Disapproval and Hiding An Interracial Relationship

There are many kinds of families in the world, and personally I always envy the ones in the movies where everyone can be almost completely honest with each other. Like in the movie "If I Stay". It's got the casual, blunt rocker parents. The mature teen who seems more responsible than them. And the younger brother getting away with saying "shitface". I don't know about you guys, but even if the situation completely called for it, I'd be eating soap suds within seconds if I ever said "shitface" in front of my parents. Even if I do happen to be 26. My parents tend to fall in the more traditionally strict category.

So imagine what happened when they found out about Taiki, and on top of that: our marriage plans. Major (but definitely well deserved) freakage. Their youngest daughter is getting married? And wait, to someone from a different race? Kind of dropped a bomb from out of nowhere. And with everyone's emotions running high and my guilty conscience, I forgot why I didn't want to mention it earlier. But I did have a reason. 

After being infatuated with all things Asian since junior high, I looked forward to finally studying abroad in college. But instead of support, there was criticism and rolling of the eyes. So I stuck it out, graduated and got a steady job for three years. Paying off my school loans was great, but not entirely fulfilling. 

Then it started. Two years ago, I decided to teach English in Japan for a year. Every step of the way - the application, the interviews, the anticipation - caused so stress for my family, mom said I was on the verge of breaking up her and dad's marriage. After that, my older sister came to me crying asking how I could go against our parents' wishes so selfishly. Knowing how much I was hurting my family was unbearable. Almost as unbearable as letting go of my dreams

Going to Japan also risked the unspeakable: a relationship. When I was in high school, my father made sure to say I'd be disowned if I married someone 'different'. For him, it's just unthinkable. He would never have done so - why would his children want to? And on the other hand, mom said she was just worried about the culture differences since marriage in general can be tough. (Can I just say - I'm so glad I can talk to her about anything now!)

So when I met Taiki, of course I didn't mention it to my parents. We were just friends and I even had a boyfriend at the time. No interest in that way whatsoever. But then I broke up with the boyfriend, wanting to travel to Japan. PS - still no interest. I had wanted to do my own thing. But as my trip to Japan got closer, the interest did grow and we did end up meeting. And then going out. But I still didn't feel the need to tell my parents. That's normal though, right? Not everyone tells their parents about every single date or love interest. It just was so comfortable keeping my parents in their protective bubble, even though I was quickly building the foundation for my soon-to-be double life. (I've always fantasized about being a spy but I guess that wouldn't work out too well. Way too stressful.) 
Taiki and Andrea, japanese american couple
There were pictures of us together on Facebook, though..

Back up to speed - we've been together for almost two years now and both returned to our respective countries after a three month trip to Europe, one month stay in Japan, and three month life in Australia. So, while finally letting the beans slip was very chaotic and emotional, it was such a weight lifted off. I really did want to tell my family, even when our relationship began. But I knew it would be a daily battle this whole time if I did. I love my parents, and so for that reason I couldn't tell them for the longest time. The disappointment I would cause. The guilt for feeling selfish and making even more drama for our family. I still feel somewhat wrong for hiding our relationship, but I'm not sure there's really a correct way of breaking your parents' hearts and expectations. But what I do know is that I'm going to work hard again to rebuild their trust. Here's to hoping the saying's right: time heals all wounds.




About Us!

Hey there! We're Taiki and Andrea - a Japanese/American couple who love traveling and learning about other people and cultures. We've been to India, Thailand, Korea, France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Greece and Italy (as well as the US and Japan of course!)

We started a blog to preserve our memories while encouraging and motivating others to travel or learn English!

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