My Intercultural Relationship Problems: Judgment

My Intercultural Relationship Problems: Judgment

My Intercultural Relationship Problems: Judgment

My intercultural relationship needs all the support it can get, right now. Between the two of us, we are blessed to have a handful of people who support our relationship. A few friends on DN’s side, plus two key members of his family who support us. It’s not unusual that my family and friends support my choices and my relationship with him.

Some days need more support than others. This battle is significantly harder than it seems. People are very vain and judgmental here. It’s a rare treasure when you find someone who is not nosy, but still cares. Someone who is helpful, but not in a judgmental kind of way; someone who is humble.

Yes, DN is in love with an American girl; he is in love with a foreigner; he is in love with a non-Indian girl. That does not mean that I’m a bad person. My skin color has nothing to do with the Western divorce rate. My culture has nothing to do with my personal choices.
Yes, I am in love with an Indian man. No need to explain ourselves.

That should be all that matters, but sadly, it’s not. Apparently, getting married when we want is considered selfish.

I’m doing my best to trust the process right now – because I want nothing more than to marry him and spend the rest of my life with him; I want nothing more than to spend every life with him, after this.

We’re waiting for the approval of his parents, which is noble, but… We’ll be waiting awhile. I’m not considered good enough as I am now.

And apparently, if we marry as I am now, people will laugh and mock and judge us and his family…

But wait… Is doing something noble for someone who is acting with vanity, judgment and discrimination really noble after all?

Adding this to my list of “messed up things I don’t agree with”.

Not Good Enough… Yet
P.s. Hoping the naysayers within his family have a change of heart… Hoping to feel better about this sooner rather than later.


  • Deb H

    So sorry you and DN are having to go through this. I know you are both in love with each other so hold on tight to that during this time. It is not easy to wait sometimes, but enjoy each other and think on that; not the prejudices of others. I love you and support you both (even if selfishly I wish you both were closer). So go enjoy some tea together and know you have the rest of your life to later laugh at this delay.

  • Andrea

    We waited four years to get married… it may be a good idea just to wait for a little while to begin with; you just got to India and you are very young still, as is your relationship. It will happen, but just ‘not everything has to happen today.’

    Facing rejection from his family is pretty normal. As it was put to me, even if I was Indian, it wouldn’t be enough because I wasn’t Bengali. If I was Bengali, it wouldn’t be enough because I wasn’t a doctor … ha ha …

    Is it possible that the “not now” you are hearing is “no” but they are not used to saying no? In that case, it isn’t going to change no matter what you do or how you conform. And it’s his choice, whether to go against his parents and be with you or to follow his parents’ wishes – but if he does the latter, you will wait FOREVER. At some point he is going to have to stand up and say “this is what I am doing” – you may have to get a court marriage which will cause all kinds of drama that could turn out good, or not good. Make sure that both of you are prepared for wherever it’s going to lead, and that you’re not being blinded to the realities of the situation, and to a life together, because of the romantic part of love before you take that next step.

    Before we got married, we went through a long distance period, international and interstate moves, one graduation, one major surgery, family resistance, and countless road trips where we had to listen to the other person’s music. We learned a lot about ourselves and each other and realized that it was right… so we went ahead with it 🙂

    • Rani

      Yay! I’m so glad you came to comment! I know it’s a huge waiting game right now… I’m even having dreams about trying to impress his family. Their fears about me being American is somewhat logical and I can understand why they might be a little worried.
      They also think I’m fat though, and that we don’t look good as a couple because of it. I was made to understand that society would be laughing and laughing if we got married as I am now.
      That’s the “not yet” part I mean.
      I’m glad to have learned more about your story though ♥

      • Andrea

        I’m fat too, ha ha… If you want to lose weight for yourself do it, and sure, maybe you will get comments, but it isn’t a DISASTER and totally unworkable to be overweight. They are looking for an excuse… Once you get to whatever weight they accept, they will find something else. (If you want to lose weight, do it in your 20s, seriously… But if you are comfortable in your own skin, just live a healthy lifestyle and forget the haters.

