What difference does our differences make in our Fil-Am Marriage?by Bobpublished on
My wife and I have been married since May 10 of 2015 when we tied the knot in the Philippines after a very short getting-to-know-you-stage. Yes, we had enough things in common that we decided to get married. When an American marries a Filipina from so far away, there will be plenty of differences no matter what. I’d like to think my wife and I look comfortable and natural together, like if we were from the same country and closer to age. It would seem to be nice to have everything in common but that isn’t realistic and probably severely limits the opportunity for personal growth and new experiences. We are different, but does that matter?
Please subscribe to Love Beyond The Sea if you are in a relationship with a Filipina or are even curious about that. See the website lvbts.com. At 59 I hear this quiet but noticeable tick-tock that is my life span that is left. I try not to concentrate on it, but I hear it a lot. I try to ignore it but I can’t. The reason I say that is because I was able to finally get married later in life, at age 53. On one hand I don’t want men to give up looking for a good wife, and on the other I want to encourage them to make the very best of what time they have left, and we don’t even know how long or short that is.
A Filipina wife, if you choose wisely, can help you make the most of the rest of your life. I have and hope to have many more videos about foreigner and Filipina relationships. If you think that a foreigner and Filipina, especially with a large age gap, would have little in common, you’re probably right, however these differences can be a good thing, they can help provide spark to a marriage. I want to talk about that right now. As I list these things try to think about one difference between you and your Filipina that has helped you to have a good relationship. Hopefully I can jog your memory with some of these.
What about our differences? Are they always a bad thing, can it be a positive? Let’s take a look at our differences and I will grade them with a pass/fail or +/- system. I will start with the ones that help us, and I will include some that are more challenging to us.
Age gap-We are 27 years apart. Grade +. Not unusual by Fil-Am standards. The way this has been good for my wife is that I have lived longer and have a better understanding of what is important than when I was younger and have time to become less selfish. It also has allowed me to have more time to work to save for the future. The benefits of my wife being a lot younger is good for me from the obvious intimacy benefit as well as it is just so wonderful to have an energetic wife who isn’t jaded by life.
My wife tires less easily than me, which isn’t too surprising, but I can’t tell you enough how I value her ability to work 50 hours or more a week to help us and her family. She has a strong work ethic and the youth to accomplish much. She cooks and keeps a clean, organized house and I want to bless her as much as I can for this. She will be plenty young enough to find a job that suits her that she wants to do that won’t require 50 hours a week in the Philippines and we are tossing an idea around at this time. She wants something to do if we retire there.
The life experience I have, especially in a country my wife is new to, is a benefit to her. I can talk to her about how things are here, what the dynamics at work are, what the team leaders are looking for in a worker. I can assist her to think about her future more than she is used to. Many Filipinas are not accustomed to long-term thinking but I feel the need to talk to her about how the present can influence the future.
Since she is a lot younger, I think she might be able to provide good care for me when I am older. I didn’t marry her for this reason and we have not even talked about it. Probably most men aren’t comfortable with the idea of their wife taking care of them later in life, it is a sign of weakness I guess, but having a younger wife who loves you will pay tremendous dividends especially later in life when you need it most. I have thought about making a video about this but it is kind of a sad, sober topic.
You can check out my videos on having a young wife for more on this. I will link the playlist in the description box. It is true on paper we will have a smaller window of time together, but on the other side, I believe the time we do have together will be very good.
Education-My Filipina wife is a college graduate. Grade +. I did not go to college although I did go to a technical school for broadcasting. I see this as a benefit for us, I don’t see how this can be a bad thing. I am not jealous of her. I respect that she did what she had to do to get an education. She used it to work in the Philippines as a teacher for special needs children. I pondered early on what that indicated about my wife. She is a caring woman. At this time she is considering a two year degree here in the US.
Intelligence-I think my wife is smarter than I am. Grade + I compliment my wife on this fact. I compliment her on her skills, I will link a video to her fully setting up a SMART TV for us and I know I would give up on that because electronics and me don’t mix. I respect my wife’s intelligence. Her friends think she is brilliant. I agree. She learns faster than I do. She doesn’t think less of me because she is smarter. If I was jealous then than would not help our marriage. If she’s smarter, she’s smarter, good for her and good for me and good for us.
When we go to the Philippines or any fly anywhere else, I rely on her to know where to go, which is especially challenging with visas, green cards, TSA, international logistics. My wife had never left the country before yet she can get around the airports with ease. When we went to Paris, she got us through the airports with ease and remembered where places were in the city as if she lived there her whole life. I love it. She makes travel so easy for us. She remembers how to get around places.
She assembled the lawn mower out of the box, and did the same with a lawn edger. If something is not working in the house, she tries to fix it herself, if she can. All the electronic headaches she can resolve. If we get a home security system, I will leave that up to her. I am very happy she is smarter than I am. That doesn’t mean I am an idiot because there are things that I can help her with too, for instance, I have always been interested in health, vitamins, supplements, meds and their impact on health.
When I was younger, I’d frequent the health food store to look at the supplements, ask what they were for, and read books. I wished I could try all of the supplements in the store at once! That would require a lot of water! When it comes to health, I can help my wife because she is hesitant to go to the doctor and probably not likely to investigate her meds or her conditions. This is good for her, and consequently, for us. I am going to be more concerned than she is when a symptom appears, and try to find out what I can about it.
