General Question

Aubs427's avatar

Marrying the Man you love without parents blessing?

Asked by Aubs427 (421points) October 20th, 2015

My situation is as follows: I am 26 chinese american girl who is living with her fiance. We have been together for over 5 years. Long story short: my parents didn’t like him because 1) he isnt asian 2) he didnt have a 6 figure paying job 3) there was a car accident i was involved with and they werent aware of his existence at the time 4) they had met his mom who only believes in happiness and they dont rrally believe in that.

So, moving out was a VERY VERY huge hurdle i had to overcome because my parents had very very strong opinions and control over me actually moving out. They made several threats of disownment and physical threats as well. They were very negative towards our relationship even though they had no solid reason to reject him. Eventually moved out and have slowly worked on my relationship with them.

However, i cannot bring him up in conversation and when i do there is easily cuttable tension. My mom has subtley tried even exluding him from future damily vacations when she happily invites me sister’s new beau.

My dad in the past within the last 4–6 months stated he wanted to get to know my man better. That I needed to bring him around more. But, he doesnt make any efforts in getting to know about him in any aspect. My fiance laid down all the hands when we moved out letting them know that our door is always open to them, but over time there hasnt been any effort.

My fiance wants to get married, but as a daughter and even taking in the past physical abuse history my family has had….I am too hesitant on going against my parents for the second time. Even after moving out against their wishes; they still went to lengths to be there for me. My fiance’s take on it is that he is scared i am living too much of my life based on whether my parents are happy or not. But, he also doesnt understand my situstion because his parents are separated and he wasnt raised with the same beliefs or really same situation as i have been.

I would love to marry him. Ideally, everyone would be happy and i could walk down that aisle with a traditional small wedding and be on my merry way. But that just isnt happening…

Do i go against my parents yet again and marry him? I just dont know what to do.

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68 Answers

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Before you go ahead, which WILL happen, make sure you have heard what they have to say. Sometimes when a person is young, they are blind to reality. You may be wishing you had listened to them 20 years down the line. I honestly hope your decisions will lead you down the best path but DO listen to the experienced too.

wsxwh111's avatar

My opinions are as follows:
I’m a Chinese gay guy in my 20s, I came out to my parents a year and a half ago.
I think not all parents like their son-in-law, and definitely most parents don’t like the parents of their son-in-law.
I have controlling parents, too. And by coming out to them, I learned that it can be pretty hard for a person in their 40s or 50s to change their minds on big issues. Their opinion towards things have basically formed and became kinda solid. Not to mention the one that wants to change their mind is their child.
To answer your question, my opinion is, parents can slowly change, if you are strong enough and stand for yourself consistently.
However, I should add something that comes from my heart- the real problem here is your relationship with your parents, is how independent you are now or you will be in the near or far future, or how independent you want to be deep in your heart.
I think when you are ready to deal with more challenges, take more responsibilities, more good at taking care of yourself, and be bothered a little less about things that aren’t your responsibility or your fault, things will work out themselves.
Bottom line: I’m Chinese as well, I have controlling parents that threats and abuse too, and I think my parents shouldn’t rely on me to help them grow up or stay happy. It’s their own responsibility.
Parents’ happiness is not children’s responsibility. If they want to be happy, try that in their own lives. If they can’t, well they don’t have perfect lives, it’s their places to deal with that. I, as a child, respect my parents and wish them happy, but I’m not gonna sacrifice my own life to make them “happy”.

wsxwh111's avatar

Really wish you well, and hope things work out for you. As to the marriage thing, I’m sure it’s what’s on the table now, but I’m not sure that’s the real issue. As to what to decide right now, I’d suggest go with what you feel right. ‘Cause sometimes it’s not which decision we make that’s important, it’s how that decision makes us feel.

Here2_4's avatar

Love is wonderful, Isn’t it? It feels so right, so perfect, so unique. It could not possibly happen so special twice. Or can it?
You are looking at the opinions and feelings of parents here.
Parents don’t make choices about their kids with the thought in mind that they want to mess things up for that child. It is love, fear, pride, hope which drives parents when they advise their kids. Sometimes parents are wrong. Very often they are right. Either way, they want the best they can do for their child, and that includes the advice they give, and their choices in discipline.
When we marry, traditionally we move out of the parental home. That is not the end of the relationship though. There are holidays, and perhaps children who want to know their grandparents.
Maybe this man you have fallen for is right for you. Maybe if your parents got to know him better they would love him. They won’t welcome the chance to know him better if you force them to accept a marriage.
Slow things down. If this man can’t handle waiting, then he is just a horndog in fancy wrapping. If he loves you, truly, deeply, til death do you part, then he will see the rapturous joy of having you in his life, and waiting will not be an issue for him.

wsxwh111's avatar

I don’t think if your boyfriend doesn’t want to wait he’s a horndog. And I don’t think if you marry him you are “forcing” them to accept it. I’m also not saying that you should marry him, but I’m not so sure that whether one should marry someone totally depends on his/her parents’ feelings.

