It's normal to be attracted to people that aren't from our culture. They're exotic to us. They represent a whole new world we know nothing about. But dating or marrying someone who doesn't think the same way you do can have its challenges. We asked ESSENCE.com Facebook fans in multi-culti relationships to write to us and tell us how they viewed their relationship and how they got through their challenges. Here's what some of them had to say said. Read what your fellow ESSENCE.com readers had to say about sex after marriage. Read your fellow ESSENCE.com readers' secrets to successful marriage. Find out how these couples deal with their differences.
Sandra The love my husband and I have for each other helps us get past our cultural differences. He is an American Indian. Now that all the warm fuzzy statement is over, I will get to the REAL stuff. Since he has dated Black women for more than 12 years, before marrying me. He understands what goes on in the African American community. Since I was always curious about different cultures, learning about my husband's tribe is awesome. He tells me about the tradition of the tribe, where they used to ride, how they were named, and even what our last name means. We have the same ideas and aspirations when it comes to relationships. I feel that transcends all cultures regardless of what ethnic group one belongs to. We share our ideas, and strive to grow together as a family... There have been times, however, when we have met with his relatives that they have been very disapproving of our union. He stands by me being my anchor of support, regardless of the situation. There have been instances where I have been chastised for "dating a White boy." As hubby will readily tell anyone, he is NOT White and is insulted to be assumed as such. ...The way we handle disagreements is something my Mom suggested: At the end of the week (which is relative because hubby works rotating shifts), we get a bottle of wine (or beverage of choice) and discuss those issue(s)--e.g., hubby says what is bothering him without being interrupted. After he is finished stating his issues, I will respond. Vice versa for me. We then either come to a resolution, or agree to disagree. Plus by the time we finish our beverage of choice, we are feelin' a lil good and fireworks begin!!! It's all about communication. Janice Mike is Jersey Italian/Sicilian and I'm Dominican/African-American. We are not only married but work together. What makes our relationship work is that we really don't care about race, although we do care about our cultures and are very proud of them. We aren't so much aware of our differenc es on a daily basis but those times when it becomes apparent, we joke about the differences and appreciate them. We almost celebrate the differences. There are some challenges. For instance, Mike can't conceive how I must spend so much money and time on my hair care when he just washes and go. That could never work for me. We learn from each other and are often in awe at the differences. I'm still amazed that his family has lasagna first on Thanksgiving before having turkey. This year, I planned to make a soul food southern-style Thanksgiving dinner and he said, "Why don't we just have lasagna?" I think I lost my mind at that moment because I don't remember what happened but I know the turkey won! LOL! Melanie It is a beautiful thing, we have learned so much about each other's cultures--my husband is Nigerian and I am of Jamaican origin. Our daughter has the best of both worlds. In Nigeria there are many tribes, my husband is Ibo. I have learned a lot about their history and food--like the breaking of the Kola nut whenever there is a significant event. I am very impressed and interested in their writers such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. My husband loves Carribean food. I introduced him to Jerk chicken and curry goat with rice and peas for my sins. I am cooking the damn meal every other night now I am sick of it.........lol. It used to be one of my favorite meals......lol. Our daughter is only three months old, so it is a bit early to see the impact of the different cultures. But we intend to teach her to love both cultures. We are in Britain so she will experience a black British culture. Karen Although he's Dutch and Indonesian, his Indonesian sticks out more, so he's more family oriented. I'm from the Caribbean, but am really Americanized and his emphasis on family helps to balance. I can tend to be a "hot headed Caribbean woman" and he calms me down a bit. I think there are fewer cultural differences than people think. Spending time with family is important to everybody, having respect for each other is important to every body, spending time with each other is important to every body. What's funny about being from different cultures is, when he tries to say common English sayings, he often messes them up and we're lost in translation...LOL. Good luck in your multi-culti love journeys ladies. Read what your fellow ESSENCE.com readers had to say about sex after marriage. Read your fellow ESSENCE.com readers' secrets to successful marriage. Find out how these couples deal with their differences.