John Crohn, Ph.D.

Intermarriage: The Quiet Revolution

A quiet revolution has swept the world as millions of couples have defied ancient taboos to form intimate relationships with partners from other cultural, religious, and racial backgrounds. Like all couples, they work to understand one another and to create happy marriages.

What love conceals, time reveals. Important life cycle passages can illuminate the challenges a couple may face in defining a clear identity for their family. Planning a wedding, the birth of a child, deciding whether to have a bar mitzvah or a baptism, or the death of a parent can all trigger a crisis. Discussions about these issues can be so emotionally charged that many couples try to avoid them. But developing the skills to face your differences and constructively deal with them presents an important opportunity to build stronger and deeper relationships.

The most important thing to remember is to take on the work of creating positive agreements about the religious and cultural identity for your family. The sooner you do it, the better the chance you’ll have to find a path that works for you.

Are you in an interracial, intercultural or interfaith relationship? If the two of you are struggling with family pressures, cultural expectations, or just your own doubts about whether you can reconcile your differences, you are not alone. These kinds of challenges are common in relationships where love defies tradition. But it doesn’t mean you can’t succeed. In fact, with better communication skills, more effective ways of expressing your beliefs and feelings, and better tools for resolving your differences, you and your partner have the potential to build a strong and satisfying relationship.

I have been counseling interfaith and cross-cultural couples for over thirty years. I’m the author of the book Mixed Matches: How to Create Successful Interracial, Interethnic, and Interfaith Relationships. I’d be glad to discuss how I might help you to become a successful “Mixed Match.”