This week we’re inviting men to share with us on the theme “What Men Wish We Knew.” We’re honored to have Jerry Jones of The Culture Blend here today. You’ll love his witty self-deprecation and his way with words. Let’s welcome him with all the warmth and gratitude of the Velvet Ashes community…
Guys are dumb.
You’ve known that since fifth grade so it really should come as no surprise now. We are burdened with a life long affliction for which there is no cure and really no hope.
The gap between what we genuinely want to communicate and how it actually comes out it is colossal. It begins on the playground when we want (more than anything) to say something simple, like . . . “I think you’re pretty.”
Instead we just pull your hair and run away making flatulence noises. It never really gets better.
Like most internal struggles, living cross culturally only serves as the great inflator. I have seen so many husbands (including the one who hangs out in my bathroom mirror) plunge to uncharted depths of pathetic communication during times of transition.
I think it’s because it is so easy for husbands and wives be on different pages as they adjust to new lives. The common (almost stereotypical) scenario is the cross-cultural working husband who is doing work that he loves. It gives him purpose and fulfillment. He often has translators and co-workers around him all day and they are all working to achieve a goal. Meanwhile the wife is at home with the screaming kids trying to navigate a new culture and a new language with very little support and her world grows more frenzied each hour until her annoyingly satisfied husband comes home.
He wants to stay in this country forever. She wants to leave now.
- He wants to ask her how her day was, but he knows where that road leads.
- He wants to tell her how his day was, but his tingling senses are screaming, “DON’T!”
- He wants to ask how the kids behaved, but the permanent marker tattoo on the baby’s face is a dead give away.
- He wants to tell her she looks nice, but she’ll probably say, “don’t even think about it.”
It’s a dilemma we have yet to figure out. How to say what is right when we aren’t on the same page. Or even in the same book. Or speaking the same language.On behalf of my brothers who, like me, are blundering their way through transition I would like to fill you in on six truths that are so important. This is what I want my wife to know but you should give your husband credit for saying it because even though he tried and missed . . . this is what he was thinking.
There are no good words to describe you.
It’s true in more than just a sappy, love song kind of way. I hate the titles you have been tagged with. “Expat spouse.” “Accompanying spouse.” “Non-teaching or Non-studying spouse.” “Trailing spouse” (seriously?). Your identity is so much more than who you are in connection to me or our kids.
You’re a rock in chaos.
Transition is always crazy. It is unsettling. All of the pieces are moving, but you are constant . . . and I love that. Even when you feel crazy our kids see the same you when everything else around them is completely different. So do I. That’s not lost on me.
If I had to be stranded on a deserted island with only two people I would choose you . . . .and Chuck Norris.
Chuck would only be there to find food, build shelter and scare away hurricanes. Mostly it would just be me and you. Point is, no matter where in the world I am. I wouldn’t want to do it without you.
I love doing this adventure with you.
Our story is incredible. I love the places we go. I love that we have not been intimidated by far off lands or jet lag or uncertainty. I love that we have learned a new language horribly together. I love that we are never settled and never bored.
Those jeans do not make you look fat.
It’s a trick question I know but the answer is ALWAYS and will ALWAYS be “ABSOLUTELY NOT”. No jeans have ever or ever could make you look fat. You could wear one of those inflatable sumo wrestler suits and you would still not look fat. I’m just saying.
If we were in fifth grade and on a playground . . . I would so pull your hair.
You are beautiful. In so many ways.
Even though I am (as is my entire gender) so bad at saying it — I’d go anywhere with you and I wouldn’t want to go anywhere without you.
Photo Credit : Unsplash