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Boyfriend's Family is Racist; An Undecided Wife

Oct 5, 1998

For the past three years, I have been dating an Indian gentleman. We're both in our mid-20s. He's the oldest, and has two sisters and a brother. I'm Black and his mother and sisters hate me. We have never formally met. They have expressed that they're not interested in meeting me because of my race. Nevertheless, I get along well with his brother.

Unfortunately, my boyfriend resides with his family. He lives on one floor and his family occupies the remaining floors. I/We rarely spend time there. I have received harassing calls from his sisters. He confronted his sisters and informed them that I will file a complaint if they contact me again. Since their confrontation, I haven't received any more calls.

However, the situation has become more volatile. Recently, I visited my boyfriend to exchange some items. His mother/sisters came to his apartment and created a 'scene'. My boyfriend informed them to leave, after his mother threw something at me. I ignored them through the entire event and only split apart my boyfriend and sister when their argument became physical. I planned to leave after everything calmed down and went to retrieve my shoes (which I normally leave in the hallway) only to discover they were missing. We found them in a dusty, spider-webbed wall panel.

I have exceeded my tolerance level for his 'family', but haven't given him any ultimatums. Since the last episode, my boyfriend no longer eats any food cooked/bought by his family. He is also washing his own clothes (his mother washes their clothes at the laundromat where she works). I no longer visit him, except to pick him up with my car. He is also looking for a new place to live. What can I do to lessen the stress his family is placing on us? him? Should I do/say anything the next time his family approaches me?

Fed Up Girlfriend

Normally I would encourage you to try to make harmony with his family, but when a family is taking a very strong, racist stance, I believe that one has to follow the righteous path, even if it costs family relationships. At the same time, it might be productive for your boyfriend to seek out an elder in the Indian community, perhaps a Hindu religious leader, and ask that person to influence your boyfriend's parents to be more tolerant and generous. Perhaps you can meet with the parents with that leader as the mediator. It would be good, after all, if their hearts could be influenced in the right direction.

If nothing works, and you and your boyfriend are committed to a long term relationship, and then marriage, I would recommend that you follow your heart.

My wife left me about 3 months ago. We have an 8 month old daughter. She said that one of the reasons for leaving is that I was happy with [junk] jobs. I'm happy with any jobs I have. But she wanted me to get a real job and my cousin lived in an area (away from home) that has many.

I moved 1200 miles from them, and am now in a strange city without a job or family. When I ask her if she thinks we'll get back together, her opinions vary from day to day...but never no, and sometimes more promising. Am I stupid for trying to follow my heart?

I miss seeing my daughter grow up. I've only been in Denver for 2 weeks and had one interview. It will be our 2nd anniversary on September 14.

Any help is appreciated


You're not stupid at all for following your heart. Heart is more important than money or anything else. I would move back to the city where your wife and daughter are, and sit down with your wife and tell her that money can't be the basis for her relationship with you. Doesn't it say, 'for richer or for poorer?'

At the same time, it's easy for wives to feel a lot of stress because of money problems. If she feels that you really need to get a better job, and that the better jobs are in Denver, then she should go with you, with your daughter. Ask her if your daughter cares whether you have money or not. All she wants is her daddy. Stay together at all costs.

Peter Falkenberg Brown is passionate about writing, publishing, public speaking and film. He hopes that someday he can live up to one of his favorite mottos: “Expressing God’s kind and compassionate love in all directions, every second of every day, creates an infinitely expanding sphere of heart.”

~ Deus est auctor amoris et decoris. ~

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Peter Falkenberg Brown
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