In this day and age, interracial relationships have become so common that most of us don’t even think twice about it. I was raised by parents who are in an interracial relationship. My mother is Puerto Rican and my stepfather, who is my dad by all means, is Black. Most of my siblings are mixed…and love it! For me it was no big deal. When I ended up in a relationship with my now husband, I didn’t think twice about it. Unfortunately others did.
What I did find was while our cultures are very close to each other, we still had culture clashes. He likes seasoned salt, I like Adobo. He doesn’t have any significant traditions when children are born, I do. While I don’t believe in superstition, I do like to honor culture. One of the ways we do that is when a new baby is born, we give them a bracelet with what looks like a black fist on it. It’s called an Asabache. It’s believed to ward off evil spirits, or “mal de ojo” (evil eye). My husband saw no point in customs like that. I still do.
Through the years, we have come across many other culture clashes. From food to tradition, from parenting to daily life. We’ve learned to acknowledge that even if we were of the same culture, we would find clashes because we are not one and the same person. It’s even more amplified since we come from different cultures. We take things as they come, and find the best way to deal with it.
Sadly, not everyone has shared our unfiltered view on interracial relationships. We have both had to deal with nasty comments, and snide remarks from those who have found issues with us being together. In the beginning I let it get under my skin and found myself constantly on the defensive. I had to realize that defending what is of no one else’s business was utterly and completely exhausting!
We both had to get to the place where we were comfortable with ourselves and each other, and were able to let the idiot remarks roll off of our backs. I must say that I’m not sure whether the comments are made anymore, or if we’ve learned to really tune them out so we don’t even realize anymore that people are still talking.
We’ve also learned to appreciate the differences between us. My husband has learned to appreciate Adobo. (smile) We don’t always agree, but we can always compromise. I’ve always been very glad to teach my husband and our children about our holidays, customs and beliefs, and even some of the stories passed down from generation to generation. He’s even picked up some Spanish!
There are so many more important things to focus on that culture and race just doesn’t make the cut in our eyes. We choose to see past a color and love each other as people. I fell in love with my husband’s heart…not his color. If only people could see through those eyes. Life is hard enough. When you find someone you love, and who loves you back and accepts you for you, the color or race shouldn’t matter.
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