Your Filipina lady has arrived in Australia from Philippines, maybe with a tourist visa or maybe with a fiancée visa, spouse visa or some sort of partner visa. She’s left her family, friends and culture behind for a life with her Australian sponsor. So without some help, she will experience homesickness and culture shock.
The issue is that you need to make specific effort to help her to adjust to the changes her new life has brought to her, and you will set the scene for a long and happy life together which every Australian Filipina couple wants of course. And area of importance is helping her to adjust to her new family, ie. your family and any children you may have.
Filipinas and Family
Family is everything to Filipinos, you will already know. And much of her future happiness will come from how kindly and is treated and how warmly she is welcomed by her new family in Australia.
Your parents will matter a lot to her, especially your mother. Now I can only really speak for my own mum, who was actually very impressed with Mila. She grew up pre-1960’s, and never bought “The Female Eunuch”. She had no understanding whatsoever of feminists and modern women, believing that there is nothing wrong with treating a man nicely. So she thought Mila was a great catch, and she was right. So that was a positive thing, and I have no doubt that it helped. If she rejected her, yes I’m sure it would have bothered her.
Filipinas are generally terrific with kids. Most grow up taking care of younger siblings or younger cousins, so even if she hasn’t had kids herself you can expect her to certainly be kind to them. If they’re smart kids, they will just settle back and enjoy the improvements that a mum can bring to a household.
But be aware that there may be issues with a new person arriving in the family, and kids don’t always accept change. This may be due to insecurity, worrying if Dad will still love them, etc. If that’s the case, you just need to give assurance that this is not the case by what you say and by what you do.
What I will advise strongly though is that you make it very clear to your kids long before your Filipina wife arrives that she is arriving and that they need to accept that. You have a right to a new life and a right to be loved by a wife. Being a dad is great, but it’s no substitute to being married. Make that position clear, and there should be less time taken in trying to challenge her or to push her away.
And in yourself, you need to be clear that no matter how important your kids are, a marriage is meant to be forever. Your kids will grow up and move away, and they will meet someone who will be more important to them than you. That’s natures way. Don’t put your kids feelings or rights ahead of those of your wife.
I’ve probably come across more issues with older children than younger ones. Note what I said about putting kids feelings ahead of those of your new wife and how wrong this is? Putting the opinions of 30+yr old “kids” ahead makes even less sense. It’s selfish of them to value YOUR feelings and YOUR happiness so little by voicing an objection, and you should not tolerate it.
I did “friends” in an earlier article, but that was more specifically about her making new Filipina friends in Australia. I’m referring here to your existing close friends, a lot of whom maybe more like family than your own family….thus is often the Aussie way.
I have to say I didn’t have a great reception from Australian friends, which surprised and shocked me when it happened. You think you know people, then scratch the surface and find small minds. You may have a better grade of friends to what I had, but I would still think it worth warning about. You may well have to make choices, and obviously anyone decent knows you will always stand by your wife.
Whilst I generally found Australia male friends OK, females were a little different. Many will see you choosing a Filipina wife as being rejection of Australian womanhood as a whole, with them included. Some just broke contact and slipped into the background after a series of excuses to not get together. Others decided that Mila was being dominated and took it upon themselves to “save her”. She was told to tell me to make my own coffee, or they’d take her aside and tell her in a very slow voice that we are “Eeeeeeeeequal in Australia, Mila. Eeeeeeeeequal!” Patronising to her, and insulting to me. A lot of this came down to Mila being very quiet when she first arrived, and I’ll explain why.
Filipinas, English Language and Australia Accents
Meeting Australians who will greet your wife with “OhhhhhyeahhhhgdayMila,’owyagoin’,yerrrralright?”, it’s a bit challenging. For about 6 months she used to really dread social occasions because she couldn’t understand anybody. She’d grown accustomed to my voice of course, plus I modified the worst of my Aussie mumble. Be aware of this. She also won’t know what “Poppin’ down the servo” means, or what “snags on the barbie” are. Chances are she will sit there confused and bored, and your friends may think she’s very timid or maybe she’s oppressed!
Obviously you won’t be sending your friends or relatives off for elocution lessons! In time yes it will get easier for her to understand Aussie mumble, but in the meantime maybe try to limit the larger gatherings. And please encourage her to tell you when she’s having difficulties with anybody or with language. You can cope with most issues better if you’re united and no one feels alone.