It Isn’t Just Rainbows and Butterflies….


Now you guys know my husband and I love each other to death but … being in an intercultural marriage is not easy by far…. actually being in any marriage isn’t easy but we have the added pressure of living in a foreign country and having completely different ideas of what a marriage is supposed to be.

Every couple fights… I honestly believe if you have never had a disagreement with your spouse something is not right, no one is perfect.   So… this month has been a hard one for my husband and I ….. so hard even the divorce word was thrown around..(just thrown).. However, I reminded him of the promises we made to each other and one of them is “the only way you’re getting out of this is by death…. or something along those line.”

So, I am sure you are wondering what the problem is…. there are several that we have to overcome…. so I had better list them…..

1) The family…. I know everyone always thinks the best thing about Asian people is the closeness of family… and that is true they value family very much (much more than my family does.. but I will move on) … However, there is a point when your family is tooo involved in your relationship.  I really do not think it is necessary to refer to family approval if we want to take a trip on a holiday… or buy something… or if we have a disagreement… I think the family should have some limitations to the involvement in a relationship.  However, in China… the family is all up in your business…. and call daily giving unsolicited advice on how we should be spending our money.

2) Friends.... In China your so-called friends are the ones that you need to impress all the time… your car needs to be better, your phone needs to be newer, and your house needs to be bigger.   You need to do what they do .. or you are not a man.  If they stay out all night you need to… if they drink a lot .. you need to.. If they play with the KTV girls.. you need too… or .. you are not a man… and your owned by your wife…. (we all know that is a bunch of High School thinking..) in China… it is a way of life for a man… so if you don’t want to do it… you need to think of some kind of lie to cover it or just do it anyway.

3) Lies….I cannot believe the extent the people will go to lie about something.   It is just inbred in them to make up a story .. even if it is obvious that they did something.   I deal with this at work, out in the city … and at home.. I just don’t understand the need to lie all the time… but I refuse to stand for it…. it can be a simple thing like did you tell the student that there was no class today…. and they will lie and say yes….. amazing… and hard to un-teach.

4) Self-confidence I think the hardest thing to deal with is the lack of self-confidence.  I am over loaded with confidence sometimes too much …Therefore it is very difficult for be to be around negative, low confident people….. I will tell you this…. I am surrounded by people who have a negative outlook on things.   It is worse than the glass is half empty.. they always think the glass is … broken and shattered all over the floor.   It is horrible their lack of confidence.   My husband is not immune.

5) lack of communication.… I am one person that communicates out the arse…. and to be around people who hold everything inside.. makes you crazy…. it is like pulling teeth to get people to share things with you that is going on in their mind.   It is a wonder they haven’t all gotten ulcers or been put in a mental hospital.

So these are the five major issues my husband and I deal with everyday…. some days it is easy and some days… I want to toss him in to the Yao River that runs close to our home.

The positive thing is that we are trying… we are trying to work pass all these major differences in culture.   He is trying to learn to communicate more with me… and trying less to be affected by what this friends pressure him to do.   I am trying to accept that the family is always going to be in our business, and try to just listen to what they are saying .. but form our own decisions, of course.   I am working on sharing some of my confidence and giving support to my husband so he can gain more confidence in himself and motivate him to be all that he can be and … once he can get pass this I am sure he will not feel the need to lie to his friends, his family or to me.

Marriage is not easy…. and marriage in China is even more difficult…. add the factors of society willing you to fail.. to prove the fact that intercultural couples never work… and that we have been raised two different ways… with two different beliefs…. it can really be a challenge.

The good thing is I understand my husband’s pressures…. the only child of the oldest son he is now the official head of the family, being over worked and underpaid as most Chinese people in China, societal pressures of looking good in the face of others, being the man of the household in a marriage, and just getting thru the regular everyday life… can be horrifying and very stressful….added to the fact that I suggest we move back to the states… he is overwhelmed.

But I honestly believe that we can overcome anything… always the eternal optimist.   We love each other and we want to be together…. so you bet your behind we will.    What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger and hopefully… we won’t kill each other in the process…(its a joke… only a joke)

until next time…

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11 thoughts on “It Isn’t Just Rainbows and Butterflies….

  1. Pingback: Yeah, But I Am Not Chinese! « Life Behind The Wall

  2. Nikki

    Hello, You really have a lot on your plate. 1) I am very close with my family but this is the one area where they definitely know not to step foot. I will entertain constructive criticism and that is about it. 2)Friends….wow this is something that will never die no matter what culture it is. Men are compelled for some reason to do as their friends do or do it better. I think all women have to deal with this aspect of relationships. Even myself and I have been married for 12yrs. 3)Lies….not much to say there. I agree it is something that is easy to do and hard to un-teach 4)I think you are headed in the right direction of trying to lead by example to your hubby. It takes time but I am sure when done in a loving manner it will be hard for him not to pick up some. 🙂 5)Key to any relationship…communication!!

    I really do wish you all the best in life and love. Relationships are no cake walk (esp marriage). They are a job. They take work and nurturing. You are all trying and that really says a lot. Most couples these days just quit before they have even really begun. Take care.

  3. pearls

    Hi, there Mrs. Jo. If there weren’t any eternal optimist such as yourself…I would say that many couples wouldn’t have gotten together at all. So, the only thing I want to say is…continue to stay focused, take out time for yourself by daily calming your nerves, love/have fun/release what you can’t control and repeat this process! Be encouraged! *smile*

  4. retta3

    I look forward to reading you thoughts. I can see where this sharing of your thoughts could be very therapeutic! I enjoy seeing through your eyes. I wish you and your husband a life filled with Love and Laughter!
    It sounds like along with balancing or finding the balance with the 5 things listed underlying it all is the ‘face’ concept, and that it is extreme.
    Thank you for sharing. I look forward to reading your next post.

  5. Jacki S.

    My husband is is from Bangladeshi, and while his family still lives in Bangladesh, the communication thing still affects us. We were told of my father-in-law’s operation MONTHS after it happened. They said they didnt want to worry us. Ugh. And know one ever talks about their feelings. I always want to talk about how we feel and how we can work out a problem, but not my in laws. 🙂

  6. I hope you’re not too stressed. You guys seem to have a lot on your plate. There seems to be so much going on. I don’t know how I would handle some of the things you listed. I’m pretty good at tuning certain things out, but I’m a very private person who comes from a very small family so I don’t know how I would deal with my husband’s family/extended family getting involved in certain aspects of our lives. Communication is definitely the key. I have a girlfriend who’s mother in law has moved in with them and she’s having a hard time adjusting.

    Make sure you take care of yourself and your health. Stress can take a toll on the body. I speak from experience. ❤

  7. those are some major issues…wow some you would have to deal with in an american relationship…some you wouldn’t have to deal with at all…but you have your work cut out for u ….the repressive government has made the population what it is.

    1. Yeah… the government has made the people not want to be blamed for anything… or even be associated so they tend to lie… many chinese people tell me .. you cant trust anyone… everyone lies…. I couldnt believe it its a way of life…. as for .. the face thing… i have said it before.. but people just really dont get how important and extreme it is. Chinas underlining culture … is something you will never believe.

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