Whose Decision


Direct Answers - Column for the week of May 5, 2003

I'm very disturbed these days, and if it continues, I might get mad soon. I am 28. I recently went to see my parents in India and met a girl for marital purposes. I got convinced by my parents and family she is a perfect match for me.

In an impulsive moment I said yes and got engaged. Very soon afterwards I realized I don't like her, and there are major compatibility and personality issues between us. Now my parents and her parents are pushing for marriage as soon as possible.

I tried to speak to them and the girl about all the things going on in my mind. From that moment on I was like a rebel in the family, and everyone is against me. They want me to marry this girl. I told the girl I want to call it off, but she doesn't agree to my theory.

I know deep inside me it's not going to work, but at the same time I love my parents and don't want to make things ugly. If we marry, I can see we will both live a miserable life as I won't be able to develop love for her, and it will end in a dreadful divorce.

Ajay

Ajay, what a way to step into marriage! You thought you were going home for a family visit, and your parents thought they were planning the rest of your life. You don't like your prospective bride, and now you have to weigh why this decision does not belong to you.

In these circumstances many people cave in. In an odd twist of fate those forced into marriage often become defenders of arranged marriage, just as those hazed joining a fraternity enthusiastically haze new members.

You would like to find a reason which will silence all arguments on the other side, but the more you justify yourself, the more they will wear you down with counter arguments and "success stories." The problem with letting other people make decisions for us is that we, not they, have to live with the consequences.

The only thing they can't argue with is, "No." There is no appeal from a simple no. The worst thing your family can do is disown you. But they can only do that once. If you accede to their wishes now, they can use the hammer of disapproval over many other issues.

You have to decide what your life will be. That is part of growing up and becoming an adult. When you make your own decisions, good or bad, you will feel life is under your control. There is a sense of justice, a deep sense of fairness, in a life lived this way.

Tamara

Upstairs Downstairs

I met my downstairs neighbor on a Saturday morning a month ago when he complained about my loud music. He noted it's good music, but this particular day it was past his breaking point. I felt horrible, but I couldn't remember his face because I hadn't put my contacts in. I recall another time he banged on the ceiling at 1 a.m.

Last week we spoke again about neighborly ground rules. It was a comfortable and easy conversation. I wore my contacts, and yes, he is cute. He noted whenever I see his car in the driveway, he's home, except for next Thursday when he'll be at a game. Is this a hint to follow up on?

Torri

Torri, this is definitely a hint to follow up on, but the question is what is he hinting.

My guess is he thinks you are his annoying neighbor who plays her music too loud. If that's right, he wants the car in the driveway to be a warning to you to keep the music down and stop dancing on his head. But he could have other intentions. If so, they will soon be plain enough.

Wayne

About The Author

Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at www.WayneAndTamara.com" target="_new">www.WayneAndTamara.com.

Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com.


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