Friday, August 7, 2015

Ask Firangi Bahu: "My Indian husband is lying to his parents about my two children from a previous marriage"

(img via Aaron Burden)

Sharing a comment from a reader...

"I am American and divorced with two children. I am married to my Indian husband who is 6 years younger with no kids, and we live in the U.S. He was accepting of kids to some degree before we were married and now that we are married he doesn't care at all about them, and gets upset if I even say their name. I am a good mother and I am really pretty and can get any guy I want, but we actually really do love each other. 

He won't tell his parents that I have kids or what my real age is. Should I go along with this? We are already married and have been for over 2 years and his parents still don't know about these things. 

He wants to have kids with me but I think that is a bad idea if he can't be honest with his parents about my kids. They will eventually find out. 

I have been honest about everything but I don't want my kids to be screwed up because he is scared of his family who are thousands of miles away. I think he need to grow up and face the reality that he has made for himself. Our relationship is bipolar because of this. 

He won't even live with me full time and blames it on his job. Now we are getting a room created for him in our house  ("a man cave") so he can be alone when I have more children. This is a WTF situation and I am so not happy..."


Dear readers, what advice would you give this reader?
Is it a bad sign that her husband is still essentially hiding her, even after he married her?
And what about the possible effect on her children?
What "red flags" stick out in this letter, and what can she do about it?



  1. Whoa. GET OUT of this relationship STAT. The biggest problem that you have is not even your husband not telling his parents about your children - which is a pretty big problem in and of itself - but your husband having zero interest in your children and not caring about them. Your first responsibility in life is your kids and providing a healthy, happy, and safe home for them. If your husband doesn't care about your children, then you are failing your children in your decision to remain married him. Please. Do the responsible thing as a mother and think about what is best for your children.

  2. Ok, does his family even know he is married? Is he married to someone else? What do you mean not living together "full time." I understand you love your husband, but you are a mother. And now is when you need to put that first and foremost. How do his parents know about you but now about your kids? How is that even possible? For a typical traditional Indian family you had so many strikes against you - being divorced, being American, being older, having kids. I doubt he has shared any of that. I'm sorry but I think you need to seriously assess this relationship and your priorities. He sounds very immature. Time to think about going your own way.

  3. So let me get this straight - he is your children's stepfather and doesn't want to have anything to do with them, nor does he want you to talk about them? How can you take care of them?

    He won't live with you and gives a job as an excuse but you have no long term plan to be together - and for his temporary stays he's getting his own separate room?

    There's no plan to integrate you (and the children) into his family at all and it's a big secret to them?

    I know that there's a huge taboo against saying this in the married-to-Indian community but if I was an immigration officer I'd pretty much immediately mark this as a green card marriage and deny, deny, deny. I see no actions of love, just declarations of it that might possibly make you hold on despite all these red flags *just* long enough for him to get a green card and move on with his life.

  4. WTF is right... Please think of your existing children. You have brought a father figure into your children's lives who does not even want to hear their names spoken, what will that do to them growing up?

    Plus, now that you and your husband are considering having children together, he is now willing to move into your house (after 2 years of marriage) as long as you have a man cave he can disappear into? Wow, what a catch.

    I would drop this guy like a hot potato and find a partner who can be a full participating part of the wonderful family you already have.

  5. Sorry to be brutally honest, a disaster is waiting to take place in your life. for your children's sake be wise.

  6. Definitely sketchy.
    Proceed at your own risk and good luck!

  7. Get out now! For your sake and the sake of your children. Despite what you may feel, this is not a real relationship. These are not the actions of a man who truly loves you.

  8. Honestly he needs to FULLY acknowledge your kids. THEY HAVE NAMES. Please, do what's best for your family and make him be a good step father before you have more kids... and don't give him a man cave for him to go be by himself instead of a family member....

  9. In Indian culture, it is necessary to marry a virgin, else big loss of face for his family. Since you already have kids, he cant hide the fact of his wife being a non-virgin. Indian society also considers deeply shameful to have a man marry a woman who is not only non-virgin, but also has kids from another man. The concept of step-father does not exist. It is also considered shameful in Indian society to marry an older woman.

    He can never tell his family about you.

    Get a divorce immediately

    I am an Indian

    1. Dear Sir/ Ma'm
      Please do not put over your personal beliefs on such platforms and name them Indian culture or traditions. If you have ever read the purans you must know that remarriage is approved and encouraged by the Rig Veda ( in X.18.8). It all depends on your own family. If they are still living in 1900s you must then believe you're correct.... Please do not bring shame to us fellow Indians.
      I am enraged by your comment. And I pity you.

      And about the women in this case, Ma'm I too would suggest you to get divorced immediately... but because the man in question does not deserve you and not because some Anonymous person tells you this is wrong in our culture. It may be looked down upon only by these so called tradition Gurus. But trust me if they feel this way then this is just another reason for you to leave... I think you have been patient enough if you have waited this long.
      Rest, you know your case better.
      May god give you the strength.

