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Old 28th February 2002, 9:05 AM   #1
Foreign_Love
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Am I making a big mistake

Hi all - I'm writing this from my office so I'm going to try to get to the point quickly without leaving out any important details - this may be a LONG message however.

I have a GF who is Japanese - we've been together for about 1 year. In December she came to stay with me because we are considering marriage and we wanted to spend some time living together to really see if things would work. We are both divorced and don't want to make the same mistake twice. So far things have been going very well, however there are some problems that I'm concerned about - but I wanted to get opinions about these problems because I'm not sure if I'm being overly sensitive or if these are true problems.

Problem 1: Her temper/stubornness. 95% of the time she is a wonderful person to be with. However if we do get into an argument she can tend to let her temper run wild - she will say things that are just plain mean (she says "I just say what I honestly feel at the moment"). She will stick to her argument and say provocative and hurtful things to me - the impression I get is that she is trying to draw me into a huge fight (she said that in her previous marriage that she and her ex fought nearly every day for 8 years - outright yelling matches). I don't believe in yelling at each other to solve arguments - I like to have logical discussions (sometimes heated & loud) to solve problems. I've asked her to work on this and she truly has been, but when her temper takes over she becomes another person. I believe that even when you are arguing with someone you should try to end it by saying "I love you" in some way regardless of how the argument goes - just to remind the other person that no matter what, you love them. Until recently she refused to do that because "I don't say what I don't feel at the moment - I'm an honest person".

Problem 2: Selfishness. I used to be a really selfish person and didn't care much about other people's feelings. However, after meeting my GF my attitude completely changed. I now derive great joy from doing things FOR her - when she is happy I find myself feeling happy about myself. I really love this feeling. However, she has said on several occasions to me "I am a selfish person. I do what *I* want. I don't do *anything* unless it is something *I* want to do." I have tried to talk to her about how I feel - that doing things FOR your significant other is much more gratifying that living your life for yourself and she has said she can understand it and wants to try to be a little less selfish, but she seems to have a long way to go. For example, I believe that when you are with someone you should make an effort to become involved in their hobbies and interests. I think that because she would be living in America it is logical that she would want to learn about America - it's history, it's culture, etc. - in order to live a happier life with me. Last night I asked her why she had not taken any interest in America or the state I live in and she said "because I don't like American history and I don't like studying about America or your state and I won't do something if I don't like it". She then said that she does however love Sweden and studies it's culture and history all the time. To me this was a bit of an insult. If you are going to marry someone from a particular country and live with them for the rest of your life, should you not want to take an interest in these things in order to better understand where you are living? Am I wrong here? This discussion became a fairly huge rift between us last night - she was saying things like "I'm sorry I don't want to know about your country. I'm sorry I don't want to feel obligated to learn these things FOR you. I don't do anything I don't want to do."

Anyone want to tackle these two? I truly love her and want to be with her. Am I being overly sensitive? Are these things that could be worked on over time? It seems to me that by living in America you cannot help but learn SOME history and culture. As far as the temper, I don't know if that's something that can be worked on or not. I used to have a fairly bad temper, but now that I'm in my 30's it seems to have just faded away.

Thanks for reading this long post.

I appreciate any advice.
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Old 28th February 2002, 9:54 AM   #2
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Re: Am I making a big mistake

It seems as if 'arguing' is the only form of communication your girlfriend has learned. I would imagine that this is how people in her own family communicated with each other long before her husband came along. I know, I have friends just like her. They can't even seem to talk about the most mundane of subjects without getting irritated and raising their voices. They can even be smiling while they're yelling!

Of course, this is exactly why you chose to move her in in the first place -- to see if the two of you could get along. So what do you think? Could you spend the rest of your life with this woman under these conditions?

I think if the two of you have been unsuccessful at reaching some compromise thus far, it may be time to introduce a third party to mediate. A councilor might be able to help you both with the changes you need to make. The question is...will she go? Will you take the time to go? Is the relationship worth it?...and are your egos so fragile that you'll up and quit your sessions the first time the councilor gives you some constructive criticism?

This is a shot in the dark...but I know it's a technique that's been used before: try recording your conversations back and forth. Than at a later time, when you both have cooled off, listen to it "Objectively." I guarantee you'll both discover something about yourselves you never realized before!

