Good families gone bad

Good families gone bad

Monday, August 10, 2020

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SOMETIMES we major so much in the minor that it comes back to bite us in the rear — like the people below who took deliberate steps to marry or date people from “good” families and then encounter the in-laws from hell.

How important is it for you to marry someone from a good family — a family that is seemingly supportive, accepting, loving and financially stable?

These readers admit that having come from dysfunctional homes they sought stability, but ended up with worse than they expected.

Robbie, 37:

I had a foster family growing up, so I always imagined that I wanted to marry someone who was a Christian with good family values and with whom I could raise children in a supportive, extended network. I pursued this young lady in church — a deacon's daughter — even though I was more compatible, and had more love for another girl. Anyway we were eventually married, and it was after the marriage that I began to see the cracks. Her dad, who would give the welcome at church on Sundays, is abusive to her mom, and has a vocabulary like a sailor. Her brother is promiscuous, and she's a liar who shares every intimate detail or our life with her mother. The whole situation is toxic, but I won't let my son be the product of a broken home.

Timothy, 50:

There's no such thing as a good family, and I learnt my lesson very well. I grew up with my grandparents after my mother migrated, never to return, and my wife's family seemed like good people at first, until there was the incident that nobody talks about to this day. A certain revered uncle was accused of molesting one of the children, and they shipped him off to rehab in the United States, and sent the child to boarding school. This was over 15 years ago and the child is now an adult, and still no one talks about it. Ironically, the uncle dresses up as Santa Claus at Christmas time.

Ari, 40:

My family is from rural Jamaica — humble, farming people with a dozen kids. Several of us never even completed school, and the older ones had to raise the younger ones — it was that kind of situation. My husband's family is the opposite — nuclear family with both parents being professionals. But they're also loud, boisterous and ill-mannered. I knew they were loud show-offs before, but I guess I thought we wouldn't have to be around them often, and the fact that my husband didn't have to struggle certainly helped. While we have nice things, nice vacations, and our children go to the 'right' schools, etc, it's a mind-numbing experience being around them and hearing them criticise people who can't do better, and making a mockery of things like the way people look, and people's social status.

Eloise, 27:

My husband's family has taught me to never trust a soul, because people are never as they seem. We met in university and though we're from different denominations, both sides of the family accepted that we were in love and wanted to be together. His family are mega-church leaders with a huge following, certainly more involved in religion than my boring, struggling Anglican folks. Anyway, everything was going well until our son came two years ago, and my mother-in-law went berserk with her rules, and insisted that he get circumcised. When hubby and I told her that we would not do that, she snuck behind our backs and had the procedure done. I wanted to prosecute her, but my husband convinced me not to, even though instead of apologising for disfiguring my baby, she said it was God's will. I have not spoken to her since then, and she continues to tell my husband to just give her a chance to come by the house so she can try to get the “devilish stubbornness” out of me.


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