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With the development of globalization, personal mobility has prompted an expansion of international marriage as a social phenomenon. This includes a great source of conflicts, whether or not a marital relationship between partners of different nationalities becomes highly advantageous. As Jones (2012) noted, the numerical data indicates a dramatic surge in mixed couples. Although this prevalence may stimulate a spirit of adventure, in this essay I argue that cross-border marriages need to be discouraged in terms of cultural dissonance and social problems.
One of the most obvious obstacles is that international couples have faced adjustment to a different culture. With reference to the religious background, spouses experience various discrepancies in traditional cuisine and eating habits. As a result, it is imperative that each partner have struggled how to narrow the cultural gap as either combination of two cultures or acquisition of each other’s cultural norms. In addition, Renalds found that multilingual couples can misinterpret their partner’s emotions (2011). Implications of words, accents, and dialects give cross-national couples practical difficulties in expressing their own viewpoints and grasping each other’s feeling beneath surface. With regard to parenting styles, Japanese and American parents apply diverse practices in child rearing. That spouses, thus, cannot ignore their self-esteem to accept each other’s approach to raising children involves themselves in dispute.
Another major drawback of marrying a foreigner includes societal challenges. It is true that the shift in the traditional perspective provokes human trafficking in the demands for exchanged brides and grooms. For example, bride trade between Vietnam and Taiwan has been conducted via large-scale organizations. In respect to the legal restriction, registration of marriage and permanent residence encompass complex procedures. Not only do couples waste time on the marriage certificate and residence card, but they also encounter numerous troubles after divorce, some of which are financial issues and inequitable distribution. Furthermore, spouses may have been on the verge of relationship breakdown when suffering deep-rooted prejudice, the eye of a specific kin group as well. This is emphasized by Sossah’s (2012) claim that the local community displays a discriminatory attitude to couples in a cross-cultural marriage.
It is supposed that there are many advocates of international marriages as considering the inheritance of superior characteristics for offsprings. Notwithstanding the core of this argument is valid, it suffers from a flaw in its reasoning. The first cause is that with the mixture of distinctive, albeit eye-catching, features, multinational children have experienced racial discrimination. Following from the work of Merrell-James (2006), biracial children have confronted bullying due to the peculiarity of their physical appearance. Within gene mutations, their next generation will endure many health problems as a consequence of genetic disorder, indicating whether dominant genes from parents of different nationalities can be harmoniously blended when passing to their offspring. Udry and Hendrickson-Smith (2003) similarly found that interracial teenagers seem more susceptible to health hazards than single-race ones.
To conclude, there exist several hurdles in the presence of international marriages, which leads to the strenuous objection. Specifically, impending constraints on bi-national couples have deeply rooted realignment of traditional practices and distress at social pressure. It is believed that a long-term relationship may have been facilitated with cultural compatibility and parental support. Therefore, cross-border marriages should not be supported with a view to the intriguing prospect of individuals and their generation.
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