Doctor Love: Hung Up

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length.

Dear Doctor Love,
I am a twenty-two year-old female and I am Creole, born in Belize City. My fiancé is twenty-three and he is Chinese, born in China. We met while we were in high school and we have been together for four years. His mom and dad are still very traditional Chinese who have been in Belize for fifteen years. They are upset about our relationship because they think he should marry a Chinese girl. They still try to introduce him to new girls even after we got engaged. They even tried to arrange a marriage for him to a girl who is still in China. He is going through a really hard time right now because his parents are treating me so badly. It does not really bother me though because I know exactly what I want. I want him because we love each other very much. I tried to explain to him that I can handle whatever they try as long as we are together. He feels very guilty and depressed about my future with his family. I need to get him to put this behind him so we can move on. How can I do this?
s/ Hung Up

Dr-LoveDear Hung Up,
Your guy is probably not really feeling guilty about this situation. Instead, he is probably in a lot of conflict right now because he does not know how to deal with his parents and their views. In his culture family is sometimes even more important than marriage and more important than love. If his parents were born in China the chances are good that it was an arranged marriage. Explain the following to him:
Chinese people have been in Belize for a long time. The first big emigration came in 1865 and the second came in the late 1930‘s and early 1940‘s. For one hundred and fifty years the Chinese have been here. This is why there are old, established and extremely influential Chinese business firms here. In the 1990's another wave of Chinese immigrant began arriving.
Most nationalities that emigrate to Belize start out by keeping themselves and their culture separate from the others. Whether Chinese, East Indian or Middle Eastern they usually manage to keep the first generation apart. However, intermarriage between the cultures can only be discouraged. It is almost impossible to stop it. By the third generation they have been absorbed into the culture and they are no longer immigrants. Instead, we are all just Belizeans.

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