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Marital Fulfillment: Tips for Intercultural Couples
Through my personal & professional coaching practice, marital issues often come up as factors affecting a client's personal & career goals. Intercultural relationships is an area of personal experience, as my own marriage is one such relationship. It is commonly known that these relationships have unique concerns due to differences in upbringing, culture and language.
For the vision of one person lends not its wingsto another person.
The area of Japan in which my husband (Japanese) and I (American) live is a stunning example of how one spouse's vision can be starkly different from the other. This area is an ancient, rural village. If an image would help you, visualize the couple in the portrait "American Gothic." Male and female roles tend toward the traditional and are sharply delineated. One gets the sense that many relationships here, including marriages, are bound by duty and obligation. If my partner were an American, there would be no chance that he would choose an area like this in which to settle. My Japanese husband, however, thought nothing of introducing me to his home in this remote area.
My saving grace? I had lived in Japan previously and had a reasonable idea of what to expect in terms of male/female roles, social norms and the educational system. I would highly recommend anyone considering an intercultural marriage to take a joint trip to your partner's home country, and observe your partner interacting with family and friends. One common reason for marital discontent is that the expatriate partner, when in his/her country of origin, can revert to cultural norms which may be unfamiliar and even offensive to outsiders. Gender roles and attitudes are a common area in which behavior can vary between countries.
Reading about the experiences of other international couples is helpful in lending perspective to concerns that may come up in your relationship. One book I have used is Intercultural Marriage: Promises & Pitfalls, by Dugan Romano, Intercultural Press, ©1997. Some topics covered:
Intercultural couples have a tendency to work harder on their marriage, since differences are expected and can be more pronounced. The couples that are most successful keep working on their concerns, learn to develop a sense of humor about small differences, and realize they are not going to see everything eye to eye. All this is to say that concerns
are to be expected, particularly in international relationships, and you're not alone.
One more book I'd like to mention is: The Premarital Counseling Handbook, by H. Norman Wright, Moody Press, 1992. This book is meant for counselors, but I found it an easy read. What I like about this book is that it talks a bit about reasons why people choose a partner from a different culture and what the implications may be. Some people look for an escape from their current life problems or even their country. Others look for novelty, a change. Some marry out of a sense of charity, as can be the case when partnering with an immigrant or a potential emigrant in a disadvantaged situation.
Appealing stereotypes, though often misleading, of a partner's country and people, as well as a perceived increase in status, can also serve as motives for a transcultural partnership.
A different language is a different vision of life.--Federico Fellini
If you are living in a foreign country long term, are not familiar with the language, and are having communication concerns with your partner, you might consider picking up the language at at least a basic conversational level. Then, see if your understanding of the culture, as well as your partner, increases. I speak Japanese fairly well, and also find the written aspect fascinating. An iconic language system (such as the kanji utilized in Japanese), provides an excellent way to derive insight into Japanese culture. One book I referenced describes the kanji for "onna," or woman, as the shape of a woman pregnant with child. Other well-known kanjis that reveal Japanese culture are: "otoko," man, comprised of the kanjis strength" and "rice field." "Sensei," teacher, is made up of the kanjis meaning "born ahead/older." "Oku" in "okusan," wife, means "in back/inside/hidden." My husband affectionately calls me "maesan," lead person/person in front, when he would like a favor from me.
And last but not least, when working issues out with your partner, do consider the power of the metaphysical world. Techniques such as kything, where you co-create positive outcomes, can be powerful in bringing solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems. Keep your options and your mind open on the road to marital satisfaction.
Do you have questions about intercultural relationships?
Feel free to contact me at mailAThersheywier.com (substitute @ for AT)
©2005, Hershey Wier
Hershey Wier, BS Education, MBA, is a Career & Self-Development Specialist specializing in holistic, creative approaches to career and life transitions. Visit http://www.HersheyWier.com
All You Ever Wanted to Know About Wedding Officiants
Tracking down a wedding officiant can be a little intimidating. Perhaps you remember a time when it was hard to get one if you weren't among the "regularly churched"! But times have changed, and hiring an officiant for your wedding is now standard procedure.
The Wedding Dress Revealed
Fashion Trends and Popular Styles and Colors
Attracting Marital Fulfillment, Its Not To Late To Start Right Now
As a personal and professional development coach, I have listened to scores of unhappy marital stories from clients. It is not my intention to pose as a marriage counselor nor therapist, as I am neither. However, via my previous experience as a crisis counselor, and as a partner in an intercultural marriage with its own unique characteristics, I have built up a store of helpful tips, some of which I share with you below.
