I have a legitimate question and I have been trying to decide how to word this carefully. I am not one to generalize, ever. I believe each person has their own story, their own characteristics, issues, talents, strengths and weaknesses. I have noticed however, that there are different expectations and things that are/are not accepted in various different cultures with regards to relationships.
Again, I absolutely do not want to generalize, but my WH is South American, I am North American. I know that he is not every man in SAm, he is his own person, with his own story. BUT I also have many friends who are from SAm, and/or who are with or have been with SAm men, and I have some concerns.
I would love to hear especially from Men/ Women who were raised in a SAm household, or who are with a partner who grew up in SAm.
I have been with my WH for nearly 3 years, and recently found out about one PA. We are in R now. I have a friend in SAm who is European and she is engaged to another man from SAm. She has experienced the same thing and she mentioned that cheating is so common in SAm and it got me thinking, and paying attention.
In the learning library it says several things that I cannot apply to my relationship and our R, like 'avoid cordial kisses, hugs and dancing with the opposite sex'...this is impossible with someone who is from a South American culture, currently living in SAm. To not give a polite kiss on the cheek when meeting would be considered very offensive.
For reference, my WH's mother is a fantastic, loving woman who raised 10 children on her own, so he was definitely raised to respect his mother and sisters, and all women.
So my question is, with the knowledge I have of the 'machismo' ( I hate that word), crap that goes on in SAm, how do I ever begin to believe that my WH is being faithful?
He is now making leaps and bounds to be totally transparent, learn about healing himself and us, reading self-help books, talking openly with me, showing me his phone, email, etc... but knowing how so many men there cheat on their wives and it's just sort of laughed off..it makes me really scared.
Again, I realize not all people from SAm are like this, but if you have met many people in relationships there, you might know what I mean. I happened upon a girl in the airport not long ago who was actually doing cultural studies in this SAm country and she had interviewed a man who had been married 30+ years, he was openly telling her ( while his wife was in the room) that he had slept with dozens of other women over the years, but that his wife is the one he really loves because he always comes back home to her, so she shouldn't be jealous...lucky her. The girl told me that she met dozens of couples in her time studying there and that general consensus was that as long as their wives didn't find out, cheating was ok. ( this honestly scares me)
The more I talk with people there ( foreigners and locals alike) the more I realize that this kind of behaviour is sadly common. So common that it seems to be more of a joke that needs to be hidden from the women, rather than a disgusting breach of relationship boundaries and vows.
with him coming from a culture that is naturally very touchy ( which I LOVE from him), very loving, very physical ( hugs, dancing etc)...how can I ever feel comfortable and begin to trust him again?
I would really like some insight into this, as it is something that definitely plays into my relationship. I get the sense there that his friends and colleagues are more about encouraging him to hide things than to be honest with me. It feels like a big boys club sometimes and it makes me so sad. He has gotten much better at not hiding things, but this generalization about "South American Men" still really bothers me.
Has anyone got any insight into cultural differences that might impact reconciliation?
Thanks for listening and sorry if I offended anyone, I really don't like generalizing.
[This message edited by Traveler1985 at 2:53 AM, August 25th (Sunday)]