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“I had to learn to accept it—that this is my life and that this is our marriage. “I never really thought that these things would be my issues, and they definitely are my issues,” she said.“But that is the beautiful thing about marriage—you don’t know where it will take you.

Her husband, Dennis, is Chinese American, and she is from a white family. They don’t expect me to be Caucasian.” The occasional confused look is the least of the challenges faced by couples in interracial and intercultural marriages.Being raised in different cultures means couples have to negotiate different communication patterns, agree on what they want for their mixed-race children, and learn to accept new traditions.She married Mike, who grew up in an African American family in Chicago, and the two liken their story to the country mouse meeting the city mouse.“When Mike and I got married, I knew some of his background, but I didn’t know the depth of it,” Christa said.“My kids won’t know Spanish nearly to the extent that I would like them to simply because no one is speaking Spanish to them day in and day out like my parents did to me,” he said.

The Language Barrier For couples who have families who speak different languages, communication itself can be a challenge.“Mostly what helps is knowing that she has the best intentions at heart for me and our family.This is maybe too simplistic, but short of learning Chinese, it is the best that I have come up with.” Becky has the same experience as Emily when she is with Dennis’ family—everyone speaks Chinese, and she finds herself on the outside.“My mom worried that I would forget about her if I didn’t marry a Latina,” said Jesse Herrera, who married Emily, a white woman.Extended family is an essential value for Mexican Americans, he explained.“I was a little naïve at first, thinking that his background was a thing of the past, that we were starting something new.