Between Cultures and Between World Views
This questionnaire is designed to help couples ask and answer the questions necessary to determine if their relationship is healthy and realistic between cultures and between world views. The questionnaire starts with the less important cultural issues and moves to the more important, then deals with world view questions in the latter part.
I. CULTURAL QUESTIONNAIRE:
- How would you rank your openness to the friends of each other?
- How would you rate your openness with the family of each other?
- How willing is each of you to give up significant portions of your own culture in order to favor the other person?
- Is anyone already giving up more or expected to give up more than the other person?
- Are you each investing time in learning the other person’s culture?
- Are there any times where either person demeans or rejects the other person’s culture?
- Typical cultural arenas for couples to share and enjoy together:
a. music and entertainment
c. recreational games and practices
e. history and politics
f. societal and social issues that are somewhat unique
Has each person invested with genuine interest in each of the aspects of the other person’s culture in these areas?
- Have you or do you have plans to visit the land and culture of the other person so that you can experience this culture first hand?
- If your relationship goes forward to marriage, where would you live and why?
- What is the interaction of each person with the other’s family like? Are you both open and on good communication terms? Are there any secrets or strong dislikes among your families?
- Are you able to acknowledge your cultural differences in an open and healthy way without defensiveness, condescension, and judgment?
- Have you each invested in learning the native language of your spouse?
II. DYNAMICS of cultural pursuit:
-these things should not be pursued temporarily in a relationship, but as a lifelong pursuit
-these things should be sincere and not a mere formality
-this is not an exercise to merely pacific the other person for a time
III. A ‘RED FLAG’
When you plan on changing or changing the other person after marriage…
- What changes has a person made NOW?
- What changes and actions can you give that show the right desires NOW?
- What changes and determinations have you identified together that should be made?
- Do you have a clear idea of the changes the other person expects from you?
IV. HUSBAND and WIFE
The role expectations for husbands and wives are often a source of strong disagreement and difficulty. Cross cultural expectations can be even harder given that culture often defines these roles.
- Have you spoken specifically of the roles you expect of one another?
- Do you understand where families may expect something different and are you confident that you will each support one another in your chosen roles?
- Be specific in particular with the role of the wife, as this role is more often more complex and varied. It would be good to give a specific description of what the wife’s life would look like…
- Have you specifically discussed how many children you would like to have?
- Do you agree on the means and the person who will do the disciplining of the children?
VI. WORLD VIEW QUESTIONNAIRE
1. Choose three of the following as the most important three things in your world view:
__ accumulate wealth
__ a good name
__ close family relationships
__ travel and entertainment
__ educational and professional achievement
__ philanthropic and humanitarian causes
__ attaining spiritual virtues and goals
2. What level of agreement do you share in your world views on the following?
__ the existence and nature of God
__ life after death
__ the basic need and problem of humanity
__ Are people basically good and do bad things, or basically bad and do good things?
__ personal political views
__ basic views of moral right and wrong (e.g. abortions, capital punishment, etc.)
3. Are you formally committed to any religion?
4. Identify the world views of the following people:
Wife’s parents and family: ________________________________
Husband’s parents and family: ________________________________
5. Rank the strength of each person above on a scale of 1-5, 1 = very strong, 5 = very weak
Wife: __ Wife’s parents and family __ Husband __ Husband’s parents and family __
6. Do you anticipate any strong disapproval from any of the persons above? Who? What would their disapproval mean for your relationship?
7. Have you communicated with one another in detail what you believe? Do you clearly understand the other person’s world view?
8. What is your religious plan for raising your children?
Note: Many say, “We will teach them both religions and then allow them to decide when they are adults.” There is a problem with this in that children when they are young cannot decide what they are and yet the need to choose comes more quickly than most realize—from both external and internal pressures.
They say marriage is the union of two people into one. The part they don’t tell you is, “Which one?”
What you are as a single person, you will be as a married person, only to a greater degree. Any negative character trait will be intensified in a marriage relationship, because you will feel free to let your guard down -- that person has committed himself to you and you no longer have to worry about scaring him off.
Marriage is our last, best chance to grow up.
I first learned the concepts of non-violence in my marriage.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi
I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They've experienced pain and bought jewelry.
My advice to you is to get married. If you find a good wife, you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher.
Is it better for a woman to marry a man who loves her than a man she loves.
Do not marry a man to reform him. That is what reform schools are for.
A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, and always with the same person."