Dear Annie: I am 29 years old, own my home and support myself. I am in a serious relationship with a wonderful man who is African-American.
All of my life, my family has been ruled by my maternal grandmother. My “nana” doesn’t approve of this relationship because my boyfriend is black and I am white, and this has caused much heartache for me. My mother says I am not allowed to bring my boyfriend to family functions, because “it will kill my grandmother.” She also says I am selfish to continue this relationship despite the fact that my parents and nana don’t approve.
Annie, I’m planning to marry this man. I don’t feel that I should have to give up my happiness because my family cannot accept the man I have chosen to spend my life with. How do I convince my parents that I’m entitled to happiness regardless of what they think? I am in so much pain because it seems that my parents care more about my nana’s feelings than their daughter’s future. – Devastated
Dear Devastated: If this is the man you are going to marry, then do it and stop worrying about your family’s approval. You should pay attention to them if your choices are poor – if you pick abusers or addicts, for example. But if your guy is good to you and you will take care of each other throughout life’s ups and downs, you do not need to please anyone else. While it would be sad if your family cannot eventually learn to accept this, please have the courage of your convictions.
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