10 Don’ts For Working Through Your Cultural Differences
1. Don’t take personally the differences that seem normal to your partner.
2. Don’t side with your family against your partner. Seek to help your partner understand the importance of rituals, customs, ways of approaching each other.
3. Don’t let your partner feel that if he or she does not shape up, you will leave the marriage. There are many ways to dealing with the issues before you get to that stage.
4. Don’t express explore your frustration when the two of you have just gotten off of a very difficult interchange with your parents or between yourselves and are basically still reactive.
5. Don’t assume that your differences mean that you should never have gotten married in the first place and certainly don’t say that in the heat of an argument.
6. Don’t confide in friends that only understand your culture. Instead find people who can help you appreciate the tradition and why things are so important even though they can understand your frustration
7. Don’t try to work things out by going back to your parents to live when the two of you get upset unless you really have to.
8. Don’t be hard on yourself when you feel these issues very intensely. Recognize and have compassion on how deeply ingrained these issues are in each of you.
9. Don’t talk just with persons who side with you against your partner but talk with couples who love each other and recognize about the challenge of making a marriage work when there are differences.
10. Don’t refuse to get help or counseling if the problems become intense and either of you are threatening divorce.
Click below for other articles by Dr. Walkup on Cross Cultural Marriage
Was I Crazy to Marry Someone from a Different Culture?
One of the Best Kept Secrets for a Happy Marriage
10 Do’s For Creating a Happy Cross-Cultural Marriage
10 Don’ts for Building a Strong Cross-Cultural Marriage
Cultural Expectations Matter
Getting Your Own Needs Met in a Cross Cultural Marriage
Take a Problem Solving Approach