYC International Society for Krishna Consciousness Temple that he was visiting, and he stayed with her during the summer while waiting for his visa.

    (2) He told you that is parents were “very strict, believe in arranged marriage”, that they pressured him to agree to (a second marriage), an arranged marriage to a woman of their choice. He told you that he was depressed, that he didn’t want to be a doctor anymore. At one point, he told you that the other woman “contacted his parents about marrying him”, and they refused the idea. He told you and swore that he didn’t cheat on you. And at another point he told you that “he told his parents to find him a girl and was going to accept an arranged marriage”.

    (3) “I’m just lost and I want to believe him so badly, because I still deep down believe he is that kind hearted person in our first year… I have no closure and no answers… I just torture myself daily replaying everything. Wondering if he went to the Temple because he was searching for answers”.

    My thoughts, here is what may have happened: he showed up in the hospital where you worked and in your life in a good-enough state of mind, clear-minded and calm. His relationship with you maintains his calm and clarity, and in that state of mind he is the “kind hearted person” you knew in the first year of the relationship.

    He then moves away from you to NYC, travels to India, and gets stuck in the country’s Covid hotspot at the time, in a lockdown, and somewhere along these changes he loses his good-enough state of mind: he becomes confused, unsettled, distressed and depressed. In this mew state of mind, he is the “standoffish and mean… hot and cold” unstable person you got to know.

    He visits the Temple so to get his calm back, so to undo his distress and loneliness. He meets a woman there and lives with her. He tells you that he didn’t cheat on you with her.

    * In the beginning of your story, you wrote: “We started as friends, both of us were going through divorces”, and you wrote that his family lives in India, being “very strict, believe in arranged marriage.. he is from tribe”- it is likely that his parents arranged his first marriage, and having done so, they are very unlikely to agree that he divorces his wife. Divorces in India are the lowest in the world, from what I read, less than 1%. Unless you met his wife, the one he was allegedly divorcing, then it is very possible that he has been married throughout the time you’ve known him, only that his wife, and likely his children, live in India, with his parents perhaps, as is the custom in India.

    If I am correct, this only added to his distress, as the real plan may have been not for him to move to PA and live with you, but to bring his wife and children to the US and live with them- a plan made much more difficult because of the unexpected and unplanned for Covid.

    (4) “why did he have to lie to me about it? Why didn’t he just be open and honest and end things?”- I am guessing because if he told you that he was married, that his wife and children live in India and that the plan was to move them to the U.S. (assuming this is all true)- you wouldn’t date him. Alone in a new country, in PA,  a woman physically in his life. You were interested, he liked you, so he told you what was required to date you and then, to keep you in his life. Not everything he told you was a lie, as people who lie don’t lie all the time.

    When he moved to NYC, alone, he still needed a woman to be there physically with him, so.. he located one.

    “Is there any chance he is the good person I believed he was, or have I been completely fooled?”- every person is or was a good person early on in their lives. You get glimpses of that good person if you look long enough into the eyes of any bad person, even the worst. It is only cartoon characters that always look like bad people.

    I hope you recover from this relationship, and you are welcome to post again with your thoughts and feelings.





    Dear B,


    This Indian guy you dated is an a$$hole in simple words. You do not deserve how he treated you. Your daughters do not deserve the example of such a man in their mom’s life.


    I am an Indian who grew up in India. I know a lot of Indian men and women who cop out on their love relationship in the name of my parents blah and many who stay true to their relationship.


    The guy you dated was lying to you in many ways, playing on and off, not having courage and strength of character. And, your story is more or kess similar to mine. I left mine couple years back and things started becoming better with time, my self esteem returned. Pleasw focus this time on healing yourself and your daughters. You have been through a lot, a divorce and then this.


    I know its difficult, I have been there, best option is to go no contact and focus all your energy on understanding what led you to those two relationships – your marriage and this guy – and work on yourself.


    Its not your mistake at all. There is nothing that you could have done about it. He knew he had Indian parents and a white girlfriend. Replace white with “taller than me,” older than me”, girl from another caste, girl from another religion, etc etc etc. This is all crap. He is an adult. And why do you want an adult whose parents decide who he will marry in your life….?


    The guy was a bad deal anyway. I wish I could have said all this to myself when I had wasted two years of my life on my ex, I wasted many more. But, today, I can’t believe I loved that kind of a person at all. Today, I would never fall for anyone who mistreats me, is immature, parents boy, even if he was nice to me initially.


    Sending you love.








    He didn’t have a family back in India.  I knew who his ex wife was.  She also worked at the same hospital as us.  She was actually Indian as well, but not from his caste (tribe I should say), and he married her without telling his parents.  They later found it, this was not accepted at first….they eventually came around…but I believe the relationship was doomed because of that.

