By Dugan Romero, an experienced marriage counselor
Highly recommeded for everywhere. Hope it will help a lot.
Once you go abroad and find yourself in the right place, finding a girl isn't that much of an issue anymore. At a certain stage, we'll be done complaining about American women and going through the courtship phase. Then making the relationship work is what matters - just like staying in a good school once you get into one.
That is why personality is so important. Looks will fade over time, but it's the heart that matters. Most of what makes up a person is his/her mind.
Intercultural Marriage: Promises and Pitfalls (3rd edition, 2008)
Preface to the New Edition
1. There is an ever-increasing frequency of intercultural marriages.
2. Dual-career couples are more common.
3. More couples are living together before marrying.
4. There is more religious or spiritual introspection.
5. There is more cross-cultural awareness.
6. Many of the couples are themselves the children of intercultural couples, and their marriage to someone from another country, culture, or ethnic group is the most natural thing in the world for them.
7. Same-country couples are beginning to recognize the many intercultural dimensions of their own marriages.
8. The emergence of cross-cultural marriage counselors.
Introduction: What Itâ€™s All About
Part I: Daring to be Different
The Whos and the Whys
Phases of Adjustment
1. Honeymoon Phase
2. Settling-in Phase
3. Life-pattern Phase (Resolution)
Part II: Food, Friends, and other Frustrations
2. Food and Drink
1. What is eaten (and drunk) and how it is prepared
2. When the main meal is served
3. Where the meal is eaten
4. How the meal is eaten
4. Male-Female Roles
6. Place of Residence
1. Earning and controlling money
2. Spending and saving money
3. Deciding on what to spend money on
11. Social Class
1. One partner converts to the religion of the other.
2. Both partners keep their own faith and try not to interfere in the practices or beliefs of the other.
3. Both partners drift away from their own religion (changing to a third religion or none at all).
13. Raising Children
1. Values and beliefs
2. Educational and disciplinary styles
3. Parent-child relationships
1. Following the customs of the land
2. Adopting the style of one partner
3. Both parents adhering to their own styles
14. Language and Communication
1. Verbal communication
2. Non-verbal communication
3. Styles of communication
15. Responding to Stress and Conflict
16. Illness and Suffering
1. How they experience pain
2. What they label as a symptom
3. How they communicate their pain or symptoms
4. What their beliefs are about the causes of illness
5. How they regard helpers (doctors and therapists)
6. What treatment they desire or expect
18. The Expatriate Spouse
19. Coping with Death or Divorce
Part III: Making Miracles Isn't Easy
Types of Intercultural Marriages
1. Submission / Immersion
What about the Promises
1. Being given the opportunity to increase self-knowledge by having to examine and define their own values, ideas, and prejudices, that is, self-growth.
2. Being exposed to new, different, and valid ways of approaching life and resolving problems.
3. Experiencing greater variation and vitality in their lifestyle.
4. Developing an international identity.
5. Having children who are bicultural and who have a wider worldview and an ability to be â€œat homeâ€� wherever they find themselves.
6. Feeling a sense of being pioneers in a new world order.
Factors for Success
1. Commitment to the relationship
2. Ability to communicate
3. Sensitivity to each otherâ€™s needs
4. A liking for the otherâ€™s culture
6. Solid, positive self-image
7. Love as the main marital motive
8. Common goals
9. Spirit of adventure
10. Sense of humor
Before Taking That Big Step
1. Experiment with a trial run: live together
2. Make a home visit
3. Socialize with the partnerâ€™s friends
4. Learn the language
5. Read and go the movies
6. Study the religion
7. Experience the cuisine
8. Search out resources
9. Try games and simulations
10. Consider premarital counseling
Practical Legal Considerations
Laws of the land
2. Childrenâ€™s citizenship
4. Womenâ€™s rights
5. Finances and taxation
6. Ownership of property
7. Other regulations