Marriage Advice: Seven Marriage Myths You Can?t Afford to Ignore
If you're like most people, you probably entered into marriage with a number of unchallenged assumptions in place. These assumptions may have been about what marriage is and entails, about love, or about your spouse. While you may have already bumped into reality concerning some of your assumptions, you still may be operating with others firmly in place.
Minor But Important Duties For Your Wedding Party, Bridesmaids, and Groomsmen
Your wedding party is a major factor in the success of your wedding day. Too many couples assume that once they've selected their brides maids and grooms men that they are finished. Unfortunately, many people don't know what it means to be in a bridal party. Bridesmaids and groomsmen need to do more than just look pretty. Put these people to work! If your wedding party knows the who's, what's, when's, and why's, they will be able to handle many of the details that may derail the enjoyment of what should be your happiest day.
Hawaii Honeymoon Vacations - Romanticizing Your Honeymoon!
Hawaii honeymoon vacations could take you to a miracle trip to the most enchanting beaches of Hawaii. There are beaches, long and beautiful across the world but none of them could be a match for the ultimate Hawaii beaches. The Big Island of Hawaii especially has activities like scuba diving and snorkeling to enjoy. Some of the well known beaches in the Big Island are at Kohala coast, Kona District, Hilo District, Puna and Kau districts. Then there are other beaches which are equally exotic and bewitching like Maui beaches, Kauai beaches, Oahu beaches etc.
Wedding Invitatation RSVP Cards
When it comes to response/RSVP cards, the goal is to get a response. Whether selecting a card with a self-addressed, either by hand or computer printed labels, and pre-stamped envelope or an economic post card with your address on one side and the guest response on the other, do what works best for you.
How To Choose The Right Wedding Bouquet Style
Basically, there are three wedding bouquet styles. The cascade, round or posy, and hand-tied.
Get Swept Away on Your Wedding Day: Rent a Sailboat or Yacht!
For a day you'll never forget on that special occasion, take a once-in-a-lifetime voyage to the world's waters ? rent a sailboat or yacht for your wedding ? or for your closest loved ones. Imagine saying your vows while sailing across the ocean blue ? either on a bright morning or a lovely afternoon, just as the sun is setting ? it's sure to be an occasion both you and all your guests on board will never forget!
Create Unique Wedding Invitations That Only Look Expensive
Save a substantial amount of money on invitations, without sacrificing quality, by making them yourself using your computer. It's easy and fun to create distinctive invitations, at a price you can afford, by layering fine printable paper over a heavyweight card and fastening them together with a unique embellishment.
The Brides Greatest Ally
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Wedding Shower Favors
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Basic Tips for Planning a Wedding
Planning a wedding should be fun and exciting. However, if you don't do the proper research and stay within your budget things can go bad in a hurry. What you need is to keep things well organized and simple. Here are some tips to help make sure your weeding plans go smoothly.
Planning A Wedding? Tips On How To Attend A Bridal Show
If you're getting married, a Bridal Show is a great place to get started. Since 1996, I have attended or participated in over 150 Bridal Shows, and I thought I would pass on some tips to you, to make your trip a little easier. You can find local Bridal Shows being held anywhere from malls to hotels, convention centers and wedding facilities. You can expect to see anywhere from 10 to over 100 wedding vendors, and every single one of them is competing for your business. What to do? How to start? What to bring?
Fitness Tips For Looking Your Best On Your Wedding Day
Every bride wants to look perfect on her wedding day. Selecting a dress that will make you look and feel great is an important first step. But what happens when you look in the mirror and don't think you look quite as good as you could? When this happens it's not uncommon for brides to try quick-fix diets to help them get in shape. Unfortunately, many dieting brides make fitness mistakes that not only prevent them from reaching their goals but also cause unnecessary stress and sometimes even illness. Those are two things no bride needs! Here are five of the most common diet mistakes as well as some tips to help you avoid them.
Women Sufferings and Infidelity
Her dreams of marriage and collected marriage values disintegrate when she finds her husband/partner is sharing with others what was meant for her. The partner is her/his own property and dignity that she does not want to loose. Her man for her is everything, whatever kind he is, she manages and sacrifices to get along as long as he is honest and dependable. Infidelity by her man is attack on her marital status and is suicidal for her:
Wedding Favor Creator
Wedding favors have always been a nice, personal gesture to include in your wedding preparations. Unfortunately, there are too many "cookie-cutter" type favors out there, which portray the couple's lack of interest in providing something unique.
A Honeymoon Like No Other
When it comes to choosing a honeymoon destination it's usually sandy beaches and blue waters here, a historical sight there, or a luxurious pampering from morning till night somewhere else.
Wedding Photography - Tips for a Wonderful Session
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Symbolism of Wedding Rings
"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed." -C.G. Jung
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