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How to tell your parents about your interfaith relationship

How to tell your parents about your interfaith relationship

I often blog about multicultural weddings and their beauty of two cultures blending into one fusion wedding. It’s pleasing to see how couples choose to use their own traditions for their big day and it is useful for those planning their own wedding. To gain an insight of how other couples have completed this. This is the happy and exciting part of planning and leading up to your wedding. 

Depending on your culture or religion, dating someone outside of your faith, can be deemed as unacceptable. To those who do not have this issue can find this strange and slightly racist. Well being racist is racist. I’m basing this on Asian culture, but again, it doesn’t necessarily imply to everyone. When your grandparents and parents have had arranged and semi-arranged marriages, you can see how this differs today (You can read about my parents marriage here) Marrying someone outside your faith wasn’t an option. Therefore most couples in a multicultural relationship find that telling their parents is the hardest part.

I understand this feeling quite well. You have been dating your partner for long period of time and ready to live together or get married. But your parents have always wanted you to marry someone of your own faith. They probably didn’t consider any other option, because this is all they know. Which is why I wanted you to get a perspective from a parent’s point of view. I asked my own cool, traditional Sikh dad to give some advice from a father’s point of view of how kids should tell their parents about their partner of a different faith. Here is what he had to say.Interfaith relationship

“The reaction is ultimately the scary part because if it’s not happened in the family before, it’s a double reaction. Firstly, because your child wants to marry someone of a different faith and secondly being the first one in the family to do it is a shock. The shock of the change to the expected culture continuation as you are expected to follow the rules.

When telling your parents, be truthful. Tell them exactly how you feel and how it all happened. When you first met your partner, how long you’ve been together, why you know they are the one. The more information you give the better because they will know how much they mean to you.

Ensure you pick the right moment for you. It’s hard because there will never be a perfect moment that is the best for everyone.

Be prepared for the ‘threat of parents disowning you’. As truly awful as it sounds but it could happen. Some parents are too focused on their ego and extreme about honour on the family. I know of many parents who can’t deal with the shame that they do some truly horrible things. It’s so shocking, as a parent, to hear how some people abandon their kids. It’s hard to put into words. Ultimately, you have to be prepared for your parents to threaten you with disownment, in the worst case scenario.

Couple Hugging
In a good case, your parents will start to consume the information and get used to the idea. It can be hard for them at first, but time will make it better.

The best case scenario would be your parents are thrilled and have no issue with it, whatsoever!

In the ‘community’ some people will hope you stumble. In this sense, they want your relationship to fail so they can gossip and say – I told you so. This is the worst part of doing anything, having those people commenting and criticising. (Raj says – You can see how much my mum talks about this when she and my dad got married). As you are making sacrifices, with potential family members disowning you, make sure the relationship is worthwhile and make it work as much as possible. As you don’t want to be dating someone for a few months to find that it hasn’t worked as it causes unnecessary emotions for the family.”

I hope my dad’s advice has helped you in some way! I know it’s easy for me to talk about multicultural marriages and weddings, but it’s so much more effective hearing/reading it from a father’s point of view. Especially when a lot of people are scared to tell their own fathers because of the fear of his reaction. I’m lucky to have an understanding, accepting and caring father who approves of multicultural marriages and relationships. Phew! Otherwise explaining this blog to him, would be hard work…

Let me know what you think about his advice and if it can/or has helped you in anyway.


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