I think there are many of us out there married to people from other countries in my generation. I applaud that, but I think you have to know that you will have to address your differences (and they do exist no matter how much you are convinced you are perfectly compatible in spite of being from different places). IMHO, if you are going to marry a person from a country and culture other than your own I think there should be a few ground rules... Here are a few I have thought of, maybe you have more:
1. Both persons should be amicable to living in the other's country. You never know where you will end up. The only exception I can think of is if one spouses country is just plain unlivable due to war, poverty, whatever...
2. Take off the rose colored glasses. Both spouses have to be willing to see their culture/country for what it is... Faults foibles and all... So be ready to really examine they "why" to how you do things and be flexible if the why has no clear answers.
3. Try to learn your spouse’s native language and have your children learn it too (usually one spouse already speaks the other's language and this is the common tongue for the household). If you are person speaking the his/her native language all the time try to imagine how your spouse feels not being able to speak to his/her own children in their first language.
4. Remember and be considerate of the fact that one of you will always be the foreigner. Before you say no to helping the other person with something remember how you would feel if you were trying to accomplish such a task in his/her country.
5. Make Islam (or whatever your core values are) the tiebreaker in all your decisions. There will be no "cultural norm" sometimes and you will need it.
6. When in doubt, talk it out. You can never assume that you have the same picture of a situation as your spouse (this may go for any marriage) and you don't want to get caught up in this... So make sure you see things the same way (or at least know how the other sees it) before making any life altering decisions.
7. Enjoy the diversity in your family and respect it. Don't let yourself choose one culture and make it the norm, let both cultures thrive. You will find there is good in both.
I'm sure there are more... Post them if you can think of any!
Breathe, Dammit, Breathe!
2 weeks ago