Anyone Married to a Foreigner? How Are You Coping?

Updated on September 10, 2008
T.F. asks from Fort Worth, TX
46 answers

I recently (2 years 5 months ago) married a man from Africa that I've known since 2000. We met online...Yeah...I know. But, when we met, we fell for each other immediately and knew that we were soulmates. We had a continuous online relationship for 3 years. At the beginning of 2004 we decided that we would never meet and live the happy life that we both longed for together. And felt like we may be holding each other back from actually physically meeting someone whom we could make a life with. So we ended our "online romance", but remained extremely close. Eventually, we both started to date someone else, but neither relationship lasted 8 good months. So, around the end of 2004 we talked about it and I decided to make the trip to Africa to meet my "soulmate" and see if our relationship was really what we felt in our hearts. In early 2005 I went to Africa. What a beautiful country! And what beautiful people! His family, whom had known of our, we considered already 5 year relationship, welcomed me with open arms and spectacular hospitality. It was such a beautiful experience. One I will treasure for the rest of my life. Anyway, to make a long story short. ;0)
I stayed for two weeks and yes, it was like we'd known each other all our lives. Still finishing each others sentences and so forth. After returning home, we began filing for our marriage petition and in early 2006 my soulmate arrived.

Our marriage has been up and down every since. When its good, its really good. When its bad its really bad. We both have issues about the other that always tend to lead to an argument and not talking to each other for weeks! He says it's my attitude and I say its his sneakiness and lies. I admit to my attitude, but he claims he is not sneaky nor is he a liar. We have an almost 8 month old, beautiful son together. I really want our relationship to work, but I just feel like we will continue to be on this emotional rollercoaster, in which I do not intend on riding forever. What I believe our real problem is, is finance and communication. We recognize this and always promise to do better. We even decided at one point that we would never go to bed upset with one another about something. We did good for a while, but of course like everything else it faded away. I also think it as alot to do with our cultural backgrounds.

We both are God Fearing indivduals, who attend our weekly meetings and pray and study the bible together. I am continuing to pray for our relationship to work it's way out. I realize that we are still in our "honeymoon" stage.

Anyone experiencing this? What are you doing to work it out? Any suggestions?

Seeking to save what could really be a good thing.

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K.L.

answers from Dallas on

I think counseling would be the first step... if you cannot afford, call city and see if anyone works on a sliding scale. Good Luck!

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S.C.

answers from Dallas on

Marriage counseling is a wonderful wonderful thing. Its an opportunity to communicate and to learn skills to help you in the long term. Good luck, and nothing you have said seems to be about him being from a different background. Sounds like typical relationship troubles.

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

I do not personally have experience with this, but I have a good friend who married a good friend (she is from Africa/ England- grew up in Africa lived a few years in England- and he is from here.) If you would like I can forward this to my friend who may be able to offer some insight for you. They have been married for 4 years I think. They too connected through letters for many years and became engaged after meeting in person only one or 2 times (actually I think the 2nd time was when they met in Jamaica to marry). They are both sweet people.

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J.D.

answers from Dallas on

I'd like to hear from a couple who DOESN'T experience this.

However, letting it go too long without finding new tools could make it worse. If what you are doing now isn't working, then you need some other ideas and resources to find a different way. The best program I have seen in www.retrouvaille.org. It's a weekend - not therapy or group dynamics - whatever it is - any couple I have seen go has had amazing success. Even ones who were consulting me about a divorce - they were ready to divorce, went to this weekend and never came back!. Look it up on the web. You all just need some more things to try. It sounds like he is willing to work on it too so that is great. J.

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A.F.

answers from Dallas on

Hey T., I am from Africa residing in the US for over 30 years. I have quite a few friends that are married to african men. Your issues are more a cultural difference than anything else. Yes, finance could be an added issue as well. Where do you live? If you are local here, I will love to introduce you to others also help you understand the culture which will hlep you deal with and minimize your stress. Do you work outside the home? I can introduce both of you to an opportunity that you can both work on and have an extra income every month.

I will pray for you and your family.

