I know many intercultural couples where partners do not speak the same language. And the first idea that comes into their heads is: why not teach each other? Mostly they decide upon learning one language and… here we are!
I hardly – if ever – know any couple which succeeded in following these good intentions. And I know hundreds and hundreds of such cases… Why? What stops them all?
I realized it only when I found myself in a similar situation.
My husband and me, we have one mother-tongue (Russian). But my husband moved to German-speaking Austria only recently and his German needs to be developed. As for me, I not only love German the most (I wrote about it before) but I used to teach German for foreigners. “Great combination” – said our friends, “he is lucky to have a good teacher of German at home”…
It never worked out, though we had tried really hard (could not find appropriate time, method, system) . Finally I realised two simple things:
1. Especially in a married life one should never take the position of a Guru! It is always a top-down position and sends wrong messages of domination. In every marriage both partners are equal: if one wheel is bigger, the cart will always move in a circle…
2. Teaching language one should keep attention on mistakes the student makes – and correct them. THUS YOUR ATTENTION IS ALWAYS ON MISTAKES OF YOUR SPOUSE!! Which is horrible and leads to nowhere … It works very subtle and doing it for the sake of language you can unconsciously transfer the method to other spheres of married life. And then it is the beginning of the end!
Thanks God, I realised it early enough 🙂
The only language one could probably teach each other – and the one which does not need any special knowledge – is the language of LOVE. Just expressing the sweetness of your love…
It is the only language we should really know, isn`t it?
LOVE, axinia (image by me)