Race is a powerful social construct in America despite it having no biological significance. Therefore, being in a cross-cultural relationship can be challenging for many people. Many distinct troubles come with being in cross-cultural relationships, such as navigating different traditions and dealing with disapproving family members.
Regardless of it all, cross-cultural relationships seem to be thriving. Approximately one in ten people were married to a spouse of different ethnicity or race. This means that at least 11 million people were in a cross-cultural marriage by 2015. You’d be surprised to know that approximately 94% of Americans approve of interracial marriages.
The stakes are high in cross-cultural relationships, you can have a healthy cultural exchange, but theseee factors could also strain your relationship. This is where couples therapy comes in.
It’s important that you’re honest in your relationships. You have to talk and address what important factors mean to you. Share experience, opinions, worries, etc. It’s good to have tough discussions early than deal with issues later.
You must respect your partner and their cultural values. Mutual respect, understanding, and trust are the foundation of a healthy cross-cultural relationship. It’s important you’re on the same page or at least be able to understand and respect each other’s opinions.
There may be conversations that you need to have, but if you respect each other and support one another, you can lay thhhe foundation for a healthy relationship.
Learn and Educate
Sharing resources, showing an enthusiasm to learn, adapting, and learning about cultures can make a cross-cultural marriage really beautiful. Yuo can always learn about your partner and their culture, and they can do the same for you.
Research may not be as nuanced as the experience of someone living through something, but it can be a starting point for long discussions and experiences that couples can share and get closer to one another.
It’s important that you feel safe and supported in your relationship. Be ready to have conversations and point out what’s okay and what’s not okay. There are many things that people need to unlearn and relearn.
Protect Your Partner
Yes, this includes protecting your partner from judgemental friends and family members. Sometimes, loved ones can be the biggest perpetrators of casual racism or “it was just a joke.”
It’s important you draw a line quickly and sternly, so the behavior is not repeated. Don’t put up with comments and behavior that make you upset or uncomfortable, and don’t allow your partner to do the same.
Cross-cultural marriages can be difficult, but not impossible. They’re a beautiful thing to have. If your cross-cultural relationship needs some guidance and advice, Azizeh Rezaiyan is the perfect counssselor for you.
She has years’ worth of experience in cross-cultural relationship issues and cross-cultural relationship counseling.