My husband and I have been together since we were kids. I always knew that his family had a tendency to be racist, but after we had been together for a while he really seemed to grow out of that way of thinking.
Then in 2008 My husband ended up going to prison. He was in there for about 17 months and now he is almost unbearable when it comes to issues of race. He knows how much it bothers me. And yet he can’t keep it to himself. He is constantly going around judging everyone. I almost can’t stand being with someone so filled with hate!
Example: This morning I am taking him to work when we pass a white girl and a black guy walking up the street. They looked really decent too, dressed nice, the guy was carrying his skate board. And my husband starts shaking his head. I was like what? Then he starts spouting off. He says something about seeing a pretty white girl with a fro. Well that just pissed me off. I told him he didn’t know anything about that guy and he had no right to make assumptions about him, OR her. HE blames all this on when he was in prison. I told him he wasn’t in prison anymore and he needed to let it go! He said it didn’t matter if someone was black and they were a doctor that they would still turn into a n***** when things went bad.
Now I think I have been an incredibly supportive wife, but I just don’t know if I can deal with this. We have 2 kids, and 8 year old girl and a 3 year old boy that has autism. I am just SO frustrated with him I don’t know what to do! HELP!
You have my heartfelt sympathies. In my experience there are three ways to deal with a man who is full of anger/hate, and the first is to continue to love him – unconditionally (even though you don’t agree with what he says/feels).
The second way is to completely ignore his remarks and refuse to be dragged into any discussion. After a while he might begin to realise his barbed remarks are not hitting the target and getting the response he wants.
The third way is to take this to the Lord in prayer and lay your burden down at the foot of the cross. When you wake up in the morning, ask the Lord to grant you the grace, the strength and the wisdom to cope and to show your husband, by word and by deed, that love transcends all. Ask Him to bless your husband, and look for opportunities for you to be the answer to that prayer by blessing him yourself. When we bless others, we ourselves are blessed.
He is who he is, and you can’t ":make": him change. In fact, the more you argue with him and make him wrong for thinking the way he does, the more defensive he gets and the more motivated he is to justify his beliefs. Its become a battleground between you, and he doesn’t want to lose the fight. So you have a choice to make — stop taking his racist comments to heart, laugh them off and focus on his good points as a human being (he must have some positive personal attributes, after all, you fell in love with him and married him, right?) Maybe — just maybe — if you stop fighting with him about his intolerance and just let his comments slide, stop putting him on the defensive, he’ll gradually be able to let go of some of his bigoted attitudes without feeling like he’s giving in to your demands. Or if his remarks bother you and offend you THAT much — divorce his bigoted, racist, narrowminded azz and find a more tolerant and accepting man. Your choice.
I am certainly not taking his side, he is totally wrong. But having said that, you should understand that he was in a very difficult environment for 17 months where race probably played a major role in the social structure. How to help him get past this? Try to explain to him that his line of thinking doesn’t do anything to hurt black people – it only hurts him. It makes people around him lose respect for him and if he talks like that at work, it could end up costing him his job. Remind him that no matter what he thinks or says, the world won’t change for him. ":Fros": will still date white women and vice versa, and unless it directly affects his life, he is only hurting himself by worrying about it.
It’s interesting that him going to prison wasn’t as big a deal as saying something racist. I know lots of people that have issues concerning race. I do not think that I am racist but I can see why other people are. The people I know that are racist usually have been traumatized for a long period of time by the group they are prejudiced against. I would make it clear to him that saying things like the N word and in anyway showing racist behavior in front of the children would be a deal breaker. He should probably get some counseling to deal with his prison experience. There are probably some things he is uncomfortable talking to you about that would be better dealt with professionally.
I believe that you can learn that in prison because i have a friend who went to prison and now he hates white people with a passion. But i agree that since he knows how you feel about it he should lay off talking about it to you or around you. If that person has not done anything personally to him or his family why hate a random stranger for no reason. I mean calling all black people n*****s its the same as saying all white people are country uneducated rednecks and hicks.
My friend also has kids and his behavior and hate for white people is rubbing off on his oldest son who is 9, i believe racism is a learned behavior and its just not necessary. since you have been a faithful and supportive wife you should give him an ultimate. tell him he changes or you walk? Not saying that you will actually do it but just tell him that to see what he says.
He may have had a bad experience. I was beaten and knifed by 3 black people when I was in school and I had issues that I had to deal with. I realized I could not hate an entire race because of 3 bad people who beat, cut, and robbed many years ago. He needs to realize that there are good people of all races and that not all people of a given race are bad. Racism is the promotion of the supremacy of one particular race which would indicate people who hate all races other than their own. If he really wants to change he could seek counseling. Racism is taught all over in the homes of black people and white people and people of all other races. It is a fact of life and until it stops being taught in homes, it will never cease to exist.
Your husband is ignorant and he should be ashamed of himself. Unfortunately, if his family had racist tendencies, then his behavior and way of thinking are things that were embedded in him and it’s really hard for people to break the cycle and think for themselves about an issue or whatever. Still, it does not discount the ignorance of the situation. As far as jail is concerned, I know that YOU feel that, now that he’s out of prison, his mentality and his attitude should change. Unfortunately, for most people who do some amount of time, the opposite happens. Prison doesn’t rehab inmates. It hardens them. And whatever happened in prison to compound your husband suppressed racist tendencies and thoughts and feelings (because he CLEARLY did not grow out of them) is not going to be something that he can just easily cast aside because he’s a free man now. Perhaps he should get some sort of counseling. Perhaps you should leave him.
It sounds like your husband is putting a lot of stress in your marriage and having 3 great children with autism is stressful as well. Maybe you should ask your husband to go to marriage counseling with you and Just let him know how much it makes you upset each time he uses a racist remark. Good luck
Mikey’s mother used the ‘ N ": word twice in HIS house – kicked her out and have not spoken to her in probably 8 years. i don’t play on this issue !
With that said – Remember you have children !
My only suggestion – Stop the entire conversation , right then . Ask him what makes that person any less of a human being than me or you. He will try and sidestep the question but stand proud and MAKE him answer it.
May or may not work but just keep doing it. If it does not change in 6 months or so – Take the kids and walk – again , i don’t play on this one and your children WILL learn this behaviour.
You could try the Jedi Mind Trick. What makes you think that you should be able to control what any one thinks, let alone your husband. You appear to be one of those that marries the raw material and think you can shape it into anything you want. Not working out real well is it.
Facts of life, not everyone will believe what you believe. Not everyone will like you. Not everyone will think that your beliefs are the way life should be.
Therefore, get over yourself and let others think what they will.