Stinley's avatar

This is a tough one for you as you want to be happy with your chosen partner but you don’t want to cause a family rift. You are asking us to tell you whether you should go against your parents wishes. Is there not another way round this? To work more on getting your parents to know your partner and more importantly to know you better as well? That’s my advice – talk to your parents, take the initiative in this – you dad expressed the desire to get to know your partner better – why are you not working hard at this opportunity to bring him round? Don’t wait for your parents to do this – they are never going to, why would they? It’s hard to break away from the roles we play as children but it is time to start behaving like an adult in their company, not the child you once were, and show them that you are more than cabable of making your own decision but also listening to their concerns..

jca's avatar

How about inviting your parents over for dinner? Let them see the nice life the two of you have made for yourselves.

Aubs427's avatar

@stinley of course my dad has expressed it, but he doesnt mean it. I know this because since it has been brought up; i cannot talk about it or else they get aggressive towards me and all they have is negative things to say about me and him. Things like “happiness doesnt matter” or “i dont know why you cant find a nice man who makes more money than him”.

And trust me i know they have no reason to reach out. But, EVERY time without fail when i reach out; they immediately reject it. It is automatically negative talk.

I have asked if i could bring him for a dinner @jca. This would apply to your question too. But they immediately have negative attitude and will say things like “we dont need him to come over.” or “why would we go to your place? We have no want or need for that”. In the past and recently, i have either tried bringing him up so they could get to know him more, tried inviting them over, tried asking if i could bring him over….and the answer is no everytime.

jca's avatar

Do you have any family that likes him? Brother or sister? Or family that maybe has not yet met him but may be open to meeting him and possibly liking him? If so, I suggest you invite the other family and invite your parents over.for dinner and see where things go. That way, it’s not just you guys (couple) and your parents, there are other people there as a buffer.

Stinley's avatar

I did a search to see if this question had come up before so that I could point you to some of those answers. I found a question that you asked 5 years ago, about moving out. You got some good advice there, especially around the physical abuse you had been subjected to. Reading that made me feel sad because although you’ve moved on a bit, you are still saying the same things. Also your parents haven’t moved on at all and still seem to be doing the same things to you.

You are an adult, you support yourself, you get to make your own decisions. If they can’t accept that then they are not good parents – no matter what other kind or generous things they do. They are failing you in a really fundamental way by physically and emotionally abusing you and they don’t deserve the love you have for them. They really don’t.

_Seek_'s avatar

Sorry, but if you’re afraid your parents might hurt you, you need to get out.

No person is so important to your life that you have to make them happy or else.

Here2_4's avatar

Ordinarily I check back on old questions to see what applies. This time I missed that step. Good catch, @Stinley ! If your parents are abusive, then most of what I said before is down the wrong path. Parents are there to love and guide us. Some miss the boat on that. If you were leaving home five years ago, you should be stronger by now about standing on your own.

What I said above would be good advice in the case of healthier parenting.

I have some concerns about your maturity in making life choices. I have to wonder whether your parents keep a strong hand because of their own concerns for your maturity. If that is the case, then what I said before applies.

It might be best if you see a professional relationship counsellor with your parents, to get those ongoing issues dealt with, once and for all. Things have gone on so long, and so consistently, I really don’t believe you can get the answers or resolve you need from an online site.

JLeslie's avatar

In my experience when dealing with “old world” mentality you have to invite them for very specific events. An open invitation to come over any time does not work. Especially, if there is some strain and distance between the parties, but even when everyone gets along.

Your father said he wants to get to know your SO better, that is a huge olive branch, but you say he has done nothing to follow up on that. Your SO made a similar general statement that they are welcome any time. Now, all of you need to get more specific. The burden falls on you and your SO to include your parents. It might not seem fair, but it is a cultural reality.

Invite them to dinner out, a night at the theatre, and functions that include the extended family and friends. Treat your parents as though they do accept him. Function like everything is normal. You must take the lead, because in your parents’ view, especially your father, he already said he is open to trying. Now you have to provide the opportunity for him to try.

Once you start inviting your parents to events, hopefully they will reciprocate and invite you and your SO to events.

Eventually, you might have to go against them and marry when they won’t give approval, but I think you first need to give a good effort in building a bridge.

You were afraid your patents would disown you if you moved out. It sounds like that didn’t happen. Your fears might be worse in your head than in reality. You need to start thinking of your parents more as adults who love you more than anyone will in your entire life, and not as parents who just want to control you. What you perceive as them being angry is more likely they are afraid for your future. If they see you happy and successful it will help them accept. Try to be understanding of their fears.

Your confidence in your relationship with your SO can help your parents have confidence in that relationship too.

Judi's avatar

This whole story sounds really familiar. Did you come to us 5 years ago when you were deciding to move out with him?

jca's avatar

@Judi: Research shows that she did. Read above.

rojo's avatar

Hey, you’ve been living with him for five years and have made a life together. For all intents and purposes you are married; in some states you would be in a common law marriage already.

If you both want to do it, then do it. Be sure and include your family in the plans but they may not want to be involved. Their choice. Set the date, send out the invites and go for it.

msh's avatar

Regardless of when or what was written before….a question has been asked now. Put the torches and pitchforks away. Jeesh.

