Moms and Maids

Future bride needs some serious advice...

Hello everyone!I came here because I thought what better group of women to ask for advice on this than a bunch of mom's! :) I've been lurking a little bit and you all sound so kind and sensible, so I'm hoping you can help me with this problem I  have...My BF and I have been talking engagement. He is a wonderful man (everyone who has met him heartily agrees)- he is not the problem. My mother is the problem. I've had some perspective on this from potential brides to be around my age...but I'm wondering what other mom's think.The problem, according to my mother, is that the man I love is black, and I'm white (and Italian no less). She wants absolutely nothing to do with him, more or less writes him off as trash, and flat out ignores the mention of his name when I bring it up. When I told her we were dating, the only things she wanted to know were if he was 'a normal looking black, or an ugly black' and if he was 'black black or brown'. She didn't want to know that he treats me like gold, makes me laugh all the time, is considerate, intelligent, and fun...she didn't want to know that we have the same interests, share lots of the same opinions, and that be brings out all of the best things in me. That stuff was not important to her- just the color of his skin.Now that he and I are talking engagement, my dad told me I should tell her NOW because she will flip out if I wait until I'm engaged. The rest of my family doesn't care about the color of his skin- even my dad likes him (although he's only met him briefly and would like to know him better if my mom could get over herself)- the problem I have is my mother. I love my family, and I want to share that with him, but I don't know how to talk to my mother about her attitude.I have dwindling respect for her knowing how deeply her racist attitude goes, which isn't right, because she's my mom...but I can't help it. This should be a happy and exciting time for me- being able to tell my mom we're talking about engagement and going ring shopping- instead, I'm sweating bullets about the nasty, cruel response I'm going to deal with instead. Any of you mom's out there have any advice for me? Am I asking too much of my mom to try to get to know him for the person he is instead of the color of his skin? I don't even know what to say or how to say it right now. I'm in knots.  Thanks for any advice you can give,JS

Re: Future bride needs some serious advice...

  • TruchanaTruchana member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Yikes!!!  He may not be her first choice for you, but if she wants any kind of a relationship with you, she better get on board.   i'm not a mom, but if I was in your predicament, I think I would probably put an ultimatum down, as much as I hate them.  I would also let her know how little respect I have for her as a mother and a person because of her attitudes and that they are not acceptable to me.  Kind of like when your own mom used to say to you when growing up, I' mnot mad at you, I'm dissapppointed.  It always hurts more.  THis goes deeper though than the knot.  These are her beliefs and it sounds like someone needs to open her eyes to the real world it is today.  I would not even personally entertained the questions about what kind of black, etc.  I probably would've freaked out on her to be honest.
  • edited December 2011
    I really did freak out on her at the time. I told her that what he looks like has no bearing on who he is as a person, so if she wanted to know about his looks, she'd have to meet him and decide for herself....and that, for the record, I thought he was very handsome. It took every ounce of patience I had not to haul off and deck her right then, though. That's for sure. You're right- this is a really serious thing- and deeper than The Knot...but sometimes getting the opinion of some people who are impartial to my particular situation can help shed some lighton how to approach her. It's tough for me to avoid saying something really nasty about it- but I don't want to be mean and have it impact her ability to see past his skin color...so I'm doing my best to be patient, kind, and not homicidal. lol
  • tiregaltiregal member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    How hard this must be for you.  My daughter also dated & lived with a black man for awhile.  My husband & I didn't like him, but not because he was black, but because he was strange, unemployed and uneducated.  My family has a lot of racists and I'm not sure that any of them could accept him no matter what kind of person he was.  All I told my daughter was that it was hard enough to have a successful relationship and marriage when everything is nearly perfect, but when you have a lot of society and especially family members against the relationship it is even harder.Good luck with whatever you decide.  It will be difficult to change your Mom's mind, so you have to be able to give that up to have him, but if you truly feel like he is the right one you have to do what you think is right.
  • kmmssgkmmssg mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    I just wanted to say how sorry  I am for your situation.  I'm a MOB with the most gorgeous biracial grandchildren you have ever seen. I have a LOT of thoughts on this, but I'm at work right now and just can't delve into the whole thing til later.  I have a crazy couple of days coming up but I wanted to offer you some encouragement and to tell you I will share my thoughts with you a little later on.
