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Tell me this is never going to work

(66 Posts)
KatieScarlettOHooligan Thu 28-Jul-11 21:48:09

so I can start to let go and move on.

I have been in a relationship with a Sikh guy for 5 years now. I know that we love each other very much, and our relationship in isolation is good. BUT the weight of his community and family disapproval have meant that we have had to be secretive, and he has felt a lot of guilt both for the way I have had to be and the way he's been living. I know realistically that things will not change. We have discussed this so many times. His traditional Punjabi parent's will never accept a white woman as his partner, and his upbringing means losing the respect of his parent's and community would kill him. I know it sounds mad, but culturally it seems very very true.

I know I deserve more rationally, but emotionally I want him and have been prepared to sacrifice a lot of my needs to fit in with his. I guess I'm saying sometimes love just aint enough is it? How can I begin to cut him out of my life? The thought terrifies me, but I know I need to start somewhere and soon. Any tips greatfully received.

confidence Thu 28-Jul-11 22:07:29

This is never going to work.

KatieScarlettOHooligan Thu 28-Jul-11 22:09:30

Thanks confidence. I'm sure the more I hear it the more I'll believe it, and get off my fat ass and do something about it. Hopefully. Maybe!

EdithWeston Thu 28-Jul-11 22:09:32

Where are your family and friends in this? Are you secret from his family, or are the two of you as a couple secret from the world?

KatieScarlettOHooligan Thu 28-Jul-11 22:11:59

My friends, and his non Sikh friends are in the know. God it sounds soooo stupid. I have met his parents but only in passing and definitely not as any sort of partner or even friend.

manticlimactic Thu 28-Jul-11 22:27:45

You know my sikh friend (guy) have been together for years. They were secretive about it for about 5 years and then they just thought stuff it. If the family don't like it then tough. Some of the family didn't speak to them for years and a few outcast them for a short while but now they are married and everyone is talking again.

Ok it took about 7 years but they wanted to be together and together they are.

manticlimactic Thu 28-Jul-11 22:28:07

<insert and his wife in there somewhere>

EdithWeston Thu 28-Jul-11 22:32:37

This sort of no strings, edge of secrecy, who knows what the future will bring is very heady - at first. But you're 4 years in, and what you want from life wil be quietly evolving. Permanent limbo doesn't sound as if it's on your wish list. Do you know what is?

Also, his ideas may have been evolving too. Do you still know what they are?

Do you ever talk about the future?

I have to say, if you were The One for whom he would defy his family, He would probably have acted by now. He may be very comfortable with the situation as it is now, and never be thinking of you as a life-long partner. That's painful stuff. Is the rest of your life in good enough shape for you to tackle this? (Warning - the longer it's left, the harder it gets).

solidgoldbrass Thu 28-Jul-11 22:43:05

I think Edith is right and that if it was going to end up with him binning everything to be with you, he would have done so by now. Sooner or later, and probably sooner, his family will be putting pressure on him to marry a nice girl from his own culture, if they haven't started doing so already. It would be better for your own self esteem if you were the one to let him go rather than have him tell you that he's off to marry someone else.

KatieScarlettOHooligan Thu 28-Jul-11 22:43:44

His ex wife perhaps.

I know you are right EdithWeston. We do talk about the future, but it is a very ''going round in circles'' conversation. He wants his cake and eat it I guess. I don't doubt his love, but I do doubt his courage.

Permanent limbo is exactly where I am, and it is not a happy place to be. He has never promised me any more than he could give and I have never asked for more. Now I think I've reached the point where more is exactly what I need. I want to be open and honest and ME in all areas of my life and that's never going to happen here. I want to be able to relax and step off the rollercoaster. Just be happy with me as I am, without thinking oh if only I was this, or I did that...

I guess I just need to take the plunge and do it. I feel like I sound really cool and composed here, but I'm absolutely not. I think I have to just do it and be prepared to hit rock bottom in order to begin again.
I know it sounds ridiculous, but I'm so afraid that I'll just crumble.

As I write this I'm starting to realise how second best I am.

confidence Thu 28-Jul-11 22:46:39

Thanks confidence. I'm sure the more I hear it the more I'll believe it, and get off my fat ass and do something about it. Hopefully. Maybe!

Oh OK then, if it's that easy...

This is never going to work.
This is never going to work.
This is never going to work.
This is never going to work.
This is never going to work.
This is never going to work.
This is never going to work.
This is never going to work.
This is never going to work.
This is never going to work.
This is never going to work.
This is never going to work...

QuintessentialShadow Thu 28-Jul-11 22:48:32

This is not going to work.

My first sihk mate binned his girlfriend at the drop of a hat, after having been with her for over 3 years, when his parents told him they were ready to arrange his marriage, and they had found him a possible wife.

My other friend was married to a sihk man, they had a child together. But he instigated divorce when his parents, who did not acknowledge his wife and dd, announced they had a wife ready for him.

