A Piece of Advice
Inter-race/religion love, should I break the news to family?
Research reveals that family members react in different ways when they learn that a loved one is in a relationship with a partner of a different race or religion. While some family members welcome their partner and the relationship, others may face different forms of familial resistance. There are also couples who face opposition from most or all of their family.
In view of all this, here are a few suggestions based on relationship research to help guide your decision:
- First, take the pressure off yourself as there is no clear right or wrong answer. Instead, think about what is in your and your partner’s best interests. Everyone’s situation is different, so what is effective, helpful, and safe for one person will not be for another.
- What is your family’s background? There’s evidence that your parents’ views about inter-racial and inter-faith relationships are linked to their racial or ethnic identity, their education, and how significant their religion is to them.
- What messages about inter-faith relationships are conveyed in your family members’ culture and religion? Although a number of religions and societies discourage inter-faith relationships, some communities put up less resistance than others.
- What do you believe are your family members’ attitudes are about inter-racial or inter-faith relationships? Have they ever said anything that could give you a window into their views?
- What do you believe the consequences will be if you open up about your relationship, and are you willing to deal with whatever your family members’ responses might be?
- Is it safe for you to reveal your inter-racial or inter-faith relationship to your family, or will your or your partner’s life be placed in danger? If your lives will be in jeopardy, is there a way to find safety and are you willing to take the necessary steps to ensure your and your partner’s safety?
I know this isn’t an easy decision. No matter what you decide, please know you’re not alone. The number of inter-racial and inter-faith couples is growing steadily. Hopefully one day, as diverse relationships like yours continue to become more prevalent, this will help to shift the attitudes of communities and families to be more open-minded and accepting.
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