Help! My parents have chosen my husband

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Dear Duchess,

My name is Rebecca I am from a very traditional religious family. Growing up, we know no different and go along with things as they are. The problem is that one does grow up.

I went to a school with students sharing the same religion and we were constantly indoctrinated in how to think. Questions are greatly discouraged, unless they pertain directly to completing the homework.

I am now of marriageable age and my parents have found a suitor for me

I have met him and his family once and the next meeting will be the engagement. Gifts are exchanged and this is seen as very binding. It is, to say the least, a very big affair and the whole community will be there.

I have met him and his family once and the next meeting will be the engagement. Gifts are exchanged and this is seen as very binding. It is, to say the least, a very big affair and the whole community will be there

Everything seems to be op to the community and what they think

The worst thing that you can do is something that will get you a bad reputation and bring shame on your family.

I have always been an obedient child and towed the line. I have hardly ever been happy with what I have seen, because of the religion that we follow. Woman are treated like property and have no say in their lives. They serve the men as if they were their personal slaves. I even need to serve my brothers and clean up after them while they sit around and think themselves important.

I have been working for two years at my father’s shop and of course I still live with my parents, as I am only permitted to leave to go to my husband’s house.

I want something completely different for my life

I want to go to university and study.

I always did extremely well at school and I love learning. My parents will not even hear of this. ‘’Why would a wife need to go to university’?” is all my father says.

My parents are good people and I appreciate all that they have done for me. Their marriage was arranged and now they love each other and have been together for over 30 years. They see no other way for me.

I have met a man who is not of our religion

Although my contact with anyone outside of my community is very limited, I have met a man that is not of our religion. He runs a business close to where I work and I met him on my lunch break. We have been meeting in secret almost every day for over a year now.

He is of the Christian faith and has good values and morals. He embraces me as I am and we share the same values and ideals. We truly love each other. He is devastated that I am to be engaged and I cannot imagine my life without him!

He has asked me to elope with him

I am so torn. This is the right man for me and I want to spend my life with him. I want to be able to be open about our relationship and not always have to sneak around. I have only met his mother and sister, because of our secrecy.

Do I destroy my parents’ reputation? Would it be kinder for them if I just disappeared without a trace? At least they would have their reputation still intact. Please tell me what to do!

Thank you.

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