  • duckie1905duckie1905 member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    I'm so sorry that you have to go through with this.  I know she's your mom but wow.  I still have a hard time believing that people still find racisim acceptable.Anyway, I'm not a mom but I do think that you have every right to love whomever you want regardless of how your mother feels about the color of his skin.  It sounds like you have the support of the rest of your family and friends so I would suggest going ahead with your engagement plans.  When it comes time to tell her simply tell her "we are engaged and I'm sorry if you don't approve but I love him and am going to marry him whether your like it or not.  I was really hoping that you would be there to support me but we will miss you during this exciting time if you decide you can't put your feelings about his skin color behind you."I have a few friends that have dealt with this, and that approach seemed to work for them.  Out of the 4 or 5 of them only one parent didn't attend the wedding and IMO, if they can't get over their racist attitudes, you are better off without that negativity in your life.GL!
  • mob2006mob2006 member
    Knottie Warrior 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Moms are no different than everyone else in the world; some of them can be racist, ignorant and cruel.  I know she's your mom, but I don't blame you if your respect for her is dwindling because of her racism.  However, you can't change her attitude or make her like your BF.  You can insist, though, that she change her behaviors and treat him respectfully as a future member of your family.  You can also insist she not speak disrespectfully of him to you and the rest of your family.  You can tell her that if she doesn't do these things, she is jeopardizing her relationship with you.  You don't need to justify your choice of him as a future DH.  Let her know it is not open for discussion; you have made your decision.  Her only choice is to accept your decision and treat him respectfully or to risk losing a relationship with you.  You can tell her you hope she will get to know your BF better so she can see what a fine man he is, but your firm expectation is that she treat him respectfully.  Hopefully, she'll respect your boundaries and, in the process, start to learn more about the man you love.  You may want to alert your dad before you have this conversation so he is ready to support you afterwards.It's every bride's dream that the period of her engagement and wedding planning is happy and exciting.  But, if you've read the Knot boards enough, you'll notice how seldom this occurs without major bumps in the road.  For your sake, get rid of these "shoulds" and accept your situation as it is.  It can still be a happy time if you have more realistic expectations.
  • edited December 2011
    I have to agree with the Mom's on this one.  I'm going to assume that, racist opinions aside, she is worried about people being unkind about your relationship.  I can understand that much.  We all want our children to have lives that are full of love and joy and free of pain.  That being said, you are entitled to love someone regardless of race, religion or sex, as long as you are clear going into it that some situations will bring more notice than others.  Fortunately, our world is changing, and acceptance is hugely more common, but that doesn't mean everyone has made the transition!  Obviously, your mom has not.You need to gently tell her that you love her very much, but you will not tolerate her racist opinions, questions and comments about someone you love and are building a future with...and that if she values you and your relationship with her, that she will respect your choices.  Then, you refuse to discuss or argue...calm and loving statement of fact and done.  I know that what she is saying is really wrong, and completely unacceptable.  But, you are right to try to be kind and work through it with her.  Someday, you will have children you love, and they will make a choice that you fear may bring them pain, and you will want to protect them from all the hurt that life can hand out.  Remember what this feels like when it is your turn :)
    My baby girl is a married woman...and now my baby girl HAS a baby girl. Time unfolds in such an amazing way. I've been blessed!
  • edited December 2011
    You don't mention how old you are, or more importantly, how long you two have been dating. Has she actually met him?I understand what some of the other posters are saying -- Moms want what they think is the best for their kids. And sometimes they are misguided in their ideas of what's best.I think it might help if she gets to know him before you actually get engaged. And even if she's difficult about meeting him, eventually it will happen if you wait. If you two are really right for each other, you can wait until it's a better time to get engaged.
  • edited December 2011
    Hi everyone- I want to thank you all for your advice and your kindness. After reading many of your responses, I did go over and have a conversation with my mother last night. (And for the person who asked- I'm 27, he's 33- together 1 year, friends before that- and yes, both parents met him before). The conversation went *remarkably* well. I'm still in shock over how well it went, actually. I sat down and held her hand and pretty much just said 'Mom, I know we don't always agree on things, and that despite our differences, we still love each other. And I know that deep down, all you want for me is to be happy. That being said, I need to tell you that BF and I are talking about engagement. I'm not saying it's happening tomorrow, or even in the next year for all I know, but we are talking about it, and the happiness I feel about that is overshadowed by the fact that I know you have been judging him because of the color of his skin. He can't help he was born black anymore than you can help being born Italian- so I hope you will at least make some effort to get to know him better and see the person that I and everyone else know and love.'She responded pretty well- saw a little anger in her expression, and she did kinda get snippy- luckily my father was there (I asked him to be) and he nipped that in the bud pretty quickly. She eventually admitted that she worries about me, but I am an adult, and if this guy is the one for me, then she can accept it and work on getting to know him a little better. And then she invited me out for ice cream. lolSo, once again, thank you to everyone for your advice. I've been sitting on this for about a month trying to figure out when and how to approach her. JS
  • kmmssgkmmssg mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    I would be interested to know how old both of you are and how long you have been together.  There are a lot of things that go into how us moms look at your DD's future husbands.  3 of my girls are married and I love all 3 SIL's but before I get into the race thing, I just want to explain what is important to me when one of our girls brings home a guy and it's serious to the point of an impending engagement. How long have they been dating and are they local to each other?  Long distance relationships need a lot more time invested in them to REALLY get to know each other. What kind of profession does this person have?  If he is slinging burgers at Mickey D's and that is his big marketable skill, Mama will be speaking up.   There is no future there, not to mention benefits like decent health insurance. What kind of education does he have?  Not everyone has to go to college to make a good living, but it is getting harder and harder to do that without a degree. Is he independent and paying his way in the world or does he have to have roommates to make the rent? I don't know any of those things about your boyfriend so I don't know if any of your mom's objections are only race related or if she has other problems with him. Can you tell us more about him and your relationship?  Might be able to get better advice is you could do that. Anyhoo - My DD was in a longstanding biracial relationship - they have 2 children together.Unfortunately the marriage and permanent relationship weren't meant to be.  It has nothing to do with race.  He loved her and he is a good daddy. Baring any of the concerns I mentioned earlier and assuming you guys are older and have been together a long time: You need to talk to her and let her know that this is the choice you are making for your life - with or without her blessing.  When your family is the problem, it is on you to deal with the situation.  You need tell her that you will not tolerate her racist attitude towards him and he is going to be a part of the family.  You want her to know that she can accept your relationship and move forward.  You also need to tell her that if she doesn't accept him respectfully into the family, this will impact any relationship she may have with her future grandchildren.  If he isn't welcome in the family, you won't be bringing them around. At the same time, YOU need to do these things quietly and respectfully.  If you are screaming at each other, it isn't the time to try to work thru this.  Right or wrong, these are the views she holds.  If you turn it into a glaring ultimatum, complete with yelling, you will all lose.  You really need to work to appeal to her sense of family and what the ramifications are.  You need to do that calmly. Another important point is this:  any change in her attitude will be gradual, not immediate.  Don't close the door on chances to keep trying.  Give her time, but protect your FI from racist rant by her. And yet another important point - you need to have a long heart to heart with your dad.  He could be your greatest ally here.  If you sit down and discuss with him the ramifications of Mom not accepting the relationship and disrespecting FI, he may decide to sit down with her and have a come to Jesus discussion about it. If my DH came to me and told me that we would not have a relationship with our gkids (we have 6!) and that there would be a great hole in the family because of my attitude, I'd need some time to defend my position, hopefully come to my senses, and change my approach. YOU need to approach Mom quietly and respectfully YOU need to realize it will take time to get her to change and you must not close the door to that opportunity. DAD needs to have a heart to heart with her too. How do I know these things?  My ex-h was pretty racist at one time and DD was terrified he wouldn't accept her children.  ex-h figured out very quickly what the cost would be if he didn't accept her SO - it worked out beautifully.  It started with ex accepting the relationship and being respectful.  It ended with ex and DD's SO being good friends. I hope there is something in this giant novel that helps.  Would love to know more about your FI and your relationship.  
  • dianenjnjdianenjnj member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    as a mom, it would be much more important to me to know this young man's background, education, work ethic, values, etc., than worry about what color he is.interracial relationships do have their downside...we do not live in a perfect world...there exists discrimination everywhere...it may be that your mother is worried that you both will be targets of discrimination and without looking through the prism of love, is frightened for you.
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