Century Marks

For better or for worse: Intercultural and interracial marriages are on the increase, according to Marsha Wiggins Frame (Pastoral Psychology, January), and the trend is likely to increase. Differences can initially be a source of mutual attraction, but in time the couples have to negotiate different assumptions about religion, gender roles, money, sexuality and child-rearing. Couples tend to deal with their differences in one of four ways: submission of one to the other, compromise between the two, denial of real differences or active use of consensus methods to reach win-win situations. A worthy goal for the couple is the creation of a new identity for themselves, drawing on both cultures without either one needing to sacrifice his or her identity or values to the other. Of particular importance is agreement about religious and family rituals associated with meals, bedtime, life-cycle events and holidays.


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