Fiance does not want Chinese ceremony and banquet

posted 2 weeks ago in Traditions
Post # 16
Member
7002 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Honestly, your fiance sounds like an ass. Look, I get it, not everyone is excited or interested in having a big hoopla of a wedding day – and maybe your fiance is that guy. But marriage is about compromise and meeting your partner halfway to make sure both of your wants/needs are met. His refusal to do anything to honor your culture is a big red flag for me. He’s just struck a “I see no point and will not do it” attitude which is the worst kind to have. To me what’s worse than his refusal to even TRY to understand or meet you halfway would be how disrepectful it is to your family.

I’m ALL for couples doing what they *mutually* want for their wedding and and am usually the first to agree that the opinions of your family don’t matter. However, this isn’t a situation where you want a kid-free wedding and your parents insist 50 kids needs to be invited. This is literally them wanting you to honor your culture and tradition. His behavior is a deal-breaker for me because I think it shows a lack of character and compassion….and I think that’s the precursor for the rest of your marriage.

Bee, you are the one meeting him half way and he can’t even take your hand and help you over the ditch. :/

Post # 17
Member
528 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

ozbee :  I really dislike being told I dont understand a culture when that particular item we are discussing is not about the tradition but being forced to participate in it. That isn’t culture, that is bad parenting, and being manipulative and controlling. Any culture that shames women, restricts their rights, puts the burden of their parents happiness above the child is not ok with me, ever.

Culture is beautiful,  i am sure a tea ceremony has a lot of history to it and i am sure is wonderful. That obviously isn’t what I take issue with. I take issue with any parent that threatens their child with disownment if they don’t participate or do what the parent wants. I would feel the same for a parent insisting their child have a Catholic wedding, or include Jewish traditions when that child doesn’t practice that religion. 

I would even go as far as to say…

– Children do not exist to support the parents. Not financially, not emotionally. Children do not exist to be the source of their parents happiness. 

-Everyone is responsible for their own happiness. 

– CHildren do not ask to be born, so they can’t possibly be a burden or “OWE” their parents anything. That isn’t how it works. If a child wants to do something for their parents because they have a loving healthy relationship? Great. 

Post # 18
Member
83 posts
Worker bee

My fiancee’s parents will also disown him if he does not get married in a Catholic Church.. so I know how you are feeling. Lots of previous posters are saying how this is shitty parenting, just a threat, etc. Yes, it’s shitty parenting: but how does that comment help us change the situation at all? It doesn’t. We can’t change them. No, it’s not just a threat in my case because they already disowned his brother when he moved in with his girlfriend. To the poster wondering what “disowning” means – it means they will not speak to him, and he is not welcome on their property. He ceases to exist. Yes, that’s a terrible terrible parenting job- totally 100% agree with that: but they aren’t going to change. 

I am in the situation of your fiancee. I don’t want to get married in a church to appease my in-laws- especially when they hang a threat of disownment over our heads. That being said, there has to be a level of compromise. I know it doesn’t seem like it (due to the disownment) but my in-laws are actually lovely people to be around. My fiancee absolutely loves him- they are his PARENTS for pete’s sake. I had to make the decison that I am NOT willing to ruin the relationship he has with them and am compromising by marrying in a church. However: i picked the church, i picked the readings, i picked the music, i picked the decor, etc. I think you just need to find a way to give your fiancee a sense of “control” back over his situation. I remember I felt SO out of control when this was all happening- like it suddenly wasn’t our wedding at all and it was all about his parents. Find a way to regain control. In the end, we went to counselling to work through it- you may need to also. Cultures colliding is tough stuff (my fiancee is Indian). 

Post # 19
Member
528 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

maritabee33 :  I dont mean to side track the thread but i am genuinely curious. How are his parents lovely if they have disowned their other son, and would disown your fiance simply because he didn’t follow their religion? To me a parent that is willing to lose their child completely over something like that couldn’t possibly love their kid that much. 

I don’t think I could handle having grandparents like that in my future child’s life. I wouldn’t want my kids to think their grandparents love is conditional, or that it is appropriate to emotionally manipulate your children, or anyone, to do what you want with threats of withdrawing your love and support. That is incredibly toxic. 

And where does it end? Your fiance’s parents clearly feel their tactics work, if you bend to them for your wedding that just shows them that you will give in to their manipulations. So whats next? Forcing you to raise your kids Catholic, at their church, on their terms? What else are they going to force you to do under threat of disownment? Those aren’t lovely people at all. 

