Interracial marriages less likely to succeed?


#1

In today’sTaipei Times, there’s an article about interracial marriages, saying that they often end in divorce. Granted, the focus of the article was on Taiwanese men marrying women from poorer Asian countries, but it got me wondering whether there were any statistics on interracial marriages involving people from western countries marrying Taiwanese. I know some couples who never should have gotten married, but I don’t know any couples who have actually gotten a divorce. Any thoughts? :question:


#2

I just read that same article. I was wondering, are Taiwanese and Vietnamese considered two different races? I certainly wouldn’t have put it that way. Different nationalities, but not races.


#3

Its not quite the whole story. Its changed since it left the copyeditor’s desk. The person quoted in the “story” actually said she wasn’t surprised at the “high” rate, so I asked the reporter what is the regular divorce rate – if you’re making a comparison, lets see what you’re comparing, asshole. (OK, so I didn’t actually use those same exact words). Surprise surprise, according to the Interior Ministry, the divorce rate is about the same for local or interracial marriages.
Of course if you point this out, the story kind of loses its entire point, so what to do, what to do?
Obvious, innit? Just delete the part that doesn’t fit your purposes and BINGO! But do it AFTER Sandman’s seen it, otherwise he’ll just kick up a fuss.


#4

I would consider Taiwanese and Vietnamese to be racially akin, but a lot of Taiwanese don’t (Vietnamese people are “black” I’ve been told).
I’ve come across Western/Taiwanese couples who have bad marriages, and at least one which ended in divorce.
I’ve also seen plenty of Taiwanese/Taiwanese marriages that seem to be disasters.


#5

An issue in most Taiwanese/western marriages is communication. Taiwanese are not renowned for divulging information, making planning a bit of a challenge sometimes. It can be overcome, but it takes a lot of time, patience and explanation. All the advantages would appear to outweigh the disadvantages, though.


#6

Wow! That’d be nice, eh? NT$300,000 for a blissful marriage and lifelong happiness, guaranteed! Not satisfied, we’ll give you a complete refund, or a new wife!

Ignorant pissants.

Anyways, I’d really be interested in seeing marriage/divorce figures as well. I’d also like to see 40 years of miserable marriage figures but can’t divorce because of societal pressures as well, but those might be harder to find.[/quote]


#7

Well, you can put me down for an “intercultural” marriage ending in divorce. No Asians involved, but we did meet in Taiwan…I think that might actually have had something to do with the whole thing in the end.

Maybe I should just have paid the NT$300,000?? :shock:


#8

I (a white American male) have been married for 13 years to my wife (a locally born and raised Taiwanese female). Someone stated above that many Taiwanese tend not to communicate specifics or details well, and I agree wholeheartedly with that assessment. But I’ve had a grand ole time, if not perfectly blissful, with my gal.

Don’t know the current statistics, but recall several years back that Taiwan once had the fastest rising rate of divorce on the planet. When I was back home practising law, I handled oodles of Chinese-Chinese and Taiwanese-Taiwanese divorces.

I know of some intercultural marriages that have failed, but know of just as many that are going strong.


#9

I read a similar article in the China Post today, entitiled: “One in every 8.8 marriages is interracial” and it did exactly the same thing Sandman pointed out; do everything except quote the ‘normal’ divorce rate. :x

I’ve had quite a few conversations about marriage and divorce rates in Taiwan compared to other countries, and most of my Taiwanese friends seem to think the divorce rate is sitting at between 20 and 30 percent (they probably exaggerrate about 10% :wink: ). The article said this:

Now, despite the quoted ‘interracial’ divorce rate being closer to one in every 9 couples, what is the point of printing such an article? It simply shows that the divorce rate among inter(racial) couples is similar to the national divorce rate. WOW!!! It’s clearly geared to portray these kinds of marriages in a bad light :imp:

As for the misuse of ‘interracial’, who’s going to get excited about an article with a title like: “11.3% of marriages in Taiwan between Taiwanese and Viet/Filo/Cambo/Laos etc…”


#10

Tigerman’s situation is more relevant to most of us than the Taiwanese man married to the Vietnamese woman, and it invokes notions that I have been pondering for some time. I would think that marriages between a westerner and an asian often don’t work out if they involve the fat old man who wants a petite, young, “exotic” wife and she wants a green card and a meal ticket (picture SE Asia). If such relationships fail it should be no surprise. But what if that’s not the case? What if both are seeking something deeper, including communication and understanding?

I know many western men may be happily married to asian women for years, but isn’t something missing? No matter how well-educated and traveled the asian woman might be, her culture and background are so different taht I wonder if there will never be the same level of understanding that two from the same culture might experience. I’ve found, for example, that my Taiwanese girlfriend is incapable of understanding many western comedies (particular stupid ones like the Naked Gun movies or Austin Powers). In addition, there seems to be a lack of understanding of so many things in the outside world, from names of people and places to events and concepts. Some might respond that we know about western culture and history and they know about eastern, but I’m not sure that’s true. My girlfriend may know more about Chinese culture and history than me, but not SE Asia, Japan, etc. Moreover, my understanding is not limited to my country, the US. I also have some familiarity with other parts of the world.

My question is therefore whether, no matter how well-educated and traveled your asian partner might be, the western partner will inevitably sacrifice some intelligent discussion particularly about events and ideas outside of her country? Won’t discussions often be in a quasi teacher-student fashion rather than as two equals? I realize one may gain other benefits that offset that disadvantage, but I wonder if most would agree with that assessment?


#11

My wife is Taiwanese and we have been married for a little over 2 years. I think like all marriages it takes work, but I have to admit that the cultural differences that make it interesting also make it more work.

