One in six newlyweds is married to someone of a different race or ethnicity, according to a recent Pew Research Center report. Perceptions about intermarriage are also changing. However, the rising number of newly married interracial couples does not always translate to happily ever after as often. Couples from different backgrounds could grow apart simply due to failure to handle differences, talk about challenges and stress they create, and external societal judgment and prejudice. The only way for any chance of success is to know what you’re up against.
Here are a few challenges interracial couples may face at some point or another.
Disapproval from family
The person you are dating may worry about the repercussions his family would feel back if word got out that they were romantically involved with someone of a different race. Furthermore, some family members could give one or both members of an interracial couple a hard time.
Judgment from the society at large
Most people in interracial relationships will experience some stereotyping and hurtful assumptions. The lingering stares, uncomfortable questions, and crude remarks are just some of the damaging racial microaggressions that interracial couples endure.
Differences in a couple’s expectations
We are shaped by our culture. As we grow up, we imprint certain belief systems. When couples fall in love, most of them assume they share similar goals for the future. As the relationship matures you will realize that you view things differently. That’s why it’s important to share your beliefs, histories, and dreams early. It’s vital that interracial couples decide on boundaries, guidelines, and plans for example what holidays you will celebrate, will you have children, what faith will your children be raised in etc.
Lack of compromise.
Lack of compromise can ruin any relationship. If a couple can’t find a way to agree on simple things the relationship will not stand the test of time. Try putting yourself in your partner’s shoes whenever you can. Generosity, kindness and compassion can go a long way. The key is to give your partner a listening ear. Give them the benefit of doubt before jumping into any rush decisions.