Will I create a division?

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thebridetobe Posts : 4 Registered: 10/6/10
Will I create a division?
Posted: Nov 29, 2010 12:38 AM

I am from South Africa but am a US citizen... I left SA when I was 17, basically more than half of my life was spent there. My FH is a Texan, extremely patriotic and an ex-vet. I suggested to him that I wanted to something subtle to represent my country of birth, like use the protea (national flower of SA) in our centerpieces, and he freaked out. He felt it would cause a divide because it would only represent my side of the family and this wedding was about us, not me. Also I am a US citizen now, and South Africa shouldn't matter. I don't think doing something like that would cause a huge division, and cause his family to feel left out, but maybe I am wrong???

Edited by: thebridetobe on Nov 29, 2010 12:38 AM

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dodgercpkl Posts : 130 Registered: 9/27/09
Re: Will I create a division?
Posted: Nov 29, 2010 4:17 AM Go to message in response to: thebridetobe

I didn't see it that way. My husband is Dutch and I'm American, and yet I thought it would be a great touch to incorporate some of my husbands culture into the wedding by having 1/2 of our centerpieces be Dutch shoes. To me it's a joining of two people and that can be things that the couple have in common or a celebration of two cultures coming together in one couple.

I'm trying really hard to understand where he's coming from and I can't. I never served in the armed forces, but I'm very patriotic as well. I see nothing wrong with what you suggested! I honestly doubt that anyone would think it was anything other then an unusual and pretty centerpiece! Maybe suggest a compromise by putting something very Texan or patriotic into the mix? If he doesn't accept that I'd be seeing red flags. You shouldn't have to forget your heritage, it's a part of who you are and he should understand that!!

Edited by: dodgercpkl on Nov 29, 2010 1:22 AM


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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Will I create a division?
Posted: Nov 29, 2010 6:30 AM Go to message in response to: thebridetobe

Dear B2B,

" I don't think doing something like that would cause a huge division, and cause his family to feel left out"

So by doing a few things that represent your family history, thus making your family feel included, that will make his family feel excluded, mortally offended and left out?

Weddings are a BLEND of two families, not a complete surrender of one family to another. If your boyfriend is such a control freak in other ways, I would give some serious second thoughts to the wisdom of marrying him.

I have been to South Africa. That is a nation with a unique, troubled but ultimately triumphant history. The peaceful passing of political power from the apartheid regime to a democratic society was nothing short of a miracle. I fail to see how including the national flower of South Africa in your wedding should cause mortal offense.

If one of my sons were marrying a woman from South Africa, I would be happy to see flowers or other items in the wedding that would represent her family and her past history.

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VänTillBruden Posts : 353 Registered: 1/16/10
Re: Will I create a division?
Posted: Nov 29, 2010 7:19 AM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

Major red flags are going off in my head, here.

I am Swedish (and American), and very proud of my heritage. My SO and his family are of Irish descent, and also very proud of their heritage. I wear a Claddagh ring that he bought me for Christmas last year, even though I do not have an ounce of Celtic blood in my veins. My SO is trying to learn Swedish so he can communicate with my family members more easily, even though English is the only language he's ever spoken.

See what I am getting at, here? Compromise.

My father is Swedish, but he has lived in the USA since the 1970's. He hasn't applied for citizenship, but he considers himself more American than Swedish. Yet, every year we still prepare Julbord (Christmas table), a very Swedish tradition, for Christmas food. Just because you live in a new place and are adapting to a new lifestyle does NOT mean you completely erase things that have been a part of who you are for the last 20 or 30 years. I don't care what military your FH served in, and I don't care how patriotic he is. The fact of the matter is, he's being incredibly controlling and demeaning in his behavior, and if I were you, I'd take this as a warning to run for the hills.

The entire point of a wedding is to blend. Blending two people, two families, two cultures. If he expects you to give up things that makes you who you are to make HIS family more comfortable, he clearly has his priorities messed up.

Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I need it the most. (Swedish proverb)

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Will I create a division?
Posted: Nov 29, 2010 8:37 AM Go to message in response to: thebridetobe

I'm with the PPs and don't see what the big deal is about including the flower.

It's called blending and compromise - if you have the state flower of TX and the flower of SA in it - why is that a big deal?

You're getting married in TX and I'm assuming following more traditions here (I'm not sure of any wedding traditions in AS) - so why is it an issue to include the flower?

Also, personally, it does set off warning signals for me too - is this how EVERY issue is going to be when it comes up? he just overrides you and doesn't consider you?

