Did you know that there are over 2.5 million interracial married couples in America today? Marriages between people of different races and cultures are now common in American society. Hollywood is even embracing and highlighting interracial marriages in movies and TV shows.
Interracial couples create unique challenges in many ways no different than traditional couples. Most of their dating experiences are wearing the same rose-colored glasses as same race couples. The challenge with interracial couples is respecting each other’s race and culture. If not, this can have a ripple effect to the extended family. Interracial couples will also need to understand different gender roles, extended family views and religion.
Below are four areas that can harm your interracial relationships:
1. Clashing values – When you come from different families of origin, you will make different assumptions about how a family works. These assumptions won’t always be compatible. However, this is the case in most marriages. In an interracial relationship, there’s a good chance that at least some of these challenges will be accented, especially if you choose to have children.
2. Comparisons – You and your partner bring unique differences to the marriage. These differences should be embraced and may likely be some of the most enriching parts of your lives. You want to discuss with your partner what you each consider most important in any traditions or cultural beliefs.
3. Racial offenses – You want to avoid making any remarks including those in a joking manner. You can also simply make this clear to those around you by telling them that you will avoid interactions with someone who continues to be negative regarding your marriage. Firmly tell the person you will not spend time with anyone who expresses racist views.
4. Prejudiced in-laws – Interracial couples sometimes experience rejection or stress from their own families. This may occur because of traditional beliefs that people should marry of the same cultural background. Regardless of whether this is an issue in your marriage, it’s still important to remember to respect the beliefs and traditions of your partner’s family.
Interracial relationships are much more common today. However, they can still bring unique challenges. Along with being aware of these four areas but also having sensitive and open communication, an interracial marriage can overcome the additional challenges. Yet it also offers plenty of opportunities for couples to learn from each other and to gain new perspectives on their lives and marriage.
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About the Author: Relationship Expert, Janie Lacy, MS, offers expert advice to Local and National TV News, Relationship Websites and provides phone or face-to-face counseling in the Orlando area. Janie has a relational approach and a unique ability to connect with individuals. Drawing upon her broad range of experience in private practice, not-for-profit organizations, hospitality and the medical industry, she has helped countless people in many arenas of life. She offers keen insight on all aspects of relationships – family, marriage, parenting, dating, and personal growth. Connect with Janie on Facebook or Twitter.