Intercultural marriages are widespread nowadays. Some stories about them seem to be exciting, others are terrifying. What are you going to receive from such kind of marriages: happy life or endless pitfalls, paradise or hell? Are they hopeful or stressful?
There are different reasons for people to be involved in cross-cultural relationships: some are looking for romantic adventures and exotic feelings, others are expecting to find something better than they can have in their own culture. Whatever motives you have, in the long run you may receive unexpected results.
Marriage cannot be an everlasting honeymoon, moreover it’s hard work even if you are from the same culture, and often it doesn’t matter what ethnic background the person comes from. But still there are some peculiarities which usually come after intercultural marriages.
Language & Communication: problems and benefits
It is believed that love speaks without words. But so far as you don’t know well the native languages of each other, at least sometimes it’s going to be quite difficult to communicate, and all the more to dispose problems which might be encountered in different situations at home, in communication with parents and friends from both sides. But you have to remember that such stressful problems can be solved. Learning language of each other will definitely help in your progress in relationship. And a good point is that Russian women usually learn a foreign language quickly, and what is more, they are good teachers.
Meanwhile there is a great advantage in the intercultural marriages: it’s well-known that the best way to learn a language is to have a lover from that particular country. In this way you will learn one more foreign language which can be useful in your relations and life. Moreover, teaching each other can very fresh and exciting, especially if you’re going to use the language of love!
The first time after the marriage is the most exciting time for bicultural couples. Getting to know each other is fun and always unpredictable when you are from different cultures. Everything is new and breathtaking; you’re full of fresh impressions and great expectations… It’s an adventure which seems to continue forever, especially with a Russian wife!
Adaptation is an integral component for immigration process which is inseparable from bicultural marriages. Usually it comes after exciting and thrilling time and brings stressful feelings to both partners. Depression is one of the components of the adaptation process to a new land. If you are going to marry a Russian woman and take her to your country, you have to be prepared for such kind of removal effects. During the adaptation she might become aware of her social isolation and feel sadness and homesick for Russia, therefore it’s very important to help her to begin to feel at home in the new social environment.
Daily routine: face to face with different habits
It’s obvious that people from different cultures have different daily habits. It even happens within partners with same nationality. In intercultural marriage you can have totally different food habits, distinct views about who is responsible for housekeeping, about day activities and spending time together. For instance, some Russian food dishes are famous all over the world, but at the same time there are many foreigners who used to eat another food during all their life and new meal habits are inappropriate for them in a marriage. There are many things to consider before living together. Usually bicultural couples are so exciting about their unusual love that they may forget to speak about their views on the future everyday life. A lot of Russian women are expecting that in the marriage with a foreigner they will be free from domestic work, because in Russia it is believed that people from developed countries keep housemaids. That is why it’s better to speak about all issues like these before living together.
When two people with different cultural heritage are decided to get married, they are going to be confronted by difficulties caused by different values, morals and etiquette. According to Russian traditions hosts and hostesses must show unfailing generosity, that is why Russian wives prepare a lot of food when the family expects guests. Moreover, it’s in the order of things to invite round for a cup of tea or to dinner even strangers. So it’s better to talk about these things and lay down some rules. You have to be prepared for major differences and respect values of each other’s culture.
One of the advantages of intercultural marriages is that you are going to celebrate much more holidays that you had used to. There are different holidays in different cultures, and thus bicultural couples have more occasions for celebration.
It’s much easier if both spouses are of the same communion, otherwise religious conflicts are common characteristic of bicultural marriages. Most of Russian women are the Orthodox Christians, but still in Russia there are many representatives of other Christian persuasions like the Catholic Christians, the Protestants, Old Believers, and of other denominations. Some are atheists, but mostly Russian women follow Christian practices and beliefs. Both partners in cross-cultural marriages should study each other’s faith. Converting to a new religion isn’t necessary, but you have to understand and respect each other’s believes.
Raising bi-cultural children
Intercultural marriages give birth to bi-cultural children. Such families meet the challenges of raising kids with two cultures. Spouses have to settle questions about what language to teach children, how to communicate in the house and to decide many other issues.
In addition, you can take two very important benefits from the marriage with a Russian woman. Firstly, they are wonderful mothers with a heart of pure gold. And secondly, children from the marriage with a Russian woman are going to be very beautiful!
Intercultural marriages can be successful or unhappy, hopeful or stressful, or both at the same time. It’s not an interethnic question. Yes, there are some peculiarities, but in general only love, understanding and tolerance are the most important things which all married couples have to remember. Differences are a part of marriage, and as long as you love each other, maybe not everything, but the most gonna be all right.
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