Posted by Sarandos on July 11, 2000 at 05:55:57:
By chance I stumbled on messages posted in February regarding advice on inter-cultural relationships.
I'm the subject of that little exchange of thoughts and opinions.
No one bothered to point out some of the symptoms experienced by the Greek guy that might lead him to be cautious, carefull, and just plain confused about life and all the crap that comes with it. Examples? Well,
1) Drifting from the parents to focus on the relationship means losing touch with the primary contact point to culture and ethnicity. Due to the friction and constant fighting, cultural events where the parents might be present are avoided (this is also a pride thing, if she is not welcome then neither am I). Result? A slow but steady shift or loss in identity. Easy to deal with at first because love is pure, but it gets difficult with time, and you run the risk of resenting everyone, including the one you love.
2) You reject your parents, her parents welcome you, you spend more and more time in that environment. Again, you begin to lose touch with who you are, and the normal cracks that will inevitably show up in any relationship begin to become more bitter.
3) You become depressed because of the constant bitter fighting with the parents, you come home and she's becoming increasingly depressed about not meeting them.Eventually all you're doing is fighting and consoling, fighting and consoling, fighting and consosling....guilt guilt guilt...and we all know how us Greeks love guilt.
4) There is a responsibility and a duty that comes with putting a non-Greek through the absolute hell of fanatically Greek parents. If you're not sure, don't do it. She doesn't deserve the pain. Make absolutely sure that this is the person that you want to share your life with, because you have to commit 200% to that relationship to make it work otherwise you're dead. Being sure takes time. It means making the relationship really work before thinking of marriage.
That's the discipline.
5)Along comes the day when you don't know how much the whole parent Greek/non-Greek issue is influencing your feelings and your thoughts, how much it's corrupted your emotions. you're lost, you have no damn identity, you have no idea what you think or believe, and no clue wether to work on the inevitable difficult times of the relationship or to let go. You lose sight of why you're doing what you're doing and why you're feeling what you're feeling.
6)And the parents....a fanatical, mentally imbalanced and very hurtfull brick wall whose funeral I will one day have to sit in.
So, let's not all jump in with the quick advice and the righteous crap of "if he loves you yadda yadda blah blah...".
It's not that simple. Maybe it should be but it's not.
Apart from that I must say thank you to those who truly meant their empathy and support. That, she does deserve.
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