    A year ago, I had expressed that if he couldn’t be with me for family, then what were we doing….we should have just ended it.  He persisted that we should continue and we would get through it.  Why meet my girls and get close to them?  Why cheat on me, then come to the same hospital I work.  He also said I manipulated him to accept job there…I did not.  I actually said I refused to be part of the decision of where he accepted, because for fear we did not work out…I did not want to be blamed.  I think he always knew we would never work and he just used me to get through a hard time in his life.  Which kills me, because how could I have loved someone so so much and only see good in them…despite the constant roller coaster that was our relationship.  I just always felt bad for him and thought he was depressed or going through a hard time.  Now he seems like a monster to me and I feel so stupid. Why lie?  How can’t someone be so tired of constantly living a lie?

    I don’t know how he can see me in the hallways and not feel shamed.  I don’t know how he doesn’t try to avoid me.  I still try to tell myself that maybe he didn’t cheat on me with this girl….although I know he did.  I don’t want to believe it, because I want to believe so badly that he is the person I fell in love with.


    I wasted two years of my life with him.  Even since our break up I have went through months of agony, questioning everything…trying to find answers.  Researching ISKON and Hare Krishna.  I have wasted so much time when I should have been focusing on my girls.  I feel pathetic.


    Thank you so much for your responses.  I’m doing the best I have in months…but it still sucks.


    Dear B;

    You are welcome.  “I just always felt bad for him and thought he was depressed or going through a hard time. now he seems like a monster”- monsters are often people who are depressed and going through a hard time, choosing to pass along their  hard time to others, inflicting their anger and depression on others.

    You wrote: “I have wasted so much time when I should have been focusing on my girls”- most of us waste so much time, invest so much time and resources and have nothing to show for it, so you are not alone in this experience.

    Resolve to no longer waste time, or at least to minimize wasting your time, choosing instead to invest your time and resources, emotional and otherwhile, on worthwhile causes: your own daughters.



    shattered pieces

    Dear B,

    Your post brought tears to my eyes. I feel your pain in so many ways. As Anita said, dont waste more time and resources on him, dont blame yourself for things you did or did not do…the outcome would have been the same.  Cry when you cant hold in the grief, then let it go…and dont be friends with him!

    I am a female that recently had a break up with an Indian man (living in the States since 10y back). My story is different from yours but similar too. I too was together with my X for 2-3years.  Its very hard to explain the adjustments you make for love (not only the once you do in every relationship but also the adjustment to cultural differences and to his belief of a womans roll in society/household etc). And when it is over, you cant help but feel betrayed and used…betrayed by him and maybe also by yourself for trying hoplessly …

    My beginning was wonderful,  a lot of attention with >10 calls texts per day (almost overwhelming, now looking back). When I started seeing a future with him, he left for India to see his parents. For some unknow reason his work visa was blocked and he was stuck there for 3 months. Meantime his parents were looking for a local bride for him- and he broke it off with me. After 3 months, he returned back to the States and then one night I got a phonecall from him, crying, telling me how wants to end his life. He explained to me that he turned down the bride because he misses me, how he is not attracted to Indian women and he wants me….oh and then he told me that no one knows but that he has huge financial debt in US and is now going to be thrown out of his home. Because of his busted credit score he cant get another accomodation.  I was of course very emotionally attached so I helped him move into my little flat.

    He kept all of this a secret to his parents, in fact when he skyped them I had to hide and he told them he was renting some girls flat….but he happily told all our friends that he is moving in with me and we are in love ..

    The live in situation was ok at first but then it went bad, he drank a lot and on weekends was partying while I was working a lot and on top of that doing all the household chores while he only contributed with paying half of the weekly grocessary bills. His parents were still searching for a bride to send over to US. I felt disrespected and asked him to move out.

    We broke it off for few months, got back together again and at this point he told his parents about me. They were frustrated as he was 37y, was settled in US and had a good paying job -and their only wish was for him to be married and give them grandchildren. They accepted that I was white but wanted a marriage soon….THEN he lost his job and covid hit and he moved back into my little flat. His job loss meant also he would loose his permit to stay in the States, so he begged me to help him find a job, get married or he would have to move back to India. Marriage was hard with COVID just starting and also as much as I loved him, something was stopping me…Months later, he finally got a job and with my help he got a new flat as I cosigned his lease (his parents dont know any of this), AND he paid of his financial debt.

