How Do I Choose Between My Guy and My Family?

How Do I Choose Between My Guy and My Family?


I am Indian girl and my boyfriend is an older black man. We have been together for 2 years. He is a great guy – sweet and caring and thoughtful. My culture is so strict and doesn’t want us to date outside our race. He is trying to be patient, but I feel he may be getting tired of the secretive relationship. He has three kids, which doesn’t bother me. I love him and feel like I am in love with him; I could see myself with him forever. He used to see a future with me, but lately it feels like he may not be in love with me. He says he still loves me and cares for me and always will. We still are intimate every now and then. If I follow my heart I feel I have disappointed the family, and if I try to please the family I feel I have disappointed him. I don’t know what to do and am so torn. –Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

Besides your name, there are a few pieces of information I’m lacking. And since I don’t have the full story, I can only leap to some conclusions. Forgive me if I get something wrong, because I really like my advice to be responsible.

There are two separate questions here.

One has to do with whether you should let your parents come between you and your boyfriend.

The other has to do with the strength of your relationship with your boyfriend.

If you can work out your differences with your partner, no one else has a right to say anything except, “Congratulations, I’m so happy for you!”

Let’s keep them separate, okay?

In the case of a traditional Indian family not approving of an outsider to the tribe, this couldn’t be more familiar. You can substitute any subcategory (Jewish, Greek, Chinese, African-American) and the tensions would all be somewhat similar.

Once upon a time, I wrote this piece about whether a strong ethnic family identity should have any bearing on a happy relationship, and the years have only made my opinion stronger.

No way!

True love is really, really hard to find.

You’ve got one life to live.

Far be it from ANYBODY to tell you whom you should and should not date because it doesn’t suit THEIR purposes.

Parents can have a say when it comes to your boyfriend being a drug addict, or physically abusive, or commitment phobic, or chronically unemployed.

But if you’re in a long-term happy relationship with a man who treats you well and has never done anything to betray your trust, then it’s absolutely crazy to break up with him because he’s a different color, ethnicity or religion.

If you can work out your differences with your partner, no one else has a right to say anything except, “Congratulations, I’m so happy for you!”

I wish that was the end of the story.

Except your email really left on a down note.

“He used to see a future with me.”

“He’ll always care about me.”

“We’re intimate now and then.”

Wait, when did this guy go from being the sweet and thoughtful boyfriend to being the man who is pulling away from you?

Is he pulling away from you because he doesn’t want to be married to you?

Or is he pulling away from you because he doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life fighting against your family for his right to be in your life?

Those are two completely different things and only you can answer them.

I’ll just tell you this, before I go.

Fight for what you believe in. If your relationship is worth fighting for, then notify your family and tell them to get on board.

And if this man is pulling away for other reasons, let him go quietly. You can’t hang on to a man who has already let you go.

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  1. 31

    To add to my post above:  Not all relationships start out at serious — some develop from more casual connections or summer flings.   Mine certainly did.  But even so, as time passed and things started to get serious, there was an unhealthy need in me to become the “exception to the rule”, to have him choose me over his family… all of which speaks more to my own unhealthy sense of self esteem and need for validation from the most unlikely sitaution on the planet.   

    I am leaving the “love conquers all” storyline to Disney from now on, and choosing partners who have a real, unhampered, unfettered shot at sharing a relationship.    

  2. 32

    @ SeeClearly,

    Yes, I was in a somewhat similar situation to yours, about three years ago.  I met a British man whose parents were born in Pakistan, but emigrated to Britain, when this fellow was born.  He was married to a very religious and observant Muslim woman but they divorced.  His parents apparently were after him to “find another nice woman and settle down” and he told me this, two weeks after we started dating!  Hello!

    His parents were rather observant Muslims and so between that, and his parents putting pressure on him, I saw the writing on the wall and I got out.  I ended it very soon thereafter.  I knew how the story would end, the parents would definitely not approve of a divorced, American atheist woman.  And I wasn’t doing that dance ever again.

    I’ve heard since that he’d gotten engaged and is probably married now, and I hope everything worked out.  But between parents who were getting pushy, and a huge religious divide, there was no way we’d work out.

