A comment came up on the blog last week suggesting that my choice of husband was racist. Why didn’t I marry a Hindu?
This friend suggested that it was because white people like to marry other white people and we don’t consider people of other races our equals or worth considering for marriage. I do try really hard to call out any racism that I find hiding in my psyche but in this case I don’t think that’s a fair assessment of my situation. Yes I did marry someone who is also white, someone with a very similar ethnic background to mine, and someone who is not Hindu. So why didn’t I marry a Hindu?
The simple answer is because none would have me.
I’ve never felt in control of relationships. They always seem to happen to me.
I’m not going to take you through my entire relationship history, but the truth is that I have dated and I have loved men of other races including some Indian men. My very first love, one of the most intense of my life, was with a black Christian man.
Did you know that I dated a reader of this blog once?
I don’t believe I’ve talked about this before. It was several years ago now. Just a year or two into when I had started my blog on Blogger. A young Indian man contacted me who lived nearby and who had grown up in an Advaitan family. We had so much in common. I intived him to a New Year’s party that some writer friends throw. We clicked so well that my friends had no idea it was the first time we had met. I thought my moment had finally come.
After that party I didn’t hear from him for several months. The next time he contacted me it was to tell me that he had gotten married.
He wasn’t the only Indian man I dated. But as much as I tried, none of these men were the right person for me. They tended to want their projection of what I should be rather than what I am. I know that it doesn’t have to be that way. I have several friends who are white American women married to Hindu Indian men and it makes me really happy to see those relationships. I used to feel jealous of those women. I felt like that should have been me. I should have been snatched up by a Hindu man! But it turned out that that was not my fate.
I didn’t get married until I was thirty and it was not from a lack of trying. I spent my entire twenties doing everything I could to get married. No one wanted me. And that hurt more than I can tell you.
I wasn’t waiting for a white guy to understand me. I was waiting for any guy to understand me. And I had given up completely when my parents asked the guru for the right man for me to come along. And then he did.
I didn’t ask for him to be non-Indian or non-Hindu but that’s what I got. At the same time, this is a man who can make me feel loved when I am at my most difficult. He may not practice Hinduism, but he understands it and he knows what it means to me. I am proof that interfaith relationships can work if you both have respect for the other’s beliefs. Luckily for me he is Taoist and Buddhist so his beliefs are not too wildly different from mine! We both have a deep love and interest in Eastern philosophy.
I don’t think I owe anyone an explanation for my marriage, but I thought it might be interesting to give you guys a little more of a peek into my personal life that you may not have seen before.
The follow up question was why bother becoming Hindu if I wasn’t going to marry a Hindu?
The truth is that my faith is mine alone. I was always going to be a Hindu and no one could stop me from that. No matter who I married, where I lived, who I was friends with, none of that changes my path. I chose Hinduism because it is right for me. It makes no difference to me who else it is right for. I live my faith every day and I would do that regardless of who my husband was.