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R.B.

answers from Dallas on

T., I am not married to a foreigner, but I suspect that your cultural backgrounds are contributing somewhat to your difficulties. However, if both of you really want to do what it takes to make your marriage successful, that can be done despite cultural differences. I recommend you check out the website www.daveandmargie.com for information about Dr. Dave McKeon and Dr. Margie McKeon, therapits trained in Dr. Harville Hendrix's relationship therapy model, Imago Therapy. You might also want to read "Getting the Love you Want" by Dr. Hendrix. In counseling with either of the McKeons or in a marital workshop, you will learn how to communicate effectively and keep each of you safe emotionally. It sounds like the two of you are fairly emotional people and perhaps escalate quickly around certain issues. You will learn how to identify the hot-button issues and how to navigate around them effectively. Good luck to you both and I hope you find a way to successfully stay together forever.

P.S. I wanted to add that these therapists are Christians, in case you would feel more comfortable with someone who is "God fearing" also.

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J.M.

answers from Dallas on

It doesn't sound like your problems have anything to do with nationality. We all go through those problems. Especially finances and communication! I'm sure there will be plenty of people with good advice. All I have are words of encouragement. Stick with the marriage. Don't give up. It's not supposed to be easy and you will have highs and lows. Remember also- every emotion, every fight is temporary. It can be better, but it takes work! And you may be the first to have to work at it, while patiently waiting for him to follow. Best Wishes!

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G.G.

answers from Dallas on

My aunt is married to a man from Turkey. Their relationship developed much like yours has ... they met online, developed a relationship via the computer and telephone, fell in love and finally decided to meet in person. She flew there and received a very warm welcome from his family and friends. They treated her very well and she was convinced that she had finally found her fairy tale. She came back home and began to prepare for a wedding, and then returned to Turkey for the ceremony. They immediately applied for his visa so he could come back here, but it took a while and they had to continue their relationship, even as husband and wife, over the computer and phone. About 1 1/2 years later, he was finally able to come over here.

They've been together for about 5 years now, and my aunt is not very happy. She knows her husband is a good man, but the little things, little cultural differences, introduce a lot of conflict. Of course, they have big differences, too, as she is a Baptist and he is Muslim, but they knew about that in advance and made the decision to be together anyway. It's the little things like the way he dresses, the food he prefers, etc., that bug her more and more as time goes by.

My two sisters and my dad have all met people online and married them, without spending much time with them before tying the knot. None of the three marriages worked out. I know they all felt that "known each other forever" feeling, and were convinced that the marriage was meant to be. But, in my opinion, that feeling just isn't enough to get any couple through to forever. When you meet online and then only spend a few weeks (or days, in my sister's case) together, you're spending time with one another's "best self," if you know what I mean. Everyone is excited, putting their best foot forward, being very careful not to offend. And everything is so new ... it's easy to be amused by that which is different. But you don't have time to learn the other sides of one another. Over time, "amusing" turns to "annoying," and no one tries as hard as they did in the beginning. We're all human, after all, and we all need to be who we really are.

My advice, based on my aunt's experience, is to find a counselor who can help you both learn about one another. Maybe someone from Africa who has been here for a while and knows a bit about African and US culture ... someone who can "bridge the gap" between you and your husband. If it was just a matter of making up your minds to do better, it would be easy, and you wouldn't need any help. But you guys probably don't even know what you don't know about each other ... how can you fix something you can't even identify?

It sounds like you're very sincere in wanting things to work out with your husband. I would say "I wish you the best of luck," but as a wife of 22 years, I know it takes work, not luck, to keep a relationship growing! So hang in there, keep praying, and remember that love is a verb ... an ACTION ... and be sure to ACT on the love (the feeling) you have for him deep inside. Above all, know that EVERY marriage has its tough times and there is no "fairy tale." But through faith and committment to one another, you will make it through this honeymoon stage and into a time of solid, abiding love.

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A.H.

answers from Dallas on

T.,

It sounds like you need outside assistance and guidance. Have you thought about marriage counseling? If you recognize some of the major issues and only agree to do better but do not actually make changes, you'll be stuck in a perpetual downward cycle. A counselor can help you further identify issues and give you both the tools to address and work through those issues.

I attend McKinney Fellowship Bible Church. Mike Stewart is the Pastor of Care and Counseling there and he's fabulous. He will challenge and encourage you both. Please give him a call. He can also recommend other counselors throughout the community depending upon your location.

Mike Stewart
###-###-####
[email protected]____.com

A. Henderson

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K.M.

answers from Dallas on

Check out Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. It has helped alot of couples and Dave is very Christian.

