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Cross-Cultural Marriages: 4 Things to Consider Beforehand

Marrying an individual from a different cultural background sounds exciting. It allows you to be open, accepting, and learn new values and belief systems. However, dating someone from another culture and marrying them are two separate things.

A successful cross-cultural marriage is only possible if both partners are willing to communicate and find common ground in different situations. Due to different upbringing and surroundings, cross-cultural couples may find themselves disagreeing on important things, like parenting, religion, and cultural identity.

Here are 3 things to consider before tying the knot.

Discuss Gender Roles

Different cultures and societies expect different things from men and women. Though the world is advancing, and people are becoming aware of women’s rights and gender expressions, it is still important to sit with your spouse to be and discuss a topic that can be as uncomfortable as expected gender roles.

Discuss how both of you should deal with the house chores and expenses to avoid problems and misunderstandings down the road.

Religious and Ethical Belief

It is essential to have a conversation about religion, moral and ethical beliefs, and personal choices before entering married life. Your partner should be okay with you practicing your religion and vice versa. Both of you should have respect for the rituals and traditions that accompany the culture.

Discuss other aspects like holiday celebrations, food restrictions, and which religion to raise the child on in detail to avoid daily arguments.

Parenting Style

Parenting includes various aspects of a child’s upbringing like education, travel, extended family, and cultural heritage. Couples of the same culture also have a hard time agreeing to the parenting plan.

In a cross-cultural marriage, it is crucial to discuss how both of you will raise your child and the parenting style you will follow. It will ensure the healthy physical and emotional upbringing of your child. Remember, your child should not bear the cost of your decisions.


It is an essential quality that both of you should have to ensure a successful cross-cultural marriage. Life is going to throw different challenges and situations your way. Both of you should be adaptable and easy-going enough to deal with cross-cultural issues without it ruining your bond.

There are also some social prejudices related to cultures and societies. You both should make an extra effort to understand them and empathize with your partner when they feel offended by the offensive remarks.

A disturbed couple sitting on a couch

If you are looking for a cross-culture marriage counselor to discuss potential challenges in your relationship, connect with us at Silicon Valley Marriage Counseling. The certified English and Farsi speaking therapist Dr. Azizeh E. Rezaiyan has over 20 years of experience counseling couples from different cultural backgrounds. Whether you have been married for long or looking to tie the knot soon, Dr. Azizeh works on empowering couples from different backgrounds.

Contact us to schedule an individual or couple therapy session.

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