(Closed) Vent – cultural differences really bogging me down (LONG)

posted 7 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
Member
2142 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Hi,

I’m really sorry you are going through this. I’m not Indian but I’m Chinese and my husband is German/Irish. And I come from a very conservative & traditional family, in some aspects.

I totally get what you say about getting along better with his family than your own. There are definitely days that I feel that way as well.

My husband and I went through what you are going through for many years. In the beginning my family was vehemently against our relationship, they did not talk about it, pretend it was not happening. When I moved back for a year after college when I would go visit him they would pretend like it’s not happening. Finally enough was enough and I moved to be with my then Boyfriend or Best Friend. Our relationship was at a rocky point at that moment. My husband took A LOT of flack for the way my family and relatives were acting. He did not understand it. Why was it any of their business that we are dating? Just because I’m Chinese and he’s white? I KNOW relatives talked about me behind my back and to my mom’s face. They told me to my face why am I dating a white guy? When they see us on the streets when he comes to visit with me they gave him dirty looks. Honestly we could have cared less what they thought. But it hurt us that they were making an already difficult situation even more difficult with their unwarranted opinions that put more pressure on my family.

I took a proactive approach and every single time I went home to visit he came with. The message we were sending was we are together forever. It’s NOT going to change because you want it to. It was really hard and awkward at the beginning but eventually they saw what I saw. That he’s a great human being, kind, caring, funny and that we’re perfect together. It took them a while but they came around. When that happened they stood up for us when relatives commented. And that was the end of that.

We got engaged after almost 9 years together. For us it was important that my family be there on the wedding day and be truly happy for us. A lot of it was because in the beginning *I* was dragging my feet on presenting him to my family. They would have accepted him a lot sooner if I gave them and him the chance to know each other.

Anyway, I just wanted to share with you my story to give you some light at the end of the tunnel!

It was SO worth the wait for us. My whole family (relatives included!) were so happy for us on our wedding day! My brother was more excited than I was when walking me down the aisle!

Hang in there!

Post # 7
Member
9 posts
Newbee

Fortunately for me, my experiences have been different. Let me start off by stating that I was born in America, but I was raised by immigrant parents/family, from Asia.

I have never been with a person of my race, let alone ethnicity, and I actually grew up in a community full of people of my own ethnicity.

All of my boyfriends have been Caucasian and/or Mediterranean mixed. Primarily American Caucasians and I never felt that their families were against my racial differences, because culturally, we were the same. If I ever felt or experienced any differences, it was always pertaining to socioeconomic status. I always felt like my poor background stood out more than anything. I was raised with both American and Asian influences, and the Asian influences are far more obvious when I’m in the home of an American (ie: help doing the dishes as a guest before leaving) who isn’t well-cultured.

My family does not oppose my interest or pursuance of Caucasians, but they have expressed a strong disinterest in Hispanics and Africans, due to their superiority complexes. It doesn’t bother me, because the latter doesn’t interest me anyhow. 

Overall, I’ve been accepted by all my Caucasian boyfriends’ families, and some of them become quite fond of me. My family is the same. It really all depends on how racist they are, what their perception is of interracial dating, or how strongly they care to maintain the production of purebred offpsring. :/

I’m sorry to hear about your struggles, but at the end of the day, I ignore family and etc to have my happiness, because in the end, family’s going to die anyway, and you’re left with the man you chose to wake up and go to sleep with. He’ll most likely outlive them. If you’re living to please your family, who are you pleasing once they’re gone? I asked myself this awhile back and live by it now.

Post # 9
Member
5496 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2010

Hey there. White American here married to an Indian (raised in India). 🙂  We were lucky in that his parents accepted me (actually we had more problems with some from my family -dad and stepmom) but I know many Indian/Non-Indian couples that have been thru just what you mention. Most of them have said that once they are/were married, things got much better. As you know, most Indian families do not like dating and take marriage very seriously. Most of my non-Indian friends who married Indians were treated much better once married. I don’t think you can change their opinions. You can only keep repeating that you love him and want to marry him. Good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions. 🙂

Post # 10
Member
893 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

So sorry to hear that and I hope that your dad will come around soon.  Hopefully, he’ll get to see how wonderful he is to you if they spend some time together.  I know there are some Indians who would only approve of their kids’ SO if they’re the same race group.  I truely hope your family will come around.

Sorry I don’t have much advice.

Post # 11
Member
94 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Indian married to non-Indian here so I have some experience. Firstly, you can’t control what the aunties say or do so don’t bother yourself about it. I know it’s hard to watch your mum be affected by it because face it, she was raised in a time where reputation was everything and has grown with that mindset but at the same time all she wants for you is to be educated and have a good, loving marriage (and grandbabies, lots of them ha ha). If your parents have had an arranged marriage, it plays into how they feel and what they know about dating.

We belong to a community that believes in doing one thing at a time: school, job and then marriage. So a promise ring does not make sense to them, who cares? It’s your ring, if it makes you feel happy so be it. One thing that helped was when Darling Husband got a job and his degree. He bought a house and then came to talk to my parents about marriage, I know this may not be possible for you but it certainly helped in my case. He was ALWAYS respectful to my parents even when he disagreed with them and believe me, they notice and love that about him. You can’t fix how other people feel about inter-cultural relationships, you can only prove them wrong. I know there’s a whole lot more with the relationship being an LDR (mine was too) but hope this helps for now.

Post # 12
Member
9 posts
Newbee

@ MAlove – well said. 

 

If race/ethnicity, culture, and pride were the issues– you’re either going to have to come to terms with their disproval, or part from him. Which one could you live with, without regrets more?

Post # 13
Member
4 posts
Wannabee

I’m in a mixed race marriage too. What I’ve found is that on the outside it’s like your parents are really against it, and white cultures are more accepting of girlfriends in general so it seems as though the emotional divide about who likes you more is huge.

I know it feels rubbish, but maybe thinking of it in this way will make you feel better: they have to live with all the comments that people in the community say (you don’t get it directly) and they don’t want people to badmouth you. They probably try really hard not to feel hurt by these comments but will probably pass stress onto you, and going off for a few months doesn’t help hearsy unfortunately.  And the only way they know how not to get these rumours is to not talk about it…Pass the anger onto the gossipy women who have idle brains from staying at home all day!

When I moved in with my bf (now husband) family wouldn’t tell anyone where I lived. all ok now though!

Post # 15
Member
9 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Dude, I totally feel the whole desis being judgmental thing. My Mom’s friends and family have been lightweight a nightmare to deal with. its pretty unfortunate. Hold tight! And PM me if you ever need to talk about it!

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