Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Monday game night and SEX!

Now that I've got your attention.....

I'm getting into the groove of life in Regina. It's taken a long time and it's been an up and down process; a battle per say.

I've learned that there is no easy way to transition into it. We both have been working full-time and were lucky to get decent jobs within the first month of arrival. But I've learned that money doesn't equate happiness. DUH!

Sung Hyun LOVES Canada. I, on the other hand, could go to another country tomorrow. I love the adventure of the unknown and exploring new cultures is really rewarding to me. It keeps me grounded. Make me appreciate diversity. It makes my heart smile.

Regina (where we live -- yes that's the name of my city) is so boring. But I'm really not giving it a fair chance. Since not much has changed since I've left and come back I've just written it off as easy. Friends....check! Supportive parents....check!

I've learned that I don't like comfortable. I don't like routine.

Two nights ago when Sung Hyun and I were arguing over me wanting to live in a different country (not Canada, not Korea) he told me 'no!' There was absolutely no way that he was going to consider such a suggestion considering he just uprooted everything he's known to make a go at life in Canada. Fair, enough! I get his point.

I told him that if he wasn't going to live in a different country for 1 year, then I wasn't going to have children. Fair? Yah, probably not!

(I know I say things that I don't mean when I'm angry)

I need to start factoring MY husband (you know that guy I married) into the decisions. Damn it's hard! (I'm not trying to say I'm selfish and think only of what I want but there are important things in my life that I want to accomplish while also taking into consideration another person. Add in language and cultural barriers and you're batting 0 for 10! So yah, those important things may happen in my life but not exactly when or where I want)

Sung Hyun told me he's not my dog!


I'm probably one of the most honest and open people (regarding about my life). I often talk about things that people don't want to hear. TMI Jen, TMI*.

So when I have people compliment me via facebook, or email, or even this blog about how well I'm doing since having moved back to Canada I have to read again and think 'ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT ME?'

Cause FUCK it's been a battle. In fact, my marriage has been a battle. I NEVER experience that 'honeymoon phase' that happens after you get married. It just skipped on right over me (and Sung Hyun!). And I'm NOT at all ashamed to say that my relationship with my husband is hard (cue: haters that want to leave mean comments).

It's like what I always told people in Korea about why divorce was so high in Canada but so low in Korea: "Do you think that married couples in my grandparents generation didn't want to get divorced? I BET NOT! I bet that women couldn't because they were financially dependant on their husbands. I bet that because divorce was stigmatize and pathologized that it made it a lot harder for people to get divorced. BUT don't think for a second that people weren't unhappy and wanted a way out."

I don't want a way out by the way (not yet anyway...hehe). Sorry that was just a tangent. Those happen often in my life.

But I'm not afraid to stand up and say (yell) 'what the fuck?' How do you navigate this life? How do you successfully balance the needs of two people? How do you continue to love the same person? Or have sex with them? (blush!)

I don't PRETEND to be happy. I struggle with happiness. I want so bad to 'just be happy one day'. It's not going to magically happen is it? DAMN!

So in times like these when everyone (okay, most people) on facebook post pictures of their newly-built house, husband, 2.5 kids and white picked fence, I can't help but wonder what is it that they are not sharing? Or why it is they are not sharing? Why do we have to create a life that is picture perfect to others? Why are we so afraid to display our weaknesses?

So I've been thinking about writing a book. About myself - weaknesses and all. It would go something like this:

Perfect on the Outside!

One girls tale of life and love in a foreign country OR
Finding love in South Korea (kind of)

Chapter 1: My relationship is so perfect it would make you all gag

Chapter 2: The break-up, the make-up, the rebound (that I married!)

Chapter 3: We everyday Canada style good-bye (long story - you'd have to read this chapter if you wanted to find out)

Chapter 4: Something else (reader's suggestions)

Chapter 5: (more reader's suggestions - like other juicy stuff you want to know about me)

Chapter 6: Having sex on your honeymoon is overrated
(a whole chapter devoted to SEX - or lack of!)

Chapter 7: Or maybe 2 chapters about SEX

Chapter 8: Living with your in-laws

Chapter 9: something else about my adventure in Korea.

Oh, damn it! I can't think of anything else that I could write about.

Any readers if I wrote said book?**


And to think, this post got starting with me wanting to talk about playing Monopoly with my family on Monday night!
*TMI = too much information!

