I’ve been wanting to do this video for a few months and finally we had the time to film it. Often online, couples present this really perfect image of their relationship, but of course no relationship is perfect. We wanted to talk realistically about what has been hard in our marriage, in particular what it was like last year.
It’s no surprise that work/life balance, having a baby, and money all impact a marriage a lot. Even being aware of these stressors, it’s difficult going through it. We talk openly about our experience and working through the difficulties of the first year of having a baby.
As we mentioned, Hugh has quit his job and is going free-lance so he is in control of his time and can make family life a priority. We will also be doing a lot more YouTube content, which is great for creativity but also great for spending time together as a family.
I hope us talking openly about this will help people realise that no one has a perfect relationship and that you do have to work on your marriage. Being comfortable enough to talk about issues is important in a relationship. Also, knowing that you can argue and things will be okay.
We also want to be open about the reality of life. We aren’t living some wealthy, high-flying life in Seoul. We have a great life in Seoul, but we don’t want to pretend it’s more awesome than it is. Unfortunately some people do try and project that image on YouTube and Instagram but really their life isn’t as glamorous as it seems.
Hugh also elbows me a lot and does weird things like steals extra pillows and puts them on his stomach, or scrunches covers into a ball and sleeps with it like that on his stomach. Recently he even stole the pillow I had for my back (so much pregnancy back pain at moment) and had it resting on his stomach whole sleeping!
But I am a super light sleeper and I get up in the middle of the night several times. I tend to open and shut windows while half asleep or just move things around. I also will randomly put my hand on Hugh’s arm in the middle of the night, which can make him jump.
As annoying as a partner can be during the night, when you are used to them sleeping next to you, when they aren’t there it can be even harder to sleep.
This video was filmed over a month ago so my pregnancy isn’t showing as much and Hugh isn’t as skinny as he is now. I’ve been really busy with the book finally being released soon. Every day talking with my editor, re-doing things, drawing extra stuff for it. But I’m excited to finally have a book for the Korean market, which will hopefully be the first of many.
Maintaining Relationships with Family and Friends When Living in Another Country.
This is one of the hardest things about living in another country, especially for international couples. Someone will always be apart from their friends and family. People have different ways of dealing it, some people find thinking about family too much can wear them down so they can’t handle every day contact, while others manage by talking almost single day on Skype. I’m somewhere in the middle where it’s mostly some messaging and a few phone calls.
Luckily, I also have many friends in Korea and it’s easier as a couple to make new friends. It can be a lot harder for single people to make those connections. I know living in another country can be a very lonely experience sometimes. Hugh had a lot of hard times in the first few years of living in Australia. It’s always weird to think back and know in hindsight know that he was already in Australia but that we wouldn’t meet until several years later.
Sometimes it’s hard to maintain relationships when your friends or family aren’t embracing technology the same way that you might be. Messaging services and Skype can be a lifeline for those in a foreign country but sometimes those back home don’t understand how important they are. There can also be a feeling of disconnect when your experiences are now so different from other friends and they can’t understand how you have changed. Like Hugh mentioned in the video, he has nothing in common with the people he was friends with before he went to Australia.
Thankfully with modern technology it’s a lot easier to maintain those relationships most of the time and even though I miss my family, it’s very easy to contact them.
That sounds a lot worse in Korean… I’ve often heard Koreans use that when they describe someone really bad but “rubbish” in English doesn’t sound as extreme as that. This is why you can’t always directly translate things. I knew it was worse in Korean so I said it deliberately to get a reaction from Hugh. “Trash” in American English may be closer to the way the Korean word can be used, especially with the way younger people call people “trash” but probably still not the same connotations.
What other words or sayings can sound a lot worse when directly translated into English or Korean?
When I posted this comic on Instagram I had some comments like, “But what is the direct translation?” This still is the direct translation, but the point is that words have different meanings and connotations in different languages. It doesn’t always mean what you want it to. It can lead to accidentally offending!
We go through phases where sometimes I get up earlier and then other times he is getting up earlier every day. Whoever gets up first has usually checked the news first. The news has been horrifying lately but today’s news was slightly less horrifying, but still the continuation of horrifying-ness. Congratulations to Beyonce for being pregnant with Twins.
As an international/interracial/intercultural couple it has been very distressing to see what is happening in the US.
We were shocked when Trump won and the past week seems to be a non-stop show of horror, heartbreak and history repeating. Another element has been coming in contact with those so deeply entrenched in their own bubble of American right-wing media. I honestly didn’t think those types of people followed us but there is a small percentage of our followers that are like that. I also think a lot of people are repeating what their parents and community is saying without looking at international media or understanding how to evaluate how media is presenting information. It was very bizarre to be accused of only listening to “liberal left American media” when we don’t even live in the US (also we are neither Democrat or Republican and The Liberal party in Australia is the conservative party. ‘Liberal; doesn’t always have the same meaning around the world. You can’t put us in a box like that). We read and watch a range of media as an international couple should. We are looking at Australian news, British news, English Korean news, American news, Korean news in Korea etc and always trying to look at a range of opinions. Maybe people don’t want us to voice any political opinions, but now more than ever we feel it’s necessary.
Seeing the heartbreak so many families are now facing because of the US government it makes us reflect on how easily this can happen to us an international couple. Having a legal visa is losing meaning and makes us wonder about how easily Hugh and I could be separated in the future even when we have legal visas.