My husband and I are about to celebrate six years of marriage. We met and fell in love on the busy streets of Seoul as two foreigners from two different countries trying to cross the street.
Eight months later, we ran off and got married as we were expecting our first child. It sounds like a fairy tale love story, and in many ways it was, except I am a white American woman and he is a Chinese man. While most people are accepting of this, like our families and friends, we have run into a lot of people that are not.
How do you even understand your own husband?
Just days after eloping, my husband had to help coordinate an event at the travel agency he worked for. They were hosting a big Chinese family reunion. Newly pregnant and married, I attended with my husband.
We saw the group through many activities like museum tours, big bountiful meals, and shopping. On one of the excursions, one of the guests, a Chinese man who had spent his whole life growing up in America, came to me and said, ‘How do you even understand your own husband?’
I was shocked and offended. My husband’s English is very good. My Chinese is sufficient. We are plenty able to speak to each other.
After living in Korea, we moved to his hometown in China so his parents could help us with the baby. While they were remarkably open to having a foreigner for a daughter-in-law, we’d often get stares or murmurs about how we were a mixed-race family. Most people were great, but when we’d encounter the bad ones, we learned to ignore them.
You are so lucky your daughters do not look Chinese at all
Quite possibly the worst experience I have had in regards to my interracial marriage is when people look at me and my husband and then look at our two beautiful daughters and say, ‘You are so lucky your daughters are so gorgeous. They do not look Chinese at all.’
Um, what? Our daughters are the perfect blend of our genes. I do not see them as Chinese or American. They are technically Chinese Americans by definition, though. We are proud to be a mixed-race family.
But why label it? My children are more enriched because of their mixed culture. They will have better opportunities thanks to understanding a language that people are fighting to learn in order to have better global business opportunities. They love Chinese food and American cuisine, as well as everything in between.
Read also – 5 Ways We Are Ruining Our Marriages
Being in an interracial marriage in today’s world is not always easy, but we make it work because of love, because of the kids and because we understand each other and what it feels like to live thousands of miles from home in a place that feels like anything but home.
Love is love, and it does not matter to me that my husband is Chinese, or to him that I am American. We make each other laugh, we hold each other tight and we enjoy the ride while looking beyond the shallowness of the judgmental.