** p.s. I'm totally not joking about the book. Or about the juicy details either ;)


Foreigner Joy said...


Married or not, I think it is hard to live with the same person everyday. I lived with one of my boyfriends for several years and it was tough. Plus we lived in a studio apt.

I have said this to other people and will say it now. The energy you are focusing on something that you can't grasp should be better directed at something you can grasp.

In other words, the passion you have for travel and exploring the world can still work right where you are. You never know what kind of people are living in your town. Getting to know you community would be an interesting way to see what makes it function.

As for a Yankee down here in California I really wonder what Canadians are like and whether they are just doing and acting like us down here.

In other words, you could show us more of Canada like you have done before when you guys were going around to more cities.

For one I don't even know what kind of supermarkets you guys have. That probably sounds boring, but it's probably a part of what makes Canada ...Canada.

Then I would like to see more how immigrant people live in your country or town..or just get to know them.

What major shows are on in Canada? What music do you guys like/dislike?

You see there is a world to explore all around you, because although it might be familiar to you there is someone out there in the blog world you isn't familiar with it.

That's why we read blogs to discover what we can't on our own.

I did a few walk abouts just in small town here and I don't really care if people thought it was boring on my blog.

I know that my small town here is a miracle of so many wonderful things that are functioning. It is a place where they haven't cut down all the trees and people care about "Green" energy and organic eggs. It's unique and I know it.

Put that kind of love into the world that is always around whether it be Regina or "Cornfield" Idaho.


Anonymous said...

I'd read that!
Seriously, seriously, would read it.
I think it's a great idea and it would help other young couples who are getting their start.

So yeah, get writing.

Kimberly Ann said...

LOL jen you make me laugh, I love reading your blogs, you really do say too much revealing stuff! But I love it! Just on Regina, I don't think you are giving it a far shake. I suppose I am super protective of my home city and have bias in that direction. But I ask you this - what did you have in Korea that made it some much more interesting then here? The vacations? The bars and resaurants? The people? Because first off you have the whole province and country to explore and the entire United States of America on your doorstep. You have your healthy eating (:P). You have your friends and family. You teach multiculteral students and work in an acedmic environment where you can meet lots of interesting people. What is so boring about it? I mean I understand if you feel that way but I just don't see it myself. How can anywhere be boring when you get to bring yourself and your creativity along?

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog because you ARE honest. I got married (to an American I met in the US) after 3 years in Korea, and on my way to the Arabian Gulf. He came along and while we were super excited to be married, and we were ready to be married to each other - I had to do some changing. I now say "we" and "our" a lot more than I ever did before. In fact, that was one of the first things that made my stomach flutter was hearing my fiance say, "our truck . . ." when I'd never even drove the thing. I noticed earlier in your blogs that you were writing about where you wanted to travel to next, but did not mention your husband. It takes time and focused effort to linclude that "ball and chain" in EVERYTHING we do. You'll get there!

saebom said...

but jennifer, the divorce rate in korea is 40%! what is canada's, 80%?

personally i think there is no such thing as happiness. and the perfect image people create on facebook, well that's just facebook, not real life.

but in terms of "happiness" (whatever that is) i think one of the best ways to get there is to not compare yourself to other people. and just go after what u want and be "happy" with that. that doesn't answer the spousal component you wrote, but that's more complicated.

in that sense it prob works best when both ppl want the same thing (ie kids, picket fence, etc.) and that is established before marriage^^

danielle said...

Three things:
First, it has helped me so much in my marriage and in life in general when I reset my thinking about happiness. My goal is to find happiness on the journey. It's not some magical destination we arrive at one day and never have to work for again! When I figured this out, it changed EVERYTHING.

Number two, I had very little sex on my honeymoon (India is too hot. It's like, don't even think about touching me. Sweltering=not conducive to honeymoon sex.)

Number three: Facebook is shit. Sure, I use it to keep in touch with my friends, but I never believe that what I see on Facebook is the true person, that I can ever have a real, meaningful relationship there, or that I can present myself authentically in that medium. It's mostly just making everyone nervous about who is happy and who is married and who is having kids and am I as happy as the next person? So, kill your Facebook account if you need to! Or get your friend count down to the 20 or 30 people closest to you that you can be honest and vulnerable with, who actually CARE about you, not just how many cool pictures you post. Everyone else is just as happy or unhappy as you are. Believe it and live that amazing life you've got, girlfriend!

