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For readers in international marriages, what are some of the biggest challenges you have had to face?


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$$$ for visiting in-laws for a family of four every year and a half or so for decades.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Nothing HUGE, mind you, but in order to get all the documentation (which was extra) to get married in the first place I had to go to a Consulate, which does not exist nearby. So that involved taking time off, traveling, and staying overnight in another city. Plus, my local City Hall had no idea what it was doing and kept telling me I needed more documents, which I did not, but that is what a lot of people face with the ridiculous red tape here in general.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Just the society! Otherwise the sex life is the WOW factor for both!

-17 ( +0 / -17 )

Love conquers all obstacles.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Convincing the in-laws and neighbors that we aren’t in an ‘international’ marriage but two humans from different countries who met and fell in love.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

When I married, male spouses were not entitled to a visa so just staying in Japan was the biggest challenge I faced.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Yeah, I can see that borscht. We are not all defined by or representatives of the nation we happened to be born in. Get over it. And just because my wife is Japanese doesn't mean I like Japan or Japanese people across the board.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Moving to Japan with my Japanese spouse. After life in the UK, it took many adjustments to deal with a new everything. It took more than a decade to settle and after three I have reached that point.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Indeed. Scavenging furniture from 粗大ゴミ must have been a shock for her.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

When we moved to Japan we already owned two furnished homes. That was never a problem.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Making sure I didn’t start sounding like woman in Japanese, ne?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

@Elvis is here

We all know kanji and kana,so post in English,meht.We know you're the King.

I agree with you in most matters.

Funnily,after being married to my Japanese boss for twenty years,I find that I defend her countries culture,and she defends mine.

A healthy,balanced international relationship!

Meanwhile,my daughter,who was born in Japan,is quintessentially British,yet my son, who was born in Cornwall,is super Ryukyu boy.

Who cares, ultimately?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

what are some of the biggest challenges you have had to face?

On both sides, the in-laws and their strange ways.

Also, living in a 1LDK with all the rice, olive oil and whatnot I hoard.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Lack of dual custody will always be hanging over your head no matter the reason for divorce. Also, Japanese may mock or ignore your religion and block any opportunity to share it with your children.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I recently lost my wife of 35 years. I own a house here and all. Dealing with people who ask me whether I am going to "go back" to the US is annoying - I have nowhere to "go back" to. And imagine the outrage a similar comment made to a long-term Asian immigrant in America would inspire!

24 ( +24 / -0 )

I recently lost my wife of 35 years.

My sincere condolences.

14 ( +15 / -1 )


How sad, all the best to you Sir.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Most problems came from me without thinking about it assuming that we all think and act the same way. Actions and emotions have different meanings, anger especially. Just being in Japan and interacting with people, including my wife, I've learned a lot, and changed a lot. Where my automatic reaction was to attack, I think I have learned to accept and tolerate, at least when interacting with Japanese people.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Convincing the in-laws and neighbors that we aren’t in an ‘international’ marriage but two humans from different countries who met and fell in love.

Yes, there is a kokusai kekkon pigeonhole that some people will want to put you in. Maybe they are hoping for some "darling wa gaikokujin" type anecdotes. I can also sympathize with Laguna and him living his life in Japan, but other people assuming its not his country. Its probably what Japanese people are taught to think, but its still awful.

On the subject of other people's expectations, I resent people assuming my kids are completely bilingual. I speak to our eldest in English, but only because she has studied and is quite good. I don't speak to the others in English much because my wife doesn't speak that much English. It would mean I'd be the only one in our house capable of fully expressing myself.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

LagunaNov. 26  03:18 pm JST

I recently lost my wife of 35 years. 

I lost mine in 2018 at 44-years old. I know that no words suffice.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Peter and Laguna- My deep condolences.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Thank you for the kind comments.

I must say that I've found my treatment during the very lengthy funeral process dignified, professional, and compassionate, with zero comment that I am non-Japanese. I suppose if you have to lose a spouse, you couldn't do it any better than in Japan.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

RedemptionNov. 26  02:32 pm JST

Lack of dual custody will always be hanging over your head no matter the reason for divorce.

Only until your kid(s) hit 18 0r 20 or whatever it is now.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Being older then my Partner's father.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Most people's experiences are probably different. Like OnTheTrail above, the biggest challenge for us has been the cost of travel between Japan and the UK. The good side has been that our families have gotten on fine. Sadly, the oldies have now gone except for my mother-in-law. But I have many fond memories of them meeting up. My mum looking after my wife's nieces in the play area at our apartment in Japan, my father-in-law praying at my mum's grave in the UK, and much more.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The immigration stuff is probably the most difficult. Language can also make things difficult, sometimes. But, Google has been a life saver. (Chrome's auto-translate, Maps, and of course, the Translate mobile and web apps.)

But, conversely, I have gotten to experience many things I wouldn't have, if I married an American girl, and stayed in NY. I probably wouldn't have moved to California, either, which is where I first moved to be with her, and lived for 18 years before Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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