Monday, March 2, 2009

When love isnt enough

Alot of people think that when they are planning on moving with (or following) their spouse that everything will work out fine with little to no problems. They figure that there love is enough to get you through the bad times. That's what today's post is about.

I was not naive enough to think that in moving to Honduras, that life would be all sunshine and rainbows and butterflies. I knew that there would be some major adjustments - I just was surprised at what we had to adjust to. Its nice to think that love is all you need. It would be nice if love would be enough to get you through the adjustments that are going to happen. Unfortunately, it isn't that easy.

Alot of people come to Honduras thinking that yes they will have to adjust to a new life, but that adjustment will be easy, and in the parts that aren't easy, well the spouse is there to help make things easier. The problem is, alot of time the spouse is adjusting to home again as well. Adjusting to the difference of reality, and what they remembered home to be. Some things are second nature for the native spouse, and they forget that the other spouse has no clue what to do, or what they are talking about. That becomes frustrating after a while - for both people.

In moving to another country, you are moving to another culture. Even if you think things aren't going to change - maybe your spouse is one way in the US, so you expect them to stay that way once they are home - they always do. Maybe not a huge change, but going home will change a person. They feel more comfortable in there own hogar (home), and they will change. Alot of times there is frustration at how there home land has changed, and how corrupt it is - and how people are content to just let the corruption go by without doing something about it. And they have no way to deal with that frustration, and that will change a person - decepcionado. (disappointed). These are things that people don't think about. Or they may think about it, but they don't realize how they impact a relationship.

When you are in a relationship, sometimes you take your frustration out on your husband/wife because they are there. And when your husband/wife feels frustrated because they see how people are content to deal with corruption, they have no way to deal with that frustration and it can eat away at a relationship.

Money problems also can affect a marriage. Here in the US there are money problems, but in Honduras they are magnified. While the dollar will go farther than a Lempira, alot of times you are not living on a dollar salary. You may be living on a better scale than alot of those around you (everyones situation is different) but alot of couples are still struggling. And struggling in Honduras is way different than struggling in the US. Added to the fact that usually it is a Honduran man and a gringa (or other nationality), and the man feels responsible for the family and sees that life is different in Honduras, and will think how much better life could be - material wise - in the US, and that thinking will add to the frustration.

So you see, there are a lot of things that aren't such a big deal, but when they are all put together they add up. The bickering can break down the communication between a couple, and if it isn't dealt with, it can cause problems. Unfortunately, due to many different issues, it isn't dealt with. I don't know the exact statistics, but I do know that there are many couples that come here with stars in there eyes, and in the end, the marriage fails. Or they end up moving back to the US a little more jaded. It takes a lot of hard work to get past it.

I don't always say something about this to people who are moving because it usually doesn't make a difference. Those people will say (to themselves - and sometimes out loud) well our love is strong enough. We can get through it, no problem. And no amount of me (or anyone else) saying that its hard will make a difference. Most people have to see for themselves. I pray for each couple that moves here because I know how hard it is, and how at times it is easier to say to yourself - is it worth it? Did I move thousands of miles, just to watch my marriage end. Is it easier to just say good-bye? I pray for there safety, there understanding - with each other, and with the surroundings, and with everything that is going on. I pray that they have patience with each other, and pray that they can make it past the adjustment period with there marriage intact and stronger than it was before they moved down here. And I pray that they don't become a statistic.


Kelly said...

That was really good., I'll have to have Cally sit down and read it.

Mis.Pena the American said...

i guess that some of these thing are reason why my hubby is scared to go back home(honduras) but i am up 4 it but he anit i no that there will be problem but if it is are only opion then it might have to happen and what a good post
love it!!!!!

chicadedios25 said...

That is what I have been trying to tell Carlos. I keep telling him when he moves back home it will be different. It is not going to be like he remembers it. It will be a different world. In my case I think maybe it would help him mature...we all have to go through that. I went through it when I came out of college.

Great post. I have alot of friends who are married (to mexicans) and say that they act very differently there than they do act here in the US. Hopefully you opened up some eyes anyways.

Heather said...

I couldnt agree more. Sometimes thats why I am thankful it is just hubs and I in all these other countries. But going to each others homes is always the hardest.

Momto3LittleFlowers said...

I pray for you guys all the time... For us, this move wasnt easy, and even though we moved to MY home country -not his- there are tons of things that we do differently here than in the states (BOTH OF US).

I know we wont grow old living here, but I do feel blessed for being able to be near my family while my girls are small... But we do feel sad that his family in the US havent been able to enjoy them as much, and that his family from Ecuador havent even met them.

Ok... Im rambling already. LOL

aighmeigh said...

Perfectly stated and so true! I had no concept of what actually moving down to El Salvador would be like, even after having spent so much time there before the actual move!

There are so many things to adjust to, but truly the most difficult adjustment is to a new relationship context--and often, a new level of dependence on the native spouse. It can be a hard pill to swallow, but it can also be a wonderful learning experience.

Finances are so often that much more terrifying in Central America, and I feel our family is very blessed to have family back in America to take La Hija and me in when things got too difficult for Mi Amor. Not everyone has that luxury, and sometimes having to be separated is preferable to having to figure out how to live on nothing... literally nothing.

Anonymous said...

You know I have often thought about that very same thing, but switched. My hubby is from Olancho Honduras, and he has been here for 3 years, and we have been together for 3 years. So EVERY new experience I saw him go through it, even if I didn't realize that that was what was going on.
We have had MANY a bad day here in the US.
I am glad and VERY thankful that you wrote this. Hubby wants to go back all together as a family and live in Honduras in a few years. And I am not opposed to the idea. I kinda like it. I have wanted to move to Latin America for over 6 years now. And until I met hubby I didn't know what country. But it helped me open my eyes a bit more to the situation. Plus the fact that I have been on this side of seeing the changes.
I am going to have to start mentioning to him about the how much Honduras has changed.....

So many thoughts!!


Honduras Sprout said...

Amen, sistah. Amen.

Aaron Ortiz said...

I worried when I realized you were going to Tocoa...the culture shock must have been awful; you weren't only adjusting to culture, but also to a change in social status. So you're back in the US?

Patty said...

What a great article. I wish we could convince some of the people we talk to that there isn't enough love in the world to make up for moving to a country where there usually isn't any hot water, and maybe no water; electricity that is off almost as much as it is on; not speaking the language; etc. etc. unless you are fully prepared and ready to change your idea of what is acceptable. For instance, I doubt many of the young women today would think that breaking your leg while chasing cows, and being pregnant at the same time, was something to laugh about. Most of them could not see themselves chasing a cow.


Olancho Bound Gringa said...

Everything you say is so true, I know. I know we have had to work through so much here in the States during our 6 yrs. together. I know the challenges will be far more than I expect. I am trying to go into it with my eyes open, & at least I know I can always come home,too. You offer great advice here & I don't think it should be taken lightly. I pray that my marriage will become stronger for the challenges we face, although I cannot predict the future. Not 1 step we take has been without a whole lot of prayers. God does have a plan for us all, even when it's not what we have planned for ourselves. Thanks so much for writing about the hard truths. Never will I say I haven't been warned, but yes I will go. I hope I will be amoung the few that arise above what we face & come out blessed.
Love you - my online friend!