Good luck, and I hope everything works out.
Quote:
Hi all - I'm writing this from my office so I'm going to try to get to the point quickly without leaving out any important details - this may be a LONG message however. I have a GF who is Japanese - we've been together for about 1 year. In December she came to stay with me because we are considering marriage and we wanted to spend some time living together to really see if things would work. We are both divorced and don't want to make the same mistake twice. So far things have been going very well, however there are some problems that I'm concerned about - but I wanted to get opinions about these problems because I'm not sure if I'm being overly sensitive or if these are true problems. Problem 1: Her temper/stubornness. 95% of the time she is a wonderful person to be with. However if we do get into an argument she can tend to let her temper run wild - she will say things that are just plain mean (she says "I just say what I honestly feel at the moment"). She will stick to her argument and say provocative and hurtful things to me - the impression I get is that she is trying to draw me into a huge fight (she said that in her previous marriage that she and her ex fought nearly every day for 8 years - outright yelling matches). I don't believe in yelling at each other to solve arguments - I like to have logical discussions (sometimes heated & loud) to solve problems. I've asked her to work on this and she truly has been, but when her temper takes over she becomes another person. I believe that even when you are arguing with someone you should try to end it by saying "I love you" in some way regardless of how the argument goes - just to remind the other person that no matter what, you love them. Until recently she refused to do that because "I don't say what I don't feel at the moment - I'm an honest person". Problem 2: Selfishness. I used to be a really selfish person and didn't care much about other people's feelings. However, after meeting my GF my attitude completely changed. I now derive great joy from doing things FOR her - when she is happy I find myself feeling happy about myself. I really love this feeling. However, she has said on several occasions to me "I am a selfish person. I do what *I* want. I don't do *anything* unless it is something *I* want to do." I have tried to talk to her about how I feel - that doing things FOR your significant other is much more gratifying that living your life for yourself and she has said she can understand it and wants to try to be a little less selfish, but she seems to have a long way to go. For example, I believe that when you are with someone you should make an effort to become involved in their hobbies and interests. I think that because she would be living in America it is logical that she would want to learn about America - it's history, it's culture, etc. - in order to live a happier life with me. Last night I asked her why she had not taken any interest in America or the state I live in and she said "because I don't like American history and I don't like studying about America or your state and I won't do something if I don't like it". She then said that she does however love Sweden and studies it's culture and history all the time. To me this was a bit of an insult. If you are going to marry someone from a particular country and live with them for the rest of your life, should you not want to take an interest in these things in order to better understand where you are living? Am I wrong here? This discussion became a fairly huge rift between us last night - she was saying things like "I'm sorry I don't want to know about your country. I'm sorry I don't want to feel obligated to learn these things FOR you. I don't do anything I don't want to do."

Anyone want to tackle these two? I truly love her and want to be with her. Am I being overly sensitive? Are these things that could be worked on over time? It seems to me that by living in America you cannot help but learn SOME history and culture. As far as the temper, I don't know if that's something that can be worked on or not. I used to have a fairly bad temper, but now that I'm in my 30's it seems to have just faded away.

Thanks for reading this long post. I appreciate any advice.
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Old 28th February 2002, 10:13 AM   #3
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Re: Am I making a big mistake

So she's self centered and argumentative. What exactly about her do you love? Most people would not fall for someone such as this. If she's passionate in bed or something, maybe for you that's a good trade off for the selfishness and arguments. You have to decide about that.

If she's young, it's likely she's just going through a selfish phase. That usually changes in the late 20's or when a woman has a baby and instinctually has to "unselfish" herself to serve the baby. Of course, that won't do you any good then because when she has your baby, she won't have a whole lot of time for you...at least for the first few years.

You aren't likely to change these things about her, even in therapy. If she wanted to be different, she would be. And if she loved you, she would make you the center of her life...I promise you. Even selfish people do that for "selfish" reasons.

If she wasn't so selfish, I would suspect she was afraid of her love for you and her arguments and anger were a way to drive a wedge between the two of you to protect her emotions in some way. But given the other things you have posted, I think this is something she has just picked up over the years.

People only behave in ways that serve them in some way.

