I wish we’d meet again in another lifetime when things will not be as complicated as they are right now. I wish when you tell me that you love me, sadness would not fill me up. It’s a painful pleasure to see you every time. As much as my heart yearns for you, I die a little bit more each day knowing you are what you are to me, someone I can never have. But I do, I love you. I mean it more than you do. -Anonymous
I found this poem the other day and I thought of all of those intercultural Indian relationships that may be hindered due to race. Loving someone is hard enough without the added stressors that being in an intercultural relationship brings. You have to learn to love hard and to love long. I’ll take a page out of my own personal life to share what I mean.
One of the things I’ve noticed about many Indians is their ability to take any kind of negative situation and brush it off as though it were nothing. It’s like a perpetual positive attitude. Sometimes this comes across as uncaring and crass. However, in talking to other people who are involved in mixed Indian relationships, this appears pretty common to them as well.
I’ll give you an example. I’m a broadcast journalist and I recently learned that two of my stories picked up some pretty nice (and if I may brag on myself for one brief moment-Prestigious) awards. One was an Associated Press award for best commentary and the other is an Edward R Murrow Regional Award for best series. This was big for me because I was competing against stories from 200 other stations in four states. When I told M today about the Murrow award, I may as well have told him I was going to the store to get bread. It would have garnered the same reaction and he swears I never told him about the AP award last week.
When I was recently diagnosed with a serious medical condition, it was the same way until I forced him to sit down and have the “what to do in the event of” conversation. It was only then that he was forced to face the situation. You see, my sweet, lovable flawed M is an avoider. I realized a long time ago that it’s nothing personal with me. He’s always been like this and I doubt he’s going to change anytime soon. Some people just prefer to avoid negative or sad emotions. I know there are things about me he probably feels the same way about. You see, that’s the beauty of a marriage. If you are honest with yourself, it will always be inherently flawed in some way which makes you appreciate the edges you’ve both worked so hard to smooth even more.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that the best way to succeed in a relationship is to 1) always express myself no matter how much it may hurt either partner. I happen to believe that holding it in is worst because to do so may cause a buildup of hostility later and 2) choose my battles. Some things just aren’t worth wasting breath over. In moments like these, I choose to remember why I’ve hung in here as long as I have and that wipes it all away.
The other lesson I’ve learned (and ladies PLEASE hear this) is that it’s best to keep your relationship business to yourself. I understand the need to vent (trust me I do) but our friends and family who love us dearly sometimes don’t know when they are loving us too hard. In other words, remember that when you are telling your friends or family all of your business, it could come back to bite you. The memories of friends tend to be much longer than ours and they remember every gory detail which they will kindly remind you of whenever they get a chance..especially if they don’t like your guy.
I learned in my last relationship to never tell all of the details because friends, in thinking that they are doing what is best, will bash your man and tell you what you don’t need. When all is said and done and you and your guy have patched things up, you never forget what they said and they won’t forget what you said either. This can create a great deal of tension in the friendship. I’ve been on both ends of this (the giver of the information and the receiver) and I can tell you that it’s no picnic. When it’s you hearing the friend, you think to yourself ‘is she crazy, why is she still with that fool,’ or ‘this is too much drama for me.’
I remember one friend in particular who kept going back to a physically abusive relationship and each week I had to listen her cry and say no more only to see her go back, just emotionally drained me. So I stopped being the antagonistic friend and began to always put a positive spin on things. For example, I’d remind her to do a list of pros and cons or ask her what she felt she needed to do to make herself feel better. Never would I say anything about the guy or their specific problem. I kept it focused on her. Is this always easy? Hell no- Especially when you have a friend who has a fool for a man. However, if you love your friend as much as you say you do, then ride it out with her. That’s what I did and eventually she left him. Later she thanked me for not bashing him (apparently she forgot about all the times I did). Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t speak your opinion honestly IF she asks. What I am saying is be careful of your phraseology when you do.
Our mouths are the most powerful weapon we carry. Our words have the ability to heal, hurt, encourage or discourage and those words can tear everything we have apart or build the impossible. So ..when you and your guy have issues going on-talk it out whether he’s listening or not. Until the next blog remember to love long and love hard.
Hi, I just wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed reading your blog! Please keep on writing, your experiences and way of expressing them are so insightful. I’m adding you to my own Blog Roll and looking forward to your next post!
PS: How long did you live in India? I will be moving there myself and this visa business is a freaking nightmare.
Thank you! I’m glad you are enjoying the blog. I was in India for four months before we made the decision it would be best to move back here for my son’s health and for the kids to start kindergarten. I left in August of that year, was back in September and then for the next year and a half I was there every other month like clockwork. It got to a point where the people at Continental knew me by name and would ask about my family. LOL. I racked up lots of frequent flier miles (enough for three free trips!).
Are you referring to the visa for you to get into India or are you referring to a visa for your guy to come here? Let me know. Unfortunately, I’ve got lots of experience on both ends. LOL.
Thanks again for the blog love!
I’m referring to the visa I would need to go there and stay there as his wife.
He usually comes here on a B1 for his work and is here about 6 months every time. However, we’ve both decided that for now we want to live in India.
I already know I could get the tourist visa, but it’s only good for 6 months. What to do after that? If we married there, from what I’ve heard, they want you to have been married atleast a year before you can apply for a PIO card.
LOL! Any information you can give me on this would be excellent!
And pleeeeeeeeease write more about your experiences there! With you being such an excellent author, I’m excited to here more!
I’ve sent you an email with some additional information in it about the visa. Thanks again for the blog love you’ve given me. I will write some more about India in the coming months. I hope part II helped you a bit more. Let me know if I can help you with anything else.
Actually, I have been on both ends, also. I had a friend who kept her mouth shut when I was in a toxic relationship. She was always supportive and always found the positive.
Many people think that this is condoning the relationship. She was honest about her feelings, but did not need to tell me each and every time she saw me.
In the end, I left and we are the best of friends.
I got the chance (unfortunately) to reciprocate and … … she has worked through her relationship difficulties and they are going strong despite the rough beginnings.