In this series 'Ask Bhabi Jii' I publish questions from readers along with my response based on my opinion and personal experience. I encourage fellow readers to reach out and share your experiences and opinions so that it may assist the writer and any future readers in similar circumstances. In the interest of privacy the writer's identity will always be kept anonymous. Therefore questions are edited to change any information that may be revealing. No nasty or distasteful comments will be accepted, this is a supportive community to share experiences with no judgement.
ASK BHABI JII:
Is My Punjabi Boyfriend Using Me For A Green Card?
Dear The White Punjabi Bride,
So glad I found your blog.
I was wondering what your thoughts were on my situation. I am dating a Punjabi guy who moved to my country a few years ago and does not have permanent residency. We have been dating for the last one and a half years. I keep having this suspicion, that I might be getting used but then I shake it off as a silly fear.
I’ll tell you my concerns: Earlier in our relationship a girl from India added me on Facebook. At first he told me “don’t worry she is my friend, she’s a good girl” She was married at the time, to a Canadian Indian. She had a special interest in my life. Then I learned that she is his ex girlfriend. He assured me it was just casual and nothing serious, barely a relationship. He told me he talks with her husband. But then I noticed he “liked” all of her photos, which were quite 'posed'.
I noticed she had a tattoo of the letter “A” on her wrist. My partners name begins with A. I looked through her Facebook some more and noticed her husbands name doesn’t start with an A. Then I noticed she posted a lot about long distance love, about missing someone. It was odd considering she was married and living with her husband in India. I confronted my partner about it. At that time he said “maybe she is missing me..... but I don’t miss her. She is not a choice I would make as someone to marry, it was just casual from my side. She blocked me and just recently added me again.” I said to him, “well I don’t think she’s happy with her husband.. “ He said, “yeah I think she married him for money or something” He then deleted her from his Facebook. I let it slide.
A Valentine’s Day came around and he said to me he doesn’t know what to do on those days. He was distant on that day, but he was working late so I put it down to that. I had an urge to check his exes Facebook and I noticed she was no longer with her husband. And on Valentine’s Day she posted a photo of the A tattoo. And she wrote that she is sad. (Missing someone) I confronted my partner about the tattoo, not mentioning I know she’s not with her husband any more. He said “that’s her husbands name”, but I knew for fact that it’s not. Then he said “ it’s not even a clear A”
He called his cousin in India and asked him to tell me about his ex since I was worried... his cousin said to me in English, “Oh yes, she is married, she has a little boy” But I know this isn’t true, she was no longer married and does not have a child. My partner then told me “I blocked her after our relationship, she made it casual and then I added her again after 1 year or so.” I said “I thought she blocked you? I thought you were the one who made it casual” But he said “it’s not important, it’s so long ago.” His story changed!
There is more that I could write, but this is the main concern, that my suspicion is right. Does this happen regularly? He is also quite defensive of India and anything bad about India. Such as news that is actually reality but is “negative”. Writing this freaks me out! It’s so hard to stomach that there is a possibility that I am being used, or could I be part of some long-term visa plan the two of them have cooked up?
It's lovely to hear from you. I do hope that your intuition is wrong however more often than not I find it is usually correct.
Though first of all it is totally normal for most Indian men to be very defensive about India. Whether it is factual or someones personal opinion, they will almost always get heated. They are all very passionate about their country and will take anything about India to heart. So you will most likely find that anything that you say will be misconstrued and taken as a personal attack.
Now with regards to how common love marriage scams are to obtain permanent residency. Just November of last year in Australia alone there were 164 partner sponsored visa's that were refused due to a marriage scam. These partner's were all promised a financial gain in return for marriage to gain permanent residency. However the amount of marriage scams for love most likely would be greater as this is something that is much more difficult to monitor. It is all heresay and there is no way to prove a love marriage scam for residency without hard evidence.
