I have seen this topic come up on a few gaijin lady's blogs lately, the lovely gem of... Mis-communication! It's so common in international marriages, maybe even more so in those where one spouse is Japanese because lots is unspoken.
We too have our fair share of complete communication fuck ups, all his fault of course. Not really, I sometimes just fuck up and blame communication break down, quite useful at times actually!
Our latest? Paying for our house. We will pay all our house tomorrow, because you know, the price is the same as a new car so with a little help from interest free family loans we can just do it all in one go. The bastard meeting set up to pay it is tomorrow morning, when one of us has to lug 3.5 million yen to the real estate agent. Ryota has an unmissable meeting and hardly any paid leave left, MIL has to work, and our last option, Dog-fucker, who I didn't really trust anyway, has to do her once a week job. Of course, the only one left is me. I also have to work, but my job apparently isn't as important as everyone else's so I have to fuck up my schedule and risk missing Ash's health check in the afternoon for which I'd already changed my schedule once for. It's true, I can ask students to shuffle lesson times, but fuck, I don't want to have to! Anyway, that was the first communication fuck up, I got the vibe through Ryota's language that he was implying my job wasn't important and I was the one who had to take time off. He may have not meant that, but when it's all in Japanese I just assume the worst and get all flighty. This is where the vicious cycle of miscommunication begins, one party gets pissed and then it's all down hill from there.
The next step in our little tiff, after I'd agreed I'd change my morning lessons to go to the meeting was the questions from me on the fucking etiquette I was expected to live up to, for all I fucking know a Buddhist priest may be there to spit three times on our house money or some shit that I will be taken by surprise with. But Ryota assured me I'd just need to hand over the cash, possibly stamp a few forms and then get a big arse receipt, bow lots at everyone in the room and then return a home owner. This makes me nervous, forms and stamps and bowing, it's all so Japanese and something the native speaker would be so much better at, but when I say that, I'm trying to worm my sneaky gaijin arse out of it. OK, partly true, but I think it makes sense for the native speaker to do it. If we were in Australia I would have to deal with that shite, but we're not, so I guess I'm going to have to just suck it up and do it.
So basically Ryota got his panties in a twist because I was claiming to not understand what to do and started up on the "How long have you lived in Japan!?" but when I tried to explain to him that it didn't matter how long I live here, there is some shit that is just better he do, he wasn't having it. And fair play to him, I have lived here 7 years now, and plus, it will be kind of nice to add 'purchasing a house' on my list of things I can do in Japanese!
We have daily episodes of mis-communication too, like today, I mailed him "Sorry, no time to cook, get Hokka Ben tonight OK!" and his reply was: "I'm older. Nori special no rice?" and I was thinking, 'I'm older? Is that some cryptic message that I'm immature... I need to grow up..??' But then I just realised it meant "I'll order." Ahhh yes, the joys of an international marriage, they never end. Lucky we produce cute kids who can grow up to be Japanese celebrities!