Advice: Mother Doesn’t Support My Decision to Live in India

Dear Lauren, It has been my dream since childhood to live in India. I have lived my whole life in the USA and I visited India for the first time last year and confirmed my love for the country. I met a boy who I would consider marrying. I’ve tried to mention this to my mother and she screamed at me and said I’ve ruined her life and have to stay in the USA. I have Italian citizenship, so either way I’m going to leave the USA. My dream is to settle and marry in India! What should I do? Should I just not tell my family? They are mean and don’t understand my deep feelings.

Anonymous Reader


I’m sorry your mother feels this way, it must have heartbreaking to hear her say that! There are a couple of things I would like to talk about. Firstly, visiting India and living in India are two very different experiences. The first time I came to India, I stayed for five weeks and thought living here would be a little hard at first but I would soon feel completely at home. It actually took me about two years to really feel settled in India, to understand the cultural divide enough not to get frustrated at absolutely everything that didn’t fit my expectations. Have you considered coming to India for a prolonged stay before moving?

I’m not sure if I am mistaken, but from your message it seems that you are considering marrying an Indian so you can live in India. Please, don’t marry someone for this reason. If I have misread your message, I’m sorry for the misunderstanding. When you move abroad for love, it’s of paramount importance that your spouse is supportive, understanding and open to discussing the dynamics of the country so you are able to learn and understand where you are both coming from if cultural conflict arises.

Finally, your well-being will be your mother’s priority, even if she is hurting you now, it’s most likely because she is worried that you will get hurt in some way. She might have preconceived ideas about India and be confused by your decision. Give her space and time for it to sink in, it would have been a huge shock. Not only that, she will miss you.

My advice would be to visit India again before making a permanent move, to get to know this guy better and to give your mother an opportunity to make peace with the idea. Perhaps try to find an internship or something similar. I wouldn’t just leave without telling them, it’s best to be honest and to try to reassure them that you haven’t taken this decision lightly. If they still don’t support you, at least they know where you are. Sending love.


Dear Readers, Do you have any advice, experience or a fresh perspective to offer? (Helpful and respectful comments only)


  1. Visit India before permament move in its great advice. You must also think about your mother feelings, its a little egoistic thinking that nobody understand you. Its hard for your family that you wand leave your country and live so far away! Make them sure that you are going there to find your happiness and that you will have contact all the time. My mum is super suportive but i know she is sad that i will live that far so im trying to be with her now as much as it possible. Remember, family is always the most important, im sorry that yours not supportive you, but you can make things better and learn there that you want live your life. If you see your future in India give them time to understand it. Good luck.


  2. I think if you approach your moving to India in a mature way, then you will gradually win over your family. They are probably heartbroken that you wish to move so far away. Perhaps keeping in touch with them while doing a second fact finding holiday, via WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook etc might help.
    Perhaps you have a trustworthy friend or like minded relation that you can talk to about your lifelong dream, you should always keep in contact with someone in case of emergencies etc.
    Good luck with your dream xx


  3. It would help to know a bit more about you…how old are you, where in India did you visit, and for how long? What kind of family dynamics did you grow up in (are you close to your mother, etc.)?
    Visiting India is much different than living in India. I suggest an extended stay in India (at least 6 months) before making any decisions about moving there.
    It is natural for parents to freak out over their children, ESPECIALLY when dealing with the “unknown”. I assume your mother has never been to India? A lot of fears come from simply not knowing what to expect. You say that is has been a lifelong dream to live in India. Why not share with your family some of the things you love about India? Teach them what you know about India and why you want to move there.
    As far as the boy you would “consider marrying”, this is another thing that we need to know more about before advising. I would not advise marrying anyone, from any country, simply because you want to immigrate to that country. I will say that adjusting to living in India is no small feat, and adjusting to married life in general is also a big task. Put the two together and it can make for a very difficult situation. YES, it can be done, just look at Lauren! However (and I am sure Lauren will also tell you) it is certainly a BIG adjustment.
    Tell us more about your particular situation…and good luck with whatever you decide. My only advice for now is don’t make any hasty decisions.


  4. Great advice, Lauren. Visiting India and living in India are completely different things – ESPECIALLY for a foreigner. What makes you want to live in India? I also love visiting, but I’d have to think long and hard about it if my husband decided we should move back.

    What do you plan to do for work if you do live there? I imagine it’s a little difficult, if not near impossible, for a foreigner to find work in India. Lauren, you might be able to confirm or deny this…

    Your mother is probably scared for you, and scared for herself, too. No parents wants their children living half a world away. How did you broach the subject with her? What exactly were her protests?

    Finally, you say you’ve met a man you would consider marrying… Without details, we can only be left to assume that you could also live just fine without marrying this man — so please do consider that extra carefully. Marriage is a very serious business in India, and every family has their own internal values, morals and traditions _in addition to_ the community values, morals and traditions. You may not like or agree with all of them.

    Definitely don’t make a rash decision and defy your family by up and moving to India. There’s no rush, right? Convince them with maturity and calm rationality on why you want to move there, and show them that you have thought about how you will live, work, etc.

    I doubt they mean to misunderstand you. It sounds like there just needs to be clearer, better communication on both sides.

    Wishing you all the best.


  5. Great advice from everyone, except everyone is saying she should consider her mother’s feelings. She clearly said her family is “mean”, and “does not understand her”, and her mom screamed at her, instead of talking to her respectfully. Honestly it seems like maybe she does not have the most supportive or loving family. If she is in an abusive situation, then I do not think she should consider their feelings. They do not seem to be considering hers. I of course do not think she should move abroad without seriously considering the realities of it, nor should she marry just to move. If that is her dream, then I think she should go for it, and seek happiness. If her family loves her, then they’d be happy for her. If they are loving and just concerned about her safety then I do think she should consider them, but if they are truly unsupportive of her then she should not have to stay here to please them and be miserable. An adult has to make their own decisions, not live for someone they describe as completely unsupportive. I think how much she considers her family in this decision depends on how serious she was with the comments she made about her family’s dynamic. Sometimes family members can be horrible and the best thing you can do is get far away from them. There is nothing wrong with getting away from negativity, even if they are related.


  6. I feel really sad when I see letters like this from young girls. I feel sorry for mothers who have to deal with such rebel kids. Hope God will give mothers strength and wisdom to address issues with right words. Sometimes children don’t hear parents because both parties lack communication skills.

    Now into advice. India is big and it has many different people. Some of them them can be a scam…A lot of men see women, not only foreign, but local too as big opportunity for them. Opportunity to get money from girls’ family, if you are local, or opportunity to move out from their own country, if you are foreigner.

    Before making any big decision, I would strongly recommend this girl to learn more about guy and his family.

    If he is educated? Which university he graduated from? What’s his profession? If his family is educated? If he earns enough to support her in India? If he is ready to pay for her flight tickets to India and in some cases, for return tickets?

    Usually scam men cannot do anything, they don’t have proper education and earn nothing to support even themselves. Scam men also will say ‘No’ to you once they realize they will need to pay for your flight tickets. However, they do expect that girl is ready to do anything for them, even sponsor their visa back in US, EU, UK or Australia.

    She should be aware of scams and should have done a proper background check before announcing big news to her mother.

    I am married to Indian and it was easy for me to convince my parents, that my now-husband was genuine guy. He and all his family were educated, he had very good job to prove he could support me and we loved each other. First points were very strong arguments. The 3rd one is not argument at all even for me, that’s why I understand mother side completely.


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