The union of two people from distinct races is an interracial relationship. When an African American man marries a white woman, the two are known to be an interracial couple. Interracial marriage unites people from distinct cultural backgrounds, continents, regions and countries. An Interracial couple embraces one another’s differences, enabling them to form connections with one another. For instance, when a Christian man marries a Muslim woman, they embrace their different religious beliefs and this does not stop them from connecting and having a romantic relationship. The interracial relationship benefits the couple by promoting socialization since people from distinct races connect and interact. This is a huge achievement because it helps avert racial discrimination that has persisted for a long time. However, it is crucial to understand how interracial relationships impact the couple, their families and society. Besides, it is vital to comprehend how interracial relationships can be promoted and supported in society. As such, this paper focuses on interracial couples with a discussion emphasizing the impact the relationship has on the couple, families, society and how interracial relationships can be promoted and strengthened in society. Also, recommendations on how interracial couples can employ to ensure their relationships are successful.
Impact on the interracial couple
The interracial relationship profoundly impacts the couple engaged in the union. Mainly, both parties are exposed to different viewpoints, traditions and cultural backgrounds, which increases their cultural awareness and understanding. As such, they comprehend diverse cultures, which challenge their biases and stereotypes. Ultimately, they learn from one another and foster a deep appreciation of cultural diversity (Flores, 2019). Moreover, the interracial relationship enables the couple to blend their distinct cultural beliefs, which creates a diverse family unit where kids grow up understanding various cultural backgrounds. Therefore, the couple can celebrate different cultures in their union. The interracial relationship enables the couple to become resilient and form strong bonds. This is because interracial couples are subject to discrimination, prejudice and bias from others. The struggles from these challenges can create stress and harm their relationship. However, the couple can strengthen their bond by offering support and consolation in light of these challenges. They become resilient, which is an added advantage for the couple, for they can easily handle the discrimination and biases from others, which promises a fruitful future for their union. Conclusively, the interracial relationship enables the couple to sharpen their communication skills. This is because practical communication skillsets are necessary to ensure that the couple understands one another and develops proper solutions to their problems. Also, effective communication allows them to practice open discussions about race, which promotes their understanding of one another.
Impact on the Family Unit
Interracial relationships encompass two people from two different cultural backgrounds. As such, an interracial relationship dramatically affects the family unit. This is because these families hail from distinct races and cultural backgrounds. In the case of an interracial relationship, the reaction from the family varies where; some may be supportive while others may be redundant to accept the union. There exist cases where some couples were disinherited and disowned by their families because they were in an interracial relationship (Leslie & Young, 2015). Typically, such a response to the interracial relationship can cause fallouts between the couple with family members or with themselves. The strained relationships and estrangement do more harm than good. Family members must engage in open communication and address these issues to ensure they exist harmoniously (Leslie & Young, 2015).
In contrast, families that accept the interracial couple stand to learn about different customs, perspectives, beliefs and traditions. As such, the family can incorporate their culture’s different cultural aspects, enabling them to create a diverse family unit. Understanding diversity in the family creates an excellent example for future generations. This is because kids will be raised in an environment that understands and respects different perspectives. Ultimately, the created family environment allows the kids to develop an inclusivity mindset. This means that the children value one another and accept each other regardless of their distinct cultural perspectives. Ultimately, this helps break the racial and cultural barriers that exist in society. Families that accept interracial couples promote their sense of empathy and understanding towards others from distinct cultures. As such, they celebrate diversity and use it to unite them instead of cause division.
Impact on Society
An interracial relationship has a significant impact on society. One spectacular feature of an interracial relationship is that it promotes diversity and cultural understanding. As more people engage in interracial relationships, more inclusivity and diversity is accepted in society. This has changed the homogeneity aspect that was acceptable in society. As such, people have grown to accept various languages, ethnicities, races as the new norm. Therefore, creating a diverse society gives every person an opportunity to thrive. Mainly, the number of intermarriages in America has increased from 1980 to 2015. According to Livingston & Brown (2017), interracial married couples increased from 230,000 in 1980 to 670000 in 2015. This statistic is fundamental because it depicts how people are changing the homogeneity norm in society and replacing it with accepting diverse cultures and races.
Stereotypes and prejudices existed concerning interracial relationships. However, as more people from different races engage in romantic relationships, these stereotypes are broken and challenged in society. Flores (2019) asserts that in the 1800s, black men intimate with white women were assumed transgressors and punished to safeguard white womanhood purity. White women in this circumstance were considered black rapist victims. However, if the white women declared their relationship with black men consensual, society viewed them as outright prostitutes or low-class and licentious. These stereotypes about different races are altered when people observe interracial couples thriving and developing robust, loving interactions. Since the number of intermarriages in America has increased, then, there exists a shift in attitudes about interracial couples which means a broader acceptance of the relationship in society.