End advice from girl also married to incredible Korean man! Haha.

Anonymous said...

First of all, relationships are hard. They are hard work. All those smiling pictures on fb? Those are staged. There are moments in relationships where the feelings of love and like swing in a massive arc from really awesome to really bad. It's a normal part of relationships, it's what you do with the bad that matters. It's the constant reaching out, supporting each other that really counts. You are already on the right track because your KNOW you need to work harder to balance it all and you KNOW you need to be more careful with your husband's own feelings and dreams. It's when you don't even know they exist that you have a real issue.

Coming back home from living abroad is hard, super hard, really hard, hard, hard, hard. It's not the same for your hubby, this is his adventure like you had when you went to Korea. Watch him when he returns to Korea, it will be similar. I remember it took me a good year to year and a half to feel normal in the US. I wanted to run back to Korea or another country at every turn and I too had a good job and was in grad school. My life in the US was full but still I had this inner need to go back to Korea or somewhere else. I still feel it and it's been 6 years!!!!! Give yourself some time, don't make any big decisions until you've been home for a year or even two. Remember, these feelings are NORMAL. Reverse culture shock is much, much more difficult than culture shock.

And hell yes girl, we would read that book!!!

SuperFantabulous said...

You should totally write that book.

Anonymous said...

Were the rebound marriage postcard on Post Secret?

Anonymous said...

I think I understand the feeling of "home is too boring." I have sort of a gypsy heart. I need to move frequently because I get bored of living in the same house. I realized this when I started paying attention to how excited I feel the first few weeks in the new place. It's the same things with countries. I've lived in four countries (a minimum of 2 years in each one) and while the moving process (I have pets that I take along from country to country) is a pain, I love the adventure of discovering a new place.

The thing is, there are probably lots of really interesting places near your hometown that you never discovered. Museums, parks, even the next town over... When I lived in NYC, sometimes I took the train to Long Island (an hour or so away). There are dozens of stops on the train line and I didn't know any of these towns. So I would go to the train station, look at the map, pick a town and jump on the train. Then I would spend the day exploring. Sometimes the towns had nothing to offer and sometimes I discovered a gem. Once in a while I would fall in love with the place and simply get a room (lots of bed & breakfasts in the area) and spend the night there. It was cheap and easy to do but still fullfilled my need to explore.

I also agree with Foreigner Joy about showing everyday things. We don't live in Canada, so we don't know the day-to-day stuff. Unless I Google "Regina" I have no idea what it looks like. Is there a museum, library, bowling alley, park? Spend an hour or so in those places as if you were a visitor. Take plenty of photos and try to look at them in a new light. Then post the pics here so we can know too (:)

Why am I here??? said...

WOW! Lots of good advice.

Nope, never writen to post secrets. Plus, that's not really a secret. I have much better things to submit, if I ever did send one!

More later everyone....

Shelley said...

Jen- I hear ya, loud and clear! Marriage is the HARDEST work I have ever done, and since I got married a little older I almost feel like I had things so set in stone it was hard to change. I know I am still selfish in certain ways, and I think that is ok. I don't think once you are married you become one. I think that is ridiculous. I do think it means you have a partner and that you should compliment each other.

Have you ever given thought to moving somewhere else in Canada (Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary)? I am only saying this because you'd still be in Canada and hubby would be happy, but moving to a new place means exploring new places and things and it might give you that adventure you're craving. I am just like you that way and I had even thought about moving from Ottawa to Vancouver or Toronto because I have the wanderlust bug.
BUT, now that I have a daughter, stability is a little more important than travel and excitement. Excitement to me now is when my daughter learns a new word, or sings me songs, or kisses me non-stop and this can happen anywhere in the world. So you just have to find that excitement for you. I personally feel (and is the same with me) that when we are so unsettled like this and need to travel that perhaps we are missing something in our lives...that one thing that will bring it all together (job, kids, friends, family, money). Whatever it is, it is different for everyone!

I hope you find that missing link Jenn....because once you do it will be a huge a-ha moment for you.

Shelley said...

Saebom: Please check your facts....

According to this website:

The divorce rate is 38% in Canada! Actually a lot lower than what most people think. It's 44% in the USA.

Kimberly Ann said...

Tanya said...

Hey jenbear.

I know how you feel. I know the feeling of unrest but thats because I spend too much time thinking rather than enjoying what I have around me.

