Friday 15 May 2009

International marriage musings...

After mother's day events, some recent in-law annoyance, (but we'll save that for another post!) and some fellow international marriager friends having some problems, I got thinking about just how much more difficult it is being married to someone from a different culture.
I thought I'd weigh up the pros and cons:


*A fusion of cultures

*Dual nationality for our kids

*Being bilingual

*Being able to help each other in the other language

*Having super cute kiddies (just look at mine! hehe)

*Funny language mistakes

*Always having relos to stay with in the other country

*A sense of individuality

*Learning how to cook food from partner's country.. OK I'm stretching now, I was trying to get 10, will leave the star just in case something hits me.



*Cultural misunderstanding

*Hating a part of the other culture but just having to live with it

*Kids being unbalanced in one language and therefore disadvantaged in the other

*Someone will always be homesick

*One set of grandparents will always miss out

*Having to cook/eat weird food (hello, uni!?) and engage in unfamiliar customs

*Not being able to argue or get an important point across properly in one language

*One person always more reliant on the other

*One person always feels a little 'out of place'

*One person always feeling like they are sacrificing things for their marriage/partner

Hmmm, didn't struggle as much with the cons... But I guess it depends on the individual couple too right. Sometimes I wonder if I did the right thing getting married in Japan, to a Japanese guy, it's definitely NOT how I imagined things would end up! Everyday things can get so much more stressful, you can feel stuck and stranded and alone.

Then again, this photo is possibly the best example of why I love being apart of an international marriage with a Japanese man...

The night before we "got married" (Quotation marks are because I was at work at the time!!! Ryota just went to the city office with my passport and inkan!) Ryota took me to a beautiful restaurant on top of a hill in Kobe, he said he was so sorry he couldn't afford to buy me an engagement ring and we had an incredibly romntic candlelit dinner.

We were moved to this private little room for dessert where they brought me this cake. The bad grammar made me laugh so hard, because I realised it didn't matter, the thought was there and that's all I needed.

We definitely have good days and bad days, but I think the good outweigh the bad.


  1. Hi Corinne, I found your link over at Sara's blog and thought I would drop by and say hi! It was nice meeting you in February when I was down visiting Sara!

    Adding to your pro's about international marriage...
    * you know that you are truly loved because they actually went out of their way to have a relationship with you (instead of just sticking to the norm)
    * you learn to really give and take...

    I won't even start on the cons because I am trying to be positive at the moment :P

  2. I think sometimes people focus too much on the differences and I know that sometimes I use the "cultural difference" thing when I am feeling frustrated, when in actual fact it is just a personality difference. I am sure that if I was married to a New Zealand man I would have just as many "problems" - they would just be different ones.
    Having said that... I agree with basically all your pros and cons! Don't worry about the kids language thing. It all works out for the best.

  3. Jo - you are right about them not actually being cultural differences but just personality differences!! I know that from past relationships with other Aussie guys I am actually WAY happier with my DH then I would have ever been...even with our differences, lol!

    (sorry for butting in on your comments Corinne)

  4. Nay~ But in away! Thanks for stopping in! It was great to meet you too, it was a pity we didn't get to talk more but next time gadget. I often read your blog too and must say that you are and Naoki are an inspiration, you seem so in love! Thanks for the extra pros, I agree, especially about the giving and taking part, I have learnt to hold my tongue much more than I used too as well!

  5. Jo~ Yeh me too, I do agree on the personality difference thing, I guess it is just an easy way out to blame it on culture! I am really worried about the language thing with Ashton because Ryota and I agreed that I would only speak English to him and Ryota would only speak Japanese, but already out of habit I find myself speaking Japanese to him and Ryota speaking English! It's harder than I thought to stick to our own languages. Plus if I go back to work I'm scared he won't understand me when I get home, I have nightmares about him giving me a quizzical look and saying "Mama, wakarahen yaaaannn!!!!" hehe.

  6. Awwww I never knew that little story about your "wedding night" how sweet!! Ryota has his cute and thoughtful moments for sure! :D

    Gosh - I don't have any pros or cons to add to your list at the moment as I am emotionally drained and the thinking about it would just open up a pandoras box. I AM glad I married Ryohei though... well 6 out of 7 days or so... Not so happy with the situation. I wouldn't worry too much about the language! That actually seems to be one of the aspects of the international marriage that seems to work out :D And don't worry Auntie Sara will always be there to chat with little Ash - he is one of BG's prospective suitors and all ;)

  7. Corrine, I am laughing so hysterically at the grammar but not laughing at "you", laughing with you because as funny and as a grammar faux pas- it is so utterly sweet, because those words are from his heart girl- do you know I keep post it notes he leaves for me- when two people live together conflicts will arise that is a must- a must to fight, a must to argue, without those (personality difference) you would never really know each other-

    I loved your story, brought a happy tear to my eyes..

  8. Sara~ Ryota does have his moments, they are quite rare! But that's what makes them special ;)
    Thank you Aunty Sara, yes we definitely need to hook up little Ash and BG, although all his friends so far are girls he's going to be overwhelmed I think!

    Girl Japan~ hehe it is sweet isn't it, I think if it was all correct it would have been too mushy for me!
    That's really true, arguing is cleansing in a way!