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The following Featured Post comes from TV Series Group 7, Thread 7.

1. What about unconditional love?
Sat, Sep 18, 1999 - 4:18 PM/EST
madison

I just wanted to share an experience of mine and see if anyone can relate. My husband's parents have essentially banished him from their lives, because of the color of my skin. I have always been considered to be quite a catch by all of my prior boyfriends (smart, pretty, sweet, well-mannered, ambitious...) They have always been so proud to "take me home to mom" that it was sometimes embarrassing to hear them introduce me. The same thing happened with my husband's parents, they loved everything about me "on paper" and even loved me after talking to me on the phone, telling my husband they could not wait to meet me.

Well, the day they did, everything changed, they saw that I was black. Suddenly, this wonderful girl that they couldn't wait to meet seemed someone that would make a better friend only for their son. The relationship between them and my husband basically came down to an ultimatum, them or me. My husband (obviously) chose me. I can totally relate to Bill and Karen's struggle with family. The thing that upsets me the most, is that I have always believed that parents had an unconditional love for their children, boy was I wrong. Is there anyone out there that either had the same situation or just the opposite (i.e. the parents said we accept your spouse no matter what...)

I would love to hear from you. One of the excuses I have heard from the parents, as well as other people oppossed to interracial marriage, is what about the children. I personally don't think that the overall difficulties of an interracial person is that different from that of any minority person growing up in a majority setting (myself included.) I found myself totally relating to Cicily on her struggles in Africa to relate to the other black students, as I have grown up around predominantly non-minority persons, for most of my life and sometimes had to fight to be accepted by certain black peers.

2. Unconditional love is tough to find!
Sun, Sep 19, 1999 - /EST
sylvie

Hi, Madison,

I can relate to your experience. When I was 18, I met the man I married at 19. He was Black and I am White. My parents essentially disowned me - and made it clear that he would never be welcome in their home. I made it clear that as long as he was not welcome, I would not be in visiting in their home either. It was a very long stand-off.

My husband and I separated about 5 years later, and divorced some years after that. We were *very* young when we met and married - and I think that neither of us, but especially I, did not have the skills to build and maintain a solid marriage. Undoubtedly, some of our differences were related to race. But more, I think, of the failure of our marriage was inexperience, immaturity, and expectations for marriage that were unrealistic.

Since then, I came out as a lesbian. I did not initially come out to my parents - not wanting to repeat my experience with them as we were starting to put our relationship back together. But I didn't lie - just didn't talk much about what was going on with me. They did eventually figure this out, and have accepted this part of my identity. My mother has become very fond of my partner and treats her as she has treated my sister's husband - as an in-law.

So I've seen both sides of the coin. I believe that racism ran deeper for my parents than they could admit - I was explicitly raised in a family that encouraged me not to be racist, and encouraged me to see everyone as an individual - but in the end, choosing an intimate relationship across the color line was I think too much of a threat.

3. Unconditional love
Sun, Sep 19, 1999 - 3:39 AM/EST
tricia.m

As I have talked about earlier people are often
quick to dismiss or invalidate other people who
arent exactly like them. Racism is everywhere, and
even when you think it isnt an issue it is because
we can never completely put ourselves in another
persons shoes.

I wonder if Sylvies experience with her family
really reflects that for her parents race was a
greater source of prejudice than sexual
orientation, or that having lost their
relationship with their daughter once they were
willing to be more unconditional with their love
to preserve the relationship.

One thing I was wondering about is how do we help
our children develop into non-jugemental people,
who take chances and look for common ground?
Just another note, my parents disowned me when I
married my husband because they did not approve of
his background.We didnt speak for about 7yrs
,until we had our first child. I guess they took
our having a child together as meaning the
relationship wasnt just a phase I was going
through!I wonder sometimes if my parents not
approving made our relationship stronger. I wonder
if with Karen and Bill that sometimes they stayed
together because they knew that if they spilt up
everyone would blaim it on the race issue and not
on alcoholism? money? incompatability? etc??

4. Unconditional love personified...
Mon, Sep 20, 1999 - 1:17 AM/EST
rogue

Our experience with unconditional love has been very, very different. My wife of almost 12 years and I met while we were in undergraduate school on the wide open cornfields of central Illinois. When we first began spending time together, she was very open and honest with me, that in our "dating" one another, she needed to be cautious. She and I both discussed many times the reality that in "dating" we might be setting into motion the "wheels" of marriage. We both agreed that if in anyway, our choosing to be a couple was met with resistance by either or both of our respective families, then our relationship would need to end. Our relationship developed and blossomed over many, many months.

The school we attended was very small and our relationship was indeed well known on campus. When the time finally arrived for us to give heavy and serious thought to our relationship moving to the "engagement" phase we both sat down with my wife's father and mother. They expressed only ONE concern...this was it... if our impending marriage were to prevent either of us from entering our chosen field of endeavor upon graduation from college (which in both of our cases was specialized, full time, Christian ministry) then perhaps marriage to each other was not a good idea....after finding my first full time pastorate in Canada immediately upon our graduation, I stood at an altar and heard my future father-in-law proudly proclaim, "if anyone told me I could have picked my future son-in-law...I can say with complete honesty I would have picked you..." !

That is indeed unconditional love.....and I believe plenty more where that came from!

5. RE: Rogue's family
Mon, Sep 20, 1999 - 10:40 AM/EST
sylvie

Thanks for sharing, Rogue - what a great story of acceptance and support from your wife's family - hope your family was also able to embrace you both!

6. to rogue
Tue, Sep 21, 1999 - 7:44 PM/EST
madison

Thanks for sharing that story. It makes me happy to see that there are people out there such as you described.

7. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
Sun, Sep 26, 1999 - 10:04 PM/EST
wing24usoar

Dear Madison it hurts to here your story. My family was opposite of your husband's. Our family has a-lot of race-mixing and for a very long time. I always say "you name it we got it".Being an adoptee my parent's never shut the door.I can't imagine how heart-breaking it had to be for the both of you.I guess the old addgee applies "what dosen't destroy you can only make you stronger". And to Slyvie congrat's to helping your parent's on diminishing one form of prejudice.

8. Unconditional Love
Thu, Sep 30, 1999 - 10:57 AM/EST
winnie

I have dated out of my race since I was 15 yo. My parents did what they could to discourage it. They told me to only be friends with these boys. I was raised to think no differently of anyone else, so I could not figure out why they did not approve. From the best of my understanding with how my parents were raised you just did not mix with African-Americans. My family came close but not to my knowledge, to disowning me. My mother told my father that she would leave him because I was her flesh and blood.

Well years have passed! My parents and I are closer than we have ever been. My daughter who is biracial and my father are inseperable. My whole family has accepted my daughter and whoever I date.

If my family would have given me an ultimatium I would have left them. I do not know where I would be without my family. That is a very scary thought. I was lucky, my family loves unconditionally!

Betsy

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