Is your Ethnically Mixed Marriage Doomed?
Ethnic diversity is supposed to be a plus in society but is it a plus in an intimate relationship? Is an ethnically mixed marriage a plus or a minus? Or neither plus or minus? What do you think?
I think if people are honest, they will admit that being in an ethnically mixed marriage brings special and additional challenges as compared to being in a marriage that is ethnically congruent. And don’t get me wrong. Marriage is hard but an ethnically mixed marriage is harder.
That is not to say that an ethnically mixed marriage cannot work. Many do and many last a lot longer than marriages between people of the same ethnicity. But it is to say that relationships are hard and when the relationship is ethnically mixed, that in some circumstances, it could be even harder than it normally would be if there was no diversity.
And it is not just the two of you. It’s also all the other people that can make your ethnically mixed marriage difficult. But the two of you are not innocent and off the hook. The truth is that every human person has biases. None of us is completely without little (or big!) prejudices, pre-conceived notions and hang ups that are based on nothing other than stereotypes and social conditioning.
We cannot completely rid ourselves of these things and we do bring them into our relationships and eventually, they do surface and they can cause problems.
I think the problem is where people try to pretend they don’t have biases based on ethnicity, or they lie to themselves and their partner, or they just have a blind spot, or they are just insensitive. And invariably this will lead to conflict, even when it is passive.
When you add on the toxins that can be thrown at you in the public arena by all the jealous people who resent you because they were not open minded enough and brave enough to try someone “different”? No wonder so many ethnically mixed marriages fail. No wonder so many mixed couples give up on their relationships.
Ironically, though, the stats seem to suggest that the divorce rate for mixed couples is lower than the average for couples of the same race and ethnicity. So not all ethnically mixed marriages are “doomed from the start.”