  10. I'm so sorry but the other comments are so true. How can this story possibly have a good ending? you must have reservations about having children with this man based on what you have seen so far? he wants a private room built so he can be alone when you have more kids??? Thats not a father or a husband! Do not have children with this man!

  11. Holy Crap!!!
    LW, please please get a grip of things. You are a mother to two children who are solely dependent on you, for their sake please move out.
    I am an Indian and let me tell you, he really married you for a green card, yes that is the harsh truth you have to accept. I can't even begin to explain this whole craze for a green card that Indians have and the extent to which they can go to get a green card. Please read up forums about the green card and Indians whose only goal is that, and then you will understand your messy situation. He would have 200% convinced his Indian family that he only married you for a green card and trust me Indian families will agree to it in the case of getting a green card. And now he wants to have children with you just so that he can have more grip over you and use your children with him against you in future. Please do something about your situation before you are buried alive in a grave that you helped him dig.

  12. "I am really pretty and can get any guy I want, but we actually really do love each other."
    Then why the hell are you with this guy? If you are in a relationship it has to be two sided. From what you've written it looks pretty one sided.
    "Now we are getting a room created for him in our house ("a man cave") so he can be alone when I have more children."
    What the hell does that mean? The word "More" here is obviously referring to the future kids you want to have with him right? And he wants to be away from his own kids too!?
    Sorry you are blinded by too much love that you can't look at the obvious, or clearly you're not thinking straight.

  13. You need to seriously sit down and have a little talk with yourself.

    What are your priorities? Husband or your children?
    Do you see a future you can be happy in staying in this relationship?
    Do you as a person feel valued and respected in this relationship?

    You need to be honest with yourself. It seems to me that the answer is in the questions you asked in the blog post. You already have recognised that the situation isn't good. And frankly from what you told us, it is not likely to get any better. I agree with all the others : GET OUT

  14. Dear LW,
    "I am a good mother and I am really pretty and can get any guy I want, but we actually really do love each other."
    I am certain you are a good mother.
    But people who truly love each other ACCEPT each other 'as is' - including their age, their children from a previous marriage, being a divorcee, etc.
    Obviously your husband does not ACCEPT you the way you are - that is NOT love.
    Even worse he expects you to accept that he can't live with you full time & needs a 'man cave' even if he does stay with you.
    He does need to grow up & face his 'reality', but there's nothing you can do to get that to happen.
    You need to do some growing learn what love is also. Love is not bipolar, it is not "WTF", it is not "so not happy", it is not "now that we are married he doesn't care about my children at all".
    Love is being accepted, validated, & valued for who you are. Your children need this to, (we all do).
    Please do not have a child with someone who so obviously does not love you nor your children from a previous marriage.
    You can seek marriage counseling, issue ultimatums & waste all sorts of time with your husband but it will still come down to this - he doesn't love you.

  15. This man has no empathy and in my profession having no empathy means "i dont care" and that is very dangerous! Get out while you still can!

  16. Have respect for yourself and your children and LEAVE.
    Marriage and commitment means more than just loving one another but also what each person brings to the table whether that means parents, grandparents, and yes, kids also. It's not a life of convenience and it's certainly not healthy for your children to see their step father acting this way towards them. This is the situation you later see on talk shows. Please. Get out. Leave. Run.

  17. He does not sound like he loves you. I am so sorry, but NO man in his right mind would treat his partner and his partner's children this way if he truly loved her.
    It would be one thing if he could not bring himself to tell his parents the truth - many Indian men (my boyfriend included) have trouble stepping up and telling it like it is, because of the immense pressure from family and relatives. But your problem is a lot more fundamental than that.
    He doesn't even want to hear your children's names? He wants kids with you, yet already made it ckear he has no interest in them or in sharing parental duties? There are no bigger warning signs than this. Please open your eyes.
    I am sorry you fell in love with somebody who doesn't have your best interests at heart. Please end this marriage immediately. If not for your own sake, then for your children, who will suffer greatly by having somebody around who so clearly doesn't care about them. You all deserve much better than this. Best of luck aand much strength.

  18. Are you sure he didn't marry you for your American passport? Because I totally am.

  19. I agree with the rest of the comments here. He is NOT right for you and more importantly for your kids. Please don't involve him with your kids as he might be a bad influence over them.

    Few things you should think/do
    1. Build some sort of support structure. Let your friends/family know what is going on. This will be important as you will have a safe place to go to if needed
    2. Definitely confront him and ask him why is he doing this. This will tell you how he reacts. Sometimes separation can bring the worst out of a person, you need to know in advance how he will react.

    Hope everything works out for the best.

    Take care

  20. You are obviously worried as well, otherwise you would not have written for advice on this forum.

    You are describing a partner who is selfish and a coward. His actions towards his step children are pathetic, and I would think twice about co-parenting with an individual like this.

    A man cave for HIM? You are the one who might need a quiet space to get away from your future children and husband once in a while. But him??

    You may be pretty, but it seems you are definitely lacking in self esteem & confidence. Please get out of this relationship and seek help.

  21. First thing that comes to my mind is why doesn't he has the courage to tell the truth to his family? He knew beforehand that you have kids, and got married - which leaves him no excuse to be cold towards your children.

