B and I have been married for over 5 years this past July and our marriage has been a journey. As in all marriages, there have been ups and downs, but because we are the people we are, we’ve constantly pushed each other to grow as individuals and that makes our relationship much stronger.
We question everything about our own behaviors because we are trying our very best to take responsibility for our thoughts, actions, and emotional responses. Neither of us wants to go through life just behaving according to our childhood conditioning. We’re both lucky to be with a spouse who looks at these issues the same way. We are both very individualistic and independent, and it’s nice to have these things in common. We give each other the space to carry our cultural differences while being interested in sharing them with the other.
When we do have arguments or issues, we’re realizing the core of these issues typically just boils down to being raised in different families. I think that’s normal in any long-term, live-in relationship. Different families just do certain things differently. At this point in our marriage, we’re realizing (mostly) which issues are worth mentioning and which are worth letting go. There are still some things I do which really irritate B, and vice versa, but we generally can decipher which are important and which are not. We are also taking hard looks at why we do what we do, where our viewpoints on certain issues come from, and how to use our respective cultural habits for good or which to leave them behind. For example, we ask ourselves, “Do I do x this way just because my family did or is there a better way?”
The fact that we come from such drastically different places in the world doesn’t seem so new or important to us anymore. We’ve settled into a sort of homeostasis where we do some American things, some Bengali/Indian things, or we don’t. We’ve done a lot of emotional work that has helped us lighten the load of our baggage we carried into our relationship at first. It takes work to make any relationship grow. We’ve been committed, from the very start, to growing as individuals and helping the other person to grow as well.
Our multicultural roots and interests generally do still manifest in our lives, but these days it’s typically relating to food. We spend much of our free time eating, cooking, or talking about food. We have been interested in traditional recipes from all over the world recently and will probably continue to cook old fashioned foods and soups as cooler weather comes.
I have been thinking for a while that I don’t have anything new to add to this blog because the issues we deal with as a couple these days don’t really have much to do with our cultural differences, but with regular ole marriage and relationship growing pains. I have considered deleting this blog, but since I put so much effort into it and it may help other people going through something similar, I will keep it live. Maybe I’ll just post when something strikes me.