Interracial Couples Share The Obstacles They Faced That They Didn't Expect

Interracial Couples Share The Obstacles They Faced That They Didn't Expect

Society has a surefire way of getting in the way of genuine love, even with diversity and inclusion becoming the norm. While diversity is not going away anytime soon, it’s becoming urgent that the public needs to be more mindful when addressing strangers in a way that could be perceived as hurtful. Since everyone is the same on the inside, hinting at uncertainty when children are around through the form of (possibly) innocent questions must stop immediately. While society has become more relaxed, there are still complications that an interracial couple might have to face while on their path to true bliss.


35. Families Occasionally Have To Explain Things That They Shouldn’t

I’m half Korean and my wife is white. I have two kids. One kid is obviously of ambiguous ethnic heritage and the other is blond hair and blue-eyed. My son takes after me and my Korean side. My daughter takes after her mother. My father had blonde hair as a kid and is blue-eyed.

I never thought I would have to explain to my daughter that she is really my daughter.

I have had people come up to me and tried to stop me from picking her up. I’ve had people straight out ask me who her father is. Why would an Asian guy have anything to do with a white kid?

With my daughter there, I tell them that she is my daughter and that they need to back off. However, she is young and it leaves doubt in her head. She looks at me and we look nothing alike. I have naturally tanned skin, almond eyes, and brown hair and eyes. She is fair skinned, round eyes, blond hair, and blue eyes. It worries her. It worries her that its so obvious strangers have not believed me when I told them she was my daughter.

She is mostly good now. We got my dad to send a BUNCH of pictures of when he was little and my parents visited more often. She would see her grandpa had hair like hers and eyes like hers. That helps a lot. She knows he is my father and she looks like her grandpa. I don’t look like grandpa, I look like grandma.

Another thing that my daughter has to deal with: I don’t speak Korean to my kids, but they hear me speaking it when talking to my family. The result is that they have picked up some words. So my daughter was asked why she used a Korean word and she said "I’m Korean", because well, she is. The person apparently tried to tell my daughter she did was not. Thankfully my wife was there and shut that down.

My daughter uses what Korean words she knows and asks a lot of questions about how I grew up. I think she does it to connect with me given the above issue.

Final thing. Apparently white people feel a lot more comfortable saying crazy stuff around other white people. Someone will say something stupid and my wife responds with, "you know I’m married to an Asian guy right?


34. Excuse Me, I’m Standing Right Here

People of your SO's race hitting on them right in front of you because they don't think you're together.


33. She Didn't Mean It Like That

White man, Hindu (Tamil) wife. Specifically with respect to obstacles that I "wasn't expecting" (obviously I expected a little bit), it's the language barrier specifically with respect to words that have literal translations that don't quite work in English.

For example, there's a word in Tamil that literally translates to "useless," but the Tamil word is often used colloquially to mean something closer to "not currently needed" or "useless [for my current purposes]." But that doesn't stop my wife from describing all kinds of people (including me, frequently) as straight-up "useless," including to their faces, and then wondering why these people either get angry or just avoid her.

Also, multiple different Tamil words all tend to be shorthanded into the word "thing," which means she often talks like some kind of comedic parody of I-don't-honestly-know, largely unaware of the fact: "I need a thing for this thing, it's over by the thing, can you get it?" [Looks at me not moving] "You just going to stand there and be useless?"


32. We Can’t Bring A Professional Photographer Everywhere

I am white, she is black. Taking selfies in the sun is difficult, the picture either turns out way too dark or way too bright.



31. At Least He Has The Option To Identify When He Wants To

My wife is white, I am Asian. Children go through stages of self-identifying white or Asian. When he was young, my son was annoyed when my wife visited him during school lunch because his friends "found out he had a white mother". Now, older, he is not much into Asian culture.


