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Trials Of Being In An Interracial/Intercultural Relationship

Trials Of Being In An Interracial/Intercultural Relationship

I have not put pen to paper in some time.  My husband has stated and encouraged that I should.  I do admit that I have been on somewhat of a writer’s hiatus-LOL.  It has been a concerted effort and choice for me to share other love stories instead of more of our own.  Why?  Because if we don’t share the stories of opposition, oppression, growth, and love then who will?

However, I have concluded that many of the trials that hamper an interracial/intercultural relationship do not come with solutions.  Hence this post is intended to shine a bright light on this and also how to overcome some of the trials of an interracial/intercultural relationship.

7 Trials Of Being In An Interracial/Intercultural Relationship And Tips To Overcome Them

1.) Being The Sole Representative For Your Race/Ethnicity

Frankly put, I often felt early in my marriage to my husband that I was the sole representative for the black community.  And this is a sentiment that Carl also mentioned in his and Lata’s Love Story That Will Blow Your Mind.

Candidly, I felt anytime, I was at my in-law’s home, and there was a media mention of X black person all eyes would dart towards me for understanding into the African-American consciousness.

Overcoming This Trial

The truth is you are not the sole representative for your race/ethnicity.  You are just you.  Therefore, provide what understanding you have, if any, given the situation but do not allow yourself to be pigeonholed to be the sole representative of anything due to race/ethnicity.  Food for thought, if you had been pigeonholed by race/ethnicity you and your significant other would not be together.

2.) Feeling Alone And Isolated Or Flat Out Misunderstood

These are thoughts you may harbor if one or both of your families did not want you to be in your relationship.  Additionally, this maybe how you feel if you need time alone due to cultural differences/variances and you don’t have the space you need.

Overcoming This Trial

Speak honestly to your significant other about how you feel.  Discuss the things you can do so that you do not feel so isolated.  And if you are in need of space/time alone, make sure it is something that you openly communicate with your significant other.  Because getting accustomed to a new culture and way of life can be overwhelming.

3.) Language Barrier

Learning a new language is one of the hardest trials to overcome; however, it is possible to overcome.  It will take time and dedication on your part to learn a new language which can be grueling at any age.

Overcoming This Trial

Fortunately, there are numerous resources available to help with learning a new language.  Additionally you can: work on learning the language with your significant other, seek out an online tutor that resides in the country where the language is spoken that you are trying to learn, entrust the use of mobile apps, language programs like rosetta stone, buy books, and use online resources like youtube, etc.

4.) Being Interfaith

Being of different religious faiths and/or backgrounds can be difficult.  Because religion often impacts the holiday’s you chose to celebrate, how you will raise your children, what you eat, how you dress etc.

Overcoming This Trial

My husband’s family is Hindu, and my family is Christian/Hebrew.  I have gone to the temple with my husband, and he has gone to church with me.  We have found that you must openly discuss each other’s faiths, practices, traditions, etc.  And you have to be willing to gain a deeper understanding of each other’s faith and not automatically seek to discredit it.  There has to be a common ground established on what you will celebrate, eat, how you will dress, how you will raise your children, etc.

5.) Feeling Like You Do Not Belong

Having a sense that all eyes are on the two of you.  As a fellow blogger, Mixedupmama “shared she felt defensive and self-conscious while walking through the English countryside and being asked (multiple times) whether her and her multiracial family ‘belonged’ there or… “are you lost?”

Overcoming This Trial

Feeling like you do not belong is an emotion that most of us will have at some point.  My husband and I love and also implement what Marylia shared in, From Yahoo Chat To Proposal At First Flight. “As a couple “have a “go-to” phrase to help get you through the moments when you are being judged as an interracial/intercultural couple.  One phrase that helps us “snap out of it” is: “It’s about you and me, not us and the world.”  It’s our little reminder.  You have to live that way, if not people’s opinions or comments can get to you.”

6.) Deciphering What Is Considered Offensive Based On Culture

I can recall, when I was dating my husband that he told me that in his culture placing a book on the floor is viewed as a sign of disrespect because books represent knowledge. In my culture putting a book on the floor is not an outrageous act.

Overcoming This Trial

You have to work at learning and understanding why certain things are offensive due to culture. It will be helpful to research your significant other’s culture, talking with them and their family and friends can also give you greater insight into this matter. I’ve found it is best to follow your significant other’s lead when you don’t know what to do.

7.) Being Disowned

Your family objects to your relationship. You are given an ultimatum of it’s them or us.

Overcoming This Trial

Unfortunately, this is one of the worst trials to have to confront. It will take time, communication, standing your ground, support from family and friends that are enthusiastic about your relationship, etc. Find out some further tips on this from us here.

Are you in an interracial/intercultural relationship or marriage?  What did you think of this post?  What trial would you add to this list along with a solution?  Have a question for us? Write us at [email protected].  Find us at Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest @growingupguptas and on Twitter @growingupgupta.

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