  • Cyn

    Hang in there, waiting for his parent to come around is a good idea, or at least wait to the point you know you can handle the hostility.
    For everything else? Ignore, I have been in India 11 years, I was afraid to do things wrong, or be the topic of gossip, or not be Indian enough, until I said screw it…I am not Indian, I never will be, and more important than all I don’t want to be. It might be hard to see at first when you are dealing with culture shock, but there are an a zing lot of people that will accept you as you are, will not care what you wear and how you cook and will love to learn from American culture from a native rather than through TV. They will appreciate you for who you are. the other gossipy, I’ll speaking kind? They are as nasty as anywhere else in the world, there are morons everywhere.

    I find this quote from Dr Seuss to speak to me :

    “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter won’t mind”

    This is the key to making it in the long run in India.

    • Rani

      I came in with an attitude of “I don’t care what people think.” And I really had the time of my life when I was of this mindset. It’s because it had such an impact on my love, that conforming was somewhat learned. I hated it then and I still do. That’s why I’m starting to unravel a bit, back to my former “I don’t care what other people think.” mindset.
      I love that quote!

  • friend

    I think there is a fundamental difference between Indian and western marriage or say asian and western marriages. Western marriages are essentially about individuals while Indian marriages are about families. Have you seen the Bollywood movie “Two States”, about Punjabi boy marrying Tamil girl. It shows why we are so afraid of intercultural marriages. Cultural biases are definitely there because there are thousands of communities living in India with strong, ancient regional, caste and linguistic identities.
    Usually when Indian parents come to know that their child has found somebody, they feel kind of left out or alienated. Every Indian parent dreams of “arranging” his child’s marriage in an extravagant, socially acceptable way. The big fat Indian wedding. It is the biggest “gig” of their life. It is not just about “control” which is a very simplistic explanation of a complicated phenomenon. Yes, there are elements of “what will people say”. Added to this is the hierarchical structure of Indian families with less than favourable position of women in the family. Given this situation, the prospect of having a DIL from some other culture, community, religion or caste is a frightening prospect for and Indian MIL. That is why you will find the strongest opposition from the women of the household because you stepping on their turf.
    The second very important aspect is the concept of love. We generally do not understand love especially between man and women. Love is considered not just a taboo but an unnecessary distraction on the path to a comfortable secure life. Many Indian parents are uneasy about the physical aspect of love. As if their children have done something immoral and it is a failure of their upbringing. The consequences of love marriages are very severe in certain communities of India . The impact of such marriages on the entire family is very real, depending upon where the family is placed financially/socially. These are questions that confront families in such a situation. These are not easy question to answer. Sometimes the fate of other family members is also linked to the individual. How they deal with it, are upto individual families. There are too many things playing on the minds of the Indian parents and their children. This is not an apology for Indian parents but merely an analysis of the situation at hand. One is sure, your prospective inlaws are afraid of you, and it will take them some time to get over their fears. However, when “push comes to shove” you will have to take a decision in your best interests.

  • aobeamber

    You wrote in one of your comments that you are having dreams to impress his family. Do this. Think of what could impress them, maybe ur cooking, bring them gifts etc. Indian parents love attention more than any other parents, show them your love, smile a lot and bring many gifts 🙂

    Indians are very sceptical about Westerners or I better say ‘whites’. Even my fiance’s parents are scared of the fact that me being a non indian will divorce their son right after get married with him, because divorce is such a common thing elsewhere (elsewhere but not in India). And they accepted me already, because they saw how happy their son became since he met me, how happy we were together. But even knowing that they are still insecure, even my fiance is scared of same issues his parents have. And You cant help it, but love them more, show attention them more and be always positive, which means SMILE 😛

  • American Punjaban PI

    I’m sorry you’re going through this. Don’t lose hope yet. Many couples have went through this and went on to eventually gain approval. It’s a hard road though. Try to talk to your sweety and make a plan for how you will get through it together.

  • Mary C.

    Namaste is the answer. Remember your strength and allow them all the time they think they need. Look at them with feelings of love..see it surrounding them.

  • rohit

    India is Joint family society. And in India, Joint Family means your father side all cousin, uncle, grand parents leave under one roof. Slowy due to space and work culture this tradition almost died. But still this tradition alive in small piece. People are leaving sepratly but still grand parents are the part of family. And due to this background, people are very judgemental in India. And above all they think its very common thing. They never think twice before convey you abt there views. Things are chaning but not very fast. So in near future, ur not going to free from facing this thing. Very Important is that your parter in with you. Then its doesn’t matter what others say. Later in life his parents also give there persmission. So don’t worry, enjoy your very personal life. You are in India, when our society are changing.

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