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C.W.

answers from Dallas on

Hi Tammy!
Marriage can be difficult for anyone, but I'm sure the cultural differences alone between you & your husband can
make it extremely challenging!
There is a support group at Richland Hills Church of Christ
for marriage reconcilliation. This is open to the community
and I'm pretty sure it's free of charge.
Pastoral Care Office # is ###-###-####. You may also get more info at the church website: www.RHChurch.org
There is also a Christian values-based show on Daystar Television on Wedneday nights called Marriage Today, led by
Jimmy Evans & his wife, Karen. Check your local tv listings
for specific time/channel.
God bless you & your marriage

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S.R.

answers from Amarillo on

Hi T.,
I guess in my marriage I am the foreigner. My husband and I met after writing to each other for 2 years (pre-internet days!). We became engaged after 10 days, married 3 months later, and had our first child just over nine months after that. He is American, I'm English, so not terribly foreign, but enough to have alot of different views on almost everything. The first couple of years of marriage were hard! We had somee awful fights, and both of us felt like giving up more than once. But, we loved each other (and were stubborn), so we stuck at it.

We have now been married for almost 18 years. We have been through so much together, including the death of one of our children, and over the course of time have become a support system for each other. We still have disagreements, but we have the patience to hear each other out, then try and work it out.

If you truly love each other, it's worth trying to figure it out. Try counselling, talk to a minister, or maybe try opening up to friends and family (if you think they wouldn't take sides). I am so happy that my husband and I stuck it out, he is the love of my life.

Good luck!

S.

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R.H.

answers from Dallas on

Sorry to say this is not coming from someone experiencing being married to a foreigner. However, as a woman, sometimes being married to a man can make it feel as though I'm married to someone foreign to my concept of an ideal husband! ;D
Anyways, I'm also sorry that I didn't review previous responses and that I don't have much to say but one thing: Reading your sign-off sentence, and keeping in mind you mentioned you are God-fearing and pray regularly, it's important to remember that it is dangerous to consider a sacred covenant such as marriage as merely "a good thing."
Seek counseling, stay prayerful, and - no matter what your feelings of the moment are - remain grateful for what and who you have in your life. OK, so that was more than one thing, but I'm hopeful this is at least slightly helpful!

Just my 2 cents - hopeful it helps...

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D.Y.

answers from Dallas on

No I am not married to a Foreigner, but it sounds like perhaps since you are both grounded spiritually, you need to consider marital counseling with a Christian counselor. No marriage is easy and requires work, no matter what country you come from. Often the honeymoon is over because we all have different expectations for what we think is most important in relationships. We also become dissatisfied by what our mate is not doing because they are not meeting our expectations or needs. It also has some frustrations that may be influenced by your different backgrounds and family interactions. There are books that address these issues. One that I think really nails it is Marriage on the Rock by Jimmy Evans. He is a very good speaker who goes around the country doing Marriage retreats. The 1st part of his book discusses that we fail to ask the Holy spirit to meet our needs. Asking for Gods guidance and direction in nurturing our Marriage and relationship, helps change the focus from what we are not getting from each other to How he wants and desires to be a part of making this a strong solid relationship with him at the top. Please consider asking elders in your church who have successful relationships to help mentor your desires to stay together and make this relationship better. There is no problem God can not help with if you both truly desire to work on it together. Best of what God plans for you

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N.

answers from Dallas on

I agree with Jeanna C and Julie S. I think this has a lot more to do with being "newly" married rather than a cultural divide. My husband and I dated for 3 years before we were married and saw each other almost every single day, but during the first 2 years of our marriage, we almost separated. We went to a marriage counselor to help us deal with our fighting and unhappiness and we've now been married over 15 years.

It's a strange thing, what marriage does to what seems to be a "perfect" relationship. All of a sudden, we're not so careful with our words when we go to criticize our partner anymore. We're much more sensitive to how each other spends OUR money. We're bothered a lot more by the little things that didn't used to really matter before we were married.

Counseling helped us communicate better and respect each other more for the sake of our union. Once we were able to see that a lot of the things we were arguing about after we got married were there all along, we began to deal with our own issues, personally, that were clouding how we were reacting to those same things now that we were married. And when new issues would come up, we were better equipped to handle them since we had learned new techniques for both how to perceive a "new" problem (is this really worth the time and effort to argue about) and also how to discuss it if we felt it was worthwhile to be addressed.

