10 Tips to Bridging Cross-Cultural Differences in Your Relationship
Culture involves the beliefs, behaviors and values of a particular social group. Our cultural identity may include (but is not limited to) nationality, religion, gender, . All relationships are to some extent cross-cultural, in that both parties come together from different families to build a new unit together. Whilst. When people from two different cultures become a couple they face difficulties typical for cross cultural relationships. For most couples overcoming cultural.
Culture isn't just about the things we can see. It's not just about the national dish, the fashions people wear, the gods they worship, or even the places they live. Culture is for the most part invisible; we hardly even notice it until we're forced to step outside and see it from a new perspective. A large amount of what we do, say, think, believe and to some extent, feel - is shaped by the culture we come from.
From a young age, information we absorb from the world around us influences our: Cross cultural relationship issues Particular challenges faced by people in cross cultural relationships include: Lifestyle disagreements in cross cultural relationships Lifestyle disagreements are arguments involving daily life.
These disagreements can sometimes be sparked by resentment because one or both partners feel their culture is being rejected or attacked when the other refuses to follow their customs or traditions.
Some lifestyle disagreements include: Eating and drinking - Different cultures have different views on alcohol consumption and diets vary greatly around the world. Clothing - Sometimes people change what they wear to fit in with another culture.
Chore distribution - Different views on gender roles can spark conflict when it comes to distributing domestic chores. Money - Money can be a big stumbling block when it comes to relationship harmony. How people deal with money, how they value money and how they spend it can be quite dependant on the culture they come from. Counselling can help iron out these domestic problems by looking at the driving forces behind them.
Often, the problems run deeper than they first appear and couples can benefit from getting them out in the open to tackle head on.
With so many obstacles to overcome in cross cultural relationships, having clear communication lines in everyday life is essential.
- Dealing with Cultural Differences in a Relationship
- Simple Tips for Dealing With Cultural Differences in a Relationship
Religious differences If you fall in love with someone who doesn't share your religious beliefs, how do you get around the fact that you might have different fundamental ideas about life?
Are your beliefs compatible? Would you sacrifice some of your rituals, or soften some of your beliefs, to make your partner happy? Some of the main religious issues in cross cultural relationships include: Incompatible beliefs - Two people might love each other for other reasons, but if a couple can't agree on fundamental values, conflicts can arise.
Unsupportive families - In some cultures the preservation of religion is of the utmost importance. With rapid globalisation and the merging of cultures across the world, it's becoming increasingly difficult to hold onto some religious traditions. While some cultures still practise arranged marriages, not all young people are happy with this and many fall in love with people outside of their religion.
This can cause huge family rifts and people are often forced to choose between their families and their partners. Bringing up children - When two people with two different religions have a child, they have to come to some kind of agreement about how they bring up this child. Do they teach them about both religions and let the child decide when they're old enough?
Or, do they choose one religion? Guilt - The ideologies we grow up with never really leave us.
10 Tips to Bridging Cultural Differences in Your Relationship
Even if you reach a point in life where you lose or change your faith, those core principals you grew up with can leave their mark. Guilt is a big part of letting some or all of your beliefs and practices go, and this guilt can quickly lead to one partner resenting the other for leading them away from their birth culture.
Religious differences have been known to rip good, loving relationships apart. Learning how to deal with them is paramount. Dealing with religious differences in cross cultural relationships Religious differences don't have to signal the end of a relationship - having conflicting views about the world can be a healthy and enlightening experience.
How To Deal With Cultural Differences In Relationships | RESCU
Couples counselling is designed to help you step back from your relationship and see it as a separate entity, away from both you and your partner. Your counsellor will encourage you to investigate the role religion plays in your relationship.
What parts does it impact? The way you feel about each other? Next, your counsellor will help you identify the point at which religion started to have a negative effect on your relationship.
By looking back at how your relationship formed and the role religion played right at the beginning, you can work on reclaiming those initial feelings. Your religion need not smother your personal identity. It is possible to accept and embrace your partner's beliefs while staying true to your own.
Variety is the spice of life, and as long as you respect one another's decisions, the odd disagreement shouldn't stand in the way of happiness. Language barriers Language is an important part of communication, but it is not actually necessary. Thousands of unspoken messages pass between people whenever they meet. A glance here, a foot tap there, a flick of the hair, a tensing of the shoulders. Every movement tells a story and romance offers the richest vocabulary.
While many cross cultural couples start out not understanding each other at all, normally at least one partner speaks the others' mother tongue - albeit basically. While a shared first language is not necessary for a happy romance, not having one can bring up challenges in the long run, including the following: Humour - A lot of humour is verbal; could you cope with your partner not understanding your jokes, or you not understanding theirs?
Misunderstandings - Language is the key to instructing, directing and expressing. If you can't do these things properly then you open yourself up to misinterpretation, which in turn can lead to conflict. Frustration - When you have feelings for someone, you probably want to get as close as possible to them. Not speaking the same language as them means you will always have a barrier between you, something which can become very frustrating over time. Alienation - Meeting a partner's friends and family is a nerve-wracking experience for anybody.
When you don't speak the same language, this experience can be 10 times as daunting. When everyone around you is speaking in a different language, it can sometimes feel like they are talking about you.
Although they probably aren't, the paranoia and the frustration of not being able to engage in the way you want to can lead to feelings of alienation. Dealing with language issues in cross cultural relationships Counselling can help to improve communication pathways between couples, even when those couples don't share a first language. By clearing up misunderstandings and voicing secret feelings about alienation and frustration, couples can step out from the tangle of problems miscommunication presents and start with a clean slate.
Make the effort - Even if your partner is a foreigner in your country, by taking the time to learn their language you can show that you want to be a part of their world as much as they've become a part of yours. Strengthen other communication channels - Find ways to reinforce messages to avoid misunderstandings - especially things like times and places to meet. Consider social gatherings - Ask friends and family to speak in your partner's language if possible, or to speak slowly without using informal language they might not recognise.
The situation becomes very vulnerable. At such a time, it is best to be patient. Things will get better, breathe and let your partner relax too.
Cross cultural relationships
Every problem can be solved, every situation can be handled. Try to understand the other person. During a fight, try to find reason behind what the other person has to say! If nothing else, you will at least give it your best! While some boundaries might seem alien to you, they are a way of life for the other. Space has its advantages. While you are in love, together, you need to give each other the freedom to live life on individual terms.
To each his own, is a very strong phrase, so understand and implement it. Some cultures portray a male dominance in the household, while some don't. Instead of focusing on who is right or wrong, focus on what is right and why. Try to build a stronger comfort zone, where it's alright to be who you really are. Every culture gives you something that you should be proud of.
Every culture comes with its own sets of values and principles. These, if shared, can make you grow as people and as partners, together. You have to embrace the values and the faith your partner has in something. This will help you in understanding each other, and also in recognizing reasons why your thought processes are different from one another.
Learn more about each other, and learn for the better.
Communicate, as lack of communication in a relationship will not help you any further. Working on your problems is the most important aspect of dealing with cultural differences. Newton very cleverly said, People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges. Break down the walls that differentiate you'll according to your cultures and build bridges that help you to connect with each other. Talk it out, listen to what the other has to say, contemplate, introspect, and then come to a conclusion.
Before saying or doing anything, put yourself in your partner's shoes, always! As we have seen, dealing with these differences isn't easy, but with genuine effort, it's possible. Ask yourself why you are together. If that reason is more important than the differences, you know what to do.GLOBAL RELATIONSHIPS: Intercultural couples talk about dating