Mixed Matches: How to Create Successful Interracial, Interethnic, and Interfaith Relationships

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9780449909614: Mixed Matches: How to Create Successful Interracial, Interethnic, and Interfaith Relationships
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Mixed matches are more complicated relationships than those between people from similar backgrounds. Often, the very qualities that attracted us to our partners ultimately lie at the roots of our most difficult problems. For even when partners don't feel a strong identification with their racial, religious, or cultural groups, they discover that their loyalty to the past goes deeper than they realized. Psychotherapist Joel Crohn has learned in years of counseling couples in cross-cultural relationships that how partners negotiate their cultural and religious differences is as important as what the difference are.

Over time, the reserve of a Protestant wife can seem like emotional withholding to her Jewish husband, whose openness seems intrusive to her. An Asian father may feel his children need more discipline, while his American wife thinks they have it harder than she did. A black Trinidadian man is excited about the opportunities in the United States, while his Detroit-born black girlfriend thinks he's naive about racism. The methods in Mixed Matches have helped these and many other couples approach each other compassionately, teaching them to "translate" their different styles of expression and negotiate successful resolutions. Dr. Crohn also offers practical advice on how couples can confront prejudice and stereotypes, deal with in-laws, and help children achieve a sense of identity in a bicultural family.

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From the Back Cover:

"An important and much needed book...Dr. Crohn eloquently reminds us of the importance of our cultural history in the experience and conduct of our everyday life."

-- Lillian B. Rubin, Ph.D.

Author of Families on the Fault Line and Intimate Strangers

From Publishers Weekly:

According to psychotherapist Crohn, 21% of Catholics and 32% of Jews now live in interfaith households, while marriages between blacks and whites more than tripled between 1970 and 1991. In his sensitive, smart treatment of this timely topic, Crohn draws on nearly 14 years of research into how mixed couples deal with each other, with their children, with their families and with society. Most of the book is devoted to interactions within a couple, starting with bad reasons for a mixed match (e.g., stereotypes of the compliant Asian woman; rebellion against parents) and moving on to cultural differences in modes of communication, in the importance of family, in the role of women. Drawing on numerous examples, Crohn argues that even when the couple is comfortable with their religious choices (an atheist couple of Protestant and Jewish upbringings, or a Catholic Irish-Mexican couple), divergent cultural histories cannot be ignored?particularly when that couple has children. And if upbringing doesn't raise questions about diverse backgrounds, children often force the issue, asking questions as they try to pinpoint their identities and their place within both family and society. Through exercises, Crohn helps couples examine their cultural baggage, and through examples, he offers models on how to deal with conflict. The one weakness is that while many of Crohn's examples include a reserved partner or one who considers the past a closed subject, the exercises rely on both partners participating equally. Author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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