Cultural clash

Discussion in 'Sex and Relationships' started by ninja08hippie, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. ninja08hippie

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    My girlfriend and I are having some friction because of our cultural clash.

    She's traditional, and wants a 50's style marriage: man makes the money, man handles the car and house, and woman cooks, cleans, and handles children and budget. She was raised christian and her views come from the bible that women are supposed to be subservient to men.

    I'm modern and athiest, and was raised that men and women are equal and share all responsibility and neither sex is head of the house.

    I'm not comfortable being "in charge", and I really don't like her pawning her responsibilities to her car and things off on me. I find the christian's view of marriage as degrading to women as they find the islamic view of it and I believe that degrading either sex degrades society as a whole. If we have children, I want them taught that men and women are equal. Any advice for how to compromise on cultural issues?
     
  2. HotForHoney

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    I'd say go to marriage counseling now.
    It seems you are very far apart on some very major issues.
     
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  3. teamster145

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    I think men and women are equal but different. I am more of the husband that she wants. I would not expect my wife to change a tire. I usually fill my wifes car with gas. She is capable of doing it i just want to do that for her. That does not mean she is less than me just different. She is better with the kids than I am. I think you need to embrace each others strong suits to make it work.
     
  4. Doitagain

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    Well you said the word , compromise. Keep talking about it but not in a confrontational way. You both have to give a little.
     
  5. backcheck64

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    Why is this person your GF? The Christian/atheist aspect alone doesn't mix. Both my wife and I are atheist, I couldn't handle being in a relationship with a "Christian", I'd have no respect for her. Aside from that, we had more of the traditional relationship right after the kids were born. My wife was a stay at home mom for 12 yrs. She took care of the house and bills. But after the economy crash, she went back to work, never a complaint. We do have a somewhat traditional division of duties, she does the cleaning, bill paying, etc, and if anything needs maintenance like the cars, bikes, computers, house, I take care of those. We split the cooking and making sure the kids get to their stuff, but most of the hockey stuff falls on me. There should be a division based on skill or expectations (no matter how hard I try, I can't clean to my wife's standards) but if the household budget requires both to work, you both work. Your GF wouldn't work as a wife for me.
     
  6. Sagittarius84

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    An atheist/ Christian pairing could work. it just requires mutual respect from both parties. I'm an atheist but my girlfriend is a Christian just not of the fundamentalist variety. I realize it'll get a little weird now that we have a child on the way, but it works when I don't ridicule her for her belief and she doesn't judge me for my lack of belief, which ironically is how Christians are supposed to act in the first place but that's another story... This chick sounds a little bit too far gone what I think she needs is an actual crash courses to what it actually meant to be a woman in the 50s. when she realizes it's less June Cleaver and more getting her ass whooped, and having her opinion not matter, I'm pretty sure she'll lean a little bit more towards the modern times
     
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  7. AWifesLust

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    She's your GF? Of how long, if I could ask? Obviously you both believe your life together is heading in this direction, maybe I'm being harsh, but why? Not seeing anywhere close to eye to eye on the very structure of your marriage could be a deal breaker.
     
  8. lbushwalker

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    Marriages are not made in heaven!
     
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  9. Mikey22

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    Like BC. 64 said, Why is she your girlfriend? Did you not know these things about her, Before you both got that involved? Yes compromise is possible. But the cultural differences you describe here, Will defenately have it's challanges. Good luck to you.
     
  10. Meee

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    In my humble ( :p ) opinion, one way to compromise is to do everything together. No actual roles or division of labor.

    What do I mean by that? Well, for example, the boyfriend and I always get involved in each other's activities. If I'm supposed to be cooking, he's there helping. We just want to be with each other. I don't think I could stand to shoo him away and have him be somewhere else. That's not why we're living together. Budget? We work it out together. We don't claim it's because of equality. We just like to talk. We keep each other company, so we end up sharing almost every job. It's fun. If it's fun enough, she might not even miss the roles she's supposed to be in.
     
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  11. ninja08hippie

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    I'd love to do everything together, and most things we do. I cook and clean and do laundry with her and we do the budget together. I think she came off more fundamentalist than she is, she's "christian" in the sense that she was raised that way. She believes in god, but has no desire to raise children that way. My main concern is that if we have kids the "mans in charge" concept would produce a chauvinistic son or a complacent daughter.
     
  12. Meee

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    Cultural inputs about male and female roles are everywhere. Your children will go through a phase where they make obnoxious statements about a man's or a woman's place without really realizing what they're saying. But if you and their mother have been living an equal and shared life, you'll be able to have The Talk with them about it from a solid position. You'll be able to use yourselves as an example. The children will see the truth of what you're saying. It'll be fine.
     
  13. lbushwalker

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    Addendum; sex better be good too!
     
  14. cbrmale

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    My wife was Christian and I'm agnostic and that was something we had to deal with. She didn't expect me to run things but as a CPA I'm more suited to budgeting and finances, and she's a much better cook than me, so in the end division of responsibilities worked themselves out, but not through religious beliefs. Australia's non-religious culture eroded my wife's religious beliefs substantially over time, and she was more aware of the hypocrisy of organised religion and realised that Australia had a decent society without religion. The final straw was when our son came out as gay. She then had the choice between 2,000 year old beliefs written by old men or our child, and there was no choice.

    Our children had a mix of my wife's earlier religious beliefs and her later non-religious beliefs as well as my agnostic beliefs, and were free to choose. They both chose non-religious. Obviously my son has no choice.
     