I highly recommend marriage counseling if you can get it. Having that neutral third party there as a bridge to come together on issues that we just couldn't seem to get past made a huge difference in our marriage, and I know it's one reason my husband and I are still going strong today.

Good luck!

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C.A.

answers from Dallas on

I agree with a lot of the other posters too. My husband is from another country and we have been married for 6 years. There were certain things that we fought about over and over again and within the last year, we had a really serious discussion about those specific things and our feelings about them. Without going into huge detail, he was afraid to commit 100% of everything to me because he thought I might leave him someday. I got that straightened out, that I will die before "leaving" so it's a non-issue. And he in turn, made the commitment to me that was lacking so I feel 100% married to him now. We still have our moments, but things are much better now.

I think at a time when you and your husband are not mad or emotional, you should talk about things that you feel would improve your marriage. Stay away from emotions and stick to facts, be non confrontational about it so you both can see clearly and decide together what each of you can do to make things better. It took us a REALLY long time to do this and honestly, it was on accident. But it truly was one of the best things that has happened in our marriage.

I wish you all the best.

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S.A.

answers from Dallas on

Hi!

I am married to a foreigner myself. What you describe sounds identical to our relationship and marriage in the beginning. We also met over the internet, met in person 3 times before we married, and then got married. I am the one who moved to the foreign country (Norway), and I can tell you that I thought it would be a piece of cake since Norway is far from being a Third World Country. It was HARD! Many, MANY times we wanted to give up, and it wasn't until we'd been married about 5 years (will be 9 years in a few weeks) that things really fell into place.

I agree with those who say cultural differences are likely the biggest culprit. It was for us, even though Norway and the U.S. are - or should be - very similar in terms of wealth, education, lifestyle, etc. I can only imagine it would very different between Africa and the U.S. We tried counseling, but my husband was not happy with it as (in his words) "they always tell the man he has to change". He really felt like he was being picked on, and when I look back at it, I understand how he felt that way, even though I didn't/don't agree with that in our case.

I ended up making most of the changes when I realised he couldn't/wouldn't be the person I expected and wanted him to be. For him, I think it was more of a "couldn't" situation - he is who he is. Once I lowered my expectations of him, things improved dramatically. I think I expected more than what he could give. Because I was living in the foreign country, far from my own family, I expected him to give me support not only as a husband, but in every other way as well. He couldn't. That isn't who he is.

I found friends to give me the support I couldn't get from my sisters, cultivated a relationship with his parents (even though they live VERY far away from us and we don't see them so often), and spent a lot of time on the phone with my family. And like I said, things got better.

While times were at their blackest, everything was a problem: church, finances, our relationship as a couple, fighting as parents, etc. Things seem to have fallen in to place for us. I am convinced, the longer I live here, that the biggest problem was culture. He is a product of his upbringing, and I of mine. And Norway and the U.S. are VERY different, as I found out the hard way. Oh, and in the middle of all this, we also lost a child and were grieving very differently over that - just to complicate things even more.

It is definitely give and take, and at times, one person may have to give more than 100% to keep the marriage going. I hope you and your husband find a way to make it work out, and maybe my experiences will give you some insight.

Best wishes to you!

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N.H.

answers from Dallas on

You took a great leap of faith to go for what you wanted, that is incredible. Marriage is a lot of work as you know and like all couple it does take time to work out the wrinkles. Take this time to be honest with yourself and each other. Marriage counseling, even thru your church is always great. I think we all need a neutral party to talk to. Take a deep look to at him... Is he missing his life back home? Talking about it, even if it isn't with you, will help him a lot. Pray for a strong faithful marraige and to seek change in you.

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C.G.

answers from Jacksonville on

Counseling...Budgets...Constant communication.

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

I believe that the only way a couple can even begin to work things out is with a counselor. There's your story and view and his story and view. You both need a trained third person to step in. I know you mentioned finances, so seek through your church for one. Usually they have free counseling. Hope you find the answer!

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

Sounds like a marriage counselor would help. Marriage is hard enough - the cultural differences just add another layer of excitement/challenge/difficulty.

I've been married for 23 years and it has not always been a bed of roses, let me tell you!

A.

