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International Marriages

I just thought I would throw up this topic for anyone who's interested or curious about international relationships/marriages. Are you currently in an international relationship? Are you thinking about one? Are you wondering what sort of issues you might encounter? Feel free to comment away.
I can start the ball rolling: I am in a international marriage (WF - AM (Korean)). We've been married for eight years and have two kids. We are currently living in the US.
One observation I've made: AF - WM seems to be a LOT more common than the other way around. (In eight years, I think I can count on one hand the number of WF - AM couples I have seen or met in everyday life.) I have a theory as to why this might be.
AF - WM couples seem to be more common because I think they have a better chance of working out, even if the Asian is not Americanized. Although American guys tend to be more egalitarian than Asian males, the Asian wife who has not been Americanized has, for better or for worse, been raised to treat her husband as the ultimate head of the family. So, she'll treat him very well.
On the other hand, I believe that WF - AM couples are at a disadvantage if the Asian male has not been Americanized. If he has an Asian mindset, he will (at least subconsciously) expect to be treated as the ultimate head of the family - something which most American females in the wake of women's lib are loath to do. With such conflicting expectations, it's likely that the couple will experience difficulties unless they learn to set aside their differences and work things out.
However, if the Asian male has been sufficiently Americanized, then the relationship stands a much better chance. He'll be keenly aware of the cultural differences in gender roles within the marriage, and will tend to egalitarianism, which would be more in line with his American wife's expectations.
Anyways, that's my theory on why there are more AF - WM than the other way around. Anyone else care to set forth their hypotheses as to why this is the case?

askeladd's picture

That's an interesting point

That's an interesting point about the relative heights of the couple - I hadn't really thought about that angle. Historically, the average Asian has not been as tall as the average white, but this could be due to nutrition as well as genetics. One would have to compare present-day average heights among Asian 20-somethings with their counterpart from (say) 50 years ago, to see if greater prosperity (and hence better nutrition) has resulted in taller people. I've heard that this is the case in Korea, but it's strictly anecdotal.

About "saying no": I'm sure that part of that is related to Asian reluctance to humiliate/embarrass another person by direct refusal - you know, saving face and all that. At times it can lead to a frustrating and confusing conversation (from a Western perspective), but it's not so bad if you remind yourself of it every once in a while (especially if you're in a relationship with an Asian :) ) !


Of all God's creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.

---Mark Twain

Of all God's creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.

---Mark Twain

I do not disagree with you,

I do not disagree with you, but I believe there has to be a reason for the relationship to begin before the roles of marriage come into question. Why do AF - WM relationships happen in the first place?

I think there may be something in the size of the partners. I know many men who rarely if never consider dating a girls who are taller than they. My shortest male friend is dating the only girl I know who is shorter than he. I think many WM may desire relationships with AF because it makes them more secure in that respect.

Another thing I have found is a difference in the female partner's ability to say "No." I once asked out a girl from Hong Kong, and for about three months she kept telling me that she simply didn't have time to go out; so I kept flirting with her and asking her to dates. She never actually said no to me, but I found out from one of my friends that she actually didn't like me. White women, on the other hand, are pretty quick to say no if they don't like you.

No offense to men who marry Asian women. (I hope to some day be one.) I am sure most of these relationships come from love, but I am also sure that some come from too much persistence. Even though LingWa didn't like me at all, I still managed to get a phone number and three dates.

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