Aug 17, 2014

What People Ask: Our Interracial Marriage Part 1


     My wife and I have been married for almost 3 years, and our interracial marriage has taught us a lot about loving one another for who they are and not for their looks, or in this case, their skin color.  Our hope is that we can answer some of your questions and that one day, we can all treat each other with respect.  Since this is a controversial topic, we decided to break it into different parts.  First, we will briefly talk about the topic in general.  Secondly, we will answer some of the FAQs that people ask when they meet us (or they say when they walk past us).  



Please, if you have any questions that are not mentioned, comment below and we will answer them on the next part!  Enjoy!

The Statistics

     We all know that at least in the US, interracial marriage is becoming less uncommon than a couple of decades ago.  Statistics show that by 2010, about 15% of marriage are between different race or ethnic group from each other.  This is an all time high since this type of marriage was legalized in 1967 by the Supreme Court.   This statistic may be inaccurate due to the fact that Hispanics marriages with non-hispanics are not recorded as interracial since Hispanic is not a race, but an ethnicity, but an ethnicity and Hispanics marrying a non-hispanic person (this is why we found varied statistics as with the graph...).

     It is also interesting to notice that it is more common for a white male to marry outside his race, than a non-white women to do so.   This may be explained that from 1990 to 2009 other races have increased their college attendance and meeting their spouses there.  In other words, it is more likely that interracial couples are college educated.  This was true in our case as well.


Traditions


     However, this does not mean that everyone is happy about this and has moved on completely.  There are others who choose to marry within their own ethnic group or race and some that are contemplating to do it but are afraid that society will reject them.  This may be due to tradition, no exposure to other races, or have the "they're all the same" attitude towards a specific race.  Others just have not had a change to get to know someone from another race and see them as a person and get past the negative stigma planted by parents, family members, or even friends.  Regardless of what they reason might be, there is still a lack of education regarding interracial marriage today, which is why we decided to talk about this.

     For example, in my culture (Mexican), we tend to be more close and intimate.  Hispanics like continuing traditions and stick with their own packs.  So when we were married, my family was shocked at first.  They saw my wife differently and pretty much afraid to talk to her, mainly since they were unsure if she spoke Spanish (which she does, very well).  Even though they live in Houston, Texas, they still live in a bubble and have not been exposed to non-Hispanics as much as I have in my life.  However, with time, they have learned a lot from my wife and the American culture.

American-American

     The biggest thing in relationships with other races (not even romantic ones) is that we all realize that we are American-Americans.  When you point out more differences and say "Well, I'm African-American," or "I'm Mexican-American," the only thing you are doing is separating yourself from other people.  Unless you were born in Africa or Scotland or Costa Rica, you are simply an AMERICAN.  You can be of any descent you like, but if we parade around distinguishing one group like African Americans, we'd better start calling Caucasians European-Americans (and face it, that's just silly).  The best way to eliminate racism is to recognize similarities and appreciate differences, not amplify silly things we can't control, like the color of our skin.

How We've Dealt With It

     First of all, we LOVE each other.  There is no better motivator to overcome any differences than wanting to be with each other.  Secondly, we find we have many things that we have in common and discovering new things is always fun! For example, we both love staying fit, so we workout together, and help each other stick to a diet.

      The advantage to having two cultures to choose from is that we get to pick and choose which traditions we will keep.  It's like having a mustang and a camaro, and you get to keep your favorite parts of both. 

     When certain racial problems arise, we always try to understand the other person before speaking.  One of the Coveys said "First seek to understand, then to be understood," and they had it figured out!


FAQs

If you have a question you don't see down below and would like an answer to or something you are curious about, please comment or e-mail me and we will include it.  These are some of the most common questions people have said to us and we will post the answers in the Part 2 of this topic  So please SHARE and stay tuned!

How does your family feel about your spouse's race?
You're dating a Mexican, aren't you worried that he's going to cheat on you?
You're dating a white women, aren't you worried that she won't take care of you?
Wouldn't be easier to date your own race?
Are you worried your children will be bullied?
Do you only date white women?
Can you help me find a different race to date?
Do people stare at you?
What is difficult about your partner's culture?
Do you speak your partner's language?
Is he legal or is he with you for papers?
How do you adjust to different cultures/environment?
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