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Difference in race/culture

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90Worthless90 posted 8/22/2013 17:17 PM

Does anyone here have a spouse that is of a different race or culture than them?

My partner is Puerto Rican. Our cultures are completely different. There are a lot of things we disagree on. Stuff that he grew up with. Such as women being very domesticated.

The OW was a puerto Rican who grew up that way ads well.

This is just one example of our differences. I often wonder if that had something to do his affair.

Has anyone experienced this?

[This message edited by 90Worthless90 at 5:18 PM, August 22nd (Thursday)]

Reality posted 8/22/2013 18:47 PM

Yes to both here, but I think culture has more to do with our situation than me being blonde and him being dark.

Physically, we're about as different as coloring/size gets. I'm small, blonde, and two generations off the genetic boat from Denmark. WH is a 6'8" giant and has a beautiful shade of milk chocolate skin and eyes and black hair. After going through DD#1 and DD#2, I can safely quote one of my daughter's famous declarations from when she was little, "He is beautiful if he keeps his mouth shut."

His culture is largely rooted in educated yuppie-ism. His family is well off and well educated. There is also a huge element of infidelity. As a way of life, they prefer to be disconnected emotionally and focused on prestige and appearance. It's... unfortunate and pervasive. Almost NPD as a way of life.

While my family is also well educated and solidly middle class, we're very family focused. We talk. We spend time together. People stay married a LONG time.

I wonder sometimes if the culture shock of jumping from his pool to ours produced a tsunami versus a normal wave adjustment.

So, yes, raising hand here. I would say a lot of WH's unexamined issues are solidly rooted in his upbringing.

His OW(s) have run the gamut physically and age wise, but all have been the same type of personality tendencies.

[This message edited by Reality at 6:51 PM, August 22nd (Thursday)]

ShockedErica11 posted 8/22/2013 18:55 PM

Surprisingly, this is one of the things WH had posted on his FB during his full blown A was wondering whether or not culture was playing a role in how our relationship was faring (God, I hate looking back on the bullshit he used to justify his shitty ass behavior).

WH is Chinese-American and I'm African-American with a mixture of other races sprinkled in for added flavor (my cousins on my mom's side keep mentioning an unholy trinity of my father's family tree, my maternal grandmother's and my maternal grandfather's, but I do not know to WHAT he is referring ).

I know that a lot of WH's FOO issues due to his parents upbringing play a role. We talked about it last night after I urged him to talk to his mother about her past and who she is as a person and not just his mother. My family is very unconventional, as I said in a different post, certain parent-child roles were reversed so after a while I was able to talk to my parents as adults using their first names, etc, but mostly in jest.

sullymeishadomi posted 8/22/2013 19:01 PM

Yes and no.

Im part cuban, raised amongst chicano's and have friends who are dominican etc.. But they are american latinos.

My spouse is born and raised costa rican. Infidelity is common and accepted. Women mostly stay home but either way the world revolves around a man; the world is his oyster.

Women in his culture are there to serve and look good

Costa ricans are very into looks. Esp blonde curly hair, blue eyes and light skin. If you score one or birth one youre king or queen.

Yes, its a culture thing in my instance.

90Worthless90 posted 8/22/2013 19:16 PM

I think it might be a culture thing too. Every single man in his family has cheated at least once. Literally every single one his brothers, his father, even his grand father. I know his uncle got caught and she stayed with him, even after the OW birthed a baby by him
I don't know if the others know and ignore it or are oblivious. But my guess is they know and ignored it.

Reality posted 8/22/2013 19:31 PM

It's weird to see how much more than genetics get passed down.

FTFOO issues.
(F*** Those Family Of Origin issues)

Sorry, 90!

[This message edited by Reality at 10:45 AM, August 23rd (Friday)]

90Worthless90 posted 8/22/2013 20:37 PM


Dreamboat posted 8/22/2013 22:28 PM

Raising hand here

My X is from a different culture and moved here when he was 4-5. He embraced the American life style and distanced himself from his own culture's life style before we met. We are also a mixed race couple who fell in love in the rural south. No one wanted us to be together -- not friends, not family, and certainly not the rednecks we encountered. It was one of the things that bounded us...I thought.

