Dear Mary Jo,
How do you keep a long lasting healthy relationship with someone from a completely different culture?
The healthiest, long-lasting relationships between couples sharing different cultures are created by two people who have these three qualities:
- A need to understand rather than judge or blame
- They communicate in each other’s love language
That doesn’t mean you can speak their language (although that helps). It means more deeply that you know what makes your partner feel loved and you don’t hold back from expressing that love. If your partner needs words, and you can only communicate love by doing tasks for her, then she’ll feel empty and alone. However, if you’re able to express your love in words she understands, she will feel loved and love you more in return.
Dear Mary Jo,
I’m an artist and a single mom, how do you connect to people who don’t understand your struggle?
No matter how your life starts out or where you are, you make the final decisions of what your life becomes by the choices you make and how you act. My short meeting with you showed an incredibly strong self-made woman, and I believe you mentor that for your daughter and well as those who come in contact with you. Don’t wait for others to understand you or your struggle before you risk putting yourself out there. There are closed-minded people who won’t consider or care about where you’re from or what your struggle is. They’ll make assumptions based on their own judgements. But there are just as many people who keep an open mind and are interested in understanding and learning from others. I encourage you to look for support and community by becoming part of churches, art centers, and community groups that function to connect rather than exclude. Keep being a great mom, expressing yourself through your art and work, and touching people in the compassionate strong way you do.