In Love But Worlds Apart: Insights, Questions, and Tips for the Intercultural Couple
In love but worlds apart is a self-help workbook for today's adult man and woman from two different cultural backgrounds who are considering, or who have already begun, a marriage partnership with each other. To make such a relationship successful, the authors maintain that a feeling of love is not enough. They show how various aspects of cultural differences can be problematic and sometimes fatal to the relationship, unless certain conditions are met. The conditions are, among some, that the partners become reasonably more and more mature (according to the specific definition of maturity offered in this book), willing and able to think and to talk about their cultural differences (such as in manners, values, worldview, holidays and other customs), learn to understand and respect those differences, find solutions to their conflicts and discover enough things they can celebrate and enjoy together. The book helps partners think through vital topics of differences they must face eventually, such as their differing family backgrounds, expectations, tastes, values, worldview, as well as their future country or place of residence. The pervading metaphor throughout the book is of two artists who commit to producing a life-time project of artwork together, using their differing skills, communication styles, colors, craft paint, tools, and canvas. Just as these artists bring their various backgrounds and supplies to the task, each partner in a committed marriage relationship contributes his or her preferences (values, worldview, customs, etc) and ways of communicating. Questions to think and talk about, which are cited throughout the book, are again listed in the back of the book for copying and giving to the partner to use. A list of possible priorities of choice, also in the back, can be used any of three ways: (1) to help the reader determine whether a long-term partnership with a particular person from another culture would really suit or not, or (2), to test to see how well each partner knows the other, and (3) to make an inventory of the things the partners have in common or enjoy about each other. The book ends with a suggested reading list. For couples who have already begun or decided on an intercultural marriage, reading and doing this book may lessen their shock and frustrations and lead them into a more positive experience. For those who are not yet sure about committing themselves to such a relationship for life, we hope this book provides help in making a wise decision.