Relationships are hard.
Making the effort to combine two individual sets of backgrounds, ideas, wants, needs, hopes, and dreams, (not to mention the practical considerations of eating habits, levels of cleanliness, and financial habits etc.) is challenging at the best of times. Throw in two separate cultures, languages, one partner living outside of the country they originated from, and you have a recipe for difficulties and stress! You also have the ingredients to grow as a person, promote empathy and understanding, have many adventures and a few funny misunderstandings along the way.
Aside from your partner, who can you share all your stories of misunderstanding and adventure with?
Who understands what it’s like to be married to someone born and raised in Japan and the cultural common-sense that comes along with that?
Who can you turn to when you are experiencing a miscommunication with your partner and need advice to turn it around?
Who is there to help guide you through the Japanese health/education/insurance/pension system when it is all so foreign to you and you cannot make heads nor tails of it?
It all can be a bit lonely and overwhelming at times.
There is no need to worry! The members of the Association of Foreign Wives of Japanese are there for you, ready to support you and share in your journey of having a Japanese partner. Members are in contact daily via internet groups and meet regularly in person at events in districts throughout japan and overseas. We can lean on each other in times of difficulty and celebrate with one-another over happy occasions. AFWJ is also a source of great advice on topics ranging in everything from how to deal with Japanese immigration when you have a visa problem, to navigating the Japanese healthcare system, to finding a new career path - and of course how to deal with sticky situations that arise in your relationship! You never know how many ways AFWJ will be able to help you out until you see our network in action.
In order to share some of our collective wisdom and introduce you what AFWJ is all about, I am excited to announce: we are reviving our blog!
From the very first post in 2015:
This Blog was started to show members, potential members or anyone interested in our organization more about us and our activities. AFWJ is a support group and networking organization for foreign women with Japanese partners. We have around 500 members worldwide. Our activities include meet-ups, online groups, a bi-monthly journal and an annual convention. If you are interested in learning more about us, don’t hesitate to contact us at info(at)afwj.org
The contact email address is still the same and the idea behind the blog is too. We hope to make it a venue for AFWJ members to share their experiences, as well as make it a useful resource for people thinking of joining our association or for anyone who might benefit from our collective wisdom. Members of AFWJ have gained a lot of knowledge from living in Japan, being in a relationship with a Japanese partner, raising bicultural children, forging our own career paths, making decisions about retirement, and everything else in between. If there is anything you think we can help you with, please reach out and let us know in the comments, for more information about AFWJ please visit our homepage or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.