Marriage where spouses don’t speak a common language

The situation is the following: foreign spouse can communicate in Chinese well, Taiwanese spouse can’t communicate in English well, how does it affect a serious relationship such as marriage? (Being able to just greet or ask the price of things, or say you are sick etc is not being able to communicate in a foreign language ‘marriage level’.

Because of the high rate of marital problems and divorce among friends that can’t speak a common language with their spouse I decided to open this thread and discussion. Maybe the people who are dating in such situation can benefit from this discussion.

What I think is this (as I have posted in another marriage problems thread):

On another note, how do you guys marry someone with whom you can’t communicate fully and throughly?

If one is not fluent in Chinese the other should be fluent in English, or the other way around, as long as there is a common ground language.

Marriages are already hard, intercultural marriages even harder, without a language where you can express everything (or at least deep enough stuff) I don’t see as a marriage.

To me it something is going on above the marriage thing in these relationships. Either they are in love with appearance, sex, or just infatuated with someone, to which all will vanish in time.

To marry you need to have communication. The friends I have that we’re married in this situation (foreigner barely know Chinese Taiwanese spouse also can’t communicate well in English) divorced, are in terrible marriages, or are heading for divorce.

I have a few friends infatuated with their Taiwanese love bird and they are very intelligent communicate people. We can talk deeply about so many things, it is already in their personality to be very well articulated communicators and not shallow people. So, I started asking a few of them (very close friends) ‘can you discuss this that we just discussed with Mr/Mrs girl/boyfriend?’ And their answer is ‘I don’t need to, you just know when someone has a good heart’.

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This, or maybe that partner can offer them financial security or other benefits. Other major contributing factors to marriages that were doomed to fail from the start boil down to poor knowledge of oneself, what you really want and need out of a partner, and the work required for a successful relationship. This we all basically know.

And if I’m honest? Some people benefit from their partner not being able to understand absolutely everything about them, because that makes it so much easier to fool someone into marrying them. In the case of our unfortunate friend over in the thread that inspired this one, I imagine most local Taiwanese men would’ve known to turn tail and run when they heard “I want a prince.” But for a foreign boyfriend, her true nature is…lost in translation.

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This is crucial and I fully agree. Young age, or lack of maturity many times are the cause of marriage fails. Not that young is definitely without self awareness but it is a big step to be taken before marriage.

Wow, I have never thought that way but now that you mentioned I believe I’ll hearted people would use this to their advantage. Specially histrionic women, narcissistic men.

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Would be good to see some stats , I believe the divorce rate is slightly higher for these international marriages. More stresses and challenges sometimes…Of course.

If folks can live and let live well marriages can go quite smoothly . Give each other a bit of space and respect , realise you aren’t going to change your partner.

I couldn’t really do a marriage where we had communication problems either, it wouldn’t work for me.

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My mom has always said my father’s family “tricked” her with their fake American niceties. She was unable, at that time, to see through the veil and understand that his family was full of psychos, nor was she able to realize just how damaged he was by that.

My dad is really not so bad, FWIW. He’s a bit broken but he’s a devoted husband and father. But I truly believe no sane American woman would have had him after meeting his family and putting all the pieces together. His only real hope for a happy marriage was to dupe a nice, unsuspecting foreign lady. Not that I think he did that on purpose, but he really lucked out.

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When a couple doesn’t have a common language to communicate, both can interpret their limited communication in their favor, respectively, so they wouldn’t have much troubles until real matters hit them.

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Bear in mind that after a few years of marriage you won’t be talking much anyway. Not because you’re pissed off with each other, but because you’ve run out of things to talk about.

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That’s not the only thing you won’t be doing :upside_down_face:

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Speak for yourself.:grin:

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Haven’t seen the stats yet, just friends and told stories. But it would be good to compare with real numbers.

This is the time of thing it is only possible through language. When you learn a language you get so much deeper in the culture.

I don’t agree, I think as years go by there are different topics and new ideas. So many new things regarding how to raise the kids , investment options, retirement, etc. and that has to be discussed as the challenges appear.

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That’s something to look forward to.

It gets better again after a decade or two.

Adding to this, if you’re regularly “dating” and doing new things, both together and by yourself, there’s really no shortage of things to talk about. Watching movies, reading books, picking up new hobbies, keeping up with news and current events…if you’re keeping yourself and each other stimulated then it’s not so hard.

The last bit of that sounded very suggestive…

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There are also a good number of local guys who are OK with this type. I guess catering to every whim of a pampered princess makes then feel more manly.

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Oh yeah that’s really common actually . In that case the guy needs to have $$$.
Sure it’s all discussed before the marriage with the pingjin and house etc. Often doctors and dentists wives …Just my experience.

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Yeah. I never really got it, but I guess if they’re happy with it, why not? At least they’re doing the rest of us a favor by taking those women out of circulation.

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I don’t think being a Doc is great in Taiwan. They work you like a slave in the hospital…And they they milk you for all your worth at home. :sunglasses: Warning - stereotypes apply :grin:.

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If you’re especially hot and wild in the sack you can get away with a lot of things.

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Good looking,slim, pale, tallish , goes a long way in this superficial society.

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I don’t think that’s really the dynamic in most cases, but I could be wrong. Of course, it helps if they’re pretty by local beauty standards. It’s more like the man validates himself by having the earning power to cater to a demanding wife.

Yes, exactly the type I was thinking of.

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