Interracial marriage is used to describe marriages that take place between people who are from different linguistic, religious, or nations or ethnic groups. There are substantial increases in the number of individuals engaging in interracial. Relationships between people from different ethnic and cultural groups are becoming increasingly common because of globalization and improvement of technology. Internet technology has brought together the world in that people can enter into a relationship with anyone from any countries.
In some countries, it is against the law to marry someone of a different race. These countries include Germany during the Nazi period, South Africa under apartheid, and some states in the United States before a 1969 ruling. In some Arab countries, it is forbidden for an Arab to marry outside their race because of the law and traditional customs. If an Arab person marries someone out of their race, their civil rights are taken away from them. In 2008, Pakistani senators allowed women to be buried alive if they married someone outside their race.
People Most Attracted to Intercultural Relationships/ Marriages
To begin the series on intercultural marriage, beginning with a discussion about who exactly tends to be most attracted to intercultural relationships/marriages in the first place seems like a good place to start. It’s certainly not for everyone, as mixed marriages are full of unique challenges that married people from the same culture may never face.
In Romano’s book “Intercultural Marriage,” she lists 5 common types of people who tend to be involved in intercultural relationships. The first type is the Romantic type: those who see people from other cultures as exotic, fascinating, and thrilling. These people may find people from their own culture boring and predictable, and thrive in the mystique of people from far away and foreign lands.
The second type is the Compensator. These people often feel like something is missing from their lives and believe they have found it in another person or culture, as they believe elements from that person/culture fulfills what is missing from their own. Romano notes that this type is found even in couples who marry from their own cultures, who are simply looking for someone to fulfill what they lacked growing up.
Rebels are slightly different from the compensators in that they dislike much about their own culture and are intent on finding someone from somewhere else. Sometimes they have a specific target culture in mind; other times they simply take whatever fate brings them.
Internationals, the next type of people drawn to intercultural marriage, are those who lived outside their native countries for most of their lives, and are typically children of missionaries, diplomats, military personnel, and so on. These people often do not feel as though they completely belong to one particular culture, as they tend to have been influenced by several cultures and therefore have a wide appreciation and love for differences.
The final category is comprised of others. These people may not fit into their society and often are ostracized from it. Finding love in a different culture is a way to find a place to fit in and be accepted. Some of them are not considered to be attractive in their native culture, and have better luck in another culture. Others are part of a minority and find acceptance in another culture. Still others live in poverty and marry as a way to improve their quality of life.
Oftentimes, couples in intercultural marriages face barriers that most married couples of the same culture are not exposed to. Intercultural marriages are often influenced by external factors that can create dissonance and disagreement in relationships. Different cultures endure vastly diverse moral, ethical and value foundations that influence their perceptions of individual, family and societal lifestyle. When these foundations are operating alongside the foundation of different cultural roots, as in intercultural marriages, problems and disagreement oftentimes occur.
1. Family and Society The most common external factors influencing intercultural relationships and marriages are the acceptance of the family and the society in which the couple lives. Sometimes, the families of the partners display rejection, resistance, hostility and lack of acceptance for their kin’s partner. Specific issues regarding the family; including generational gaps in ideology, and how the wedding will be held; which ties into how tradition will or will not be practiced. Many intercultural couples report conflict arising over issues of how to carry out child raising and religious worship as well.
2. Language In a mixed marriage where the partners do not share the same mother tongue, the language in which they decide to communicate at home can be symbolic of the extent to which each partner is prepared to forego his or her cultural background and incorporate new elements. There may also be elements of control and dependence in the choice of language when one partner refuses to learn the other’s language. There is a case-study of a so-called bought bride from Asia. The German husband had no knowledge of her language, while she could speak some English, but no German. Communication in such a relationship proved to be extremely difficult, and all decisions and dealings with the outside world where necessarily undertaken by the German husband. The wife could not find any but the most menial jobs where the necessity of understanding was limited, which further increased her economic dependence on him.
3. Communication Style Intercultural couples may possess differing communication styles. Individuals from a high context culture are not verbally explicit in their communication behaviors. These cultures typically consist of eastern world countries where collectivism and relational harmony underlie communication behavior. By contrast, individuals from a low context culture use direct and obvious communication styles to convey information. In situations where marriage occurs between two people from differing communication contextual backgrounds, conflict may arise from relational challenges posed by the underlying assumptions of high/low context cultures. Challenges posed by differing communication styles are common among intercultural marriage couples. The longer the two individuals have existed in the current culture the less likely this is to pose an issue. If one or more partners within the marriage is relatively new to the dominant culture, the likelihood for conflict to unfold on these bases increases.
1. Learn How to Appreciate One of the ways to deal with interracial dating issues is acceptance of partner the way he or she is. Most issues arise when one or both partners want to have their way in everything that they do. It is therefore important to ensure that they appreciate their wife or husband with all his or her cultural practices. Since they come different regions, differences in the way of life are bound to happen. They must desist from criticizing each other based on cultural grounds or race. As a matter of fact they must never stereotype or generalize happenings as this can be the cause of interracial conflicts. If they are willing to love, understand and respect each other’s differences, you’re on the right track.
2. Learn More about the Culture Another thing they need to do in order to solve issues with interracial relationships is to study each other well before engaging. Discuss the symbolism or significance of each other’s important cultural traditions. Understanding the significance of these traditions will help to understand them. This will help them to have a more natural, familiar feeling toward the other’s traditions, accept and embrace the culture of the other. After some time, they will even feel the desire to incorporate culture into their own family traditions. Besides, they need to know what values their partner stands for and to establish whether they can accommodate them. When they understand their partner in advance, it becomes easier for them to solve any interracial dating concerns. One advantage of being married to someone from another country is to get travel from time to time. When they can travel, make sure to visit the spouse’s family and learn about their culture firsthand. Furthermore this prepares them for the future thus allowing them to solve situations better.
3. Maintain Contact with Family It is essential that “foreign” spouse keeps in contact with his or her family, especially as they are probably a long way from each other. With time, he or she will feel of longing for their family, homesickness, and even possible loneliness and depression. It is necessary that he or she can keep contact to his or her family. Today, the Internet and sites like Facebook and Twitter make this type of contact much easier, and your spouse happier. Help your spouse to develop friendships with people from his or her country or families that speak their language somehow so that they will know more people and may feel at home
Courtney from Study Moose
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