Do I marry a man my family disapproves of?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My fiance’ and i have been together since i was sixteen i am eighteen now. However i am white, and he is black, my family is very racist. I was talked bad about, and told that i wasn’t allowed to talk to him anymore, my father faked a illness and said that it was caused because i loved a black guy. well, i moved out when i was seventeen and we immediately moved in together. We have been living together for a year and one month. well, valentines day of this year he asked me to marry him. i am very close to his family they have became my own, but i still miss my family being close to me, i know that i will never be close to my family again. But, i know i wanna be with this boy for the rest of my life, my love grows for him everyday, i need help im happy but scared because i feel its very important to have my family a part of this. Do i marry him and be upset over my family not approving or do i not marry him and feel like i ruined my life. i need help, help me as soon as possible thank you.

A: What a hard, hard situation. I’m so very sorry that you are torn in two like this. I’m sure your parents only want the best for you. The fact that you want them in your life says to me that they are essentially good people who raised a loving daughter. It’s sad indeed that they can’t see past their fears and trust that the daughter they raised so well has good judgment about who to love. The only thing I can suggest is that you slow things down and let time do its work. Give your parents the chance to see that you are happy and that you and your boyfriend are making a good life together. When you talk to them, don’t fight about racism. Instead, tell them how much you miss them and love them and want them to be involved in your life. You are young. You have plenty of time to be married. Putting off a wedding for awhile now may be worth it if it means your family can be more supportive of it in time.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Jun 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). Do I marry a man my family disapproves of?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/06/21/do-i-marry-a-man-my-family-disapproves-of/