Sunday, November 18, 2012

Black women, my white husband's family has never accepted me for 15 years


Sisters, you know we give you heads up whenever one of our dear readers cry out to us.  'Sheila (fictitious name)' has been married to her husband, 'Ryan ((fictitious name)' for 15 years.  Often times, we do not deal with bi-racial issues, but to be fair we decided to take this issue, so some black women married to white men will acknowledge our consideration.  Sometimes, we hear some black women who are married to white men claim they are very happy, but obviously, it is not always the picture as Sheila allegedly shared with us.


Here is Sheila's story, she and Ryan met and fell in love 15 years ago.   When he introduced Sheila to his parents, they were fine until Ryan continued to bring her to their house.   On the very night Ryan brought Sheila to the house, after several times, they both walked in and saw his mother, 'Mr. and Mrs. Duncan's (fictitious)'  chatting with his ex-girlfriend (white), 'Debbie (fictitious).'  Instantly, Ryan knew they were being set-up, because his parents had already told him they disliked his relationship with Sheila.  However, Ryan wanted to do the right thing and make an official announcement.  Instead, he asked Debbie to leave, but both of his parents said he was being rude and it was not his house to excuse her.   So, Ryan and Sheila left and made a decision to leave California and get married in Las Vegas.  They got married and returned home without telling anyone.   Ryan's sister, 'Tammy (fictitious)' came by and noticed Sheila was there, but did not speak and immediately asked him why hadn't he called their parents.   Ryan asked her to be polite and speak to his new wife.  Tammy barged out of the house without saying a word.  Every since, Ryan's parents have acted as though they understood, but for 15 years, they have not treated Sheila with respect and have not stopped cracking racial jokes yet.  Whenever Sheila goes to a family dinner with Ryan, she is treated like an outcast and their children struggle to fit in with their white cousins, even in their pre-teens.  They have three children together and none of them can understand why there is family conflict or even why their grand-parents cannot accept their mother.  Ryan continues to see about his parents, although they do not like his wife.   His wife still tries to make an effort to gain their respect, but she gets none and feels like she is the family maid.   Sheila says Mrs. Duncan always asks her to clean off the table, after every family dinner and stacks all the dishes in the dishwasher and none of the other women in the family ever help her.  When she ask Ryan why didn't he help, he apoligizes and says he was not paying any attention.   If she ever gets an attitude, she is accused of mean.  One time, Sheila says she busted out into tears, explaining she did not appreciate the racial remarks neither feeling as though she was being treated less than anyone else, but they all turned on her saying she was militant and ought not had acted out with a tantrum and this was in front of she and Ryan's children.  That confrontation happened over a year ago, now Sheila wants a divorce and admits her marriage to Ryan was an awful mistake. She no longer wants to be a token in the Duncan family.  Although, Sheila's family has always accepted Ryan, she says she has had enough and her love is not that strong anymore to remain Mrs. Duncan.

Sheila, thank you for contacting Souls of Black Women blog.   We want to do our best to try and comfort you, the best we can.   Let us first say, we are very sorry for the hell you had to go through for 15 years.   You should have never had to deal with any sort of racial discrimination from your husband's family.  In the 21st century, we should not hear of such racism in diverse families, but evidently, there are still people who refuse to accept bi-racial relationships in their families.  Therefore, if there are some people whom do not accept it, it has nothing to do with you.   However, we want you to know, you are very strong to have endured such racism for so long, but it is your right to no longer deal with it.   You still have a life and you should be able to be happy living it, without all the conflict.  Your children are now teens, pretty soon they will become adults.   You have the right to disconnect from anything or anyone whom is causing discomfort in your life.  Now, we know Ryan obviously cares about you, so this has nothing to do with him, but as usual, some people say when you marry a person, you marry their family too.   If you are being honest enough to admit, your love is not that strong to endure anymore racial discrimination with the Duncan's, you should be honest and share your feelings with Ryan.   We do not want to make the decision for you, but you have to do whatever you feel is best for you.   As black women, we already deal with a lot of hatred out in the world, even within our own race, all of the extra baggage, we really can do without.  If you love Ryan, then maybe you can just tell him, you would rather just be married to him and no longer attend family gatherings.  If you just do not want to deal with hearing anything else about his family at all, then you have to do what is best for you.   As black women, one of the biggest hurdles in our lives is being honest with people we care about when we are the only ones hurting, but you have to do what is best for you.  It seems as though Ryan really cares about you, but he may not feel the pain you have been going through, because he is still able to be in the accompany of his family.  Therefore, as a married couple, the both of you should be feeling the same level of emotional distress, if not then, your relationship is possibly imbalanced and an imbalanced relationship is very unhealthy.  If you are the only one depressed about the racism you face in Ryan's family, then you are carrying your burden alone and it really should not be that way.   Are you carrying the burden of racial discrimination alone, Sheila?   If so, then you must make a decision to either face Ryan with your decision or just possibly endure more pain for another 15 years. Don't forget to pray before you make your decision.  In the meantime, we will be praying for you, Ryan and your children and we hope you will be able to make a wise decision.    Thanks for contacting Souls of Black Women.

Photos: Photodisc, TretraImages

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