She felt ashamed for not being white that day. She loved him more than she had ever loved anyone before. Jacobs, a coloured woman, and her white husband are not the only ones to have experienced opposition to their union, despite the fact that mixed-race marriages were decriminalised in The Immorality Act was the first major piece of apartheid legislation In the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act was passed in South Africa, becoming the first major piece of apartheid legislation.
This meant that, by law, white South Africans could not marry black South Africans or any of the other ethnic groups in the country. Police tracked down mixed couples suspected of having a relationship, homes were invaded and doors were smashed down in the process. Mixed couples who were caught in bed together were arrested, and their underwear was used as forensic evidence in court.
Most couples found guilty were sent to jail, with the black partner incurring a harsher sentence. It is very important to try to understand why your in-laws have an issue with your interracial relationship.
Rainbow nation is starting to embrace diversity Twenty years after the first democratic elections, South Africans have embraced their rainbow nation, and interracial relationships are becoming more commonplace. However, despite the love and acceptance between interracial couples, their families often find it difficult to cross the race barrier. The impact such adversity can have on a couple can be good or bad According to Cape Town clinical psychologist, Belinda Train, opposition to a relationship can build negative thoughts between the couple, which leads to relationship challenges.
As an individual, the situation can become very overwhelming. You need to consider whether you can tolerate this in the long term and not blame your partner for it. For Jacobs, the road to acceptance was a long one, but she worked hard at the relationship for the sake of her future husband. Dealing with the adversity together Those in interracial relationships can sometimes be distracted from how their partner makes them feel by how the in-laws make them feel.
Although you are marrying your partner, you are also merging two families. The ideal situation would see the two families getting along well together. Finding your common goals and building a relationship with the in-laws may take time. Once you recognise their fears or prejudices, you can work on building trust and understanding between you.
Self-confidence is your strongest weapon Self-confidence is your strongest weapon in facing adversity, especially when you are judged by the colour of your skin. Many families find it hard to accept interracial relationships, so try not to take it too personally. Jacobs says she feels like a completely different person now, compared to how she felt when she first met her in-laws.
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