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My family wont accept my boyfriend!

Tagged as: Family, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (29 September 2011) 6 Answers - (Newest, 29 September 2011)
A female Canada age 30-35, anonymous writes:

I am 26 yrs old, my partner's 28, yet my parents will not and cannot accept him.

He's Black Canadian, I'm Canadian by birth but my family is of Lithuanian descent, so that makes us Lithuanian-Canadians.

However, they won't accept him AT ALL. My father said to me explicitly "I don't trust black people as far as I can throw them, they're gangsters y'know, can't trust 'em." My mum doesn't like him either, says he's too dull, boring and thinks he'll end up an obese old man in a singlet and tighty-whities.

Yet my boyfriend is a professional IT consultant and freelance maintenance man who fixes networks, lovely guy, kind, caring, but it's a shame they can't accept him as our relationship is so good.

Only my siblings are accepting of it with no problems at all.

How can I get them to understand we're together and as a couple, as what if say, we get married in the future?

I really need your help.

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A female reader, Ciar Canada + , writes (29 September 2011):

Ciar agony auntHow do your parents treat him face to face? Do they openly expres their disapproval in front of him or privately with you? Do they refuse to be his company?

Fair or not young black men have a very poor reputation. This is not helped by the hip hop industry and its followers who promote themselves as pimps and gangsters. Your parents might realise your boyfriend doesn't behave this way, but suspect he associates with those who do.

Words alone will not sway them. They have to SEE to believe and that takes time. It would help if you acknowledged your parents fears instead of dismissing them. If they know you are happy, secure, confident, yet not blinded by love and that you will come to them if you have any trouble, they will eventually learn to accept your relationship.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (29 September 2011):

Your parents, although misguided, seem to just want to look out for you. They don't know your boyfriend like you do, and they can't seem to see past his skin. You are old enough to do what you want to do and not have to rely on your parents. However, if you are worried they'll cut off contact or something and you don't want that, sit them down and talk. Say that they can either accept him or not, but if they don't it'll build a wall between you. A small wall, not too big, but huge walls start with just one brick, and soon they're too big that neither of you can knock it down. Say that the only reason they don't like him is because he is black, and make sure you look at them straight in the eyes when you say it (alot of times I have done this when confronting people about something they've done wrong, and usually the shame gets to them). Make sure they understand what they are doing.

Best of luck

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A female reader, sammi star United Kingdom +, writes (29 September 2011):

sammi star agony auntYou are old enough to make your own choices. It's difficult when our families don't like the people we care about so much but don't let that cloud your judgment on the relationship.

Don't try and force your bf onto your family, just accept that for the moment they are two very seperate areas of your life. I suspect your parents will come around with time when they see you guys are serious and that he isn't going anywhere. Good luck

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States +, writes (29 September 2011):

So_Very_Confused agony auntSadly you will probably for a while have to make a choice.

Remember you have to live your life for YOU and if you love your partner and want to build a life with him you will have to stand your ground with your parents.

I am willing to bet that after a while they will yield and bend and rethink their position. BUT for a while they will have to save face and be firm in their "disowning" of you.

If you marry said boyfriend and have children with him, I seriously doubt your parents could or would stay away from their grandchildren.

Now a little story:

My mom was 16 when she met my dad on a blind date. He was 19. My mom's parents said he was a bum and would never amount to anything. 3 years later at 19 my mother married my father (it was very common then to marry at a very young age and it was not a "shotgun" wedding)... My mother's parents REFUSED to attend. My father's parents made a lovely small wedding at their home and supported the couple emotionally from day one...

IN the end... my father turned out to be the FAVORITE son in law (out of three) the one that made the best living and took the best care of their daughter....

and yes my grandparents eventually (LONG BEFORE I was born) changed their minds and embraced my father...

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 September 2011):

You're parents need to realize that the world has changed and stop stereotyping. I would suggest that if you think this guy is not just another boyfriend, but someone you'll be keeping around for a long tim that you confront them. You need to tell your father that the color of someone's skin doesn't dictate how they live their life. Tell him some negative stereotypes about someone like him (not from a black person's point of view though!), his job, his religion or something. Though not in an angry way, give him an idea that stereotypes are wrong. This kind of thinking has been embedded in people their age unfortunately. If nothing else works, tell them that if they love you, they'll trust your judgement and support your decision to love a man that has a job, and responsibilities and that is good to you. You can't help who you love, and if he does treat you badly, they need to be there then also, to say that he was a good-for-nothing... but not because of his color.

Try to get your siblings to help support your cause with insight on how things change and how people learn to accept certain things in their life that they weren't accustomed to before. You're parents might hate the idea that they're not 'keeping up with the joneses' on being politically correct. Good Luck!

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A male reader, Sageoldguy1465 United States +, writes (29 September 2011):

Sageoldguy1465 agony auntYour life is YOUR's to live.... as you wish....

While it would be nice to have acceptance and concurrance of one's parents, regarding one's decisions - such as who to fall in love with -..... it is NOT a "necessary condition" UNLESS you let it be one!!!!!

You can lightly remind your folks that there are plenty of white men who are gangsters who can't be trusted..... AND that there are plenty of dull, boring white men who will end up old, obese and sitting around in whitey-tighteys....

Good luck... stick close with your siblings....

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