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A.A.

answers from Dallas on

I am married to a man from Norway. So yes I am married to a forreigner and we are very very happy together. We have been together for 6 years. Our daughter is 6 and our son is 4.
I am American but also of African heritage. My parents are originally from Cameroon W. Africa. so I know how it is. I have lived in Cameroon for 10 years.
If you want to talk, send me a private email with your contacts and I will talk with you and probably make you understand better than anyone has ever given you insight.
You see, the family dynamics of African soceity plays a big part in the way that the men think. So until you understand that, no amount of councelling will help. finance is probably a big problem I can imagine because for us Americans, our money is for our family while in Africa, it is for the extended family. Your husband probably has much more allegiance to his parents and siblings than an average american husband would have. the family also expects lots from him due to the fact that he is in America. please do send your contacts because it might save you a whole lot of heart ache. The cultures are very different and you need to understand certain things which they would not tell you.
A.

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E.B.

answers from Dallas on

The two pinpoint issues are the problem in EVERY marriage, you are taking two individuals and they are becoming one, it isn't easy. Youa re not alone, but please remember that divorce is not an option, or it shouldn't be...too often when that is an option you allow it into every thought and into every arguement. Contineu to pray and know you are being prayed for!!

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A.S.

answers from Lubbock on

Thank you to tv once agin.Movies and tv show romance to always be this beautiful thing.It isnt always that way.Love is always fun or beautiful.There with be times when you cant stand to be away from him and times when you cant stand to be near him.Love is a rollercoaster and marriage is about being strong enough to hang on until the ride is over.No couple gets along all the time and if they tell you that they dont fight it is a big fat lie.Everyone fights and it isnt how big the fight was or how long it takes you to make up it is whether or not you care about each other enough to make up.dont give up or you may regret it the rest of your life.Just try and weigh out the good and bad think about how you would feel if you got a phone call and something terrible had happened to him.Would you really be better of without him?What would it be like to come home and go to bed by yourself?Would you life be happier or does the thought of looking at that big empty bed bring tears to your eyes.Think it all the way through your upset know but when you cool off how will you feel if he isnt there?What about your baby are you ready to raise him alone?How important is it to you for him to have a daddy?What made you fall for him and are those feelings still there?Just ask yourself all the questions before you give up because there is a man on this earth that you wont fight with and just think he must really love you he left his family to be with you thats gotta mean something.Love is an emoition that is parallel to craziness.Good Luck I hope God guides you to the right decision.

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C.P.

answers from Dallas on

Hello T.,

Have you thought about going to counseling? with your pastor? and also christian financial counseling. Besides the regular marital strains, the cultural barriers might be at play here too. however, that's no excuse and you both should be able to overcome that. It won't be easy. However I think what helps is that you both pray together. see if you can get the book: Light his fire (there is also one called "light her fire") by Ellen Kreidman. I got the tape version. I love it! it helps not only w/ your husband, but in all relationships. Best of luck and keep trying! God bless!~C.~

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J.P.

answers from Wichita Falls on

I have been married to a non foreigner for 12 yrs and sometimes I still swear he must be from Mars :) Marriage just takes work. When it's good it's good, when it gets tough it's a test. It's worth working through if you love him and you get love in return. Different cultures could certainly compound the problem. I know my husband and I still agree to disagree over some small religious beliefs - I still stand firm that he's wrong :) It is always a good idea to never go to bed angry, even if you are still kiss each other good night and say I love you. Never leave during an argument. Always stick it out. Marriage is hard but you'll see that in time the good times seems to be around a lot more than the fighting times. God bless.
J.
J..yoursmh.com
IC

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L.T.

answers from Dallas on

This isn't much but here is my 2 cents. My husband and I fight/argue just like everyone else. We DO NOT fight about money. Fighting about it dosen't make you have any more so what's the point? There are other issues that can be solved besides $$$. Good luck.

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G.W.

answers from Tyler on

Red flag was the cultural differences. Africa versus US. If he had been an African living in the US for a number of years thus being aclimiated (what's the word...) that would have been a whole new ball game. Good luck, Sister.

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C.D.

answers from Dallas on

Finances and communication are a struggle for MOST married couples. Get some financial education together. Dave Ramsey offers excellent financial advice. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints offers a lot of guidance counseling for couples as well as managing finances. From one of the finance pamphlets entitled "All is Safely Gathered In":

PAY TITHES AND OFFERINGS
Successful family finances begin with the payment
of an honest tithe and the giving of a generous fast
offering. The Lord has promised to open the windows
of heaven and pour out great blessings upon those who
pay tithes and offerings faithfully (see Malachi 3:10).

