Wednesday, August 7, 2019

How To Be A Good Hmong Wife

I was 25 when I got married.

I don't remember much of my Hmong wedding.
I know that I was overjoyed with love and appreciation for my family. I also remember that it was the day I officially became an adult. You see, I didn't know that getting married is a threshold into adulthood in my culture. I was told I can no longer act like I was single anymore. I can not think about my own feelings anymore. I must think about my husband and my in-laws before me. I am now responsible for more than my own life.

Each person giving me advice about marriage primarily talked about the same thing--how to be a good Hmong wife.

They said:
1. Listen to your husband.
2. Listen to your in-laws.
3. Don't do anything without telling your husband.
4. Learn how to please your husband.

They promised me that I will have a good marriage and a good life if I heed their advice. I thought it was ridiculous! I was 25. Clearly an adult. I've been going to school and living on my own for 7 years! How dare they tell me how to live my life?!

And then everything changed the next day after our wedding. My spirit felt different. The way I looked at my husband was different.

Weeks went by. I changed some of my old behaviors. I spoke to people differently.

Months went by. My expectations for my husband changed. His hopes for me changed.

Years went by.

And I realized, the marriage advice from my family wasn't about me being an obedient wife. It wasn't about me becoming a maid in the family. It was about me getting along with all the people I will meet in this new family. You see, living with people is hard. It's hard to adapt to their lifestyle and live in harmony with one another. It's hard to accept their flaws and still love them unconditionally.

So, it starts with you. It starts the moment you find that person you want to spend the rest of your days with--until you're 120 years old. Choose someone who will work to make this marriage last for a lifetime and more. Choose someone who will always choose love over pride. It starts with how much you want this marriage to work and how far you'll go to make it happen.

A happy marriage starts with you. So, here's what I learned from those marriage advice that was given to me six years ago.

1. Listen to your husband. Listen when he's wrong. Does he apologize? Listen when you're wrong. Can he work past that mistake you made? Listen when others are talking about you. Does he stand up for you? If he doesn't do that, then you have to teach him. Teach him how to apologize. Teach him that an argument is just an argument because love will always win. You're both in it for the long haul.

2. Listen to your in-laws. Listen when they share a story about the people in their life. Listen to what their hopes and dreams are as a person. Listen and learn from their mistakes and triumphs. Listen and grow to love them, and they will also grow to love you. Supportive in-laws are the key to making your life a little easier.

3. Don't do anything without telling your husband. It's not okay to hide secrets from your partner. A working marriage is one where you both are honest with one another. If you must, tell your partner what you're going to do, but never lie to them. There is no marriage if there is no trust.

4. Learn how to please your husband. A working marriage is one where both people are happy and at their best. Sincerely learn all the small things that your partner appreciates about your marriage and life in general. Surprise him with those things once in a while. If you can do it, do it. If you can't, save it for another day. If you can't do it at all, tell him about the things you can do that makes him happy already. Does he do the same for you? A marriage is a partnership, and he should also be surprising you with things you like.

My last advice to becoming a good Hmong wife is this: You are enough.

And if no one tells you that, then you need to start telling yourself that.

Throw away those crazy traditional nyaab expectations, and you do you. No one can tell you how to be a good Hmong wife if your marriage is working for you and your partner.


Read How To Be A Good Husband here.
3 comments on "How To Be A Good Hmong Wife"
  1. I LOVE this! Self-love and knowing your own self-worth makes it all the worthwhile in anything and everything that you do. I loved how you broke down each meaning 😄❤️ Ua tsaug rau koj cov ls os tu vivncaus. Now, just waiting for a househusband to write one too 😁😁😁

  2. I understand this blog is meant to be good and I can appreciate the effort.
    However, it is all wrong. Sorry.


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