    I just get nervous whenever I hear a guy say that his parents are asking him when he’ll settle down, have kids, etc.  I think uh oh, Mama’s Boy Alert, RUN!!!!!!!  My folks don’t ask me, they mind their own business, as any sane, normal parents would.

  3. 33

    @Dagaz, this have everything to do with her culture and the country she or her parents come from. I know this having been in the situation and knowing at least a dozen other women who were also hidden for a good length of time because of this. I know a woman who has been hidden for 4 years! She even went to India with her boyfriend and stayed in a hotel by herself so his parents wouldn’t find out.

    Of course, parents from all cultures don’t always approve of our mates but the south asian culture, in particular, marrying outside of race/class/religion is a huge no-no and for some, choosing your own partner is still viewed in a negative light.

    The only hope is, usually after the pair is married their parents accept because nothing more can be done.

  4. 34

    @Heather & @SeeClearly former partners of Pakistani Muslims UNITE!

  5. 35

    Be very careful trying to fit into something you are not.  The saying “Birds of a feather flock together”  is spot on true!    I am a divorced 48 year old typical American female, raised in a middle class neighborhood with a middle class upbringing, my school mates were basically the same.   I married into an ethnic family/culture (one of those named by Evan above…in fact my ex husband was not born here, he came to the states as a child).  
    I thought it was cool to be exposed to a different ethnic background, experiencing a different culture, everyone seemed friendly at first, however a bit cool towards me.   I figured once they got to know me, they’d warm up.  I attended language classes for 2 years (they knew English but spoke their language often), I learned to cook several of their dishes, and learned ethnic dances.   However it took a few years of being married that it hit me like a brick:  No matter what I did…get married in their church…converting to their religion…baptizing both children in their church…I WAS ALWAYS LOOKING IN.  THE DOOR WAS ALWAYS CLOSED TO ME.  I WASN’T A MEMBER OF THE FAMILY AND WAS NEVER GOING TO BE ONE.   I nearly gave up who I was to try to become something I was not all in the name of being accepted.  Nobody should ever do that, I look back and realize how stupid my logic was (or lack thereof).  

    Due to strong ethnic bonds, my husband generally took his family’s side instead of having my back.   One Christmas after driving 45 minutes to his parents, my then husband and I were asked to eat in the basement gameroom as there was no room at the “family” table.  I was the only American present.  I turned to him and said either they make room for us or I am going home and eating cereal!  Basically no balls.  I do not believe he was intentionally a wus, its how they are raised within their culture, basically doing what is expected of you.  I lived like this for 15 years before divorcing him (I waited til the kids were preteen age).   If there were no kids I would not have made it past the 3 year mark.   Please listen to your gut.  If you have any doubts take a step back and slow it down.   People generally don’t change their mindsets.

  6. 36

    So Christine, did you dine on Christmas cereal?

  7. 37

    I have had a rule for years to only date white Christians to avoid exactly this type of drama. No, it’s not racist. I really liked a Muslim guy and he rejected me, saying he could only be with a Muslim. A Jewish bf also eventually told me he could only be with a Jewish girl. Then, the love of my life, a Hindu, dumped me abruptly, saying he needed to be with a real Indian/Hindu. How insulting. As a mixed race person I found that white Christians are the most open minded (I was raised christian) so I try to stick to that. However, I recently met a nice Jewish guy who has treated me well so it’s not like it’s a hard and fast rule, but I do need to find some way to broach the subject with the guy shortly. I can’t keep seeing him if he’s like a lot of Jewish guys who only want a Jewish girl. 

  8. 38
    Daria (Ria)

    These comment conversations triggers out the bad memories in me. I was dating an indian man, only to find out later, that he was, in fact, dating an indian woman at the same time, and ended up marrying her, without my knowledge, as he was still keeping in touch with me, an dtalking of our future. When l found out, he said, how he hated being in that marriage, how it was arranged and he is not happy. And the man was in his late 30ies, when it started.
    His final agreement was that *l was love of his life,* BUT because of his parents most probably not accepting me, he chose her. Wasn´t it obvious from the beginning? But no, in the beginning parents didn´t matter, in fact, he insisted he hated indian women altogether.
    So Mia, l completely get you on that one  – nd in my book this is higher level of assclownery. Which makes me suspicious of any kind of similar situations, whenever l hear about them.

