Intercultural Relationships: Typical Relationship Conflicts Plus A Whole Lot More!
While all relationships can sometimes be difficult to develop and maintain, perhaps it is relationships that begin with a pairing of two different cultures that require the most attention care – especially in the beginning. This is necessary to start things out right and keep them running smoothly. Have you ever thought about how many differences there are between people where you live and people (possibly even your ideal partner) that live in other parts of the world? In some cases the diversity may be minimal, but in other cases the disparities are huge.
These differences, not surprisingly, can result in extreme clashes within the couple. Some of the major complications often relate to such topics as ideas about women and their role in society. This is an issue that may be somewhat unimportant in the beginning, as long as the female is treated respectfully, and in the beginning this is likely to be the case regardless of cultures simply because the couple is in love. But if the relationship thrives and is lasting, the issue may have unexpected become a concern later on. The problem may be centered around the way one’s mother-in-law is treated, or what a daughter is taught about certain issues.
Other concerns include religion and how the couple will worship, sex – what rules apply, children and all issues surrounding the children. For instance, ideas about education, discipline, and even the foods eaten or the language that will be spoken in the home, can be a major issue.
Other topics of concern relate to beliefs about the use of medical care – or rather, the acceptance of medical care and things like what is acceptable in a particular culture when it comes to displaying signs of distress or pain. Cultural diversity is now a part of orientation training when one is hired into a major corporation or employment that works with various groups of people. College classes are taught on this subject – it’s no wonder that couples run into difficulties.
This article is not meant to educate anyone about various cultures, instead, it is meant to generate thoughts about the increasing number of cross cultural relationships and the differences that each of those couples must address in order to make those relationships work. Is it possible that your dream partner lives in another part of the world. If so, are you willing to do the work required to establish and maintain the relationship that you deserve? Have you thought about the unique compromises that may be required of you if your relationship survives?
Your relationship may likely begin online, but obviously there will come a time that you will either move forward with meeting and solidifying the partnership with your loved one, or you will make the decision that the relationship does not have the potential to last, that the risk is not worth taking. But if it is worth working for, you will need to decide together where will you live and which cultural traditions will be followed during the wedding, holidays, and funerals? When it comes to kids, what will happen if the relationship doesn’t work out? Would you end up with an ocean of thousands of miles between you and your children?
Intercultural relationships can and do work – and in fact, many of them seem to be happier than others. Could this be because these couples understand from the start that they will need to be flexible and giving and expect complications which will require compromises? Perhaps it really is true that opposites attract.
About the Author
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Debbie C. Allen is a relationship expert and a writer and an Internet Marketer.