I too have a gypsy heart as one of your readers wrote but I've learned to tame it and enjoy the life I lead. I think you are going through your own culture shock (i.e. the depression of a boring life and wanting to leave). Like Kim said you may not be giving it a fair chance. The community is what you make of it. Look at it in a new light, stop blindly driving by buildings and such and take a moment to look again. I have realized when I'm in regina or moose jaw, if I just take a good look at something I see it in a different light. Kinda like if someone asked if you knew their eye colour you wouldnt be able to tell them because you werent paying attention to that even though you look into their eyes all the time.

Anyways, relationships are hard but its up and down. You are going to have down times and up times and its not always the bliss that all these tv shows and facebook messages make it out to be. How many people do you know post on their facebook that their husband sucks, they didnt take them out to dinner or watch the kids. Not many. Most people only tell you the fluffy stuff because they dont want you to judge. They think they are the only ones in a situation like that but if everyone just opened up, they'd find that most people have those problems.

My suggestion is just try something new. You have lived here your whole life but I'm sure there's things you havent seen or tried.

Amy said...

I agree with a lot of what you say here Jen. I see a lot of stuff on Facebook and quite frankly wonder what the fuck I'm doing with my life. But then, I read that people I went to highschool with got married and are already divorced. I've been with the same person for almost 10 years. FB is a sham, it's a place for people to put out what they want to the public, not what necessarily is. Then, there are also people on FB whom I think share way too much information, but I guess that is what social media has become, an outlet for that. It's hard to turn off though, as it is a good place to stay in touch with people, etc.

Creating a sort of 1 from 2, with people isn't easy, and I don't think it ever will be. Anyone who says otherwise is lying through their teeth, or completely delusional about their own life and what happens in it. But to have the courage and desire to work on things as a couple, exerience things, have arguements, learn from them, and from each other. I kinda think that is what it's about. But who am I to say really, I conside my life a fairly boring mess, so.... :)

asiangarden said...

Hi Jenn! I think that FB is mostly a place where your great Aunt Bertha and your pastor and your BFF from highschool all can look at your pics, so ya...I'll admit, alot for me any ways goes unsaid on FB, same for my blog, I do rant a bit, but nothing like it really's too public, anyone can just google my name and find me there.
Life with a dude from a totally different culture is HARD. And ya, seeing his damn face everyday sometimes makes you go crazy! lol
But then you realize that your both in it together, you made that step, of course I'm not But I have three and almost four kids with the guy so we are pretty commited. You don't have kids, I say go for it, go on another adventure, you won't be able to once kids are in the picture. :)
Oh and I would totally read your book, I love your blog because it's so honest, you show your vulnerability and even when attacked like most people would totally delete the comments! lol and you keep them there! I love it, you are awesome and those losers are waiting for them to post something rotten anytime now on this post...:)
I hear they are hiring English teachers in China, but China to me is not as cool as Korea...:)

Amanda said...

Shelley, you misunderstood Saebom's comment. She was questioning how much higher Canada's rate could be than Korea's. She was questioning Jen's post (where she said that people in Korea said the rate was so high in Canada and so low in Korea). She was NOT saying she really thought Canada's percentage was 80%.

Jen, this whole post makes me sad. Sad because your marriage is hard, sad because you seem suspicious that people can actually be happy, sad because so many of the people leaving comments agree, and sad because the whole time I knew you in Korea, you wanted to go back to Canada.

I think you need to think back about why you wanted to live in Canada so much when you lived in Korea. What were you missing? As did it really have to do with location, or was it something internal that still needs to be worked on?

saebom said...

shelley, damn this is a friend's blog, not a newspaper, and commenting doesn't call for fact checkers. not to mention i didn't say anything about the u.s.'s divorce rate and i was being sarcastic about canada's.

maybe you need an explanation:

Anonymous said...

I will totally buy your book.
And well I'm really interested about knowing why your husband wants a baby now while you want to travel and I guess aren't totally ready to start a big family. You know stuff like that. I think you're a very interesting person and I wish you luck with your book. I will be waiting for it !

Anonymous said...

I posted earlier about learning to say, "we" and "our" and "us" more, but I'd like to also share my experience with moving back home and what went wrong.

I think moving "home" for me made me feel like I was going back in time, like I wasn't making any real progress towards becoming an adult. Why? Because I was living with my parents in the house where I spent summers between university and in the same town where I grew up from age 4 onwards. Time seems to stand still in the town where I grew up mainly because I stopped having relationships with people there (except via Facebook - which is not real) while I was in Spain, South Korea, and other places.

