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anyone english with a bengali husband?

(141 Posts)
3kidsisquiteenuff Fri 11-Apr-08 11:41:59

hi just wanting to chat with any other mums with mixed race kids and all the challenges it brings

3kidsisquiteenuff Fri 11-Apr-08 21:35:19

come along surely im not the only one

Halzer Sun 27-Apr-08 00:03:48

Me!! Im English and my DH is bengali.
I have been married since 2002 but we have been together since 1993 but its been a struggle.
We have a daughter who will be 5 in July and a son who has just turned 3.
Feel free to message me

3kidsisquiteenuff Tue 29-Apr-08 14:00:54

hi halzer i was thinking i was the only one !!.
ive been with my husband for 11 years now we have 3 kids a son who is 10yrs old a daughter who is 7yrs old and another son who is 21months.
is your husband a muslim and more to the point are you???
im not he didnt want me to convert and niether would i had he even asked.
does you dh have any family in this country? mine doesnt .

Halzer Wed 30-Apr-08 13:35:40

LOL! Your DH doesnt have any family here? Lucky you! Mine has the whole clan! His mum and dad plus EIGHT other brothers and sisters, along with their wives and kids.
My husband is Muslim in name only. He doesnt practice the religion, although he occasionally fasts during Ramadhan and celebrates Eid.
Im not muslim but I have 'dabbled' in Islam when I was younger, but in my old age I have come to the conclusion that religion as a whole doesnt really add up to me. Im spiritual but I dont choose to follow any particular rules or rituals.
When I first got married I lived with my inlaws for a number of reasons. Firstly, to prove to my MIL that not all english women are like Kat Slater from Eastenders ( which was her original perception of me). Also, I wanted to learn the language as my MIL cant speak English so I wanted to make sure I understood Bengali incase she made any trouble for me...lucky I learnt as I had trouble a-go-go!! Also I wanted to learn to cook bengali dishes. I even wore a sari all the time for a while when I was there.
I dont live with them anymore and it wasnt easy when I was there, but at least they cant say that I didnt want to intergrate with them. Im back in my jeans now! Woohooo!
My MIL would have a heart attack if she knew I wore them! hahah!
We are meant to be going to Bangladesh later this year. It will be my kids and my first time.
Wish me luck...

moondog Wed 30-Apr-08 13:38:51

No,my dh is Welsh but he works in Bangladesh and i am about to go out there.
Looking forward to it.

moondog Wed 30-Apr-08 13:39:50

Halzer,how noble of you to make such an effort. Was it appreciated?
Is Bengali easy to learn?
I thought they call it Bangla in Bangladesh?

cestlavie Wed 30-Apr-08 13:44:21

Hi there, slightly different in that my dad was Bengali and my mum's English so I am one of those mixed race kids! Not sure whether that's any help for you, and my dad was Hindu as well, but if you want to chat or ask anything, just say!

3kidsisquiteenuff Wed 30-Apr-08 20:46:03

hi halzer thats so brave of you to live with the in laws or should that be out laws haha
all my dh's family are back in bangladesh he came to england 15years ago,when we met his english was bad but over the years he has mastered it .does you dh work in the resturant trade mine did when we were first together but now he works for an upmarket supermarket.
we have never been over to bangladesh together and to be honest i dont think i would want to .i dislike one sister in particular for making our lives a misery thru begging so much to send money although the man she married recently owns his own hardware store over there.
he has been put under alot of stress to provide for us and them its just not fair.
he is the only son and im sure you know that it means that he has to provide now that his father has passed away.your lucky that you havent experienced it.

