The introvert and the extrovert. The liberal and the conservative. The numbers person and the artistic one. The attraction is there, but the attraction isn't the only holding these relationships together.
And on a more serious note, mixed race/culture/religion relationships may have attraction between the partners going for them, but that doesn't mean the resistance from friends and family isn't sometimes stronger.
The idea of losing your support group for a relationship can make it seem even more daunting of a challenge. Ultimately the decision is up to partners, how you want your relationship to be. Are the families going to be this involved all the time? How comfortable are each of you with family involvement currently? Is there agreement on what it should look like?
A mixed anything relationship isn't always easy – what relationship is? - but you can make it a little less stressful:
Find exceptions: Family and friends who have similar experiences, or are supportive of your decision.
Be appreciative: You shouldn't be getting into the relationship to change someone. Make it a point to show your appreciation of the things that make your partner the person you love.
Be understanding: You can't accept everything your partner does, but by taking those things away, you are changing the person you are in love with. Be understanding of differences and difficulties.
Communicate: It goes without saying that this is important in any relationship, but in a relationship where emotional/family support has been cut off, the ability to feel safe to be open and honest about what is going on can make the relationship that much stronger while other supports develop.
Remember, family members sometimes come around, what is happening now may not be forever, but when you bank on other people changing, you can find yourself even more disappointed in the end.
If you are having difficulties in your relationship that straddles 2 or more worlds, the therapists at PhiladelphiaMFT are trained in culturally sensitive therapy. Reach out to us.
This Topic of the Week was written by Brian Swope, MFT