Okay, so Dad and I have a question for the Wednesday mailbag.
How do you think your "new marriage" is different living in a foreign country than it would be if you were living here in the Dallas area? And would you recommend it to other newly married couples?
(for the teacher side of all of us...please make sure you use "sequencing", "compare and contrast", "inferencing", and answer in complete sentences!!)
Much, much love,
Dear Mom and Dad,
What a great, great question you pose.
It's a question Chris and I considered before making the move to Turkey, and one we reflect on quite often now that we're here.
We can't be sure of the effects moving to a foreign country has had on our marriage because we don't know life any other way.
But, we have been able to make some assumptions and inferences of how moving has shaped our marriage, versus staying in the DFW metroplex.
For starters, no grandchildren are expected by any of our families.
In fact, if we were to announce we were trying we're pretty sure we would be hustled away in the middle of the night by masked kidnappers and put on a plane back to Dallas.
Turkey and future grandbabies, we have learned, do not mix.
So, pressure for immediate procreation is off.
Secondly, it's nice to figure things out for ourselves.
We have to make our own dinnertime routines and our own weekend schedules, and we have the time and the space from outside influences (including Pottery Barn catalogs) to decide what our family is like and how we operate.
We'll make our own Thanksgiving tradition and celebrate birthdays in our own unique Wehkamp way.
Thirdly, by living without friends or family, and no one else to turn to, we have had to learn how to rely on each other.
We have to be more patient with each other and more understanding.
Diving into two new jobs and two new graduate careers has also left a lot less time to fight.
Some couples turn upside down and backwards when change or challenge is brought into their lives; Chris and I take the lemons, photograph them, videotape them and blog them to death.
Getting married and then 1 month later moving the country definitely isn't for everybody.
If you don't have your own goals and your own interests, you will probably suffocate your partner and your marriage to death.
I think living abroad as newlyweds is for us because we worked hard to set the groundwork for our marriage before getting married.
We spent time dating, we spent time being engaged, and we did all that we could to improve our communication before saying our vows and moving.
Today actually marks 101 days of matrimony between Chris and I. (Will that qualify for the sequencing you were looking for?)
We are enjoying being married to each other and enjoy living in Turkey.
I have decided to differentiate myself in this post by using a bold typeface. Please do not interpret from this choice that I am shouting at you, or putting emphasis on all the words I am typing. I like pancakes. See, no one would ever emphasize or yell that they like pancakes. I am simply stating that I do like pancakes. But if I typed instead, I like pancakes, then I would be meaning for you to read the statement as though I was putting emphasis on the work 'like.' I will never be shouting at you, but if I should need to, I will do so by using CAPITALS. I did not, however, shout at you just then. I was merely giving an example of the capital letters I would use if I were so inclined. Ahem.
IN REGARD TO YOUR QUESTION - sorry. I accidentally engaged the caps lock key, and was not looking at the screen as I typed the preceding sentence. I was not intending to shout at you in the preceding sentence, and I hope that you will accept my sincere apology. My sincere apology. Ahem.
In regard to your question I must admit that I have found living with your daughter to be, at times, a hairy proposition.
I do not believe, however, that the difficulties I have experienced over the last 45 days would be much alleviated by living in more familiar surroundings with your daughter. Instead, I think that the difficulties I have experienced may originate simply from living with your daughter, quite irregardless of setting or scene.
To the hypothetical newlyweds you referenced in your query I would recommend that they not pursue relocation to the wooly hinterlands lest they know with utmost certainty with whom they share their tent.
Your daughter and I have had the benefit of sixteen years together to grow intimately familiar with ways to ignore each others most disgusting and irksome habits. That hard-earned knowledge and a conveniently located pub have gone a long way toward making our living arrangements occasionally tolerable.
In closing, I'd like to recognize the really great job you did of standing idly by with a grin on your face while I packed everything up like a fool to abandon comfort and health to live in a hovel with your relentlessly nagging daughter.