My heart is aching a bit because a friend just shared with me a story of another friend who is in an intercultural marriage but didn’t realize it before hand (think: third culture kids), and is now feeling stuck and confused, not knowing how to sort out the reality of being from two different worlds. It’s one thing to suspect (let’s face it, nobody ever really knows) what you’re getting into ahead of time, but it’s another thing to be completely blindsided and trying to sort out differences in cultural expectations as husbands, wives, parents, in-laws, professionals.
Anybody out there sorted through these types of conflicts? What’s worked for you? What hasn’t?
5 thoughts on “What if culture catches you by surprise?”
Hello! I have recently found your blog and I am very happy ! I found the post about the couple which feels as they are stuck or something…Well…
I am in a intercultural relationship, married to an Indian. We love each other a lot… but can’t avoid certain points to be argued on. At times I feel so lost and that noone understands me, that I am a stranger in the house (I live with my husban’d family). I know it can be my attitude, my personal not acceptance of the things. So I guess in such relation you have to work on yourself a lot in a sense of understanding of another person, of getting to know him/her better. Hope I added something to the discussion.
I guess I’m having a hard time understanding this situation. They didn’t know they were inter-cultural? That means have have some very basic communication issues no? This kind of stuff comes up pretty early doesn’t it? I like this.. I do things this way… I like this food.. etc. Even in two weeks with a person you can normally figure this out… so I’m struggling to understand the situation…
Shreeman, it was somewhat of an arranged marriage, so they didn’t know each other ahead of time even though they are theoretically from the same culture…
Hi, I feel for your friend of a friend – it must be pretty tough.
I think this couple needs to openly admit their differences (harder because they are probably ‘hidden’), and talk, talk, talk. Get to know each other, their backgrounds, what makes them tick, etc.
And there probably needs to be a lot of forgiveness on each side – especially for expectations that have been unfulfilled.
Isn’t the the story of so many strong marriages??!! Crash, burn, then get up and start over…thanks for sharing. I hope they will come to this point.