I met my partner the day I moved to Mozambique, soon after graduating from college. We quickly became friends and soon after went on our first date. It seemed like most people in our community thought our relationship was a bad idea. Multiple people told me interracial relationships are hard and usually don’t work out. “You’re just TOO different.” “Wouldn’t it be easier to be with someone from your own culture?” Our love prevailed the barrage of concerns, and four years later we’re happily married with a son.
I think most people would agree that marriage is one of the most challenging human experiences. Multicultural or not, marriage has a way of revealing our selfishness and showing us the areas we need to grow in. Being married to someone from another culture has been quite the adventure. There’ve been moments when we’ve completely misunderstood each other. Days when we’ve cried because of immigration complications. Weeks when homesickness took over. I’ve had to fight for my relationship with Manuel which makes it so much stronger!
What I’ve learned from my multicultural marriage is that my life is more full because of our differences NOT more challenging.
I feel incredibly lucky to be married to my best friend and partner who brings life experiences to our family that I don’t have. We can all learn from people who are different from us. I think we mistakenly assume that cultivating relationships with others who have a different a) race/cultural background b) faith c) socio-economic status is somehow too difficult or challenging.
Learning to be comfortable with differences takes practice. It’s easy to feel threatened by others because of insecurity. Just because my husband believes in parenting a certain way doesn’t mean that my way is wrong or vice versa. I’m learning to approach my insecurities with curiosity rather than putting up walls.
“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”
― Audre Lorde
Expanding my community has been the most beautiful and empowering experience of my life thus far. I urge others to make an effort to be a part of the lives of people who don’t look like them, act like them, or speak like them.
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