Marriage is never the union of two individuals.
It is, in fact, the union of two families. It is easier to accept the new family when they’re from within the community. However, the dynamics change in intercultural marriage.
Here, both the families have to understand the new culture, adapt to it and welcome them with open arms.
There is a lot of pressure in case of intercultural marriages.
All these pressures come down to couples who have agreed for this union. Listed below are some ways that will help you manage those pressures and will guide you on how to make the marriage work.
1. Embrace the differences
When you marry someone from a different culture, you enter an unknown world.
Suddenly you would be introduced to a lot of norms that you were unaware of. This, at once, might come to you as culture shock, but understand that it’s your world now. The best way to cherish this change is to understand the differences and accept them the way they are.
You will take time to understand the new culture and that’s okay.
Don’t expect everything to fall into the place overnight. Speak to your partner to understand the differences and try to understand them. Mistakes will happen initially, but that’s fine.
The best way to accept the difference is to open up completely to it.
2. Educate yourself
You don’t want to have a failed marriage because of a different culture, do you?
The way to escape this is to educate and explore the partner’s values and cultures as closely as possible. Speak about your partner’s childhood days, their experience of growing up, their family and about their prior relationships.
Asking such questions help you understand each other better. You would know from where they’re coming from. The moment you educate yourself about each other’s culture and embrace it, the better your marriage will turn out.
3. Paying equal attention to both the cultures
Every culture has own customs and rules. In the intercultural marriage there is always a threat of losing out on some of the customs.
Couples are generally pulled up by both the families as they expect them to religiously follow their customs.
This could be hard for couples as saying no won’t help and following multiple things might confuse them and their children. This is where their conscience comes to play.
As a parent, you certainly don’t want your child to follow just one culture. To avoid confusion and to keep everyone happy, list down what’s important from both the cultures and follow those.
Choosing the middle path won’t be easy, but you must do it.
4. Learn the language to communicate in a better way
One may not realize it initially, but the language barrier can be a problem if you’re married outside of your culture.
During dates or while you were seeing each other, things were fine but when you have to stay with someone who doesn’t speak your language, communicating may get difficult.
The solution to this could be that you learn each other’s language. Learning each other’s language has two main benefits. One, you can communicate well with each other. Second, you have a normal conversation with your in-laws and the extended family.
The chances to get accepted fast by your in-laws will increase if you will speak their language.
Don’t let communication barrier come in between both of you.
5. Have patience
Don’t expect things to be better and normal immediately. You both may be putting efforts to don’t let the culture barrier come in between your married life, but things won’t fall in place from the beginning. You will stumble and may fall, but you have to keep on trying. Patience is the key after all.
It’s always a challenge to adjust in a new culture all of a sudden.
There will be time when you’re not sure what to do or may curse yourself for making the mistake, but don’t give up. Learning something new takes time. Keep on trying and maintain a pace. Eventually, you will master everything and things will be fine.
6. Discuss how to make it work
Before you marry your partner from a different culture, sit and discuss how you guys are planning to make things work.
A perfect coordination and communication between the both of you is important. You both will be venturing into a new cultural zone and will be learning a lot of new things.
It is not going to be an easy journey at all.
You both will be put through a lot of test and scrutiny during the initial years of your marriage. You both should stand next to each other and guide one another whenever needed.
So, speak about it and draw a plan on how you guys will make your intercultural marriage a success.
7. Learn to be tolerant
Not all culture is perfect.
There will be times when you wouldn’t agree to a certain custom or ritual. Putting forth your views and trying to put your point why it is not right may escalate the situation negatively.
Learn to be tolerant.
During an intercultural marriage, you must learn to respect each other’s culture and rituals. It comes with acceptance. And when you’re accepting your partner’s culture, then there is no need to question their logic.
It is not right to put logic at the front all the time. Sometimes, let emotions lead to make this marriage work.