Love can be complicated. Intercultural love can be even more complex. Marrying a foreigner requires patience, cultural awareness, and knowledge. Get to know the 9 topics all intercultural couples should discuss before getting married here:
1. Wedding: In what country?
In your country? His or hers? Before making up your mind, you have to know how visas and the immigration process work. In some cases, it would be better to marry in your homeland, in other cases in theirs.
And besides having to consider wedding venues, party sizes and so on, if you decide to get married abroad, you have to figure out who is going to be invited from your family and how they will get to the ceremony…
2. Wedding & Religions:
Let’s assume you were raised catholic and she wasn’t. Is the ceremony going to be held in your place of worship, his or hers? Is it going to be a non-denominational ceremony?
You may want to go to the nearest courthouse and get married there instead, or even elope.
3. Homeland: Where are you going to live after the wedding?
You may already live together. But many intercultural couples do not, often they are living thousands of miles apart.
In the latter situation, you will have to figure out if living in your homeland is better or not an option.
After you make your mind on the subject, you will have to figure out how to live there or how your fiancee can live with you. Once again, immigration comes to the fore and the place the wedding took place is a decisive point here.
4. Kids: Do you want to have kids or not?
This is not only a consideration for intercultural couples. All couples should have this conversation before s serious commitment develops. Love is a game of expectations, and a disappointed spouse can feel betrayed if the other denies them a kid in the future.
If you and your significant other have a big age gap, that is an important point to consider as well. He or she may already have children from another marriage and not want any more kids, and you do or vice-versa. That’s a potential problem.
5. Work: What about your careers?
If you’re moving to another country to be with your significant other, you have to figure out how to work there. The same situation applies to your fiancee.
What is he or she going to do once in the US? Can they work in the same capacity or will they have to find a different job? Will they have to go back to school? Do they even want to?
6. Languages: Are you learning his or her language or are they learning your language?
I hope your fiancee already speaks your language or at least English. But some intercultural couples start with minimal communication. In the latter case, a language learning plan has to be implemented.
If you dislike when your partner speaks their native language in front of you, you will want to learn a bit of their language as well.
7. Language & Kids:
If you decided to have or raise kids together, you also have to decide what languages will be OK to be spoken at home. Your kids need some consistency in that regard.
8. Religion: Are you both religious?
This is another consideration, if you both are and belong to the same religion, that won’t be a problem. If one of you is religious and the other isn’t, then a potential problem may brew.
9. Roles: Who is who at home?
Having a well-delineated strategy for who is going to pay for what in a relationship can be a good thing. It is also important to consider the spouse’s culture here.
Some cultures around the globe are chauvinistic. Women in those cultures expect men to be the sole providers in the family.
If you grew up with an independent mom, for example, getting married to someone with a different point of view can be problematic because your expectations are going to be out of sync and they will clash.
Now let’s imagine you are a super independent woman who ends up marrying a foreigner raised in a typical chauvinistic culture. You may feel suffocated and angry because of your partner’s expectations. So it is better to put all the expectations on the table from the beginning.
Are you engaged or married to a foreigner? Did you discuss any of those topics with your significant other? Tell us in the comments below.