We talk quite a bit about cultural differences and age differences between foreigners and Filipinas. Filipinas are sought after for wives for their traditional values, feminine appearance, and friendly demeaner. Worth spending thousands of dollars to immigrate after possibly as long as a year-long wait to be together. It sounds great and it can be, but not without having to make various adjustments. Where do I even start?
Please subscribe to Love Beyond The Sea to learn about finding and experiencing marital love. This is a channel that can help with learning how to live with and take care of a wife, to be the husband she has dreamed of. I married a woman from the Philippines five years ago. We got married in less than eight weeks, so we have our own adjustments to make, but anyone will. I will list some areas that require an adjustment before culminating with what is my biggest adjustment and put it into perspective.
The vast distance between you- My wife grew up about 9800 flight miles from me. I made eight flights to see her, marry her, and return home. That’s just the way it is. After marrying a Filipina, she will want to go home now and then and it is good for her. I’d like to think if you were able to, that you would go with her. We have returned three times to the Philippines, and hope to visit again in 2021. Taking anywhere from 26 to 36 hours to get to a destination by plane isn’t easy. That’s if you don’t have delays and missed flights due to bad weather.
Thankfully the third time for me was much better than the other two and the fourth time seemed normal. It is still an adjustment and hopefully you don’t hurt your back sitting as long as you will. Airport security can be a hassle too but this is all part of the experience of international travel.
Age gap-Our age difference hasn’t been a problem. I am not that old so physically there have been no issues. What about other ways related to age such as attitude/maturity differences? We haven’t had any issues there as we are fairly similar despite our age difference. My wife isn’t materialistic and thinks of others before herself. I would think this was the case for years before I even met her. Someone her age from America might be more materialistic and self-centered. A lot of that can be due to a Filipina’s need to help her family which requires her to earn money for them that you wouldn’t ordinarily see where you live.
I would describe myself as being old fashioned and I would describe my wife the same way. Mentally or physically I haven’t thought of our age gap as being a detriment or even a challenge in our marriage. I will link a playlist of 19 videos for you so you can delve into that. There are always going to be challenges however. The better you know how to manage them the easier it gets.
Interests-I wasn’t a man who had a lot of irons in the fire when it came to hobbies. I have been blessed to work at the same company for almost 40 years. I work six days a week so I need my rest. I like watching football and basketball as sports is a big deal in Nebraska. I didn’t have any hobbies that would somehow interfere with our marriage. If something did than it would have to be eliminated or changed. My wife worked in the Philippines.
We both like basketball. Our musical interests are very similar. I know a lot more bands than she does because I am older but I like the ones she likes too. We enjoy karaoke together. Even if we didn’t have similar hobbies, I would find a way to do things together we both enjoy or I would drop something so I can invest myself in the things she enjoys.
She likes plays, she likes plants, she likes to travel some, so I do my best to show interest in these things too. I have really enjoyed the musicals we’ve seen together, I encourage her gardening, and travel is something that now I can say I like to do too.
Culture-When I think about culture, I think about the obligation of children to take care of parents and other siblings. If a foreign man can’t accept that this will need to take place in his marriage to a Filipina, then he will be often frustrated. He can’t expect her to alienate herself from a way of thinking she has always lived with. Whatever it is, culture differences don’t have to be fully understood or shared by the foreigner but when married to a Filipina it has to be accepted.
I have helped my wife more than I initially expected to, but that is because I love her and what is important to her, I want to be important to me. When we help her family in any way then we both will be blessed for doing that. We both share in their benefit. I will elaborate more on helping the family later.
Her family-I haven’t experienced issues with her family. You can have problems with any in-laws, but there have been no issues for us. Nothing unexpected has happened. I asked her father for his permission to marry my wife and the whole family was present. I have been comfortable around them. Her family is my family too. They will be part of our household if and when we retire in the Philippines. I love her family and think it is a blessing that we are family
What other people think-Something that could be irritating for a foreigner marrying a Filipina is hearing comments from other people who are ignorant of the dynamics of your relationship. I was much more concerned about finding a good wife than concerning myself with what other people thought. If God wanted me to marry a Filipina, so be it. I prayed for many years and asked my church to pray until it happened. The result is a Filipina and I was not even thinking about that possibility. If fact, my late sister knew I liked the way Filipinas looked and before she died, she told me I would marry a Filipina. After scolding her for thinking that could happen, I completely forgot about her remarks. Two years later I was married to a Filipina!