Now, maybe that's not how he presented it - but from your original description, that's how it sounds.

 

 

 

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Agape14 Posts : 201 Registered: 12/31/08
Re: Will I create a division?
Posted: Nov 29, 2010 8:44 AM Go to message in response to: thebridetobe

It's a flower. So I'm hard-pressed to think of a logical argument anyone could mount against a flower. Added to that, it's flower that has meaning to you. So for your FH to be passionately against a simple flower, that has meaning to you, seems rather extreme to me. So I would ask him just that: "FH, why are you launching a campaign against a flower, especially one that has meaning to me?"

But beyond the flower, I think this has a larger implication for your relationship. The attitude that "you're an American now, so South Africa shouldn't matter", is very close-minded to put it kindly. And that's something I think you should discuss seriously with your FH while your biggest concern is wedding flowers, not who to visit at Christmas, or what concepts/cultural ideas your children should be exposed to.

 

 

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Will I create a division?
Posted: Nov 29, 2010 8:52 AM Go to message in response to: Agape14

And that's something I think you should discuss seriously with your FH while your biggest concern is wedding flowers, not who to visit at Christmas, or what concepts/cultural ideas your children should be exposed to.

Oh - I meant to touch on that as well. One of the ladies on here (I'll have to see if I can point her over here) is from Puerto Rico, but she still fixes food that's part of her culture (even for Thanksgiving with the ILs) and things like that to keep them a part of her, her DH and her son's life.

I think it's ridiculous to say 'Your American now, so SA shouldn't matter'. People who have been in this country for GENERATIONS still follow their past and try to incorporate traditions into their lives - it's especially ridiculous to expect someone who is the generation who has immigrated to just LEAVE the entire culture they grew up with.

 

 

 

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thebridetobe Posts : 4 Registered: 10/6/10
Re: Will I create a division?
Posted: Nov 29, 2010 9:37 AM Go to message in response to: thebridetobe

Thanks everyone for your responses, and no I am not misrepresenting the situation.

I woke up this morning, still really angry and addressed the issue with my FH again. I told him being from SA was part of me, and what made me who I am - the person he is going to marry. I explained to him it was something that I planned on passing onto our children, and if he thought for one second I was going to eradicate my past because I am now a US citizen, then we have problems. He apologised and admitted to overreacting. I also pointed out that everything else about this wedding was American, and that we were being married by a Baptist minister because my FH is Baptist (I am Methodist) and the minister is his late best friend's father and therefore it had meaning to him, and i wanted that for him. So, I hope the flower issue has been resolved. Thanks everyone!!

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PharmToxGirl Posts : 5,446 Registered: 8/30/07
Re: Will I create a division?
Posted: Nov 29, 2010 10:54 AM Go to message in response to: thebridetobe

Excellent! I'm glad that you were both able to discuss it and he even admitted to over-reacting. And you're ABSOLUTELY right to put your foot down about your heritage NOW.

But it sounds like you have and the two of you are 'hopefully' on a more even keel.

Sometimes we all have bad days and you probably just caught your FH in an 'off' moment if this is not typical behavior for him.

 

 

 

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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Will I create a division?
Posted: Nov 29, 2010 1:36 PM Go to message in response to: thebridetobe

Thank God he's changed his mind, cause I wasn't about to be as diplomatic as the others. He sounded like a nut to me.

__________________________________________

"I'd hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, or insanity, but they've always worked for me." Hunter S. Thompson

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ginarook Posts : 15 Registered: 11/30/10
Re: Will I create a division?
Posted: Nov 30, 2010 8:30 PM Go to message in response to: thebridetobe

What an interesting story. I'm glad it worked out.

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Sevati Posts : 29 Registered: 1/3/11
Re: Will I create a division?
Posted: Jan 3, 2011 4:35 PM Go to message in response to: ginarook

I'm new to the site but I had a thought. I googled the protea flower (cause I had no idea what it looked like) and saw it was a red color. Well the state flower of Texas is the blue bell and the national flower of the USA is the rose. You could do the red protea, the blue bell, and white roses and you incorporate your country, his country, and the state you both now live in; as well being patriotic cause the flowers are red white and blue. And you could add in the yellow rose of texas and it would be a tip of the hat to the veterans of the family.

“In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might, Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!“

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swichwang34 Posts : 657 Registered: 9/13/12
Re: Will I create a division?
Posted: Sep 15, 2012 3:17 PM Go to message in response to: thebridetobe

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