Family size-I grade this a +. My family here is quite small, only my mother who lives with us, lives in the same city. Two other family members are in a different city. My father, sister and grandmother have passed away and I didn’t have a brother. My wife on the other hand has a typical large family. Grade +. Some might see this difference as a bad thing but I want to look on the bright side. If for some reason my wife didn’t have a lot of family that could be a disaster since we don’t have much family here. We are considering retiring in the Philippines.
For her there isn’t anything to think about, but as a couple, the decision is more difficult because I would prefer to stay here, but I don’t think that would be good for my wife. I think for her to be around her family and friends back in the Philippines for the rest of her life can only be good for her and for us. Limiting or preventing something good for her is going to be bad for me and for us. I will need as many people as possible in the Philippines to relate to and do things with and I am looking forward to her family being a big part of that.
Financial situation-I worked at the same company for 40 years and am in a vastly better financial situation than my wife. Grade +. Even if my wife had probed my financial status before marriage I wouldn’t have been offended, it would depend on the nature of the questions and the timing of them. Shortly before we married, I did show her my assets, I didn’t hide any of it. I wanted her to know. I had all that information anyway for my petition for her immigration so I went over that with her, and she has to this day, not been too concerned about the details or impressed.
It may be that a Filipina simply isn’t used to this or is familiar with the terms and how they operate. This doesn’t mean that I belittle or ignore the impact on her work before I married her because she was working hard to provide for her family. I need to let her know from time to time that I appreciate that she gave up a career to come here. She has gotten several raises at work and is respectful, professional, courteous and hard working. Everyone seems to want her on their team. That’s because she is pleasant and works hard. I am very proud of her.
Patience-My wife is more patient than I am, so I can learn from her how to become more patient. Grade +. It is only a plus however if I am willing to become more patient myself.
Early bird-night owl-This is a difference that I didn’t know ahead of time and I can say has presented some challenges. This will be a grade – with the caveat that in anything like this, I need to look for the benefit that exists that is harder to see, I need to try to use this for our good. That is how I would suggest handling differences as much as possible. I believe God knows what differences a marriage needs to be at its best, so I don’t want to think of them as bad or to be avoided at all costs. If I grade something – that is more or less simply to contrast to a +, not to imply that this is a deal breaker when looking for a Filipina.
My wife has tried to adjust to getting up early daily for work but that is not the way she thinks is more natural for her, which is more effective for her. I have resisted her trying a later shift because that would mean less time together (It won’t be for the rest of our lives) but then again, I need to always be considerate of what is best for her, put myself in her shoes. Here is where I want to point out the “other side”, the way I try to perceive this difference, how I try to reframe it to see the potential it has for good.
Without going into detail, I can see the value in her working a later shift. It potentially could even provide more job security and opportunities. Most importantly, it shows my Filipina that I love her and am willing to make adjustments for her good, even sacrifices, which I have preached to her since we’ve been married. I believe that what we give to others, will be returned to us, if the giving is done with the right motive. I believe that all the sacrifices I make for her will indeed result in a return of some kind and also be good for our marriage.
Talkativeness-My wife noticed right away that I was more talkative than she was and felt like it bothered her at times. My wife is more private. I am grading this a – because it is something that she has been the one to have to adjust. Because I am more talkative, I tend to ask more questions of her and want to talk about her but she is sometimes not comfortable going into as much detail as I want her to. In other words, she thinks she has fully answered me when I might not think she has. If she asks me how my day at work was, I can talk for a long time but her answer to the same question is likely to be answered with “Ok” or “good”. I have learned that she will elaborate later.
The “other side” to this difference is for me to learn to patiently wait for her to reveal more over time, as she feels necessary or comfortable with. I don’t think she intentionally hides things from me, it is just that she is by nature less revealing. I know she despises gossip and reminds me not to be so free with information, which is why I am very careful with Love Beyond The Sea to not say bad things about her that would put her in a bad light.
Never in my life before her was I concerned about what I revealed because I believed I was not a completely open book all the time. Being with my wife has made me reconsider the things I talk about especially since now another person is so much a part of my life. A little discretion never hurt anyone and I need to be considerate about how she feels.
How emotional-While I am more demonstrative and theatrical when I am upset and tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, my Filipina wife is the opposite. She gets mad like I do but in general she reacts to certain situation differently than I do. This will be a grade -It is natural for me to want to deal with my emotions immediately and not later. Holding back how I feel doesn’t make any sense to me. I can’t understand exactly how my wife does it, she is different. I grade it a minus because I think that this upsets her more than her being less emotional upsets me.
Where this becomes a problem is if I cannot see clearly or I over react and say something to hurt someone or that will lead to backlash on me. Worst of all, that I say something or do something to unnerve my wife. The lesson to be learned or the flip side to this difference between us is for me to be more aware of how my responses affect other people.
I listed nine ways I am different from Aiza and if I took the time to, I might be able to find some more. Even ones I described as positive differences very well could be perceived as negative ones if my perspective were different. For instance, the age gap becomes a negative if I am critical of her lack of enough experience in life, her maturity. Education and intelligence becomes a negative if I allow myself to feel less significant or become jealous. The financial difference becomes a problem if I conclude that means I get to make all the decisions on what to do with that money.
Attitude is so important when taking account of differences with my love beyond the sea!