Multicultural Resources Parenting The Art of Interracial Marriage

Beautifully Blended-From Childhood Friends To Soul Mates

Beautifully Blended-From Childhood Friends To Soul Mates

Interracial/Intercultural Marriage: African-American Man And Indian Woman

About Us

Our names are Jamaal and Niralie Wiley. Jamaal is African-American, and Niralie is Indian.

How We Met

Jamaal and Niralie met when they were just five years old. They grew up next door to each other their whole lives and remained good friends. As kids, they would play outside together; they would playhouse.  Their favorite memory together as children is stealing Niralie’s mom’s pots and filling them with dirt and rose petals to make “mud pies.” In high school, Jamaal’s parents moved away to a different neighborhood, and they did lose touch. In 2010 – Niralie was outside of her parent’s house cleaning her car, and Jamaal happened to be driving down her street and stopped to say Hi. They exchanged phone numbers, and that’s how they re-connected.

How Long Have You Been Together

Ten years.

How Was Meeting Jamaal’s Parents For The First Time

Niralie’s first meeting with Jamaal’s parents was a little tricky. Since they grew up next door to each other, his parents knew her, but what they didn’t realize was that they were dating. So when Jamaal took Niralie over to his parent’s home, it was almost normal. They caught up on old times, and needless to say, they knew she was good for Jamaal.

How Was Meeting Niralie’s Parents For The First Time

Jamaal meeting Niralie’s parents, as her my boyfriend, was interesting. Her parents asked for them to all go out to dinner together.  Niralie was already nervous, so she let them pick the restaurant. They chose an Indian restaurant to dine at, and Jamaal almost choked on the Papad. But he made it through the dinner. Niralie’s parents were nice and asked usual life questions. Jamaal started spending more time with her family, coming to a few family gatherings. His first event was Niralie’s parent’s big fourth of July party they did every year. They started to get to know him a little bit better.

Surprise We Are Pregnant

After three years of dating, they moved in together, and about a year later, Niralie was pregnant.  They were shocked. Their lives were about to change forever. And Niralie really didn’t know how to tell anyone since they weren’t married. Niralie’s finally decided to tell her grandmother, who helped raise her, and she was so excited. Niralie felt better. But her parents and sister were scared.  Niralie dating a black person was already a foreign concept to them because no one in their direct family or friends circle had ever done this. And now Jamaal and Niralie’s two culturally different families had to come together as one. It was not very easy. Their families come from two very different backgrounds and upbringings, so naturally, it was challenging to come together as one. Both parents also grew up in different times, where interracial marriage was not common. Hence, Jamaal and Niralie learned each other cultures and also created their own traditions.

Blending Cultures And Families

Ultimately, once their daughter, Aria, was born, their families had time to get to know each other as a family.  Additionally,  Jamaal has a son from a previous relationship, so they were not only bringing Aria into their lives, but they were also blending their families. Jamaal Jr. was eight when Aria was born, and he is honestly the best big brother. Over the years, the two of them have created a strong bond. They both love sports.  As a result, their favorite thing to do is to watch Jamaal Jr. play football or basketball. And Aria loves when her brother comes to watch her swim.
Jamaal son’s parent’s relationship with them has not always been healthy, but recently, over the last three years, their two families have created healthy relationships to raise their kids together. They share birthday dinners and attend school games together often.

The Journey Has Not Been Easy, But It Is Worth It

Today, Niralie’s parents absolutely love Jamaal, and his parents adore her. Their start was a little rocky.  Yet her parents see how much Jamaal loves her and takes care of his family, and that’s truly all they want. Niralie and Jamaal are honestly so lucky to have such open-minded families that accept them; and they are grateful for this. While the journey to today was not the easiest – they understand why it was so hard for them.  Nonetheless, they wanted to show their families that they are soul mates and are genuinely in love.

Our Top 5 Tips To An Interracial/Intercultural Marriage

1. Do what is best for you. Jamaal and Niralie made a promise to always make each other happy, to focus on what they wanted in life, and to build a life together.
2. Be prepared for judgment. Not everyone will understand your relationship, and you have to be okay with that.
3. Take the time to learn each other’s culture, involve them in events, teach them your language, learn with them, and create your own traditions from what you learn.
4. Be open-minded and understanding. Jamaal and Niralie understood why it was so hard for their parents, in the beginning, to accept them. They didn’t grow up in a time where it was the norm to be in an interracial/intercultural relationship.  Therefore it was their job to show them love has no boundaries, no skin color; it is just honest, true love.
5. Create your own family traditions that involve both cultures.

What We Love About Being In An Interracial/Intercultural Marriage

They love how two different cultures can come together and inspire others not to be bound by cultural boundaries.

What Are You Still Learning From Being In An Interracial/Intercultural Marriage

They are both still learning the history of their respective cultures. Their respective histories date back thousands and thousands of years, and learning and understanding their history helps bring it home to their kids.

Our Parenting Tips For Raising Multicultural Kids

Their best advice is to make sure both parents are aligned when it comes to exploring both cultures and religions. The child needs to see both parents involved and supporting each other’s ethnic backgrounds/cultures.
Thank you, Jamaal and Niralie, for sharing your fascinating, gripping, and uplifting love story with us.   What did you think of their love story and tips for others?
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