Are most intercultural relationships in Taiwan doomed?


I have seen a lot of posts on this forum about divorce.

What is going on??
Are foreigners getting married to TW woman and then moving in and realizing it can’t work?
Are the TW woman changing their behavior over night once the marriage is final?
Do the TW woman take advantage of our economic status and try squeeze money out during the marriage?

My logic tells me you wouldn’t marry her if these signs or problems were already present, so do TW woman in these cases hide their manipulative behavior, rope the you in then make life shitty?

It is rather apathetic in my situation with my GF because I can see myself marrying her, but if it goes to shit and I have to deal with divorce, which seems rather lame in TW, I wouldn’t want to do it. Plus side is, her family is light years more wealthy than mine, so I doubt she will take advantage of me in that sense.

Getting Fired (and possibly divorced)
How Long Does Divorce Take?

An intercultural marriage is always going to be more challenging and difficult, all else being equal. The differences between east and west aren’t superficial like we’re taught to believe, but deep and meaningful.

IDK whether a handful of divorce posts here really tells us much about an underlying trend though.


I have been thinking about this topic as 100% of marriages between my fellow compatriots from teh ol country and Taiwan have failed. All.

There are many reasons. First of all, foreign female in Taiwan has a lot less rights than foreign male, even less if from a 3rd world country. From day one, the family looks down on you, no matter your social or economic position back home. No legal rights to speak of, very little respect from the family, the husband sides with them for every argument as he know he will win them all. Add some economic pressure or children and kaput. Foreign males have to contend with the “he is big and mean and all froeigners are liars and unfaithful and lazy” deal. All these prejudices weight down a marriage and set you on teh wrong foot from day one in society and family realms.

Moreover, most people meet abroad. Taiwanese abroad behave differently. Once back into the family, they assume the expected position as child. Hence, they deal with conflict by running away, not facing the problems, which leads to early demise of marriages. The “we stick through the bad times” motto does not work. At a personal and especially economic level they are dependent on tehir families… and they like it. The world out there is competitive, and they simply cannot cope. Look at taiwanese enterprises. They cannot rise above a certain level becaus they lack the guts, not the skills/capital/experience. Why fight when you can dwell in this warm pool indefinetively?


Well, I see no reason for people to post things saying “My marriage is great! No issues with it!”.
It’s natural to have more posts complaining than appraising anything, and marriage is no exception.:wink:
In my case, I’m married to a Taiwanese and has relationships in my home country before. I have no doubt I have much less fights now than with my previous partners. The main reason, I believe, is that we decided to put communication as one of the priorities in our relationship. Since we have different cultures and habits, is never safe to assume anything, so we have to speak out whatever is bugging us. Even the smallest things. :smirk:
My guess is that in the failed marriages, is not that people changed, but rather one never really new the other part.
Of course I can only guess and not say by experience, fortunately.:slightly_smiling_face:




Nearly all those are coming from the same fellow. He’s making a new topic every time he has a different question or update. I’m not sure what factors are behind his case, everyone is different. And personally I don’t care about other’s dirty laundry enough to ask.

What I can say, if you want my advice for a long steady relationship (not sure why you’d ask a stranger over the internet). Wait a little while. I’ll never understand why people agree to a lifetime commitment with someone they’ve known less than a year. I was with my wife for over 4 years before tying the knot, through my military service, through us living in different countries, through everything. So that’s my advice, wait and see what happens after a while.


[quote=“Ricarte, post:4, topic:161284, full:true”]
Well, I see no reason for people to post things saying “My marriage is great! No issues with it!”[/quote]
Just hit the 20 years together, and 17 years marriage, and no reasons to post about it till now.
Ups and downs as most of us, but we survived, going for the next 20 years.

On topic, sadly, saw most (minus one) of friend’s intercultural marriage fail, mostly after some years, when the coating wears off, and differences become more pronounced.
They say that keeping a marriage requires a lot of energy, probably even more for an intercultural one as some of us have.


I have no idea. Me and my gf both embrace our multicultural relationships. Her family and mine are both very interested and understanding of each other’s culture. My mom being Korean and my father Taiwanese so they are very open about things of that nature and they spend years in the US both speaking Korea, Chinese and English. My girl friends family do a lot of business in Taiwan and loves taiwan. So much so they spend almost half their time here from Italy. My girlfriend speaks Italian, is educated in the U.K. And is also learning Chinese. So I guess if both families and people have this kind of open minded background, it’s not so hard.


Actually, it seems like it’s just one member posting about different topics of the process in his divorce. Normally, we don’t get that many.

I haven’t personally gone through the marriage department, but I’ve heard plenty of stories from friends and this is something you might want to talk to your gf about if you are considering marriage.

It’s not that she would take advantage of you, but it’s more of her parents don’t think you’re good enough for her. Don’t take offense to this, I’m sure you’re talk, dark, handsome and a shuai ge, but the issue of household income being different has lead to long relationships ending during marriage prep. It’s horrible and stupid, but this is just how some families operate.

