In a perfect world, we would meet someone, fall in love, bring that special someone home to meet the family and in an instant everyone would love them as much as we do. Unfortunately, sometimes the love you have for your other half is matched only by the hate your family has for them. Or at least that's the case for me. Since I was 15-years-old my family has hated the man I love and it’s a burden I carry with me every day.
To be fair, my family has reason to hate Marcus. When we were teenagers we fought over the silliest things, broke up every other day and he even cheated on me a time or two. My family got overly involved in our teenage theatrics and that’s where the disdain began. After our first breakup, Marcus was banned from coming anywhere near my house, after the third and a side piece, my brothers literally chased him and beat him up every time they saw him. My mother couldn’t understand why I kept going back and prayed every day that I would find a “good boy that won’t run off if you get pregnant.”
After high school, Marcus and I graduated and went to colleges in the same state. We were just an hour apart and even though my family still plotted his demise, things were good between us…until he dropped out our sophomore year. Marcus decided school wasn’t for him and picked up a trade that allowed him to work immediately and he also started a business on the side. My family however saw this as more proof that he was an “uneducated bum” and wasn’t able to keep up with the life I was working hard to achieve. I understood where they were coming from on some level—who doesn’t want the best for their child?—but ultimately, my parents were just refusing to forgive for his high school behavior and wouldn't give him another chance.
Over the years I tried to tell my parents about all the good things Marcus did, like his volunteer work and his successful side business, but any time they caught wind of trouble in paradise, even if it was something small like me rolling my eyes at him, that automatically sent them on a rampage and mission to get him out of the picture. One family holiday I brought Marcus to dinner, without telling them because otherwise they wouldn’t approve, and they spent the entire night arguing with him about the girls he cheated with in high school and questioning whether he could be trusted not to cheat now—since he has so much free time not being in school or having a corporate job. Mind you, Marcus hasn’t cheated on me since high school (to my knowledge, and I have no reason to believe otherwise). Just another example of them not letting go.
Despite all this, our love continued to grow. We might not have my family’s support, but Marcus’ family has embraced me 100% and supported us along the way. That’s why when he proposed three years ago, he did it while we were on vacation with them. I was over the moon! That is until I realized that I couldn’t share this moment with my folks. After the engagement, I tried sliding test conversations in to see how they would react to even the idea of me thinking about marriage with Marcus. The outcome? Not good, not good at all. My father got so upset he punched a hole in the door and my mother screamed that I would be ruining my life. I figured it wasn’t the time to tell them I was planning a wedding. The following year, two weeks before the big day, I sat my mother down and told her how happy I was with Marcus and how I couldn’t imagine life without him. She wiped my tears of joy and told me I would be settling for a common man who could only give me common things and that I was a college graduate who needed someone on my level. She said Marcus was childhood happiness, not adult happiness and I needed to know the difference.
Two weeks later, I married Marcus without my family by my side.
It’s been a little over a year since I married my high school sweetheart and my family still doesn’t know. We moved in together after the ceremony, to the dismay of my unsuspecting family, and have been living in relative bliss ever since. It’s not perfect, we have our moments when we fuss and fight like most couples, but overall I feel I made the best choice. I love Marcus, always have. And even though I wish my family could love him as much as I do and be a part of our joy the same way Marcus’ family has, I have to accept that they might not be ready to. However, I’m not giving up hope and I’m going to keep fighting to bring the two important halves of my heart and soul together and I need my family to be on board now more than ever Because missing my wedding day is one thing, missing the life of their soon-to-be grandchild will be more than they could bear.
~As told to Danielle Pointdujour