If I got a cookie every time someone asks me about being married to a person from a completely different background, I would be a very happy and very fat mama right now. 🙂 Oh the joys of navigating a multicultural relationship! So what is our day-to-day reality? What challenges do we face? What’s in it for us?
Brace yourselves, for there’s no short answer to this!
Are you in a multicultural relationship?
If so, you will inevitably face a situation when someone you talk to blurts out something along those lines: Your husband is a … (insert a nationality, religion or both)? A friend of a friend of my second cousin’s first wife was in a relationship with someone like this and it went so horribly wrong! (insert a gruesome horror story of a failed relationship). Enter eye roll and a deep exasperated sigh. Like, why exactly are you telling me this? Do you think that my marriage will fail? Or you just think that analyzing such matters is something I love to do in my free time?
People will judge and people will talk.
Depending on how popular you are and how bored are your friends, you’ll end up being a subject of local gossip for anywhere between a day and a month, sometimes even longer. If you thrive in a center of attention, it might even count as a good thing. 🙂 If not… well, don’t let it get to you, they will move on eventually!
It is very possible that your families won’t be spending much time together.
The language barrier, living in different countries, wary attitude towards each other… This can be a bad or a good thing, depends on how you look at it. I don’t mind it at all and neither does my hubby, but I get that for some it might feel awkward and far away from what they are looking for. It goes without saying that in many countries, people are used to spending their time constantly surrounded by their relatives.
If you choose to have children, they will most probably be very very cute. 🙂
And multilingual, open-minded by default, and possibly smarter than you’d expect (yup, there is actually research to prove this). One funny downside of that: when my firstborn was a baby, most people automatically assumed he’s a girl, because of his angelic face features. I could dress him in a blue jumper with construction machines, throw him in a black stroller and I’d still hear “oh what a lovely daughter you have!” at least twice a day. 🙂
Your cultures will inevitably merge, and it’s the best!
For starters, you get to celebrate ALL the holidays! Yay! Christmas, Eid, Hanukkah, Diwali, National Days… you name it. Also, the food! You will discover loads of delicious dishes you had no idea existed AND learn to cook them, too.
All in all, many years into our marriage, I feel part Tunisian myself and I’m loving it 🙂
Hungry for more? You can read more about the beginning of my relationship with Khaled here!