So You Wanna Marry a Foreigner…

To find a husband or wife seems like the hard part…until you get married!  Then we learn that marriage, while fabulous in so many ways…has many trials and tribulations. Anticipating marrying someone from a different country can feel “scary” because somewhere inside, you know you’re taking a leap of faith that is bigger than that involved with marrying a person from the same culture. If you want to marry a foreigner, let me take a guess at a few of the thoughts you’re having:

  1. CAN I marry this person? I don’t know the first thing about immigration.
  2. Won’t marriage with a foreigner be complicated?
  3. I really think he/she loves me, but what if deep down, my love is thinking about a greencard?
  4. Will he/she change his/her mind and later want to move back home to a different country?
  5. Will he/she ever learn to speak English well? If not, what will happen?
  6. Will he/she ever find a good job? If not, what will happen?
  7. Will people, especially family and friends, accept our marriage?
  8. Will speaking different languages at home confuse our future children?
  9. Do children feel that the foreign parent is different from other parents?
  10. Is it possible to make a marriage between foreigners last?

I have good news and bad news to share! Good news first. The answer to #10 is YES. The answer to #1 is most often YES–I will post a few immigration links for you soon, plus I will describe our immigration situation (which ended fine and was very easy, just a long process) and a few of our friends’ as well.

The bad news. Marrying a foreigner could teach you many things you never wanted to learn about society, culture, how the nicest people in all cultures can turn horrible when their loved ones marry people from different places, that child-rearing practices are different everywhere and people get darn stubborn about the ones they were raised with…Oh, each of these needs its own post or many of them…

What I’m saying is, marriage is complicated–period. Marriage with a foreigner is even more complicated. Having lived in three countries, worked as an ESL teacher for 10 years (with hundreds of foreigners from many, many countries including all continents except Antarctica), I have known MANY couples comprised of spouses from different countries. I saw a few divorce within two years. I see some who are still holding on but unhappy. BUT I KNOW SOME who figured it out and are living an exciting, love-filled, culturally rich life together.

I hope to shed some light on my personal experience and offer help or advice whenever possible through this site. Good luck to you, and know that many international couples are thriving and happy!!!!

3 Responses to “So You Wanna Marry a Foreigner…”

  1. I am seeing a fella in the Dominican Republic, we are trying to get a visitors visa for him to come to Canada. I have been traveling there for over a year now, it would be nice if we were sucssesful to have him visit me in Canada. this procsses can be quite difficult. wish us luck.

  2. I would really like to hear your story.. i am doing this same thing in a few months and have some trepidiation about it…… any advice? i am 26 yrs old and still very attached to my family here in NY. My fiance is from Israel and loves his home country..

  3. I am American. He is Greek-Swedish. We have been together for 2 years. We met when I took a summer job in Greece. Never expected to fall in love, but we did and each year I dodge the bullet and stay longer than law lets me sometimes in Greece. I do it for love, but we are not yet ready to get married and I am tired of the stress of overstaying and back and forth between Greece and America.

    I have a B.A in communications but in this recession no one will sponsor me in Europe and he cannot have a visa in the states. We are so tired of being apart and not sure what direction to go anymore in order to stay together. Can you help to give me input or advice? We feel so alone on this situation…

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