Challenges of an Interracial Relationship

Being an interracial couple can be difficult at times by virtue of the fact that we deal with bias and discrimination in our day to day lives. Ideally, love should have no bounds in this regard.  However, we are dealing with reality and reality is that others may harbor negativity about you two. You might also run into conflict between you two when asserting your values that are based on your own racial or cultural identity.

Different expectations.

Our culture shapes us.

By the time we’re seven years old, we’ve imprinted certain belief systems.

We may think we share the same world view and the same vision for our future together when we first fall in love. Yet the daily grind may soon make us realize we view things differently. That’s why it’s so important to share our beliefs, histories, and dreams early.

It’s imperative that two people of different races, cultures, nationalities, or ethnicities decide on boundaries, guidelines, and plans.

What holidays will you celebrate? Will you both bring in income? Will you have children? How will your children be raised–what faith, what schooling, what activities? Who will be with the children during the day? Where will you live?

Discuss cultural differences early: religion, diet, birth control and children, finances, family, grief, and yes, especially sex.

Disapproval of the family

  Perhaps the most common of these problems is objection and disapproval of the family. The parents of an interracial couple often feel that they have been let down by their sons or daughters. By ‘deserting’ one’s rage, they fear that their traditions and customs would be lost. In societies where traditions are guarded jealously, interracial marriages seldom win the approval of parents. This problem is compounded when one group is convinced that they are superior to the other, and such prejudices are still found in our society, some parents as disowning their son or daughter. Luckily, however, in some cases, the disapproval is only temporary. With time parents learn to accept the reality of the marriage.

Communication

Communication can be one of the biggest difficulties facing interracial or intercultural couples. This can include the challenge of literally speaking different languages. At first, couples tend to enjoy hearing another language spoken, but this can also become a point of contention when misunderstandings occur or when the “foreign” language is spoken at family gatherings. Communication also becomes an issue when it affects the way a couple solves problems. Different cultural attitudes towards the respective roles of men and women in the home can play havoc with this area of the relationship unless husbands and wives can find ways to turn conflicts into opportunities for learning and growth.

Societal disapproval

Another problem that the interracial couples have to encounter is societal disapproval. Although society’s disapproval will not affect the couple as seriously as parental disapproval, it is still an issue that cannot be ignored. A couple in an interracial marriage cannot walk down the street without being stared at. Another discouraging occurs when the couples try to participate in social organizations. Thought there are open minded people who would give all the support they can, there will always be others who would make the couple feel unwelcome.

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