Saturday, May 11, 2013

Communication Between a Western Husband and a Chinese Wife


So you finally tied the knot with your Chinese love. You will be living the dream from here on out! You and your Chinese wife were able to overcome the challenges of online dating and being in a long-distance relationship. You have just had your warm-up, however; next comes the long stretch and you and your partner will be facing the trials and tribulations of marriage. As long as the two of you can communicate effectively, you will be better equipped to deal with the usual marital problems and the typical challenges of being in a cross-cultural relationship.

Herein lies the rub, however: effective communication can be hampered by the fact that you and your wife come from completely different cultures. It is very likely that you have already faced some communication problems early in the relationship and you may or may not have already developed a strategy to properly deal with such things when they occur.

Your relationship will change in a lot of ways once you get married, however. Whether the two of you will still be separated geographically for a while longer or you will already be living together, there will be a different set of expectations , such as with regards to making decisions as a couple, planning for the future, and matters involving her family. A lot of these things will be influenced not only by your personal differences, but your cultural differences as well. Despite all these differences, the two of you must be able to communicate effectively.

Both of you must already be aware by this point that what may be considered proper and acceptable in one person’s culture may be viewed as improper and even disrespectful in the other person’s culture. It is important to remember that these differences are just that, differences; there should not be any issues about which culture is better or worse, or which is right or wrong when it comes to certain matters. There should only be respect for these differences, as well as understanding.

Of course, it is your duty to learn all that you can about each other’s culture, especially how certain attitudes, beliefs, and customs are different from those of your own culture. This way, when, for example, your wife wants to arrange the furniture in the living room a certain way as dictated by her belief in feng shui, you will already know enough to understand why this is important to her and how, in the greater scheme of things, letting her follow her belief will mean more to her than what it will mean to you if you argued with her about it.

When there is willingness to understand where the other one is coming from, the obstacles to communication that may be brought about by cultural differences will be easier to get over and there will be little room for misunderstanding. The willingness to understand will make communication, whether spoken or unspoken, flow smoothly. As long as the respect and acceptance of each other’s differences are “communicated” clearly, then there will be no failure in communication.

Aside from having understanding and respect, there must also be willingness to try to learn the other person’s language; in fact, teaching each other how to communicate in the other person’s respective language will also serve to strengthen the bond between you.

Another great piece of advice about communication that all married couples should take to heart is the one about not speaking when angry. It is always better to wait until both of you are calm before attempting to settle the problem. You must also avoid reverting to your own language when arguing with your partner, especially using words or phrases that you know your partner will not be able to understand. This will only add more frustrations and, obviously, make communication more difficult.

Marriage, just like life, is a continuous learning experience; you learn more about your partner and yourself every single day, if you pay attention. Neither one of you must take for granted every opportunity to learn because the lessons you gain will be the same tools that will help you communicate effectively with each other and sort out whatever difficulties you may encounter as a married couple.

Discover tons of great information about Chinese online dating and cross-cultural relationships on the blogs, magazine and forum of ChinaLoveMatch.net (the home of trusted Chinese dating), where international men and Chinese women share their life experiences and bare their souls to give you the real goods on love, relationships, and all things virtual, cross-cultural, and Chinese.<+P>

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