  9. 39

    @ Julia,

    LOL.  Thanks for that, you made me smile. 🙂

    @ Christine,

    Oh my word, I am so sorry.  My ex husband was not from another country or culture, but he and his family are Catholic (well when they choose to be, anyways, oops did I type that??).  I converted for him, did all I could to learn about Catholicism, since I was raised Protestant.

    But in the end, because I wasn’t born and raised in Philly, my ex and I weren’t planning on kids due to health concerns, and because I wasn’t born Catholic, I was always on the outside.  Never good enough.  They made it clear that I would have to change who I was, to fit in. 

    And in the end, when I dared to call the cops on their precious youngest child and brother, I was disowned by the family.  I finally realized that if they couldn’t accept me as is, then actually THEY were not good enough for ME.  Rejection stung, but I decided to turn it around and go the other way.  I don’t need the validation of people who are so shallow and mean. 

    It is very hard to go through that, and that is why I stick with atheist guys.  I find that at least they don’t hide behind their religion if they’re a jerk, at least the bullshit is up front.  If a guy can’t own his behavior, he’s going to be sent to the curb, and quickly.

  10. 40

    @Joe 36
    Nope, we went upstairs and made room at the dining room table.  They spoke in their own language like usual, so it was a Lose – Lose situation either way.   You can’t make people accept you.  And you can’t assume your spouse will have your back or stand up for you when ethnic/cultural ties are strong.  Lesson learned better late than never, I was never exposed to a cliquish culture growing up.  Gotta stick to my own kind going forward.

  11. 41

    @ Christine,

    Your comment about how you can’t assume that your spouse is going to have your back, is entirely true.  I’d hoped that my ex husband and my momma’s boy ex boyfriend, would have had my back too.  But no. 

    I had to learn that you must always look out for yourself first, never assume.  More than likely that spouse is going to side with the family, before you.  But that’s fair enough, my family hates my ex husband too and made it really clear that if he ever came near me again, my Dad would ensure that the guy never would make the same mistake twice.

    I now stick to my own kind and won’t venture out again.  Einstein’s definition of insanity states that it is trying the same thing repeatedly, yet each time expecting a different result.  So I’ll stick to sanity.

    1. 41.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Heather – Please don’t mistake my advice for “sticking to your own kind”. Virtually all of my Jewish friends (and family members) didn’t marry our “kind”. As long as the relationship is strong and the parents don’t get in the way, these marriages can work just fine. And if you’re NOT open to people who aren’t “your kind”, then THAT is the definition of insanity.

  12. 42

    @Evan 42
    You stated it perfectly – “As long as the relationship is strong and the parents don’t get in the way, these marriages can work just fine”.   In my case, little by little I discovered the influence of his family and cultural expectations creeping into many aspects of the marriage.  Most of the extended family they socialized with were also not born in America.  I did not realize my then husband did not have a strong sense of self to stand up for us and our relationship.  You know, grow a pair!  It was more like he was a puppet on a string.  Can’t think of any other words to describe it.  Maybe if I dated him another year some of this would have surfaced – who knows.  His parents wanted him with someone of the same ethnicity, thus he rocked the boat dating me, then (horrors) marrying me!  Hindsight is 20/20.  My ex is now with someone who is 100% same ethnic background, guess he also learned from our fiasco!   