Things are rough when you feel that you are still being torn in two.
Parents have a point. Sometimes the point is on the top of their heads about some things.
You made a break.
You live out from under the bonds ( chains?) that bound you so tightly.
Now another phase.
If you feel as strongly as you did moving out- then do it.
You’ll live-
and be as happy as you choose.
Being pushed to marry?
If wavering, go out on your own for a bit.
He’ll wait if he cares.
Live on your own. Make your own day-to-day decisions. For as long as it takes to show yourself personal strength and a sense of accomplishment.
Then return to asking yourself the questions.
Cultural traditions and parents seem to be be holding you tightly.
When you decide what is best for YOU, then things may look a little better.
Good luck.
It’s going to be fine.
You, are going to be fine.
Take care.

Aubs427's avatar

To everyone since I can’t tag everybody…

In regards to our efforts, I have tried the route of inviting them over for dinner EVEN with other family member’s there. They were absolutely disgusted by the fact that I even involved other family saying that they didn’t want any of the extended family to know I was involved with a “mexican” and that they were hoping what whatever we had would have failed by now. I have tried the route of meeting them in public places and they get very mean about the idea, “Why would we waste our time doing that? We have no need to do that.” Again, when I call them out on it saying they’ve stated they wanted to get to know him, they ALWAYS 100% respond back with, “We were hoping you’re just going through a phase with him. Can’t you find someone who’s making more money? Someone who has a high paying job? Someone in our culture?”

In regards to the seeking professional counsel, I have attempted that in the past as well. Almost everything that was advised in regards to, making the effort…trust me. I HAVE TRIED. I have attempted to sit them down, adult to adult, lay all things down on the table….but, they get mean and they say that him and I are never going to last and that happiness is just a fantasy. They say that we cannot be together based on just that we love each other and can support each other. But, stay together in regards to whether he’s making a lot of money or not. And, it’s hurtful!

Every time I have gone to visit my parents, it is always very negative. “You’re fat. Why do you look like that? Have you found someone new yet?” At the end of the day, there is maybe 1–2 nice things that they can say out of their mouths, but every other thing is something negative or hateful.

I have tried and tried, but I know that right now if I bring the idea of marriage up; it will be a storm. A VERY VERY bad storm. Even worse when I was trying to move out. I try to be an adult, and all they do is shut me down with hateful remarks.

Also, I want to add that my sister convinced them into “allowing” me to move out. She was able to, for lack of a better word, calm them down. So, I really have my sister to thank in supporting me; but I cannot ask or even expect her to help me in this case. This is a huge deal in all aspects.

JLeslie's avatar

Alright then. You have tried. Now, you will have to stop trying to please your parents and do what is best for you. If your SO is a good guy, no red flags, and you feel 100% he is the right one for you and to be the father to your children, then marry him. Invite your family, parents, including cousins and siblings, and whomever you want there and they can decide whether to come or not. Or, elope and avoid the stress of it.

As far as your parents being embarrassed, that’s their problem. When you invite family over for dinner or a party, the people who want to be there will come. I’m sure there are plenty of relatives who don’t agree with the old school discrimination. This sort of thing happens in many families, and there are always other members who will be supportive.

If your parents actually make some sense, then don’t ignore them out of spite. It seems to me after 5 years your relationship has stood over the test of time.

jca's avatar

I’d be done with them. Done trying to please them. Done trying to see them other than minimally. I know they’re your parents and I am sure you love them but they seem poisonous.

dabbler's avatar

If he is good for you and is still around when you have your first child, your parents might see things differently at that point.
I think part of the parents anguish if you take an un-advised path is an insecurity about getting to know the grandkids. Isn’t that what they want?

rojo's avatar

@dabbler has a point.

One of my daughters best friends, whose father was Guamanian, Guaman, whatever, (from Guam) married a man of Irish descent. He was dead set against it and he refused to give his blessing, go to the wedding, acknowledge she was even married, visit her, call her (although he would take her calls) or have anything to do with “them”; for all intents and purposes disowned her. Fortunately for her, her mother and her step-father were much more supportive and involved in the wedding plans from the start.

Two years later, first grandchild arrives, he condescends to visit her in the hospital and see the baby. From that point on he was hooked. Two more grandchildren have been born since then and when we went to the baptism of the latest, he was surrounded by grandkids climbing all over him, pulling him every which way and he was loving it. He even held the baby during the ceremony. He has repaired his relationship with his daughter and has come to see that she was right, that her husband is a good, caring man who loves her and their children. And fortunately her husband was not the kind to hold a grudge and has welcomed his father-in-law into their home and home life. He spends quite a bit of time with the family now, traveling from Austin to Houston a couple of times a month.

She chose her husband over her father because she was doing what she believed was right and it worked out in the long run. I am not naive enough to believe this always happens but in this case it did.

I hope you have as much success.

Aubs427's avatar

@dabbler No. Not at all. They do not want grand kids, ESPECIALLY coming from me. I remember very vividly not that long ago, my mom literally made a comment saying, “you better not get pregnant with that man. You’ll disgrace this entire family.” And honestly, I’ve never in my entire life ever heard that they even wanted grand kids to begin with. I have never asked them about it, but I know that when the subject as been brought up through when my mom’s niece had a child; it was more of, “Yes. I’m happy for them.” But, never, “Oh…I wish I had grand kids.”

My SO treats me INCREDIBLY well. He treats me like a queen, and I’m not just saying that. I’ve expressed that to my parents and when he’s been around them; he’s nothing but polite and respectful towards them. I’m just in a rock and a hard place because my SO feels SO strongly against my parents because of all the physical and verbal abuse my parents have put me through in the past and present. As stated from previous responses, there is a lot of history (mom got arrested for nearly killing me when I was 10 and my dad had to get held back by 8–9 people in a public place because he threatened to kill me…again when I was a kid).

