Monday, February 27, 2012

Generating Disagreement

I seemed to have evoked people who either agree or disagree with the presentation of my current relationship. It's good because I honestly like to hear from both sides.
Just to clear things up:
* I am not getting a divorce. Actually, neither Sung Hyun or myself think that we have a huge problem that warrants this. Really, that's not at all where we are at.
* I have communication problems with my husband. Yes, they are my fault. They are our fault. Yes, I need to put more time and effort into improving this. We both know that. We both agree on this. We are doing this. We have decided to eat with the T.V. off and just talk about life. It's been great so far!
* Despite knowing that we have communication problems, we also have problems due to a language barrier. Sometimes we laugh at these situations when we completely misunderstand one another due to this barrier. Sometimes these situations can be really frustrating. But there is no doubt that due to language/cultural differences we have a lot of misunderstandings as well.
* I read all comments and reflect upon the words of advice that's offered, even if said comments are negative. I appreciate honesty so if people call me out on things I have done then I'm okay with that. It's okay to feel uncomfortable. I know it's at these moments when I'm really learning. I don't get mad when people write negative things about me. These people have taken the time to read/respond to my blog. I'm especially glad when these people take ownership of their words by identifying themselves.
* From the feedback this week I have learned that it sounds like I'm venting. Blogging for me is a release. I could easily journal about this behind lock and key. I feel good letting it out and I'm okay with people judging me in the process, but I will pay particular attention to times when I come across as "just venting".
* My husband reads my blog. I share my feelings with my husband about times when I'm frustrated etc.
* Change is slow. If you're along for the ride then don't expect me to read your comment and say "duh, why didn't I think of that?!" All comments are respected. I haven't categorized comments into "will follow/won't follow" -- no hen pecking here!
* The feedback I receive from my readers is great, even if you think YOU can't fix my problems. Counselling was never really an option for me. But now I see no shame in improving mental health. Since I know nothing about how to do this I have already visited counselling services to book my first meeting. So don't think you're words are not valued.
* Everyone has issues. We are human! I don't believe for a second that you, my readers, can sit back and say 'oh her life is screwed up!' without taking a peak in your closet first. Sometimes the people with the biggest criticism (hiding behind anonymous comments) are those who are probably not dealing with their own issues whether they be pertaining to their financial, personal, relationship, work, or social life. If I'm wrong and you are completely happy and love every bit of your life every second of the day then I want to say that's awesome. I know people who are like this (my husband) and I envy their free spirit. These people will probably live a lot longer than worry-warts like me.
* And finally, if what I write about is not interesting to you then what is it you are looking for when you come to my blog?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Honesty pledge

"I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable."

~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh


I get criticized for publishing content that is too close to home: "You shouldn't post that", "Be careful when you write about your personal life", "Jen, those things are personal matters", "You need to start talking more with your husband and stop making him look bad on your blog"

I know there is truth in the above statements.

But why are we so afraid to just tell the truth? Why are these intimate moments only private matters? Why should I hide behind a veil of happiness when something so deep is eating away at me? Why can't I talk about things that make people uncomfortable? Why can't we push the limits?

Imagine how free we would feel if we weren't so ashamed of being judged by others. Imagine how comforting it would feel to find out that others share in our struggles.

I'm starting now!

A peak into our place

So far we BOTH love our new place. We still can't believe it's ours. Luckily this week all my private lessons cancelled and I got a taste of what life would be like if I didn't take on so much work. It was glorious. I went to bed between 9:30 and 10 every night and slept until 7:00. My body definitely liked the new schedule. We took turns cooking dinner everyday this week. It went like this: Western, Korean, Western, Korean, Western, Korean. And our food choices have been quite healthy so we are equally excited about that!

We still have an empty place since we are waiting on our couch and kitchen table to be delivered. Our next mission is to find a bed frame with headboard. Since the weather is awful.... See:
...I thought I'd catch up on some reading, researching and writing for my grad class. The office is the only room that is coming together. Here's a 'work-in-action' sneak peak:
I love my new desk from my dear friend (former professor) Lori
Thanks to Annie for the ingenious idea to put my bookshelf on it's side so it can act as a display table
This is on the staircase up to the second floor. It's so wide that we thought it was a nice place to showcase our Korean goodies.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A theory behind all this madness

Okay folks......honesty it is!

