Updated: Aug 28, 2019
Sometimes, I do feel challenged by marrying someone who comes from a totally different background. It is not merely about having different communication difficulty, but it comes from the different perception behind. Way more complex than it might drain so much energy to explain something. It took a couple of years to build an enjoyable relationship and communication with my husband. Sounds pretty exhausting, isn’t it?
Despite all the overwhelming situations, I deeply feel grateful for having such a lively marriage. Disputes, arguments, and compromises are the utter seasoning in our marriage life. Sometimes I feel shatter and disintegrate with my husband, but I do know we keep on learning from our ineffective communication pattern. We put efforts and willingness to learn. I couldn't be happier than witnessing his faithfulness in this marriage.
According to Falicov (2014), cross-cultural couples undergo a form of cultural transition. The developmental phase of a cross-cultural marriage is utter to arrive at an adaptive and flexible view of the individual values, negotiate conflict areas, and develop a new cultural code that integrates parts of both cultural heritage. Here are the summed up DOS and DON’TS strategies in building up an effective and constant communication with our cross-cultural partner:
1. DO: Be honest and open to your partner👄
“To love is to be vulnerable” – C.S. Lewis. The famous poet has mentioned a memorable quote about love. Briefly defines what true love is. Once we marry someone, be genuine and stay true to ourselves is the key for a long-last marriage life. Nonetheless, both parties need to have adequate goodwill and equivalent communication.
2. DO: Build a constant communication with your partner’s family 📞
Once we marry someone, we better to be initiative in starting a casual talk with your in-law family. Maintain communication with parents, siblings, and other closest relatives that your partner’s family might considerate as family members are surely an important action.
3. DO: Be tolerant and respectful to the differences ➰
Although you surely have differed differences, try to focus on one each other similarities. The likelihood from personality, hobby (-ies), preferences, principals, and marriage vision and mission.
4. DON’T: Discuss sensitive topics with your partner 🙊
For some reasons, I try to pass up some of the discussion topics with my husband. We don’t necessarily talk about politics and law topics in our daily discussions. Why? It is merely just lead us onto different opinions and preferences of a country. We are more likely tended to be more considerate to some developed countries, which may point out the advantage of citizenship as well.
5. DON’T: Retain on a personal belief or perception ✋
Listen more through constant communication with your partner. Personal judgment, prejudice, and stereotype may lead us into relationship pitfall. We all have different perceptions, especially people who have a different culture and family background. Just being opened to accept and compromise the difference.
6. DON’T: Block or limit your partner’s regular communication with family 👪
My husband and I usually make a phone call with our parents every week. Somehow, I used to have a chat with my parents and siblings through WhatsApp or LINE every day. Both of us realize living far away from our loved ones is extremely hard without maintaining our proximity with family. Physical familiarity might be blurry, but emotional bonding should not be dismissed.
In the end, having a flexible thought🔁 is the prominent key to sustain a long-last cross-cultural marriage. As a cross-cultural couple, we need to put extra efforts into understanding our partner. Love, commitment, and perseverance should be integrated to build a strong and warmed marriage life.
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