I mean, of course these were separate situations. They focus a lot on money and I completely 100% understand where they come from with that. But, happy is a term that just simply doesn’t exist. When my parents met with my SO’s mom and she’s INCREDIBLY supportive of our relationship and marriage; she said to them, “They’re happy and they’re doing well…what’s wrong with that?” My parents response: “That is a fantasy. You cannot live life based on if you’re happy. They will never make it.”

My SO’s mom is very religious and my SO’s family is behind us 100%.... It’s just my family that’s fighting it.

@rojo I liked that story and honestly it gave me hope. I’ve always tried to live my life based on hope. Based on that if I think positively enough, good has to come out of a terrible situation. I simply just don’t want to be judged or “punished” by some other worldly spiritual God where BECAUSE I decided to make the decision to “choose” my future husband over my parents….I won’t be damned for it. My parents have done a very good job in making me feel like a crappy human being in every aspect. So, that shame and lack of self worth is very present because of the way they’ve raised and treated me.

What I simply want to know is; Am I going to be considered a bad person/human being for NOW officially choosing my future husband over my parents? (Obviously this is not what I want; but this is the position they’ve put me in)

Aubs427's avatar

@jca @JLeslie @msh Moving out is different than a legally binding contract; so I know how big of a deal this is. To me, even though at the time when I had asked; it seemed like I was in a position of choosing one or the other… I know that since this is a MUCH bigger deal… the consequences could be far greater than me just moving out of their household.

My parents have done a very good job at hiding my relationship with my SO from the extended family simply because they don’t want to be “embarrassed”, “shunned”, “disgraced”, and whatever other negative terms they’ve used when it came to asking me, “You didn’t talk to your aunt about this did you? We don’t want anyone to know.” Or even when it simply comes to Facebook. “You don’t talk about him on Facebook do you?” (For the record, I don’t really use facebook so the question doesn’t really apply).

My SO is VERY upset because he feels marriage should be a happy subject. That the discussion or idea of it should always remain on a positive thought and not a negative one, however, with my parents…all the negative terms and negative energy comes into play and it ends up driving these arguments where he’s like, “I’m SO excited to marry you and I’m super happy to be your husband, but your parents are making this a negative experience and it should NOT be like that. You should be excited for our union, not fearful.” But, it isn’t the marriage…it’s my parents.

So, again. I ask everyone….at the end of all this…when I come back whether 6 months or however long from now…if I have chosen to elope (because frankly weddings are expensive and I’d rather put the money towards an awesome vacation)...will I be damned by society or even God for having chosen my SO over my parents?

_Seek_'s avatar

Let me ask you this:

You’ve dedicated 5 years of your life to your parents’ drama. Five years of mental anguish that you are never going to get back. Five Years.

How many more irreplacable years are you willing to sacrifice to their misery before you will allow yourself to be happy?

_Seek_'s avatar

This isn’t 1456 and you are not chattel. You are allowed to make your own choices. That includes choosing to tell your parents, in no uncertain terms, to take their abusive attitudes and shove them.

Aubs427's avatar

@Seek My SO asks me the same thing you know… He said if it were his family and his family treated him the way my parents treat/treated me…he’d have walked out on them from the very beginning. His family is SO much more different than mine. His parents in fact stated that however we plan to get married, whether it be wedding or eloping…that EVEN IF we cannot invite them for whatever reason (not that we wouldn’t)...they’re still happy for us and they’d understand either way. His family just wants us to be happy. Don’t really know if it’s relevant, but his parents have been separated for a very long time, so sometimes I feel that it’s easier for my SO to have that stance.

JLeslie's avatar

I think your parents were afraid you would get knocked up by your boyfriend (meaning out of wedlock). I don’t think they were saying they don’t ever want grandkids from you.

I think it’s very possible you misinterpret some of what your parents say, like most young people do.

However, I do believe that your parents have been overall unsupportive and a pain in the neck.

Aubs427's avatar

@JLeslie Oh no no no. Trust me. It wasn’t about being pregnant out of wedlock or anything and I don’t want to be pregnant out of wedlock either way. I’m not trying to have kids right now!!! It was a term in general even when I moved out and we spoke to my parents. My dad had said, “Well if you guys have kids in the future etcetc” My mom immediately snapped at my dad and said, “I don’t want grand kids from her.” LITERALLY.

Aubs427's avatar

As I have stated in previous questions, the issue has a lot to do with the fact that my parents like to hold things they’ve done for me over my head. For example, “We did this and this for you! And this is how you repay us?!” or “We got this and that for you and this is what you pay back to us? This is what you give back to us? Some Mexican trash?!”

These are the kind of things that have been said in the past and even present. They feel I owe them because they raised me and because they provided for me. So, the shame and guilt they make me feel is all sourced from them consistently saying those kind of things, “We put a roof over your head and we provided for you!” So, when it comes to going against them…all I can hear in the back of my mind are those things that are repeated consistently when a situation like this arises.

They make me feel like I owe them in whatever aspect.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

You have a difficult position straddling 2 cultures. You are an American with all the attitudes of one. At the same time, your home is Chinese with those attitudes. Those 2 worlds are quite different.