30. Our Group Is Still Together And We Would Rather Not Be Separated Please

My husband and I went to Disney World with my side of the family. So there's 11 black people and only 1 white man. We're in line and when it's our turn for the ride, they always cut the line off when it got to him. Even after telling the ticket person there were 12 in our group. If he was 5th in line, our group just had to magically stop there. Everyone had to explain that he was in fact part of our group and no he wasn't trying to cut us....


29. Half Precious, Half Adorable, And A Pinch Of Delightful

Trying to explain to my kids what they actually are. I'm half black & half Indian (India), my wife is half black & half white.


28. Will Checks Be Separate Or Together?

Asian. Grew up in the US south. Got picked on all the time. It was just a way of life. Things got a lot better as kids got more mature over time and as society has gotten less and less racist over the past few decades.

Grew up and married a white woman and even though we remained in the South, I feel like we are rarely ever even viewed as an interracial couple, let alone discriminated against.

But if you ask my wife, she feels like people treat us and her differently ALL THE TIME. She says we get looks wherever we go. People have a problem with her last name. The separate checks thing. And other stuff.

Me, I'm just glad that they don't appear to be spitting in our food or running up to us and telling us how ungodly we are.


27. No Disrespect From Loved Ones Because Family Is Family And We Stand Up For Each Other No Matter What

I am a black woman married to a Korean man.

One time when I went to go test drive a Cadillac, I told the salesperson what I was looking for and he went off to find the car. It took him a really long time for him to locate the model of vehicle I wanted (over half an hour), so I popped my head in the office to tell him, never mind. He then asked me for my social security number. What? I've been buying cars for over 20 years. Never had I had someone ask me for my SSN when trying to test drive a car. Also, I was currently driving a Lexus, so I have been used to dealing with "premium" dealerships.

Now, my husband was sitting next to me in the waiting area and was flabbergasted, (I was doing all the talking since it was my car that I was looking to test drive and possibly buy).

At that point my husband stands up and tells the salesman that we were leaving, since he was obviously trying to "prequalify" before even showing me the car. Ah..the looks and stares we got, plus an apology.

I think that whole situation really hit home for my husband, that even between minorities there are the "good" ones and the "bad" ones. It hurt his feelings for a long time. Because, to each other, I am just his wife, and he is just my husband. Nothing more, nothing less.

On a side note, no one in his family has ever been rude, or nasty to me. They have always treated me with respect, and also with the deference my position within our family holds. My husband is the eldest son of the eldest son.

My family has been nice and respectful to my husband as well. That's one fight we didn’t have to have. Although I will say we have had our own issues in building our marriage because of our different cultures. We have since learned what is important to each other and to respect and support that. At the end of the day you are married to each other and not each other's cultures or families. You have to respect and love the person you lay down with at night.


26. Generalizing Can Be Damaging As People Don’t Have To Fit Into Stereotypes

I always get told "well he isn't one of those Mexicans" after they make an extremely racist remark before finding out that my fiancé is Mexican, and that his parents legally came here from Mexico.



25. A Police Officer Belittled my Wife And People Tell Me What I Believe

White Male, Black Female Husband/Wife team here.

We've experienced our fair share of "obstacles". I was stopped by the police before and the cop actually pulled me out of the car and asked me if she was a paid to be there and would not believe me until I showed our wedding photo that's in my wallet. Also, recently I was told I support Donald Trump because I was a white male by some of her not so close family members.

I would say most folks in an interracial marriage probably have enough stories to create a book on "Subtle and not so Subtle Racism"


24. You're Way Out Of Line

White woman here married to a SE Asian man.

We live in a rural area. Lots of staring at us in public. Oh, the staring. Including people who will crane their head all the way around to stare at us going by in, say, the mall, or Walmart.

The worst part for me is the number of people (OK, women) who, after learning I'm married to an Asian guy, say something along the lines of "Oh, I couldn't, I've just never been attracted to Asian men!" or words to that effect. You would not believe the number of people who say this straight to my face. Who knows why? What are they expecting me to say? This is way worse than the people who ask things like "does he speak much English?" when he's lived in Canada longer than they've been alive.