  13. 43

    @Evan #42: “As long as the relationship is strong and the parents don’t get in the way, these marriages can work just fine.”
    I agree with this statement. Several of my relationships were with people from either a different citizenship/cultural background or a different ethnicity. These differences and potential pitfalls are so obvious that they would make wise people investigate them early on and make sure they won’t get in the way in a long-term relationship. But since what matters is your compatibility in values, it is a fact that you can have more compatibility in values with someone raised on the other side of the world than with someone who was born next door.
    Parents’ objections can be especially strong in case of difference of ethnicity or religion, but even within “the same everything” kind of background, lack of acceptance can happen. Therefore “sticking to your kind” is not necessarily the solution to avoiding rejection from ones partner’s family. It can happen for any or no reason at all. Some parents will never find anyone “good enough” for their progeny. And such situation does not say anything about you but everything about them.
    For me the way to go is to investigate early on whether their parents would be on board. With the partner and with the parents themselves. If concerns are raised, addressing them early and assessing whether there is hope for a real change of mind and full acceptance as they become challenged in their opinion and as they get to know the “different” partner. After that, if no open-arm acceptance, integration, and support develop, I’d suggest to walk away. Family support is necessary in a successful marriage and I would find any lack of support and integration a real danger for the future of the marriage regardless of how many miles are involved. At some point the spouse will find themselves in a dilemma, and such dilemma will never be resolved in favor of the “different” partner if full acceptance and integration has not previously taken place.
    So I do not “stick to my own kind”, but I make sure to meet the parents early and gain full acceptance and appreciation before pursuing further with the guy. It makes everything more comfortable and allow the potential future marriage to be the integration that it is still supposed to be. A marriage is not just an island of two people. They are still part of their initial families and as a permanent couple they will have to navigate conflicting needs during their lifetime together. Full acceptance is the only way to go.

  14. 44

    @ EMK,

    While that is true, that there are folks who “can” make it work, interfaith or inter-culture, alot of times it really doesn’t work out.

    I had enough experiences of that (dating Christian men who were really worse than guys who didn’t bother with church) to where I finally learned to go look, you keep fishing in that pond and pull up nothing but stinkers.  STOP fishing in that pond. 

    That is what I mean by sticking to my kind.  I look for people who are like-minded to me, are not into religion.

  15. 45

    This may help the reader.  My best friend is Indian, and her parents strictly forbade her from dating anyone that wasn’t Indian.  Problem is, she fell in love with a white man and what her parents think is very important to her.  I know that some people don’t care as much about what their parents think, but I know for my Indian-American friend, family acceptance is extremely important.

    So she kept her relationship hidden for a long time.  All the while, this inner turmoil was building up inside of her.  She didn’t want to hide this from her parents.  She loved him.  She wanted him to be a part of her family, to be accepted.  She wanted them to see what she saw.  She was scared that someone would shut her out for her choice.  She didn’t know who that would be.

    My friend and I had numerous discussions regarding this topic.  Her struggle with maintaining her family’s love and respect all the while dating someone they did not approve of all because he wasn’t Indian was getting to her.  Her boyfriend was struggling as well.  He had introduced her to his family, and they loved her.  However, he can’t see her family.  He felt shut out and rejected by some of the most important people in my friend’s life.

    I told her, in the end, that I know her family.  I know how her parents feel, and I know how much they love her.  I told her that they would be very angry.  VERY ANGRY.  I also told her that if they loved her, they would find a way to love him, too.

    So one day, she built up the courage and told her parents.  Her mother threatened her.  She yelled at her.  She told her she had to pack up and move out of the house immediately.  She said she didn’t care if she was homeless.  She didn’t want her there.

    My friend called me, crying.  She didn’t know what to do.  She told me what happened.  She said she tried to explain this to her mother.  She wanted her mother to simply understand, but she refused.  She said she had to pack and leave.  She didn’t know where to go.  She was afraid to tell her boyfriend because she didn’t want him to get upset.

    I reassured her of my conclusion.  I told her that her mother would get over it.  I told her not to pack.  Confront your mother.  Tell her that he means the world to you.  Tell her this is how it will be and to accept it.  I told her, “THIS IS YOUR LIFE.  THIS IS YOUR HEART.  THIS IS YOUR CHOICE.”

    She told her mother these things.  She didn’t pack.  A month went by where her mother berated her for being stupid and insensitive to the family.  She took it.  Second month, no talking.

    Third month, the family agreed to meet the boyfriend.  Her mother never threw her out of the house.  Her family did not abandon her.  Her family thought her boyfriend was a nice guy.  They have had several meetups together.

    The moral of this story is exactly what you are looking to find.  Written by a half-Asian, half-Caucasian American about an Indian-American friend.  If your family truly loves you and cares for you, they will learn to accept your choice.  They will know that losing you is a far greater loss than losing a potential Indian-American son-in-law.

    You need the courage.  You need the strength.  You have the heart.  My friend needed these things.  She was scared and apprehensive.  I promise you this.

