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Dear Stavroula

Dear Stavroula: When Daughter is Dating a Xeno

Dear Stavroula,

My daughter is going out with a young man she met at university, who is a good and smart young man, but he is not Greek. I have no problem with this but my husband doesn’t want to hear it and my daughter wants to bring him home for Christmas. What should I do?

Jenny

Dear Jenny,

All of us who live abroad have a hidden (or obvious) desire for our children to marry our Greeks in order to preserve Greek culture through their own families. Your husband undoubtedly feels this way. Speak to him calmly, without fighting or raising your voices, and show him that you understand him but that you disagree.

Remember that one of the most important things we can achieve as parents is to help our children to respect themselves and have confidence in their strengths. This is what we learn when we first respect their personality and choices when, of course, they do not endanger their lives.

Your daughter, as you tell me, is going out with a good and smart lad, and wants to spend Christmas all together so she has feelings for him. If her father rejects the young man, she is likely to feel he does not respect her or does not care about her feelings.

At best, she will continue to be with the young man, avoiding referring to him or their relationship. At worst, she will distance herself from her father, at the risk of spoiling their relationship and for him to “lose” his child. You might want to ask someone else to talk to him, a friend or a relative, whose opinions you know your husband values and appreciates.

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Dear Stavroula, I am 26 years old, engaged, and very much in love with my man, but he is not of Greek origin nor is he Orthodox Christian.

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