Help and Support for Mixed Couples

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Anglican Sikh mixed couple

True story of a white british girl and a Punjabi British guy who were forced to split. Real names, as always, have been changed.



Lizzy’s story


This has been a very long time coming. Me and Rav were together for 2 years and split up a year ago. I have tried to write about my relationship with Rav so many times, but I just couldn’t bear to relive it.

We met through work and right from the start I thought Rav was brilliant. He was so funny and kind and I felt proud when we became friends and started socialising outside of work. I liked him for a bit but didn’t really think he liked me back, until one night I kissed him and he kissed me back. We worked very closely together but still started seeing each other every in spare minute we had.

 I had never been so happy, it was the most perfect time of my life. We adored each other and had so much fun. No one has ever made me feel so special and loved.

At first I didn’t know about the problems Asian people face, the pressure to conform and stick to their caste. All I knew is that we were happy and nothing else mattered. After a while Rav became distant and wasn’t able to meet up as often, eventually he broke down and told me that his family would disown him if they found out about me.  Rav’s cousin had run off with a white man and they had tricked her home and sent her to live with her uncle miles away. His dad was suspicious of his whereabouts and checked up on him everywhere he went, turning up at his brother’s unannounced if that is where he said he was going. His dad said he would not let him bring shame on the family.  Rav said he was going to run away that day but I naively persuaded him to wait and maybe give his family the chance to accept us. I still play that day over and over in my head. I wish that I had agreed. I wish more than anything I had asked him to stay with me.

But I didn’t and we started to plan his leaving home and moving in with me, but after a while I began to realise he just couldn’t do it. He couldn’t bear to disappoint his whole family and risk losing them all forever for one person.  He would only have me, what if we didn’t work out? He would be alone when all he had known was the security of a large family. He was also scared they would find him and threaten us or make him move away. Rav, a 29 year old man, totally westernised and knowing less about his religion than I did, was scared of his own family. He just didn't know what could happen. That fear was unbearable for him.

I tried to think of the magic answer to make everyone happy. I drove myself mad with it. Trawling the internet when I should have been working, waking up in the middle of the night having dreamt that we could all be happy. I kept thinking if I tried a bit harder that I could find the answer, but for us there wasn’t one.

In the end there was nothing for it but to say goodbye knowing that we loved each other very much. Even now, a year later I desperately wish I’d tried a bit harder, but at the time I just couldn’t take anymore. I had started to self harm and had taken an overdose. I had also started taking anti-depressants and sleeping tablets. I honestly think any more trying would have killed me.

After we split up he changed his mind and wanted to try again, but I was the one that was scared that time. I knew I had come close to falling apart completely and couldn’t let him see what my life had become because of all the heartache. I was so special to him and I couldn't bear for him to see the mess of a person I was. So Rav gave up too and agreed to an arranged marriage.  I can’t believe it even now. He is married to someone else and I know that all his family will be proud of him for doing the right thing. What exactly they are proud of is beyond me.

I know I’ll always love Rav. I miss him terribly and think about him constantly. We text every now and then.  I pray he is happy so that some good can come out of this, because to me he is still everything.

It’s not just physical force and mental abuse that Asian families use to get their children to conform but silent bullying and pressure. Asian children are brought up to be so dependent on their families and each other that they are too scared to risk upsetting them. When will society learn that we must integrate with each other and accept and embrace our differences? I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe the next generation will have it easier. Rav has promised me he will never pressure his children and let them choose who they love. I think that is the only hope for most of us.


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