I lived in Japan for 4 years and worked for a very large Japanese company for another 6. I lived in Singapore, a country with an ethnic Chinese majority. I understand the differences between Western and Asian cultures. We have many very different ideas about life and how to live it.

Ultimately, you are going to have to decide whether you want to be an individual or a member of your family of birth. That’s your choice.

I understand how hard it is to straddle 2 cultures.

I also understand how hard it is to be happy. I am a gay man who was told as a teenager that should I indeed be gay, I would be disowned and thrown out onto the street. Hearing that traumatized me, and I stayed in the closet until I was 35. I was not healthy in the closet. To put it bluntly, I was fucked up. I came out of the closet 17 years ago, and I am now stable, happy, and healthy.

Talking to a psychologist did me a lot of good. I recommend it. Forget your parents. Forget your man. Go for yourself, because you want happiness.

You can be happy. It is possible. Furthermore, you deserve it.

As for your question about whether or not you should marry the man you’ve been living with for 5 years, I will only say a little. When you lie down in your bed next to him at night to sleep and you are letting the day go and starting to relax, many stray thoughts probably come up. Which thoughts are the happy ones, and which cause anguish?

Follow the happy thoughts.

_Seek_'s avatar

You didn’t choose to be born. You don’t owe them anything.

Aubs427's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Wow, your journey must have been a hard one and my heart goes out to you. I can’t imagine how hard it was to have to “hide” yourself because you thought you wouldn’t be accepted. To answer your question, when I think about him and our future and what it has to offer; even thinking about past memories or even what we did with our day; it is ALWAYS 100% happy thoughts. Really any thought that just has to involve our life or him, it is always a positive happy thought and I usually have really good happy dreams.

But, any time a topic has been brought up about my parents or I think about them…it is immediately negative and I become depressed. Not EVERY thought is a negative one, but I’d say more than half are negative because that topic is a very sensitive subject to me and so my mind automatically goes to negative places when it comes to them. (Other than this week because they’re going out of the country for 2 weeks, so I don’t have to stress about visiting them.)

_Seek_'s avatar

What, you’re supposed to grovel at their feet for the rest of your life because they deigned to not starve you to death or expose you to the elements? Fuck that.

They forced life upon you through their choices, and lived up to their responsibility to make sure you lived to adulthood. Now it’s your turn.

And I don’t know if you remember me from all those years ago, but I, too, escaped a fairly similar household – though not an Asian culture, it was very much an “I’m their property” upbringing – and seriously, life is better without them. I’m celebrating 8 years of freedom this week, actually.

Aubs427's avatar

@Seek I actually do remember! 8 Years?! Goodness. Were there a lot of struggles, mentally? Because, that’s mainly my struggle. What was the biggest hurdle for you and how long did it take you to recover fully after you got your freedom?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Aubs427 Follow the happy thoughts.

Aubs427's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake even if it’s at the cost of “pain and anguish” for others (I.E. my parents)?

_Seek_'s avatar

The biggest struggle was the immediate fallout. I pulled no punches – the day my mother abused me for the last time I told her “I do not have a mother, and I will never speak to you again.”

I was also a devoted church-goer at that time, and when I broke ties with her, my church asked me not to participate with them anymore.

A month later I became pregnant. I had lost my family and all of my friends and my entire support system, save my husband, in one fell swoop.

Going through a pregnancy without having a trusted woman to ask questions to or to lean on during rough patches (and I had a hard pregnancy, so there were many) was difficult, but my husband was a champ and did the best he could.

I didn’t miss my mom – she would have been of no use anyway… but there were a couple of church-ladies who I might have leaned on for support, and they were no longer around, either.

So yeah, that was hard. But it passed. And after I moved on I made new friends and found some hobbies and now I have a whole new support system of people whose love and care is not dependent on how subservient I am to some narcissist who thinks the universe was created to serve her.

rojo's avatar

“What I simply want to know is; Am I going to be considered a bad person/human being for NOW officially choosing my future husband over my parents?”

To put it simply, no you are not going to be thought badly of; not by the vast majority of people who know about it, your parents might (will probably) try to convince you that you are and try to shame you but you know better and recognize their manipulative ways. Sad that they might do this but it only works if you let it and it looks like you are now beyond that point.

As for their pain, they are in the same situation. They can choose to be hurt or choose not to be. You cannot make the choice for them whichever way they go. Make the choices for you and your happiness and let them choose whether to be happy or not.

Aubs427's avatar

@Seek I’m sorry you had to struggle through that, but I’m very happy and relieved to hear you made through the other side. I hope that I can get there, too. I know that deep down inside, if my family were to worst-case scenario abandon me because I’ve chosen to marry him and make our union permanent….I will always have his family. His family is so loving, caring, supportive and non judgemental. They’ve even tried to give me their own advice on how to deal emotionally with my parents. They’ve stated I should really just focus on my happiness and my life and that if my parents can’t come to terms with it; it’s on them.

@Seek I will keep you and your family in my prayers always and I’m happy you were able to break free.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Aubs427 You cannot control your parents’ feelings whether they are joy or anguish. Your parents are the ones who decide what their reactions and feelings are. Not you.

I suggest talking to a psychologist by yourself about all these things written in this thread and past ones.

And follow the happy thoughts.

