When I first moved to Turkey I struggled with my western ideas of marriage. I had been influenced with popular culture on what a marriage and relationships should be. That don’t need men and that men in general are there to do our bidding.
You often hear phrases like “What do you expect he’s a man!” Feminism is strong in the west and magazines, films and soaps constantly tell us what a marriage should be like. When in reality they are nothing like what we are told, and there is no such thing as the perfect marriage or partner.
These ides and thoughts mixed in with both our different cultures made life at the start a little hard for me and caused plenty arguments. But on thing we have always been clear on is that we love each other and we will do anything to make our marriage work.
This first thing being married to a Turk, is to remember you are not married to a Turk and you are not married to his family or his culture. You are married to the many you love, the individual who won your heart and who you respect and trust. You are married to the man you chose, your life partner.
When I first came to live in Turkey I looked down on certain things, and expected life to be like it was in the UK. I learned to accept things here in Turkey and accept the way of life here. After all if I am going to live here there is no point fighting against everything especially the small things. Once I learnt to go with the flow and relax life became easier and a lot happier.
I wrote recently about the small things I miss from home. I still miss them, but this is my life here in Turkey, I chose my life here. I can either hate it or I can look at all the good things I like here and be happy.
Since moving here I have learned a lot from the Turkish Culture. One of the biggest things I have learned is being a housewife is a job and I am not belittling myself by running the house and looking after my son. I don’t need a career to prove myself I am already doing the most important job in the world and that is raising my child, looking after my husband and family. My family is my biggest achievement and I am proud of it, I don’t need a fancy career with empty promises and stress to make me feel fulfilled at the end of the day.
My life here can be hard, I have no family nearby to help out when I need it, I a totally on my own. Some days I feel isolated and lonely. There is not another English expat in my neighbourhood and I don’t have a big social circle her that I can lean on. Most days it is just my husband and little boy I see and speak to on a daily basis. And yes there are days when it all gets to you and you feel down about life.
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But only I can make myself happy, not my husband or child. To be happy it is important to be grateful and accept all the good things in your life. I have a wonderful hard working husband, who provides for us and makes sure we have food to eat, clothes to wear and a roof over our head. We have a beautiful little boy and a lovely home. I don’t need anything else and these are things that make me happy.
I made a contract with my husband as we all do, when I married him and that contract is to love him, protect him, care for him and respect him. I have learnt that by sticking to the bargain I made when I married him, by doing my job as a housewife to my best ability, by caring and loving our and being happy in my myself and loving. I make my husband and our life happy because in return he keeps his side of the contract because he is happy in his marriage. And this in turn makes me happy.
If you are planning to marry your Turkish Partner and when you look at them you see a Turk, or their culture, you think life is going to be like what it is when you are on holiday in Turkey or you find you like the idea more than your partner. Then stop and take a good hard look at who you are marrying. Can you be happy with this person and most importantly can you make them happy. Marriage is the same in Turkey as it is anywhere else in the world, it’s about making the person you love happy and sharing that persons life. It’s not about being married to a Turk.
Do you agree with me or do you disagree? What is your advice to others?
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© 2012 – 2015, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.