The highly mixed nature of American culture has led to an increase in interracial marriages. This is a bold step for civil rights, but it is one that doesn't come without problems. If you and your interracial partner are struggling with problems, it can feel hard to overcome them. Thankfully, it is possible.
Perception Problems Can Plague You
Interracial marriages are often plagued by problems that are typically caused by the way other people perceive your relationship. Old-fashioned mores and inappropriate racial stereotypes can lead to negative judgment and harsh criticism. People often look at interracial relationships as a political or cultural statement, one that you and your partner were obviously not trying to make.
Even well meaning friends or those who respect your relationship may cause trouble by trying to joke about or even "fetishize" your relationship. For example, they may make jokes about the two of you having "mulatto" children (a very inappropriate thing to say) or hold you up as a prime example of a "perfect" interracial relationship and an example of how the country can break through its racial differences.
These kinds of attitudes, while not meant in a mean spirited way, can still cause tension in your relationship by forcing your racial differences out into the open, rather than your personal similarities. After all, you married your partner because you loved them, not because you wanted to make a statement about the importance of racial harmony.
The Barrier Is Often Very Cultural
Even without the perception problems caused by friends are those caused by the cultural divide between the two of you. Yes, you grew up in the same country and may have even grown up in the same town, but the reality is that you had much different cultural experiences and it may be hard for you to connect around these differences.
For example, if your husband is Caucasian and you are African American, he may have a hard time understanding your stance on many political issues, such as police violence. Even relatively simple disagreements, such as favorite types of music and television shows, are formed by cultural differences and may cause some tension in your relationship.
Breaking Through The Issues
While it's true that succeeding as an interracial couple can be hard, it is far from impossible. Historically, there have been many successful and important interracial couples and following their lead requires focusing on your strengths as a couple and downplaying your negatives.
You need to be open to their unique needs and be ready to help them move through them. For example, if you have an Indian wife who is a devout Hindu, you should spend time learning about and discussing her religion, even if you don't have the same beliefs. You don't have to convert to her religion, but should simply respect it and encourage her beliefs.
When you need a break from each other, schedule one hour a day of "me" time, during which both of you explore your own personal interests that may be excluded from your partner due to cultural or racial differences. However, try to integrate them into important and meaningful traditions whenever possible.
The trick with an interracial marriage is to blend cultures with respect and dignity and work hard to make each other feel loved. In this way, you can work your way successful through marriage problems, with or without a marriage counselor. If counseling sounds like it would be a good idea for your relationship, speak with a professional such as Tim Robbins Counseling.
I knew that I loved my husband, but I was having a very difficult time liking him most days. My husband acted much like an overgrown teenager expecting me to do everything for him. He couldn't be bothered to put his trash in the trash can, or put his dirty laundry in the hamper or even carry his dirty dishes to the sink so that I could wash them. After about 18 years of this behavior, I finally had to find someone to go to for help. We started seeing a counselor to try to find a way for me to like him again. It has helped some. My blog will show you a few ways that counseling can help you like your spouse as much as you love him or her.