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Married to man from a different country/culture(48 Posts)
Hi, I'm married 14 years now with 3 young kids to a man from a different country/culture. I'm from the UK. He is constantly on the phone/What's up talking in his own language to family or friends for hours. It would be all weekend. First call in Saturday morning at 8:30am for at least 2 hours. Usually calls most evenings and he would suit himself and eat his dinner around calls.
Apart from being mentally tired of listening to another language I don't understand especially during mealtimes. He's talking and laughing sitting or lying on the sofa in open plan apartment. The talk would mostly revert to money, how to get visas for different countries or cultural family problems. These topics my family or friends or I wouldn't talk about or have an interest in talking about at all.
In the beginning of the marriage, he said it was important talk sorting out family problems, building a house for his family, arranging money for funerals/sick relatives, arranging his sister's wedding etc. So, I didn't mind as much but it is not the case now. After, 14 years now, I'm drained listening to another language all the time in the small apartment. He talks more in his own language than English.
Anyone else in the same situation?
I’m foreign and DH has made the effort to learn the basics of my language so he can use it with my family and our bilingual DC.
You don’t seem to embrace the fact your husband is from another country/culture?
If you’re bothered that he spends his weekends on the phone and misses out on family time or doing chores, then talk to him about it and suggest what you feel would work better for your family.
Sounds like you need a man cave..maybe open plan living g isn't for you I'm in mixed race relationship..I have a man cave for the formula 1 racing as it DRIVES ME NUTS.. at the start it was hard to understand he wasn't talking bout me when he was chatting in mother tongue, as I too have a mother tongue(not english) but wouldn't dream of speaking it in front of him for fear he might feel left out .. for my partner family responsibilities extend too greater than his immediate family, although he has become more focused on our needs as the years have gone on.. but organising weddings, visas etc I think is a cultural choice that is part of the way your husbands society operates.... pm me if you want to chat further...
If it's such a big issue, why don't you learn the language?
I wouldn't be happy if my DH would tell me that I couldn't talk to my family because he gets tired of listening to an other language.
and I speak fluently 3 languages, DH just one
After 14 years how have you not picked any of it up?
I'd hate to not know what was being said!
Yep mix culture u have to appreciate his family my dh was always on phone Defo try learn the language or certain words
This is less to do with him being from another culture and more to do with him being a dick.
He sounds completely disengaged from you and your three children and your family life. He's living a separate life with his 'other family'.
Do you like him? It doesn't seem like it. Are you more like incompatible room mates now?
It might actually be worse if you learn the language - you won't be able to zone out from the inane nonsense.
I don't see why this is to do with what language he's speaking. Surely the problem is the amount of time he's spending on the phone, and the fact that he's doing it loudly for hours in communal areas rather than going into an enclosed room. I find it odd that you'd find the native language of a man you chose to marry from another culture exhausting tbh. You sound as though you don't like him much and have no interest in his language or culture.
One thing is his general behaviour, the imbalance between private and family time - you need to talk about that.
The other thing is the language:
How can anybody marry sb live with them for 14 years and not learn the language? Have you any idea how exhausting it is to speak a foreign language day in day out? That there are things you can only express in your first language?
Aren't you DC bilingual? They ought to be.
If he spends 2 hours on the phone as soon as he finishes say - it is my 2 hours off now here are the children to mind and make sure you clean the bathroom during the 2 hours and I will check when I am back. I am off for my equivalent 2 hours free now sunny Jim.....
Well, he seems to have checked out of family life if he is spending all of his time on the phone. That isn't good, but I wonder about the reasons for that. Maybe he feels isolated and excluded?
You seem to want him to make all of the adaptation in your relationship. Not only have you failed to learn his language (after 14 years) but you don't even like hearing it?!! And you dismiss the topics that he finds important because they aren't the kind of things that you and your friends/family want to discuss? If you are not interested in the things that matter to him, then presumably, he is finding someone else to talk to instead?
