“My Thai/Cambodian parents did not approve of our engagement. I love my parents, however they had the patriarchal mindset that I was an object to be given away. I’m sure a lot of daughters of immigrants can relate to this. In Thai/Cambodian culture it is common for the parents to have full control in every aspect of their daughters life. When it comes to marriage, the bride’s family is usually the one facilitating everything and the groom’s side submits a dowry for their approval. The whole thing is very transactional, archaic, and patriarchal. My parents expected to have full control over every decision in my life, but it was important to me that I had 100% agency in this big life changing decision. So when Anthony and I spoke of marriage, I expressed that it was important for me to make this choice without involving anyones opinions but our own.
When we got engaged, my parents were upset that they did not get to make this decision for me. They forbid the rest of my family from attending the wedding, so I had no blood relatives there. The journey to our wedding day was heartbreaking and in the end, they didn’t attend wedding. However, the love radiating from my “chosen family” was enough to fill all the oceans, and I felt nothing but joy on our wedding day. I also had a first generation Asian American therapist helping me in the months leading up to the wedding. Anthony’s family was incredibly understanding and supportive throughout the whole process.”
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