Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rules for a cross culture married

On my wedding reception night

(below photo) I don't know them but love them!
(They do have ture love each other)

Enjoy the following article with my thought, my view, and in my own language.

NOTE: Do not read my this blog so seriously! But all facts are base on True Story.

Rules For A Cross Cultural Marriage
Added: 04/29/2007

Any marriage is hard enough even with everything going your way. You might have money, influence, power, security, privacy, a sense of humor, like minds and good genes.....and still fail at a marriage "made in heaven". For those who find their Mister or Miss Right who is not from the same culture, there is a pretty good set of rules to learn before you make the big jump into taking vows that include the words, "for better or worse, until death do us part".

Rule Number One: Make fully certain that both you and your potential spouse have at least one language in common in which you are both completely fluent. It sure might seem charming when you meet your true love and the language barrier seems to be an endless source of curiosity, stimulating attempts at sign language conversations, and entertaining afternoons at the market. However, a language barrier is precisely that, a barrier. Speaking some common language completely fluently together is the only way to make sure that you and your spouse can truly survive a decent cross cultural marriage. No marriage is a match made in heaven, at least if it is expected to last, and a cross cultural marriage will still be very much cross cultural even with a common language spoken between the two of you.

Helen said: I understand the most important language for a couple is, both must have more or less same interest, hobbies, outing, goals, lists went on. I totally agree with rule number one.

Now let see on English language which is main language and most cross married couple will likely use. Very important that both speak one language completely fluent. My own experience, (I married into a totally White Men from Florida), Some of Robins's excuses are "I do not understand what you mean or your English is not so clear this time." Come on even native English Speaker can confuse you too. My one big question to Robins is, Why before married he understand all my English but why he can't understand my English after married??? OK what do you think a bout a couple who both mute? might be easier as the less you talk the more you happier.

How true if I do not speak English, how could I defence myself when there is a thing to discuss. I will be a defenceless wife. I am so glad that I do speak English my own way.

In life, people (native or non native English speaker) can speak different way but finally same one meaning .

Example: I have heard many times in Alabama folks say, "Oh bless her heart, she is not pleasure to look at." In my language I would put it "Oh she is ugly!"

Rule Number Two: Do not assume anything. Assumption is the mother of all screw ups, as the saying sort of goes, and the saying certainly applies when speaking of a cross cultural marriage. Do not ever assume that you know something about your spouse or potential spouse unless it has been openly discussed, with hand waving signs if necessary, to make sure you understand each other. Then do it again. Do not assume that because you have a spark and a love between you, that you understand how this other person feels about any particular topic or plans. Assumptions can take you straight into hot water, in the deep end of the cross cultural pool.

Helen said: Oh yes never assume. Never never and ever!!Assuming is very bad and end up discussing long hours. Yes or No is much better than assuming. Again my Dear Robins gave me 2 credit cards and plus one of my own. Of course your husband give you credit cards mean to use when you need it but...that was my assuming. I was very wrong. Robins said he gave the credit cards to me only for emergency use. The problem is I do have emergency quite often!

Assumptions is not only can take you to straight into hot water but also for some couple, might take them straight into beating up or divorce!

Rule Number Three: Do not underestimate the power of potential in-laws. In the United States, it is quite common for individuals to give little or no regard to the opinion that their immediate family holds regarding their choice of life mate. It is not so in nearly any other country or region in the world. In much of the world, marriages are still quite nearly arranged, if not literally then almost literally. Do not underestimate the power of your potential in-laws. The opinions they hold may be of the utmost importance to your spouse, and not taking full stock of your responsibilities in that direction will make your cross cultural marriage just that much more difficult.

Helen said: My married was not arranged! I love him and married him. The article said do not never underestimate the power of potential in -laws. Agree! Talking about in law, I have a friend in Singapore I love the way she said "Should not call this people in-law, should be call them out-law". I know there are good in laws and bad in laws (including daughter in law and son in law). Robins has very good relationship with his parent.

The son and the mother are blood relative and they are bounded the day he came out from what ever his mother's part of it but the wife and the husband or the wife and the mother in law, there is no one blood drop connected. Have you heard that the blood is ticker than water. The Burmese say "the blood can talk too"!!

I learn one not never ever complaint about your husband to his mother, your mother in laws. The result will be, right or wrong these old mother will stick with their sons for ever and ever till the end of their lives. Well fair enough. I love my son too. Honestly In laws things, I like white culture very much. They do not want to stay with us and I do not want to stay with them in the same house more than a month. Asian people can be end up with their in laws till the day they die you know.

Rule Number Four: Examine your own motives as well as the motives of the Significant Other when you start talking about getting married. Are you getting married because you think that your spouse to be will forever be the charming inquisitive person that they are now, looking up to you for advice always, asking for your help and opinion always, just as they were when you met and they were trying to figure out your native culture? Are you on the other end, grasping to hold on to the security and safety you need to assimilate into your new culture? Examine your motives in regards to wanting to get married. Take a serious step back and ask yourself, what would an outsider say about this? A smart outsider, mind you. Take heed if you can’t answer this question for yourself or for your future spouse. You do not want a parent or a child out of this person, but a partner.

