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July 8, 2015

We’re All Mixed

Hal photo outside Feb2012

“All marriages are mixed marriages.” (Chantal Saperstein)

The phrase “mixed marriage,” thankfully, makes no sense to my two teenagers. For them, interracial or interreligious or intercultural marriages are so common they’re seen as “normal.”

For those of us who grew up in an earlier time, “mixed marriages” was, for a while, a socially acceptable way of talk about “abnormal” pairings. Some of us were even surrounded by the notion that such pairings were, at best, doomed to fail, and at worst, condemned by God.

The reason I like this quote above from Saperstein, however, despite the baggage-laden term, is because it raises the notion that no matter how similar you think a pairing may be to one another, they are far from being the same. No two mates are, objectively, alike. We each come from different families, think and feel from different perspectives, and occupy perfectly unique bodies.

Plus, in my experience, it is not our similarities that make for successful marriages—it’s learning to love the differences between us.

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