Marriage Part 12: Moving Out

It’s a fairly global standard that requires women to leave their family home when they get married. Traditionally this has been because the man makes the money and the woman goes into his protection and becomes part of his responsibilities. Whilst this hasn’t changed much amongst the traditionalist approaches to marriage the ability of women being able to give up their lives and associated responsibilities has. I don’t imagine that the responsibility of a woman to be the sole caretaker of her family’s monetary needs is a new thing. Traditionally however it was generally accepted that the woman would move away after marriage and leave her dependent family behind to fend for themselves. No one ever questioned the approach so I imagined it worked fine, especially since traditionally women would leave their jobs and take on the responsibility of house and home once married.

Like so many other tradition this too seems to be changing, rapidly. Many people these days are ‘importing’ their partners.

If you’re a woman whose moving over to a new country, it often means you stay in limbo land waiting to have your papers approved. Naturally, the papers can only be processed once you’re married, so you get married and you wait. Yay.In a way, this is expected of women and they seem all too happy to comply.

What then do you do if you’re a man, waiting to be exported out to your lovely lady? As a man, this must be (in a way) harder than it is for women. I’m thinking of it this way. A man, characterised by his ability to take care of his family, has to quit his job and move to a different country. He is pulled out of all his comfort zones. Not only does he have to adjust to a new family, to having a woman in his life, he also has to adjust to a whole new country and then he has to cement his place as the head of the family. Without a job/livelihood, this could be tricky. A lot of men define their place in life by their earning potential, which I admit is a fairly one sided way of sizing a person up but that’s how it is. I don’t make the rules, I just write about their implications.

How then, do men deal with the shared responsibility of bringing home the bacon? Is this an easy or difficult task for them?

‘Adjustment’ is a term saved for the fairer sex when it comes to matters of matrimony. I want to hear from men who were ‘exported’ to the country of their spouse. Do you feel enriched with the experience or have you had a nightmare ‘adjusting’ to your new surrounds?


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