When it all Goes Wrong | Married to a Turkish Man

married to a turkBeing Married to a Turkish Man was never going to be easy, but over the past few months its been a very stressful time, we have been sitting waiting on a transfer for my hubby to a new school, which never came and we have had to reconcile ourselves to another year in Sakarya. Our recent trip to my husbands home, was good in parts but we all ended up ill and came home a week early to move apartments.

In the end we didn’t need to move apartments which was a huge sigh of relief, but we found ourselves with a bigger problem which has been shadowing us for a few months now and that is our relationship has hit a rock and we have been having a lot of arguments!

Why am I telling you this?

For a start I want to be always open and honest with you my readers and secondly I want to share with you our problems because I know we are not the only Turkish/Expat couple to be having issues and struggling to dealing with them far from home with no family and friends around to provide support.

I have spoken to my expat friends, who have also had problems and most these problems seem to stem from the Culture clashes or maybe if we put it a better way a different way of thinking to each other. This happens in all relationships from time to time, where you get out of sync with each other and loose your path. But does it signify the end of a relationship because you hit a rough patch?

No, I don’t think it does well certainly not for us and not for my friends, but of course its not always possible for some. But I do believe very much that marriage is a work in progress and if we didn’t have the odd issue how can we grow stronger and change to be a better couple?

What pulled us down was I turned into a nagging wife, I read something not long ago about dealing with a toddlers tantrums and it said, pick your battles, if giving in to a chocolate bar isn’t an huge issue for you then give the chocolate bar, but if sticking his fingers in the electric socket, is not ok, then deal with it, but don’t get into battles over every little thing.

I had been arguing about my hubby having a chocolate bar instead of when he stuck his finger in the electric socket! Let the little things slide or find a compromise and laugh at these silly moments, then when a true issue comes up approach it calmly and have a conversation about it don’t fly into a rage and he will most likely listen because he hasn’t had you in his ear everyday.

If you don’t then you may just find yourself at the point of no return, we found ourselves there, and it was a shock to both of us, that point of no return and facing the end. It was most likely the shock we needed to show us both the errors of our ways.

After nearly 8 years together, and most of those years long distance its taught us we can get through anything, we fought hard for our relationship and giving up now would be so sad. We love each other and want our marriage, so that is a great springboard to getting over of our issues.

Being in a mixed Cultured relationship often brings up different issues and sometimes you feel like your hitting your head off a brick wall while you work your way through a maze of issues you never thought existed. Most without precise answers and a lot that you find you have to back down on just for peace.

A lovely Expat friend of mine who is also married to a Turk and been here a lot longer than me told me this:

“I think that coming from western cultures we enter into marriage here with the same expectations as we would in our home countries. It doesn’t work like that here. I have many friends who have been here as long as and longer than me and we all had similar experiences to you all. Yes we threatened divorce, going back to our families… but every one of us are still here and are happy. Marriage is about give and take and if we truly love someone we accept their faults too. It does get much easier but I think that the settling down period between a mixed marriage takes much longer than a normal one…..up to 8 years or so and after that you will most likely find that your husbands become angels and adore you as you are.. at least thats my experience.”

This is the best bit of advice I have heard and think it is very true. So going on the 8 years, we only have 4 left to go eek!

I also think as individuals in a relationship we can’t rely on our other half to make us happy, to be positive or to change. We have to look at ourselves and see how we can change for the better and make ourselves a better version of YOU and not anyone else, you have the choice to be happy or to be sad, to be positive or to be negative. No one else can decide these for you. I 100% believe by changing my attitude and my energy I can make a huge difference in our relationship by being a better me.

But I can hear you scream, but he won’t change!! Well you can’t make him, In my opinion and part of my values is you can’t make another person change you have to love people unconditionally or your not really loving that person. Your husband has to choose to change, but if you come from a better place and approach your relationship in more positive way, and radiate a positive energy (unless he is a complete jerk) then he may start to change his own actions and see where he is going wrong.

In all relationships you have to remember your a team and that compromise and working together will make it a success. You can’t always stand your ground on every matter sometimes you have to give in, your not always right. Sometimes its your partner that has to give way and other times you need to find the middle ground. You will both change and grow as you get older and will have to adjust to each other and new things, but that’s what keeps the fires burning.