    I also promise you that not a day goes by that she isn’t proud of her decision.  Do you know why?

    The greatest things in life are never easy to come by.  If you truly love him, you will take the risk for him.  You WILL take the leap of faith – in your family and in your heart.

    Simply because you love him.  And that’s what matters.

    I wish you the best of luck. – Yuri

  16. 46

    I am Asian and having had the opportunity to live both in the US and in Asia, I think it is safe for me assume that most (if not all) people living in America will never understand an Asians need to fulfill their friends and families wishes.

    I don’t mean to offend anyone, but to those who are not Asians or who are not a member of a cultural tribe, please do not give us the “Don’t blame the culture” advice. It is really not as easy as it looks on our end.

    One thing is for sure though. As adults, we define our own meaning of ‘happiness’. Much like the sender of this letter, I think she feels that it would have been a lot easier if she didn’t have to give up one or the other because of her culture.

  17. 47
    Karl R

    Fusee said: (#44)
    “For me the way to go is to investigate early on whether their parents would be on board.”
    “if no open-arm acceptance, integration, and support develop, I’d suggest to walk away. Family support is necessary in a successful marriage and I would find any lack of support and integration a real danger for the future of the marriage regardless of how many miles are involved.”

    I understand the point you’re trying to make, but I don’t entirely agree with it.

    My relationship with my parents fell apart 15 years ago. While it has improved in recent years (we now occaisonally email each other), we’re not close. I don’t care what they think about my fiancée.

    People like me may be a minority, but I’m not a unique example.

    But regardless of a person’s situation with their immediate family, healthy people surround themselves with some sort of support network (friends, church members, colleagues, etc). In any serious relationship, both people will try to introduce and integrate their partner into that network.

    I’ve heard people in my situation refer to their extended support network as their “family of choice.”

    In my opinion, the statement you made about “Family” applies to the broader support network (the family of choice), regardless of whether a person’s family is part of that network.

  18. 48

    @Karl #48:
    I appreciate the broader definition you allow to the meaning of “family”. I actually somewhat relate to your experience because I was estranged from one of my parents for several years in my twenties until I decided to reunite and work at cultivating a decent relationship. I trust my friends’ opinion more than my parents’ regarding the choice of a life partner, as well as for other important life decisions. I simply share more values with my friends and they know me in more depth than my own parents.
    However, since I have decided to cultivate a relationship with them despite our differences, I found important that they approve of my relaitonship with my portential future life partner, as I anticipate the possibility of some conflict of interest in the future. They would understand and support my choices better if they accept my partner. However it’s more important to me to be accepted by my boyfriend’s family (and me appreciating them) as they all are more involved in the life of one another and I imagine more dilemmas arising for my boyfriend than for me.
    Also I will add that for some people, having a relationship with their family is simply not an option at all. Not even being in touch. Although I always support resolving conflicts I can certainly imagine instances where it would be impossible. In such case there would of course be no need to seek approval and support.
    The letter writer is not in such situations though. She obviously cares about her relationship with her parents and her parents ARE her primary network. This is a cultural fact that we need to make the effort to understand. Fear of losing her primary network is the reason why she has been procrastinating the confrontation of her own dilemmas…

  19. 49

    After reading some of the comments I couldn’t help but add my two cents. I am half Mexican half Irish married to an East Indian. We have been married for years, have children, a home etc… I love my husband but honestly if I had to do it over again I wouldn’t. My upbringing and his upbringing are completely at odds over many fundamental issues. For example, I wouldn’t compromise over the fact that his family has never acknowledged my children. This is a huge problem which has resulted in an ongoing conflict. My position is how can you have a relationship with people (whether family or otherwise) who do not acknowledge your children? How can you possible send them money when there is nothing in return? His position they are many family. I come from a school of thought that you only allow people in who are good to you and those who aren’t are off the list (whether they are family or not). My husband has many fine qualities. I will not compromise on the above issue so the end result will be that my husband will have to choose. I have a feeling that his choice will be made for him. I didn’t now sign up for people/family to treat me and mine poorly. My point is that unless you can reign in your family and if you will not be able to cut them off if they aren’t good to whom ever you choose then spare yourself and others the misery. I do think when you marry in your own culture that you are on some basic level of understanding-it’s a good foundation. Maybe if you married in your own culture and your family is abusive to your spouse maybe he will understand when you say you can’t cut them off. My husband should never have married a woman like myself who would never accept this situation forever.

