Feature photo by Batega
When I decided to take on the topic of my multicultural wedding, I knew I would want to follow-up with a piece on what happened after the wedding. I mean, sure, planning a one-day event was tough but what would happen when we had to deal with our differences day in and day out, 365 days a year? Would it really be our happily ever after?
To be honest, I was a little concerned. My husband and I didn’t live together before we got married. That’s not so common these days. Why would you buy a car without taking it for a test drive first? It makes sense to be sure you can co-exist together in one home before taking the forever plunge but, for several reasons, we didn’t. I was slightly worried that once we were under the same roof we would uncover some knock-down, drag-out fights spurned on by our differences. The first night back from our honeymoon was our first night together in our house. It was the first time we would truly see how our differences would meld together in this new chapter of our lives.
Almost 11 months have gone by since that first night. We’ve had a few arguments here and there about chores around the house and bills, but nothing having to do with the fact that I’m Mexican and he’s German. Sure, he’s gotten irritated with me on more than one occasion for heating up a corn tortilla directly on the burner and leaving the pieces that get stuck there to burn, but I would consider that more of a character flaw on my part than an issue with my nationality. Our issues seem to be the same as many other couples, especially those living together. When I think of our parents, or our friends that are currently living with a significant other, all of their arguments, just like ours, tend to stem from money or responsibility issues. No one likes to be broke and not everyone can appreciate the cozy comfort of leaving dirty socks on the floor at the end of the day.
A multicultural marriage takes no more or no less work than a marriage between two people with the same background. Sure, each spouse may have to get used to different traditions around holidays, or a completely new cuisine, but how often do people from the same culture find that their in-laws have exactly the same family recipes, holiday traditions and whatnot? Unless you’re inbreeding (in which case we need to have a completely different conversation) your spouse is always going to come from a different family, a different childhood, a different way of doing things. It’s going to take work to figure out how to blend those experiences into something that works for the both of you. Some couples will have an easier time with it than others, and some may not ever be able to. It’s a universal issue that every couple will need to deal with, whether they’re from the same small town in Nebraska, or from different corners of the globe.
In our case, I would say our respective cultures are something we unconditionally love about each other, not something that spurs conflict. They make up who we are and why we work well together as a husband and wife, happily ever after.