I am in a three-year relationship with a man from a different race to who I am recently engaged. My family and friends have been nothing but supportive but I am starting to feel pressure from his side. I feel that their culture is so serious and exclusive. Now that things are getting more serious I feel like they are objecting to our possible future together.
It's not just the family it's also other people. People in public sometimes give us looks like they are trying to figure what we are doing together. Sometimes I just feel a general disaproval from people I don't know. Are we doing something wrong? I mean are we making a mistake by pursing a potentially complex interracial marriage?
Scheri, San Diego, CA
Yes you are absolutely doing something wrong, humans should never, mix races, never. Stop what you are doing and find a guy who looks just like you and pursue a relationship with him. How does that sound? Hmmm wait for it, wait for it, Light bulb! That sounds ridiculous doesn’t it?
You need to ask yourself, what is your attraction to this guy? It’s probably that in addition to his compatibility, his differences bring a new richness to into your life. This is a wonderful thing and not at all something you should be questioning. What you should be questioning is this vibe you’re getting from his friends and family. Please allow me to extrapolate and make few assumptions on your behalf. We are not just talking about the mixing of two races, or two cultures. We’re also talking about the mixing of religions aren’t we?
If we are, lets get something straight. Everyone navigating the challenging waters of monogamy has to learn to compromise. This problem is not unique to your relationship. Stop living in a vacuum and look around. I’m reminded of the Waylon Jennings song “Good hearted woman in love with a good time’n man,” and how the clean freaks I know have all married a closet pig and so on and so on. Being in a relationship and committing to it does not mean overlooking the differences it means adapting to them, no matter how hard it may be. In your case the people in his background were expecting his wife to be similar to them and they defiantly were hoping his wife would become an asset to the family. This can still be done without converting religions or loosing all your integrity. Here are a few examples. If they’re first language is different, than learn it. If they have traditions that are unfamiliar to you, accommodate them.
Look to the future. Should you choose to have children they will need to have one foot planted in both cultures. This is a value system that you and your husband will need to understand if you are ever going to teach them. Like it or not Society will play a role in this as well. Your children will likely go through periods of confusion as they grow up. The stronger your relationship with your future husbands family, the stronger sense of self your children will have. If the newly elected president Barach Obama provides any insight it’s that the cultural climate in the United States is changing and that any reservations you may have socially about your interracial relationship are plain insecurities on your part. I speak from experience I have been in a very rewarding relationship with an abdominal snowwoman for years now and have never looked back.