A Journey In Black and Indian Love

A Peek inside the marriage of an African American woman and her East Indian spouse

How It All Began-The Journey of Our Love March 30, 2009

Us after a long day at my family reunion

Us after a long day at my family reunion

M and I recently celebrated our third year of marriage. Our relationship is one that is unusual and we both know it. It’s not often you see unions such as ours (African American and East Indian). We live this crazy upside down life with 8 year old boy girl twins and two poodles (Miles and Ella). Adjustment to two different cultures is easier on some days than on others but each day we awake and start again to form a new building block to our future together.

M and I met during a time I promised myself I would never get into another relationship. I had just come one that had left me rendered mentally and emotionally drained. However, a friend recommended we meet. M emailed and the rest as they say is history.

Initially, I wasn’t interested in getting to know him or being involved with him but his intelligence and wit grew on me and the fact that he was pretty darned cute helped his case even more. Having just come out of another intercultural relationship (Saudi guy) I knew that relationships outside of the culture were frowned upon and even more so with an African American woman. I addressed this head on and M assured me his family wouldn’t frown upon our relationship. Even though he told me this, I still had my doubts. I consider myself to be a realist and the reality was that Indians rarely formed intimate relationships outside of their culture.

The other thing that made our relationship an even bigger no no is that I was divorced and had twins from my previous marriage. M had never been married and was the only son in his family. They had been trying to arrange him in a marriage for years but M, being the rebel he was always said no. He says he knew he always wanted to marry for love. By the time we met and married he was 38. We knew that given all of the parameters, the odds were more likely to be against us than for us.  

M was still in India when we met and I was still in the U.S but I didn’t let the distance scare me away. We spoke by phone several times a day, emailed and chatted. Boy did we run up some phone bills! Our love for one another grew quickly. Within three months, I was head over heels in love and M had asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.  Was it fast? Yes! Would I recommend this type of speed? It depends on the two people in the relationship. For M and I, we were older, (both in our 30’s) and we had been through the relationship wringers and knew what we wanted.

In March of 2006 I flew to India to marry him. On a sunset beach in Goa we quietly (and secretly) said our vows to one another in an intimate ceremony where we were the only guests other than the people staying at the Inn where we chose to marry. The next day I flew back home to the states-I know ..how sad.

After a few weeks of bumpiness and lots of separation anxiety, I decided to take a leave of absence from my job, pack up my home and my children and move to Delhi. I did this in May of 2006.  I should mention that while M told his family we were married, I didn’t tell my family until a full year later when we had a traditional Keralan ceremony in M’s home state. You’ll see why as you read on.

The initial reactions to our marriage were strangely much more different than I expected. His mother and one of his sisters has accepted me and my children with open arms. It warms my heart to hear my mother in law speak to my children and ask them if they know who she is and then she says “I’m your grandmother.”  One of his sisters has always had a rocky relationship with M but when she found out that he had married a non Indian girl, her reaction was less than thrilled. Her husband later told me in an email that they were against the marriage from the very beginning. I have yet to get a direct answer as to why they were so against it even though I ask all the time.

I thought my family would ALL be extremely receptive but the most supportive people were my aunt and my sister. My mother and other aunt were less than thrilled but for very different reasons. My mother’s reaction was swift and racist. She went on and on about how she didn’t trust foreign men and how I should think about what I’m doing and the safety of me and my children. And of course she cited the movie “Not without my Child” as an example of what I would be facing as life in India.

No matter how much I tried to explain to her that those were totally different cultures and that India and specifically M were not like what she saw in the movie, she wasn’t convinced. She cried, she yelled and she did everything she could to hinder my relationship with M and my moving to India but I was not going to budge. I had come to the point in my life where I was no longer making decisions that would make others happy but was making those decisions that I felt would be best for me and my children. So often we live our lives not for ourselves but for others and sometimes we don’t know it until it’s too late.

My youngest aunt’s only reason for turning her nose up at the thought of M was not just because he was foreign but more so because my aunt had a close bond with my ex husband and she still had not gotten over the idea that I dared divorce him.

Today, my mother eats M up. She sees how good he is with my children and how gentle he is. She sees that all of the stereotypes she had about him and his culture are wrong. My youngest aunt has also taken to him as well. She sees that he’s just like any other guy and wants the same things for his family that she wants for hers.

I know this blog post is long and the first few probably will be as I bring you up to speed. I know there are lots of questions because I had lots of questions about relationships like ours. So over the next few days I’ll try to address some of those like :What it was like living in India, how M and my ex get along, how M adjusted to being in the states once we returned, how the kids and M’s family and I get along, the religion difference, cultural differences and how we handle them, what the Indian cultural attitudes towards blacks tend to be. If you can think of any questions you’d like me to address, I’ll be more than happy to. Just let me know!

 It’s not easy putting your life out in cyberspace to be judged but after much thought, I did this with the purpose of hopefully offering hope to others in relationships like ours (culturally mixed) and that I may be able shed some light onto something so uncommon. Until the next blog!

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13 Responses to “How It All Began-The Journey of Our Love”

  1. Gori Girl Says:

    I love your writing style – and that’s an adorable picture of the two of you at the top of the post.

    • blindianlove Says:

      Thanks Gori girl! I’ve dropped by your blog on several occasions and I love it. In fact you were my inspiration to starting this blog!

  2. Jane Ignacio Says:

    Thank you for your blogs. I do get inspirations from your blogs and other bloggers sharing their relationship with an Indian man. I am also in a state of Loving an indian man. thank you so much.

