1. People & Relationships
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in our forum

International Marriage

Facing Many Challenges

By

Every marriage requires commitment, dedication and work. An international/intercultural marriage requires even more attention because of the many obstacles that a couple faces.

The obstacles come from family, friends, personal values, expectations, and bureaucratic procedures. Some of the problems these relationships face include:

  • Language Barrier
  • Differences in Values
  • Religious Conflicts
  • Sex Role Expectations
  • Economic Adjustments
  • Fear of Abandonment by Family, Friends, Spouse
  • Political Issues
  • Legal Complications

    To overcome these barriers, intercultural couples need to:

  • Learn about one another's cultures.
  • Communicate well in at least one language.
  • Be open and honest with their families.
  • Accept that cultural roots go deep and that people don't change easily or quickly.
  • Focus on the positives.
  • Look at what they have in common with one another.
  • Talk with one another about which traditions they want to carry on as a couple and with their children.
  • Discuss their expectations in the areas of mealtimes, holidays, finances, sex, chores and roles.
  • Look at why it is difficult to let go of a tradition or expectation.

    It isn't easy to deal with the legacy that we've all grown up with in our ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. Couples have said that the first five years of this type of marriage are the hardest.

    The key to a successful intercultural marriage is to develop understanding and patience.

  • ©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.