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How to Convince Parents For Love Marriage without Hurting them

Being in love and ready to get married is a wonderful, exciting feeling! But if you’re ready to marry for love and your parents want an arranged marriage, you might be feeling lots of stress. To win them over, try to have constructive conversations with your parents about your partner and what marriage means to you. You should also do a self-assessment to make sure you are totally ready to marry. Once you've determined that, introduce your parents and partner and help them get to know each other. It might take some time, but hopefully everyone will agree to support you.

 

Spend quality time with your parents. You’re going to need to have some important conversations with your parents, and you’ll likely be able to communicate better if you all feel comfortable with each other. It can be really stressful to start these conversations, so ease into it. Before talking about marriage, devote some time to just strengthening your bond with your parents. Try to spend some extra time with them for a couple of weeks before you bring up marriage.

  • This can be as simple as making sure to eat dinner as a family a couple of times a week, which will allow you to catch up and feel involved in each other’s lives.

  • If it’s not possible to physically spend more time with your parents, phone calls and Facetime are great ways to connect!

Ask your parents to explain their feelings about marriage. It’s really helpful to understand your parents’ perspective on marriage. The best way to learn about it is to ask! Try saying, “What do you think are the most important pieces of a marriage?” or “Why are you in favor of arranged marriages?”

  • Don’t get defensive if you don’t agree with what they say. It might be hard to stay calm, but remember, they’re entitled to their own opinions.

Share your own views on marriage with your parents. You don’t have to jump right in and announce that you don’t want an arranged marriage. You're probably nervous, and that's understandable. Take it slow and start by having a general conversation about marriage. Explain how you feel about the institution.[3]

  • You could say something like, “I think love is the most important part of a good marriage. It seems magical when 2 people fall in love and decide to commit to each other forever.”

  • You could also try explaining the issues you have with arranged marriages. Just make sure that you stay calm and respectful. You might say, “I really want to make sure I have a connection with someone before I commit to them. I don’t feel like I’d really have that chance with an arranged marriage.”

Help your parents understand inter-caste marriage if applicable. If you are Indian, your parents likely expect you to marry within your own caste. If you have fallen in love outside of your caste, spend some time looking for information about inter-caste marriages. You can start convincing your parents that inter-caste marriage is acceptable by telling them some facts.[4]

  • For example, you could say, "More and more people are having inter-caste marriages. Don't you think that's interesting?"

  • Remember that convincing your parents to allow an inter-caste marriage might be a lengthy process. Try to be patient and respectful of their ideas. That will be more helpful than yelling.

Remind your parents about the good decisions that you've made. You want to make sure that your parents see you as responsible. That will make them more likely to take you seriously. You could say something like, "Remember how proud you were when I graduated with honors? That shows I'm pretty responsible." You could also point out things like:

  • Your commitment to your family

  • Your success at your job

  • Your commitment to your faith (if applicable)

Make sure you are financially independent. If you choose to marry for love, you can expect for you and your partner to support yourselves. Before you announce your intentions, evaluate your financial situation. If you aren’t able to pay for your own living expenses like rent and food, you might not be ready for marriage.

  • Have an honest conversation with your partner about their finances. Make sure that you are on the same page about how you will manage the money in your household.

Be confident in your relationship before you tell your parents. Ask yourself if you are absolutely certain that you’re with the person you want to marry. There’s no point potentially upsetting your parents if you think you might change your mind. Ask yourself if:[6]

  • You are fully committed to your partner.

  • You’re confident that your partner is committed to you.

  • You know all of the important information about their background.

  • You have planned for your life together beyond the wedding.

Ask yourself if you can handle potential emotional blackmail. Sometimes parents can lay on the guilt pretty thick. They might get pretty emotional when you announce your plans to marry and try to make you feel bad about your choices. If you don’t think you can handle it, you might want to postpone your plans. Ask yourself if you're ready to respond to tough questions.[7]

  • If your parents are concerned about what other family members might say, you could try, “I’ll be happy to talk to everyone about my choice and explain why it works for me. That can be my responsibility.”

  • If they are worried that you will bring shame on your family, you could explain that times are changing and that many people are choosing love marriages now.

  • Parents might ask, ”Why would you do this to us?” You can say something like, “This is about my feelings and my future. I’m not trying to hurt you.”

Get support from trusted friends and family members. Before you talk to your parents, try to enlist the help of an elder family friend or relative. If your parents are very traditional, it might help make your case if a trusted older person is on your side.

  • Ask a relative you trust if they feel comfortable helping you break the news to your parents.

Find ways to bring up your partner in conversation. Before announcing that you want to get married, let your parents know that there is someone special in your life. This will help them get used to the idea of you being in a relationship. Look for opportunities to mention your partner so that they get used to hearing their name.[9]

  • For example, if you’re listening to music, you could say, “Andy really loves this song!”

  • You can also mention things you do with that person. Try, “Andy and I went out for an amazing dinner last night. You should try the new restaurant down the street!”

Inform your parents that you are in a relationship or that you want to marry for love. Once you've laid the groundwork, it's time to be upfront with your parents. Choose a good time and place to talk. Make sure that your parents aren't rushing to work or trying to do something else. Tell them, "I am in a relationship. I know that you planned on me having an arranged marriage, but I am in love with my partner." Be ready for surprise or even anger from your parents.

  • You could say, “I respect your traditions, but I really want to marry for love. Are you open to meeting my partner and hearing about our relationship?” Hopefully, your parents support you. If they don’t, try to have the conversation again at another time. This can be disheartening, but don't give up right away.

  • You might find that 1 parent seems more receptive to your relationship than the other. Take that parent aside for a private conversation and explain that you’d like their help. You could say, “I’d really appreciate it if you could support me when I bring this up to Dad.”

  • If your parents' voice concerns, listen respectfully. You can say, "I understand your viewpoint, but this is what feels right to me."

Explain that you don't want to go through with an arranged marriage. If you've fallen in love but your parents expect you to get married to someone else, that can feel like an impossible situation. Just remember that you have the right to be happy and that you're a responsible adult. Respectfully tell your parents that you want to marry for love and will not go through with the arranged marriage.

  • Your family might be pretty upset if you take this step. Make sure that you have a plan in place for where you will live and how you will support yourself.

Stay firm when making your case. If your parents refuse to accept your marriage, don’t be afraid to push back. Keep explaining why this choice is so important to you. You can still be respectful while standing your ground.

  • You can say, “I understand your feelings, but I hope you’ll reconsider. I'd love to have your support, but I don’t need your permission.”

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