Interracial marriage has shown dramatic increase in numbers since its ban was ended. While the majority of races still opt to marry someone from their own league, the idea of mixed marriage has attracted plenty of men and women in the past several decades. People are becoming more open in meeting and building relationship with someone from a different race. The world is starting to openly acknowledge and embrace them.
Interracial marriage can serve as an eye opener for those involved in it. They learn to understand, respect and accept a culture that’s very different from their own. These couples are in some ways contributing in breaking down barriers between race. Children from interracial marriage are raised to value the uniqueness of each of their parents’ culture and to recognize that there’s not one culture being superior to the other.
However, before jumping in for an interracial marriage, it’s imperative that you consider the major challenges that can potentially harm your marriage. You need to consider how much compromises are required to make an interracial marriage work.
These are the 8 questions you need to ask yourself before you go for an interracial marriage.
1. Are you willing to move to a new country and leave behind your roots in your own home?
Migrating to a new country is always involved in an interracial marriage. Once the couple decides which place to build the family, at least one partner will have to sacrifice homesickness and being away from families in order to join his/her spouse. Maybe it’s you or the other that has to move, which is better for the both of you?
2. Will you be able to get a job in the new country once you move?
Oftentimes, in deciding who must move, financial stability, insurance benefits and a stable job is always considered. But if it’s you who must move, what’s the possibility that you can work in his country?
Many of Asian women found themselves unable to get a decent job once they join their husband in his country. Some teachers, for example, find it hard to earn a teaching job in Europe because of a different education system. Some of them end up doing dirty jobs just to be able to earn a living in order to help their husband put bread on the table.
What’s your probability of landing a job that’s related with your line? How important is your career to you?
3. Are you willing to learn to cook new recipes for your spouse? Are you willing to discover new taste buds for you to appreciate your partner’s favorite cuisines?
Food is another major issue in an interracial marriage. It’s very likely that one partner will have to sacrifice her own food preference; something’s very yummy for her may not be appreciated by him. Jen, in an interview about her Filipino-Italian interracial marriage, described how her husband longed for his mother’s cooking early in their marriage. She had no idea how cook his favorite Italian foods; she had to endure some disappointments before she found the perfect recipes that could make him happy.
Sometimes it can also mean forgetting your own favorite foods.
4. Will his family respect and accept you? Won’t they be judgmental of your race, culture and financial status?
I heard stories of women who married a foreigner who honestly loves them, but whose families are critical and judgmental of them. Sure you’re marrying your husband and not your in-laws but a good relationship with his family is important for the successful of your marriage.
If your in-laws are racist, how would you deal with them?
5. Do you have to learn his language? Are you a linguist?
It’s always beneficial if you learn his language so you’d be able to related well to his family and friends, or so you can go to the market, run errands and can find your way home. But some countries are stricter in requiring you to learn their language before you can move to join him in his country.
In my case, I’m learning German language right now and I face the pressure of passing the German test in order to get a visa to join my husband in his country. If I get pregnant, I can by-pass this requirement; however, embracing a new environment and meeting his friends with a bloated tummy isn’t in my list.
Would you like to learn his language?
6. How would you effectively communicate with your spouse? How would you interpret his body language or laugh with his jokes?
Sometimes what’s funny to you might be nonsense to your partner. It’s one example of difference between culture and language.
Just like a new interracial couple, a series of fights surfaced that was quite confusing for the American wife. As the argument continued, she realized that the root of her Indian husband’s temper was caused of his hurt that his in-laws did not congratulate him on their wedding. He took it that his in-laws did not like him. The wife reasoned that her parents already congratulated her and that sufficed. Well, not for him and his culture. As a solution, the wife called her parents and urged them to speak to her husband and congratulate him. That solved the problem.
7. Which language would you predominantly use at home?
Usually it’s the language of the spouse whose country is where you chose to settle down that win over. If I and my husband decide to use German at home, how would I introduce my own language to my kids once they arrive?
8. How often would you and your husband visit your country and your family if you live a continent away?
Even if you’re already married, it’s important to maintain relationship and connection with your parents and in-laws. How would you introduce your kids to your parents and family, and how would you introduce them to your kids? Would you be able to afford a visit at least every 3 years?
There are still a lot of challenges and issues in an interracial marriage as well as questions to ask yourself before you marry someone of a different race.
What do you think? What other questions would you suggest a person must ask him/herself before signing up for an interracial marriage?
- American-Mexican Intercultural Marriage – Raising a Multicultural Family
- What Are the Requirements Needed for a German-Filipino Marriage License
- What Documents Are Needed When an Italian Man Wants to Marry a Filipina Woman
- Iranian-American Interrracial and Intercultural Marriage
- Latin/American-Danish Intercultural Marriage – the beauty of merging two different cultures