When family inflicts pain


This past Thanksgiving, my sister dis-invited my significant other (S.O.) to the dinner that was being held at her place.  She sent a text message, stating that her baby-daddy did not want him to join them for dinner because of what he did two years ago.

Two years ago, my S.O. was working retail, and we had to leave dinner early because he was working that same night.  On that day, he was tired, we had a fight on the way to the dinner, and he was a bit upset and uncomfortable.  My family did not know of that nor did they try to understand what was going on.

I always dreaded going to my sister’s place.  I do not feel comfortable there, and neither her and her significant other tried to make me or my significant other at ease.  We always feel like strangers at that place.  Additionally, she had never accepted him into the family.  She never tried talking to him and would always voice her discomfort with him. Even my niece acts up when he is around.  However, when my sister needs his help, she can be the most lovely person, whether it is for work referral, car trouble, fetch her food, or to show how diverse she can be.

This Thanksgiving, I stood up for my relationship and said that I would not accept how my family treats my S.O.  It was not the first time they had kept him out of family reunions.  Before I played along but this time I realized that things would not get better if I do not do or say something.  I decided not to go to the dinner, and I also reminded them that it was a family day, yet they decided to keep him and I (supposedly family) out of the celebration.  This time I had enough. I said what was on my mind and I was resentful, not because of the dis-invite, but because my own sister had decided to keep the love of my life out of her life. Her agreeing with her man made me feel alienated.  My brother, who I had hopped would side with me, still went to dinner like nothing happened.

Throughout the years, I realized that I loved my siblings but strongly disliked them.  The people that they are becoming are very ugly in the inside.  Moreover, they have been absent when I needed them and indifferent to me.  My sister has always felt entitled to everything and is a very selfish person.  My brother, on the other hand, is manipulative and selfish because he has always been spoiled. According to my parents, he could do nothing wrong.  It is hard for me to cut them off of my life.  However, I believe that I need to remove myself emotionally from them. And I need to do so tactfully.  My family is very fickle and sensitive.

I think the main problem my siblings have with my relationship is because my S.O. is White and I am black.  My sister dislikes him because of his skin color.  My brother is more accepting, but I question his motives.  My siblings always voiced the difficulties and aches that come from racial stereotyping.  It is so hypocrite of them to do the same to another race.  They do not know how to navigate an interracial couple, and they are not even making an effort.

It is stressful and draining to be in a relationship. It is even more when the people are from different backgrounds, culture, and race.  I have no support group, no compassionate ear, no comforting shoulder to lean on.  Furthermore, my family is making my life miserable.  Since the Thanksgiving problem, it has been only insults.  Last night my mom told me that I am following the devil.  My family do not see the irreparable damages they are causing, and frankly I do not believe that they care.

I decided to see a therapist.  It is very costly, but I need professional help.  My life is crumbling, and I have not idea how to survive.


7 responses »

  1. You should only go where you’re loved and celebrated, not hated and admonished. It’s clear your sister only accepts your SO because of what he could do for her but doesn’t care for him other than that.

    That being said, you can love your family from a distance. If they decide not to keep including you and SO, that’s their loss. Create your new traditions and memories.

  2. Hello Jubilant Sister,
    You’re not alone with this experience. It is important to understand how your family behaved with each other before and after you starting dating your SO. Are they mean to him because he is white or have they always been mean spirited people? The only way they will open up to him is if they get a chance to get to know him a little more. I know we change as we get older and I often feel very different from my family members. In fact, I feel like I match more with my husband’s family than with mine. It drives my family crazy because they think I like my husband’s family more than I do my own family. It’s not true. I love everyone…just differently. I get along better with my husband’s family because they show love better than my family does, but that’s no one’s fault. It is just the way it is.

    If you sense some racist issues with your family, don’t ignore it. Bring it to light. Talk about it and see what people are truly thinking and feeling. Sweeping things under the rug leads no where.

    How are things working out with your Therapist or Counselor?

    • Hey Interracialcultural,
      Your questions were very hard to answer. I never thought that my family was mean spirited, but in a way they always were; it was just never directed my way. I have created space for them to get to know him, but they barely tried talking to him. They would either not engage with him, even if the tries to talk to them, or they would speak in our native tongue which he does not speak. When I bring up that they do not welcome him in, they scream and say that they are always nice to him. It is a pain to deal with. I think we would need a moderator to help us get through this rough patch, but they are not willing to have someone else help out. They think that I am being sensitive and overreacting about the situation.
      Things are going ok with my therapist. I am not sure that she is fully understanding how delicate the situation is, but she is trying. I might need to find the perfect therapist for me.
      I am glad that you are getting along with your husband’s family!! =) It is some well needed love.

  3. I’m glad you have decided to go for counseling. A sensitive, empathetic therapist can do a world of good. They train for a long, long time in the art of providing succor. I hope you find peace, whatever path you take. All the best to you and your husband.

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