I'm afraid to tell my parents about my boyfriend
I'm Shaina, 25 and I come from a muslim Indian family. I met Alex 21, four years ago and despite the age difference we really hit it off. We have been dating for four years now and I have kept it a secret from my parents. Alex is a christian and he is from Russia and with the age difference my parents would never be okay with this. In India it's usual for the parents to choose your life partner for you. Whenever I fly home my parents introduce me to different guys hoping I would be interested enough to settle down but I always find some fault in the guys. They think Im still single and I'm terrified of telling them about Alex. They would be devastated and really disappointed if they find out that I'm dating a christian guy. Alex and I respect each other's religion and we have a really good relationship. But lately, there have been some problems because of my refusal to tell my parents. He says it's been four years now and it's time I told them. I have been on holiday to Russia with Alex two times and met his parents and family and he feels that my reluctance to introduce him to mine is because I don't see a future with him. He is feeling insecure about this but I just don't have the courage to tell my family. How can I make Alex understand? Or am I being too selfish here?
No, not selfish, but you do lack courage.
You really are being unfair to Alex.
You went into this relationship fully knowing that your familial, religious and cultural rules would never approve and you are not willing to make necessary choices here.
You must break up with Alex and let him go and find a woman whom he can have a full relationship . . . OR . . . you must tell your parents you are a grown woman who has made a choice for yourself and they need to respect that.
Of course, Alex will need to show them that he is capable of supporting you financially and helping you get launched in your career (I'm assuming you are in school) Then there is the issue of where you are going to live, etc.
He is really quite young. Can he take on all this responsibility?
Thank you for your reply.
You're right. I am being unfair on Alex. All this time I was thinking about myself and what my family will feel if I tell them. I failed to understand how all this is making Alex feel. I guess I should just call them and tell them instead of worrying over it and going crazy.
I started dating Alex thinking that it would be just a fling, not something serious but then we both fell in love and it has been the most wonderful four years. Yes, Alex is in college and I'm doing my masters this year. Alex has to join his family business when he finishes college, which means he will have to move back to Russia. We both live in Dubai now and I want to work here when I finish but he wants me to move to Russia with him. I told him we would talk about it when the time comes because we still have a year to go. May be that's something I shouldn't put off for later right?
Oh God Shaina, it requires not just courage but extra courage to deal with the situation you are in!! Your religious elders will never allow this and I do not know how far your parents can stand against that pressure (assuming you might be able to convince them of your love). The one positive aspect in this whole thing is you are at Dubai. Things would have been much worse if you were at your home town.
Anyway coming to solutions the options you have at hand are
1. Let your parents know and the process of convincing and cross convincing starts. You will have to get out all your courage and convincing powers to accomplish it, so be well planned and prepared.
2. Let Alex go. Eventually you will find a better suited and accepted partner. It is not the question of trusting Alex or doubting your love for him. Its being more practical. Even if you two did get married can your love survive all the opposition you'd face in your family and religious elders? If you chose to cut off from everyone and move to Russia with him, how far are you willing to adjust into the new customs (food, society, beliefs, language barriers etc.) in a new country? God forbid, If later on something went wrong in your marriage, are you confident you will get support from family?
Weigh all the pros and cons carefully before deciding. Don't think emotionally, think practically on the situation well into the future. If possible talk to people who have done such marriages and get an insight into their experiences. Then place yourself in their shoes and if you feel confident that you will be able to adjust then go ahead and take the step.