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Dear visitor, if you know the answer to this question, please post it. Thank you!

Note that this thread has not been updated in a long time, and its content might not be up-to-date anymore.

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Life long journey 2009/10/17 23:46
Hello Joe,

Having read your thread, I looked at my Mom to ask her a question. She said to my Dad "he wrote about us". Her words took me aback, and I couldn't believe my Dad was like you. Dad took my laptop and started to read. gWrite to this fine young father and a husband and convey to him to spend more quality time with his wife.h I couldn't comprehend what that meant, so I had to ask but before I could my Mom said, gyou learned something in 36 years of marriage?h So, I asked my Dad to write.

Joe –

When I married my wife I was 24 and she was 23. My wife is from Japan and she didn't speak our language. I, too, am from Japan but didn't speak a lick of Japanese. While dating, my daughter was conceived, and we got married by a Superior Court Judge. Soon after marriage we moved into a cheap flop house. Our biggest concern was how will we manage financially with a limited income? Like you I took works that paid most for the efforts required. My wife hated the risks I took, and long hours. There were days I would be gone for weeks. Just in case she was always prepared to go back home, and it was our agreement for me to join her if and after. But, I was a very lucky.

As I look back at those years, I marbled how lucky I was. But luck wasn't that guided me, it was my wife. Her commitments to the marriage and her wills to endure. And my wife adds, gBe their for herh. Being their for her when she need you Joe is more important than any financial wealth. You can't bend to her every needs, but you must anticipate and help, and demand less of her time for yourself. It's a confusing time for her, first time mother and a role of wife consume her thinking.

Also, her inability to fully comprehend English is a minor issue; so is the culture, those are inconsequential, since she knowingly married you. Lack of is only a inconvenience, not a obstacle. And in time she will grasp them. Moreover, there is no such thing as a perfect marriage. All successful marriage have one common denominator. Both party overcame the fault of other partner by accepting their partner for who he/she is and work to strengthen their bond.

And that was your reason for openly asking for an advise from people – and having you ask alone tell me how much your wife means to you.

I hope you will be privileged as I was today. I wish you well and take good care of you family.

by stanfordgal rate this post as useful

Aloha Joe 2009/10/19 12:11
Aloha Joe,
I know your original post was a year and a half age, but maybe you or someone will see this. I did answer the original post long ago, but would like to add a little more.

On the position of politics, and whaling for that matter. What is more important, your family or politics. You can exercise your ego discussing politics in a bar with your buddies but most politicians are not worth the effort it takes to listen to them. Your opinion is not of concern to them, only money is, and you or I canft change that. Donft push your opinions on your wife. Take a little test, what is more important to you, what you drive, where you work, your wifefs happiness, what music you like or some blow hard public or political opinion.

On managing wildlife there are many opinions on that. Yours may not be right, or wrong. But no one has the right criticize the Japanese to your wife. There are Japanese people and Americans on both sides of the issue. My wife is against whaling, but if I find someone criticizing the Japanese to my wife for the Japanese position on whaling. The bell for round one has just rung.

You should put your familyfs happiness first. If someone upsets or disagrees with your wife, the best thing to do is what I do. I tell them when they talk to her they are talking to me. If they upset my wife they are down the road period. That goes for anyone. Surprising that is what my wife does also.

There was one item you hinted at, but not mentioned, home ownership. To Japanese women family, and home ownership are of prime importance. Having a nice home is a saving of face sort of thing. It is hard to explain, but the first thing my wife does when new friends come over is to show them our home. That is also the first thing her friends do. When we were first married we did not have a nice home. Even after a while when we owned a farm the house was not up to the standards of most of her friends. Later we bought a beach house. It is embarrassing what I paid for it, but I have paid twice that amount for a small car. I completely remodeled it to her taste, we let the kids live in the farm, and we moved into the beach house, and life became good.

You may be very young, and being such have much to learn. My wife, who is Japanese, and I have been married longer than your mother and father have been alive, so I can say gbeen there done thath.

I hope things have worked out for you both.

by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

culture 2009/10/25 08:09
If she makes such complaints as 'cultural inconsiderateness"'s not a good vibe right there, imo, but of course your relationship is not new is very well advanced and there is more to your letter than that.

Out of casual interest, Did you meet in Hawaii, by any chance?
by Patrick (guest) rate this post as useful

Not really an answer. 2009/10/26 16:10
Wow, you guys have very good information. I am a younger man that is married to a japanese woman. I have to say that things get pretty difficult at times. Here lately it seems as though everthing i have been doing is upsetting her or making her unhappy. I am currently in japan with her and my 18 month year old beautiful baby girl. I never thought that there would be other people that were having the same problems as myself. Like i said before i am a younger man (23), maybe i was just being naive. Anyways thank you all that have gave your input. I will use it wisely and try to make a better realationship and future with my family.
by Young naive man (guest) rate this post as useful

caution with cultural blame 2010/10/3 00:44
I think a trap that many of us (that is, partners in international relationships) fall into, is seeing our relationship problems in terms of cultural differences. While cultural differences do come up, and must be discussed, they are not relationship problems. Remember that your wife's experience as a new mother in a foreign country is not comprable to yours as a single person in a foreign country. You may find greater empathy by thinking of your own experiences abroad, but please be careful about comparing your actions as a single man, to hers as a new mother and wife. The situation and pressures are very different. Many stay at home mothers have difficulty creating a social life, and are forced into smaller social circles looking for other women who will be on their same page in issues of childrearing and lifestyle. Being in a foreign country only adds to pressures that are already present in this woman's situation.

I agree with all of the posts that support you in meeting her in the middle, and finding ways to incorporate her culture into your life as a couple. Her culture is a part of her, and who she is and she may benefit from your appreciation of that and willingness to incorporate her heritage into your life. The best advice I can give you, and other couples in this situation, is to make a conscious effort to view your wife as your wife, as an individual woman, not as a Japanese woman. Don't ask yourself what are her cultural differences, but what are her personal values. Look at her needs, and her individual personality and try stop that voice in your head that says, because she's Japanese, she will think a certain way or do a certain thing. Does she put family first or miss some of her independence? Is education one of her values? How does she express love, and understand your expressions of love?

For those of you who are in new relationships and reading this, try to gently discourage your partner from making generalizations based on your cultural upbringing, or about your culture in general.

My boyfriend was very good at pointing this out to me early in our relationship. He was very good at seeing me as an individual, and encouraging me to see him for who he is, outside of his culture. I think his perspective helps keep me sane, and makes our relationship stronger.

by guest (guest) rate this post as useful

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