Join Date: May 2005
Location: I've been in the lowlands too long
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I, too, am married to a Dutchman, although we live in the Netherlands (I'm American). I think the Dutch, more than almost any other Europeans or other nationalities I've come across (I've also spent a lot of time in Portugal, Brazil, England, Israel, and many South and Central American countries) value what they term "directness" and "saying what you mean" Many times I've had to tell DH that I don't like the way in which he's said something (we usually speak English together, though he speaks Dutch with DS so I've given him the benefit of the doubt for messing up when speaking in another language) and he doesn't seem to "get" that it was hurtful and offensive.
I think this is part of Dutch culture, honestly. I call it plain rudeness, but they simply don't see it that way. I hear Dutch parents say all sorts of things to their kids that I would never say to DS! For instance, I hear other parents on the playground tell their kids they're "clumsy" "slow" "not very good at X,Y,X" the list goes on. I used to get offended when people would comment about how small DS is for his age, but I realized they didn't mean it in anything other than a matter - of - fact way. This, of course, didn't stop me from wanting to comment how ugly their kids were, but I never did! I was raised right! LOL! Now I just give a big grin and say he is perfect to us. They look confused. hee hee.
Anyway, it is good you can talk to DH and tell him how hurtful these things are to kids. Whatever the cultural context he comes from, you're creating your own cultural context within your family!