A cross-cultural couple showing their wedding bands

I Do: How to Make a Cross-Cultural Marriage Work

Cross-cultural marriages may be on the rise, but they come with challenges. Many people fail to comprehend how external stressors can arise when cultural clashes occur in a cross-cultural marriage.

Cross-Cultural Marriage Problems

Making a cross-cultural marriage can be a challenging endeavor. Numerous barriers exist which couples must overcome to ensure a healthy and happy union. There may be a language barrier if you or your partner don’t share the same language. Cross-cultural marriage problems also become magnified when children are born. In addition, navigating the cultural divide can also become a complex task. For instance, many people of color in America have lower socioeconomic status and education levels. Therefore, marrying a person of color requires learning about their family history and understanding how their background may have differed from yours growing up. Likewise, gender roles also vary depending on the culture. However, a marriage and family therapist can help you navigate this cultural divide and improve your relationship.

This post delves deep into how couples can make their cross-cultural marriage work.


Communication is a vital component for any healthy relationship, and even more so for a cross-cultural marriage. You should express yourself openly to your spouse and inform them about what you hold important in a marriage.

This is also necessary because differences may arise due to cultural barriers. However, openly speaking can help both partners negotiate these differences and work together to make compromises. You need to understand that your partner may have a different perception of some things because of their cultural background and environment, and you may have to accommodate them.

If communication problems persist in your marriage, we counsel you to go to couples therapy to have a professional help you break through barriers.


Understanding is also paramount in a cross-cultural marriage. You have to work on relaying your thoughts and stop relying on assumptions to ensure your union is successful. Studies show taking pride in your identity and demonstrating acceptance for your partner’s culture is the key to success in cross-cultural marriages. Your partner may have experienced different cultural norms, shaping their perception of life differently from yours.

To ensure that cultural norms and barriers don’t cause a fracture in your marriage, always focus on communicating clearly.

If you’re having difficulties negotiating and understanding, we advise couples counseling. Having a licensed therapist mediate your conversations can be very beneficial because the counselor can provide a professional opinion and help you understand each other’s perspectives better.

A cross-cultural couple’s marriage

Counseling for a Healthier Cross-Cultural Marriage

If you’re looking for a marriage counselor in Palo Alto, Silicon Valley Marriage Counseling can assist you. We’re a professional counseling center dedicated to helping couples improve their relationships. We place couples seeking counseling to meet with Azizeh Rezaiyan, a highly qualified Farsi-speaking therapist with over twenty years of experience.

Contact us today to learn how counseling can help improve your marriage.

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