I just hope what you're getting out of this is worth putting up with her crap. This is what causes divorces...people actually marry ladies like your girlfriend thinking someday they will magically change. A few years of being around them everyday with no change at all usually sends the guy to a divorce attorney. I know a few I can recommend.
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Old 28th February 2002, 10:50 AM   #4
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Re: Am I making a big mistake

Well - I want to make sure I'm not pushing my own selfish agenda on her. She said to me "you make me feel like I'm being forced to study American history - like I'm in school". She said this because I asked her "how come you never read about American history when you are online?" and then commented about how it would help her understand this country and be able to appreciate it more.

I wanted her to learn this stuff because *I* want her to enjoy *my* country as much as *I* do. Is that selfish?
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Old 28th February 2002, 10:53 AM   #5
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repeating smth tony said... cuz i liked it :P

Tony said:

"if she loved you, she'd make you the center of her life, i promise"

ohh so trueee!! I dunna if i'm just young n learning, but i used to look for tiny hints of guys' affection, thinking they're hiding it or something... but now i know - if the affection really is there - it will be OBVIOUS... guys DO go after what they want - there's no need to doubt whether or not they like u - they SHOW it when they do ... my conclusion was that - all i gotta do is be open - and allow them to show it

hopefully im not entirely wrong :P

-yes
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Old 28th February 2002, 10:58 AM   #6
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Re: Am I making a big mistake

Don't make her read history ... that can be boring. How about taking her to some historical sites? Here in Canada, they have pretty cool Indian villages preserved for ppl to see ... Of course, it'd be nice if she was interested in America just b/c of u but ... i guess it depends on the mindset. I think also, if she's Japanese and has lived in Japan - I heard that there, they're obsessed with preserving their own culture,- like saying "u look european" is a criticism or something like that - Anyway - she may want to keep her culture, that's why she's resisting learning your culture - but it will automatically happen if she lives in USA ...

Meanwhile, try to get her interested in USA ... traveling around it can be fun ... give her some interesting books by US authors... maybe something related to Japan even - like the Memories of a Geisha book - and she can tell you how much of it is made up ... Point being - get her involved without even her noticing it ... AT the same time, ask her to teach u about japanese culture, so u can understand her better ...

Best of luck,

-yes
Quote:
Well - I want to make sure I'm not pushing my own selfish agenda on her. She said to me "you make me feel like I'm being forced to study American history - like I'm in school". She said this because I asked her "how come you never read about American history when you are online?" and then commented about how it would help her understand this country and be able to appreciate it more. I wanted her to learn this stuff because *I* want her to enjoy *my* country as much as *I* do. Is that selfish?
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Old 28th February 2002, 11:01 AM   #7
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Re: Am I making a big mistake

Have you ever considered moving to Sweden?

It would be neutral territory for both of you. You could learn about this new country together. Take classes, go on field trips and share a common learning experience.

You said 95% of the time she is a wonderful person to be with. How much time have you spent with each other, in person, face to face, in the year you have known her?
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Old 28th February 2002, 11:16 AM   #8
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Re: repeating smth tony said... cuz i liked it :P

yes,

This all sounds reasonable to me. The one variable to consider is that every guy will SHOW love in a different way. Possibly in a way you don't or can't recognize.

Everyone has a different love style. You may enjoy being the center of some guy's lives, but you may find others to be totally repulsive.
Quote:
Tony said: "if she loved you, she'd make you the center of her life, i promise" ohh so trueee!! I dunna if i'm just young n learning, but i used to look for tiny hints of guys' affection, thinking they're hiding it or something... but now i know - if the affection really is there - it will be OBVIOUS... guys DO go after what they want - there's no need to doubt whether or not they like u - they SHOW it when they do ... my conclusion was that - all i gotta do is be open - and allow them to show it hopefully im not entirely wrong :P -yes
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Old 28th February 2002, 11:54 AM   #9
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Re: Am I making a big mistake

I was married for 23 years to a man that was "stubborn and selfish" and followed it up with a relationship with a man that was also "stubborn and selfish". They were both wonderful, other than that. But that stubborness and selfishness manifested itself in many areas of the relationship as the time went on.

