Q&A: Intercultural Marriages

Any advice for intercultural marriages?

My fiance and I grew up in different countries or cultures.

Someone emailed in this question and I wanted to take the time to respond to it. I would really appreciate ladies who have first hand experience offering their perspective in the comment section. I do not personally relate to this question, but having said that I have still learned a few things that I would offer as a jumping off point for this discussion.

Of my friends who are in intercultural marriages, from what I observe in their relationships, they do not have a whole lot more struggle than any of the rest of us. The need for effective communication is incredibly important no matter what a couple’s backgrounds are. In addition to that, success in marriage requires respect and maturity, and that applies whether or not a couple has been raised in the same culture.

Having said that, if a couple’s backgrounds are highly diverse, the adjustment towards intimacy may be a little more complicated. What is primarily important is that there is unity on important life issues such as faith and child rearing. If the couple is mutually committed to a healthy marriage, they can work through whatever differences they have. I don’t believe that cultural differences are any more insurmountable than other things. My husband was raised in a very different family than I was and we have had to learn to communicate well with each other, but my friend who married a man from Kenya man has had to learn the same thing. It’s not impossible when the couple is mature and approaches the relationship with a high commitment to loving each other well.

So basically I believe that if you are marrying a man who shares your faith and you approach your marriage focused on respecting each other and employ good communication skills, you are going to have a very successful marriage.

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  • April 2010
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