23. Gossip and Sneers Will Get You No Business

I took my half Jamaican wife to see my parents in Wales. Deepest, darkest Wales. We then used the opportunity to have a long weekend holiday down there. Turns out a lot of the locals down there are still very racist.

One pub we had to leave as it was clear the locals were joking (with the staff) about my missus. The cowards switched to Welsh when we walked in and they noticed her, so we couldn't understand, but the intonation and the sneers were clear.

We had food on the way but we left that place. Hope they did spit in it so they then couldn't eat it themselves.

To clarify, my entire family is Welsh, going back as many generations as we can trace. My brother and I are the first filthy mud-bloods born outside of Wales. Obviously being a white boy in white Welsh family I had never experienced this side of the culture until I got married.

It was not just the one pub. Once I had caught on to what was happening, I was watching more closely. Several places we went to visit i'd notice a distinct change of expression on the faces of those who noticed wife. It made me angry and ashamed, despite only being Welsh by blood not nationality. My wife, with much more experience of this kind of thing, thought it was funny. Didn't bother her. We ended up leaving the area because of me, not her, getting upset.

This was on the south coast of Wales, in places called Rhoose and Porthkerry, just west of Barry. We were borrowing my parent's static caravan holiday home in Fontygary Leisure Park. That place was lovely. The Fontygary Inn, just outside of the park however, was the place we had to walk out of.


22. Maddening Stereotypes That Never End

White guy, asian wife. Two kids have red and blond hair. My wife is constantly offered babysitting jobs because people see her taking care of her own children.


21. We Clash In Our Food Tastes But That’s Not Why We Got Married

Food. It can be trying to agree on this sometimes. Our fridge is east meets west.

Wife gets confused as the babysitter on occasion.

Having inlaws that live across the planet has been difficult, would be nice to get a bit of help from them.


20. All Kids Deserve The Chance To Form Their Own Opinions

I grew up in an upper middle class, all white north shore Long Island town and went to a private school that was all upper middle class to flat out rich white people. I didn't really know any non-white people until I went to undergrad at NYU. My family is very, very conservative and so I put off introducing them to my (then) black girlfriend as long as I could. I tried to give her as much warning as I could to the point where we talked about if we should end our relationship but, when the time came, if my family viewed her any differently from any white girl I've brought home it's never been mentioned. They've always treated her normally. They treat her much better than my sister's white husband but he's a jerk.

On the other hand, her family has never really accepted me and it's the only real source of conflict in our marriage.

Her mom still lives in Brooklyn but her father moved to Baltimore, which is good for us. My mother-in-law accepts that I'm a good husband, father, and provider but wishes I was a good black husband, father, and provider. Her father sees me as nothing more then the white man who stole his daughter from whatever black guy he wants to introduce her to. And there's ALWAYS a new black guy he's telling her about despite us being married with two kids. Her siblings are a mixed bag. The ones in NY mostly like me well enough while wishing I was black but her Baltimore ones won't accept she's with a white guy.

None of that really bothers me per se. What bothers me is when our kids are with them. A car ride home after a day with my in-laws consists of me explaining why it's OK that their mother married a white man and some times things are said that gets them really, really upset. My wife wants our kids to have a relationship with her side of the family, which I certainly understand, but I don't like the things they say to our kids about me.



19. The More You’re Loved, The More You’ll Be Served

My boyfriend is Japanese. Whenever we go to his mom's house, it's the same thing. I always get tons of food and tons to take home. At first I thought it was because I'm tall and skinny, but I guess it's just a cultural thing. Getting tons of food means you're loved by that person. If it makes you feel any better, I was like that at first with my boyfriend as well. Now I just know it's an act of love so I make him way too much food as well. Haha.


18. Keep Your Arms And Mind Wide Open Like This Opa

It was already expected, but unpleasant still.

