Andrés and I met when we were both working at a holiday park in England. After being treated badly by the owners, we ran away to London in the middle of the night. Then we moved on to Ecuador to get married and start our lives together. As it turned out, being thrust into a completely different culture came as quite a shock. Cultural differences were everywhere, and they continued long after we moved back to my hometown. I quickly learned this: Marrying someone from a culturally different background comes with exciting, rewarding and enriching differences but there’s also potential for lots of misunderstandings, frustrations and many opportunities to learn.
Bottom line: It takes patience, good communication and often a good sense of humour to thrive in a cross-cultural relationship. You have to find ways to embrace and celebrate your differences and to fit in with your husband’s family, friends and beliefs. By learning about each other’s cultures instead of pulling away, you’ll live a greater, richer existence and your relationship will thrive as a result.
What do you need to keep in mind when you form a relationship with someone from a culturally different background? So many things. For starers, here are 10.
10 Things You Learn When Your Partner is from Another Culture
Eating and sleeping are not the same everywhere.
Different cultures often means keeping different hours. This applies to both the times you get up/go to bed, and the times you eat. If you’re normally an early riser who eats dinner around 6pm and goes to bed early, you could be in for a shock if you marry someone who sit down to dinner at 8 and chat or drink until the early hours of the morning. Give yourself time to adjust to the differences.
Next page: Learn to Overcome Differences