Dear Auntie,
I am a 25-year-old doctor who got engaged through an arranged set-up six months ago. My fiancé was abroad and everything proceeded on video calls. The proposal was everything I had ever dreamed for myself. We developed a quality connection in a short span during our engagement period and he was very caring, respectful and kind hearted towards me. When we met in person, my family and I were kind of put off by his appearance, as he appeared to be obese and hence different than the pictures we had seen prior to saying yes to this proposal.

We tried to convey this message to his family in a decent manner, which wouldn’t seem offensive, because it was a sensitive issue. But they took offence and ended the relationship a month before the wedding.

He told me afterwards that he still likes me a lot and wants to get married to me, but the damage done to his family was not repairable and would cause problems for us in the future. I’m heartbroken and shattered. I had hoped that the bond and connection which we shared would somehow outweigh the damage that had been done to his family and we would move past it. I don’t think I’ll ever truly find or like someone like I liked him.
Heartbroken Doc

Dear Heartbroken,
The only way this can happen again is if your ex-fiancé really wants to get engaged to you again. And that can only happen if he likes you enough to stand up to his parents for you. For that to happen, he has to be a very strong person.  And beyond that, he has to really, really like or even love you enough to rock the boat.

‘My engagement broke because my family called my fiancé obese’

His family must be furious about what happened. It is not clear how this happened, because you were video calling him so had seen him. Did he deliberately hide his weight from you? Since his weight was a real issue with you and your family (just to clarify, it is not always an issue with people looking to get married), you did the right thing by bringing it up before the marriage. What happened afterwards was not in your control.

Since you have now caught the feels for this guy, you need to talk to him seriously. Be upfront and let him know that you like him and are interested in getting back together. If he shows an interest, ask some hard questions, like ‘Is he willing to go against his family for you?’ ‘Does he like you enough?’ ‘Is he offended by the remarks about his weight too?’

You need to have a long and candid discussion with him in which you lay it out. Also, even if he decides to defy his family and get engaged to you again, your parents might not be too keen on proceeding with the marriage without his parent’s agreement. Some people hold grudges for a lifetime. What if his mother or father chooses to stay offended even after you marry her son? Will you be able to deal with that?

Your situation is tricky and which way it swings depends on other people, like the boy himself and his family. The ball is out of your court, for now. Let this be a lesson for you and your family. Next time you need to bow out of a situation, ask yourself several times if that is what you really want. Are there aspects of a prospective spouse that you can ignore, because his other qualities shine? How will the other party react to your words and opinions? In fact, I would encourage you and your family to always think about the consequences of what you say, before you say it, regardless of whether it is a rishta situation or not.

After you have had your conversation with your ex, don’t sit around waiting for miracles to happen. Your parents should go back to looking for a spouse for you. Hopefully, you and your family will be smarter and wiser about things if you happen upon a suitable partner.

Auntie will not reply privately to any query. Please send concise queries to:

Published in Dawn, EOS, February 21st, 2021


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