My Parents Reacted…Reasonably
I learned a lot about my parents when my husband and I decided to get married.
I am sure they were nervous about his English–because they knew he would have difficulty finding a job (and he sure did). So, I am sure they felt a little panicked wondering how he and I would support ourselves.
Both the short-term and long-term reactions surprised me. Short-term were the opposite of what I expected. My mother totally supported our marriage and was REALLY nice to my husband (then my fiance) and thought he was the nicest man ever, which he is–almost always:) My father (whose mother is also an immigrant who came in the 1940’s) was nervous that my husband might just want a greencard. I understand that concern, as there are foreigners who scam for greencards–but I knew this wasn’t the case with my husband.
So, my parents were happy for me mostly, but both of them were very nervous about my husband’s English–I was not, but I should have been. I assumed he was going to study hard and learn quickly. NO. Instead he totally refused to study or take English classes, and to this day 9 years later, still doesn’t speak all that well. But I don’t really care because he has a good job anyway, and we don’t speak English together. He finally learned English from speaking at work (he managed to find work, very hard and low-paying). Then from there moved onto better jobs. Then really good jobs, better than mine! But it was a long, hard road.
Anyway, the long-term reactions of my parents were the ones that really got me. Everything changed. My mother ended up HATING my husband because of the hardships I went through (financial and child-rearing mainly–that topic needs a whole different post, many of them actually). It is too bad. But we rarely see her, so it’s her problem not mine. She doesn’t treat my husband respectfully, so I refuse to go. My husband and children should always be treated with kindness, even if that means avoiding my own mother. And I have to be treated kindly even if this means avoiding his mother. Now that we avoid both of them, we are very happy. We talk to them and email, but we visit very rarely.
My father, on the other hand, became very supportive of my husband and our marriage. He learned that I chose my hardships and that I was willing to bear them because I really believed the future would be better, and that my husband was still the right man for me. Thank goodness I turned out to be right!
When my husband got really good jobs, everyone calmed down completely. I think that was a big weight lifted from their shoulders. Also, they know I am happy, which is all they wanted.