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Just informed my Caucasian DH is "cold"...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi, I'm Lizette and new to MC families...

I'm feeling a bit down. Relations have been strained in my family for some time (especially since DD was born). Today my Dad, who is visiting informed me that some of this may be due to our differences in culture (DH is caucasian, 7th generation Canadian). My sis regularly talks about "whites" in derogatory terms and I'm feeling increasingly uncomfortable with this as my DD is half Latina/half white...

I've been told today that my wonderfully warm and accommodating DH is cold and that I just "don't understand" Latino culture because I'm with him.

I'm sorry, this is a bit of a rant...but I've been with DH for 11 years. You'd think after marriage and having a wonderful little child (to whom he is an amazing father) that the family would be more accepting. It makes me sad because he's taking Spanish classes, he LOVES my family and really reaches out...and this is the label he gets?

:
post #2 of 7
Hi,
My heart goes out to you. My mom feels that my Canadian white husband is indifferent, ungrateful, cold, also does not respect the elderly. He told my mom not to do something that was annoying to him when she was visiting here. That's very rude in our culture - younger one telling older one off, especially son in law telling mother in law off - almost unheard of.
She said she can never be comfortable with him because of the cultural and language barrier. So I accept.
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swan3 View Post
Hi, I'm Lizette and new to MC families...

I'm feeling a bit down. Relations have been strained in my family for some time (especially since DD was born). Today my Dad, who is visiting informed me that some of this may be due to our differences in culture (DH is caucasian, 7th generation Canadian). My sis regularly talks about "whites" in derogatory terms and I'm feeling increasingly uncomfortable with this as my DD is half Latina/half white...

I've been told today that my wonderfully warm and accommodating DH is cold and that I just "don't understand" Latino culture because I'm with him.

I'm sorry, this is a bit of a rant...but I've been with DH for 11 years. You'd think after marriage and having a wonderful little child (to whom he is an amazing father) that the family would be more accepting. It makes me sad because he's taking Spanish classes, he LOVES my family and really reaches out...and this is the label he gets?

:
This is such a tough place to be. Yet more and more common.

I don't allow my family to speak badly about my husband. If they feel they must dislike him, they are not welcome in my home (though my parents are generally kind, accepting people, my mom has fits of weirdness from time to time). Not the same thing, but I have ended friendships over prejudiced comments about my husband, and I would not allow it.

FWIW, Latino culture is not *what your family says it is.* There are so many mixed marriages within Latino culture, so many nuances, so many varied ways of doing things. I am the product of a Mexican/White marriage myself. I am married to a man whose religion explicitly forbids marriage to anyone outside of it, and yet his family welcomes me and loves me. That may not have happened if my husband hadn't set the tone--he was clear in his attitude and his expectation that I would be accepted.

Really, in your situation, I would reject the notion that it has anything to do with culture, and state calmly but firmly that the problem is *theirs* and they can choose to get over it or risk your relationship with them.

Really, they are essentially asking you to choose between them and your husband, and in my mind, there is no question who I would choose.

Now that I've done the hard-line, knee-jerk reaction, though, I do want to do the benefit-of-the doubt response too.

Is it possible that there is some kind of cultural miscommunication going on? As the PP said, maybe there are subtle behaviors that your family is reacting to? If so, could you point out to them that it is cultural, not personal, and that he really doesn't intend it to be whatever they think it is? Ask them to give him a break?

Still, even if this is the case, I think I would be firm with my family about the fact that my husband, child and I are a package deal--you either accept all of us, or you get none.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the reply. I will write more once said visitor has left. Right now I feel like I'm juggling too much in the air.

I was also told today several times (insisting bordering on intimidation) to STOP breastfeeding my 20 month old and to let her CIO. This'll be an interesting week!!!

I'm biting my tongue because if I don't WWIII will break out.

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swan3 View Post
Thanks so much for the reply. I will write more once said visitor has left. Right now I feel like I'm juggling too much in the air.

I was also told today several times (insisting bordering on intimidation) to STOP breastfeeding my 20 month old and to let her CIO. This'll be an interesting week!!!

I'm biting my tongue because if I don't WWIII will break out.

Wow, this sounds like major boundary issues. Your family needs to back off and understand that it is *your* family and these are *your* decisions.

My MIL also put pressure on me to wean. She didn't care that I was breastfeeding, exactly, but she was certain that because of it, DS wasn't eating enough food. I just continued to repeat "breastmilk is the most complete food for him right now..." He nursed until he was 4!

I'm sorry your family is being so icky :

They're going to have to agree to be more pleasant before they're allowed to visit again.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraN View Post
She didn't care that I was breastfeeding, exactly, but she was certain that because of it, DS wasn't eating enough food.
HA! That is exactly what's at issue here too. Like I haven't heard it enough for the last twenty months...apparently my perfectly healthy and active little girl is too skinny because I'm BF her. Good grief.:
post #7 of 7
I totally agree with LauraN. My family has been accused of being too white because they educated me, let me rock climb, do triathalons, and everything. My Dad tells me that Punjabi culture is getting lazy. When he was a boy they would walk everywhere, they were strong and now they whine about any exercise. (my 64 year old dad is a half marathoner and running coach. And he really notices that the punjabi kids he coach who have been getting less and less exposure to physical activity, just can't deal with being out of breath, where as my brothers and I trained 24 hours a week at our respective sports until high school) Culture is an ever changeing thing and just because you do a few things diferently doesn't mean everything you learned is gone, brown skin doesn't wash off. one person can't tell you you are not latino enough... So don't let them!

And you absolutely can not let them bad mouth your husband in front of you. If you do not say anything, you are aggreeing with them, or at least allowing them to do it again. I have seen marriages been broken by family members how continually badmouth a husband or wife. Your sister has to learn to respect you and that means respecting your choices and your husband too.
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