Inter-caste / Interracial Marriage: How to Make it Successful? | Choice Marriages

By Prapoorna M

Last Updated: November 27, 2021

It would be better to realize that you are just daydreaming, if you are expecting an inter-caste/ interracial marriage to be as smooth as butter. It is of course obvious that there exist problems in an inter-caste marriage, while interracial marriages could be a way more different than inter-caste. Whichever kind of differences there may exist, both bride and bridegroom should be completely aware of those and should be well-prepared to deal with them. Handling parents and in-laws is another headache, though.

Choice Marriages and the Hiccups

People expect that hiccups are more likely to occur in a choice marriage. But it actually is a common logic that if such a choice marriage occurs within the same community, the tastes, likes and dislikes will be mostly alike and there’s less chance of cribbing on petty issues, whereas between mixed couples, such commonalities could be less. It’s just that the couple should be prepared enough to understand the likelihood of having differences in opinions in many issues. This could affect their degree of compatibility very much.

The researchers found that mixed couples have the same relationship as in intra-racial marriages especially when it comes to attachment towards each other, efficacy, conflict patterns, quality, and coping styles etc. but have more problems when compared to the same-race marriages.

Husband explaining to his wife
Husband explaining to his wife

Be Prepared

As we can understand the problems that are likely to occur, it’s much better to be prepared for them. When two people from completely different communities enter the nuptial bond, there will be many differences from food, eating patterns, cooking styles, behavior, habits, talk, dressing style, culture, traditions, worshipping god, performing rituals, beliefs, thoughts and ideas etc. to everything. All of them should be handled without hurting each others’ feelings and beliefs. And remember, the male and female ideologies will naturally differ. Apart from all these, there are many more other things also to be taken care of. Let’s see them.

Inter communal marriages are an increasing phenomenon these days and it is the individual’s responsibility to get ready with the answers for a numerous questions or expressions, the society, family and friends could be posing. Though the global scenario on this aspect is changing a little bit, people are not completely ready for such a change. Awareness should be brought, especially in the rural areas.

Convincing is a piece of cake (not always, though)

As you took a brave step already by marrying someone out of your community, you could be lucky enough to have both of your parents on your side, or only one of your parents, or maybe neither. Usually couples try to convince their parents, unless they are feudal like in newspapers. So, you have been practicing the art of convincing and adjusting since then. Well, this is your life and you have many more years ahead. You cannot alone compromise or ask your spouse to do the same for the remaining life. Hence, come to an agreement on the things, that matter you most.

Superior – Inferior

As human beings are mostly influenced by the behaviour of their family members and the customs and habits of their community, they are brought up, they tend to compare their present life styles, eating habits, behaviors etc. with the ones that they are already familiar with. This might raise some red flags in their minds making them to feel either superior or inferior to their partners. It could also get worsen if someone from their community adds some fuel.

Such thoughts could affect your bonding. Your partner could feel superior or inferior because of those differences and such thinking will bring changes into your bonding. If he/she feels superior, then you might be treated as if you were given more than you deserve. Words and actions could also be harsh or indifferent to you. If he/she feels inferior to your communal section, you could be suspected to be neglecting them, or loving someone else or might move on anytime etc. leaving the home in such a mess, that it would not be a home anymore.

How to deal with them

While facing such issues, don’t get overemotional. Be in balance and deal it simply. Make your spouse understand that no race or caste is superior. For example, if it is in India, the caste system was made basing on the work they do for their living. Each caste has a relevant occupation that indicates or that names that particular caste. Every occupation has its importance and its contribution to the society and the society in return, helps the person to progress. This is the societal system of livelihood. Caste is just a name to know who does what. Hence, there’s nothing superior or inferior to boast or to worry about.

What do You Value the Most?

Your relationship could involve different value systems. A relation might not sustain in the long run because of the differences that arise. Such things cannot be easily ignored. For example, those who are from Asian background are more keen towards savings and becoming wealthy, while people from western countries are more inclined to live life fully and enjoy with what they have in hand. When two people from such entirely different backgrounds come closer, conflicts could arise in such mixed couples because of the differences in opinions. Both will be strong on their points.

What to do now?

Under such circumstances, it is better for both to sit and have a healthy talk without any sort of criticisms. Accept the differences and value each others’ opinions. Validate both the opinions and make a list of things to do. For example, considering the above scenario, saving money and enjoying life are equally important. At last, one needs to save money for immediate health needs and basic needs and then should plan spending wisely for travelling, enjoying etc.

No Surprises Please

Being from different regions and backgrounds, both of you are likely to have differences in opinions regarding gifts and surprises too. Assumptions don’t work here. One might not know about the likes and dislikes of the other or what they value much and what they don’t. So, it is better to keep yourself away from surprising them at least until you get much familiar with their tastes.

A happy couple
A happy couple

Problems from External Sources

Mixed couples could be facing a hell lot of problems depending on the place where they stay. Urban areas are exposed to such mixed cultures whereas rural areas are usually not much. So, they might face some problems like

  • Negative stereotyping: Having particular negative feeling on certain sort of caste or race. For example, blacks are treated as burglars and cheaters, though most of the humble personalities come from them.
  • Hurtful and insulting comments from public: Those who have strong opinions on race or caste are more likely to comment. If one has tolerated enough, they can approach law.
  • Open rejection from family, friends and colleagues: The once-close family and friends start keeping you away from their personal lives, treating you to be the odd-one-out. Be strong enough to face them.
  • Derogatory comments, whispers and stares, not bothering your feelings or presence: Such activities are common where people have narrow mindsets and are not so open to mixed marriages. Just ignore them.
  • Online trolling and negative comments on social media: This has been the latest trend and you should never bother about it as you might witness that they can twist their tongues whenever they like.

Have a Calm Mind

Whichever kind of marriage it may be, there are occasional emotional triggers to each of you. When you feel triggered, it’s better to calm down yourself. Resetting to calm state will make you less influenced by other people’s opinions. It also never lets the arguments to rise and hence conflicts get lessen. Educate your progeny about the differences you have in your house and prepare them well to face any such sort of criticism, which would otherwise affect them badly. Children should be taught on how to face bullying in school, in the name of such differences too. Be strong and brave, wherever you live.

Know the local laws and maintain good status among your fellow beings. Try to be humble and helping. It is your neighbours and friends who could come to your rescue when something unexpected happens. As the family members would be away or mostly won’t be communicable, it’s always better to keep a nice neighbourhood. Keep improving to be the best version of yourself so that you can naturally feel more confident and at ease while being with others and going through any kind of relationship. Maintain healthy relationships with patience.

Wish you all the best. If you have any queries or need counselling regarding relationships or marital counseling, we are here to help you out. Our expert psychologists can extend a genuine help solving the root cause of the problem. Book an appointment, today.

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