AVOID DEBT
Spending less money than you make is essential to
your financial security. Avoid debt, with the exception
of buying a modest home or paying for education or
other vital needs. Save money to purchase what you
need. If you are in debt, pay it off as quickly as possible.

USE A BUDGET
Keep a record of your expenditures. Record and
review monthly income and expenses. Determine how
to reduce what you spend for nonessentials.
Use this information to establish a family budget.
Plan what you will give as Church donations, how much
you will save, and what you will spend for food, housing,
utilities, transportation, clothing, insurance, and so
on. Discipline yourself to live within your budget plan.

BUILD A RESERVE
Gradually build a financial reserve, and use it for
emergencies only. If you save a little money regularly,
you will be surprised how much accumulates over
time.

TEACH FAMILY MEMBERS
Teach family members the principles of financial
management. Involve them in creating a budget and
setting family financial goals. Teach the principles of
hard work, frugality, and saving. Stress the importance
of obtaining as much education as possible.

MESSAGE FROM THE FIRST PRESIDENCY
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Latter-day Saints have been counseled for many years to prepare for adversity by having a little money set aside. Doing so adds immeasurably to security and well-being. Every family has a responsibility to provide for its own needs to the extent possible.

We encourage you wherever you may live in the world to prepare
for adversity by looking to the condition of your finances. We urge you to be modest in your expenditures; discipline yourselves in your purchases to avoid debt. Pay off debt as quickly as you can, and free yourselves from this bondage. Save a little money regularly to gradually build a financial reserve.

If you have paid your debts and have a financial reserve, even
though it be small, you and your family will feel more secure and enjoy greater peace in your hearts.

May the Lord bless you in your family financial efforts.
The First Presidency

Please visit providentliving.org for more information.

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J.H.

answers from Amarillo on

You are on the right track if you are parying about it, but are you (listening). Communication is the most important think in family life, business, friendship, you name it, and this seems to be what you need to work on most.There are help books and tapes for this. Do you ever list on paper the thing that bothers you, or just generalize? Do you say it bothers me when you-----, and he needs to do the same for you. Make a list of what all is great about the other and that you apprecaite, and on the list that you have problems with, don't be ugly, just say the problem, no putting each other down. then look at them and see what could be changed. As for the culture differences, there are bound to be some, but if you study each others cultures, and discuss them, you can see if they are something that would clear up a promlem, "like, oh, now I see why you deal with this or that this way" It will take work, and understanding, and some digging into each others culture to see if ways of look at things are different. Mainly try and work on yourself, and not each other, as you each can't change the other, (and I'm not saying change yourself) just improving , and trying to change the negative things, and not looking at the others faults so much. A counceler could help also.

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F.H.

answers from Dallas on

Maybe try getting the both of you together to listen to "The Song of Solomon" tapes. It's "A Study of Love, Sex, Marriage and Romance." There's a tape on attraction, courtship, intimacy, conflict, romance, and commitment. Sometimes it helps if someone else does the talking. You may not want to push for a discussion, just internalize it and see what happens.

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J.C.

answers from Dallas on

I am married to a South African...But I agree with everyone else, it's not a cultural thing. It's a marriage and relationship thing. To be fair to your situation (because it's almost exactly like mine). I got pregnant just 2 months after we got married and he came on an F1 visa so we got married 1 month after he arrived. We had no real honeymoon period and because we were living apart for most of our courting, having a baby right away was a huge challenge. We struggled for several years and I had a another baby on top of that which added more to the financial stress. But after seeing a marriage counselor, things clicked. I think it helped to discuss and challenge our "money" beliefs and the roles we thought we should each be playing. Having a mediator helps immensely. It's been over a year since we went to counseling and our marriage and relationship have never been better and we rarely if ever fight about anything. Another tip I have is to work on yourself first and the other person will come around. Once he sees you are making an effort to change, he will follow (if not, then you may have irreconcilable differences). But don't give up. Marriage takes work!