I have decided that life is tooooooo short to waste on the stubborness and selfishness of others. I am sorry that I did that to myself. I always felt that I was climbing an uphill battle and they left me emotionally exhausted. I am so calm and peaceful now that I have found someone that is not stubborn and selfish. Just some food for thought. Let us know how things work out.
Quote:
Hi all - I'm writing this from my office so I'm going to try to get to the point quickly without leaving out any important details - this may be a LONG message however. I have a GF who is Japanese - we've been together for about 1 year. In December she came to stay with me because we are considering marriage and we wanted to spend some time living together to really see if things would work. We are both divorced and don't want to make the same mistake twice. So far things have been going very well, however there are some problems that I'm concerned about - but I wanted to get opinions about these problems because I'm not sure if I'm being overly sensitive or if these are true problems. Problem 1: Her temper/stubornness. 95% of the time she is a wonderful person to be with. However if we do get into an argument she can tend to let her temper run wild - she will say things that are just plain mean (she says "I just say what I honestly feel at the moment"). She will stick to her argument and say provocative and hurtful things to me - the impression I get is that she is trying to draw me into a huge fight (she said that in her previous marriage that she and her ex fought nearly every day for 8 years - outright yelling matches). I don't believe in yelling at each other to solve arguments - I like to have logical discussions (sometimes heated & loud) to solve problems. I've asked her to work on this and she truly has been, but when her temper takes over she becomes another person. I believe that even when you are arguing with someone you should try to end it by saying "I love you" in some way regardless of how the argument goes - just to remind the other person that no matter what, you love them. Until recently she refused to do that because "I don't say what I don't feel at the moment - I'm an honest person". Problem 2: Selfishness. I used to be a really selfish person and didn't care much about other people's feelings. However, after meeting my GF my attitude completely changed. I now derive great joy from doing things FOR her - when she is happy I find myself feeling happy about myself. I really love this feeling. However, she has said on several occasions to me "I am a selfish person. I do what *I* want. I don't do *anything* unless it is something *I* want to do." I have tried to talk to her about how I feel - that doing things FOR your significant other is much more gratifying that living your life for yourself and she has said she can understand it and wants to try to be a little less selfish, but she seems to have a long way to go. For example, I believe that when you are with someone you should make an effort to become involved in their hobbies and interests. I think that because she would be living in America it is logical that she would want to learn about America - it's history, it's culture, etc. - in order to live a happier life with me. Last night I asked her why she had not taken any interest in America or the state I live in and she said "because I don't like American history and I don't like studying about America or your state and I won't do something if I don't like it". She then said that she does however love Sweden and studies it's culture and history all the time. To me this was a bit of an insult. If you are going to marry someone from a particular country and live with them for the rest of your life, should you not want to take an interest in these things in order to better understand where you are living? Am I wrong here? This discussion became a fairly huge rift between us last night - she was saying things like "I'm sorry I don't want to know about your country. I'm sorry I don't want to feel obligated to learn these things FOR you. I don't do anything I don't want to do."

Anyone want to tackle these two? I truly love her and want to be with her. Am I being overly sensitive? Are these things that could be worked on over time? It seems to me that by living in America you cannot help but learn SOME history and culture. As far as the temper, I don't know if that's something that can be worked on or not. I used to have a fairly bad temper, but now that I'm in my 30's it seems to have just faded away.

Thanks for reading this long post. I appreciate any advice.
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Old 28th February 2002, 12:04 PM   #10
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Re: Am I making a big mistake

Well, I guess you know quiet some Americans who dont know much about their own history, some people just are not interested. Even though I myself am usually interested in history right now I am living in Germany and I know some history from here, from my school days, but wouldnt want to spend any time in learning more. On the other hand, there is cultures and history I am interested in and will learn more about.

Japan is - as a whole - a pretty nationalist country, same as the States. Maybe she had enough of this kind of things in her own country (back in school) and doesnt want anymore of that. Or she might be afraid to loose her own culture. Anyway she is willing to live in the States with you, so she is giving up quiet a lot for your sake, maybe you could learn something about her culture and Japans history.

