Telling the in-laws: what happened

As most of you in intercultural relationships would know, getting your south-Asian man to tell his parents about his relationship with a foreign girl in a HUGE thing, actually it’s a GIGANTIC thing.

And we know why: because intercultural relationships are a ‘forbidden’ type of relationship.

It’s more than just skin colour, yes a brown boy from a rural village will be marrying a middle-class white girl, but there’s also other major considerations.

He’s a Hindu. She’s not. She doesn’t speak the language. He’s not marrying into the family tradition of an arranged caste marriage like his parents once thought he would. He’s living in a foreign country where life is very different. The role of men and women are also very different. And also Nepalis don’t introduce their girlfriends to their parents- they have to be sure this is the person they are going to marry.

I’ve heard numerous stories from girls in intercultural relationships who have been through hell and back with the in-laws.

Mostly horror stories of Indian mother in laws who have threatened suicide or disownment if he married “that girl”.

Well, for us, our story was quite different.

I’ve never blogged about it before but a few of you wanted to know how our “telling the parents” story went.

A long while back I had been bugging Rabindra to tell his parents about me. I felt jealous because my family had met him almost instantly and had developed quite a relationship with him.

It hurt me when he told me he had spoken to his parents but yet I was still not mentioned. It cut pretty deep.

I tried not to worry about it for a while because I knew he was stressing about how to tell his father about this very big decision.

You see for his family, a ‘foreign’ relationship like ours is something none of his extended friends or families have ever done- in history.

Then finally, one day, it just happened.

He rang his father. He told him he was in a serious relationship with an Australian girl (Yes the red-headed girl in the photos you’d already had a fair idea about).

In Nepali it went something like this “Buwah…..*talks Nepali* “hajur”.. *talks Nepali*..”hajur”..*talks Nepali*…”hajur”…..”30 minutes later = SMILES.

In English translation it went like this “Yes Buwah. She’s a good girl. Yes she’s Australian. She helped me do everything here. She helped me find the way. Even helped me get the job I have now. She’s a journalist. She completed university with an honours degree. I am very serious about her. She respects my culture. She likes my culture. We want to bring you and mum to Australia for our wedding. Yes Buwah she’s a good girl.”

Buwah’s response was this: If she’s your future, and you take care of each other, and you are serious about each other and you are going to live there together, then I’m happy if you’re happy.”

Mother in law is also happy.


At that time, I don’t know what would have happened if his parents had rejected us.

I’m just thankful they are rational, loving people who care about their son’s future happiness.

Whilst it’s true I haven’t yet met his parents yet, and new issues could face us at that time, the fact that they accepted the idea of him being with a foreign girl, despite the ramifications for his family, made us very happy indeed.

I truly can’t wait until I finally meet them…time is ticking down 🙂

This entry was posted in Cross-cultural, Culture, Differences, Family, Intercultural, Intercultural Relationship, Love, Nepal, Women and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Telling the in-laws: what happened

  1. Anisah says:

    That is wonderful! I hope you continue to have a good relationship with his parents. Any idea when you will meet them?

    My first hubby was Indian but raised in Africa. His parents didn’t really like me either, but I was very young and didn’t know much about other cultures, which didn’t help.


  2. americanepali says:

    That’s an awesome story. I’m so happy for you that Rabindra’s family was so reasonable and understanding. P’s parents were that way to, and it makes a huge difference 🙂

  3. taswin12 says:

    Hi Casey, that’s a lovely story congratulations 🙂
    I hope it goes well when you meet them – they sound like fantastic inlaws and parents!

  4. renxkyoko says:

    Congratulations !

    Would ” unacceptance” from the in laws affect your relationship with your fiance ? If his parents forbade him to marry you, do you think your fiance would “obey” his parents and break up with you?

    • Hey, acceptance from the parents makes a big difference because it places such a strain on relationships if the parents of one side dont approve. We discussed this a while ago and he said that if his parents disapproved, he would stay with me no matter what as they would eventually come around..

  5. Mrs. F says:

    Congrats on your relationship! I hope things work out for you. But I do think the whole “white girl brown guy” thing, at this point, is getting cliche. I mean, I think a brown girl and white guy thing gets much more criticism/is more controversial, IMO.

