Sobering Advice for anyone contemplating a cross-cultural marriage | Joe Larabell
All relationships are to some extent cross-cultural, in that both parties come together With rapid globalisation and the merging of cultures across the world, . What can American parents learn from how other cultures think about parenting? mothers who they went to for parenting advice, they named friends, In Scandinavia, there is an emphasis on a democratic relationship. How do you build relationships with people from other cultures? community with which we share common experiences that shape the way we understand the world. Here are some tips on how to becoming more aware of your own culture .
That which is most American about us — our belief that the future is unwrit — is what is driving us mad as parents. Indeed, most children enter state-sponsored daycare at 1 year old parents first get almost a full year of state-sponsored leave from workthen enter school and organized activities. Norwegians believe that it is better for children to be in daycare as toddlers.
So even in Oslo, where arguably the indoor air quality is fresher, and even in Scandinavian winters, children are bundled up and taken outside to nap in their strollers. In Japan, where Gross-Loh lives part of the year, she lets her 4-year-old daughter run errands with her 7-year-old sister and year-old brother — without parental supervision. The frames, however, are different.
In Scandinavia, there is an emphasis on a democratic relationship between parents and children. In parts of Asia, meanwhile, co-sleeping with a family member through late childhood is common. Korean parents spend more time holding their babies and having physical contact than most. But within a family, obedience is key — not democracy. Often, the problems run deeper than they first appear and couples can benefit from getting them out in the open to tackle head on.
How cultures around the world think about parenting
With so many obstacles to overcome in cross cultural relationships, having clear communication lines in everyday life is essential. Religious differences If you fall in love with someone who doesn't share your religious beliefs, how do you get around the fact that you might have different fundamental ideas about life? Are your beliefs compatible? Would you sacrifice some of your rituals, or soften some of your beliefs, to make your partner happy? Some of the main religious issues in cross cultural relationships include: Incompatible beliefs - Two people might love each other for other reasons, but if a couple can't agree on fundamental values, conflicts can arise.
Unsupportive families - In some cultures the preservation of religion is of the utmost importance. With rapid globalisation and the merging of cultures across the world, it's becoming increasingly difficult to hold onto some religious traditions. While some cultures still practise arranged marriages, not all young people are happy with this and many fall in love with people outside of their religion.
This can cause huge family rifts and people are often forced to choose between their families and their partners. Bringing up children - When two people with two different religions have a child, they have to come to some kind of agreement about how they bring up this child. Do they teach them about both religions and let the child decide when they're old enough? Or, do they choose one religion? Guilt - The ideologies we grow up with never really leave us.
Even if you reach a point in life where you lose or change your faith, those core principals you grew up with can leave their mark. Guilt is a big part of letting some or all of your beliefs and practices go, and this guilt can quickly lead to one partner resenting the other for leading them away from their birth culture. Religious differences have been known to rip good, loving relationships apart.
Learning how to deal with them is paramount. Dealing with religious differences in cross cultural relationships Religious differences don't have to signal the end of a relationship - having conflicting views about the world can be a healthy and enlightening experience.
Couples counselling is designed to help you step back from your relationship and see it as a separate entity, away from both you and your partner.
- Moving abroad with your family?
- Understanding a different culture
- Cross cultural relationships
Your counsellor will encourage you to investigate the role religion plays in your relationship. What parts does it impact?
Sobering Advice for anyone contemplating a cross-cultural marriage
The way you feel about each other? Next, your counsellor will help you identify the point at which religion started to have a negative effect on your relationship.
By looking back at how your relationship formed and the role religion played right at the beginning, you can work on reclaiming those initial feelings. Your religion need not smother your personal identity.
It is possible to accept and embrace your partner's beliefs while staying true to your own.
Variety is the spice of life, and as long as you respect one another's decisions, the odd disagreement shouldn't stand in the way of happiness. Language barriers Language is an important part of communication, but it is not actually necessary.
Thousands of unspoken messages pass between people whenever they meet. A glance here, a foot tap there, a flick of the hair, a tensing of the shoulders. Every movement tells a story and romance offers the richest vocabulary. While many cross cultural couples start out not understanding each other at all, normally at least one partner speaks the others' mother tongue - albeit basically. While a shared first language is not necessary for a happy romance, not having one can bring up challenges in the long run, including the following: Humour - A lot of humour is verbal; could you cope with your partner not understanding your jokes, or you not understanding theirs?
Misunderstandings - Language is the key to instructing, directing and expressing. If you can't do these things properly then you open yourself up to misinterpretation, which in turn can lead to conflict. Frustration - When you have feelings for someone, you probably want to get as close as possible to them.
Not speaking the same language as them means you will always have a barrier between you, something which can become very frustrating over time. Alienation - Meeting a partner's friends and family is a nerve-wracking experience for anybody. When you don't speak the same language, this experience can be 10 times as daunting.
When everyone around you is speaking in a different language, it can sometimes feel like they are talking about you. Make it a point to talk about some tough topics like money, raising children, where to live, etc.
Look, the stuff is going to come up sooner or later. Start an argument or two. No amount of love or respect is going to keep your ship from hitting the icebergs of life. You might as well know whether you will be able to work together toward a solution when the inevitable crisis comes up. Make sure that, between the two of you, there is at least one language in which you are both fluent.
This is very important. As a test, try taking some very subtle feeling or belief and explain it to your potential mate. Have him or her explain it back. If there is not a substantial understanding of what you explained, watch out. If either of you are unable to explain the subtle emotions that come up in a relationship without causing some misunderstanding, then you will be in for a very hard, if not impossible, road through life.
Wait a while until one or the other of you is able to achieve a good degree of fluency in the others language.
Relationship advice from around the world
After all, would you hook up permanently with someone whose face you had never seen? Not many of us would. Then how come we will so readily hook up with a partner whose soul we have never seen? Examine your own motives. Is this someone you would hook up with even if you were safe and happy in your own country? If you are the partner who is trying to live in another culture, remember this: Culture shock can do funny things to a normally rational mind.
What you have is a parent or a teacher, not a lover. If you see this happening to you, stop. Get yourself comfortable with your surroundings. Lay the family finances out on the table and plan out your budget for at least your first couple of years together.