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Dear Wendy

Cultural Misgivings

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This topic contains 49 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by avatar Silvermoonlight 3 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #847548 Reply

    Thanks for the advice everyone. I spoke with my fiancé yesterday about the issue and brought up the citizenship comment too. It turns out they brought it up with him separately and he talked to them about it. I am indignant that it was even brought up in the first place and about the fact that it was brought up to us separately. I’m glad he spoke to them about it but thinking about it now, within the scope of all of these things, leaves me concerned. I’m glad he spoke to them about it when it was brought up to him but that he needed to do that doesn’t make me feel great.

    The conversation was productive though! We agreed on a bunch of things to add to our wedding website that we thought would answer any appropriate concerns our guests would have. We also agreed to just go with the method of educating as the questions are brought up and having my fiancé have a sit down with them closer to the wedding to address potential cultural misunderstandings so they don’t insult me or my family on the day of my wedding. I’m not sure if this is the best way so I am still reading everyone’s comments about perspectives and concerns. So far though, this is what we have.

    #847591 Reply

    I have quite a bit of experience with this. Here are some suggestions:

    1) Seek pre-marital counseling with your fiance. You two seem pretty well-aligned (which is great), but the counseling can help you work through and even anticipate some of these cultural issues you have encountered. It is not a statement on the strength of your bond, but rather a form of emotional investment into ensuring your bond stays strong throughout your marriage. Think of it as a much needed consistent dose of reality/sanity check as you plan a big international blending that will require the lifelong blending of two cultures.

    2) Host recurring meals with your fiance’s family in which you serve dishes from your homeland, dishes you grew up with? Can’t cook? Learn. It’ll be a fun activity for you two to do. Down the road, maybe you can even involve the in-laws in prepping the meal. What better way to learn more about your food?

    3) If possible, take these in-laws to places where they can be exposed to your culture (or similar culture). Is there a Little Italy/Chinatown/Little Havana type of neighborhood you can take them to? Or could you do a little getaway nearby in the States that has this kind of community? If nothing else, maybe you can watch a movie(s) from your culture with your language. Sure, that may entail subtitles (or dubbing), but you say they mean well…

    The point is, these in-laws are likely feeling overwhelmed, like they’re about to get a massive dose of foreign culture dumped on them. Rather than do that massive dump, ease them into it a little by little. By your words, they mean well and want to learn, so what better way to reward their good intentions than with fun cultural experiences you all can enjoy?

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