For the past little while I have been seriously unhappy. It probably comes a no surprise that we haven't fully moved into our new place. I haven't had the time because well, I haven't made the time. I'm a workaholic!

I bury myself in work because I get a lot of gratification in what I do. I feel valued. I do not feel the same reward in my relationship. I'd rather come home when my husband is sleeping after working a full day. Last night I finally figured out why.

The details are long.....and I won't go into them on this post because everything I'm feeling is relatively new. I should speak with my husband about this first before I share it with the blog world.

The main gist is that I'm feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders. I haven't really dealt with the repercussions of moving to another country with a Korean husband. It's hard! I haven't put in the time or the effort into our relationship that I need to. Also, Sung Hyun has the expectation that I will take care of EVERYTHING. And now that I look back and reflect, I'm starting to see that this is his character. I can't fault him for this. His sisters always took care of him. He didn't have any responsibility growing up. If he didn't pay his credit card on time in Korea "Oh well..."

Having Sung Hyun wipe his hands of the travel scam responsibility by passing the buck to his brother is an example. Buying this condo and having him accept zero responsibility in the process is another example. I'm making efforts to include him. I even went with a Korean real estate agent so that he could be involved (that was a cultural nightmare of "don't worry everything will be alright", when I really needed to hear "sorry I don't know the answer but I'll find out for you!" -- saving facing at it's best!) But Sung Hyun wasn't involved. He never has been. He needs me to do everything! Fill out his immigration paperwork, write a resume for him, call his labour office to ask questions (that he's capable of asking), buy a condo, set up EVERYTHING in our condo...walk into 7-11 with him because he wants to buy a slurpee but can't do it alone.

I'm the one who moved most of the stuff into our place. I'm the one who organized a moving crew. The only thing we have left to move is our clothes. I work 13 / 14 hours a day. I sleep 6 hours. I eat 3 meals in my car. He's home and fed by 6:30. He spends the rest of his night playing on the computer(?). There is plenty of time for him to do the rest.

Part of me wants to kick him out of the bus and say figure it out, just like I did when I went to Korea. But going to Korea was MY choice. I was forced to figure things out alone. I didn't have someone to lean on and do things for me. I was without a crutch.

The other part of me wants to do everything for Sung Hyun to help him. He gave up his life in Korea to come to Canada. I feel guilty. But I've reached my limit. I can't keep doing everything, for him, for us. I become resentful. It's been a year and a half and my all or nothing attitude says "screw it, he'll have to learn the hard way"

So at the end of the day, I come home to an even bigger list of things to do. And because I don't want to do them anymore I've swallowed myself in WORK. That way I don't need to deal with it.


When I told him the other day that we would get a $10 discount for our cable because I was a student, his reply was "really, you're a student? Ohhh, I guess....I thought you were a kind of student, but not real student". Is that being like being 'kind of' pregnant?

What does that even mean?

"Sung Hyun when I was in the computer room for 18 hours on Sunday writing a paper for my grad class, what did you think I was doing?" He doesn't know what writing a paper means. Sung Hyun failed his way through school then dropped out in grade 10. He was a "kind of" student.

The intentions of me sharing this with you today is not so I can receive any sympathy nor so that I can hear you say "I've told you all along, why don't you just quit your jobs and this problem will solve itself". I don't believe it's as simple as that. And I don't want to hear about how I'm a terrible wife. I already place that guilt on myself. And I don't want to bash my husband.

But I want to share my story. Because I'm human. And I need help. And maybe I can shed some light on what being in a multicultural relationship really means.

I'll be back. I don't know when because right now I am not well (and I don't want to pretend everything is).

I'm reading to stop being a parent to my husband. This is a scary time......for him......for us!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Moving is getting in the way of life.....

Even though we have the key to our new place we haven't actually moved in yet. We will most likely be living back and forth between both places for this month since we don't get our furniture delivered until next month. Also with our crazy work schedules we can't schedule a moving time. So each week we'll take a couple more boxes over to our place until it's complete. Sorry I can't post any pictures sooner!