Monetary support-Here is the biggest adjustment for me but it doesn’t mean it has been destructive or that I am complaining. I would say it has been wanting to help her family financially and then doing it. I didn’t say it was having to help her family or being pressured into helping her family. I am not saying this is a negative thing but I do admit to it being the biggest adjustment, and yet, I don’t think it is something that will be a lasting adjustment because I am already past that. I think being married since May of 2015 it is possible most of the adjusting has already taken place.
It took an adjustment in wanting to help since I had never done this before as this isn’t normally something that comes up in America. The adjusting was not difficult because I hated to do it, it was more in the process of warming up to it. I hope I am making sense. In my situation, I have been working about 40 years, hadn’t had a girlfriend for most of that time, didn’t have any debt, and didn’t have plans for spending money on much other than what I needed to. I think I was in a good position to marry a Filipina and be able to accept this family dynamic. What’s more than that, I love my wife and am able to see the needs of her family as being more pressing than anything I am dealing with.
My wife works long and hard helping to pay for some of our bills, her car payment, and help with some family needs as well as our house over there. I think she has been sensible. Even our biggest venture of building and furnishing a retirement house is a joint venture. I help because I want to. I am aware of what the money is for and nothing is done behind my back. I manage all the money although I have offered her that duty but she has declined. I don’t blame her. Someone has to do it though.
I was expecting that I would be helping my wife but she prefers to do much of it herself. She hasn’t threatened me to help support financially. She lays out a plan for how to work it all out and then I try to help us come up with a plan together that helps her avoid working herself excessively. Partnering with my wife to help our family in the Philippines is a good thing, it helps bond us together with this common goal. It helps a lot if I help willingly. It wasn’t like I was being asked to choose between her family and something I had been dreaming about doing for years.
What I had been dreaming about for many years was having a wife especially a Filipina but I must have considered it too much of a long shot to take it seriously. What I have is a wonderful wife who is very precious to me. The way I look at it, God was preparing us for each other (see the video Born for each other), she to meet my needs and me to meet hers. I like helping our family in the Philippines. Sometimes I say “her family” and in a sense that is true but now it really is “our family”.
Occasionally a Filipina will express her opinion that a Filipina is under no necessity or requirement to help at home whether she is single or married. Technically she isn’t, but practically, if there are needs in her family, they should be met somehow. Sometimes it seems that this help “back home” is an obligation, and there may be a certain element of truth there, but I would be disappointed in my Filipina wife if she ignored her family’s needs because she was no longer living there. More often I believe your experience will be that the Filipina you marry will feel compelled to help. What combination of love, culture, obligation or pressure only she will know and may not be able to explain it.
My biggest adjustment is a good thing, that’s the way I look at it. It gives me pleasure and satisfaction to help my wife help her family as well as try to help my wife fulfill her dreams. She is the fulfillment of my dreams but that doesn’t mean I stay out of her family’s welfare. If our family in the Philippines has needs, I would rather help the family than a complete stranger. I also believe any help will be rewarded by God and there are numerous verses in the Bible about that.
Adjustment usually involves money for family help and I wanted to explain that this will be a relationship building area or a relationship destroying one if the husband doesn’t see it as something his Filipina wife will want or need to do, and he is wise to allow her to and to help. The key here is that he must know this before marrying her and if he is not going to be in a position to help her or refuses to, then either he allows her to do it to any degree she thinks is required or he avoids marrying a Filipina. That’s worth repeating-He must know this before marrying her and if he is not going to be in a position to help her or refuses to, then either he allows her to do it to any degree she thinks is required or he avoids marrying a Filipina.
I think it would be more profitable for him to not refuse but in talking about this before marriage, she will need to decide if she can respect a man who can help but refuses to help. The best thing to do is to help and if you can’t then explain convincingly why that is, and allow her to do what she thinks is best.
Talk about how she thinks help for her family will be accomplished after you are married, if you are serious about marrying her. If you are able, she needs that affirmation and needs to be open to working together with you on how to make it happen. Like anything else, you’ll need to trust the Filipina to know what needs to be done. The more I think about this, the more I am convinced before the foreigner even dials up a Filipina’s number, he should have this dynamic settled in his mind.
We often overlook the adjustments a Filipina has to make. A good relationship adjusts to meet each other’s needs. I will continue to adjust for the good of my Love Beyond The Sea.