Helen said: If I live long enough to see my son marry, I will tell my son to talk everything out before married. I want my future daughter in law happy and I am happy too. She must knows that I am originally from Asia ha ha (whats that for ??) . I have a friend from Chaing Mai, Thailand. She married into an American men. I met them in Guatemala. Nice couple! Oh she is so smart because she told Peter, her husband that "I am an older daughter, I have to recognize my Mae Noome duty. Mae Noome in Thai, it directly means (ma ma's breast but here means she want to pay back the year that her parent raised her.)... So Peter agree that to support his wife parents with some money". The agreement was done before married and It work out beautifully.

In my case, I forgot to tell to my sweet husband about my "Mae Noome" duty! I was so happy knowing that Iam getting a nice husband, I forgot to say everything except "Yes" to my marry vows. Too bad, I forgot to tell him my Ma Ma's breast fee.

One thing I was sure, Robins will make a good man and a good father. I jsut happy that I am not going to face this world alone.

Rule Number Five: Talk openly about the biggest topics like money, children, education, and professional goals before you make the jump into forever. Any long term business relationship would openly format the long term plan. A marriage should do so also. Especially a cross cultural marriage. Don’t become partners with someone who doesn’t see eye to eye with you on the large issues.

Helen said: Money: I no need to talk about money so much in my married life. So this is good. What I know is when Robins die I get his money and I die Robins will taking care of it. My husband does not spend money at all so I no need to talk to him but he talk about money to me every day. He said, "You spend this and that ..tra la la . Depression and recession is coming, will hit all of us." I told my husband that I can taking care of recession but I can't take or taking care of depression. So I live happy!

Children: We have only one child. We both taking care of our boy pretty well. I am totally agree with that investing in our son education as much as we can.

Education: I can read, I can write, I can talk to everyone so I am OK! In education, Robins is way way better than me. He is very good at what he is doing.

Professional goals: One thing I know Robins want to retire at 60. Hummmm..I am retired the day that I married to him. You can say my goal is accomplish.

Rule Number Six: If your partner doesn’t wish to talk about the biggest topics, consider that to be a giant red flag with flashing red lights hanging over a glaringly obvious hazard marker. Beware if serious subjects are taboo subjects to your partner. Nothing great happens on accident, and neither is a great marriage a complete accident. You will need to make plans for your future, and need to discuss those plans with your spouse to make sure that you do hold common ground in regards to life principals and plans. What is very honorable and meaningful in one culture, certainly may not be that in another culture.

Helen said: I like to talk about the article said "what is very honorable and meaningful in one culture, certainly may not be that in another culture."

One big thing is Asian people want to give money to mother or grandmother but other culture think, they are suckers!

My mother in law told me once back home Gainesville "You all no need to worry about my funeral, I already arranged. You all just come!"... and after one year she told me "I went to change the hymme number because I like this one better." Chinese will do that?? OR Burmese will do that?? I would love to arrange my grand ma ma funeral when she die.

Robins once said "talking to ex girlfriend is nothing in our culture". I said "Oh yeah it call bull $%^& if you talk to her all the time in my culture."

Another thing I do not understand is, I saw some kept their love one ashes in the house. Once in Florida at my friend house she said .."Helen here is my daughter." (I know her young daughter passed aways but my head did not click fast on that day). I told her "Oh that Vase??" I felt so bad on that day BUT I say sorry to her.

Shan people do not keep ashes at home because they believe the dead one can be angel or bad ghost, you see the point??

For my culture "farting" in front of other is real disrespect. The first 4 years of my married to Robins I used to fart behind the door but Robins not. Christmas visiting for the early year of my married to Robins family is the worst. There is fart sound every where. Even my Gainesville Maid, Challis, She is a very nice big size black lady but she can walks and farts the same time in front of me. I hate that you know.

Now see, for Shan people "Spitting" is normal but Robins hates it! He thought so rude spitting in front of him. I did not do that . I told him you white people farting is worst than spitting!

OK lets serious. Once an Asian mother in law (she is from very high socity family) told to her sun in law who is tossing his baby on the air and catch the baby, "Please do not do that it is dangerous!" (I knows the mother in law said this for nothing but to prevent the accident but the son in law ( a white man ) replied was real ugly saying..."I know what I am doing and I will raise my child in my way.".....For Asian view, this is a very rude to say such thing to the elderly but other culture is nothing just normal conversation. May be! They end up not talking for 3 months.

Rule Number Seven: Forget about any rules. Love happens. Live happens. If you’re really in love and want to make it work, and your spouse wants to make it work, then nothing can truly stand in the way of a successful cross cultural marriage. Whether you’re white or Asian, Hispanic or black, interracial and cross cultural marriages happen every day, and people survive them and live happily ever afer!!

Helen said: As marrying Robins for 16 years I know more or less what Robins likes even he is totally white and I am totally yellow. There is time that I am wrong and there is time that Robins worng. No one is perfect so do we. Our married life is not full of roses but once in a while we do have bumping road but we are survie and hope to live happily ever after. (Sound like Snow White story??.

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