Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My husband is homesick!

Korean randomness:

On the boat to Namisum
Our home
Preparing for family holiday
Attempting to tie cherry stems into knots with our teeth (look at that concentration)
My favourite snack in my favourite restaurant in my favourite chair
Studying Korean in front of work at the 63 building

I know this feeling very well.

Although I try to think positively in life (and on this blog), living in Korea for 5 years certainly was challenging at times. I would cry to Sung Hyun about how difficult it was to be misunderstood and always an outsider -- feeling like I never did belong. Now I know what it feels like to be on the other side. I feel helpless and don't know what to say to him when he is going through these exact emotions. He didn't know what homesickness was until now. He's just got to push through and I know he'll do alright, but it's hard to be on the other side knowing I can't do anything to help him.

Christmas is over and the reality of life here has set in. I too am having a hard time finding my groove. We certainly haven't found 'our' groove. I hope we'll get it soon.

(or I'm going back to Korea!)


Shelley said...

You know Jenn, I tell my husband the same thing all the time, that once we move to Canada he will truly know what it feels like to celebrate his holidays without his family and friends, and what it is like to miss his parents and siblings.
I know there isn't much he can do to make me feel better, but just knowing and understanding the feeling (true empathy) will make us a stronger couple. I think it is really hard to find the balance when one person (me) has experienced BOTH cultures, lived in both Canada and India and have a comparison. When him nor his family have ever been to Canada (or out of the country), and can't relate to many of the traditions, or what I go through. I don't want him to feel loneliness out of spite, I just think it will make us more balanced, since I constantly feel like he just doesn't get it.....
It's sad Sung Hyun is lonely and homesick and I know that feeling all too well, but I truly think he'll come to appreciate the sacrifices you've made for him by living in Korea a lot more (even though I know you did like it there too).
I know my hubby appreciates what I go through, but he doesn't really truly understand...not yet anyway.

Why am I here??? said...

well said!

saebom said...

it's funny to me that this post came only a short while after talking about buying a house--which seems a lot more permanent.

i think korea is hard bc no matter how much you integrate into society you will always be a foreigner. i am korean and born there and even if i learn korean, become a citizen (we can do that now!) and get a korean family i think i would always be a foreinger as well.

i dunno if this is specific to korea, (ie china seems sooo different about this) but in a sense it makes it easier to be here in the u.s., and maybe in canada too. bc even tho i'm sure some ppl feel that here overall, i think most ppl don't, or much less so than korea. i think at some pt of living in the u.s. you can feel like an american.

it's hard and i am in no way a good example of the adjusting, but i think if you live your life one foot in the other you'll never be fully happy or fully there. you gotta let it go at some point.

but on the other hand, maybe the missing never stops. right now i feel an ache in missing korea and i wonder if it's just korea or this happens with lots of other countries too.

to end with a funny story, i asked jamie if he understood how missing korea pains me. he said he can understand it but not relate to it. i said that's fine. then he told me he missed home when he lived in a dorm at college one year.

i said that doesn't count. you can't really miss home when YOU'RE LIVING IN THE SAME CITY. seriously.

did that at least make u laugh?

사랑하는, 새봄

Amanda said...

I disagree with this part of saebom's comment:
it's hard and i am in no way a good example of the adjusting, but i think if you live your life one foot in the other you'll never be fully happy or fully there. you gotta let it go at some point.


You HAVE to live one foot in one culture--both of you--unless you want to disrespect your spouse. Even if you live in Canada forever, Sung Hyun's family lives in Korea. And if you live in Korea, your family is in Canada. And if you lived in Russia, both of you would be away from your families.

You have to live one foot in each other's cultures/country's hearts because you each come from different countries and cultures.

It's one of the challenges of being in relationships like we've chosen. It's also one of the biggest joys.

Sante said...

Jen Hope you had Merry Christmas and H.N.Year with your husband. Speaking of Homesick..mmm. it's right and wrong. I miss my family at all times which will matter forever. but friends and things I was enjoying there, well 4 yrs of my life in Canada kinda automatically resolved those concerns. In fact, I feel sort of homesick when my parents' b-day comes when my g.fa died and I didn't make it. btw, I think my homesick absolutely disappeared when I had my 1st one and now we just had 2nd one, sleeping 4-5hrs a day, technically/physically, there's no emotional room to think other-than day-to-day survivial(chainging dipers, calm down my 1st one for extra attention).

Why am I here??? said...

Hey Saebom,

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR! I miss getting into trouble with you. Actually I think you shouldn't minimize you're husbands experiences. I mean I think being taken out of your element and put into something new will always create feelings of homesickness (granted I get your point about being in a totally different country). I think Amanda has a valid point about having a foot in each culture. Remember the grass is always greener on the other side. I have to keep thinking of the positive things I have in Canada that I didn't get in Korea. For me, SPACE is a big one. I didn't enjoy being cramped up in such tiny living quarters. As for Sung Hyun I suspect that after a few years time, Canada will feel more like home to him. Then when he goes to Korea he might be dealing with identity issues (he might feel he doesn't belong there either). We'll cross that path once we get there!

Thanks for your comments ladies. Did Kisu feel different going back to America Amanda?

Sante, I understand there will always be times when you have that feeling. And once we create our own family it will be more of a distraction. What do you do to get over your homesickness? call home? keep busy?