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Standard Among International Couples: “Bickering Across Borders”

Standard Among International Couples: “Bickering Across Borders”


In today’s episode of “Standard Among International Couples”, I want to touch upon something that suddenly occurred to me.






As a married couple, we genuinely surprise those around us with how close we are. It seems to me that the key to our closeness is that we both try to communicate whatever we are thinking in an affectionate way. What other people don’t know is that we communicate the words “Thank you” and  “I love you” more than 5 times on a daily basis.





If our partner does something nice for us, we always say “Thank you” (The key point here is to first say what the other person did for you, and then thank them expressly for that very thing). Whenever we separate physically because of things like work, we always say “I love you.”



Yes, these are very small things, but I think that through the act of showing compassion to your marital partner in everyday life, differences in cultural background and small language barriers can be easily surmounted.





But even a close married couple such as ourselves sometimes has arguments. Yet unlike an American-only couple or a Japanese-only couple, a good thing about our arguments is there exists a “In-the-middle-of-an-argument-and-I-can’t-understand-what-my-partner-is-saying” phenomenon.




My husband’s Japanese is pretty good, so he can catch the Japanese I throw in his direction with great accuracy, but…

Unfortunately (or fortunately in this case) English is not my strong suit. Even if my husband says something harsh to me, because I can’t understand what he is saying, I don’t get mad.





Because I don’t understand English, I sometimes pretend that I didn’t hear it.

I’m sure there are a surprising number of international couples like this.

In times like this, having a language barrier is very convenient!




When grandpas and grandmas start to lose their hearing, that’s not always a bad thing!

After 50 years, I forecast that the number of our arguments will fall dramatically.

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