Family Approval of Partner

Jasbina Ahluwalia asks Bhuvaneshwari Bhagat: You are saying to believe in the team and work to establish and sustain that team. How would you recommend to people who are having difficulties with their families accepting that team?

Perhaps the two individuals want to establish that team but they face some resistance or difficulty from family members in doing that.

What recommendations might you make for that? It’s a difficult one, I know.



Bhuvaneshwari Bhagat

Are you talking about people who are already married or people who are looking for consent in families prior to marriage?


Jasbina Ahluwalia

That’s a great question. Let’s start with the first stage, which is looking for consent and acceptance prior to the marriage.


Bhuvaneshwari Bhagat

That’s a classic example.

Family Approval of Partner: They Just Want the Best For You

Often, in multicultural relationships, the parents always wish for the best for their children.

They say, “We are open to you marrying anybody A, B, C, D, E or F.” They go on with the categories of the people they could pick.

If you don’t have an approval and you feel that your parents are not going to approve and you wish to get married to the person you picked, Take steps not to shock them.

Family Approval of Partner: Don’t Shock Them

You want to give them information to try it out.

You can say, “Let me go and tell my mom about this girl that I’m dating,” and see what her reactions are. You’re sort of testing them in layers.

Be Sure Before Getting Family Approval of Partner

First, have the conviction. You’re sure that you’re going to get married. What are the top three reasons that you have the conviction that this is the person you choose?

Clearly there is happiness. You might take it for granted, but you want to be happy with this person. You see a life of togetherness.

After that comes the practical issues.

Family Approval of Partner: Why Are They The Best

In spite of the cultural differences, why do you think this is the person who is most deemed fit for you.

I think you have to look at it as a scientific equation to present it to a very rational set of people.

Even though there might be melodrama and irrationality, I think that the conviction has to first run by you as to why you are picking so-and-so.


Jasbina Ahluwalia

You need to have conviction and establish the case. You are looking at it, evaluating it and presenting it to your loved ones.


Bhuvaneshwari Bhagat

Yes. Then you tell them, “So-and-so is who I want to marry.”

Your parents will immediately come up with three things as to why they think it’s not the best decision.

This could be someone similar to you. They are on the same Indian path but regionally different.

The parent might say, “They don’t eat meat. We eat meat.” or “You don’t eat meat and they eat meat.” It could be something as simple as that.

I think you have to look beyond those things to have that conviction.

You should play around with all of this prior.

Family Approval of Partner: Think Like Them

If you’re looking for approval from your parents, you have to think like them to see what they would oppose.


Jasbina Ahluwalia

You are putting yourself in their shoes to see what the issues might be for them and figuring out how that could be addressed. You are coming from a place of conviction.

Sometimes you find with your clientele that it might be a situation where there might be some respectful agreeing to disagree on certain things. I would imagine that probably happens quite a bit.


Bhuvaneshwari Bhagat

Family Approval of Partner: Give Them Time

Yes. I think you also have to be prepared to know what you really want at the end.

Of course, we want everything to fit into place.

You would like your parent’s approval. You would like to have the three big days of the wedding celebration. You would like every party to be kept happy all the time.

Sometimes it might not be in that order.

Family Approval of Partner: Agree to Disagree

I think you have to say, “At the end, my most important objective is to make sure I get married to the person I really want to. If at the end of it, I’m going to have some level of discomfort in the way I’m going to communicate with my parents, I’m going to deal with it. I’m going to work on it later. I need to make sure that, at some level, they agree.”

They might not be 100% satisfied. You agree to disagree on some levels and then move on.


Tell Us:

The family approval of partner choices is important in most cases. Readers, have any of you had to fight for your family approval on your partner choice? What advice do you have? Share with us in the comments section below.


The above is an excerpt from Jasbina’s interview with Bhuvaneshwari Bhagat.

The entire interview transcript is at: Bhuvaneshwari Bhagat Interview – Marriage & Family Counselor

Listen to the entire interview on: Intersections Match Talk Radio – Jasbina’s Lifestyle Show

Listen to the entire interview on Blog Talk Radio: Insights from an Indian Marriage & Family Counselor

Listen to the entire interview on iTunes