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Interracial Marriage Challenges

Interracial Marriage Challenges From Others

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Photo: Thomas Northcut / Getty Images
Photo: Thomas Northcut / Getty Images
As an interracial couple you will possibly face extra challenges in your marriage from people outside your marriage. If you want to make sure that these possible challenges don't hurt your marriage, talk about them with one another!
  • Open hostility and intimidation
  • Negative sterotyping
  • Derogatory comments
  • Stares, insults, jibes, slights, and whispers
  • A sense of isolation
  • Possible family rejection or being disinherited

Interracial Marriage Challenges From One Another

Expectations:
It can be very romantic and exciting to love someone different. However, don't let the attraction of forbidden love distract you from dealing with the issues that your interracial marriage may have to face.

Don't fall into the myth of thinking that your love for one another can overcome anything life throws at you. Every married couple needs to develop and use effective communication skills so that difficult times can be handled in healthy ways.

Children: You and your spouse need to discuss how you will raise your children and help your kids to understand and appreciate their mixed identity. Make sure that you provide your children will positive stories of both of your family histories.

As your children grow up, listen to them share their concerns, stereotypes, doubts, and possible prejudices. Answer their questions.

Holidays: All married couples face stress during holidays. Talk about your cultural differences in how holidays were celebrated when you were kids. Realize that holidays give the two of you a chance to discuss how your family will handle both the differences and similarities in your backgrounds.

Be proud of your cultural traditions and work together to create ways to celebrate them that will be meaningful to you both.

Know Yourself: If you want to have a strong interracial marriage, believe in who you are. If you feel confusion about your own life, deal with your own issues before trying to merge your life with someone else.

Know Your Differences: Discuss your cultural differences regarding topics such as religion, diet, birth control, parenting preferences, grief, finances, sex, extended family relationships, gender roles, communication styles, and traditions.

Bottom Line

The racial and cultural differences in your interracial marriage won't necessarily cause your relationship to fail. What can cause an interracial marriage to fall apart is the inability of a couple to handle their differences and a failure to talk about stress and prejudice created by others.

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