Making Your Fiancée Feel at Home
We have discussed this topic in the past; however, we still receive numerous questions regarding this subject. Bringing your fiancée home should be one of the happiest days in both of your lives. It is a very exciting time and you are anxious to show her everything you have been telling her about and to introduce her to your friends and family. We would like to offer a few tips to make the adjustment period go a little more smoothly.
* Be honest from the very beginning. One of the biggest problems we see is when the woman's expectations are much different than the reality of the situation. Try to paint a picture of what your life is like, and what you would expect her life to be like, as realistically as possible, prior to her coming over. Be painfully truthful so when she does come over her expectations are either met or surpassed. Your honesty up front will pay huge dividends for years to come.
* Try not to do too much at once when she first arrives. Life will be a bit overwhelming for both of you at the beginning. There are so many new adjustments for the two of you to make. Everything will be new to her. Take it slow and try not to pack too much in at once, remember you have the rest of your lives together.
* The Fiancée Visa is valid for 90 days. During that time the two of you must decide if you are going to move forward with the process. This can be a stressful period. As a matter of fact, if it isn't at least somewhat stressful there is probably something wrong. One of the most important things you can do during this time, especially at the beginning, is to communicate as much as possible. Talk about the process and decide together how you want to handle it. Some couples spend the three months planning an elaborate wedding. Others wait a couple months and then when they are sure it is right plan something a bit more modest. The two of you are the only ones who know what is right for you. As long as you can talk about it and agree on a plan of action then you will be able to alleviate some of the stress. Not all Fiancée Visas progress to the next stage, marriage. If you feel that something is just not right and it doesn't look like it is going to work, don't be afraid to talk about it with her, chances are she is feeling the same. Do not go through the process because you are embarrassed about it not working out, you will not be doing yourself, or her, any favors.
* Keep her busy. One of the most important factors that will determine how well she adjusts to your country and lifestyle is how active and involved she is. She is part of your life, your partner, and she needs to know that she is contributing and adding value to the relationship. Keeping her cooped up in the house watching the day-time soaps is not healthy for anyone, and certainly will not make her adjustment any easier. It is important that she is doing something such as school, work, or even volunteerism.
* Try to help her be as independent as possible. When she first arrives she is going to be somewhat dependent on you since you are probably going to be the only person that she knows. Encourage her to learn the transportation system, whether that is mass transit or driving a car. The faster she becomes independent the happier the both of you will be.
* Try to find groups that she can identify with and participate in. Locating other immigrants from her country who have formed some sort of support network is normally very positive. The Internet can be a useful resource in finding these groups. The Internet can also be an inexpensive way for her to communicate with her family and friends. Even something as simple as ethnic stores or restaurants can help her to feel more comfortable.
* Put yourself in her place. Keep in mind that this is a very difficult move for her. She has left behind her family and friends, everything that she knows, to come and be with you. Be patient and give her as much love and attention as you can.
* Keep the communication flow going. If she has problems with English be sure to help her with classes so that the communication between you will improve. Be as honest as possible and talk to her as much as you can about how she is feeling and how she is adjusting. There will be times when she will feel homesick, that is normal and you should be as supportive as possible during those times. Planning a trip back to her homeland may help with the homesickness. Normally, it is important for her to go back at least once during the first year or two.
* Don't lose sight of what brought the two of you together in the first place. There can be a lot of confusion and stress during the first year. Don't let that interfere with the love that you feel for each other. Take time to be alone together, just you and her. Do special little things, like giving flowers for no particular reason, or having a romantic dinner - special little things that will keep the romance and the love alive.