This whole arranged engagement thing isn’t going so well.

It was an arranged engagement by both families. We talked for four months before getting engaged, and I thought we would be fine. We both liked each other. After getting engaged, he bought and paid for my cell phone, but now he’s telling me I have to buy one for myself. For a while, we met up every month and liked each other more and were texting non-stop. But then at the beginning of this year after my birthday it all just changed. I don’t know why, but I think it was because I didn’t get him a birthday present even though I told him I was a little strapped for cash. He came to my sister’s wedding with me, and after my sister got married we talked on the phone for couple of weeks and then it stopped.

He’s been ignoring my texts and calls. I got him on the phone once, but he told me to figure out for myself what was wrong. I got so mad I told him I wanted to break up, and he believed me and hasn’t been in touch for three weeks! I apologized for being upset and saying I wanted to break up, but he hasn’t written back or called. If he’s like this now, how will he be in two years? Should I still marry him? I’ve talked to my family and they told me to leave him alone for a couple weeks, but I don’t know what to do next. He is seven years older than me and lives in another city, so I never see him.

Well.

I don’t know much about arranged marriages. I chose a special guy. So special that the first time my husband met my parents, he announced that the girls in my college sorority didn’t hang out with his fraternity much. I think his exact quote during this pleasant Thanksgiving-dinner conversation was, “They came over to our house, drank all our beer, and then went and slept with the guys next door.” I think at that point my parents were desperately wishing they could arrange a marriage for me.

I’m not sure of the particulars of your situation, but it sounds like since you got mad and said you wanted to break up, and he took you at your word, you dodged a bullet. If your family is willing to let you remove yourself from this situation, I am wholeheartedly in support of taking this whole thing as a gift from the heavens and running away from him as fast as your little legs can carry you.

It’s just so fucked up, I don’t even know how to address your particular concerns about the fighting, etc., because I really want to tell you that you don’t have to marry someone who treats you poorly, you don’t have to marry someone who ignores you, and you don’t have to marry someone you barely know who seems like a dick who your parents have chosen for you without seeming to take any of these factors into consideration. I’ve read and heard many stories about arranged marriages that grew into true love and respect, and I certainly know plenty of married couples who chose each other and really, really shouldn’t have. So it’s not the arranged marriage part I have a problem with—it’s the part where you’re confused and unhappy and feel like you’re not being treated with respect or kindness. That’s a huge problem. S0 if you can somehow get out of this, do so. Maybe the next guy they pick will be nicer.

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