It sounds like the relationship has run its course tbh. He isn't investing any time or effort in the family. You are not showing any understanding or respect for his culture. Maybe time to go your separate ways?
I don't understand why you would have three kids with a man when you have not made the effort to learn his language or appreciate his culture? I do think he is being unreasonable in being on his phone all the time and whilst I can appreciate he wants to help less fortunate family members that shouldn't take priority over you and the kids. If you are unhappy and he has checked out of the relationship, maybe you should part ways.
What stood out for me OP was the amount pf time he's on the phone rather than spending time with you and kids. IMO eating meals together is really important
Yes it is important to me to eat meals together as a family. We have our dinner at 7pm every evening. If he's still on a call from earlier. He wouldn't finish it in time for dinner time.
Have you explained to him that it's important to you to eat as a family? If so, what does he say?
It would be good if you could at least compromise on several family meal times each week, but I think you need to understand why he has checked out. Is it that he just isn't interested? Is it that he feels excluded? Is it that he doesn't know what you expect?
Are you contributing to his family's needs financially OP
@Anordinarymum. No not at the moment. I gave up my job in 2016 due to cost of childcare and my husband said it wasn't worth working financially and the impact on family life. Up until then, when I was working I paid the mortgage, all household expenses, health insurance etc. My husband contributed towards childcare. He was able to support his family a lot when I was working. I did contribute £10,000 towards buying big house for his family years ago. He asked me recently would I help buy his sister a house as she doesn't want to live with her in laws anymore and there is not enough room as she has 5 children now. I said no and suggested that his other single brother who is also working abroad should help support the family now. He said we still have to help as we have only one sister.
After, 14 years now, I'm drained listening to another language all the time in the small apartment.
So you expect him to take the whole of the burden of listening to another language the whole time?
I would also have a problem with all the money going to his family and not enough time spent on you as a family, so can't blame you on that score
But as for the language thing you are being totally BU.
You are a couple. Two people of equal importance. That means his language and his background matter as much as yours do. If you couldn't accept that, you should not have married someone from another culture.
How would you react if he told you that he gets tired listening to English all the time, so you just have to stop speaking English? If you have moved to his country, would you have accepted it then?
And you have 3 kids too- does that mean he has not been allowed to share his language and his childhood memories with his own children? I can't imagine living like that, not being able to speak to my own children in my own language.
His spending all that time on the phone to his family may be a cultural thing that wouldn't change anyway. But it may also be because that is the only outlet he has to be himself, because you make it clear that what you want is for him to pretend his real background, the real him that is centred in his language, doesn't exist.
I married somebody English too. But he understood from the start that if he couldn't have given up his language, then I couldn't be expected to do that either. So he learnt to understand it and even to speak it to some extent. If I am on the phone to my family, or speak to our children in my own language, or even say something in my own language because I am tired and shattered and need to be able to use my own language- that's not a problem.
On a separate note will you be expected to have his parents move in or you move to their country at some point to look after them?
Typo correction: If you had moved to his country.
Culturally, you are truly worlds apart, and it seems he has not shifted at all over the years.
I also wonder how 14 years have gone by without you actively learning the language. I say that as someone with a partner with a different mother tongue. I now live in his country and I can testify that speaking in your second language all the time is hard to keep up.
He sounds home sick. But it also sounds like you have lost your connection, which is exasperating that. Maybe you could start taking language classes and try to use that to reconnect with him. Or watch films in his language, or TV. He needs some of his own culture and if you want to be part of that you need to ease him out of the dependency on WhatsApp calls.
He just doesn’t have much to do with the family he lives with, is that the real issue? Plus the money aspect is tough. My Father used to send money home and I know it’s typical for immigrants to do this. But missing meals is crap. So of his at home time what % of this time is he on the phone to family? People are going to jump on the language comment but there is plenty more to pick apart in this.
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