I married the man of my dreams and managed to resist the pressures of  an arranged marriage. I’m not completely against arranged marriages as it has worked out for so many people. So this post is not to bash arranged marriages, just an outlook from my eyes only. I do admit I am against forced marriages and the bullying into pleasing families and social circles. In a Bangladeshi society arranged marriages is usually the foundation of a family. Most girls are betrothed to a man chosen by her parents or grandparents from a young age. Groomed to accept a fate that includes being university educated and cooking a variety of fragrant curries so they would be perceived to be good bridal material. Being the eldest of four daughters it was my job to marry and be an example of how a young lady is expected to live her life.

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I however knew I couldn’t marry a stranger. The idea of being intimate with a man I hardly knew scared me. I also heard so many horror stories of people being abused and forced into silence for the sake of pleasing the family. I believed in love and a divine God stepping in and giving me a good loving man. My husband is everything I wanted and more in a man, hardworking, ambitious, loving and kind. But he wasn’t Bangladeshi or muslim. This was a problem for my family because not only did I choose my love (which was very taboo), but he wasn’t from my country, he wasn’t even from the same part of the world! So my parents didn’t approve or attend my wedding. This was very painful, but I couldn’t sacrifice my love for their moment of happiness. They honestly believed I brought shame to them. I couldn’t even be angry at them. Arranged marriages were their custom.

My dad banned my siblings and mum from seeing me for nearly a year after my wedding. We did disobey him and met up secretly so I could still spend time with them. But it was so tough. He did eventually come round to speaking to me again. Parents have a way of loving no matter what. Although he truly believed I brought shame to his name, he was willing to have a relationship with me. I’m one of the blessed ones to not be exiled from my family. Today we have a wholesome relationship but it was built on a lot of forgiveness.

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Choosing to love someone for who they are and forgetting about cultural boundaries is the best decision of my life. I challenge you, to love without limits. Love is everything and more. The right man or women may not be the colour you expected. But don’t let that stop you and lose out on the greatest adventure life has to offer. 

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