When you’re facing hard times as a couple, people say all kinds of things. “Hope it gets better.” “Stay strong.” “You’ll be okay.”
And then, there’s what my so-call friend told me back in December, after I told her about the discrimination against John, and how I supported him.
“So you’re standing by him? Wow, you’re so loyal.”
You’re so rude, I wanted to tell her. I also wanted to slap her across the table, but it was a holiday party and that sort of thing doesn’t go well with gingerbread and hot apple cider.
“Why wouldn’t I be? He’s my husband and I love him,” I finally said as I glowered at her.
From her perspective, “for better or for worse” just didn’t apply to us. She might as well have said, “You should have married a white man,” because that’s exactly what I heard hidden within her words — that when a white woman chooses to marry someone outside her race, in my case a Chinese man, she should throw in the towel when she faces something she’d never face with a white husband.
Maybe my marriage meant I’d know different hardships than the average white woman with a white husband. But I never sat around calculating these things like a cold statistician, or treating marriage like a business deal. So what if John is Chinese, and that exposes him to discrimination? Love just happened with John, and it’s a love that means more to me than anything in the world, a love that sustains me in the face of our challenges.
Then again, maybe she was just jealous to see that hardship wouldn’t break us apart. After all, she already divorced her first white husband, and was now on white husband number two. Too bad I didn’t tell her this: “I guess marrying white is no guarantee.”
Have people ever suggested you shouldn’t have gone into an interracial and/or cross-cultural marriage?