    I agree with everyone, you need to sit down and rank your priorities. Due to him being selfish/ immature, you can't let your kids suffer. I think you should tell him straight. If he is just being unreasonable, he might understand your situation and change his attitude. And if there's anything else, you need to make a decision.

  22. It is not common among Indians to marry a woman who already has kids with another man. Indian men are not very accepting of this situation. There may be one or two cases, here or there. But generally this is uncommon. Makes me wonder did he marry you to get US citizenship?

  23. Seems like he wants everything without compromising. He doesn't want to look "bad" to his parents by telling them about you and your kids but he also wants to be with you. He doesn't want to accept your kids but he also wants to have kids with you. Maybe he loves you, maybe he doesn't. The point is, he is not wiling to give up anything to be with you. He is only thinking of himself. You don't deserve to be with a person who is not willing to stand up for you. If it was just his parents issue, then it would have been different but since he doesn't want to accept your kids, thats a big red flag. If you don't make a decision, before you know it, he'll have an arranged marriage without telling you. He might already have a wife, who knows? You should be with a person who is willing to go through anything to be with you. You don't want somebody who only cares for his own and his parent's happiness. Tell him that you want him to come clean you his parents, then you want want to meet his parents so you are sure he did tell them. And tell him that he needs to accept your kids as his own. If he can't do all these things, then leave him. He might make excuses or start crying and try to gain your sympathy. He might even say that his parents are old and they might get heart attack if he tells him this shocking news. Believe me, indian guys can be really dramatic. You need to tell him that thats his problem. He decided to marry you so now he has to decide how fix this mess.

  24. No, no, no. He is not worthy of you and you don't deserve a half-baked relationship and your children certainly don't deserve a person in their lives who will not only not acknowledge them to his parents but also to himself.


  25. As is, this situation sounds awful, but I think many elements are missing from the story such as the age of the children, who has custody of the children, how did you meet etc...

    As a woman who had 2 kids from a previous relationship before getting married to an Indian, I recognize two elements in your story :

    1. In our family some people know about my kids but they pretend they don't, and my MIL doesn't want some relatives to know at all. One Indian relative is in the same situation, I don't know how she handles it. In any case my children never met our Indian family ; they will only once I am totally sure they are welcome. It's something we have discussed a lot with my husband.

    2. the sleeping arrangements... Many Indian families we know sleep in the same room. Often girls sleep on one side and boys on the other side. Mother will always stay with her baby. When I got pregnant, hubby was prepared to sleep in another room. We had many discussions about that and he changed his mind. But he needs male me time, so he practices a lot of sport.

    I think you two should really have a serious discussion. Good luck. (Padparadscha)

  26. Thank you all for the comments! I did go to India to meet his family and they know we are "together" but they still don't know we are married. When we finally came back home to the states I think he started getting concerned about the reality of our situation. His family really likes me and I am glad that they got to know me without all of these conditions. I am fine if they don't know about my past because they are literally on the other side of the world, but I still want him to put his foot down and tell his parents that we are getting married at least and they should accept it. I always tell him to think about this question - who is sleeping in your bed at night - your wife or your mother? I do think he is a coward. I have had to stand up for myself to my family over many issues in my life, and it is hard but in order to be happy that is what I have done. As much as I want this to work out I do see many red flags but I am still trying to give him time to come clean and make the right decisions. My kids are treated very good but I do get really offended when he blows up over me even saying their name. We cannot get time back and it's hard to say when to give up. I am always thinking of the pros and cons and trying to assess my happiness and my kids happiness. He does provide financially and when we are together we have a great time. We really do love each other, but these fundamental things are really troubling me. As Americans I believe we are very accepting and so I really see Indians as being the ones with the problem and they are truly the ones who are the most judgmental.

  27. Ok I'm back. I left him because this is not getting any better. We have been married for almost three years now. His parents and friends still don't know we are married, my age and my kids still have to be secret. I realize I am trying to make it work and not being realistic with myself. Why do I love someone that makes me lie. I believe my husband should want to tell the world about me but rather we cannot even have friends because they cannot know the truth. So needless to say I am going through with a divorce and I am very lonely since I have no friends. Any advice on support groups that I can connect with. I just really need to talk to someone that understands my situation. I want to tell an Indian woman so I can get her reaction. I feel that I have been mistreated but yet I am made to feel that I am wrong. Do I have wrong expectations here. Please Indian ladies I need your guidance. Your men are out of control.

    1. I feel really bad for you. I don't think you need to tell this to an Indian woman (or anyone else for that matter) because in your heart-of-hearts, you know you were deceived. You just need to accept that. It takes time. I spent two years with a Chandigarh man-boy who wanted to keep me secret. I know how much it hurts. It still bothers me because I'd love to know why he felt I wasn't deserving of better. Reading this blog has helped immensely. It has nothing to do with me and EVERYTHING to do with one's grasp of their culture. Indian culture is very, very different. It actually makes me sad how they deceive others AND themselves all in the name of it.

      Stay strong. Move on. You deserve better (and I think you know this).


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