As to her temper, she might mellow sure, but dont count on it. But if its as rare as you say, I guess that shouldnt bother you overmuch. In my experience people with that kind of temper, might be difficult when they are in a bad mood, on the other hand, they tend to be able to show their good feelings better and to me thats worth it anyway.
Btw truly selfish people usually would never ever admit to themselves or anybody else that they are selfish.
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Old 28th February 2002, 12:22 PM   #11
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Re: repeating smth tony said... cuz i liked it :P

I think that's so true. I know in the past I've often forgot that and tried to make excuses for guys when they didn't seem to want to see me, or didn't call. (i.e. oh, he's just busy, or he's out with his friends.) Whatever! People always make time when they really want to. Now I'm dating a guy who wants to see me all the time, calls me every night, etc., and it is so eye opening. Duh! This is what people do when they really like you!
Quote:
Tony said: "if she loved you, she'd make you the center of her life, i promise" ohh so trueee!! I dunna if i'm just young n learning, but i used to look for tiny hints of guys' affection, thinking they're hiding it or something... but now i know - if the affection really is there - it will be OBVIOUS... guys DO go after what they want - there's no need to doubt whether or not they like u - they SHOW it when they do ... my conclusion was that - all i gotta do is be open - and allow them to show it hopefully im not entirely wrong :P -yes
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Old 28th February 2002, 7:14 PM   #12
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Re: Am I making a big mistake

Is her moaning and complaining pushing you to leave her?

Tell her if she will not control her behavior it may force you to leave her one day. That should give her something to think about the next time she runs her mouth.

Although I have been in her shoes. I straighted up eventually over time. I was engaged at 18 to someone in their late 30's and the age difference brought up the majority of arguments. I was a kid, he was adult and trying to mold me into a women. I through fits and wouldnt let him walk out on a fight. After he told me to straighten up or leave I worked on it. I think it just took a few years to mature more. Eventually I shut my mouth and opened my mind. Than I thought "you know hes got something there"!

But what are you fighting about? Money,culture,sex,marriage?

If she doesnt want to learn about American history, so let it be! Dont force her. If she doesnt want to, than she shouldnt have to.

You however can talk about the history and culture.

Talk about it everyday if you want to! Bring something up at dinner, after the movies, or while walking in the park.

If you talk about your culture & from the heart, and she sees just how important it is from you, she may find herself loving that about you and take it all to her heart.



Quote:
Well, I guess you know quiet some Americans who dont know much about their own history, some people just are not interested. Even though I myself am usually interested in history right now I am living in Germany and I know some history from here, from my school days, but wouldnt want to spend any time in learning more. On the other hand, there is cultures and history I am interested in and will learn more about. Japan is - as a whole - a pretty nationalist country, same as the States. Maybe she had enough of this kind of things in her own country (back in school) and doesnt want anymore of that. Or she might be afraid to loose her own culture. Anyway she is willing to live in the States with you, so she is giving up quiet a lot for your sake, maybe you could learn something about her culture and Japans history. As to her temper, she might mellow sure, but dont count on it. But if its as rare as you say, I guess that shouldnt bother you overmuch. In my experience people with that kind of temper, might be difficult when they are in a bad mood, on the other hand, they tend to be able to show their good feelings better and to me thats worth it anyway. Btw truly selfish people usually would never ever admit to themselves or anybody else that they are selfish.
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Old 28th February 2002, 7:26 PM   #13
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Re: repeating smth tony said... cuz i liked it :P

Yeah your right. For almost two years I made myslef believe that someone I grew up with really did love me. When only he used my body, and afterwards kick to me to side.

I had a hard time believeing that he didnt love. I thought he was just afraid to let go becuase of pain from his past relationship.

I have to work with this person everyday. I tell him what to do,when,& where. He hates that, and he doesnt like to treat me with any respect at work. Little does he know it's costing him!

I still love him in heart becuase I have known him 75% of my life. Now Im on the edge of not having an ounce of respect for him. I wish sometimes I could tell him so.

But I dont think he cares! I could slap myself for being so stupid. He didnt show love, so obviously there was none and wont ever be.

But I tried to show no mercy and it didnt do any damn good.

Quote:
I think that's so true. I know in the past I've often forgot that and tried to make excuses for guys when they didn't seem to want to see me, or didn't call. (i.e. oh, he's just busy, or he's out with his friends.) Whatever! People always make time when they really want to. Now I'm dating a guy who wants to see me all the time, calls me every night, etc., and it is so eye opening. Duh! This is what people do when they really like you!
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