-me, Asian female, adopted and raised by white family -husband, white male of German descent (grandma is "Oma" and grandpa "Opa" still) raised in rural south USA, mostly by father and stepmother who could be a Paula Dean clone.

My dad was racist.

Pleasant surprise was from his very German and traditional grandparents. His Oma and mostly blind Opa were immediately accepting. His Opa said, "White, black, purple, it all looks the same to me!" They were very pleased I was making him finish college and make something of himself.


17. Group Your Items Together To Avoid Awkward Questions and Confusion That Separate Piles Can Cause

White woman, Latin (immigrant) husband. I didn't expect to have to clarify "we're together" so much. Like, go to a checkout counter, both put our things on it, person rings up mine and gives me a total, like the guy standing 6 inches to my left has nothing to do with me.... Just really strange. Seems to happen rarely where we live (major East Coast city). Happened a LOT on our honeymoon (Western National Parks).


16. Fumbling Over Words Can Do More Harm Than Good

Not sure if it's an obstacle as much as just people who are unsure what to say...

My wife's white cousin married a black guy. They were in the hospital for their second child together. When their baby boy popped out, his skin tone was lighter than the nurse was expecting apparently, that's when she looked at the husband nervously and said, "Don't worry, he'll get darker..."

No joke! He told me that and I couldn't stop laughing.


15. We Get Judged Even Though We Are The Same Race

In my case people think we're interracial, my skin tone tricks people. We're both Latino/Caucasian, but he has tan skin, and I've got a skin tone with a resemblance to Casper. Incidentally, I grew up in a more Latino culture and speak fluent Spanish, which is not the case for him. It mostly results in funny confusions from people who make assumptions or are surprised when I speak Spanish. His paternal grandma, who was born in Mexico, did make a comment about him "picking a white" girl when we first got together. I responded in Spanish that they make mexicans in my color, too, and she got a good laugh.


14. In Normal Situations, The Benefit Of The Doubt Goes A Long Way

I think the hardest thing I've experienced is having the people at Walmart search my black girlfriend’s bags and checking the receipt for each and every thing, and then when I try to hand them my receipt to do it as a white guy they go "Oh no you're fine go ahead." Or stories she has told me about being very blatantly followed by store workers when she's gone to upper end stores. That stuff hurts man.



13. Quick Tip: If You Find Yourself Ever Not Sure Of The Relationship, Pronouns Are Usually Safe

Interracial (black + Native American mix) woman, white husband...I didn't expect to have to confirm that we were a couple.... a lot.

Example: we are in a store. My husband asks a question to the cashier then steps away to look at something. Cashier (to me): "Here is the item your...friend?...was asking about."

Me; "My husband, thanks."

I'm never rude about it. It's not really a big deal, just unexpected. We really are blessed. We live in the US, and yes racism is still a big problem, but if anyone is going to receive it, it'll be me, not him, not us.

Things ARE changing, and for the better. I was adopted as an infant by a Caucasian couple in New England. The things they had to deal with (and only 27 years ago!) blow my mind. Think positive! I love my marriage and my family.


12. Heartburn From Culture Shock

I'm Mexican and my ex-husband was white (Scandinavian decent) and living in Southern California we never really experienced anything that we weren't expecting. There were times where he felt we were getting worse service than those around us because we were an interracial couple.

The one obstacle I did not expect was the food. Apparently all the food I make, and my family makes, is very spicy. Since he grew up in the Great Lakes area his diet was pretty bland. Then here he comes into my household and he couldn't hang. I would try to tone it down, but then I didn't like it because I thought it was too bland. Eventually he built up a tolerance but the damage was done. He ended up getting chronic heartburn to the point of needing medication. When the doctor asked why he thought he had such bad heartburn I jumped in and said, "it's because he's dating a Mexican". The doctor smiled and said, "Ah, I understand. I'm dating a Middle Eastern woman and yeah I feel you buddy."


