By: Danielle, EatBreatheBlog.com
Having recently committed to a long-term relationship, I’m thankful for the chance to say goodbye to the relentless dating game and just spend time with the one I love. As I look around at other couples I know, I wonder how they will fare in their commitments after having been “footloose and fancy free” for so long.
Contemporary views on marriage are far different today than they were in years gone by, especially when it comes to intercultural relationships. Even traditional cultures are having to adapt and change to fit into modern times. It wasn't that long ago that interracial marriage was considered "taboo." Today, it seems to be pretty much the norm, although there's no telling what difficulties these couples and their kids will face in the future.
Not long ago, one of my best friends got engaged to a young Native American from the “unconquerable and unconquered” Chickasaw tribe. That caused no small stir in her conservative WASP family. After she had a heart to heart talk with her parents, they seemed to take it quite well, respecting her wishes and welcoming the young man into the family. But there’s also the grandparents, uncles and aunts and siblings to contend with - that's quite a few raised eyebrows over the prospect of her being happy and in love.
I’m sure his family has had their share of doubts contemplating how this marriage will work. His family has a strong sense of tradition and values that are passed on from generation to generation. There's probably a lot of concern there about how the couple plans to handle the cultural differences between them, beginning with the wedding ceremony itself. From all I can see, the couple looks very happy together and not overly worried about the differences in their backgrounds and cultures. At the same time, they’re not naive they know they face many challenges in their relationship, especially once they decide to start a family. Their cultural views will certainly come into play in raising their children.
Then again, there’s much to be said for the strength of love and conviction in a marriage relationship. If my friend and her Native American fiancee can face the challenges of an interracial marriage with open and honest communication and embrace their differences with understanding and acceptance, they'll do a lot better than most "conventional" marriages today. They'll also be able to raise their kids in a positive, meaningful environment that includes both of their cultural backgrounds.
I can't imagine myself in my friend's shoes, but I do admire the couple's faith and determination to make their relationship work; which is a beautiful thing. Who knows? It may very well be those challenges that bind them together and make their marriage succeed where so many others have failed. I'm sure as time goes on they will have many lessons to share that will benefit me and many others in our quest for strong, loving relationships that will last.
Danielle studies marketing at The Kelley School of Business where she studies marketing and consumer behavior. In her spare time she blogs about music and volunteers at her local Humane Society.