Midlife Crisis: Support for Left Behind Spouses

Midlife Crisis => Our Community => Topic started by: Not Your Monkey on November 17, 2017, 07:52:07 PM

Title: The bilingual/multi-dialect MLCer
Post by: Not Your Monkey on November 17, 2017, 07:52:07 PM
A lightbulb moment happened for me last night. I wanted to share it because I know a lot of you have MLCers who grew up speaking a different language from you or a different dialect and I wanted to get your opinion and experiences.

My H grew up speaking a regional dialect of his language. In school, he learned the formal dialect. He spent some time in the capital living with family as a child and moved there in his mid-20s and speaks the main dialect of the country as well. In college, he studied in English.

I speak the language and also know the 3 dialects but my native language is English. Shortly after we met we made the conscious decision to communicate with one another in English.

When he would get angry at me sometimes, in our marriage, he would swear at me in his native language. I never paid much attention to this until we moved to his home village and I started to hear him speak his native dialect more. I noticed that Monster spoke like in his father's voice, not even his own when he would normally speak his dialect.

The last week or so he has flown into rages where he just unloaded every insult that he could on me in his dialect. I realized most of these terms I learned from him. He did this in front of his mother. Sometimes when he gets angry in his own dialect, he doesn't even seem to understand me speaking English.

I suddenly realized he has a totally different personality when he speaks English vs. his native dialect. I realized the only way he knows how to interact with a woman in his own dialect is as he saw his father interact with his mother as a child.

i did some research and found there are studies of bilinguals and they will complete the same sentence in each language in a completely different way. For example, there was a study of Japanese origin women who spoke English. They gave them sentences to complete. A sentence in Japanese they would refer to their parents' disapproval of their behavior while in English they would talk about doing whatever they wanted.

 The brain is wired to think in a certain way depending on the language spoken. He has spoken relatively little of his native dialect throughout our marriage, mainly on the phone when talking to family. His brain was sheltered from that all these years. Moving back home, he was exposed to it on a daily basis again. He was exposed to the dialect in which all his traumatic experiences in life occurred.

So I realized I need to break this pattern with him and I sent him a text telling him when he insults me in his language I will not respond until he speaks to me in English. That his words in his language have no meaning for me and that I hope he understands.

I know Velika talked about her husband speaking in his stepfather's dialect when he monstered. I wonder if any of you in similar situations have noticed something like this.