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QOTW: How Does This White Woman Help Hispanic Husband Not Feel Like an Outsider?
They say love has no boundaries. This is true because this week's question comes from a 24 year old White woman who has been married to a Hispanic man for a month. The couple has been together for 3 years. Their love knows no boundaries because she has lived in Latin America with him and now she is back, living in the U.S. with her husband.
But much as we see more and more interracial couples with every passing year, it seems most people don't really know how to react to or how to treat this growing trend. Well, our couple has been catching some racism here and there which is bogging them down and the lady is seeking advice from us.
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"I freaking love my husband. He's smart, ambitious, a travel junkie and a huge goofball who really complements me. We share the same dreams and life goals, financial management styles, have similar outlooks on life in general. We're totally in love and could not be any happier together. Oh, but he's Latino and I'm white, which is apparently a problem still.
We were living in his home country for about 2.5 years, then moved to the US, to my home state, recently so he can study. He started working. My home state is Vermont, which has a good mix of rednecks and chill hippies. It also happens to be one of the Whitest states in the country, which I guess matters.
I experienced some racism in his home country (in Latin America). Got lots of catcalling and presumptuous statements/questions. Most people assumed I was a naive/slutty tourist and treated me accordingly. We couldn't walk in the street together in peace, he was always on defense ready to shut some a**hole down. We thought we'd get total peace here. It's better, but he's catching all the racism now.
My hubby asked me what life would be like here. He hates standing out, being different or "making scenes." I told him what I honestly thought was true—people will assume you're American but (maybe) from somewhere else in the country, unless you tell them otherwise.
That's how I always operated here, because there's so much diversity in the U.S. I thought other Americans were the same. Now I've learned that people just veil their judgmental nastiness and "US versus THEM" mentalities around other white people and spit it out at people of color.
He just wants peace and anonymity, which unfortunately he does not get.
People are always looking (my opinion is that they look because he's hot, and I stared at him all the time too—still do), especially at people of color (you know, the "how did you get here?" look). At work, people are constantly making him feel like the outsider, calling him a Mexican (which he isn't) and talking about how Mexicans are lazy, criminals, illegals, etc. He's a hard worker but gets put down all the time, and left out of projects/activities.
One friend of a friend asked him where he was from and followed that up with, "Wow, that's a nice country! Did you come here illegally?" We were like, WTF, dude. How is that a casual question for someone?
Anyway, I'm sick of all this bullshit, and he's been tired of it for a while. Is there any place in the world where we can be together and have peace and quiet? Nobody looking at us like we're fascinating? Please tell me where that is.
Sorry for the snark—I just want to know how other people have experienced this and dealt with it. Is there a good way to react/respond? Is there a way I can help my hubby when he's venting about "feeling like an outsider?"
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