Mail-order bride might have serious cultural differences


Q: I've been reading a lot about mail-order brides, specifically from Asia. I've even acquired a catalog. I've come to fancy one woman in particular, and am considering pursuing this way of meeting her. Can you think of any pitfalls I should be wary of?

A: Cultural divergence can create irreconcilable differences in such crucial areas as humor, mores, manners and priorities. Backgrounds and parental influences are so vastly different in America and Asia, and they have deep impact on a long-term relationship. Use every avenue to know your woman and her family well to minimize the shocks and surprises later.

Q: After reading your column about former lovers, I've decided to say "Thanks."

I've been dating a man for more than a year and I couldn't figure out why his communication with his ex-wife hurt my feelings. He answered all of my questions the same way: "You should trust me. I'm not attracted to her like that anymore."

Well, folks, it's not a matter of trust or security. Security can be chipped away when someone else's feelings are always being put before yours. She calls him to help her out of some mess, he calls her to do him favors. They still share some items, and he allowed her to cause problems in our relationship.

The problems escalated so much that later I told him to take a flying leap.

Now he's back, asking for a second chance.

So, I shared with him your tips on getting a divorce and we talked about it.

I'm not getting my hopes up, but the guy has a lot of great qualities.

A: Timing is all. You might not have been ready (he certainly was not) to hear my message a few months back. You both seem to be on the road to understanding, now that you made clear your need for more respect from the relationship.

Questions for Susan Deitz should be addressed to Susan Deitz, Features Department, The Sun, Baltimore, Md. 21278. All correspondence is confidential. Ms. Deitz welcomes letters from readers and will answer all those accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope.

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