'I want to marry my girlfriend but she's angry all the time'

'I want to marry my girlfriend but she's angry all the time'

Dear Thelma,

I'm a 21-year-old undergraduate and an Indian guy who's in love with an Indian girl. She and I started dating when we were in the same class at university. We started as best friends but later, something more developed. We were very serious about the relationship and meant it to last.

She loves me a lot, but her parents oppose our relationship as they're very strict and insistent that she marries within their community (Chettiars, Malayalee, Telugu). My family is more agreeable, but they want me to finish my studies first. So I said I would talk to her parents about us getting married.

She's a very nice and obedient girl, but she gets angry very easily. She hurts me very badly even when she's at fault. At first I accepted her that way but advised her to control her temper. She listened to me but only for a few days. I think I'm more patient but I'm getting fed up of her anger issues. The situation is causing us problems and we're arguing a lot more.

Despite that, we have never thought of breaking up because we love each other. We've been together for three years, but her parents are already looking for another partner for her. She asked me to talk to them, but frankly, I'm not ready to do that as I'm still studying.

On the flip side, her temper is getting worse. I'm tired of advising her and told her that if we want to be happy, she has to change her ways. I love her very much, but whenever she makes a mountain out of a molehill, it's so draining and I feel like ending the relationship.

I'm so confused. It won't be easy to marry her as I have to fight with her parents to get married to her. But at the same time, my love for her is fading as her behaviour gets from bad to worse.

Tough Call

Dear Tough Call,

Many people still have ingrained beliefs - how this race is better than that, or this sub-ethnic group isn't as good - it persists even in this modern age.

Many who fall in love have to overcome these stereotypes and discriminatory beliefs. We're lucky that in our society, the worst thing that can happen is that people will gossip.

In many other countries, families have murdered their own flesh and blood for having fallen in love or married someone "from the other side".

People will have to realise that gossip is just idle talk for people with little else to do. What really matters is how one lives their own life, and whether or not their actions will hurt others.

It may be important to prove yourself to her parents to show you have strength of character. And, of course, what would matter to them most is your ability to provide a good life for their daughter.

You would have to be prepared for the drama from her family. Remember to have a cool and level head, and stay on the side of logic. But there is the question of whether you want to continue with her since she has this anger issue. That is something you have to figure out yourself.

Firstly, you cannot expect a person to change. No matter the situation - anger issues, sloppiness, poor manners - you have to accept the person for who she is.

This doesn't mean you have to meekly take her hurtful behaviour. Let her know how you feel. What is it about her outbursts that hurt you? Is it the things she says, or the anger itself which you find hurtful?

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