    At this point I was so emotionally exhausted from all the drama, supporting him and fear of COVID, fear of loosing my job, that I was happy to live apart as I needed a break. I took another job that required me to move away, and he didnt even attempt to stop me-just kept talking about his job stress. A month ago he called me to tell me he now has a credit card and the new job gives him a lot of bonuses and benefits and his green card is moving forward. He has wiped his state clean from all the previous things  and felt that he now is ready for children and since I moved away his parents dont see this happening for us and neither does he. He is now on dating apps and his parents are looking for new bride (to live in the flat with my name on the contract LOL). But he still wants to be friends since I am his best friend….I said NO


    Why am I telling you my story: because you are not alone, because I am spending every day meditating to deal with my grief, to try to be compassionate to myself…that maybe we both were saved by some bigger power from a bad future life. Some days are good but some are really low…and I try to keep busy…time is the best medicine they say

    Based on my experience, I think your guy (similar to mine) liked the idea of having a “fair wife”and a life in the States…but his upbringing is stronger, his parents idea of what is best for him is stronger. For him, there was no going back to India, his parents probably sacrificed everything they had to get him to US so they can be proud of a successful son, for them they want a wife that will give him biological children that understands their customs and would take care of them when they move to the States too. Maybe your X is with the Temple girl and he will get his green card after 2y of marriage, and then they divorce because he wants an Indian wife..or maybe his parents will send him a bride that wants to marry to a life in the States…who knows…but you and I are free to love and be loved, we got another shot at love…

    with love










    Shattered Pieces:  Wow, this gave me chills.  Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    My relationship started the same way….with constant texts, checking up…I thought, wow….why does he love me so much.  He was very depressed (in hindsight, I realize he was never really happy).  I heard stories of how horrid his ex was and treated him badly. Now I realize, he is probably doing the same with this new girl about me.  He literally depleted me…I was exhausted.  Everything was to please him.  I was running to NYC every other weekend and walking on eggshells around him toward the end.

    His parents didn’t want him to come to the states….he did it chasing a girl (his now ex wife).  It seems as though he’s never fulfilled.  He will always be looking for something more.  I do agree, that I am saving myself a lot of hurt in the future (he actually admits to me there is something wrong with him and my life would be ruined with him).  But, I still love him.  I don’t know why.  I still don’t want to see him fail in life….and he is because he’s so wrapped up in the other stuff he’s letting the rest of his life take a shit after he worked so hard.

    I need to learn that it is not my problem.  I have my own life.  What I was once respected for (working full time, managing a department, owning my own home, raising two little girls)….is now frowned upon by him.  It’s sad to me that his parents just see me as some white girl with two kids and created this narrative of who they think I am…..and he doesnt have the courage to stand up for me.  That tells me he never truly loved me or my girls, as he says he did.  And that, that breaks my heart.  Now he wants a woman who will stay home all day and cook…..yet she’s white….pretending to be Indian because she practices a certain sect of Hinduism?  His parents will never accept that either.  It’s a never ending shit loop with him…I wish I could just get that through my head and let go.  It doesn’t help that I see him multiple times a day at hospital and we are in meetings together (at least in these times they are zoom and I do not have to face him).

    I want this pain to go away.  I wish I never met him.  It was bad from the start and I missed so many red flags.  I remember in the beginning, he asked me if I regret marrying my ex husband (who is literally like my best friend now) and I said no, we were babies, we grew together…had two beautiful children….and I learned and grew from it.  He got so angry with me, that he blocked me from everything for a day.  I couldn’t communicate with him, because I wouldn’t say I regretted my previous marriage.  Then when he unblocked, it was me apologizing and trying to make things better.

    I realize this only got worse as time went on.  I was afraid to stay anything to him….or else I would be blocked, degraded, called a “whore”….yet, I still thought this was love.  It’s sick, because until about two months ago when I found out he was in fact with this girl…..I was hoping deep inside that we would somehow still work out.  Pathetic.


    Shattered Pieces:  How are you coping now?



    Dear B and Shattered Pieces,

    I am so terribly sorry for your troubles. It’s just unfair what you have been through.

    As an Indian woman, I’d like to weigh in my thoughts. We Indians are brought up to worship our parents. We are taught since childhood that your parents must mean the world to you, you are in debt of your parents, it’s a sin to go against your parents, you will be disrespectful to your parents if you do not listen to them, you get my drift… I myself stand up to my mom and feel real guilty later on even though I am right on my part. It’s just how we are brought up.

    It’s not just Indian men… Indian women too have broken off relationships because their parents did not or would not have approved of their partners because they are from a different caste or religion. God I hope to live to see the day this view just vanishes. It is a lot better than before though, we are getting there slowly, but there still needs to be a lot of change.

