Marriages are a bliss, but they come with certain challenges. Once you say “I do”, a series of changes transpire. Embracing new responsibilities, gelling up with a new family, changing your name after marriage, balancing your work with family, etc., pose difficulties. And if you are a cross-cultural couple, many other challenges add to the list. Language barriers, financial lifestyle, attitude and expectations of in-laws, fostering religious and spiritual values in children, dealing with extended family members and so on make things more complicated.
But, as marriage is all about love and faith, many cross-cultural couples successfully manage to face the test of time. If you are in a tight spot right now, here is how to sustain your cross-cultural marriage.
Educate yourself on the cultural differences
The moment you decide to marry your partner from a different culture, start learning about each other’s culture. Take some time and understand the various traditions that your spouse follows. Learn about their background because you will pass on these traditions to your children, a few years down the line. So you should identify with such traditions.
Learn each other’s language or a mutual language
The language barrier is the most common issue that most cross-cultural couples face. Good chemistry can keep you afloat for a few years, but after that, you will find it difficult to convey anything to them, creating a leeway for misunderstanding, conflicts, and frustration. Hence, it is essential to learn each other’s language or a mutual language.
It would be better if you could give your relationship some time until you both can communicate your deepest feelings easily and then take a plunge by tying the knot.
Help them adjust
If your spouse is having difficulty adjusting to the new culture, try to make them comfortable. Take them to places they vibe with. Eat at restaurants that serve their traditional delicacies and go to clubs that they enjoy. If you know someone from their home country, religion, or culture, introduce them to your spouse to make them feel more at home.
Support them while they grasp your culture. Be there with your spouse and listen to their concerns. Learn about their culture and introduce some elements of their culture in your daily routine. Ideally, as a couple, your routine should be a mix of both cultures.
Stay in touch with family
You and your spouse should not feel disconnected from your respective families after marriage. Make it a point to keep in touch with both the families and encourage your spouse to do the same.
Talking to family over a phone or video call will give you much-needed comfort and support in a new cultural setting.
Ingrain both the cultures in your children
Give the best of both worlds to your children. Teach them both the languages you speak or the religion you follow. It will help them communicate and connect better with your family on both sides.
Take a marriage preparation course
A marriage preparation course prepares you for the beautiful journey of marriage. It walks you through the decisions you might have to make in your married life, the hopes and expectations from your kids, your aspirations, financial attitude, and more.
It will prepare you to embrace the ups and downs of this winding path together.
The bottom line
A multicultural marriage is a beautiful thing. There are challenges, but they can be easily dealt with if you truly love your spouse.
Furthermore, follow these easy tips to make your journey easy, fun, and remarkable.