I hear from women on a regular basis who believed they were in a loving marriage or relationship, but later discovered they were used to gain permanent residency. Many actually then leave for an arranged marriage which is another concern for those dating into the culture. The reality is that faking a love marriage has a higher probability of receiving residency than a marriage for financial gain. As you can read in this article Indian National Accused Of Master Minding Marriage For Permanent Residency Scam all the partner sponsored marriages that were found to be connected to the accused were all refused. So why risk being caught out when you can simply fake your love without any legal repercussions should no one question the genuine nature of your relationship. Though with that said the process for obtaining residency is a tedious and arduous one, so much so that it would seem impossible that anyone would be able to fake a marriage.
However the biggest concern for many who are dating a Punjabi, is the fear that he will leave for a good Indian girl arranged by his parents. Or that his parents simply won't approve of a love marriage, let alone a bicultural love marriage. The arranged marriage is still prevalent in today's society. This has happened to me and I have heard from many women who have also been unfortunate to experience this.
Your partner's behaviour does seem questionable however as I always say to everyone, you would know your partner best, so trust your intuition. I have dated many Punjabi men before and my intuition has always been right on the mark each time, though I just never listened to myself. Usually there is an underlying cause for someones change in behaviour or dubious behaviour. Your concerns may be right or may not be. This post 10 Signs Your Punjabi Boyfriend Has An Arranged Marriage gives examples of behaviours to be on the look out for.
It is unusual that this woman is showing such an interest in your life and following you on social media. I would be questioning what is his need to be friends with her online and why after so long. That shows an interest in the other person. Why else keep in touch with an ex partner? Unless it was a serious relationship or you still have feelings for that person.
I gather there are many more incidents that make you question whether he is genuine. As it may very well just be that you are over thinking the situation based on the events you describe. Ultimately you know your partner better than anyone else, so as I have said, and always say, trust your intuition. Based on a few incidents it is difficult to comment as to whether or not he has ulterior motives.
Although there are scammers out there, just remember there are also many of us who have genuine loving relationships to a Punjabi. It isn't always doom and gloom. It's just unfortunate that there are those out there who aren't genuine which ruins it for everyone else.
The White Punjabi Bride
Dear The White Punjabi Bride,
Thank you so much for your response!
I have broken up with my partner after my heart kept breaking. It felt amazing at times and I love him very much. But more often than not I was in tears. The last time I was with him he ignored me in front of his friends, for hours, and he just spoke in their language. I felt so alone, and like a piece of crap. It was after a great day too, I didn’t understand the change in behaviour. He did not even make eye contact with me. I decided it was the last time I’d see him.
Over the time I’ve known him he has blown hot and cold. When I think about it I guess it’s not a good sign. He also took out a large loan in my name for a car; at the time I felt pushed into it. He promised me he was doing it for us, so he could drive Uber and save money to go to India. That he would take care of things. That period of time was quite stressful for me. He kept telling me he would transfer the loan to his name once his new visa came through.
He became distant after obtaining the loan, he would cancel plans with me, make excuses not to see me. When my parents found out they were really unhappy about it, they confronted him, he then transferred the loan to his name. Lately he told me he wants me to be “bossy”, I said “what do you mean?” He said, “oh it’s an Indian girl thing.” I’m a soft and gentle personality. I suspect he wants to be with an Indian girl, maybe it’s his ex, or maybe it’s just in general.
In the past he had told me to grow my hair long, dye it black, to dress in a certain way. Some times he’d mention how white my skin is, he would call my face “pointy and sharp” he told me that my hair is thin, he repeatedly told me that I need to work out. He tried to get me to change my career path to the police force. Anyone who knows me, knows that I would not enjoy it. In amongst these sorts of comments were also compliments, but my self esteem did take a hit.
There were many good times as well and I held onto the good, or maybe I have been blind the entire time. But I absolutely love the Punjabi Culture.
Since receiving this readers initial letter, they have broken up with their partner. As you can read from the final letter that I have included above. Albeit this reader is no longer with their partner I will still open this up to others who may have similar experiences and can relate to this readers situation. It may also help someone else whose intuition tells them that something is not quite right.
What do you lovely readers think?
Leave your comments below