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Forums / Multicultural experiences / Disappointing my parents

Topic: Disappointing my parents

2 posts, 0 answered
  1. Son_Son
    Son_Son avatar
    1 posts
    31 March 2019

    Hello good people,

    I am in my early 20s and a university student. I live with my parents and come from a very strict/closed in family. Everyone in my family has been arranged married and my family wishes the same for me too. I have been with my boyfriend for over 6 years now and I just told them about him last year. They do not accept him as he comes from a different caste and isn't a 'DOCTOR' or an 'ENGINEERING'. I love him and I love my parents. Past year my relationship with my parents has just gone downhill, I hardly communicate with them and I feel guilty that I have disappointed them by hiding my relationship from them. I constantly feel guilty when I see them and I don't know how to have a normal conversation with them. How do I go on achieving my own dreams and having my own values while still trying to make parents proud? My extended family and my parents have told me that I have disappointed the family and if I continue to be with my boyfriend I will bring shame to the family. There are days when I feel like I should just give up on everything and follow what my family says, and some days I feel as if I shouldn't care what people say and do what makes me happy. How do I not let this situation affect my studies (Final year of my degree) and my personal life. How do I make things better at home?

    Sending lots of love from Adelaide.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. nikki.n
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    nikki.n avatar
    1 posts
    31 March 2019 in reply to Son_Son

    Hi Son_Son,

    That sounds like a difficult dilemma you are in. As someone who also comes from a multicultural background, I have also felt pressure at times to do what my parents think is best for me. Fortunately, although my family has some traditional values regarding career and having children, they are quite open-minded for Asian parents and have always let me do what I want without too much interference. That is not to say though that their ideas and expectations don't enter affect me and my decision-making.

    I think that throughout the years, what I've worked out is that you really have to ask yourself: who are you living for? And if you think you should live to "make your family proud", as you say, why do you feel like you have that obligation?

    Personally, I believe there is an important distinction to be drawn between feeling and displaying basic respect and gratitude for our family and all that they have done for us, and living according to their wishes. I think that ultimately as individuals, we have no responsibility to live according to anyone else's expectations except for our own. The other thing to consider is, if you just did what your family wanted but was deeply unhappy, how would that affect the rest of your life (your studies, career, relationship with your family) and ultimately, would that do you and your family more harm or good?

    It can be difficult to see things clearly when you are surrounded by different opinions. I would suggest taking some time away if possible, perhaps moving out or going travelling somewhere for a while, and see if that gives you some clarity. Best wishes.

    1 person found this helpful

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