Since I started the Ask Hilary series, I’ve received a number of letters from both Japanese and international women asking about how they should feel in their relationship with their international/Japanese partner. Many of them describe the relationship starting off like a fairytale, but gradually becoming less fulfilling than other relationships they’ve had. It would just be easy to dismiss this as the end of the honeymoon period, or to tell them “that’s just how multicultural relationships work”, but that’s not necessarily the case for everyone. Open and honest communication is a huge part of having a successful international relationship but what if you’re communicating and still not satisfied?
One common point mentioned by many of these women is somehow feeling “less” than their partner—be that for financial, physical, linguistic, or other reasons. I asked the women in five successful international couples how they handled this feeling, and all five discussed dealing with issues of self-worth.
Self-worth And Impostor Syndrome
Self-esteem and self-worth can be greatly affected by substantial changes to your environment and the new people you are surrounded by.
The dictionary definition of self-worth/self-esteem is “a sense of one’s own value as a human being” and “a feeling that you are a good person who deserves to be treated with respect”.
People with high self-worth feel good about themselves; they know they are a good person and take pride in their strengths. They know they have weaknesses, but aren’t defined by them. On the other hand, people with a low perception …continue reading