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I am a girl from India. I am recently engaged to a guy (it is an arranged marriage) but the real inside story is I recently loved a guy so seriously, but when I told my parents, they did not accept him due to caste problems and so the guy whom I loved was not ready to marry me without my parents' consent, and on the other side my parents did not accept at all so he left me. There was no way we could reunite. So I decided to let go, move on and accepted to marry the guy seen by my family. Now the problem is I could not get along normally with my would-be husband and when ever I speak with him, I just compare him with my lover and I feel that my lover is superior to him and the feeling that I deserved more  haunts me always. I don't know how to overcome this feeling. Can you please advice me about ways of start accepting what I got and forget the past.

Hello Jane - you pose a difficult question, as a Westerner, I doubt that I can accurately understand the pros and cons of arranged marriages in your culture and your family. From an outsider's point of view, I'm guessing you have at least three interactive problems: [1] resentment and hurt that your parents value "tradition" more than your life-long marital happiness; [2] accepting the prospect of living with an "inferior" partner; and [3] grieving the loss of normal dreams of happiness with your lover.   

1] basic choices here re are [a] confront your parents honestly about how you feel about their forcing a husband on you or [b] not confronting them. In Western societies, respectful confrontation is preferable to keep your own self respect. I don't know the */-'s of parental confrontation in your culture;

2] I have no advice for this problem, other than perhaps using religion ("karma?") to accept what you cannot control. In a Western setting, I'd suggest you [a] make a personal Bill of Rights like this example:

and then decide if, how, and when to assert your rights as a unique, worthy young woman.

I can also suggest you use the wisdom of the "Serenity Prayer":

3 you have many options for grieving the loss of your lover and dreams of a life together. I encourage you to study online "lesson 3" to learn of these options

I wish you well in your life, and hope these ideas have been of some help - Pete


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Peter Gerlach, MSW


I can answer questions about choosing a mate wisely, marital communications and problem solving, affairs, same-gender relationships, trust, respect, bonding and intimicy, values differences, boundary problems, grieving, dealing with ex mates, parents, and in-laws, remarriage, separation, divorce, abuse, feeling unloved, codependence, psychological wounds, money disputes, balancing kids, careers, and marital primacy, etc. I cannot answer legal or medical questions


I've been a professional family-systems therapist in private practice for 33 years. I have specialized in helping people avoid and adapt to divorce, and manage remarriage ans stepfamilies, since 1979. I've studied and taught classes in interpersonal communication for over 40 years, and have presented over 200 seminars on a wide range of human-relationswhip topics to Chicago-area churches, schools, menyal-health agencies, and businesses, and have been featured on Chicago and national radio and TV. I have been married and divorced. I now believe all marital and family problems are caused by five little-known factors - see This forms the basis of my work as therapist and educator.

I now answer "" questions on stepparenting, communication, and counseling. I belong to ", "Death with Dignity," "Compassion and Choices," and to the online Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACES) at

I've published over 200 free Internet articles on childhood-trauma recovery and wholistic health, communication skills, healthy grieving, human relationships (including marriage and divorce), family health, effective parenting, and managing a stepfamily). These articles are in the form of seven free self-improvement lessons ( These articles are augmented by 168 YouTube videos ("gercacn" channel); I've published a book on childhood-trauma recovery ("Who's *REALLY Running Your Life?"), and other books on interpersonal communicactioin skills ("Satisfactions"), remarriage ("The Remarriage Book"), "Stepfamily Courtship", and "Stepfamily Co-parenting" All published by

Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) from Stanford University (1959); Masters degree in Social Work (MSW) from George Williams college (1981); hundreds of hours of post-grad trainng from Northwestern U. the University of Chicago, et. al. in a wide range of human-relationship topics.

Awards and Honors
The state of Illinois licensed me to practice clinical social work in 1981. I was selected twice to serve on the board of the Stepfamily Association of America (SAA), and am currently on the Stepfamily-expert panel at Auburn University; I was the Board chairman at a major public mental-health agency in suburban chicago, and was the chairman of the Parent Relations Council for a major suburban High School. I currently have over 500 subscibers on YouTube since I began uploading educational videos in May, 2011.

Past/Present Clients
I've worked with over 1,000 men; women; dating, merried, remarried, divorcing, and redivorcing couples; and whole families. I'm currently 74, semi-retired, and disabled, and I do therapy with people and couples by phone and Internet (Skype).

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