My X had huge FOO issues that I just did not realize and what I did realize I did not think they affected him. Honestly, I did not understand how FOO issues affected peopled until I had been on SI for at least a year and saw them play out again and again and again. FOO issues destroy so many lives....

We were together 20 years. We have a mixed race DD.

OW is from his culture. She is also a relative. He told me "She brings me back to my roots". I honestly did not know how to process that. He also told me that it when they were together in the mall that people did not stare and judge and that felt good. And I am thinking "HELLO??? They were staring and judging BOTH of us, not just you asshole!!"

OW told X that DD was not "Indian enough" and blamed me for that. That made me shake my head because as the Indian parent I would think that HE would be responsible for demonstrating his culture and educating her. But see, when he was with me he was American through and through. But she "Brought him too his roots." I suddenly became the evil wife and mother who denied her child her birthright. Whatever. Anyway, he abandoned his "half breed" daughter and is now raising OW's kids (who are not "half breed"). And thanks to his actions and OW's actions, DD rejects his culture. But I guess that is my fault too.

One interesting side note. Right after dday I started to see an IC. She was partnered with a psychiatrist and she gave me a referral to the psych to get anti-D. Well the psych was from the same culture and and she really explained the family dynamics to me. Things that were right in front of me but I did not realize until she pointed it out.

Anyway, the cultural difference between you and your partner have nothing to do with his decision to have an A. His choice of affair partner may have something to do with it, but the bottom line is that he had an A because HE is selfish and HE feels entitled and HE is broken and HE lacks boundaries. He chose an OW from his culture because it was easy. Being M or in a committed relationship is hard. Coming form different cultures is even harder. But living in a fantasy where unicorns fart rainbows is easy -- that is why they call it a fantasy.


AStar posted 8/22/2013 23:53 PM

I can raise a hand here. My H and are of different culture (he being part New Zealand Maori) and me being Norwegian immigrant to NZ as of age 5. That I am lily white and he is a beautiful shade of cafe au lait is immaterial as I don't believe in a concept of "race" except human. So we have a different cultural heritage and country of origin. The strange thing is that our values as we were raised are almost identical.
I don't believe culture or background or any messed up family issues plays a role in As. The individual chooses how to react to situations. Using race, culture or FOO issues to me is a poor justification for their choices. It is an excuse for wayward behaviour and I don't buy it for one second. The truth is they have poor boundaries, bad decision making ability and complete disregard for the consequences of their deceit- these factors are independent of their racial or cultural differences from me. Anyway, that's my $0.02 worth.

Dreamboat posted 8/23/2013 06:40 AM


FOO = family of origin issues. Basically how family dynamics and dysfunction affect your thinking and actions. But hell, every one has FOO issues of some sort even if you come from a Leave it to Beaver family.

I am not sure what FTFOO means.

Bubbleup posted 8/23/2013 10:43 AM

I'm Caucasain FWW is Chinese American. While she's an outgoing, loving person at times she's very reserved when talking about her affair. She's shown true remorse at times but at the uncommunicative times I guess it can be categoried culturally as 'Asian Shame'.

It's a concept I don't really understand because for me, I interpret that as hiding feelings from me when I might be her hiding feelings from herself.

Reality posted 8/23/2013 11:07 AM

Sorry, guys! I edited the post.

F*** Those Family of Origin Issues.

My personal preference is to agree with AStar; it's ridiculous to me how much weight gets built into pigmentation. Most people would boggle at separating people by eye or hair color, but skin color somehow makes a difference? Nope.

In our situation, WH's family is extremely set on maintaining some of the more esoteric cultural memes. WH's been called a sell out, an "oreo" and all manner of dumb because he married a "white girl." They don't care about the affairs because they view me as temporary and not appropriately culturally loyal for WH's glorious future post law school - intentionally ignoring the bit about me supporting him as he's in school.