Despite all we have been through as a couple, we know what we want and that is to be together and we will work together to build a stronger relationship that will hopefully carry us into our old age together.

Thank you for listening and I can only hope if you are going through struggles yourself that you know your not on your own and if you want it to work then you will find a way!

© 2013 – 2015, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.

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15 Responses to “When it all Goes Wrong | Married to a Turkish Man”

  1. Nice honest post Kerry! Any relationship takes work. People do change, and so relationships change. I don’t think it matters if you are American, Turkish, English or whatever. I’ve been with my husband seven years now, and sometimes he drives me crazy. 😉 It’s not always easy, but both parties have to compromise sometimes and most importantly, talk things out. I actually think living abroad has made us a stronger couple bc at the end of the day we only have each other. Hang in there! 🙂

    • 4th September 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Joy where we live it is just us and we have to rely on each more than if family were around and your right it makes you strong but I think also you need space and friends to give some balance, which for us just now is not there but we hope to build on it and come out stronger for it. Thanks for your thoughts and support x

  2. 3rd September 2013

    Turkey's For Life Reply

    Sorry to read this Kerry – it must have been hard to write but like you said, other people have the same problems and you’ve been really brave sharing yours so that others can hopefully get some benefit. Wish you and your family all the best. Thinking of you all and we’re sure you’ll come through happy at the other side!! 🙂
    Julia and Barry. xxx

    • 4th September 2013

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Thanks guys, we will be fine but I hope it does help others now and in the future. x

  3. 3rd September 2013

    Ozlem's Turkish Table Reply

    Hello lovely Kerry, what a beautiful, honest post; thank you for sharing and do know that you’re not the only one; we all go thru a different phase of life, where it tests our limits, and it is harder with different cultures. I think realising that what you have is precious to fight for and put everything else into perspective helps. Also, as you say, compromising, we all need to understand that both parties may need to step by sometime. You have a beautiful family and it will all work our at the end, keep going : ) xxx ozlem

  4. 3rd June 2014

    Vanessa Reply

    Hi Kerry,
    I have read every article in your page with great interest and found it comforting in many ways. I can relate to so many points and I admire your ability to keep evolving within your relationship, those are the marriages that succeed.
    I have been in a very turbulent relationship with a Turk for the last 4 years.He lives in Turkey and I in the UK which is extremely hard as you mention we can really only communicate via email and skype.I have been out there 3 times and spent 5 weeks with his family and my children in 2012 but he has not invited me back for 2 years.We have hit a brick wall in our relationship due to differences of opinion about friendships with the opposite sex. This is a subject that you have not really written about although I know you mention trust a great deal.I stubbornly kept my friends in facebook some of them male and continued to make more and dug my heels into the ground feeling sure that as long as I kept them as friends then I was doing no wrong. My boyfriend was livid and we have fought tirelessly over it. I have at times deleted my facebook and cut my online activity but then the loneliness of not having him here living with me is unbearable and as I am an artist and working alone I can sink into a depression and this causes resentment and so the circle continues.I do not go out at all and do not drink or socialise very much.I have always been faithful and presumed this would be enough but it isn’t. After reading everything you wrote I am wondering if it is exactly that act of selfish defiance in wanting to be this independent western woman that has brought me to a standstill with him. He now tells me he doesn’t know if he loves me or not anymore which has been devastating.He is not a perfect man of course none of us are perfect and I am finding it very hard to see life from his side but I love him very much and my life seems to fall apart when he is away from me like now. I am flying to Istanbul in a couple of weeks and he has changed his mind about meeting me and says he does not feel comfy with me but he will maybe see me in October, this broke my heart. I feel in constant conflict and turmoil with him, myself, my family and friends and loneliness.
    I know jealousy is a huge factor in Turkish relationships although I see that in any culture to be honest. I understand how his imagination must run riot but jealousy and suspicion are very different. I must add that he cheated early on in the relationship with women online and so this did affect me greatly but he said I made him do that by being so close to male friends.I am 9 years older and a mother of 3 and at this time in my life I just feel desperate to settle and have normal days .Life is so short and the time runs fast but we fall in love and our hearts know nothing of logic.I feel as though all the waiting I do is just getting me nowhere.
    I hope my letter is not too long and I would really value you and your husbands thoughts.

