International Romance: A Guide to Cross-Cultural Marriage

August 5th, 2013 by The JetSetter Team | 2 Comments »

Slide1_1Travel and marriage are both activities designed to bring great joy to the participant –and both do, most of the time. Still, it is important to remember that both travel and marriage take work and dedication. Both are subject to a fair amount of stressors, and when both combine—well, you’ve sometimes got your work cut out for you!

Your overseas travel (for business or pleasure) may have some unexpected benefits. For many Americans living abroad, romance is inevitable. For those who choose to marry, there is a distinct learning curve associated with cross-cultural marriage. (Especially if it is one based on love and not gold digging, like this Craigslist socialite, as reposted on Jason Hartman’s blog). Below are a few tips to make the transition easier.

Manage Disappointment

Unmet expectations, be they cultural or otherwise, can be trying for any marriage. In multicultural marriages, these become more apparent because of small idiosyncrasies specific to culture, the involvement of parents from differing cultures, and the relocation of one or more partners.

To manage such disappointment, go into the marriage with an open mind and a knowledge that you’re coming from backgrounds with differing ideas about nearly everything—food, family, lifestyle. Place emphasis on identities that are not specific to culture.

Be Fair

If your spouse is passionate about something, it is important to him or her. Even if you do not share these strong feelings, make an effort to maximize your concern. Be especially considerate in issues dealing with family members, always honoring his or her immediate and extended family (but identifying boundaries).

Don’t Assume

Don’t assume that your spouse will understand a specific idea or custom—instead, begin by explaining the idea and your rational behind your thinking. Talk it out, and always be willing to compromise when and where appropriate. Maybe the compromise is a better idea anyway—stay open minded and be considerate in your criticism, concerns, and conversation.

Be Cross-Cultural

Because you or your spouse is living in a culture that is not his or her own, take care to integrate elements of both cultures into your daily lives. Don’t focus on your or mine, his or hers. Instead, bring together elements of both to create a culture and family life that is distinctly yours. This encourages perspective and builds strong and healthy relationships.

Do you have a story about life and love overseas? Share your experiences and advice below! (photo credit: Auzigog via photopin cc)

 

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The Jetsetter Show Team

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