Q: I have been married for 2 1/2 years and have always struggled with whether I have made the right decision. I am of a very strict and sheltered culture. I moved out at 19, I didn’t start dating until I was about 20. I met my now husband at 21 and got married at 24. I think I was too young but I was very mature and independent. The issue is I am struggling between choosing my family and society and my husband. My family does not accept my marriage because it is interracial and intercultural. I also am starting to miss my culture and the events that I cannot attend and participate in because of my husband. It really hit home, when my grandmother passed and my husband couldn’t be there to support me because my family would not allow it. I have talked to my husband about it and its really hurting him. I don’t know what to do.
A: Wow, you are really in a tough situation and there really is no right or wrong answer. You will ultimately have to do what you feel is best for you. My best advice is to listen to your heart and follow that path…even though it may not be the easy one. It is very difficult to be caught between your family and your life partner. I wish we lived in a world that was more accepting and viewed everyone as part of one whole. It is sad that your family forbade you to bring your husband to the funeral. One would hope that at times like that all prejudices would be put aside. It may seem like it would be easier to leave him and find someone that everyone would accept but if you truly love him and feel that he is a good match for you, you might regret that decision for a long time. If you are not convinced that he is the one for you and on top of that you have the family and culture adding to your struggle, maybe you should think of leaving him. Unfortunately there are many people who are estranged from their families due to choice of partner, religion, value differences, etc. Maybe you can seek out others who have similar situations (many gays and lesbians can relate to your story) and talk with them about how they handle it all. I wish you luck and hope that you can make a decision you can live with but that will also lead to your optimal happiness.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 May 2007
Counts, H. (2007). Marriage or Divorce? Society vs Husband. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 9, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/05/20/marriage-or-divorce-society-vs-husband/