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Multicultural Relationships – Part I of II

Love graphic Photo By Unknown Source

Multicultural relationships are more common

Almost 3-in-10 Asians are in a multicultural relationship through marriage.

First, people from distant places and in communities one would not have contacted historically are now faced with:

  1. The arrival of the ubiquitous smart-device.
  2. Global economies.
  3. Online dating.
  4. A variety of affordable international travel opportunities.

Lastly the Pew Research Center analysis reflected the following in 2014-2015;

“Nearly three-in-ten Asian newlyweds, [29 percent], were married to someone of a different race or ethnicity … As were 27 percent of Hispanic newlyweds”.

Multicultural marriage good for society?

Meanwhile the Pew research also revealed:

“Nearly four-in-ten American adults said a growing number of people marrying someone of a different race is good for society”.

As a result there is a growing acceptance of interracial, multicultural and multiethnic marriage. The number of couples worldwide who have the added challenge of blending ethnic and culturally diverse families is on the rise. Making this a timely topic.

Multicultural relationship man and woman on a sofa.
Multiracial couple Photo Courtesy of Unknown Source

Navigating relationships across cultures

I have experienced this phenomenon firsthand in my own life. My former husband was born and raised in a traditional, patriarchal Mexican family in Mexico.

By contrast my adopted-mother is African and Native-American. And my Cross-Cultural Kid (CCK), adopted-father whose family is from Barbados — grew up in the United States.

The adopted-parents raised me to be a fiercely independent American woman by my multicultural and multiethnic adopted-parents. As a result of my ancestry I am a Cross-Cultural Adult CCA. My birth family has ancestry from both India and Jamaica according to my adoption records. My biological father is said to have been African-American. Service in the U.S. military made me a Third Culture Adult (TCA). Consequently in Korea I had been the literal “leader of men” for a time. My team was comprised of both South Koreans and Americans. The all-male military team was made up of Korean Auxiliary to the US Army (KATUSAs) and American Army soldiers. I was the team’s acting Platoon Sergeant at Camp Humphreys, in Pyeongtaek, South Korea.

A father’s marriage advice to his daughter

One of my earliest memories was of my father impressing upon me the importance of having an education, a job and my own money.

He reasoned if I could provide for myself I would not feel forced to stay with a husband that was not a good man. My parents had a storied romance and a more than 50-year marriage separated only by death. The person that I am today was shaped by these childhood and adult experiences.

I had cooperated with my partner to make our relationship work. Losing my autonomy in the process. Like so many other 21st century women in multicultural relationships I felt the difficulty. There were challenges around race, religion, gender, economic status, education and culture that needed to be negotiated.

Multicultural relationship — what we got right

We were not able to overcome these issues and divorced. Before that, we were very successful at navigating some challenges.

I preferred to give you a happily ever after story. However, some of the greatest lessons are what we often think are failures.

There are helpful strategies for handling your multicultural marriage.

Come back next week for part 2 and get some life-hacks on maintaining a successful multicultural relationship.

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