Post # 1
I just engaged, while it should be a time of celebration, my family is not happy. I grew in a conservative Indian family who expected me to be arranged married to an nice Indian boy. I guess life had other plans for me. I fell in love with an American boy and now my family is just having a hard time dealing with it.
There 3 big issues are this will bring shame to the family, we will have trouble raising our kids because I am a Sikh and he is agnostic (we decided to raise them Sikh), he will not be accepted in our extended family and will cause problems for him.
I was wondering if someone else had this problem with interracial, inter-religious marriage before and how they handled it. I want my family involved in the wedding but how do I do that?!? I thought maybe a wedding planner would help, because they would make my family be more involved. Can you guys think of anything else? What are the best ways to handle their 3 issues?
I would appreciate any help.
Post # 3
How well does your family know your fiance? Maybe try to include him in family gatherings/events so your family can get to know him better? That way, he can also become more familiar with Indian culture and the Sikh religion.
Post # 4
@shopgal:How long did you date? How did you address the differences then?
Post # 5
I have a really close friend of mine who is Indian and has the same type of family. However, she decided to go against the family and she ended up getting engaged to an American Man, (which I adore him!) But, the family was not happy for the same reasons you described above.
So, she told them this: “I understand what you’re saying and I respect it. But, I fell in love and the one thing you have always taught me was to be happy. I am happy and I sincerely hope that regardless of what may happen with our family, that you, as my parents, will be happy for your daughter who wouldn’t want it any other way.”
She literally wrote all this (and I asked her for it so I can post it for you). After talking to them (as adults) and informing them its what makes her happy, her parents (atleast) realized that it would be against their will as parents to forbid or be against something that makes their daughter so happy.
To this day, she still fights with the rest of her family regarding it. But, they are happily married and her parents are making the effort to include him in. Its worth a shot, but the bottom line is, you need to be happy because it is YOUR life. Good luck, I know its hard … but, you know what needs to be done. Keep us posted honey!!
Post # 6
I’m so sorry to hear that you are going through this when it should be such a happy time in your life so firstly- congratulations on your engagement!
I haven’t personally been in a situation like this but I do work with someone who had difficulties letting his muslim family know he had become engaged to the catholic girl he had been dating.
I don’t know too much about Sikhism so my apologies if I seem very vague or if my advice doesn’t apply but what worked for my workmate was to show (and he had to work fairly hard to do this) that his fiance while not Muslim like himself was more than willing to raise their future children to be Muslim like their father and his family just as your fiance has agreed to raise your children Sikh (and believe me having him willing to do this is a big deal as many couples struggle to come to a mutural decision on religion on their own let alone with family or outsiders input) and that she also really wanted to be included in family or religious celebrations and learn about their faith and traditions even if it was sometimes only a sideline part to show her commitment to her partner.
It took just over a year for things to smooth out for them and while they still occasionally struggle with some of the older family members everyone seems to have settled and accepted the fact that they are getting married. I hope the same happens for you. Best of luck.
Post # 7
A good friend of mine is Sikh and married a white boy. Her family was fine with it. She was in her late twenties so they were just happy she got married. I say include him in your family gatherings so they can get to know him and make it clear that this is not a choice they get to make. It is your decision and your decision alone.
Post # 8
Thanks for all your kind messages.
I have know my finance for 3 years and he has supported me through a lot of ups and downs I have had. Even though he is agnostic, he is very supportive and tolerant of me being a devout Sikh and having our kids be raised Sikh as well.
I told my parents this is what I want and they say OK well then go get married. Its seems like you don’t need us, so go get married and just let us know when its over. I want them to get to know him better, but its hard since I live on the west coast and my parents live in the midwest. We wanted to go fly to my parents and do the meet and greet but they refuse to see him. I can’t force them to talk to him. I call them all the time and they talk to me fine, but as soon as I bring this topic up they change their tone and get mad. I don’t know what more can I do.
I can’t imagine a wedding without all my family, but it seems that if I want a wedding thats how it will be. Did your friends ended up having a wedding without their family or did they have to drag them through it?
Post # 9
i’m actually half Sri Lankan (mum) and half Belgian (dad), my FH is Sri Lankan (very dark skin, speaks very little french). My dad family is Roman Catholic and my mum and FH are Buddhist. We plan to get married in Sri Lanka with a Buddhist ceremony …
my dad and mum are happily married for 26 years but my mum is still consider by the european family as the “country side girl with no manners, no education … ”
I know what they think about my FH and i sincerly don’t car, i love him and that’s all that matters.
Your parents love you and you will still be their daughter. Be happy and little by little try to go to the temple with him, to go to the community celebrations … that’s how my mum did and NOW my dad is totally accept by everyone. make your fiance learn Panjabi or at least a few words that helps 😀
So are you planning to have you wedding in the US or India? What are you going to wear? i’m still looking for my sarees so it is nice to find another southasian bride 🙂
Post # 10
I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. When did you announce your engagement? Perhaps its just very soon for them and they will eventually warm up? Maybe you could slip into a conversation that the two of you have an appointment at temple because your Fiance is learning about the religion so that your children will be raised that way. That would force them to the realization that yes, this is happening, they are going to eventually have grandchildren that they will want to see, your Fiance is committed to raising them Sikh.
My ex husband was white Catholic and his sister ended up marrying her high school and college sweetheart, who happened to be Arican American. They had to hide their dating all those years because my ex’s mother was prejudice. They were married for 10 years and just the daughter would visit and the mother would never acknowledge the husband. Then, they decided to have a child and the mother started scrambling, realizing that she was going to miss out on meeting or having a relationship with her grandchild. So she worked hard to be forgiven and because her daughter’s husband is such a good person, he did forgive her and now the family is close. So it is possilbe to get over those hurdles. Good luck to you!
Post # 11
Seems like I will have to drag my family through the wedding kicking and screaming! My feelings on this topic has gone from being upset to mad at my family. Being mad never helps, because I make means comments to my parents which pushes them further.
I feel like I need a little time off from this topic with them. I will keep you guys informed on how wedding plans progress.
Post # 12
I am sorry to hear that your parents are not being accepting of your Fiance. As a sikh girl marryng a guyanese-christian guy, I can understand what you’re going through. My mom is very traditional and was not too happy with the fact that I wanted to marry someone who was not Sikh. But — once they met him and got to know him and saw how much my sister’s adored him, she eased up. Now her face lights up when he comes over. I think this had to do with my dad talking to her (he is far more modern than mom) and explaining that if this is the man that makes me happy, to be happy with it.
There are alot of inter-racial marriages within my extended family and once the parents got to know the Fiance and realized their kids were still going to have a traditional Sikh ceremony, they were ok with it.
Are you planning on getting married at the gurdwara too? Do you have anyone else in your family that supports your relationship and could talk to your parents?
I know that with time, your parents will come around.
Good Luck 🙂