You might as well get yourself out of this "relationship". You are a fun life experience which will prepare him for the wife his family will one day provide for him. I bet. Seeing as they dont know about you.

confidence Thu 28-Jul-11 22:49:54

I agree with QuintessentialShadow's first comment.

QuintessentialShadow Thu 28-Jul-11 22:51:39

wink and I agree with about a dozen of Confidence's comments....

EdithWeston Thu 28-Jul-11 22:52:28

You're NOT second best. Repeat that as a mantra.

If anyone is second best, it's him. He's not giving you his all, and that's his loss.

corriefan Thu 28-Jul-11 22:56:27

My friend who is Sikh has a White English partner and her family disowned her. Ditto her sister. They both continued in their relationships though and are happy, but live very different lives now.

KatieScarlettOHooligan Thu 28-Jul-11 22:57:28

Confidence, you really made me mean feat today!

QuintessentialShadow, that rings so true. All of his Sikh mates have been or are in the process of being married off to Punjabi women/Western Sikhs. I know his mum is very anxious about him being left on the shelf?? And won't rest easy until she has a beautiful Sikh baby in her arms.

Oh I am hopeless why have I persisted in this when deep down I knew it could never come to a good conclusion. I think my self esteem is rock bottom, but you are right it would only plummet lower at the words ''I'm just off to get myself a nice Indian girl, thanks for all the fish"

I must just find the courage from somewhere.

KatieScarlettOHooligan Thu 28-Jul-11 23:03:49

You see manticlimatic and Corriefan, stories like this give me some hope, but I know this man like I knitted him myself! His courage is lacking and his feelings of loyalty are all towards family, culture, community. There is so much fear. I could maybe really force the issue, but I want him to be with me only through his own fully committed choice and I'm not sure he's capable of doing that. Which I guess is why I'm where I am today.

corriefan Thu 28-Jul-11 23:05:52

What does he say about it?

QuintessentialShadow Thu 28-Jul-11 23:07:09

He believes that his parents knows him, and loves him, and knows what is best for him. For that reason he will accept their choice, for he will learn to love his wife, as she will be chosen by people who love him and know him, and only wants what is best.

KatieScarlettOHooligan Thu 28-Jul-11 23:14:16

He says he will never have the connection that we have with anyone else and he wishes things were easier and different. He says he loves me more than I'll ever know. I think I never heard the BUT echoing behind those words until recently. Now it rings out like a clashing cymbal!
Spot on QuintessentialShadow. That's exactly what he believes, and if he takes a different path he will lose all that unconditional love and support. That says a lot about what he believes I can offer doesn't it? I gave my all and it's never going to be enough is it.
That breaks my heart and makes me feel stupid and small.

ZZZenAgain Thu 28-Jul-11 23:18:05

so how does he see your future then, what does he say about it?

confidence Thu 28-Jul-11 23:19:07

Gald to provide some comic relief Katie but also aware it's a very serious and trying situation. sad

One does sometimes read of situations like these where the couple make commitments to each other early on about that their priorities are, and these involve the religious or minority person being quite clear that their partner comes before their culture or family, but over time, when push comes to shove, they don't follow through with these priorities.

I don't generally like the idea of people giving their partners ultimatums or "laying down the law" - I don't think it's a constructive or fair way to go about a relationship. But I have to agree with previous posters that if he were really clear about his priorities, he would have shown it unequivocally by now. Maybe you could force the issue and ask him to, I don't know. Tell him you're not prepared to be secretive any more: as far as you are concerned the relationship is either "out" or it doesn't exist; and in each case where outing it causes conflict with his family, you'll be able to see exactly how he deals with that conflict, and whether he's willing to make the uniquivocal statement that is required.

I read somewhere that the word "decisive" actually comes from Latin meaning "to cut off". ie the point about being decisive about something is that you cut yourself off from the possibility of other alternatives.

I don't know how old you are or how you see your life beyond this man, but there's a clear sense in your posts that you don't see the situation currently as tenable for what you want out of life. It probably then needs to be "decided" one way or the other so you can move on, and that's not going to happen till he can look his mother in the face and say "I love her and have chosen to make my life with her: get used to it, or fuck off."

KatieScarlettOHooligan Thu 28-Jul-11 23:26:35

He sees our future as bumbling along as we are, he says we couldn't be more committed or in love. That may be true, but I feel like I can't live a half life anymore. When I say that to him, he says I understand how hard this is but is this more or less of a half life than you'd have if we weren't together. Does the good outweigh the bad. This is going to sound really horrible but I think in his head he sees our future really beginning when his parents die. In 374 years time.
I honestly see how ridiculous this must seem to you all, but I do love him, he's funny and kind and we just do have a connection that I've never felt before. Disentangling him from my life is going to be worse that chewing off my own limb! I just don't see how I can, but I feel that I must.

Eurostar Thu 28-Jul-11 23:27:07

I agree, he needs to be "out" with you and face the music or it ends now.

There's a really worrying possibility here that he takes an arranged partner while secretly staying in touch with you, with the "you're my soulmate, I can't give you up" line and you end up living life as an OW.

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