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Boyfriend's family is refusing to let me stay with them.

Tagged as: Big Questions, Dating, Family, Long distance<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (14 November 2016) 8 Answers - (Newest, 15 November 2016)
A female United Kingdom age 30-35, anonymous writes:

I have been dating my boyfriend for 18 months now. He is Indian and his family is Muslim. We intend to get married in the next year (not engaged yet) and they know we are serious, but because I am a white blonde girl they treat me completely differently. Their Indian family are welcomed into their house with such warmth, and although I think they do like me and appreciate I am a good influence on their son, they are never as welcoming to me and have a major problem with me staying in their house overnight even in a spare bedroom. This is incredibly hard since my boyfriend and I are currently trying to make it work long-distance as he has moved back in with his parents for a few months in a different country to me. I am flying to see him in 2 weeks and they categorically will not let me stay in their spare room, but I can't afford a hotel as well as a flight and spending money and it will stop me going altogether. They know this and still refuse to back down and let me just stay in a spare room. This is beginning to really hurt my feelings now considering they know how serious and long-term our relationship is.

I guess I am just seeking opinions and any advice, especially from anyone that has dealt with this before. Thanks in advance.

View related questions: engaged, money, muslim

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland +, writes (15 November 2016):

aunt honesty agony auntI guess you just need to respect that it is there home and there choice who they allow to stay in it. Can you find a cheap motel? Can your boyfriend not help cover the costs? Can he not come and visit you?

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A male reader, BrownWolf Canada +, writes (15 November 2016):

BrownWolf agony aunt

The truth...That will never happen with son or daughter. NEVER will he spend a night at his girlfriend's house, or she at mine. Same goes for my daughter.

WHY!!! A respect thing...Not based on my religion.

If you were married...sure. But no way am I encouraging sex in my house or some other parents's house.

Last thing I want to hear is...Your son stayed over at our house, and now our daughter is pregnant...HELL NO!!!

When you two are married...they will no problem with it.

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A female reader, celtic_tiger United Kingdom +, writes (15 November 2016):

celtic_tiger agony auntI think you are probably seeing a little of how they may react in future, and I agree it is about "keeping face" within their community.

I know you are all loved up, but have you considered that although they are tolerating you for now, they may have another choice lined up for marriage? If they are devout, they could be arranging a marriage for him, in this other country.

Have you considered the full implications of this as a marriage? Would you be prepared to convert to Islam when you married him (I doubt the family would accept anything else), and for all your future children to be brought up in this manner? Would you be prepared to leave behind your current life and family?

In this kind of scenario, you are not just marrying the man, but also the family, the religion and the culture. They have certain expectations.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 November 2016):

I was engaged to a Muslim guy for a while. It didn't work out for reasons that had nothing to do with religion, but his family in Africa had no concerns about us staying in their house. I think it boils down to the individual. I know non-religious British families who won't allow it. Just bide by their rules, it is their home :)

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A female reader, CindyCares Italy +, writes (15 November 2016):

CindyCares agony aunt Maybe it's not an Indian thing.. but it is definitely a Muslim thing.

Dear OP, I think you are " complaining because your soup is too thick ": it could be much worse. Don't think that just because some immigrant communities westernize themselves under some , or many, external aspects of cilture , like clothing, music, slang or food, they are willing to abdicate to all their engrained , deep seated values and traditions , and adopt the customs of the host culture just because it's more convenient for teh Young ones. Having an non related female sleeping under the roof of a young unmarried male is a no-no even for many integrated , highly educated Muslim families. Your in laws may not care themselves, but they do not want to lose face and be criticized by friends, neighbours and community. As a matter of fact, still nowadays , again even in cultured circles, parents and family play a BIIIG role in the choice of their children partners', - when they don't just arrange marriages altogether- and children go along with it to not rock the boat and not have maybe to sever family and community ties.

I'd say you had it easy and you are lucky that you , non Indian and non Muslim, have been so promptly accepted in the folds of this family , although without a lot of warmth. At least they like you, at least they ACCEPT you, at least they won't have a conniption if their son proposes to you, at least they won't try and throw a big monkey wrench into your wedding plans.

Warmth and affection will come with time, if you deserve them, and if you win your future in laws over also by respecting their rules under THEIR roof, even when said rules feel outdated or hypocritical to you.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (15 November 2016):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntIt strikes me you are making all the effort and the sacrifices here, while your boyfriend seems to be just allowing it. (Sorry if that is not so but that is what is sounds like from your post.)

Are you sure he is as committed to your future as you are? He has chosen (we assume) to move back with his parents in a different country. Although you are not engaged yet, you say you are getting married in the next year. Is this driven by you or do you both share this vision?

If you are sure this is where your future lies, can your boyfriend not contribute towards the cost of a hotel room for you?

Or does he not have any friends who will let you stay with them for the duration of your visit? There must be options other than staying with his parents, since they will not allow this (it is their house and they would obviously not be comfortable with this so you have to respect that).

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 November 2016):

It certainly seems like they're very orthodox (at the very least) and they don't seem to be changing their ways soon. Persevere. The Indian is very emotional - be loving,giving not with the expectation that something will change and lo and behold! Things will. Best of luck. (2/2)

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (15 November 2016):

It's certainly not an Indian thing as for me (I'm Indian), when I go to my boyfriend's home town I live in his parents' house and the same holds when he comes to my home town. This is also true for all the people I know. (1/2)

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