11. Don't Mind Us

I'm white, she's black. Really, I can only remember one instance where there was an issue. We ran into a friend of my wife's one time, and the woman called her husband (they were both black) over to meet me. He walks over, the friend starts saying, "This is So-and-so's husband." The guy looks at me with my hand out to shake his, and he just turns around and walks away. You could tell she was mortified and started apologizing profusely. I just shrugged.

Actually, I just remembered one other time, when we were dating. The first time I took her to my favorite Sunday breakfast place, I realized how "white" it was. I thought this only happened in movies, but as soon as we walked in everybody turned to look at us and all noise stopped. It was freaky. Nothing else happened, but those 2-3 seconds was enough. We never went back to that place again.


10. Discrimination From Her Own Family That She Never Saw Coming

We haven't had issues in years, but my poor Puerto Rican husband (white girl here) had to deal with a lot of stuff in getting to know my white Ohio suburban family. My grandmother was worried that he would mistreat me and try to be very controlling. When she met him, she realized that he was nothing at all like she thought and she loves him dearly now.

My one aunt wondered if he was marrying me for a green card (people from PR are naturalized citizens as they are a US commonwealth). That one made me angry, as if I couldn't find a handsome man unless he needed something from me.

The pastor who completed our wedding counseling asked my husband what his opinion was regarding paying for services, domestic violence, and cheating, based as he said, on his mission trips to Costa Rica. My husband had the best poker face I have ever seen and was able to amicably smile while explaining his family values, but I could tell that he wanted to strangle the moronic pastor.

He said that he had heard of racism, but didn't really experience it himself until he got to know my family. That one still stings, but we are passed it all now.


9. Some Couples Deserve Sky High Happiness Because Of What They Have To Go Through

It's the people you grow up with who suddenly grow cold.

You know in any family there'll be people you get along with really well and others perhaps it's not so close but you're all family? There's always the awful ones you tolerate, their racist jokes and refusal to accept the 70s are over but I don't mean those guys.

Prepare to be frozen out by the some of the ones you cherish most, the ones you LIKE. The ones that are chill and you feel comfortable in each others' homes, you babysit their kids and share a glass a drink and a laugh at the weekend. The good ones.

Those times when you used to laugh at your cousin's fake Jamaican accent together are gone. The guy who grew up in Toronto is still doing the accent but your friend and confidante is now on the other side of the room ignoring you.

Suddenly you're not preferred babysitter, invites to lunch dry up and what used to be big rambunctious dinners full of laughter end up being forced, timid formalities. All because you dared to love somebody who they don't like the look of.

And the fact we're not even married yet. It's going to get worse from here.


8. Your List Of 100 Names Was Cut Short A Little

Naming our kids.

My wife is white, I'm hispanic. We want names that can be pronounced easily by both sides of the family, which limits the choices enough that we haven't agreed on more than... Two.


7. Serving It Up Spicy At Popeyes

I’m hispanic, my wife is black.

We stopped at a Popeye’s to pick up some food as we both didn’t feel like cooking. I stood behind my wife as she placed our order. The man taking the order was extremely polite and as he brought out the food he told her that for her phone number he would hook her up with some extra chicken. She turned and looked at me in disbelief. I looked at her, looked at him, looked back at her and then told him to make it spicy chicken and he would have himself a deal.

He was embarrassed and apologized. I still got the free chicken.


6. Parents Can Instill Great Confidence In Their Kids, Even If The World Can't

I would always worry about being out with my step son who isn't mixed when he was younger. Always got the side eyes when he would be holding my hand crossing the street and things like that. I feel more bad for him now when we go out places, because people see his younger brothers and assume he's not part of our family. I usually do things like put my hand on his shoulder just so people know. I never want him to feel like he is left out.



5. Strangers Somehow Think It’s Fine To Ask About Parenting Or Adoption Status

I'm white, husband is half Vietnamese, but he can pass for Latino/Hispanic/Native American. He has very long hair.