The gf’s best friend is going through the process now and the stories I hear from the gf about her friend’s and her fiance’s families meeting are like rival companies trying to form an alliance. In the states, it’s very clear who pays for what or if the bill is split. Whereas in Taiwan, it’s the same, but issues come up since the families already have an idea of each other’s income levels.

For example, guy’s family is paying for the wedding venue/banquet. The girl’s family wants it to be at the Mandarin Oriental. Guy’s family says f no, I’m not paying 80,000NT a table. Girl’s family doesn’t want their guests to think they’re cheap and lose face by booking somewhere else that’s not as fancy, but also do not want to fully pay for the wedding banquet. Boom, swords are crossed, guns go blazing and arguments ensue.


lol, thanks for this insight.

my gf has said she would prob just go to the court house and get married that way and spend 1 month on honeymoon :laughing:


a lot of things said here do ring true. i met my ex back home, she was relatively care free and fun there. after coming to taiwan she changed, she was completely stressed out. had all kinds of pressure - family, society, work. became jealous and tried to take her frustrations out on me. her family also gave me a bunch of nonsense.

but from that i learn’t some of the main things to look out for, my current gf is totally different. if we ever got married i wouldn’t be taking it lightly, and her family interference would have to be minimal for my own sanity. experience can be quite a big factor, without any experience it can be quite easy for foreigners to sign up for something they were not at all expecting.


Yeah… that fellow.


I wish every relationship resulting in marriage were that simple here in Taiwan. You’re not just marrying your gf, you’re marrying into her family too!

I don’t want to sound condescending or like an ass, but is the gf willing to give up her parent’s money and inheritance for your love? If she’s values you and your love over money, keep her and never…ever let her go.


Her father said he’ll give her, her inheritance before we get married so if we divorce I don’t take half her money lol xD

I’ve heard the whole marrying into her family, what sort of things happen once you marry into her family?

Her family seems pretty chilled to be fair.


I think things are changing here a bit. We got married at the household registration office, no party, no wedding. We explained what we wanted and why to her parents, took them to a nice dinner to celebrate and they are fine. They tried to give her some sort of dowry and she politely declined and they were also ok with that. They also seem to be ok with telling the few extended family who question our direction to pound sand, if we are happy they are happy. And to the original question, we are very happy and have none of those issues.


Happily married to a top shelf Taiwanese woman way out of my league tbh. She thinks the world of me, and I do of her. We just had a baby, and we’re happy. The divorce stories are posted here because people need feedback and they’re kinda interesting to read. The majority, which are boring, happy stories like mine aren’t. Because we don’t need help. But I bet there’s more solid Taiwanese-foreigner unions out there than you think. All my married friends seem to be happily married at least on the surface. If you think she’s the one, go for it. Don’t be scared because someone else had some drama with a relationship that was probably crap from the start. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.


Many people do not see the obvious conflicts, no matter how long they have been together. Oh you married this person who did not hold a job or cook/wash or take care of him/herself in any way and you expect them to behave like an adult? It was OK abroad …when one partner carried the whole load…well, did you think it was gonna change afterwards just because of marriage magic? And just one person carrying the whole responsibility of a marriage is exhausting. It will give in sometime, sooner or later.

There is a reason why marriage vows say in sickness and in health, in poverty or wealth. Sickness strains the marriage. Ask yourself: if this person has never experineced any hardship in their lives and can’t even handle a glass of water without ice, can they handle you or them with anything stronger than a cold? In wealth, do you share the same vison towards the future, investment, retiremnent, housing, or do they chase a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?

Finally, get a hard look at this person’s family, family relations, upbringing. It is not only they will resemble their parents as they get old, it is that they will act like them. Can you take it? Someone without a parental fugure, raised by granny, will have a hard time raising their kids by themselves.


Jesus… H… Christ…

The nail has been smacked directly on the head. Everything you have said is exactly…without a doubt…an concise description of my former wife.


Honestly, I can’t tell you first hand, but back when my parents got married, my mom moved in with my dad’s entire family of 8 people and had to cook for 8 people. Soon enough my dad’s brother got married and house chores and cooking were split between my mom and my aunt. I guess it was my mom’s way of paying respect to her in-laws, thanking them for giving birth to my dad and allowing her to marry into their family.

Nowadays, it really depends on the family.

If you’re really that interested, look on PTT. There’s some stories on there that may blow your mind.


Then ask yourself: how can I change myself, so next time I do not go looking for the same person?

We had a pal, a nice guy, one can say even too nice. One of those “take me to America” types got him in her clutches. Everyone tried to help him untangle, he couldn’t see the light. Somehow, he managed to break free… Two months later, we received an urgent call from him. He was marying this girl he just met because he got her pregnant. To make the long story short, they moved to the US, he discovered the baby was not his yet stayed with her… until she kicked him to the curb… wash/rinse/repeat…

Get my point?