Dr. Romance advises a reader on how to talk to her family about her inter-racial relationship.
Dear Dr. Romance:
My question of the week is how to deal with family opposition of my inter-racial relationship. My dad, who is in his 70s, is vehemently opposed to my relationship with my fiance (who is white). He hasn't even met him and given him a chance. It is quite frustrating given that our wedding is in a few months and I'm not even sure he will come. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Be patient with your Dad. Perhaps he's taking this personally; as if your choice of a non-black man is a slight to him. He loves you, he'll probably come around. Just keep calmly repeating, like broken record: "Dad, I love this man, and he loves me. We are happy. I love you, too, and I hope you can be happy for me. I'll be very sad on my wedding day if you're not there."
Don't push him, don't argue with him. You don't want to make it harder for him to give in. Just keep going with your wedding plans, involve your mother if she's willing, and make it possible for your dad to change his mind and come, even at the last minute. Have a plan B for if he's not there (someone else to give you away, etc.) Have faith, and trust that your Dad will get over his issue, when he sees his objections are not going to stop you. Many good wishes to you for your happiness. "Creating Family Acceptance" will help you understand how to respond to your family and "Getting to Yes" will help you improve your communication.
It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction explains how your family issues came about and what to do about them.