_Seek_'s avatar

I agree with @Hawaii_Jake – Follow your happy.

Pursuit of happiness is an inalienable right. _

Aubs427's avatar

@rojo It’s a work in progress and definitely a journey I’m going to have to get through. I know I’m not alone in this. With my SO’s support and even everyone that has responded on this thread. You don’t understand how much I appreciate all the advice that has been given and definitely will take everything into heart and help let it guide me to where I want to be. At the end of the day, I want to be happy. For so long, I was depressed and suicidal and my parents never believed in counseling and even when they found out I was cutting myself, never offered support. My sister helped get me a psychologist when I was young and the moment the psychologist told my parents that I needed deeper help because of my issues….they pulled me out from seeing her.

This time around…I want to make the active decision that I want to be happy. My SO makes me happy. His family makes me happy. And, I hate when someone, especially people who raised me…tells me that happiness is stupid. And, even tells my SO’s parents that it’s stupid. Can’t I just BE HAPPY!?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Aubs427 Yes, you can be happy. It’s not stupid.

Aubs427's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Following the happy thoughts! That’s what I’m going to do! I guess I always felt responsible for my parents feelings because they say I’m responsible….

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Aubs427 Good! I like the way @Seek said it, “Follow your happy.”

I wish you many years of great happiness with your man.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

And get counseling.


Aubs427's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake I definitely will! I really need it. >_< Thank you for your well wishes!

Judi's avatar

Poor thing. You didn’t ask to be born to them. They chose to have children and chose the responsibility of raising you. You had no choice in the matter. Just because they try to hold it over your head, keep in mind that they chose to assume those responsibilities. You don’t owe them your life and happiness because of it.

Aubs427's avatar

@Judi Thank you for that. It’s a constant battle. Honestly, during the week…I’m 100% happy. Life has been amazing and me and my SO have had so many amazing memories over the last few years. But, any time it came to seeing my parents or anything…I would get anxiety, stressed, and nearly sick to my stomach because I didn’t know what they were going to say. Some visits were good and “normal”, but others were very negative and to the point of, “why did I bother visiting if I’m just going to be called “fat” or “ugly” or “useless”?

I’m going to continue working on that with your help in mind. Definitely helps so much! Thank you.

Here2_4's avatar

Your parents are parenting the way they learned to parent. They are loyal to their background. I can see how that would be a struggle for them.
I am posting an article for you. I doubt anything you read in it will be new for you, but it makes the point that it is actually a very common topic. I don’t know the area where you live, so I don’t know just what is available for you, but I think your family should seek help from an Asian parents in America support group. If you cannot find anything in your immediate area, I am certain you can find something online.

JLeslie's avatar

A girlfriend of mine once told me, “I don’t understand families that put each other down and make each ther feel bad. Isn’t your family supposed to be supported and tell you positive affirming things?” It was an eye opener to me, because my family could be quite negative. They weren’t abusive or overly strict or controlling, but they can be full of fear and dwell on what can go wrong. Negative.

If you get queasy with the idea if being around your parents listen to your body. I think it will be great if eventually you mend things with them, but you can’t let them control you.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction, a lot has been said by a lot of people on this, I can only give you whatever from my perspective. I have to assume, with no other information, that if you have a faith it is an Eastern one. From my faith it says:

Genesis 2:24
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Mark 10:7–9
7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.

Which is to tell parents, your boy has moved on and become an adult, his own man, likewise your daughter has become one with her husband. It admonishes the parents to stay out of the way and stay in their own lane. Likewise, it tells the couple they are one of the same and have to treat the other as themselves, and IF there is a disagreement THEY should resolve it without crying to mama, or running home to parents. The problem is some (maybe many) see it not as one person fusing in mind body and spirit into one, but two individuals still, trying to bold or glue their lives together like some composite, or laminate. The evil one has bamboozled many to believe because your parents love will never fade, even under strain, your loyalty should always tip on their side. Sure, your parents will always be your parents, but your life in the end will be made apart from them, that is why you mature and become an adult. At one time this basic concept was better understood. If you cannot love him as your own flesh, meaning you have to place him before your parents then you should leave him, do not string him along when you cannot give him 110% of your mind, soul, and body. Likewise, he should do the same. Sure, he has not had as close relationship with both parents under the same roof as you, here we call that a dysfunctional family, in which too many Yankees experience. I do not know what your faith says of honoring parents and such but you have to come to terms with that and even break it down to him how it influences the choice you make. Toss in the fact you set up shop as a married couple for so long when there was open issues on the contract, it is like finding that those 300 channels you thought were a bargain now cost because the special ran out and you missed it in the ”small print”. Where does it leave you? Do you believe in the bottom pits of your heart and soul that he will be there for you as your parents always have? If you do not believe he will have undeniable love, commitment, and forgiveness as you have with your parents even enough to replace and abound greater than that of your parents, marrying would be a huge mistake.

Aubs427's avatar

@JLeslie Yeah…My SO said the same thing. Stated that the way my parents handle things and the way they talk to me isn’t very supportive or loving. I definitely get anxiety nausea of the idea of visiting them because I don’t know if I’m going to be barraged with negative words. I mean, even just the idea where I’m taking time out of my day off to go see them and for lack of a better word, spend time with them….and I’m just treated like, “You need to do this. You need to do that. You look ugly, do this. You dress weird. Wear this type of clothing instead.” I mean, if it isn’t one thing; it’s another.

