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happysmileylady

Help me help my kid

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If this was my dd I'd be either telling her to treat this relationship as a temporary fling, and she is free to waste as much time as she wants on it as long as there is zero chance for children.

If she really feels that this could be marriage, it would statistically be best if there will be no kids in the future.  As soon as the babies start coming this situation will probably explode (at least the stats indicate this is more likely to be the case).

Edited by wintermom

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3 hours ago, kdsuomi said:

My husband is not white and grew up in another country and culture, and I didn't meet the sisters who raised him until the day before we got married. The other sisters I didn't meet until after we were married. The marriage is ending after eleven years, but it has nothing to do with out cultural differences. Due to my experience, I wouldn't necessarily think not mentioning her to the family is a huge red flag, but it may be in their situation.

not meeting his family is not the same thing as his family (according to him) not knowing she even exists.

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17 hours ago, J-rap said:

Hmm  Just because he's afraid to tell his parents doesn't necessarily mean red flags are all over it.  They sound like vastly different cultures, so I don't think it's quite fair to expect the same of him as we would a young man of our own culture.  It may be the type of situation where your dd will just have to accept that it may take years before his parents get over their long-held beliefs and dreams for their son.  Hopefully with patience and love, they will finally come to see that their son is very happy and that your dd is a lovely person!  I think I'd prepare your dd that it won't happen fast;  that she'll need to be patient.  Hopefully at some point she could visit his home country?  Her making an effort to get to know his family on their turf might give a very positive message.  

I guess I wouldn't worry about it too much other than that.  There's only so much you can do right now, and what's more important is that your dd and he build a solid and trusting relationship, if they plan to marry someday.  Eventually he will have to tell his parents.  

We have two inter-cultural marriages among our children, though not so vastly different cultures.  However, each of our children spent quite a bit of time in the other's culture to get to know the family and understand the culture better.

Having lived for a long time in a culture that this situation could easily be describing, I'd have to agree with J-rap. My understanding of the way things work in that country don't make the typical red flags pop up. It doesn't mean he's ashamed of her or anything like that, it may mean that he is trying to determine the best ways to work through a complicated cultural issue, within a culture where everybody tends to be in each others' business when it comes to setting up a marriage. I do like the idea mentioned above of a man-to-man talk between your dh and the young man. Respect for elders is probably a big deal in his culture.

My real concerns would be more the kinds of issues that I would bring up if any of my children wanted to marry cross-culturally. I know many couples who do, and that in itself is not a problem. But I wouldn't want my children blindly assuming that cultural differences wouldn't play a big role in how their day-to-day marriage played out. Things like religious beliefs and practices, the marriage "roles" and view of women, child-rearing, sanctity of the marriage relationship, integrity and honesty in the workplace and in relationships, family responsibilities toward elders, holiday celebrations, and so on.

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56 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

not meeting his family is not the same thing as his family (according to him) not knowing she even exists.

My husband had also not told them that I existed. Trust me, when we were introduced, they had no idea we had been together. I just don't think it's all that crazy in certain cultures.

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But it's not that he just doesn't think it's time to mention her yet, as might be the case were they casually dating for a short time.  It's that he has expressed that he is afraid to introduce her to them or tell them about her.  To me, that suggests that it will be very difficult for him in the future to diverge from cultural norms or put his wife's opinion above his parents' opinion.  If he was just saying it's not the right time yet because they aren't that serious, that would be different.  I could get more comfortable if he has told his folks, "I won't have an arranged marriage, I don't plan on moving back to ___, and I date white American women and am 100% open to marrying one."  But it sounds like he is not ready to even go that far.

So your daughter needs to see this as an experiment on his part, as he really has not committed to anything at all, except maybe dating her exclusively in the short run.  So like I said - she needs to guard her heart.  They are really just friends at this point and may always be.  So don't over-invest.  Also don't tell him too many secrets etc.  He is not even close to ready to be trusted like that.

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I read an article about compatibility and one of the 5 areas is cultural and this thread is a prime example of the issues that come up. I think it is a huge issue and I would definitely worry for the future.  

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