Halzer Thu 01-May-08 17:11:52

Hi 3kids....
Well my DH came here when he was 4 so he is more British than Bangladeshi. He doesnt work in the restaurant trade but the family own their own restaurant where two of my BIL's also work.
I know the feeling about sending money overseas. His extended family seem to think that London = Loaded, but they are acutally better off than us if you discount the currency value!
Frm what I understand from the culture, your DH has no obligation to provide for his sister now that she is married, as she has left 'that side' of the family and gone over to her husbands family. I myself dont mind helping anyone in genuine need, but taking money just because they can is another matter altogether. It really annoys me when we are struggling to pay the council tax and mortgages and they we have to send £1000 over there for a wall to be built or something. sigh

3kidsisquiteenuff Thu 01-May-08 19:00:01

hi halzer dont you think this whole mixed race marriage is way harder that a normal one?
i just cant get my head around the fact that his family would rather we go bankrupt then to stop harrassing us for money,my husband suffers from bouts of depression brought on by all the stress .
his family and all the millions of extended family phone us constantly day and night ,its awful and i cant help but dislike them.
my dh has told them so many times that we havent got any money to send them but this does nothing to deter them.
they think that like you said london= money but how wrong they are.
me and the kids have never met any of his family and to be honest i like it that way.
how does your family get on with your dh?
mine dont get him at all and exclude him from family get togethers or tell him that they are having pork for dinner.....nice hey!

Halzer Fri 02-May-08 20:14:38

MOONDOG...sorry I didnt see your message amongst all of my waffle! LOL!
Were/are my efforts apprieciated? Hhmm...the jury is still out on that one. My DH and his family speak the Sylheti dialect of the language (most Bangladeshi's in the UK speak this) but its not easy to learn because the language courses that are available are all in 'proper' bengali which is the countrys official version of the language. I had to learn it by ear but it hasnt been that hard I guess...
3Kids...LOL, I think mixed marriages are harder when the familys start getting involved and cause trouble for the couple just because of the cultural differences. That has been my number one headache, especially from my MIL and other 'gossipy' old women.
My family arent that close but my mum didnt want me dating my DH when we were 16. She even went into his workplace and told his boss that my DH was no good beause he was a Muslim. The boss laughed and said that he couldnt comment as he too was Muslim!! My mum felt so stupid! However she adores my kids but when her and my DH meet they engage in polite chit-chat, but there isnt really anything in it. My dad works in Saudi and I have no idea what he really thinks.
The main reason I dont want to go to Bangladesh is because I will have pressure from my MIL, as I will be the 'new bride' again. Im going to have to re-prove myself to a whole set of new people and that really p*sses me off. Plus...I hate having to bow down and touch peoples feet, but as I have never meet the extended family before, I might as well crawl around over there to save time as there are so many of them..

3kidsisquiteenuff Fri 02-May-08 20:48:49

hi halzer dont you just think life would be so much nicer with an english man ,sorry i know that sounds awful but i think that without all that added pressure life would be kinder to our family.
my dh isnt from sylhet region hes from a place called comilla,so he had to learn a new way of speaking bengali when he came here.
do your kids speak/understand bengali? my dh has always spoke english to them so they havent picked it up which is a shame as kids are more receptive to another language at a young age.
they dont associate them selves as half bengali at all but thats partly because they dont have any of his family around to encourage them.and maybe a bit to do with me .
my dh is always watching the bengali channels on tv and the kids just cant stand it .do you have that trouble?
his family were completly fine with him marrying me as they are open minded and the mothers brother was married to a german lady
so that paved the way.
whats up with the no pork thing do you get it??????????????????????????????????????

moondog Fri 02-May-08 20:51:02

Interesting Halzer,sounds like all you gilrs put up with a lot.
Marrying a foreigner is hard wherever they are from though isn't it?
My sisters are both married to non Brits.

mixedmama Thu 05-Jun-08 12:50:12


I am married to a Bengali man and I am half Turkish half English.

I have had loads of trouble with family, mine adore DH but not the rest of his family and we went through a very hard time with them where I actually thought about divorce constantly.

I hate the touching feet thing as I am Muslim by birth but that it a distinctly hindu tradition.... I actually just pretend.

Plus, I refuse to cover my head in MIL presence and she hates me for it.

MOst of our issues tho have been to do with them interferring with my kids.

