It reads magical, right? Yet, one thing made this couple unique from many other relationships. She was White and he was Latino. Although many would argue that race does not matter, being in an interracial relationship brings both struggles and happiness.
Welcome to ICSG, also known as, Interracial Couples Support Group. Let me start off with my personal definition of an interracial couple. An interracial couple consists of two people from different ethnic or racial backgrounds. Asian, White, Black, Hispanic, etc. The possibilities of multi-racial couples are endless. Over the past four years, David and I have developed very deep, lasting relationships with several interracial couples which brings me to this idea of creating an Interracial Couples Support Group. As we have come to grow with each couple, several issues pop out that would be great topics to address at our ICSG nights.
- Communication: I recognize that all couples struggle with communication. However, interracial couples share similar struggles in communication due to their different cultural/ethnic backgrounds. He speaks Spanish and she speaks English. What is he saying when he is on the phone with his family and friends? (I wish I could understand better.) With the language barrier comes many misunderstandings. With shared values, however, they can be worked through.
- Citizenship: Many couples we have grown close to are facing the struggles of applying for residency. Our personal experience has been very challenging at times, although God has truly helped us through it.
- Discrimination: Growing up, it seemed there was pressure from various leaders to marry someone the same race as me in order to avoid different cultural differences that are hard to work through. I believe if both people share similar values, especially religious values, these differences can be worked through more easily than those not sharing same religious values.
- Mixed babies: I have several names picked out for our children that we hope God will bless us to have someday. However, I fear that our kids might be treated differently when their teacher reads off two last names instead of one. Will my girl with a more American-sounding name be treated differently than her brother with a clearly Latino-sounding name? Will our babies have identify issues? Will they struggle to learn both languages?
- Traditions: Many couples grew up with different traditions. For example, David grew up celebrating Christmas by staying up all night on Christmas Eve and opening presents at midnight. I, however, was forced to go to bed and wait till everyone woke up to open presents. This isn't so much as a challenge, as it is something fun to talk about at ICSG.
I think we are drawn to things that are different from us. I am so grateful that boy in the Nordic got distracted and disturbed my studying four years ago. It is so much fun to be married to someone from another culture. It makes life so much more interesting and vivid. We don't focus on our ethnicity as much as we do on our values and commonalities.
(I think my next support group will be: WTTTH, also known as, Women Taller Than Their Husbands! Another important support group! jk)