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February 23, 2018 - Welcome Guest!

Advice » Relationships

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Why is race an issue?

Question:

During my sophomore year of high school I met an incredible guy. We became very close and eventually started dating. The only problem, not for us but for others, was the fact that he is white and I'm bi-racial (half white, half black). Our friends really didn't mind but his family did. Of course, my family couldn't care less what race a person is. On the other hand, his family is very racist, especially his dad. His dad has even physically abused him because he chose to stay with me. Well now we are both a lot older and wiser. He is now moving to Kentucky to be with his family. While he is there I am going to want to visit. The only problem is I'm going to feel so uncomfortable knowing his family hates me because of the color of my skin. He says he doesn't care what they think and will be with me regardless to what they feel. I believe him but I don't want his family shutting him out of their lives because of me.

How can I see past their judgment and be with the man I love? And why do they have to feel this way over something so little? Help.

Antwanette, 18-year-old woman

Answer:

Dear Antwanette,

When people seek help, what they are often asking for is everything to turn out the way they would like it to be and how they feel it should be. Most of the time they are right about how it should be and that is the case here.

Racism is ignorance and displays a mind that is incapable of discerning the complexities of life. It is an example of concrete and black/white thinking in all areas, not just race. It is an attempt to make life simple by ignoring how complex people are. Therefore, they generalize and believe that a group of people are exactly the same. It is an example of a lazy mind.

It is incredibly rare for someone with this type of thinking, or lack of thinking, to ever change. That puts you in an incredibly difficult bind. Everyone in love wishes not only to be with the person that they love but in addition, wishes to gain another loving family. That will probably not happen here.

Even if his family would let you visit him, it would be quite uncomfortable to be around people who are judging you so unfairly. This would be allowing them to abuse you. Your boyfriend has a very difficult choice to make. Either he has to take on his family and demand that they treat you well, or he has to break with his family partially or completely. It might be possible for him to have a life with you and see his family separately, but that is very hard to do.

It is much more likely that either he has to give you up or not deal with his family unless they accept you. If he does this, it is also possible that he might eventually resent you for the break. This is something you both should talk about at length. It doesn't matter that it isn't logical for him to blame you, because often people are not logical.

I know this is not what you might have wanted to hear, but it won't help to ignore the realities. You both have some challenging decisions to make, but if you love each other enough and are willing to make some difficult and mature decisions, you can still be together and make it work.

Good luck.

Jef Gazley, M.S., LMFT

This question was answered by Jef Gazley M.S. Jef has practiced psychotherapy for twenty-five years, specializing in Love Addiction, Hypnotherapy, Relationship Management, Dysfunctional Families, Co-Dependency, Professional Coaching, and Trauma Issues. He is a trained counselor in EMDR, NET, TFT, and Applied Kinesiology. He is dedicated to guiding individuals to achieving a life long commitment to mental health and relationship mastery. His private practice locations are Scottsdale and Tempe, Arizona. You can also visit Jef at the internettherapist, the first audiovisual mental health online counseling center on the net.

For more information visit the site or contact information page on QueenDom.

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