Happy international marriages

97 posts in this topic

An interesting topic was started I believe in 2007 entitled "Happy Marriages." This post is somewhat a continuation of that topic but with an added twist or new element. I would be interested in the marriages between German born women to American born men, how many or what percentage of these marriages have survived and still can be called "happy" or a better word would be truly "in love" and have not become stangers even though still legally married and living in the same house.

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What do you hope to learn from your survey, 1texan? One suspects an ulterior motive, since your question is so specific.

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Yes, there is a reason for my post. But it would take too long to explain. The shorter version is that after many years married to a German lady and I being an American, I have concluded that I was right at the beginning of our relationship by thinking that she was and is from a higher class and I from a lower class. This is not in any way laying blame but trying to objectively view and understand why our marriage has and is suffering.

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What do you mean by higher or lower class? She earns more money? She likes to wear fancy clothes, you like jeans and t-shirt? She likes opera, you like youtube?

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While communicating through the media of writing, it is difficult to clearly explain and easy to be misunderstood. In no way was I using or writing this post or expressing my comments for the purpose of being critical of my wife. My wife is one of the finest ladies ever to walk on this earth and in her autumn years of life is still a very beautiful blonde blue eyed petite woman. She loves her children and grandchildren dearly and would sacrifice for their good. I was only trying to step back objectively and understand why after so many years our marriage has drifted apart. Very quickly I can identify the one main root cause by looking in the mirror. At the same time I honestly believe part of the reason she came from a family and background of quality or as I have expressed as higher class (not the stuffy kind of upper class people)than I did and this difference, again no blame to her, over the years has played a role that has hurt our marriage relationship or better expressed, has hurt her. She rightfully had and still does have expectations of me that I have not met and the unfortunate result is that she is not benefiting from a marriage relationship that meets her expectations and needs.

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But again, what does that have to do with your nationalities? That could happen in any marriage when one person feels that he or she has married "below his/her station".

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I can see cultural differances but the class thing is odd. Or do you and not to be mean suffer from some sort of confidence issue?

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Do you consider Germans in general to be of a higher class than Americans? If not then I don't see what one has to do with the other, you would have the same issues with an American of higher class than you.

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I'm guessing it's the old American suspicion that somehow Western Europeans are higher class than Americans by definition.

 

Seek therapy, 1texan, either alone or as a couple. I'm worried that you are suffering from depression. Failing to live up to another's expectations is not a reasonable simple explanation for a marriage to break up.

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Oh, it's more than that, gaberlunzi. It's the whole "cut and switch" thing that results from eating with one's fork in one's right hand. ;)

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When a german pays for my meal then I will let them decide how I eat. Nah Im lying I still wouldnt let them tell me how to eat my meal. And yeah I eat pizza with my hand

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Maybe he is writing because there might be a cultural edge to it. Would an American woman more easily adjust to a different level of "class"? Maybe a German one would not? I have read all the guys talk about their German girlfriends as being less flexible and more in control, so maybe he is just trying to figure out if culture is playing a role in this or if she just can't get past the difference levels regardless of Nationality.

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I'm guessing it's the old American suspicion that somehow Western Europeans are higher class than Americans by definition.

 

which is what shoots the prices of goods with e.g. French names in the US.

 

I have a doubt that the culture thing comes from the wife. I notice that anything my German friends or colleagues can't articulate, or are afraid to be seen as rude, they say "it's cultural differences" in such a way that it makes you question yourself and your culture.

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I believe the Op is wondering if this happens very often in other German/American relationships as he describes, that's all. Pretty clear cut to me. Come on...you guys know that it's hard for people to live together with different cultural differances. Of course it happens in other cultures but we aren't talking about that. German woman/American man.

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"I haven't lived up to her expectations" says it all, really.

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That would hit me pretty hard! To the OP: what were her expectations if you do not mind sharing?

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to 1 Texan

 

I would like to hear more about what you are trying to say. I am a german woman by birth married to an American man and yes,

I think I understand what is happening to you. My husband always tells me I think I am better than him and accuses me of being a snob. It has nothing to do with money but sadly, I do think I am better than him because I was brought up differently and in the beginning I thought it might rub off on him but instead he has built up an unnatural resistance and enjoys making me feel worse about what I expect. I would like to hear more details about your situation so I can perhaps shine some light on them from a woman's point of view. please post some more information or email me directly.

 

monika

 

monikacostello@yahoo.com

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:( I just started a reply and was almost finished when I accidently hit the X in the upper right corner and lost all I had written. Now I need to try to repeat what I wrote.

 

I appreciate your feedback and being a sounding board to this topic. However, it is very important that I repeat what I have stated earlier and that is that my posting is not a critical 'attack' on my wife. Just the opposite. I simply have concluded what I have believed before we were married. After meeting my wife and her parents, the more time I was around them, and learned they had lost everything in the war and to see not only how they recovered and lived physically but to observe the "highest quality" that was imbedded in every area of their lives. While the family (parents and 3 girls) did not practice an open personal (feelings) kind of communication among themselves, I remember spending hours upon hours talking about a range of topics from very serious or political to the ridiculous, mixed in with laughter and of course mature adult drinks. I soon learned this was the "Gemütlichkeit" which Americans don't have nor understand. My wife experienced a marked difference in the life she was use to and what she experienced when she came to the states with me and the first few meals we had with my family, parents and siblings. As soon as my family was finished eating, they got up and went off somewhere unlike a meal in Germany where sitting around the dinner table for hours is common and enjoying each other's company.

 

As far as my not meeting her expectations and the difference in being in different levels of class or maybe upbringing would be a better word, it was understandable that my wife, having lived with the characteristics of how her family lived, would either expect or anticipate similar practices in her husband. I was raised in an American family who had not gone through such a loss as my wife's family, and who could not relate to it. My family did not have the financial wisdom and stability that my wife's family did. Debt was a regular part of my family's vocabulary. By the time I graduated from high school, we have moved 19 times. I went into a marriage having no clue about marital responsibility. Unfortunately, I did not handle my finances well primarily because I did not listen to my German wife and found my self in debt most of our married life. I did not devote the attention to my wife that she needed, especially since this was one area in her own family that was lacking. I never physically abused her, did not have any alcohol or drug problems but I did not give her the attention she needed and financially I was a disaster and she suffered because from my actions.

 

So she had not known this kind of life style and especially the financial debt. And this will over time take its toll on a marriage in a big time way. Flowers, chocolate, presents will get a smile but will not remove the impact of the kind of life style I created and my wife had to endure.

 

I have been a bit long in my post but hopefully this will give more light.

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