    • 3rd June 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Vanessa, I am going to reply to your privately via the email you used for the comment. Is that ok for you? Kerry

      • 3rd June 2014

        Vanessa Reply

        Yes of course 🙂 maybe I should not have written this is public 🙂

        • 3rd June 2014

          Kerry Arslan Reply

          Don’t worry about it, I will message you now 🙂

  5. 27th September 2014

    Rina Reply

    I’m glad to have found this post as I’m currently in a similar situation with my Turkish partner. We met 6 months ago and he decided to move to my country so we could really get to know each other better. But fate seems to pull our legs and by the time he got his employment finalized and he moved, I got confirmation of an overseas assignment. It has been a struggle since my leaving. It was bery difficult to keep the relationship at least neutral and our fights (online) have become even violent. I also tend to drive him crazy. He has asked me to quit my job and be with him and I have found many excuses because I am afraid of giving up my independence. 🙁 It has been a very difficult 2 months so far since I left. I am more concerned about his being jealous and the thing about having male friends. He has asked me recently to delete all my online social network accounts and I felt something was not right about it. Is this just cultural difference? I really want to know more about how it is to marry a turkish man. I love him and don’t want to lose him but I also don’t want to lose myself. 🙁

    • 29th September 2014

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Well you are having a bit of a tough time, long distance relationships are a great way to test a relationship, if you stay together during your time apart then you will get through most things in life. I would suggest you keep your job for a while and see if you can both find a way to get a long together before giving up your life and moving to live with him. If you say your arguments become almost violent online then I would be concerned as to what would happen if you were both together. Take your time you are in the first stage of love where you are at a high passion phase and can have the rose tinted glasses on where you don’t see things clearly. Yes, Turkish men can be very jealous and can be possessive, I’ve had many an argument and have had to watch how I am around males. But I also have put my foot down and said this is me, this is who and I am if you don’t like it then maybe I am not the person for you. It doesn’t matter what relationship you are in, never loose sense of who you are, yes we do have to compromise and give and take, but that has to come from both sides and not just yours or his. Also do not get caught up in its his cultural its his way, he is not dating a Turkish woman and he has understand and realise you have your ways and your culture again there has to be compromise here. If you have a ton of pointless male friends for example get rid of them, but if they are close and important friends he needs to deal with it. My best friend is male and my husband had to accept that or leave. Take your time see how it plays out, try and see what sparks your arguments, we have to be careful with the written word and the different languages as the meaning can get lost especially if you are trying to be funny etc so watch how you phrase things and be careful how you read things. Good luck, look before you leap!

  6. 28th August 2016

    Darling Reply

    Dear Kerry,

    I think you are a godsend for people like me 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experiences and tips. I found myself in a situation recently, with a Turkish man. We had met online and had begun a conversation. He initiated it, and quickly told me he is looking for a serious relationship. I am a popular singer in a 3rd world country and my first thoughts were- maybe he just wants sex and money. I explained to him that I am not rich and is not interested in casual sex. He keeps on bringing up that he wants to bring me to meet his family, and that I should take care because I’m his future wife. That shocked me. Is this a ploy to get me in bed? We are thousands of miles apart. He is doing well in his job as a chef in new Zealand, but I think he’s just lonely. I would just like to ask if this is something in their culture and I would be grateful if you could shed some light. Thank you and more power to you 🙂

    • 28th August 2016

      Kerry Arslan Reply

      Hi Darling

      Turkish men to have a habit of diving in at the deep end. My husband told me the first time he met me he was going to marry me. I told him to disappear and he was very persistent. It is a long way to take you just to sleep with you. Perhaps he is genuine and perhaps he is not. It is hard to say. He is not living in Turkey and I think he will have plenty ladies around to satisfy him if that was what he was wanting. He has asked you to meet his parents which is often a very good sign, they only really take the ones they are serious about to see the family. He does not need a visa and he has a good job. He could well be very serious about you. They do love to talk about love and can be very good at seducing ladies. I would give him a chance if you like him, stick to your rules and go slowly see how it plays out. For now enjoy the flirting and the romance of it all. Just keep your feet on the ground. x

  7. 12th June 2017

    Necati Reply

    Hello Kerry,

    Thanks for your post. I am just a curious person who wants to know how it is going on with your husband. Since you mentioned that you have only 4 years left for dealing cultural differences :). almost 4 years passed since your post :). I hope all is settled now and well with you guys.


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