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Culture Shock in Marriage

It’s not two people from two different countries; it’s two people from the same country, same town, and even same district. When two people decide to commit to each other to live their lives together, they implicitly agree to accept all the surprises that they will discover: acceptable surprises and unacceptable ones.

She will discover that he doesn’t mind his buddies visit without advance notice as he was raised in an open door policy house where any family or friend can stop by whenever they please. Her family strictly required appointments before visits. He will discover that she likes to eat in bed while he was brought up with the rules that eating in bed is an unclean habit. Many examples of everyday doings can be a cause of confrontations and clashes. The majority of those clashes can be avoided by following the two rules mentioned below.

Why is this considered to be culture shock? Because each one of us has our own culture due to the environment we were raised in, the way we were taught, the different family backgrounds of our parents and how it affected our environment, and many other factors that shaped who each one of us are today.

There are two rules here to make sure that engaged couples know what they are up for:

1Don’t be shy to discuss your everyday habits with your fiancé. From the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep, tell him/her about how you like to do your routine rituals. Listen to their side next.

2Don’t hesitate to tell her/him you don’t like certain things and discuss those issues before marriage to find an agreeable solution for each one.

Other hints to help soften culture shocks in marriage:

1Describe an image from your life with your parents as a young child. Animate it with images, sounds, smells, and textures. Elaborate on the routines you used to love as well as the routines you despised.

2When visiting her/his family, if you noticed they conduct themselves different than what you’re used to with your family, don’t criticize, condemn, or complain. Accept them as who they are and don’t try to change them or you’ll be in for a battle.

3Give sincere gratitude and appreciation for the goodness you see in your fiancé and his family. Remember that he/she will appreciate you and your family as well.

4Don’t focus on the differences between your cultures and focus instead on your love for each other.

Comments (6)

Marriage itself is a culture shock, as every couple experiences, but I love and appreciate these practical tips to help prepare an engaged couple to prepare for what's up ahead, just around the bend! Thanks so much - I really enjoy practical tips like these. Wisdom regarding marriage is very much needed in our culture!
    Absolutely! Imagine how many couples when they are not prepared for this aspect of the relationship end up in clashes! Susan, I agree with you that every marriage is a culture shock and preparation is very much needed. Thank you for your comment!
These are so true when I got married I had no idea there was so many things we were raised up differently. But I like the differences it makes us unique!
    Liz, differences do make us unique as well as give us an opportunity to learn other views. If we were all the same, life will be so boring :)
It's so hard for newly engaged couples to see and hear the practical reality of what it takes to create a good marriage. This is all very good advice and it's presented so gently as to make it far easier for couples to really hear it. When my sister was married the minister was a lovely lady who took them both aside and counselled them about this topic. She also pointed out how wonderful it is that they now get to decide and create their own way of doing things in their brand new family. I think that was a wonderful seed to plant.
    Bonnie, you are absolutely right. Engaged couples market is very hard to penetrate because they are so much in love and so much overwhelmed in Wedding preparation that they sometimes don't want to listen. I believe so much in my message that I built several systems to help them listen and gain skills and tools to build a strong foundation for their marriage. Their children will thank them! Thank you Bonnie for your insightful comment :)

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