  20. 50

    I am related to this situation! I am srilankan was living in uk and met a white guy ( originally from South Africa)  and we started dating and then after 2 years my studies were over &  I had to come back to Sri Lanka.

    while I was in uk he introduced me to his friends and family and I had already told my sister soon after I knew the relationship was getting too serious And also to my mum because I want to assure to my guy that where we are heading to! Because I knew if I don’t give him a little hope it’s gonna end so somehow the story passed to my parents who are more religious ( Hindu) than me. My mum was very upset with me at first and she tried to make me feel guilty all the time! but then one day I decided to tell my father! He refused to listen since he knowa about us but pretended that he never knew! Somehow I managed to tell him and he was sad and upset about how he is gonna face the society but at the same time he told me he needs my happiness , nothing else! And got the green card but not with the whole heart though!

    this year is our 4 th year and we are planning to get marry next year And both families will attend ! But to this date my mum brings up this in every conversation she hurts me but she never realised! And also my brother stopped talking to me ! 

    Anyways i doN’t regret a thing! we both tried to put everything right! he let me come to Sri Lanka and to convince my parents! its a challenge both we took and yes I am in my last year exams and just can’t wait for our big day and even decided to have it in Hindu ceremony! 😄
    I knew I made them upset and disrespect them by choosing my partner! But I am glad that I stood up for something I felt right.


  21. 51

    I am in same situation as you (indian girl older black man he too has 3 kids (which doesnt bother me either)) and like you i do feel he loves and cares for me but may get tired of waiting for me to make a choice which is hard for me cuz family is blood he is the one I love and he is very caring and always encourages me to be a better person…he is everything i would ever want in a partner for life…I cant help who my heart falls for.
    Anyways you have to do what is rt (in an ideal world can have family and your love) 

    1. 51.1

      I am a Black guy, NOT an Indian. However, I know a great about Indians and these things. Indians don’t even like family members getting involved with fellow Indians from different ‘communities’, never mind Blacks. I agree 100% with LANY and EMK.  Dream wrote ..”He is everything I would ever want in a partner for life ..”. In that case, I strongly urge you to hang onto him both hands and all ten toes – and fight tooth and nail to keep him. Who knows when you might find somebody like him again. Your family is indeed blood. However, that does NOT obligate you to sacrifice your happiness upon the altar of your families intolerance. So long as you are with a good man who treats you decently and with respect and makes you happy, then your family should be happy for you too! They should do no less than that. Your family needs to accept the fact that the heart will love whom it will and there isn’t a whole lot anyone can do about that. Dream, if you do end up marrying your boyfriend, I presume you are going to have kids with him. I ask you the following questions with all due respect:

      1. Are you sufficiently thick-skinned to shrug off any barbs your fellow Indians might hurl your way? A lot of Indians react indignantly when they see an Indian woman ‘lowering’ herself to the level of consorting with Black men. Many of them would regard you as a slut, a tramp, the sort of fallen woman who has got no morals whatsoever to speak of. 
      2. How are you going to feel if you and your Black husband and your Blindian kids walk into an Indian restaurant and the other Indians in the place react with shock and disgust, as if a bad smell has just blown in off the street and ruined their appetite.
      3. How are you going to feel if some of your fellow Indians call you an “N” lover? Got the picture?

