I’ll say it again, the BEST thing you can do for your relationship is take part in an interfaith/intercultural couples discussion group. You may have religious differences to sort out. Or perhaps one or both of you are secular and grew up in the United States so you aren’t quite sure what your cultural differences are.
A couple who came to me sais one of their big conflicts was how they handled their parents. The Jewish husband explained that he needed to check on his frail, elderly parents and that he spoke to them just enough. His completely secular non-Jewish wife said that she call her own mother plenty but he was way over the line into excessive. So, just how frequent were these calls? The husband called his parents every morning and said, “why do you care? I call before you even wake up.” The wife said, “I call my mother 3 or 4 times a year and we’re as close as we can be.”
Clearly there were very different cultural, familial patterns in their two families of origin. Despite the fact that the husband was born in the USA and the wife was from Europe, the wife had a much more American perspective – parents should be kept to a minimum.
What came out in our conversation was that the wife felt she wasn’t being put first in the relationship. She interpreted the husband’s daily calls as putting his parents first. This confusion can be untangled and we did indeed untangle it. They are happily married today.
But who thought simple phone calls could be ‘culturally different’?
Email me right away if you are interested.