Author Topic: Looking for a Different Perspective  (Read 4358 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

foofoo

  • Guest
Looking for a Different Perspective
« on: January 20, 2011, 05:20:28 PM »
I'm one of those DILs who doesn't allow her kids to see her paternal grandparents.  Before, you jump all over me, let me give you a little background.  My MIL has never spoken to me directly.  She has made a number of accusations about me to others, but she has never actually conversation with me.  One time, my husband took me to his family's for Christmas.  She just glared.  My FIL told my husband that if he married me that he was dead to them and my MIL told my husband to never bring our kids to her house.  The reason for all this animosity -- my DH and I are of different cultures.  I'm white, he's Asian.  We have now been married for four years and yes, they boycotted the wedding and the kids' baptisms. 

We have two girls and are expecting our third.  Now, his family wants to see our kids and they are upset that I won't allow it.  Of course, I'm not welcome -- no white people allowed, but they want to see the girls.  I have told my husband that if he wants to go see his family he can go anytime he wants and he won't hear anything about it from me.  But my kids will not be subjected to their racism. 

His sisters say that I need to just get over it, which quite frankly pisses me off even more.  Oh, and when his sister married, she called up DH and expressly informed that his wife and children were not welcome as having white people there would upset his mother. 

No one has apologized or indicated any intention to ever apologize, I am just supposed to pretend that they never called me a whore, who was after their non-existent money and that my oldest wasn't really my DH's.  I think I completely justified in my position and so do my family and friends as it is not like their actions were unintentional or I overreacted, but I was just curious as to what some of you thought.

Offline tryingmybest

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 236
    • View Profile
Re: Looking for a Different Perspective
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2011, 05:27:54 PM »
Are they inviting you to come with your children to see them? If not, I'm sorry but  can't blame you one bit. Can you invite them to your house to see their grandchildren, with you present off course! Sending you a hug honey, sounds like you are living with a tough situation.

foofoo

  • Guest
Re: Looking for a Different Perspective
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2011, 05:35:00 PM »
I honestly don't know if I am invited or not.  They have made it perfectly clear that I am not welcome there, so I have never actually been over there.  Regardless, one of my SILs married a man who was also Asian, but not of their culture and she thinks that her mother has made great progress because she no longer leaves the room when BIL walks in.  I find this hilarious, yet profoundly disturbing at the same time.  Can you imagine a circumstance where it is progress to not walk out of the room just because someone else walks in????  I'm not going to subject myself or my kids to this.

LaurieS

  • Guest
Re: Looking for a Different Perspective
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2011, 06:09:13 PM »
What does your dh think, and what is his stance?

foofoo

  • Guest
Re: Looking for a Different Perspective
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2011, 06:15:54 PM »
I think his feelings are rather mixed.  He is deeply embarassed by how his family has behaved, but at the same time, he would love to have a good relationship with them.  He does not pressure me in anyway to visit his parents, although he does push me to visit with his sisters.  He views the blame as solely his parents fault and although he understands why take issue with his sister's behavior, he does not view them as having primary responsibility for their own conduct.  He justifies it by blaming his mother.  I figure, his sisters are all in their 30s, they make their own choices in this world.

Offline Pen

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4400
    • View Profile
Re: Looking for a Different Perspective
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2011, 06:24:20 PM »
FooFoo, welcome. Your situation is very sad and frustrating. I understand why you want to protect your children and yourself from bigotry. I hope I'm not out of line for asking, but did you and DH have any counseling before your marriage regarding his parents unyielding stance towards you?
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

foofoo

  • Guest
Re: Looking for a Different Perspective
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2011, 06:28:35 PM »
We did have some premarital counseling and the counselor seemed to think that they would come around.  We also had a conversation about whether or not his parents would be okay with him being with someone outside his culture very early on in our relationship.  It is sad to say, but his parents attitude is not that uncommon in his culture and I knew this, so I asked very early on.  He assured me that he would deal with them and not to worry.  I honestly think even he totally undersestimated how they would behave.

LaurieS

  • Guest
Re: Looking for a Different Perspective
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2011, 06:57:49 PM »
As we  speak, my son is in Japan waiting for his Japanese girlfriend's father to arrive home within the next few days.  His intention is to support his gf as she explains to her father that she would like to return to America to start her career and to continue her relationship with my son.  If his head is returned to me in a box next week.. I'll know that the talk didn't go well.

