Culture and Marriage…?

June 10, 2008 at 11:00 pm 1 comment

“Are you married/dating a Mexican or someone from a different culture? Do you find it difficult to relate in some areas of your relationship? Does your mate become frustrated at your lack of understanding or vice versa?” 

My friend Lisa (La Gringa Mas Bella) asked these questions in her blog and I thought I’d try answering them here.

I’m married to Jose, who was born and raised in Jalisco, Mexico.  He came to the United States in the early 90s.  When we first started going out, we would fight and fight and fight over the smallest things that all come down to how different his culture is from mine.  He was astonished that I had friends that were male.  He was shocked that I came and went from my mom’s house as I pleased.  The biggest jolt was when he found out she still cleaned my room!!! 

To my defense, I’ve never, ever been much of a cleaner.  And I’m a huge packrat.  Put two and two together and you’ve got a massive mess on your hands!  I am very grateful that my mom helped me out as much as she did. 

Once we were a little more serious with each other, his brother Rigo moved in with us.  Oh my God, you should have seen some of the fights we’ve had over that man!!  God forbid I don’t bend down and worship the frickin’ grass Rigo steps upon.  Me and Rigo wouldn’t see eye to eye about something (um… every minute of every day??) and he would whine to Jose that I was disrespecting him.  Then Jose would get upset with me for dissing his brother.

Trust me, there were times when I think I could have killed Rigo. 

But… don’t get me wrong.  It’s been almost 6 years that I’ve known Rigo.  I love the guy like a brother.  I know he would do anything I asked of him, and visa versa.  We just tend to fight a lot…

And THEN, after the whole Rigo turbulence died down, his MOM moved in with us.  His fresh the rancho, still washed clothes in the river, milked the cows, worked as a maid, cooked dinner for her husband and 5 adult kids Mom. 

You know damned well she clashed with the white girl!!!

But, because I love Jose to death, and I know how important it is for him for me to get along with his mom, I put forth my best effort.  I’m a people pleaser.  I know what to do to make people happy and, around her, I sucked it up and did it.  I held my tongue in a lot of situations where I could have told her off.  I listen to her silly wive’s tales.  I treat Jose like a God around her. 

Hey, if it makes the suegra happy…

So.  To bring this very long answer to an end, yes.  There have been many frustrations.  There would have been MANY more had I not picked up Spanish so quickly.  Also, I recognized my limits.  Once Jose got back from Mexico and we got settled, I told him the family had to go.  Si a huevo we had to take his mom, fine.  But the four brothers, the neice, and the neice’s baby had to move out. 

Tears were shed.  Feelings were hurt.  But, over a year later, everyone is still alive.  Their dependance upon Jose isn’t as much.  Our marriage is 100% better because of it. 

A lot of the culture I embraced.  Especially the music.  You know your a Mexican music lovin’ fool when your Mexican friends call you to ask you, “Oye, quien canta la cancion…”  or “Como se llama la cancion que dice…?”

That’s my very long answer to Lisa’s question.  🙂 


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Chock full of updates… Happy Birthday Olivia!!

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Lisa  |  June 12, 2008 at 3:17 am

    Awweeee my friend, you’re my buddy too! Good answers too. I didn’t realize THAT many of Jose’s family had lived with you. I only had one of the brothers to stay with us for a short time.

    And true, most Mexicans don’t like male friends for their women. You’ve done a good job holding your role in the family because it sounds like you had a lot to contend with.

    Kudos to you for sticking in there!

    I wrote a post about a month ago about phone calls I get from Mexican women I need to tweak … you’ll love that one! Especially since you get the phone calls too 🙂



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