Early in their marriage, Reenee Singh and Stephen Fitzpatrick hit a difficult time and went for counselling. “The fact that we were an interracial couple – I am Indian, Stephen white British – wasn’t seen as particularly significant. Yet we realised in time how key cultural problems were to the breakdown in our communication,” she says.
“The therapy was helpful in other ways, but I was seen as oversensitive when I minded, for instance, being seen as the nanny with our baby because he was pale-skinned and fair-haired. Or I found it upsetting that Stephen thought I was trying to crowd out the intimacy in our relationship by filling the house with friends and family – the thing Indian families do. I began to feel isolated from the life I wanted to lead. We withdrew emotionally from each other.”
Singh, a family systemic psychotherapist and editor of the Journal of FamilyTherapy, had “a kind of epiphany”. She says: “I was seeing a g