And, the worst part of this whole situation is that even my SO is now getting anxiety from the thought of my parents. He’s never had anxiety before and doesn’t know how to deal with it and so when I was asking what was causing it; he stated that sometimes he thinks about the situation with my parents and it makes him sick to his stomach when he knows I’m going to see them; Then he stated recently that he didn’t know what was going to happen when we get married or even how we were going to go about doing it.

@JLeslie @jca @Hawaii_Jake @Seek It makes me really upset to know that prior to all this happening; my SO was fine, but almost 5 days a week; once a day he gets these nausea anxiety fits where he feels like he needs to throw up and we’ve discussed this issue a lot because it’s starting to wear physically and mentally on his body. When the topic that he didn’t know where we stood with how or even when we were going to get married and that my parents were simply the roadblock to that…he didn’t know what to do. And, of course at that point; the decision all lies on me because they’re my parents and I’m the one who ultimately has to to make the decision.

So, last night we spoke and this is what I’ve come to: @JLeslie @Here2_4 @Seek @Hawaii_Jake @jca @Judi….. I can A) Sit my parents down, explain that we want to get married, see if they support the union, and (if they don’t), then let them know that we plan on getting married and they can attend or not… THEN I’d get married without their blessing…. OR B) Elope first then notify them of our union after the fact

This is pretty much what has been discussed so far. And, really…the only options I saw at the time.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Aubs427 “Follow your happy.”


JLeslie's avatar

If there is any way to work it out with your parents it would be the ideal. Having to avoid them is anxiety producing and dealing with them is anxiety producing also. If it’s impossible to mend the relationship then you have to disengage.

jca's avatar

I would elope. It seems like telling them is going to cause them to go off, and who needs that prior to a wedding?

Once you elope, if they don’t come around emotionally, and show some positivity, I’d be done, for the most part. Minimal visits and maybe if and when you have children, they will appreciate that. If not, don’t put the kids in the middle of negativity.

_Seek_'s avatar

Option three is to start planning your wedding and simply inform them that you are engaged and planning a wedding, and ask if they’d like a “Save the Date” card.

Don’t ask permission. Don’t ask for a blessing. If they want to bless your wedding they’ll do so regardless, and same if they don’t.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Seek has a good point. There are other options.

Your wedding is your day to be happy about this wonderful marriage. Do it the way you want. Have a big wedding, if you want, or make it small and intimate. It’s up to you.

That’s the beauty of being an adult: you get to decide. You have the power to decide for yourself whether you want to be happy or miserable. (I’ve never met them, so I’m only speaking from what I’ve read here, but it seems your parents have chosen to be miserable. That’s their choice. You don’t have to make the same choice.)

Here’s another possible option: plan the beautiful wedding that you want, and simply don’t invite them, if inviting them causes you any anxiety. Have your wedding, and tell them afterwards.

There may even be other options. Let’s see:

1. Plan a wedding and invite them.
2. Elope.
3. Plan a wedding and inform them and ask if they want an invitation.
4. Plan a wedding and don’t inform or invite them.
5. Have a civil ceremony without any extravagance and tell them afterwards.

There are a few more options. I hope you can make a happy choice.

“Follow your happy.”

wsxwh111's avatar

Read the update, and I wanna say I care about you.
As to which one to choose, I’d say my idea is pretty much similar from my first post:
As to what to decide right now, I’d suggest go with what you feel right. ‘Cause sometimes it’s not which decision we make that’s important, it’s how that decision makes us feel.

Pandora's avatar

My mother in law hatttttted me. Same here. I was kind of sprang up on her. She had all kind of misconceptions about my race. First few years were tough. She finally came around. I think your guy needs to invite them over. Have a big family gathering where all the family has to come over. An engagement announcement. Then it’s hard for them to say no. It would probably go a long way if your fiance made some effort to learn your culture. They probably fear that you will end up absorbing his culture and forget yours and so the grand kids will not know where they come from.

My sister in law (Japanese) had that problem with her dad accepting her husband. He only spoke English and never tried to learn anything about their culture. When her sister got engaged to an American they adored him, because he loved Japanese culture and showed interest and was even beginning to learn to speak Japanese. Now they had a 3rd sister. Married an American, and moved away, and has fully adopted her husbands way of life, to the point that she won’t do anything that represents her culture. Her children don’t know their grandparents, don’t speak Japanese or anything about their culture. Her husband seems he may be a bit of a racist, from what I heard from my SIL.

Now my sister in law husband (my husbands brother) took a few years to get accepted as well. But he sent his kids to Japanese school, and they are bi-lingual. They celebrate all the Japanese Holidays and American holidays and eat Japanese meals. Only thing is he won’t speak Japanese. And the kids visit the grandparents and have good relationship with him. So they like him now. They see they had nothing to be worried about and that their daughter is treated well.
I think most parents can overcome some biases once they feel that things may be alright. Sounds like your dad is trying. Remember that traditionalist don’t do well with an open door invite. They need an actual invite that they can deny or change for another day. My mom is that way. If you straight out don’t ask her to come to your house on a certain date or time, than she won’t come. She feels open door invites is like when you ask someone how they are doing. Most people ask but rarely do they mean it.