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S.L.

answers from Dallas on

Don't give up on the marriage. My husband and I have been married for 20 years--in July. We STILL have arguments but we always work it out. We met in February 1987, got married in July 1987. I know it was a short courtship but we love each other enough to work at the relationship. I don't agree that you have to give 50/50, it's more like 100/100. Both of you have to give 100% to the relationship if you want it to last and it will if you love each other enough. I can't imagine myself without my husband. So look at what you have and what you would be giving up and get a counsler in you need to. But never, never argue in front of the kids. I will be praying for you.
S. L

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E.C.

answers from Dallas on

Well, it sounds like a normal relationship. The cultural differences do offer some challenge. Plus, after having each of our children I know the first year was a tough one on our marriage. Children even offer more stress on a marriage. Have you been to marriage counseling? While my husband and I are both American, we do get very frustrated with each other after 4 years of marriage. The difference in our marriage is that we are always talking. I would recommend that you talk to each other instead of shutting each other out - that will end your marriage. I used to do that early into our relationship before we got married. When I was angry with him, I would shut him out. Not talk to him for days. My husband and I went to premarital counseling. It was the best thing! I recognized how I argued and vowed to change. I would seek counseling immediately as a marriage needs to be nurtured every day. Relationships are tough; and no marriage perfect. However, you are very smart in recognizing what is going on.

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

If you are both God fearing and students of the bible, then it would not be a long stretch to go for christian counseling. for you to learn to be a wife and for him to learn to be a husband.
so do it and lean on someone more than each other to help you solve this problem. since you obviously need some outside intervention.
i don't think it has anything to do with him being foreign. as we all face these issues from time to time.
good luck,
L.

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J.S.

answers from Dallas on

I don't think his cultural difference is the real issue here..EVERY marriage goes through this challenge at some point and sometimes several times during the marriage.

My first thought was your whole relationship was based off the internet. You did not physically have to be accountable to each other since you never saw each other during that time. He could also be missing his family overseas, the new baby always brings on financial strain for a while, and of course how you both handle the challenges brought before you.

My marriage went through a period in which I honestly thought we would divorce and it would be biblically-based reasoning, but thankfully we had children to think of and I actually stayed by my husband's side and showed him what it meant to be a Christian and what he meant to me and our children. Oh trust me, it got pretty ugly there for a very long time and though it was 4 years ago I still struggle with trusting him. It iis a hard thing to work through when you have been lied to and snuck around on...and I had the proof (emails, long outings, pictures of our mutual friend saved under false files, etc.) Yes, a mutual friend betrayed me and I am still amazed that I actually forgave her for trying to steal away my husband. Mind you, he swears that nothing physical happened and I have to trust God that my husband did not go that far.

We have been married 15 years this coming April but have known each other since high school...we are each other's first loves.

Basically, work out your issues with prayer and maybe counseling by a good Christian counselor. If you both feel that this marriage is worth fighting for, then you will find a way. Again, being married to a "foreigner", in my opinion, has nothing to do with the problems you are having or from what you have posted here. You are basically having a true relationship for the first time with each other and are not just sitting down occassionally to chat online.

As the song goes, "Jesus take the wheel. I can't do this on my own."

Praying for you and your marriage,

J.

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S.W.

answers from Dallas on

All marriages have their ups and downs, no matter how long you've been married. If you want a life without that rollercoaster, then you should be single. But, it's far too late for that. I think you have to learn to communicate better - and I don't just mean talking to talk. You have to learn to talk to each other without placing any blame or accusations. Use phrases like "I feel..." or "It hurts me when..." You've already recognized that you are both to blame in these situations and that's good, but try not to put more blame on him. You're either both equally at fault or neither at fault. The blame-game will only make things worse each time. From your post, it doesn't sound like either is abusive to the other or that either is doing things that are detrimental to the entire family. Sometimes you might just have to agree to disagree. If you can afford it, try finding a marriage counselor who can help you communicate effectively. And, of course, your minister might also be a good resource - and he or she is free!

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D.S.

answers from Dallas on

I totally think that the cultural differences could be the issue- it would of been better to live together here in the US for a bit before delving into marriage. But- to make the best of it- I would suggest counseling. Whether through your church or a program called - Getting the Love you want- a weekend retreat- would be great- but keep in mind- God doesnt want you two to be unhappy. Ill be married 19 yrs this November and the first few years were just the best part- we've been thru alot and overall its been great- but you need to nip this in the bud now-
I met a woman who met a man from Egypt- he was the man of her dreams - she got him into the US and things all changed. We are the land of opportunity and I hate to say it but- I truly hope that wasn't part of the plan for him to get here.......Plus- your dgt who is evidentally from another marriage doesnt need to be exposed to something that will just create trauma for her. She is looking to you as an example in picking out the best person to be with. Just be happy and don't look back 10 years from now seeing 10 years of struggle, anger and constant "trying to make it work"-life is too short. I think set a goal and see if it can be achieved and if not- bail. Sorry but I jsut don't believe that a true relationship needs to be worked on so much- the "work" come after that 10 year mark- lol
Live Love Laugh

