Bi-racial relationship. Opinions please :( (Kinda long)

  1. Hi, I'm kind of new to this forum as I lurk more than I would post. However, I can't help but post this because it would help me so much to receive input about my situation. This stresses me out so much sometimes and I really would appreciate your thoughts and advice on this. I'm just ranting right now and I hope you guys can make some sense out of my situation.

    I've been in a relationship with my boyfriend for a little over a year and a half now. I love him to death and I'm very dedicated to him. But I have so many doubts and questions about our future despite how much we care about each other. I always thought race and culture doesn't matter but being with this guy forces me to rethink everything. Everyday I fall deeper and deeper and I invest myself into this relationship so much. I don't want to wake up one day and be heartbroken.

    So here's the story. I'm Thai and he comes from Albanian heritage. I never thought this would be a factor and I had to learn the hard way. I respect his wishes and "traditions" but I just have a hard time coping because it makes me feel like i'm not good enough for him or his culture. For a "serious" relationship, I have never met his parents or friends while he has met my parents, friends, the whole package. He told me I will never get to meet his parents unless he wants to marry me. I'm hurt because I overcame my fear and included him into my family. I have never introduced any boyfriend to my father or mother. I feel like I involved him so much and I should get the same respect. And when we go out together, if he feels like other albanians are around, his demeanor will instantly change. He will distance himself from me and act like a stranger. He explains this by telling me that everyone knows each other somehow which oddly enough is true. And people are very gossipy and he doesn't want people to talk about "so and so's son going out with this girl" to reach his parents. They strongly believe in marrying their own and not out of their ethnicity. His previous girlfriend was albanian also but they ended it once she was pressuring him for marriage. His parents were not happy that her family was not from their town in their home country. They want him to marry a girl who would fit into their "circle" easily because they have similar backgrounds. This sounds so crazy to me! But I understand which is the sad part. He say's his parents have enough on their plate and he doesn't want to stress them. He's an only son and I understand the feeling of duty he has to them. Most of his "friends" are cousins and he's afraid they will somehow "talk" if they knew about us. I know this sounds ridiculous and comes off all wrong but I put myself in his shoes and I understand. I'm just so pissed at how rigid people can be in their beliefs.

    I mean no offense to anyone here who reads this and is albanian. In no way do I understand how things work for them in their culture and I'm only writing what I know. Another thing that hurt me is that he's told me he wants to marry me before. He even entertained the idea of eloping. I know it can never happen and I wished he never told me that. I really do love him and I know in my heart I want to be with him. But what I can't deal with sometimes is the knowledge that I would have to wait til the time he is ready to introduce me or take some step forward. Will that even happen? I feel like i'm the one before the one. That one girl a guy truly loves but can't be with in the end. I feel like I am being judged. How am I not good enough? I have a future, I have morals, i'm not ugly, I have a brain! I'm extremely loyal to him and I really feel like I have given him everything that I could. Why does my nationality have to be involved? It hurts so much to feel like your SO is embarrassed of you.

    To clarify some more, we're a really laid back couple. We mostly spend time together at home or go out to movies and dinners. He has no problem being with me in public. He's very devoted to me also. All his free time he spends with me and he tries to include me into every aspect of his life (minus the truly important side which is family). I'm content to go on this way but the despair is always lurking. How much longer will I have to wait and i'm just scared it'll all be for nothing. :hysteric: :crybaby:
  2. Hi Sudy,
    I am sorry to hear of your trouble. in previous threads about some issues with background and culture I have given my input as I am in a mixed culture marriage.
    There have been times my husband has acted according to his culture/ and he still will as this is who he is - I am used to it now and I see his point, so I don't mind. it is not a big deal in the big scheme of things BUT that is bec we are committed and married - in public. sorry if I say it directly but there is only one way - as you can see he left others when they pressured him so you will know what is what if you push for it.
    right now, he sounds in love and everything but if you have reservations i am sure you do for a reason. I think you should have a serious conversation, not pressuring him if you don't want to but tell him that at least you would like to know if there ever is a chance of marriage (now seriously and rationally not all in love etc) - he owes you that. tell him you want to know bec in the end you have to arrange your life as he arranges his. he can't give you guarantees but if he already knows it will never happen it is only fair to let you know!

