“Till death do us part!” You hear yourself utter these very words on your wedding day and they sound so sweet. But if you just knew what they really mean, you must get goose bumps.
Only a very meager percentage of married couples achieve happiness and satisfaction in marriage. It’s a blessing if yours is counted. However, what if your happy and fulfilling marriage is suddenly hit by the inevitable and you wake up one day realizing that it doesn’t last long enough for you to grow old and see your great grand children together. What if one day, the person that you loved the most is already gone? How would you move on in life?
This post is very special to me because it’s my own mom-in-law that shares a glimpse of her interracial marriage with my dad-in-law who I haven’t had the opportunity to meet.
The Offbeat Wife
Nilda Josko is a medical technician who devotes most of her time taking care of her aging mother-in-law. She lives in Germany, in the same house where the memories of her husband Thomas, now resting in peace, still linger.
What made your marriage offbeat?
We had an interracial marriage. I’m a naturalized Filipino-born with a German citizenship. My husband Thomas was a German but not a typical one. He wasn’t tall, not blond and hasn’t got blue eyes. He spoke fluent English. He considered himself more a European.
We were both Roman Catholic. I considered myself a devoted while he was not. We never had conflict with our belief.
Tell us about the wedding. Did your different religious and cultural background affect how you planned the wedding?
Three months after I met Thomas we decided to get married. It was a simple civil marriage ceremony held here in Petersberg attended by my aunt, uncle, a cousin from Frankfurt, some close friends, Thomas’ mother and his daughter from a previous marriage. It was sad that my parents were not able to attend because they were in the Philippines.
What were your biggest challenges as an interracial couple and how did you solve them?
We really did not have too big of challenges in our marriage other than my difficulty understanding the German language. I and my husband used English at home for my comfort but it deterred me from learning German. It was always a challenge when I had to make appointments with a doctor or when I had to follow up some papers for my husband. I did it all with my broken German.
What compromises were required in order to make your marriage work?
We have to understand that we are married to somebody with a different culture and tradition. If you love him then try to accept him for what he is and never try to change him the way you want him to be! Respect, patience and love play a big role.
What were your secrets in keeping the romance alive?
I made him feel that he was the most important man in my life. Sometimes we just sit and drink wine and recall how we met and discuss our plans for the future.
What’s your best memory of him?
I have lots of best memories of him…he showed me in many ways how much he really loved me, he accepted my family from the moment we met, he loved to have me around, he was very proud of me and he showed me how wonderful it is to be loved. For these I cherish his memories.
How did you cope with the loss of your husband? How long did it take you to move on?
It was after his 50th birthday in Trento, Philippines, while on vacation, when his sickness broke out. He died 5 days after we arrived back in Germany. His death was a big shock to me, it was so sudden. I felt so empty and life seemed to have no meaning at all.
But on the other side I was thinking of my son and for his future. What would happen to him if I give up? This gave me strength to survive. It took me years to recover from his loss but I tried my best to move on with my life because I knew he would be unhappy to see me suffer.
What advice would you give to other Offbeat Couples?
If you married because of love, then you’d be able to survive all the difficulties and obstacles that come along. Be patient with each other, and respect the culture and tradition of your partner. Always remember, we don’t know what tomorrow brings so enjoy life with each other before it’s too late!!!!
What advice would you give to those who are still grieving for the loss of their beloved?
It’s easy to say that time heals all wounds but the process is extremely painful and difficult. However, the best medicine is indeed, time. It’s normal to grieve for someone you loved so dearly but you also must try to make contact with friends and talk to them. Good friends will always be supportive of you.
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