Meanwhile my former friends (or friends I lost contact with during times abroad) progressed in their lives with the "American Dream" of 9-5 careers, mortgages, weddings, babies, etc. When I returned from South Korea I was still lost and felt like I was 15 living with my parents. I didn't like high school and quite enjoyed the adventure and freedom of living in central Seoul, so being back home in the midwest was difficult - especially when I realized that everyone I'd left behind had gotten their act together according to popular society. In our mini-reunions everyone was "Oh wow! You've been to _____? Where is that exactly?" but we didn't have much in common otherwise. Things were awkward, a little boring, and I felt like I was in a time warp. After 3 months of working full-time in the US I got an interview (still single!) to work in the Middle East. I thought, 'heck, if it is just me I'll go where there's big money.' I got the job and flew out nearly 8 months after I moved home from Seoul. However, I met my husband just barely 2 months before I left, and we made a plan to get married. Meeting him was a very pleasant surprise, but there have been hiccups. I was so used to doing it all by myself. Heck, I backpacked through Vietnam alone! The best thing we can do for each is to TALK about EVERYTHING. Marriage is like a three-legged race. You need to decided where you are going and divide work equally - unless you are okay with dragging dead weight. I'm not talking about financially contributing 50/50, but deciding qualitatively how things are equal as well in the marriage.

I agree with another commenter that life in Canada might be more fun for you and your husband if you were to move to another place - or at least out of your parents' home. I know finances are in question, but make it a goal (along with including your husband as an equal shareholder in all things) and you can do it! Good luck and keep us all posted. You are definitely not the only one who has moved "home" and brought a husband with you. Honestly, I'm a little nervous (just a little) about moving home with my husband, although he's American. We've never lived in the US together!

Wow! That was a long post!

Shelley said...

Saebom: I'm sorry you are right, I totally misread the comment, and I wasn't meaning to be malicious.
I guess I'm just sensitive about this, because people here in India are ALWAYS telling me that everyone in Canada is divorced and we have no concept of marriage.

Helena said...

Good luck!

Amyable said...

Find happiness in wherever you are in your life right now. Happiness isn't based on location, people around you, etc. Happiness is within your heart and mind. I know this sounds so new-agey but it is really true!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't want to read your book. It'd be more of a depressing drama as supposed to a refreshing read. Like I really want to read about the disasters of a young girl who is too young to have already shot to hell parts of her life.

Anonymous said...

Ask yourself this one question, how would you feel if your husband went and wrote a book exposing your sex life, or lack there of it as you mentioned, to the public? Some things are meant to be kept private. Watch yourself. What goes around comes around and just like you're splattering your life on the web, who is to say he isn't!!

권투선수 에이미 [Amy] said...

Hey Jennifer,
This is Amy#2 I suppose. Am glad to see you can still find the humor inthings. Try not to think so much. Relax and enjoy life for what you have and what you've created. Life isn't about the have nots it is about the haves. Looks like you have a lot, now just open your eyes and realize it.

Tanya said...

You win some you lose some. Obviously there are people like anonymous who say they wouldn't read your book but yet they are taking the time to comment on your blog which means they are reading your blog. Some people are just cruel and get a kick out of putting people down without have the balls to put their name attached to their post.

"Like I really want to read about the disasters of a young girl who is too young to have already shot to hell parts of her life."

I just dont get why people say things like that. If you dont want to read about her life then why are you reading her blog? Like anyone wants to read comments of a depressing loser who has to post mean comments on people's blogs to make themselves feel good.

Lord some people need a life!

Anonymous said...

Have you thought about moving to a different city within Canada? Vancouver or Toronto might work well for a young couple like you, especially Vancouver. It might be more expensive and you'd have to find work, but it's more diverse and you would get to experience new and different things more easily than where you are. I think part of the reason people love to travel so much is 1. new experiences + people and 2. escapism. Anyway, in spite of your worries, it seems like you are both doing some things right.

Anonymous said...

You like adventure?
How about Montreal? Would be more adventurous than Vancouver or Toronto. And they speak good English too. And your parents can visit you reasonably easily if they want to.

Agermanreader said...

Totally love your honest posting. Sometimes I regonize myself in your posts... Please keep blogging.