Dear Black Guy,
My fiance has been wanting to meet my family for over a year now. My grandmother raised me because my mom has been an on-again, off-again crack-addict my entire life. My dad is a dead-beat, and the rest of my family is a ghetto mess. The first time I met my fiance’s family, I felt so inferior. Her mother and father are both college educated and live an extremely suburban middle class lifestyle. I’m scared that if my fiance meets my family, she’ll look at me differently.
We met in undergrad and have been together since. We were both biology majors, and had almost every class together. She’s working in her field as a Registered Nurse and I’m at HR manager at a really good company. I know she loves me, but I think it’s best if we just pretend as though my family isn’t there and we keep it moving.
BLACK GUY RESPONSE:
Bruh, on the real, we’ve gotta place some things into perspective. The worst thing a man can do is compare his life to someone else’s. There is no litmus test for what you should have vs. what you don’t. The first thing you have to do is forgive. Forgive your mother and father for not being the parents they should have been. Lastly, forgive yourself for situations well beyond your control.
From your letter to #AskBlkGuy, I can’t fully assess the dynamic between you and your grandmother. She and the rest of the family may be a ghetto mess, but remember one thing- Despite all the odds, your grandmother placed some things down in you that allowed you to obtain a college degree. Your granny may not know the difference between a salad fork and a dinner fork, but she deserves to meet her grandson’s fiance.
Lastly, I’m most concerned with the wall you have up between you and your soon to be wife. She is going to have to accept you for who you are. Whether you want to accept it or not, your family is a part of you. The old saying is very true, “You Marry The Whole Family.” You’ve been blessed to go on and live a better life, but I’d bet cash money you have some ghetto-ass tendencies yourself. She’s probably accepted you for who your are, and love’s you despite all that. Love yourself enough to be 100% transparent and share it with your fiance, even if that transparency is vulnerability. You may be dealing with some extreme self-worth issues that you are hiding from yourself. Allow your fiance to walk with you towards the path of healing.
The biggest blessing in this situation is that you have the opportunity to end a cycle that’s prevalent in many African American families. You and your fiance have the power to bridge the gap and bring a new generation into the world that will never have to experience the things you did. That will only happen when you embrace things for what they are and move forward. Own it, and use it all as a tool to grow.