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B.P.

answers from Dallas on

T.,
Please check out www.RelationshipRich.org. This organization has saved over 80% of the marriages on the rocks coming through their doors. I personally know of 5 couples who went to the class and saved their marriage. They will help you break down the barriers to greater communication, no matter what culture you each come from. Please call them! This could be the answer to your prayers. I do not work for them but I am a volunteer for their sister company, Pathways Core Training, Inc. I highly encourage you to try it. It truly works! Best Wishes, B. Walker P.

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C.H.

answers from Dallas on

Well....You have taken a great risk with this online relationship.
Culture most surely plays a very important part in relationships.
Compromise is the key.
Get your attitude under control so He has nothing to complain about.
Use you instincts. Listen to your inner voice, it(you) knows whats best for you and your son.
I dont know the whole story but It sounds like now that he is here in America and has you as his wife, He doesnt want to try as hard. Marriage is give and take 50/50.
If he is not willing to put in his 50% then cut your losses.He better get off his butt and do what he can to make more money so his wife doesnt have to worry so much(you can tell him i said that!)
Be thankful for this experience for you have learned many valuable lessons.
Concentrate on being the best person you can be.
Teach your son how to respect and honor women.
Dont depend on prayer alone...take action.
Seek counsuling and continue to reach out to others and you will get the answers you seek.

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C.A.

answers from Dallas on

Have you considered faith based counseling? It is really helpful to have someone help you two work through the issues in a way that is aligned with your faith.

Good Luck.

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K.T.

answers from Dallas on

Probably not what you want to hear-but every marriage goes through this. It's just something that you have to work through. You said both of you are God fearing individuals...you made vows before God to Love and Honor eachother till death do you part. God HATES divorce! The only instance in the bible He gives the ok for is when there has been infidelity.

My story in particular was me and my hubby were the typical 'high school sweethearts'. He was captain of the football team and I was officer on the drill team. We dated for 2 1/2 years and as soon as I graduated-we married. Now I know looking back that we were really young and were very unrealistic on our views of marriage. The first few months were great and then it god BAD!!! I got to the point I couldn't stand him. I had even thought about divorce. Then at 11 months into the marriage we found out we were expecting our first child. That really changed our thinking for the better. We were in this as a 'family' now. The pregnancy was decent relationship wise and I think brought us a little closer because I had serious complications. Then after having my daughter I had NO sex drive what so ever. We could have probably gone 2 years with no sex and I'd have been ok with that. Obviously my hubby wasn't. You mention lies and sneeking around-I felt like that about my husband. Although I didn't want sex-I felt like he was cheating on me. I knew deep down he wasn't but I just was very insecure at the time. HORMONES :). You mentioned having your baby recently...that could be playing a roll in it more then you know.

Anyways, all this said- Just do what you can to keep work at it. It's not always peachy keen but I promise the good times will one day out weight the bad ones. Promise :)

L.A.

answers from Dallas on

I dated an Iranian for several years, although we broke up and I am now happily married. We broke up for many issues due to our cultures, he wanted to go back to Iran take our children there (we didn't have any yet, but we talked often of out future), and all of this other stuff that just terrified me, so we called it off and it was difficult, but I am sure we are both happier now.

I think that with your case, some good old fashioned couples counseling will help. I don't know much about his culture, but he may have different expectations of your relationship due to what he was raised with. Maybe reading about marriage in the bible and from a religious perspective can help.

P.B.

answers from Dallas on

keep up the prayers to God give it all to him

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L.J.

answers from Dallas on

Have you tried Christian counseling? It has worked wonders for my marriage. In fact, I don't think I'd still be married if not for our wonderful counselor.

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E.P.

answers from Dallas on

You guys need to attend Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. Get a baby-sitter for the once-a-week class and go together as a couple. It is important to learn it as A COUPLE. You will laugh and you will cry and your money language will change and you will change your family tree when it comes to money. His website can direct you to the next class being offered in your area: www.daveramsey.com

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