    or, just decide for yourself - take your time to distance yourself emotionally and find the one! (and be the one, not the one before the one!). forget the running away part - it is ridiculous and not real - sounds like hollywould.

    if you will spend your life together, do not just dream - sit with him and tell him that you want to know what he is all about, what his ideas and expectations are. you cannot marry into another culture/religion/ethnicity without knowing what it is all about. don't kid yourself thinking it is not a big deal - it always is, and openness, honesty and fairness will save you from finding yourself in a surprising situation. if he can't do it, you should! sorry for the long answer but it just gets to me how many people close their eyes at the wrong time only to find that they got into their own nightmare.
  3. ^Well stated, lara0112!

    I agree - love is not enough to keep a relationship together. Culture/religion/etc is extremely important and you have to get to understand it fully and how it may impact your relationship down the road, especially if you two eventually have children. You do not want to find out years later that he is adamant about raising his children in a different religion or culture than yours, for example. You have to take some time to analyze the whole situation and decide if this is the best relationship to be in. I know you love each other, but if it will never progress past this because he wants to keep his parents happy, it is not fair to you.

    Good luck with this! I am in a bi-racial marriage and have dated men from many different backgrounds. I had one guy who was afraid to show me to his father because his father was a Vietnam war vet (I am vietnamese). I dated an African-American whose family would always talk to me in the third person, even if I was standing right next to him. So I understand feeling slighted in a relationship; I ultimately decided that I needed to be with someone who accepted me, along with his family. I feel for you!
  4. Lara0112, Thank you for your reply. I'm glad that you are happy in your relationship. I understand his culture but the way it affects our relationship is hard. And about the running away part, he was never serious. It was just mindless dreaming. I knew it the minute he said it. I actually did sit him down and discuss this. Many times I have tried but I really didn't get far. Either he would ask me to understand or just drop it. The last time we spoke of this, I brought up the fact that I can't just be practice for him. We sat and cried together for a long time that night. He is equally at lost as to how to proceed with me. He said there was a 5% chance and he was sorry for what he is putting me through. He doesn't know how it would work but but he knows it will be hard. I keep waiting because I keep hoping he will one day try with me.

    I keep going by my mothers word that if someone really loves you, they would jump leaps and bounds for you. I'm trying to hold on a little longer to see if this is true.
    It would be nice to distance myself but how can I? I've gone through horrible times with this person and despite everything, I still love who he is. Am I selling myself short? Maybe. I honestly don't know.

    But thank you so much. Your words are very refreshing and true.

    I believe in that belief too, sailornep5. Love is not enough sometimes. It's what's keeping me here but how long can it really last? I keep analyzing this relationship all the time and theres the pros and cons as usual. What's funny is that, I don't know his parents yet but I have tremendous respect for them already. I wish he can see that.
  5. Regardless of ethnicity, anyone who tries to distance himself from you in public is not relationship material. He says he won't introduce you to parents unless you're getting married - this is ridiculous as well. I'm not trying to hate on you or anything, but this guy's not worth the grief. I am engaged to someone who is of another culture than I am. However we both grew up in the US, so our attitudes are more liberal about things like this. I have taken some grief for my choice, he has taken some as well. Does that change anything? Of course not. I'm sorry, but you seem to be a nice person - find someone who will give that back to share your life with.
  6. The way I see it is that your relationship is between the two of you. I would NEVER say my son couldn't date someone based on their religion/ethnicity/race. If he loves a girl, then that's good enough for me, even if I don't like her. I think he needs to stand up to his parents, be respectful and say "I understand you have certain expectations of me, but I'm in love and I'm happy. This is what I'm going to do" (ie be with you). Then be prepared for the consequences. At some point, children need to seperate themselves from their parents and do what's best for them, not their parents.
  7. Sudy, so sorry to hear of your trouble. This is my frank should take a breather from this relationship. I dont' see how after a year & a half of dating, he still refuses to introduce his family to you. It is not a normal progression of a serious relationship. It may be enough for now butit will keep resurfacing and remain a sore spot in your relationship. Remember it's a person's actions not just their words.
  8. Sudy,

