In this article, we will continue to share the story of our first couple from France. Thank you, Katie and Philippe, for doing this interview with me. I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did.
What is your ideal date?
My ideal date is our reunions. When Philippe comes home after 6 weeks of a mission abroad, it’s like we’re seeing each other for the first time. I get ready to welcome him. The house is perfectly tidy. I buy food for the meal, I get ready, dressingmyself to meet a prince. I put on an outfit he has never seen before and make myself look beautiful to pick him up at the airport. I love seeing his eyes shine with love when he sees me. We have this ritual every time he returns from his mission.
What is the best thing that you like about each other?
What I like about him is his patience, his generosity. He is not resentful, even when I can act that way sometimes. When I talk to him about a problem that is weighing heavily on me, he has the ability to make me feel less anxious. I am very close to my family and he gets involved as if it were his too. He is also very romantic. He says that he likes my femininity but also my sporty side. He also appreciates my loyalty and how much effort I put into our relationship.
What is the best part about being together?
We are quite complementary. Philippe is my partner-in-crime. We laugh a lot together and we like to travel a lot too.
What challenges have you faced?
One of our most difficult challenges was at the beginning of our life together. Two of Philippe’s four children were pre-teens dealing with the separation of their parents. They were really resentful towards me. Philippe did not quite know how to fix it at first. He tried different things at first, but things got worse for a bit before they got better. It caused a lot of arguments between us. It was a challenge to overcome this situation and stay together.
How do you deal with difficult times?
We handle difficult times through constant communication. When we discuss our problems and difficulties and then we can find solutions. Things get better when we work together.
The secret to our long-lasting relationship is that we really care about each other. As I said before, we communicate a lot. We are always looking for ways to attract each other and spice things up. We spend a lot of time together. And above all, Philippe fully accepts my African culture, which is quite different from the French culture. As I have lived in France for a long time I am also very familiar with his culture as well.
How have your friends reacted?
My friends and Philippe’s friends were very happy for us. They supported us a lot.
How have your families reacted?
With my family there was no problem at all with me dating or marrying a white man. It could have been an Asian or even a Martian, if I’m happy all is well. Also, when Philippe met my family, everyone loved him, children and adults alike – and I have a big family.
However, that was not the case at all with Philippe’s family. It’s a long story, but to summarize, I would say that his parents did everything to separate us. They had even said that they had investigated me and had told him made-up stories about me. I did not know anything for a year. He did not believe them but after a while we started arguing for nothing. I almost left him. Then one day he told me everything. I should mention that Philippe is the only son.
His father had made him promise not to tell me anything. When he realized that his parents just wanted to separate us, everything went back to how it was before the drama. He told me, “Our relationship is between you and me. And as for me, I love you. If my parents do not love you, too bad for them.” When he told them we were going to get married, his parents sent him an e-mail to tell him that he had chosen his side, as if we were at war with them.
They told him that they would not enter our house anymore. To pick up their grandchildren, they would wait outside at the door. This behavior shocked me. I had never done anything wrong to them. On the contrary, I always tried to be polite and kind. They always gave me big smiles to my face and then tried to sabotage my relationship as soon as my back was turned. Although I was ready to welcome them to our wedding, Philippe did not invite them.
It took years for them to finally calm down. Today, we live in an arrangement that suits everyone. They come to see us when they want to and vice versa.
What were your expectations before our relationship?
Philippe says that I am exactly what he was looking for as a woman. For myself, I did not expect to be with a man who has 4 children. When I met him I did not think that I would end up married to him.
Looking back, I would have preferred a relationship without the problems that come with children, complications to manage and clashes with in-laws, but we must recognize that all these difficulties have made us stronger and more united. The difficulties helped us to know each other better and to know that our love is real and solid. All things considered, I am very happy with life right now. I found my soulmate and I see myself growing old with him.
What are you doing to grow the relationship?
We are looking to the future. We have projects that are important to us. For example, we are organizing our life to be able to go sailing around the world in a few years. It’s very exciting.
What advice would you give to couples like you?
If I had to give advice to a mixed-race couple, especially if there are difficulties related to race, my advice is to hang on. You are both stronger together. If you have found your better half, do not let him or her go to please others. One of the advantages of being a mixed couple is that you each enrich the values of our respective cultures. You get the best of both worlds.
Lastly, I would say that in France, although there may be racism at times, the French have no problem with mixed couples unlike some countries. France is a great place to meet someone, if you understand the culture and know the language.
Thank you so much for reading this interview! That is the end of this couple’s feature. If any of you are interested in participating in this series, please leave a comment below or connect with me or Christelyn Karazin.