Good luck on your trip Halzer.... I am picking up Bengali but again for the same reason is I like to know what is being said, and i assure you there is plenty.

duchesss Thu 05-Jun-08 21:22:53

Hi There,

I'm another one... my husband is Bengali-British (born here) and my in laws speak Shyleti (which my 3-yo already speaks better than me!). I've got to say I actually like sitting there blissfully ignorant of what's being said... feel it kind of lets me off the hook!

We got together in 1998 and finally married in 2004 after years of trying to split up because we didn't know how on earth we were going to deal with the family issue. But hey, love prevailed and the first time I met my parents-in-law was on my wedding day. As I say, we had no idea how it was going to work but we took the plunge and touch wood we're still muddling through somehow and have two gorgeous boys to show for it.

I could wax lyrical on all the issues we're dealing with but suffice to say I can relate to lots of what some of you are saying. It's been quite a journey for my husband and me trying to negotiate the minefield of expectations and differences from both sides. But when it's just us and the boys in our own little world eating curry with crumble for afters I think our two cultures make a lovely combination

mixedmama Fri 06-Jun-08 13:41:34

I think you hit the nail on the head duchesss. When it is just your little family unit it is just perfect.

Are any of you in London?

beeny Fri 06-Jun-08 14:33:37

I am pakistani and my husband english.he converted to Islam.He does not drink prays sometimes and only eats halal meat.We did not date but met at work.There were major problems at work when we got together as a no of girls became very hostile towards me.

Halzer Wed 09-Jul-08 17:00:08

LOL...I agree with you too Duchess! When its just the four of us its great. But usually when the inlaws around its like a dramatical scene from a Bollywood movie! Haha!
I live in London. Whereabouts are you all?

mixedmama Thu 10-Jul-08 09:05:54

I live in NW London. I am sure I read on another thread that you are the East London / Ilford type area Halzer. My family and friends live round there as I am a Walthamstow girl originally.

sufianoor Sat 12-Jul-08 01:27:27

can anyone pls pls tell me how i can learn sylheti bengali im desperate ive been married to my husband for 21 yrs and we have 7 kids his family disowned him because he married me i am half white half indian but i am muslim please can anyone help

eandz Sat 12-Jul-08 01:40:52

yes, i'm married to a bengali burmese mix who was born and bred in london. i'm american but my dad is kashmiri. we got married in 2006 an are expecting our first baby in a few weeks.but for some reason they refer to me as the pakistani.

my immediate inlaws aren't bad at all. we didn't have to live with them and they are quite easy to get a long with. i did have a clash with my sister in law who has been consistently rude to me and my family and also with his cousin because because he keeps trying to tell me the family would rather not have me at family events. said cousins father also seems to have a problem with the fact that we took some time away from the family after we got married to settle in to married life.

as far as going to bangladesh, i'm not very interested in going and husband is perfectly fine with us not visiting the relatives over seas as long as we send cards for eid, birthdays and make a call at least once a year.

ooh, i live in st johns wood.

sufianoor Sun 13-Jul-08 15:23:47

hi every1 well all i can say is my husband is absolutly wonderful in everyway except one, for some reason he never taught any of his children bengali and even though i have tried to find someone to teach me over the years ive never been successful and even after all these years only know a handful of words in bengali, i love the films and the music though as for his family they can all rot in hell as far as i am concerned they made both my husbands and my kids life and mine a misery they are just a bunch of money grabbing fools sad

eandz Sun 13-Jul-08 15:53:51

i'm soo sorry that your ils have been awful to you...

as for bengali--my husband can't speak it, read it or write it. so i doubt any of our children will be able to either. will they be alienated from bengali kids? my inlaws don't seem to think it's that important as long as we raise them somewhat muslim.

Halzer Sun 13-Jul-08 19:50:59

I learnt my bengali from living with my inlaws. They speak the Sylheti dialect which is almost impossible to learn at a language school as they dont teach it. Its always the 'proper' Bengali that they teach.
I had to learn just to keep a check on what my MIL and SIL were saying about me...
They are like vultures circling me, waiting for me to make a mistake so they can swoop down and peck the crap out of me.
I think all us married-to-bengali mums should have a meet up. It would be sort of theraputic to talk about our experiences and know that people understand what you are on about. wink

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