The Asian culture is deep in tradition, or so it's said.. personally I think this claim is used primarily as a method to control their children.  FooFoo (ok I get your name now, I was thinking Family Of Origin, Family Of  Origin) your in-laws are the biggest bigots that I've ever heard of on these boards.  They could dislike you if you were an alcoholic, shopaholic, or a chocoholic... but that isn't why they have shown pure contempt, it's because you are not Asian.

Your dh's sisters are speaking their own mind as well, and personally  I don't think you have to appreciate any of it.   It could  be wrong to subject your children to someone who shows such outward disdain towards their mother.  Being of  another race or culture does  not make you unworthy of her respect.  Your husband is in a tough spot, only if he makes it a tough spot.. I think it's time to choose.

Offline Pen

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4400
    • View Profile
Re: Looking for a Different Perspective
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2011, 07:08:43 PM »
I'm guessing your ILs aren't going to appreciate their son speaking up about their behavior. Long-held cultural traditions and mores are hard to get past, even for more open-minded people. I wish your DH had someone who could help bridge the gap and make his parents journey to enlightenment less painful -  a relative or a leader in the community? A respected elder, educator or spiritual leader?

Do you feel they are making very small but forward steps toward change? A big push could frighten them, but gentle nudges of encouragement from someone they trust might help their progress. Best wishes to you, Foo.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

LaurieS

  • Guest
Re: Looking for a Different Perspective
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2011, 07:25:47 PM »
his parents journey to enlightenment less painful - 

LOL  You'd think that after years, they would have already began their journey if they ever meant to. 

foofoo

  • Guest
Re: Looking for a Different Perspective
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2011, 07:34:32 PM »
Laurie, I agree with you.  They have only been her for 25 years, actually FIL has been here for 30 and MIL for 25.  You would think by now that they would have some sort of concept of how things work here.

Pen, his sisters keep saying a slightly twisted version of what you indicated that I need to be patient with his parents and blah blah.  The main difference between your version and theirs is that they think I should put up with MILs behavior in the meantime.  Apparently, they think that in there culture the parents are allowed to mistreat the children and the children just have to put up with it so I should too and I think this is total garbage.  Frankly, in some ways I think his sisters attitude has gotten my back up worse than his parents bad behavior as in many ways it is more insulting.  They don't call me names, instead they indicate that it is okay for me and my kids to be abused by his parents (actually, they use the term "mistreated").   A part of me knows that his sisters are trying to help, but at the same time there method of "helping" is to just tell me that I have to put up with their families crap.  There is no apology, there is no attempt to alter the parents behavior, they just tell me I need to put up with it.  This last email I received, I pretty much told the sister to shove it.

Offline Pen

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4400
    • View Profile
Re: Looking for a Different Perspective
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2011, 07:41:12 PM »
Foo, I don't think you need to be patient at all! You've put up with enough. This is between your DH & his bigoted parents now, IMHO. He must speak up. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. 
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Offline JaneF

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 334
    • View Profile
Re: Looking for a Different Perspective
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2011, 08:03:08 PM »
Wow is all I can think to say here! I agree with your thoughts I'll say that much. You sure do NOT have to tolerate being treated in this way, and your children do not need to see that either. Children are supposed to just take this kind of abuse from the parents in their culture?????? And that is excused????? Your SIL's are dead wrong by expecting you to accept this, and I probably would have told them so a long, long time ago. So sorry you are having to experience this...glad you are here though. You will get great support from these ladies.

LaurieS

  • Guest
Re: Looking for a Different Perspective
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2011, 08:14:58 PM »
whoa.. FIL 30 years in America.. and he is upset that his son married a Caucasian American?  My neighbors are like that as well... they will only associate with others of their culture.. when we had a difference they were quick to accuse me of being prejudice against Cambodians... this was while my son was in Cambodia helping to plant mangroves at my expense.  Their college daughter will only bring home other Asian students etc.  Yet they say that they love the diversities that are offered in the states.

foofoo

  • Guest
Re: Looking for a Different Perspective
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2011, 08:51:09 PM »
Laurie, Your Cambodian experience is pretty much the same thing.  DH isn't Cambodian, he is from a different dinky SE Asian country, but they think the same way

Pen and Jane, thanks for the support.  Sometimes, I worry that my anger is not allowing me to think this through clearly so I need the objective opinions.