If I may offer some encouragement, in my experience, if both are willing to learn from each other’s cultures, a biracial marriage carries a great many advantages.

My wife is from the Philippines, and we’ve been married 26 years. My family was racist and never truly accepted her (they’ve all since passed away) so it was a good thing we lived 2000 miles away.

Anyway, we’ve got a very good marriage and I’d like to mention what we did that helped along the way. Some of these may help, but some may not apply.

  1. My wife told me a joke: “What do you call a person who speaks three languages? Trilingual. Two languages? Bilingual. Only one language? American. The point, of course, is that Americans tend not to learn other languages. When she told me that, I decided to do my best to learn her language…and along the way learned that yes, there are words in other languages that don’t translate easily (or at all) into English. Besides, it helps when we are around other whites but we want to discuss (or gossip) between just the two of us :)
  2. We took our sons back to the Philippines almost every year as they were growing up. My oldest son is from her previous marriage and is full-blood Filipino, and the youngest is biracial. They grew closer to the family there, which made it easier when we sent our youngest to school there (to keep him away from the drugs and guns in schools here). He readily admits that was the best thing we ever did for him.
  3. In raising our sons, we emphasized the Filipino culture, mainly because growing up here in America, they were already getting more “white culture” than was good for them. I don’t regret this for a moment, because they are both proud of what they are and can get along with equal ease whether here or in the Philippines.
  4. That applies to food, as well. I was never able to get used to fish sauce or shrimp paste, but I was happy to see my wife encouraging my sons to eat it, and so they have no problem eating almost any Filipino food.
  5. Considering 2–4 above, another benefit to our youngest (biracial) son of having extensive exposure to Filipino culture is that he is in some ways “more” Filipino than the full-blood Filipinos he grew up with here in America, in that he’s lived the life there, and can’t be called a “twinkie” (brown outside, white inside). It’s also enabled him to easily network with older Filipinos in order to find a good job.

I hope some of this helps. If your husband doesn’t know Vietnamese yet, here’s the mistakes I made learning Tagalog. They didn’t seem that funny at the time….

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Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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