Brian and June

When Nurse Andre called out Brian’s name who was pacing up and down in the waiting room, the nurse looked at him in a confused manner, the kind of glance that raises many questions. Brian immediately stood up though panicking and followed the nurse to where he was directed to go. Through the corridors, the nurses and doctors from the delivery room could not stop staring at Brian.

‘I could tell they were looking for a black American but had to re-shift their thoughts when they saw me,’ he said. Brian is a Chinese American while his wife June is a black American. At that time, Brian had taken his wife to the hospital to deliver their first baby, Bruce. ‘I believed that since the baby had a mixed skin tone and my wife was black then they immediately thought that the father of the baby was black, only to be surprised to find out the opposite,’ he continued while laughing.

‘We have been through the toughest times from family resistance, conflict, arguments the list is endless. I remember one particular time when the pressure was just too much June decided to leave and that meant that we had to break our 4-year relationship. The worst thing that you can ever do is to give up on the one that you love. I will not say that it was easy but that was the most tempting and hardest part of my life. Despite our separation, we still managed to keep in contact with each other and I can say things worked out for the best and now we are here. What really led to our separation is the misconception that since my wife is a black American then that makes her a thug and a criminal, which was not true. It is unfortunate how such beliefs have destroyed so many relationships. It took my family time to accept her as my wife. I can say that it was worth it.’

Brian pointed out some of the few challenges that couples in intercultural relationships face. Being raised in different cultural backgrounds does mean that couples cannot agree on what they want. Brian and June’s story is an example of intercultural couples who have managed to beat the odds and make their marriage work.

Kelly and Dwaine

Another beautiful story of cross-cultural couples is of Kelly who from Brazil origin and Dwaine from South Africa. The couples have been together for 10 years and married for 5 years. The two can still remember how they originally met each other. ‘Our company was expanding and it meant that some of the employees including me had to be transferred to the new branch which was based in America. I once bumped into Kelly with some of her friends during a break on work-organized meeting that was organized by their company. When I first saw her, I felt an immediate attraction and I could not stop looking. Her smile just melted my heart down. I knew she was meant for me! One thing led to another and now we are here together as husband and wife. We try to make the best out of our relationship, from spending time together, helping each other around the house and so much more. We cannot deny that we have never faced challenges in our relationships, sometimes the arguments can go beyond, but we still manage to work things out and laugh.’

‘We have managed to stay together because of the love, respect, trust, honesty, that we have for each other. We do not hide things from each other. Initially, our parents never liked the idea of our union but sometimes you have to ignore some things and live your life since your happiness matters most than what they think. Over the years they have learnt to love her and accept her as their daughter-in-law.’

Couples last remarks

‘For any relationship to work it has to suffer a setback at some point in time but it does not mean that it is the end of everything. Every challenge that you face as couples should be a stepping stone and a learning process to build a stronger bond between the two of you. Do not listen to people who are there to tell you how your relationship is never going to work simply because both of you are from a diverse culture. The most important thing is love you have for each other.’