  3. Sam Says:

    Hi, I just came across this because I was doing the same research that you mention you did when you first got together with your husband. Thank you for the inspiration!

  4. Erica Says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. Its very comforting knowing that one can find love even half way across the world. I am also in a relationship with someone from India. He is a wonderful person but sometimes I must admit, I become a little worried about our relationship when coming across mean and hateful stories about Indian men using women to get into the country. My boyfriend always tell me not to read those stories because he is very different from a lot of Indian men. His words are comforting but every now and then, I question our love when I shouldn’t. I even broke up with him because of it, but he would not let me go. This is very new for me to be with someone outside my American culture as well as him. I often seek to find other stories that relate with my relationship but I know that I can not go by what others experience because each relationship is different. The only thing I can do at this point is take one day at a time.

  5. Mary Shaw Says:

    I really respect your story..I met a very wonderful indian man online….he was arranged in marriage but is not happy…we met on a dating site and he told me that he and his wife have a son…also told me that due to unhappiness with his wife he wants to come to the u.s. mainly to get a better job and also for a better life for his son….I want to assist him all that i can…he is sikh and I am black………….is this a mistake to pursue someone in sikh religion who is married even if he says he wants to have a relationship with me…and plans to leave the wife..

    • Alisa Says:

      This is my opinion only but if your guy is really serious, let him get a divorce first THEN find his own way to the US. I hear troubling stories every day about people who are being used just for a ticket here to the states. Firstly, he’ll have to show proof of a divorce and honestly, getting a greencard for someone these days is definitely not as easy as the movies makes it seem. The time, cost and energy involved is not for the faint (nor not serious) at heart. Think very very seriously about how you proceed and my response has nothing to do with religion but everything to do with saving you some future heartache. Let him prove the seriousness of his intentions before you jump into anything. P.S remember he’s a married man. Always think about how it would feel if the shoe were on the other foot. If he’s unhappy, let him deal with that FIRST without dragging you into it. Not to mention, wouldn’t he need to dissolve it first before marrying you anyway?

  6. lgaijinn617 Says:

    Hi, I am so pleased to read your story. It sounds like you don’t have any problems with your in-laws. I too am married to man who’s home state is Kerala (he is half) his father is from Kerala is mother is from another state in India. With me it’s my sister-in-law. My husband and father-in-law gave in to her damsel in distress (pet child by my husbands admission) (financially) despite her being 34 married and with a baby. This significantly postponed their plans to purchase property in India for his parents and in the USA for us.That’s how much she took. Her father now has nothing (she took it all) and my husband is supporting his parents. My husband was so sad to give all that money to her. I cried it broke my heart. It was his one years pay and he gave it away in one day. Just to provide his parents peace of mind. He was concerned that the family would blame me if he didn’t give the money. Peace is that much important to him. But as it’s said, when you try to please everybody you end up pleasing no one. He always places his family’s emotional needs and peace of mind before ours. Always sacrificing silence and not being honest about how he truly feels and how I truly feel. I don’t think he could take it if they grew to hate me. But at what cost? So what if they hate me. The success of the marriage is more important one would think right? I’m disappointed how everyone has changed after she departed our home, hurt even (was not in agreement for that at all) His parents have said I am their child and yet they always choose her happiness above their son and daughter-in-law? (we were not even married for 1 year…they came with their toddler too (unruly child) because they were running away from problems they themselves created in India and spoke of wanting to die aka manipulating the parents to give them money and taking loans and scheming and hustling to get money to come to the states)
    My SIL’s husband has admitted that she was so sure her brother would marry whomever their father chose. My BIL would disagree and stated he would marry a light skin American. (I am Puerto-Rican) He was right she was wrong. There is an element of jealousy (my husbands admission) she wanted to be the one to show me the ropes. And the fact that I am a foreigner and everyone was saying good things about me, even mistaking me for an an Indian irked her greatly, it was easily seen in her countenance how much it bothers her. Also, the fact that I mingled much better and actually developed a rapport with her elder half sister and her being the full blood sister of my husband adds insult to injury it seems. She was so rude to me in India.I am so happy to read that your husband makes your needs a priority. And that you don’t have passive-aggressive rude in-laws. I’d be happy to correspond with you if you have the time.

  7. Debbie-Ann Says:

    Hi,
    Your story gives me great hope. Thank you for sharing. I started dating my bf in February, he too is from Kerala. We cannot afford to phone everyday, but we email, chat and skype. He is also the oldest of three and the only boy. Like you, I have a child from a previous relationship. He is nice to my son…but my son is 13 and very protective of me. I have spoken to my BF of the future and hesaid don’t worry, let us get to know each other first, then he will speak to his family about us slowly. But he knows how to handle them. He loves me and refuses to let medo anythingfor him. No gifts, nothing….his goal is to take care of his family, both his sisters are independent, oneisan accountant and the other a doctor. I am goi g to India on vacation in December, and we will meet then. He is such a sweetheart.

    Please keep in touchif you have the time.

    Respectfully,
    Debbie-Ann

  8. Natassia Morales Says:

    Hey How are you? I am having the toughest time with my Fiance’ Father he is also Indian from India….. He does not like the fact that his son wants to marry a woman who has had a child out of wedlock? What should I do? He also said he couldn’t marry me until he finish his studies but my Fiance’ doesn’t want to go to school he wants to open his own business….

  9. mona Says:

    Please email me I have a lot of personal this to ask that I’d rather not let other see….pleaseeeee…


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