Expat Magazine

Pre-Nepal Jitters

By Hanna

I’m scared – am I allowed to admit that? Am I allowed to be completely honest and admit my deepest fears?

Pre-Nepal Jitters

Ever the composed and focused one who has it all together, recently I have been questioning myself. I have a serious case of ‘pre-Nepal jitters’. In just over one months time I will be arriving in Nepal at M’s house and living with his family for three and a half months – and it is safe to say I am freaking out.

I have the same anxiety as if I was marrying him instead. In fact, I think I would feel less anxious on my wedding day than I do now.

I remember back to the beginning of our relationship. M would sit and explain to me about his culture and family. He would talk in length about what was expected of him and his future wife. Yet, I would just sit and listen to him feeling a bit sick and a bit sad because I would worry that I would not be what he wanted. It seemed that he had someone very specific in mind – someone very Nepali. I felt like I just happened to show up and get in the way.

As we both spent more time together we just became inseparable in a movie style whirlwind romance. I have always believed in a one love / one soul mate kind of philosophy and knew that I had found him there and then. For those who have read my previous post on my parents marriage, then you know I am no stranger to the idea of sacrificing everything for love. But as the date is drawing nearer, I imagine myself arriving in his country and I worry even more.

Firstly, I feel like a newly wed bride being taken home to her new husbands family. I feel the pressure of living with my in laws and trying to be the daughter in law they deserve. I feel the responsibility of making a good impression with his family’s guests and extended family. Also, I feel the pressure of learning his language and trying to fit in with his culture.

Secondly, my fear is that I am doing this by myself. As much as I feel I am a new bride coming back to my husbands family, I do not have my ‘husband’ to be with. I will not be able to depend on M as much as I would be able to if we were open about our relationship. Only his parents will know who I am and why I am there. As far as others will be concerned, I am just a friend from England.

Thirdly, I am anxious about the fact I have never been to Nepal before. If I struggle in Nepal and cannot see myself living there for the rest of my life, then I will lose M. This is the worst fear I have as it is not entirely in my control like the other two are. M has always said that he would rather risk losing me than if I were to stay with him and not be truly happy. On the other hand, I would do the same for M as I want the best for him. If I really could not be the Nepali girl he needs in his life then perhaps allowing him to find her is the biggest sacrifice for love.

Similarly, I am worried how M and I will act together. When he left the UK we were a normal young couple, laughing and completely comfortable in each others presence. We would hold hands in public and love would just radiate out of our faces. However, now time is continuing to pass. We will have spent longer apart than we would have spent together in the UK before he left. How will he behave in front of his parents in front of me? Will he laugh and smile and be as young as he felt in London? Or instead will be take a firmer stance and act older and more serious with me?

When I see his face now I see someone different than when he left. His face has filled out and he looks dramatically aged. He looks tired and he looks serious. Has Nepal changed him in more ways than his physical features? I worry about his health whilst he is in Nepal as I know he does not give time to himself. I have told him my fears and this makes me feel guilty that I have burdened him with my tensions.

It has got the point now that I do not think about Nepal. I do not imagine how it will be. I cannot even entertain the thought of my flight date. I just hope that all will work out and trust that everything happens for a reason. I am hoping that these are just normal anxieties to have. I view Nepal and his family as my future and as it is coming closer then it is becoming more realistic and daunting. Perhaps, I am just having pre-marital jitters early as I know that this is what my visit will confirm.

Are these natural anxieties to go through? Have you had similar experiences? Please post any advice or stories below. I would really love to hear if others have gone through the same feelings.

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