      I know several Indian women who are married to Black guys and have Blindian (i.e. Black+Indian) kids. The women in question demonstrate several traits in common, namely;
      1. They tend to be very assertive and independent minded people who don’t take any nonsense from anybody.
      2. Also, they are extremely protective of their Blindian children. Indians as a people are obsessed with being fair-skinned. I know one Rajasthani woman, ‘Rani’ who is married to a Black guy and has 3 kids with him. One time, an auntie of ‘Rani’s’ was commenting that ‘Rani’s eldest son looks too black.. Before the auntie could finish, ‘Rani’ curtly interrupted her saying, “Let me stop you right there. If you are going to put my kids down, then you are not going to be a part of their lives – or mine”
      3. I know one Punjabi woman ‘Bhavna’ who is married to a Black guy and has 3 kids with him, a set of identical twin girls and a boy. When they’d go into Indian restaurants, ‘Bhavna’ apparently gets a kick out of the stares of disapproval they get from the other Indians. ‘Bhavna’ would giggle through the meal and make it a point of being extra affectionate to her Black hubby and their 3 Blindian kids. ‘Bhavna’ would be laughing with her hubby about Indians being such Flintstones (i.e. those stone age cartoon characters who live in caves and wear garments made of animal skins) Of her fellow Indians, ‘Bhavna’ would say ‘They need to get a life, it’s the “expletive” 21st century, not the medieval ages”, or “Why did these jokers even bother to leave their village (in India) in the first place”
      Dream, this has been a long post. I hope it helps. If you want my blunt, unvarnished advice, go ahead and marry your guy if that is what you have in mind and if he is he is indeed ‘everything I want in a life partner’ I know at least 4 Indian girls who married some Black guy over their families adamant objections and were initially ‘disowned’. In all 4 cases, the Indian families eventually came around though. Your life is too short to live it for other people!

  22. 52

    I was dating a Pakistani muslim man for 2 years. During the first month he told me that he loved me and wanted to be with me forever. I was a tad apprehensive as that was a fast move. I eventually fell deeply in love with him at around the 4 month mark. I had never felt this way about anyone before, neither did he. The topic of family came up often. I was upset that he was so gung ho about meeting my family but I was forbidden to meet his. I felt less than and worthless because his family would never accept, or have a hard time doing so. The relationship was at a stand still. How can a “secret” relationship progress? I felt absolutely worthless. Twice a year he would travel back home. There is where his parents tried to get him married. He would tell me and it made me sick.  What is so wrong with me? You say you love me yet I am kept a huge secret ? I understand if I was an abuser or generally and evil person but because I’m Christian non Pakistani I was not deemed good enough for his family to know about me. This is where you must have confidence in yourself to not allow to be hidden. You as a human being deserve more. Collectively as a society this prejudice attitude needs to be stopped. If you are a person who does battle with being able to live your own life, it is time to stand up for what you believe in rather than grasp at the purse strings forever. It is not only abuse to your partner, but it is abuse by your family unto you.

    I eventually  left him. I gained the self respect needed to leave and know that I deserve more in a partner. A man who will not hide me or make me feel less than because I do not reach the criteria of his parents. I am married now with a child. I’m happy. As for him, he ended up marrying a prospect of his parents and is unfortunately unhappy in his life as countless times he has tried to contact me. Moral of his story is, do not be with a person who will not stick up for you and also for what they want. To respect your family and to be respected by your family are two different things. It is abusive of a parent or family unit to deprive you of the life you want to live. You as a person have the right to choose the path of your life despite what your family says. You must honour your parents but you also must honour yourself and the life that God gave you to live as you wish with free will. Do not let family bring you down for being with the person you love. If that person loves you and is a decent person, you have done nothing wrong and neither have they to deserve that treatment

  23. 53

    I completely understand what your going through and the only person  who can make the decision on what to do is you.  I’m an Indian Muslim, I was born and raised in America and. I’m not religious. I dated a black man for 4 years, he was (and is) the love of my life, and letting that relationship end due to family is one of my biggest regrets.  Choosing between someone you love and your family is a very difficult decision because no matter what decision you make you lose someone you love. Regardless of the decision I think you will always feel regret over choosing wrong, even if it’s for a second when your having a bad moment, it’ll be a thought that crosses your mind “what if I picked wrong”.   When going through this I spoke to someone who had to make the same decision, and she told me the same thing. She also told me that she never regretted picking her husband over her family. She does miss them around the holidays or when she looks back on times with them but her husband tries his hardest to make sure she doesn’t and she is so happy with the family she created she can’t imagine it any other way. I wish I had chosen as she did, my issue was my parents were never proud of or even happy with anything I did that I thought I’d do this to make them happy and that they wanted me to be happy, but I realized (very late) that there is  no making them happy. That they will not be living the rest of my life, I will be. That they do not wake up every morning regretting it and everything since then, I do.

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