Are most intercultural relationships in Taiwan doomed?


We have a joke in Spanish: that between husband and wife the word divorce has not been used… murder yes, but not divorce.


haha no thanks. Also, the diamond ring thing de Beers set up decades ago, not buying into that crap either.


You will be thrilled, no doubt, to learn that the case I described above was actually a “shotgun wedding.” That is, the bride got pregnant from some man she didn’t care that much about, then succumbed to family pressure to marry him and have the baby. I guess she saw all this an an opportunity to take some killer selfies. (They had not one, but two wedding photography shoots.)

Meanwhile, a young (mid-20s) in-law of mine is about to marry his long-time girlfriend. They have been together since their freshman year of university. She seems nice. A few weeks ago, they–and I guess, their families–got into a big row over details of the venue, in the course of which she apparently threatened to cancel the whole thing unless the wedding hall had a window in it (which costs more moolah). (Sigh) May all beings be happy.

Another in-law married her equally long-time boyfriend. They’re still happily married. He is generally an okay guy, but has done things that other people would consider deal-breakers. For instance, he overrode his then-fiancee’s objections and bought a house (with a mortgage) that she didn’t like. There are issues with his family (whose paterfamilias seems to have lost all his money).

So what are the odds? You can’t go just by the raw divorce rate. Even if we could somehow get the numbers for mixed-nationality marriages, most of these would involve Vietnamese brides or something, and wouldn’t be comparable to the situation of a Western foreigner who marries a Taiwanese. In fact, intermarried couples probably fall into a number of sociologically-distinct groupings. Clustering probably also explains why I mostly perceive successful “mixed” marriages, while Icon (for example) mostly perceives failed ones. Other factors such as age should probably also be factored in, as actuaries do.

I doubt that there are very many foreigners marrying for the sake of a JFVR (I mean, how hard can it be to get residency some other way?), and suspect that even the fabled Green Card has lost some of its luster. But it is probably foolish of me to underestimate humanity’s potential for shallow behavior.


I guess that as a woman I am really jaded. And TBH, the stuff I have witnessed in my 20 years on this Island…Shiver, shiver…

I think it gets better with younger generations, but I still believe the ones that seem to have a better chance are the ones that look for neutral ground…neither Taiwan nor their countries of origin.


A huge number of Taiwan western coupoes move overseas when they have kids, they drop off the radar so it’s hard to tell how they do. I’m guessing they do better than the ones where the husband (usually) lands up in Taiwan after getting married overseas.


Eh just don’t get married, that’s where all the problems arise.


I seriously thought you were the person in your profile pic lol xD




Marriage is hard work. It’s can be good, but you need to work at things. I would also put myself in the happily married category, but I would temper things with a note that we have had to work hard to keep things happy. The other foreigners I know also seem to be hard at work keeping things happy.

From my perspective, things seem far worse back home than with the foreigner-Taiwan wife scenario. So many of my college friends have been divorced. Some haven’t stopped complaining on fb about how bad their wives were to them. I’m not judging them, just saying that things seem to be worse back home than here with my foreign friends and their Taiwanese wives. Of course this is just my personal experience and who knows what the statistics would tell us.


I work all day. I parent. I maintain a home. The last thing I want is to also Work on a marriage. A partner should be a reprieve. I abstain.


I’ve been married for 19 years and I’ve been with my wife for 23 years. I would argue that it’s not natural to put two people together who met in their twenties and then stay together for the rest of your lives. People change. Our thinking changes. People have different views and opinions about where to go for vacation, what to have for dinner, how to educate your children, and just about every imaginable thing. At the end of the day, I’m so glad we both worked hard to make it last and we didn’t say, “screw it all, a partner should be a reprieve and not about making it work.” I don’t know. Like I said, I see things way worse back home than with the foreigner-Taiwan wife scenario. Maybe perhaps that because so many back home too easily say screw it all, I need a new partner. I’ll take marriage over being single any day, even if you need to work at it:

Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half sorrow.

Swedish Proverb


The definition of a compromise is a deal where nobody gets what they want
-Larry David


You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you might find
You get what you need
The Rolling Stones

And what you need, often ends up being what you want.


Interesting topic.
I was wondering though, is it an underrated problem when the guy is the foreigner, he does not speak Chinese, therefore the Taiwanese wife has to deal with all the things involving communication, which obviously is a lot of things.
I think in a case like this the woman tires quickly unless she is not working and the husband pays for everything.


Hmm, that sounds like a formula for a long and happy marriage.


It really comes down to the two people in the relationship and it has to have good balance.

Luckily, I am fluent in Chinese and can read and write, however, when it comes down to reading the fine print or reading fast, the Gf has to jump in to help. Something that takes me 5 minutes to read and understand will take her 50 seconds.

After many years of being together, it’s clear that she does A and I do B and we’re both ok with the agreement.


I’m glad to hear that marriage has been a good choice for you. My partner of the last 5 years decided to transform into a woman. Deal breaker. I’m a little cynical lately.


I’ll write more tomorrow. I can’t keep track of everyone on here. Seeing you here instead of on messages, I forgot that we discussed tax issues. Headed home now. Need to call the US later.





For real? Just out of the blue? No signs of it before?