Friday, February 7, 2014

You're Only As Good As the Next Failed Relationship

*Note: This post was written approximately 1 year ago. This is not a current issue in my relationship. It's simply a reflection of my feelings at the time I journaled this. Please continue to follow my story for all the drama, updates, highs and lows to see how things turn out. 

You can't have a relationship with a Punjabi without somehow getting involved in some kind of drama. All families have drama, just not always the same racially-based drama as this.

Let me recap first. I have:
  • Traveled half way around the world to marry a Punjabi man.
  • Left all of my family behind for 16 months to live with him and his family.
  • Painfully lived some of the most archaic rules imaginable.
  • Fought for 4 effin years to get him a visa to live with me in the US.
  • ALWAYS bought gifts for his family on important holidays (this is MY culture).
  • Proven a bunch of old aunties wrong when they said a white girl couldn't live in India/Amritsar/joint family.  
  • Worked, contributed to the family and supported my husband for 3 years now. He worked the majority of this time as well, he's no deadbeat.
  • Adopted my in-laws as being just as valuable as my own family and made an effort to include them in dang near everything I've done this last 6 years.
That's the short list. I know you all know that stuff already but I felt it worth repeating.

Hubby had 2 friends who went abroad before him (he knows more than 2, but I'm only discussing two of them here). One went to London and one to Chicago. Both were arranged marriages with NRI women. Now both have failed. Yep. Both Punjabi boys are leaving their wives and going home to good old Punjab. Hubby has been talking to both friends and both have similar stories (and I don't believe half of it).

They were both mistreated by their wives. Apparently the wives' families only wanted them for their money. Both were cold-hearted and didn't love these men. Apparently these women didn't live up to their wifely "duties." I'm sure you get the picture, these are one-sided stories. Those poor, perfect, innocent Punjabi boys could do no wrong and these awful women took advantage of them. *barf*

Anyway, that's not my point. One of these poor, innocent Punjabi boys decided he needed to visit hubby's family and tell them all about his ordeal (Chicago). This coupled with the fact my husband had been dealing with culture shock and had shared his depression phase with his family incited fear and worry among my in-laws. This does not make me happy. Mr. Chicago still visits the family pretty regularly so it's an ongoing thing.

Next, hubby finds out about the London guy. Apparently he really loves his wife but she's so cold toward him. He moved out and got his own place in London for a while then left for home (India) in September. Hubby seems to feel the need to tell his parents all about this as well. *sarcasm ahead* Oh the horrors of these two poor Amritsari men who had to endure such suffering as not being pampered and spoiled like their mothers would have treated them.

I know, it's hard to imagine why I would feel that way but trust me, I heard the entire stories. These men were not hurt in any way. IMO, they felt like going abroad would ease the tension of normal family drama like 'get a job,' 'save money,' etc. They got to their new countries expecting to live a lavish life, to become like kings of Punjab. Only problem is their new wives all worked and there's no maid. These boys refused to adjust and 90% of what hubby was telling me their complaints were all culture shock related.

I'm sure this whole ordeal scared my MIL because she's already been emotional about her baby boy leaving the nest. It's hard enough on her experiencing the empty nest syndrome but now to have someone scaring her that America is not India just adds to her emotional suffering. Hubby had to reassure MIL that I'm not a gold-digging, mean woman (at least not all the time :P). These NRI girls must have been raised abroad and don't adhere to the 'old ways' and now they're worried that their son is not going to be pampered. (That's the neighbors view btw, not MIL's.)

To be honest, they're right. I work an average of 80 hours a week right now. It's busy season with my job and hubby hasn't found the job he wants yet. I can't turn down the work for many reasons, the most important being we have a 3 month down season in this job and I need to save to compensate for that.

Hubby and I have reversed roles right now. I know they don't understand that at all but no one is looking at the bigger picture. I've been in this relationship over 6 years now and haven't yet given them any reason to think I'm a gold-digger, user or any kind of rotten person. MIL remarks often how I never ask her for anything. (I kind of get the impression she thinks that I should be demanding stuff a lot lol. I just am not that type of person.) Both the London and Chicago marriages were arranged to women they didn't even know and neither lasted 3 years. (London 2.5 and Chicago >1.)

This is the problem with aunty dramas such as one tends to find in India where acceptance is based on deeds and adhering to societal rules. It becomes a problem when your ideals of a family member come only from stories out of the mouths of people who don't even know said family member. This is something that I've had to fight (and has pissed me off) all along. In the beginning I had to fight off the 'all white women....'  bullshit and now this?

This is one of those times I'm thankful my MIL is a strong woman. She may ask my husband questions so she can get reassurance but when these kind of dramas try to creep in she will quickly put a neighbor in their place and let them know when they need to shut up.

Share your stories of ridiculous aunty drama over your quality as a wife with me in the comments!


  1. "Both the London and Chicago marriages were arranged to women they didn't even know and neither lasted 3 years. (London 2.5 and Chicago >1.) "

    I am curious because it isn't quite clear by what you have written-
    Were the London & Chicago wives Indian & or Punjabi?

  2. Both of those wives were NRI wives. Both of them had their families with them so they either grew up here or had been there a while and were established in their respective countries.

  3. HAH!
    That's kind of funny.
    Us evil white women & our 'morally bankrupt' culture are usually blamed for any marital mishaps.
    I think most Indians still think $ grows on trees in the US & housework in the US is just a matter of pushing buttons & 'poof' everything is done.
    I recall when I went to university in California there were a lot of male & female Indian students that had no idea how to do their own laundry or even cook themselves a simple meal - Needless to say they were completely shocked when they found out most Americans do not have maids/servants to do the 'needful' either.

  4. I agree! It's tiring being looked at as 'not-Indian' and therefore not good enough, rich, etc. I also think it's just absurd that even knowing/thinking these Indian women were not living up to the doting wife standard that somehow they still must be better than a white woman could be. I got the distinct impression that the neighbors felt like 'if America could change these perfect Indian women, then how much worse a white woman must be.' It really pissed me off. Hence the unclear post lol. I wrote it while angry. :P

  5. I have no intention of changing my blog name. There would be no reason to change it because my old neighbors were concerned about a few failed NRI marriages of people I don't even know.