Wednesday, August 17, 2016

How to Survive and Thrive in an Interracial Relationship

Did you know that based on the Pew Research Center only 9% of Americans stated that marrying a different race is a bad thing for the society? Even though it is only 9%, that 9% is 29,195,995 people. That is a lot of people that are against interracial marriages in the U.S. alone.


Relationships are hard enough as it is without outsiders butting in on your business especially when it concerns your race. You would think that people would not have a problem with interracial couples; you know, being that it is 2016, we have a black president, and we are close to having a woman president.

Unfortunately, the mindset of the majority of the population has not changed. It seems like we are in the stone age times and “white” stays with white, “black” stays with “black” and we do not even acknowledge any other race such as Indian, Mexican, or Asian.

As you know, I am an African American female married to a Mexican man. This is not my first interracial relationship so getting married to someone outside of my race did not concern me. What was so shocking was how other people saw my relationship – and mostly, what they said.

I know what you are thinking, you shouldn’t care about what anybody thinks and you are absolutely right, we shouldn’t… but it is human nature to want to please others, so we do care highly what other people think, especially when it is very close family members.

Throughout the years, I have become stronger within myself when dealing with other people and their remarks.

I have comprised several ways to not only survive but how to thrive in an interracial relationship.

By the way, I hope you have a pen and paper or better yet, go ahead and pin it, bookmark, or screenshot it so that you can come back to it anytime.

Get a Support Person
I know this one is obvious when you read it but not so practical for most people. Many of our close supporters such as family members are normally the ones who are against the relationship.
Look for support outside of the family network and that is not your significant other. Join a group with other interracial couples.More importantly, build a close friendship with those who understand what you are going through and can relate.
It takes time to build those friendships so in the meantime if you have a family member (even if it is just one) who is supportive of your relationship, build on that.
There will be times when you need to talk to someone, cry on their shoulder, or simply hear words of encouragementto get you through. Your friend or go-to family member will be that person.

Try Not to Get Upset
It is more than frustrating and upsetting to hear not only you but your loved ones, and possibly your children getting ridiculed and mocked because they are biracial. Getting upset is the first, normal reaction we have especially when the words hit so close to our heart.
 The first step is to realize what will go on with your body: body temperature will rise, hands will get sweaty, many questionable thoughts will run through your mind, cheeks will become flushed, and you will be embarrassed and upset (rightfully so).
The second step is to calm down. This is the hardest part because our natural reaction will be to blurt out a mean and hateful comeback.
Resist with everything you have. I calm myself down by counting backward from 20 or even repeating a Bible Verse in my head.
Try this and I am sure after several practices, you will be as calm as the Caribbean waters.

Learn how to Respond
Now that you have calmed down, you can’t just walk away without replying back to either the question or comment.
Learning how to respond is just as essential as not getting upset. Responding with an angry remark just gives them the upper hand to keep saying more things. Do not give them that satisfaction.
Instead, respond with some facts about interracial relationships and debunk certain stereotypes that they are prone to thinking.
For example:
Remark - I don’t know why you are with that Mexican, they all beat on their women!
Response – My husband is a great guy, and he respects my culture as much as I respect his.                            Thank you for your concern.*walks away*
The response not only tells the “mocker” that you will not tolerate them speaking ill about the relationship but it also neutralizes the conversation in a respectful way plus it add a slight sarcasm J.

Talk to your Children

Talking to your children about certain issues that arise is a wonderful learning experience so that when faced with those difficulties, they will know what to do.
Teaching your children especially after a certain remark was said or question was asked, is a great way to get them comfortable dealing with unpleasant situations and they will gain self-confidence.

Research
Educating both yourself and everybody else is the best way to diffuse hostile situations. There are plenty of books on multicultural lives, biracial relationships, and how to effectively deal with them. One of the books you can find on Amazon called Everywhere Babies that’s a joy to read to your children.
Information can be found everywhere but correct information is very rare. Research data and any cultural statistics that you can use to combat things or answer questions that people have.

 
About the Author
Today's post was brought to you by Alexis from Life With A Mexican. A Spanish speaking, gift basketing, travel by food tasting, wine loving, upfront and sometimes too brutally honest stay-at-home-mom blogger that is trying to keep her head above the Modelo bottles and tortilla while trying to convince her husband that meatloaf and smothered pork chops are the best thing since life's bred.
 
 
 

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