  15. Trond

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    Unless you're really strict about it, kids have a tendency to do whatever they want from what I have seen. I know a woman who was constantly pushing boy toys and boyish clothes on her daughter, in some well meaning but slightly misguided attempt at equality. It ended when the girl started insisting on having pink princess stuff :)
     
  16. minskminx

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    I think almost everyone grew up in a "man's in charge" enviroment. It does not determine whether you are chauvinistic.

    I know I did and if anything I have reacted against it rather than become complacent.

    I have a brother, he is an idiot who has never picked up a book in his life, he is a reactionary with all sorts of bigoted ideas and opinions, in fact he is virtually exactly opposite from myself and yet he is only a year younger than me and grew up in exactly the same home environment.

    People are who they are. No one determines it. If your suggestion was true, all people would be the same for all time and nothing would change in terms of values or outlook in life. This clearly is't the case!
     
  17. sandwich

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    Oh Geez. I get so sick of people thinking the Bible teaches that women be subservient. If that's what your girlfriend thinks then consider 1) that she grew up with false teaching and 2) that it really says the wife and the husband are to submit themselves to one another, and submit in that context does not mean subservient or blind obedience. It has to do with serving one another out of love. You know....doing what is in the other's best interest, having their back, etc.

    The husband as the head of the relationship is something other than what most people think. It has nothing to do with inequality. It is about a role. That is all. It has to so with servant love. In fact, the man is to love his wife like Christ loved the church. In other words, we are talking about sacrificial love. It is a high calling to unconditionally love someone to the point of losing one's life. It has zero to do with treating the woman as inferior. It has all to do with considering her needs above his own. Men and women in God's eyes are equally valuable. Nowhere in the Bible does it say a woman should not work. For example, take a look at the 31st Proverb.

    Regarding traditional versus more modern roles for husbands and wives....that is something each couple has to work out. I do find it interesting that a child's brain develops at a super fast rate during the first three to four years, and some would suggest that is when it is most important to have a stay at home parent doing the nurturing because that time is so developmentally crucial. (That is what we will do when the babies come.). You would need to ask yourself if you or your girlfriend should be doing that or if you trust some day care center or babysitter to do it.

    Some people simply can't afford for one parent to stay home. I would suggest if you get married to only buy or rent a home that can be completely supported by one income so you have the option of one of you being the nurturer if that comes to be your preference. I know three moms that bought an expensive house with their husband, and now they can't stand being away from their babies but they have no choice. It is gut wrenching for them. Other moms probably are less bothered by it. Anyway, having choices is almost always a good thing instead of being stuck in a situation.

    My favorite book about the relationship between a man and a woman is called Love and Respect.

    My final thought....please don't take other people's words about what the Bible says or what Christianity is all about. There is a lot of false (and even crazy) information out there. That would include not believing me without fully checking it out for yourself. I am being truthful and accurate, but how would you know?
     
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  18. sandwich

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    Christians are not supposed to judge others for lack of belief. If that has been your experience then you have been dealing with Christians who don't understand what their role in the world is or those who may say they are Christians but really don't follow Jesus at all. I am sorry that one or more persons have led you to believe that. It is sickening to think about.
     
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  19. 10_3XL

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    I run into a lot of people taking my statements that I grew up in an Orthodox and Conservative Jewish family structure to mean I hold women in lower esteem. The truth is quite different than the perception. My mother and sisters all had equal power and responsibility in my home. Gender "rules" tended only to apply to things where the physical gender difference (my father and I are/were physically larger and stronger than my mother and sisters) was clearly defined and required a different approach. (So we got conned into doing a lot of grunt work that could have been done by the women, but damned if they wanted to do it either! :p)

    Yes - there are passages in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and any version of the Christian Bible that out of context come across as saying that all is patriarchal. That's antiquated thinking and also probably due to mistranslations. Remember that for nearly 1000 years the Bible - in any form - was never written down (which would have allowed for consistency). It was all carried on via spoken word and memorization. Just look at all the different ways you can translate the phrase God used when responding to Moses's question of, "Who are you?" Or how many passages were intentionally mistranslated/misinterpreted to serve someone's own personal agenda. It's crazy how distorted things can get! :eek:

    Despite that external view of Judeo-Christian beliefs regarding women and their roles, it is untrue. Sandwich summed it up very well in her above responses: You can't just take things like that at the face value provided by somebody else. You have to do some research on your own. The importance and power of women in the Bible(s) is not shied away from or hidden - it is very upfront; practically in your face. Look at all the importance placed on the Virgin Mother in Catholicism (for one Christian example).

    I'll cut this here so as to avoid a (more) lengthy theological discourse. :D
     
  20. Kelly2244

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    Cultural differences can cause a lot of problems in a marriage, especially when kids enter the picture. I know. I married outside of my culture and got the shock of my life. When we were dating all was fine but when we got married it all changed. He believe the man was to control the woman and the woman let her man do absolutely anything, including other women, and the woman was to stay with, accept and be faithful. Also the woman was not entitled to any of his money and He could spend it however He choose. It got about 1000 times worse after had kids. I refused to accept his ways of raising kids and left him to raise my kids my way. Our cultures clashed and there was no easy compromise so the marriage ended. I welcome all cultures and respect their ways but I will never marry outside my culture again. You have enough challenges and obstacles to deal with in the best marriages so why add even more to deal with.
     
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