Hiding information from traditionalist is like admitting this was something worth hiding because something must be wrong. Traditionalist believe a trustworthy person is upfront, even if it means having to face some controversy.
My mom met my husband when we were just dating. I knew if I didn’t introduce him right away, his name was mud. She would’ve thought he just wanted to use me.

Of course I blew it when I ran away to get married but I left a note and we did get married. So she transferred all her anger to me. After a few months she kind of forgave me but wasn’t mad at my husband because she was pissed that I didn’t tell her face to face that we were going to get married. She admits she would’ve been pissed but at least she wouldn’t feel betrayed. She thought I owed her enough respect to do that. That may be what your folks are mad at. They feel disrespected.

Now as for you following your heart. Please do. If he is absolutely perfect for you than marry him. I have 3 aunts that let the men they love slip away because their father objected. They were in their 40’s and 50’s when he passed away. The loves of their lives all married and they never did. Today they are in their 90’s and 80’s and are old and sick and never got to have children or a family of their own. Your parents will pass away one day. You owe it to yourself to have a chance at having your own family, like they did.

Aubs427's avatar

@Pandora @wsxwh111 @jca @Hawaii_Jake @Seek

To answer the question of the right thing…I obviously don’t know what the right decision would be because I don’t want to hurt anyone, even when it comes to my parents. They’ve always my entire life made me out to be this monster where I was the one who deserved the abuse. To not overly repeat myself, between grades 2–9; I was abused 5 days a week with any household item you could think of. I got locked away into a closet for hours at a time w/ no food or water. If I dared step out of that closet, I’d be get another beating. When I was in 8th grade, my mom was arrested because I had managed to get out of the house mid beating and a classmate’s parents had called police. A week and a half of being in foster care, judge ruled that maybe my parents could change and sentenced them to some time of anger management.

Really, besides being verbally abused by my father; most of my physical abuse was done by my mother. When I was 14–15; the only time my father ever laid hands on anyone in the house was on my mom. He had attempted to choke her and was on top of her on the floor when my older sister had intervened (They fought because they got into an argument about measurements of the house). Divorce never happened. It was talked about MANY times throughout my child hood and I was left with my dad constantly asking me who I would choose if he did divorce my mother and I never ever gave him an answer.

So, for everyone to better understand….they felt I did them wrong. They felt because I wasn’t getting A’s when I was a kid; I deserved to get beat. And, because I was being beaten…at some point I started forging my grades when I didn’t get anything above a B+...which eventually led to “Now you’re going to lie?!” WHACK WHACK WHACK. Which, eventually led me to lying about not just my grades but other things like going out with friends or sleeping over…etcetc. So, all in all….they feel that they are the way they are or they treat me the way they treat me because of ME. This is the source of all the tension and anger that has been my life.

I’ve either lived my entire life in fear, in depression, in suicidal thoughts, or in anger. Deep down, I’m the absolute opposite of everyone in my family. I’m caring, nurturing, compassionate, unselfish, and always always always care TOO much about other people. My SO says that even after everything that has happened; I’m still someone who isn’t like the people who raised me. And, I find it funny that everyone that DOES know me and talk to me outside of my family thinks I’m unselfish because I’m always helping others when I can…yet my family thinks I’m useless, selfish, unreliable.

I really at the end of the day, want to be happy. As everyone stated, this path isn’t going to be easy and I know there’s going to be consequences to my decision. Right now, I have a lot to think about and if anyone has any further advice and/or tips….I will take everything into mind.

_Seek_'s avatar

I am literally trembling in anger at the moment.

Nothing else I can say about your parents would be considered kind or charitable, so I’m going to give you and your fiance my very best wishes for a long and happy life without those monsters in it.

Cultural differences be damned. No excuse. None.

Aubs427's avatar

@Seek Thank you. I really appreciate that. That means a lot :) I also wish you the best and hope that you continue to live your life in freedom and happiness!

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

This is horrendous!

You must cease any contact with your monstrous parents, and you must get counseling.

Your continued desire not to hurt anyone by your decisions and actions including your parents is a testament that you are a good, caring person. It is also completely natural for a victim of abuse to see the fault in themselves. You must get counseling.

Talk openly and frankly to your significant other. Tell him everything that happened to you. Ask him to help you find a good counselor. Finally, marry him and live happily ever after.

I strongly suggest that you cease any contact with your abusive parents immediately.

Judi's avatar

Agreed. You need to get into counseling to deal with all the crap you’ve put up with and try to put it in perspective.
If you can’t do it for yourself just yet, do it for your fiancé.

wsxwh111's avatar

Counseling is a really good idea, it helped me to stand on my own feet and deal with my parents in a more grown-up way.

Pandora's avatar

I hope you understand that your parents are incapable of being happy. They are abusive, small minded people that probably would object to anything you do that would make you happy.
So go and be happy and forget about them. Do seek counseling because at some level you feel you deserved this kind of abuse when no child deserves this kind of abuse. I would think that there is a real possibility that you will repeat the abuse onto your children. So long as you believe you deserved it for small infractions and you believe you need to be some saint to please your parents, you will possibly believe the same thing with your children.

You actually need to break away from them. They are still toxic to your mental health. Please , please seek professional help. There is no shame in doing that. The real shame is to let this poison carry over to the next generation.

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