To most people, that attitude wouldn't see the light of day in "polite" company, but that's the problem with FOO issues. Entrenched family tradition get internalized whether bad OR good. Most of it isn't examined until it leads to terrible experiences.

Dreamboat posted 8/23/2013 14:24 PM

they view me as temporary and not appropriately culturally loyal for WH's glorious future

I think we M into the same family

Butterfly24 posted 8/23/2013 15:03 PM

I am a blonde blue eyed American and while wh is American, he was born here, he was raised in the country his parents were from.

Yes it is one of those cultures where all the men cheat and the women are supposed to keep their mouth shut and be ok with it.

The women, at least in the past were stay at home moms, depending on their men for everything.

His dad cheated on his mom a lot, my wh saw this, as it wasn't really a big secret, at least from him.

The ow was a prostitute and she was Hispanic.

I have made it clear to wh that I will not put up with any more from him. I do not need him to support me. I can and always have done this myself.

While I do and have through out our marriage depended on him, I think from me it was more of an issue where I knew he liked to control things and it wasn't a huge problem for me to let him in a sense. I do not have to depend on him. I am fully capable of taking care of myself. I have before and I can again. Does that make sense?

I am not nor have I ever been the woman that will sit and let you treat her like shit and smile and be ok with it. In other words if I don't like something, or the way things are I will let you know and I am stubborn and will not back down, lol. This has caused problems in my M.

There have been other cultural differences in my M as well.

herongirl posted 8/23/2013 15:18 PM

My WS is from a SE Asian culture in which men & women live very separate lives, lying is an integral part of "keeping the peace" & introspection is virtually unknown. Whether this had an effect on his choice to cheat, I don't know but it has certainly been an obstacle to our efforts to R. Add in the fact that he has limited English (almost no self-help articles in his lang.) & works about 70 hours a week so no time for counseling (if he'd even go), we have major difficulties. Oh yeah, he also lives in another Asian country, which I am supposed to be moving to.....and I don't speak that language so I don't know how we will ever find counseling.
Working hard to focus on myself & detach as much as possible....

Missymomma posted 8/23/2013 15:31 PM

I don't think race plays a part but culture certainly does. I am sorry but I totally disagree about FOO issues. My husband came from a very abusive home, full of addictions and cheating. Even though intellectually he rejected it, he had it imprinted on him at an early age. I do not think it excuses his choices but it certainly influenced them.

He also comes from a very male oriented religion, in which women are expected to run everything at home and men work and do church service. Of course, he dropped out the church part but tried to keep the rest of it, LOL.

womaninflux posted 8/23/2013 15:45 PM

My SAWH and I are from different cultures. I am a miscellaneous American and he is from an Asian-Pacific culture where adultery is common and accepted. However, he was raised in the US from a young age and his mother insists that I can't blame his culture for what happened, nor can I blame the fact that his parents lived separate lives for most of his childhood. As far as I know, his dad was not an adulterer, but I am not so sure about his mother. Like Reality, his culture promotes materialism and attainment of success and wealth. One the surface they seem to value family but it's not very deep, at least not from what I have seen in his family. His extended family is warm in limited doses but there is a lot of dysfunction beneath the surface.

My family is as well educated as his (all of our parents have professional degrees and all of the siblings went to college). My parents are still a married couple and neither was unfaithful that I know about . They take trips together, socialized together...that was my expectation for marriage. My H's was to lead a separate life, I guess. His parents may have been able to get away with it, but look at the dysfunction it created. Also, his parents were not very connected to their children. H said he got away with a lot of stuff because he always had good grades. I think his mom was just clueless about the stuff he did (sneaking out of the house). It was only when there was a crisis that she punished him.

Anyway, it all comes down to ---for us at least --- family of origin issues. Culture and circumstance is a big part of FOO, I would say.

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