Ana Morante, LMFT
For a couple in which one of them is a non-Latino person, one thing to keep in mind really is how crucial this concept of family is and also how much togetherness Latinos like to have.
For us, boundaries are different than for other non-Latino people. We like to hug each other, we like to kiss a lot, we like to spend a lot of time together. In fact my family is still gets together every Sunday for whatever reasons. So if you are non-Latino, that could be too much closeness, right? That could be too much for you. In fact my husband is not Latino and sometimes those family gatherings was very difficult for him. What is important for you to understand is that type of togetherness gives a strength to your Latino husband or wife. So it is an important thing to keep in mind.
The second thing is to recognize that your needs are also important. So, what we need to figure out is giving to this unity and this togetherness as it is such an important thing. How do you want to fit in that picture? The hardest thing is if you want to separate your husband or wife from their family. That is like kind of like taking something away from them. So, the important thing is how much do you want to connect with them? Are you going to be participating from every single activity or are you going to just allow your partner to go to some of them and you participate in some of them?
The other point that is very important is as we respect to elders is one of the major values in our culture. So as a non Latino person, the more you can show your respect for your partner’s parents and the more attention you can put to them, you are actually gaining points with your partner. So, very important that you think about that respect, the connection and you may be willing to stretch a little bit your limits more because actually Latinos love to embrace you and they love to be affectionate with you and the more you can stand that the better it is.
Food is another important element. So, when you go to a Latino house, be sure that you are going to be fed so if you want to gain points with your in laws, tell them that their food is wonderful and then you enjoyed it very much and they will start loving you instantaneously.
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