I am in a relationship with a man from a different culture. Weíve been going out for a year now and I still havenít met his family. He says he loves me, but Iím pretty sure his family does not approve of our relationship. I donít know what to do. Should I break up with him now and save myself some pain? Or should I insist that he introduce me to his family? And does this relationship even have a chance long term? He keeps saying he wants to marry me, but honestly, Iím not sure if heíll be able to counter the wishes of his parents. Please help.
Thanks for your question. You donít say which two cultures you are from so Iíll do my best to help you sort this out.
In some cultures, and in some families within those cultures, parents are deeply involved in choosing a spouse. (Arranged marriage is still very present and common.) Westerners might not understand this since we believe marriage should only be about love, but some cultures believe that love grows from common backgrounds and values.
My guess is your boyfriend comes from a culture where parents typically have a lot of influence in their childís decisions, especially when it comes to marriage. Clearly theyíre not happy with his choice, otherwise you would have already met them. And the fact that heís avoiding this introduction says that heís being pulled in two directions and heís stressed by it.
If you truly believe heís committed to you, then you need to have a heart-to-heart with him, and explain to him how his actions are affecting you. Explain to him how difficult it is, feeling that heís choosing his parentsí wishes over your relationship. Acknowledge the stress he may be feeling, but at the same time, donít be afraid to assert your needs as well.
In order for this relationship to have a future, your boyfriend needs to become more independent and stand up to his parents. (Without alienating them of course.) This wonít be easy, but itís necessary. Otherwise youíll be in a holding pattern until he finally capitulates to them, and then one day heíll come to you and say, ďIíve met someone else. Iím sorry.Ē Which translates to: ďMy parents have made the decision for me.Ē
Hopefully it wonít get to that point. But if it does, well, then it might be for the best. Otherwise youíll be in a relationship with not just this man, but his parents as well. And frankly, fourís a crowd.
All the best,
Saelen Ghose is the head writer for The Guyís Perspective, a popular relationship blog and website. Over the course of his tenure he has responded to thousands of relationship questions, and while he hasnít solved every problem, he has provided a thoughtful perspective on every question received. If you have a relationship question of your own, please email email@example.com. Saelen will do his best to answer your question. Please limit your question to 200 words or less. For more from The Guyís Perspective, visit www.theguysperspective.com.