Women is...: Tips on Bridging the Cultural Divide

Tips on Bridging the Cultural Divide

# Get in touch with his family before the first big meeting, especially if it's planned for a big holiday. Holidays are emotional times for many families, and therefore not the best time to spring big issues. Getting together for a lunch or dinner date, or for a play or other cultural event can provide a chance to get to know one another a bit under more relaxed conditions.

# Recognize the importance of an ally. As in the case of Linda and Alan, one parent who is accepting of your relationship can ease the fears of the others. Parents may be more accepting if the "seal of approval" comes from one of their own peer group, or because they don't want to be seen as the "unenlightened ones" in the equation.

# As Melissa Mertz discovered, it's important to discuss why rituals and cultures are so important to us. Tell your partner that Easter dinner makes you feel like an important part of your family, since it's something you've always shared, rather than simply insisting on attending.

# Focus on building your own rituals and experiences together. These are the ones you'll treasure in the years to come. Bringing other family members into these events may even lead them to have more respect for your relationship.