Divorce, in my opinion, is something that has become way too common. I would love to know what other people think are the reasons for todays society being far more likely to divorce. I know at home in New Zealand most of my friends parents are divorced. So why is it folks??? Not just inter-racial but all marriages.


#12

I’ve never had an anglo-saxon girlfriend, and that’s not for lack of opportunity, but simply because I’ve spent a large amount of my life in Asia, or with my head in a book about Asia. I do agree with you to an extent, however, I think (and you may not be; please tell me if I’m wrong) that you are generalising a little bit.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Americans who thought Australia was in England. :x But by that token, not all Americans think that way, just as all Taiwanese do not have completely closed minds. I can see that a certain form of benign ignorance exists here, and far more prominently than in other places I’ve lived, but I’m certain it’s not the same across the entire population. But, as for your question, I can’t help but admit that many of the relationships I’ve had have either followed the path of me having to ‘sacrifice’ (I find that term a little disturbing) intelligent discussion, or, more often, I’ve found that the girl has been ridiculously hell-bent on discussing current affairs, the state of the economy, Lenin’s influence in the potato wars, or how big the universe is, or basically doing what she sees as ‘expanding’ her mind as quickly and in as many directions as possible. This intensity (does everyone know the kind of person I’m talking about?) is too much for me sometimes. My point is that there needs to be a balance, and I argue that a nice, stable, balanced girl (by western standards) is harder to find here (in Asia), than one merely capable of stimulating discussion.


#13

Actually, I tend to do my intelligent discussion sacrifice when I log on to Segue, or at least that’s what it feels like when I look at certain posts. :unamused:


#14

As far as I’m aware, most marriages between Westerners and Taiwanese are the result of a conventional process of mutual attraction, dating, courtship, and the rest – what some might refer to as “love matches”. It’s hardly the same as the mail-order bride scenario of Taiwanese pig farmers shelling out cash to purchase poor Southeast Asian girls for childbearing and house-slave service. So lumping them all together in the category of “interracial” or “intercultural” marriages doesn’t make much sense. It always seems remarkable to me that any marriage can survive long-term, but those in the former category seem to do so as well as any others.


#15

I’ve been curious about rates and such for years. Hope this statement doesn’t ruffle any feathers… Taiwan’s divorce rate has risen a lot in the last few years. On some levels, I think its a good thing.
If you look at the older generation, there is almost no divorce. But what percentage of them are happy? No, scratch that; what percentage are miserable? A lot. I’m not saying divorce is a good thing, and in fact I think it should only be a last option after all other avenues are seriously tried (unlike it sometimes is in the West), but divorce is much better than spending a lifetime with someone who makes you miserable, and vice versa.

And an American said Australia was from England? Crap… I can just imagine that there croco-dile guy wrasslin’ of them Q-tip hat guards… yee-haa!


#16

Americans and world geography …

While on transit from Brazil to Japan, my German friend was escorted with loaded guns to the Immigration and Naturalization office at the airport in New York this morning. She was completely confused and tried to figure out what was going on when one of the police officers said to her: “So you were born in Lebanon?” Her passport states her place of birth rightly as - Bayreuth, a fairly big city in Southern Germany.

Sorry, but this shouldn’t happen at an international airport!


#17

Oh please, you can have Steve Irwin; Australia doesn’t want him! :slight_smile:


#18

Maoman! You know me! :unamused: Or maybe that was before we knew each other very well.

In fact, your boss and his wife, signed my divorce papers as witnesses. Remember? That was very lovely of them. And that crappy wet day in Chungho in 1999 was the last time I ever laid eyes on my ex-husband.

Even though I’ve been in my present “interracial” relationship for almost five years, I will never marry another Taiwanese man…
Girlfriend. Fine. Wife? No f***ing way!!


#19

There are many instances in which I am surprised at how little many of my Taiwanese friends understand of world events and or history. But, I think there are some obvious reasons for this, such as:

  1. Those of us over here in Taiwan, coming from other nations, are generally more aware of the world outside of our own respective nations, and thus when we meet with some of the more provincial locals, we may easily be led to believe that somehow most locals lack an understanding of the world outside of Taiwan. Of course, the same is true when I return home to the States and converse with many of my family and friends who have never left western Pennsylvania.

  2. Can’t comment on education systems in Europe or Australia or New Zealand or Canada. But I am certain that I received a very liberal artsy type education in the US compared to the education my Taiwanese wife and friends received here. I remember teaching English years ago to Taiwanese adults who were astounded, if not bored, that I knew trivial info such as the fact that the Earth is closer to the Sun during (northern hemisphere) winter than it is during summer.

  3. At least for older Taiwanese, the textbooks used in the past for history were not exactly what could be described as “accurate” by any stretch of the imagination.

Certainly, however, there are many Taiwanese who are well aware of international affairs and events, and who are quite conversant regarding certain matters. Often, it depends on our own backgrounds, separate from our nationalities… in the case of my wife and I, she is an artist and I am an attorney with a MA in International Affairs (I’m really just an old Dead Head). Of course there is a gap in our respective knowledge, and a difference in our perspectives, regarding international affairs.

But all in all, I have learned a lot of really useful stuff from her. Actually, I learned more about the art of negotiation from her than I did from my Diplomacy & Negotiation professor in grad school. Heck, if I wanted to discuss International Affairs at a “higher level”, I would have chased down and married one of my grad school professors… but that would mean, I am certain, that my marriage would be unbearably boring.


#20

I met an American (before the reunification) who thought Germany was divided into North and South … :smiley: