Interracial Weddings
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Breaking my engagement to my parents HELP!!

My parents are not racists.  They love all people of all colors, but when I told them about my boyfriend [and they found out that he was white [I'm black]], my parents were not very happy.  They expressed sentiment at the fact that "our cultures would not mix, I would feel like I had to change myself for him, he would be threatened by black men in the community because I was a catch for them and he "took me away", etc. and followed by telling me I was not allowed to date him [I was about 17]

We dated anyways of course, and fell in love after about 3 years and now we are engaged to be married in 2-3 years after we finish school.  I don't know how to go about telling my parents about the engagement and I don't want to SPRING IT ON THEM because I still love and respect my parents.  They still do not know we're even dating, and I figure since we have a few years, we have time to let them know.

I would really like some tips on how I can bring my relationship and my engagement up to my parents and still have them involved.

Re: Breaking my engagement to my parents HELP!!

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    Cynthia1207Cynthia1207 member
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    edited December 2011
    It's a hard situation.  I don't really see why you would need to say anything though if your wedding is set to be 2-3 years away from now.  Lots of things can happen in 2-3 years especially if you're young and still in school (this assuming from your OP you're about 20).  I'm just reiterating what your parents might say.

    I would first tell them that you're dating and how long you've been dating and see their reaction.  I wouldn't want to marry someone that my parents haven't spent time with.  That's JMO.
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    mybooboosmybooboos member
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    edited December 2011
    Wow...have your parents just assumed that you've not dated anyone for the last 3 years?  Your parents may feel that you may not be "mature" enough to handle an interracial relationship, and any of the obstacles you may encounter.  One way to do that is to "come clean" with the status of your relationship.  I think springing the dating and engagement on them at once may be a bit much, but you have to at least inform them that you are a mature woman who is capable of making her decisions, which include who you should date. Then explain that you have been in a relationship for the last 3 years with your FI, and no longer want to have secrets.  This should show them your maturity.  Just be prepared for their disapproval/anger/disappointment, etc.

    Depending on their reaction, you will understand how best and when, to inform them of the engagement.  Ideally, you're their child and still love you.  They just may not love your decision...but they don't have to.

    Good Luck... 
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    jparnelljparnell member
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    edited December 2011
    Thank you both for the advice  You guys are great. It really helps :]
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    edited December 2011
    I am black engaged someone white and I think what would help is for your parents to see you around him and how happy you are. In the end all parents just want their children to be happy and if they know you are happy then nothing else will matter. It might take them a minute to accept that this is what makes you happy, but they will fall into it because in the back of their mind they know that taking your happiness would be the wrong thing.

    My FI/DH and I actually married legally in November without his parents knowing and when we talked with my Pastor later he said to not hold it from them because you don't want to start any type of relationship with lies. You want to be open about it and therefore the trust can roll from there.
    I'd say first let them know you are dating him and then let them see you around him and let them see the way you smile and laugh. They won't be able to deny that he makes you happy. Later you can sit with them and tell them you are engaged and it makes you happy to marry him and that you hope you can (all 4 of you) build a strong family relationship.
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    edited December 2011
    So sorry you are dealing with this. I think it is completely wrong of them to tell you that you would have to act different...didn't realize there is a white way of acting and a black way. Some people make me wonder.

    I would definitely bring up the fact that you have been dating for this long now. It will make things worse by the wedding if you pretend you weren't or anything else. Then maybe drop the bomb on them that you are engaged and that they SHOULD be happy for you and if not then it's still your choice who you are marrying not theirs.
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    edited December 2011

    I can completely see and understand your concerns. When FI and I first started dating, I told my folks he was black. Then my mom saw a picture of him and she said "I thought you said John was black?". To which I said "yes i lied". Not even sure why I lied because my sister in law is asian so the whole "surprise" thing was gone.
    The one thing I remember though is that my mom was hurt that I didn't feel comfortable enough to tell her.
    So my advise is to tell your folks. Parents always surprise us. They brought you up to be open and accomodating of everyone so your relationship should be a testament to their good upbringing.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Hope that helps. Goodluck!

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    kara811kara811 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    It's better to tell your parents that you've been dating this long IMO. The situation will just  get a lot worse if you don't tell them now. You've been hiding this for so long already, and your parents, especially your mother will be hurt that you didn't care enough to tell them. I know it's because they don't want you to be with your FI which is wrong of them. Nobody has the right to tell you who to love, but it's also hurtful when you hide things from your own parents. 

    It might be better to have a sit down with them and have your FI there too. At least this way, they can tell how sincere he is since he had the courage to stand up to them and tell them the truth and how he feels about you. My dad really admired my FI when FI called him first and talked to him about marrying me. Dad said it was so manly of him and quite admirable. 
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    edited December 2011
    I say tell them you are dating and start bringing him around your family more, you're an adult and you can date who you like...so if your family got to know him mabye they would be less judgmental  and at least if he is around your family more than they wouldn't feel so shocked when you let them know you're engaged...and no matter how much you hide it...I think your parents might already know and have a feeling you are hiding someone from them, parents are not blind or dumb and with age comes wisdom and an intuition that only a parent has.....
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    edited December 2011
    As hard as it is to go through all this, believe me I know, you have to eventually come to terms with the fact that it's all about your happiness in the end.  I used to hear that and think how hard it was that my mom would say awful things to me about my boyfriend (now my fiance) just based on race.  Especially since she absolutely loved him, she just hated what we represented in her eyes.  Instead, I said that's it, I respect myself and him too much to listen to that nor let it affect me.  So I wouldn't allow it anymore and just continued to live my happy life.  It's been hard but in the end, she just offered to walk me down the aisle; sweet especially since I lost my dad in 2006.  So, I think my mother has been an example of far extreme of awful (Just for some context-I'm from SC; I'm white and my fiance is black) and she has come a long way in 4 years.  Still a long way to go...I'm not planning on letting her walk me down the aisle.  For me, this is about me and him and the beautiful love we share.  She will still be a huge part of the event though, because I will always love her.  But she's not really giving me away in her heart, so I'm proudly walking towards him by myself.  Good luck, know that it's not going to be easy, but what you have is totally worth it.  Hope any of this helped.
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