    He distances himself away from you when his hometown/albanian friends are around because he is scared people will talk?? this guy doesn't have a backbone. he's scared of what others will say. if so, how is he going to stand up for you and the relationship to his parents?

    you may respect his family but he doesn't respect you enough to introduce you to his friends or his family. and chances are his family are not going to be very warm towards you since you are an "outsider".

    It is clear you love him and you have included him in your life and you are willign to be patient. BUT i don't think he's doing enough and you yourself are not satisfied with how little he's giving you.

    my take is that as painful as it is, you should break up with him and tell him that you love him and he can get back to you when he is ready to treat you with respect and include you in his life (and not like some leprosy victim when it comes to his friends and family).

    the longer you let yourself be the one being unsatisfied in a relationship and feeling like you're not getting what you want, the more painful it will be when the split happens later.

    Don't spend your life waiting for him to figure out a way. it may never happen. and i agree with your mom, if the guy really values you, he will jump leaps and bounds to make the relationship work. and this guy doesn't not sound like he's doing anything close to that!

    you need to live your life and meet other people. if and when he figures it out, you can both work on overcoming the hurdles. but please please don't spend your time waiting for someone to change their mind.

    if you really want to give it a little longer, give yourself a time line and if it doesn't happen by then, walk away.

    hang in there!
  9. I disagree that he's treating her badly. Well, rather, that he's not doing all of this with malice. Family can be a very strong influence and children are quite often scared of disappointing their parents somehow. The person you're going to be with is a big deal and him thinking that his parents won't approve is a big deal too. I think he just really respects his family and his culture and it doesn't have anything to do with him lacking a backbone.
    But, like I said, he does need to realize that his life isn't about pleasing and satisfying his parents' wants and needs, rather about him being happy and a good person and leading his own life. It takes some time for this to happen sometimes, so I'd encourage him to sit them down and talk things out. Now, if he refuses to do that, you might need to reassess things. Hopefully he can talk to his parents and they'll be understanding.
  10. My husband and I are of the same race but from different cultures so I somewhat understand your story. However, we've been married for 15 years in May and it's been a great journey. We never had too many issues that were related to culture to begin with fortunately. Then again, my husband is a more modern than a lot of men in his culture. I think that helped us a lot.

    While reading your story the issue that stood out most to me was the one where you stated he distances himself from you are around people from his culture. That's where I stopped reading and started to reply. For me, that was a red flag. It sounds to me that he is not comfortable being with you in a relationship. It also seems as if he is a person who cares about what other people think.
    I don't like men who are easily influenced by me that is a mark of weakness in a I am not that type of woman either. If I am with someone---I am with them 100%. I could care less what someone else thinks of that person.

    I'd say move on. You don't have time to waste on someone who will not even introduce you to his parents after a year?? That's crazy. I understand what he is saying about not introducing someone until he wants to marry. My husband culture is this way too but it didn't take a year for my husband to introduce me to his family.
    There is nothing wrong with interracial or intercultural relationships at all but the people involved have to know from the beginning that this is what they want and that they are going to meet all of the challenges together no matter what. Afterall at the end of the day it's just you and that person and that's all that really counts/matters.