    • Yeh i agree, it’s probably more uncommon to see a brown girl with a white guy although i see a lot here in australia but in the online blogging world they don’t seem to share their experiences here

  6. Meera says:

    I can completely understand the way you felt. I am an Indian and I have been married to a man of another religion. It was very difficult to break the news to either parents. But break it we did and and the rest is history! South Asian mothers in law are extremely possessive about their sons and even if they themselves arranged his marriage they would still interfere in it! Anyway,glad it all worked out for you.

  7. Faye says:

    That makes for a promising relationship with your in-laws to be! I’m a white English girl married to a Nepali chap… He also took some time to tell his parents, in fact he didn’t tell them until after our wedding, which took place in London! Anyway despite the initial shock they have been very supportive and are happy as long as their son is happy (and that I take care of him by cooking him copious amounts of dhal, bhat, tarkali….!). They’ve also visited us in the UK and stayed at our home, it was a great cultural exchange, me teaching them English in exchange for them teaching me Nepali….which I really struggle with!

    Thanks for providing insights into your intercultural relationship, your blog is a refreshing read!

    • wow that’s amazing how well it’s worked out for you and that they have come to visit you in the UK. I’m so glad you are enjoying your blog. I love meeting new people in relationships with Nepalis. Makes me happy

  8. nepali jiwan says:

    Your story made me smile 😀 Congratulations!

  9. Jess says:

    Thank gosh there’s more of us out there! My boyfriend’s Nepali as well and I know exactly how you felt about not being able to tell his parents. With us his dad still doesn’t know, but his mum does. He wants to tell his dad but he feels it’s best to wait until after his studies. It’s a killer!

    I’m so glad you two had a happy ending though! Fingers crossed for us!

    maya xx

  10. Sam says:

    Its great that the in-laws agreed immediately. There are lots of stories with negative reactions. Glad that it worked out well. Keeping my fingers crossed too:)

  11. Amber says:

    Hi, I’m glad it worked out for you 🙂 I’ve been stressing bout my situation with my nepali guy. His parents know about me but don’t talk about me to Raj, Raj dad once told him “i don’t care what you do there in Australia but as long as you will marry a nepali girl” and don’t matter if she from aust or not as long as nepalese. and that’s stressing me cos he already disapproves. Essentially Raj is made to chose between family and me. An added point, Raj didi married a guy in upper class than her for love and was rejected from family for 2 years as their only daughter didn’t have arrange marriage (Raj older brother did) and so family’s respect went right down, and now raj is choosing a foreigner which as you know is pretty much like him marrying a lower class which is big no no, Raj dad is well respected man who is in government and I know he won’t want to risk losing respect again, So i really don’t know what to do. and Raj doesn’t either, Ever heard any miracle solutions from people?

    • In your case it’s not just caste and culture, it’s family too based on what raj’s sister and brother’s relationships. don’t feel like marrying a foreigner is low-class, that is not true at all. The only thing that is really going to sort out this issue is getting raj to stick up to his dad for you. that’s at the heart of it. I would suggest that if you guys are really serious that you go to Nepal, meet them and get Raj to tell them you guys wanna marry and that it’s all very serious. There may be hesitation because they think you guys are not serious and that you are just enjoying boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. All the best 🙂

  12. tanya says:

    hiya this is one situation that really worries me my boyfriend from nepal but we are both living in spain at the moment he still hasnt told his parents about us even though we have been together for over a year and are planning to get married next year. he is very stressed as they have only just found out that he is divorced from his ex wife who is from nepal as they didnt want him to marry her in the first place as she was from the wrong caste for him to tell them that he has been living with a white girl for over a year and wants to marry her he is afraid they will disown him. i am worried even though he says he will stay with me if they dissaprove i really wish he would just tell them and get it over with.

  13. Pingback: Thinking about having an intercultural relationship? Read this first | white girl in a sari

  14. Mikayla says:

    I am so grateful I came across your blog. I’m in a relationship with a Nepali guy. We recently started living together – we’ve been together for 9 months. He still hasn’t told his family about me. I hate knowing he’s spoken to them and still no mention of me.
    But I know why he hasn’t yet and I can’t imagine how big of a deal this is for him (he’s met most of my family already) so I’m trying to play it cool.
    It’ll happen when it’s time.

    As for now, I’ll keep reading through your blog to help 🙂

    Thanks so much x

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