While visiting family in New Mexico, just about everyone thought he was NA. Perfect strangers would address him in Spanish while side-eyeing me. Some white tourist in Santa Fe asked me what it was like being married to an "Indian." Locals often gave me dirty looks, like what's that nice NA man doing with a white woman?

We drove across country a couple times, and would often get odd looks and not so nice stares from people in the Deep South. I never thought of us as an interracial couple until that first trip. We live in Boston and no one even bats an eye at us here.

We have two boys, one very blonde and blue eyed, the other dark skinned with black hair and black eyes. I fear that people will treat them differently. I've had strangers question their parentage to my face, implying I cheated.


4. Wait, You Might Want Your Nose Back (It Was Stuck In My Business Again)

Not in an interracial marriage but am in an interracial relationship, obstacles we've faced have taught me something about interracial relationships in the US in general and how there is somewhat of a double standard.

I am Hispanic and darker skinned while my SO is a tall blonde from the midwest, mostly of Scandinavian heritage. Throughout my life, I knew many white male and Hispanic female couples who were perfectly accepted and didn't face that many issues. I am dating a white girl and I am not trying to brag too much but she is good looking, as in she was told she could model when she was a teenager type of good looking. As for me, I get told I look like Wilmer Valderama a lot.

Almost every single time we go out for a date, I have to deal with aggressive guys coming on to her. Every single time, we keep hearing "oh blondes don't usually go for Hispanics" and how weird we are compared to other interracial couples. Some women she has met and become friends with have tried to get her to leave me and go for a guy who is white, their logic being that she is too good to be dating a Mexican (a couple of them told my girlfriend this to her face, I later found out about it when she told me). I have to deal with angry Hispanic women who barely know me and my girlfriend often harassing us, one even shouted to my girlfriend "nah, you don't need to be with him!".

I've also had to deal with the aggressive white guys, usually younger (early to mid 20s), coming on to her and as soon as she rejects them they turn to making racist jokes about my heritage. A few instances I've almost gotten into a fight because the guy got too close to my girlfriend after she told him to get lost.

I have to say, there is a double standard in American society when it comes to interracial relationships. Seems like as a white guy you can date a beautiful latina (or a beautiful woman of any race tbh) and no one cares but if a Hispanic guy dates a beautiful white girl (worse if she's a blonde), then everyone's inner racist comes out and life becomes more difficult.


3. We Are Lucky To Have Almost Complete Support

I'm white, boyfriend is black. We live in the Southern US (not deep south though) and have both been harassed from complete strangers of both races. Once we were at a club were I was probably the only white person, and a black woman pulled him aside and started yelling at him about "becky". I've been called gross things on multiple occasions.

We've also received "shout-outs" and high fives for being an interracial couple in public from strangers.

His family has never been anything but loving to me and my immediate family doesn't care, but I have a set of grandparents who likely won't come to our wedding (frankly I probably won't invite them). We're both pretty laid back and shrug it off. We even joke with each other a lot. He calls me his blue eyed devil (an old Malcom X reference) for example. His pick up line was asking me to give him swim lessons, but he was a rescue swimmer in the Navy so joke was on me.


2. What Happened To The Concept That We Are All Equal?

Chinese guy here, married to a white gal. People assume we're not together, even when one or both of us are holding our mixed kids. It works both ways though - if we're in a Western store (Trader Joe's, Albertsons, etc), they'll talk to her. When we're in an Asian store (99 Ranch), they'll talk to me.

Now, when her father visits us (black Jamaican),  the looks of confusion we get when we're all out together are out of this world.


1. Being Too Stuck In Old Ways To Be Supportive Can Cause Lots Of Pain

I'm a white woman married to a bi-racial woman. Immediate family was totally accepting but some extended family on my side were definitely not. I'm still not sure which bothers them more, the fact that she's a woman or that she's half black. Small minded people.