DEAR ABBY: I am an attractive and intelligent woman from India. I have high moral standards. I live with my parents in America and have a good job. Last year some relatives told me that for the past two years my parents have secretly been planning my wedding to a man named "Rashid." I have never met Rashid because he lives in India, nor have my parents said one word to me about this marriage plan.
I have learned that Rashid is divorced with four small children. I have also learned that he thinks he's God's gift to women. He has a high school diploma and runs a small business that my family owns. He is a womanizer who lives with his "secretary," but tells everyone she is "only a friend." (She's expecting his twins.) He has told everyone at the business that he's going to America to marry the owner's daughter. His secretary has told everyone that I was "too old" for him, and that she's the one he really wants.
My parents are unaware of all these facts and think Rashid would be a good husband. I have no interest in planning a future with a man of loose morals. I want my parents to stop planning this marriage. I want to date other men, but my parents have discouraged me from doing so. What should I do? -- WANTING MY FREEDOM IN THE USA
DEAR WANTING MY FREEDOM: I don't know what is holding you back. You should be sharing these important facts with your parents instead of me. They may think Rashid is a prize, but he sounds more like a booby prize to me.
Four children from a previous marriage and two on the way are a lot to take on, let alone to swallow. Although there have been many successful arranged marriages, this one seems doomed from the outset.
If your parents still insist on this marriage, you may have to emancipate yourself from them.