Challenges the Interracial Couple Family Faces
Interracial couples encounter various problems in their families due to the nature of their relationship. These challenges include; discrimination and bias, where various relatives may have prejudices against people from various races, resulting in conflicted and strained relationships in the family. Another issue involves family disapproval, where some relatives reject an interracial relationship as they are concerned about how the interaction will impact their cultural background and their family’s prestige. Consequently, the interracial couple is sometimes rejected or disowned (Csizmadia & Nazarian, 2015). Another issue that arises among some interracial couples is the pressure to change, where family members expect the couple to obey various values or traditions belonging to their race. This causes a rift between the couple because it does not align with their desire to lead individual lives. Another conflict that arises in an interracial family involves how to raise kids resulting from the union. Typically, relatives may have distinct views about the upbringing of the children concerning aspects such as cultural beliefs, traditions and language (Leslie & Young, 2015). These differing opinions about parenting may cause conflicts within the family. Another common issue that arises among interracial couples is the problem of ineffective communication, which hails from language barriers. Hailing from different cultural backgrounds indicates that one partner may have a different language. Even if the couple understands each other, the odds are different when we consider the interactions with other family members. This is because a partner from a distinct cultural background speaking a different language may have difficulty interacting with family members, expressing feelings and emotions, and offering their views and opinions on different subject matters (Csizmadia & Nazarian, 2015). Such a circumstance does more harm than good, impacting how the family connects. These challenges cause strains in the family and the interracial couple feels rejected and unaccepted. However, this problem can be resolved if these problems are handled with empathy and family members are encouraged to accept cultural diversity.
Recommendations to Promote and Strengthen Interracial Couple Relationships
Success means winning and victory. Interracial couples need to feel victorious to thrive in their relationship. For this reason, some recommendations that can be employed to guarantee their success in their interactions include; first, there is a need to establish an open and honest communication environment where couples can share their problems and experiences (Regain Editorial Team, 2023). Second, couples need to become empathetic towards one another, as this will enable them to understand and comprehend their distinct cultural backgrounds. Learning about each other’s culture will promote their understanding of one another, ultimately fostering a deep understanding, bond and respect for one another. Thirdly, interracial couples should seek support groups that are designed for interracial couples. This is an excellent way for the couple to connect with others who share similar experiences. Therefore, allowing them to have a sense of belonging, feel validated and get advice on matters that may strain their relationships (Regain Editorial Team, 2023). Lastly, interracial couples must be aware of their biases and prejudices through self-awareness. Understanding these aspects of self enables one to correct some behaviours that may harm the relationship, allowing a person to present the best version of themselves and ensuring the interracial couple thrives in the relationship.
Interracial relationships impact the couple, their families and society. However, the interracial relationship fosters cultural awareness, understanding and appreciation. Through the couple’s union, deep connections are developed, while a diverse family unit where various cultural elements are celebrated is established. Success is vital and interracial couples, through empathy, open communication, seeking and attending support groups and working on the self through self-reflection, can enable them to thrive and strengthen their relationship. Interracial relationships can transcend cultural boundaries, promote inclusivity, understanding and diversity. Therefore, the interracial couple can develop a more accepting and inclusive society.
Csizmadia, A., Leslie, L., & Nazarian, R. (2015). Understanding and treating interracial families. Understanding and treating the contemporary family: Translating research into practice, 89-107. https://books.google.co.ke/books?hl=en&lr=&id=DifLCQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA89&dq=challenges+interracial+couple+families+face&ots=KYTqOPhh1_&sig=qkZLFeFPcbg8miXMd8IHxYlNWDw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=challenges%20interracial%20couple%20families%20face&f=false
Flores, R. D. (2019). “A Little More Ghetto, a Little Less Cultured”: Are There Racial Stereotypes about Interracial Daters in the United States? Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, 6(2), 269-286. https://doi.org/10.1177/2332649219835851
Leslie, L. A., & Young, J. L. (2015). Interracial couples in therapy: Common themes and issues. Journal of Social Issues, 71(4), 788-803. https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12149
Livingston, G., & Brown, A. (2017). Trends and patterns in intermarriage. Retrieved from Pew Research Center: https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2017/05/18/1-trends-and-patterns-in-intermarriage/
Regain Editorial Team. (2023). Interracial Marriages: How to Navigate The Challenges. Retrieved from Regain Editorial Team: https://www.regain.us/advice/marriage/interracial-marriages-how-to-navigate-the-challenges/