Why managing cultural differences may be a challenge in intimate relationships

While it can be said that each family creates its own culture - and therefore cultural differences are ubiquitous in any long-term relationship - there are special challenges when marrying someone from a culture different to our own.

Some of the commonly reported challenges are:-

* where English is one person's second language misunderstandings are more likely to occur, especially in the realm of intimate communication where we try to capture more subtle shades of meaning.

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What stops us putting our relationship first?

Many of us can fall into the trap of assuming that our most important relationship will look after itself. The fact of the matter is - creating and maintaining a healthy intimate relationship takes ongoing work, effort and energy.

The signs that our relationship may be suffering from neglect are many and varied, but may include:-

* feeling like we never spend any time together except to plan and talk about the practicalities of running a household.

* we seem to fight about nothing in particular

* communication is poor

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"It's not fair!" How do issues of fairness play out in your relationship?

"It's not fair!" Most of us have been known to say this at some stage to those closest to us - as a child when we feel parents are favouring a sibling over us, at work when we feel we are not being given the same opportunities as a colleague, and in our intimate relationship where we may feel we are asked to give more than we are receiving in exchange.

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