    I actually love being married to someone of a different culture. It make our lives that much more interesting.
  11. Sadly all I can see is heartache in a future with this guy. Blood is thicker than water as they say and this guy is a walking epitome of that statement. From what you say it doesn't sound like he is going to lighten up on any of his values and he is actually being a little on the selfish side by stringing you along in a way. He has accomplished making you feel like you are not "good enough". I'll lay money that even subconciously he is banking on that to keep you around as long as it suits him. This just doesn't seem worth it at all to me when there are guys out there that don't have these limitations. If this guy can fall in love with you, what makes you think another can't? You sound very young and I've been there too - your whole world probably revolves around this guy - but please believe me when I say there are alot of great guys out there who won't put you through this. I'm not saying he is a bad person but he definitely does not seem to have your best interest at heart. Listen to your gut! If you think you are the "girl before the girl" he marries, you are probably right. Women weren't given intuition for nothing. Use yours and get strong. If you distance yourself from him, you will see his real intentions cause he'll either "poop or get off the pot" if you know what I mean.
    So sorry you are going thru this but this is a great forum of people. You will get alot of help and support here.
  12. My first instinct is to tell you to move on. I am married 14 years in a biracial marriage (Chinese, German) and I met my husband's ENTIRE family on the second "date"!

    I can understand some cultures are much more rigid... if he cannot relax when he is with you in public because of how his community might feel, how do you think that same community will treat you once you enter into their world? Would you be expected to spend all married life within the world of his family? It seems to me your BF's culture is so ingrained in him, he no longer really knows what he wants and that could be a dangerous thing when it comes time to defend or help you, he may not even be able to, because he doesn't want to "lose face" in his community.

    Don't let him string you along anymore, I'm sure he cannot help his upbringing... I'm sorry to say this, but you need a much healthier, more balanced relationship with another person who accepts you 100%, not only when it's convenient for him. You will be amazed how different your happiness is when you have a partner who's not ashamed to be seen with you.
  13. very sorry about your dilemma! im in a mixed relationship as well. im chinese and my SO is jewish (yes, i know it's a relgion but it's also a culture). his family is NOT HAPPY about him dating a non-jew. everybody in his family has married a jew. before we started dating, he made it clear that if we ever married his family would probably not be too happy about it but i think when you're in love what can you do? my family is pretty open minded yet traditional and would "prefer" if i dated a chinese boy but they love my SO because he's a great guy. i don't think there is really much you can do in your situation other than have a long long long talk with him about the future... i don't know how old you are but if you are considering marriage, i think it is better to have all the issues brought up as soon as possible. you should also confront him about the way he treats you in public with other albanians. as his gf, you should be treated with respect REGARDLESS. and if he doesn't want to do anything about these problems then i think you need to re-evaluate things .... i think the person you marry should definitely put you ahead of anything.
  14. You are both Americans now. That should be your, and his, primary identity, and he obviously has not adjusted to the multicultural atmosphere of this country. Of course both of you should know about and appreciate your family history, and the culture of your ancestors, but ethnic communities that segregate themselves from larger society are doing themselves no favors.

    From what you have told me, it is highly unlikely the relationship will become serious, because he will bow to pressure from his family to marry an Albanian girl and have Albanian children, who will be raised as Albanians, rather than Americans, and married off to other Albanians. If he is afraid to show you off, it is time for you to find a real "American" who is not so culturally isolated.

    Sorry to be so vehement, but this is a topic I am passionate about.

    For the record I am an American of Korean/mixed European descent.
  15. Charles - while I agree with you about backbone bec my husband and I both had to "stand" up to a certain extent (minor issues really) I also think that you are raised in a certain context and may not be able to leave that. I don't see the point for her waiting for him to grow up - if it is not in him to stand up to his family or if he actually just doesn't want to do that it is easier to move on.

    I also appreciate if someone is not willing to take on their whole community (if that is the issue) but I just hate when they are soo selfish to let someone else suffer as a result. why go look elsewhere if you can't go for it? Sorry Sudy if this makes you upset - I don't mean to, I just hope you will make yourself happy!