    That being said, I would be making excuses for and enabling your ex-partners if I said this is what you need to understand about our culture. No. Both of you had the misfortune of meeting weak men who just lacked character and emotional maturity and seemed to use you to get out of their troubles. They conveniently thought of you when they needed help. It all just became about them, isn’t it? Their debts, their troubles, their mental health, their feelings… This has nothing to do with culture or religion. This has to do with who they are as people. I may be wrong but I would go so far as to say they even used their culture as an excuse for their behaviors. I have many friends who simply did not get into relationships because they knew their parents wouldn’t approve and they would have to get into an arranged marriage. I also have friends who fell in love and stood up for their partners, marrying them eventually and having beautiful families.

    If you treat people like crap because you are stressed out, we have a huge problem, buddy. Troubles don’t end, do they? If you got married, would you be able to rely on such a person? What happens when you are the one who needs looking after for a change?

    B, I know it hurts. It hurts bad. But you are being so strong by realizing that you are better off and your own self and your daughters are much more important than a guy. If he frowned upon the fact that you are a strong woman who can take care of herself and his stupid self as well, you don’t need that kind of negativity in life, now do you? As for his parents and his future partners, they will believe what he tells them. If he speaks badly of you, that speaks nothing of you but speaks spades about him. You know who you are and you know who he is. That settles it. You are not just a “White girl with 2 kids”. That is just a part of your life, and it’s not even bad,  and you are so much more than that and you know it. You are going to be someone your daughters look up to. Don’t you ever let a stupid insecure man spoil that. As the daughter of a single mom, I can’t tell you how much my mama’s strength inspires me. After my daddy passed, she took on all the problems and punched them right in the face. People talked crap about her as well, some relatives even, just because she makes a lot more money than them and does not need anyone. People talk, no matter what you do. So then well… Hell with them.

    I’m sorry you hurt… and I hope the pain doesn’t last much…

    Feel better…

    shattered pieces

    Dear B,

    Sorry for not seeing your post earlier! There are a lot of similarities between our relationships and they way we responded. I see a lot of myself in your narrative. The self doubt, the overanalyzing…”if I had only done X, maybe then he would notice my efforts and reciprocate with Z”. What I can tell you is that this type of thinking has pushed my buttons to the extent that a conversation with him post break up would make me stressed and anxious and I would get physically sick-migrains, immune reactions, out of nowhere. Yes these things are real. The problem is that I was analyzing the wrong person, I placed the focus on why I was not enough for him, instead of why he was not enough for me (I know that this sounds like a sentence from some self help book but bare with me please).

    If your relationship was anything similar to mine (which I think it was), your needs were not met! Your need for emotional intimacy, a dialog where you can safely express who you are and what you want and need, to feel safe and seen…all of normal things that EVERYONE needs (emphasizing EVERYONE because I got into the hole of thinking that I am too needy and therefore it is not working out), all of those things were not met in this relationship. On top of it, competing with a mystery woman that could in theory fulfill all of his needs. He grew up in a culture where women have to sacrifice and meet the needs of men. I am still laughing about his parents comments when they met on me Skype, they said”ok, she is tall, white and very pretty, children will be good, get married”….they never spoke with me. He was/is selfish! YOU NEED BETTER and YOU ARE ALLOWED AND DESERVE MORE.

    I was emotionally burnt out for caring for him and adapting to his every need hoping he will one day reciprocate. I knew this was not healthy but I was too co dependent to stop it, some crumbs of love were better than ZERO. One day sitting in a dark room with my migrain, holding my phone waiting anxiously for his text (that never came), I knew that I am done!  I have no more resources for this person. I asked myself if this happened to my best friend, what would I tell her to do…then I took charge over the situation; I restricted him from my social media…well everything besides texts (this is because I must maintain one line open since my name is on his lease for few more months)…BUT when he is lonely, drunk, needy …(fill in the blanks) I see the texts but I do not respond, and I take pride for every time I managed to not respond, until his texts become like random spam.

    You might think, oh but I invested so much here and what if he finds someone else. Cut your losses, allow him to be someone elses problem. In his culture divorce is rare, even if there is emotional and physical abuse because marriage is a joining of families and family resources and the individual doesnt matter as long it meets the goal of the family to keep up the family name and children are being produced. They have the lowest divorce rate and pride themselves for it. Dont get me wrong, there are a lot of good things in there too, like not leaving when things get tough, the whole family cares for you and your children..but then there are layers of problems too. It is just a different concept.

    B! You are a beautiful, worthy person! YOU ARE ENOUGH!  I am a stranger and I care for you and other people on this forum too. I know it hurts now, but take  your belongings and take place in the driver seat and drive away from this person. You and your children do not deserve crumbs of love.  Imagine a life with him where you would have to sacrifice your and your childrens needs to meet his, daily…and he might even cheat…you would burn out my friend. Some women cant get out but you can, you have been given a new chance, take it.

    all my love to you.



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