Post # 20
Member
2414 posts
Buzzing bee

I have a slightly different take on the situation.

it seems like the 2 of you have vastly different beliefs about the importance and role or extended family.  This is something you need to talk through before getting married.

if you have kids, for example, will your parents expect to have a say in how they are raised, how they are disciplined, or even be able to Discipline your kids themselves?  How do you and your Fiance feel about this?

what is his cultural background?  If it’s different than yours, he may not be comfortable with the dynamics of respecting family and elders… to what he might see as the point of deference. 

i’ll admit, the whole “my parents will disown me if I don’t do this” would make me decide to not do what they wanted.  I do not engage with not negotiate with emotional terrorists.  

Post # 21
Member
6599 posts
Bee Keeper

misslucy :  mrsssb :  I think you bring up good points. If OPs parents will “literally disown her” over not having this ceremony, where does that stop? They sound overbearing at best, so setting boundaries ahead of time could be necessary. 

Post # 22
Member
94 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2020

No, I can see OP’s parents’ behavior as not an over exaggeration. Very traditional Chinese parents can be overbearing and almost toxic. I could go on a rant about how manipulative and toxic filiel piety can be.

OP – do YOU, not your parents – want the tea ceremony. Are these YOUR values or your parents? If you do, then your fiance will need to compromise and you need to communicate that this is very important to you. If not, you’re going to have to have a serious conversation with your parents on the way they’re treating you.

Bear in mind, this is not the only thing your parents are going to ask of you. If you have no older siblings, you and FH will be the ones taking care of them in their old age. Are you and FH ready for this?

Post # 23
Member
937 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

No one is taking OP to jail if she does not support her parents in their old age. Her parents can, like many other parents, provide for their own old age.

But I certainly agree that OP and her fiance should thoroughly discuss what her cultural expectations are and whether or not he is willing to go along with them or she is willing to compromise or even give them up.

Cultures exist, for good or ill, but no one is locked into one permanently against his or her will. And no one can be dragged into one through a marriage against his or her will. But the expectations need to be discussed–in detail, now. 

Post # 25
Member
528 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

dchieu21 :  I think your fiance’s parents are smart to not get involved. Neither sets of parents are the ones getting married so they should only be meeting in the interest of both families getting to know each other. I also think his parents might be trying to avoid an awkward conversation if your parents start asking that they financially contribute to the wedding or other things. HIs parents are being smart to stay out of it. 

Maybe ask your fiance if he feels your parents are too involved in your life as a couple. I wonder if what is really going on is he feels your parents are controlling and wants no part of that. Because it doesnt quite make sense that he is so against a 1 hour party and tea ceremony if he likes your parents. I think something else is going on here. 

 

Post # 26
Member
6663 posts
Bee Keeper

dchieu21 :  I WANT to do the tea ceremony as I believe it’s been a tradition in our family.

I think if you’d included that YOU want to celebrate with your family in this way in your opening post you’d be getting very different responses. 

How is your relationship with your Fiance otherwise? Does he respect your beliefs, values and opinions on other issues? 

Post # 27
Member
22 posts
Newbee

I’m assuming it’s not that he dislikes your culture/background, because if that was the case, you wouldn’t have dated him for that long. The following is making me think that he doesn’t like your parents very much:

“Because it doesnt quite make sense that he is so against a 1 hour party and tea ceremony if he likes your parents. I think something else is going on here.”

Another thing to consider is that I am from a developing country whereas my ex was from a developed country and he used to unconsciously give me hints here and there that in some ways, his culture/country rocks in terms of food, traditions, beauty, and mine was just ok. He never was very interested in learning about my culture, while I showed a lot of interest in his. That’s not why we broke up but that being said, I didn’t like him making himself “superior” to me in this regard. If you feel like this, it’s a red flag. 

Post # 28
Member
3832 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Your fiance is being an ass. YOU want the tea ceremony and he is flat out refusing. It shouldn’t be a waste of time to him if it makes you happy. The fact that your parents would disown you if you didn’t do it isn’t right, but nevertheless it does raise the stakes. You WANT the tea ceremony AND you would have to deal with serious drama if you didn’t do it – and he doesn’t seem to care. Him feeling mildly akward for an hour trumps you dealing with a major family falling-out??   

You have already compromised greatly by getting rid of the entire banquet!! A small ceremony isn’t too much to ask. You have already shown that you care about his feelings. He isn’t showing that he cares about yours. An inability to compromise is a worry, especially when there are more serious consequences for one side than the other.

Does he accept your culture and background in general? I mean, you are Chinese. Chinese cultural stuff is going to come up from time to time. Does he respect your heritage?

I’m thinking the tea ceremony doesn’t even have to coincide with the legal marriage? As in you could do the ceremony and get legally married the next day? This is really not a big deal. I don’t know why he objects so much. 

Post # 29
Member
22 posts
Newbee

This exactly: “Does he accept your culture and background in general? I mean, you are Chinese. Chinese cultural stuff is going to come up from time to time. Does he respect your heritage?” 

If he is more of a “oh no another bs Chinese tradition stuff” then this issue you are having will likely come up again post-marriage. 

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