The other night, I received a frantic message from one of my closest friends back home. “I’m getting divorced,” she typed to me in an online chat.
It was the culmination of years of troubles brewing between her and her husband. They had fought over their beliefs. She was fed up with how almost all the domestic and child-rearing responsibilities were on her shoulders, despite the fact that she too had a full-time job. She also had it with her husband, who was turning out to be another child to manage instead of a source of support. Therapy had failed to resolve a single thing.
Did I mention she and her soon-to-be-ex-husband are both white Americans, with similar cultural backgrounds?
I wasn’t surprised she filed for divorce. So many of our recent conversations had revolved around the growing rift between her and her husband. There was always a tension lurking in the background, the feeling that things were slowly unraveling between the two of them with every confession of how he just didn’t get it…and probably never would.
So much is written about the vulnerability of intercultural and international couples, that we’re supposedly more likely to divorce. While new studies suggest this just isn’t true, a lot of people still believe you’re better off marrying someone from your own culture/country.
Or rather, that marrying someone from your culture/country will guarantee happiness and stability.
My friend’s story, however, doesn’t fit that narrative.
International and intercultural marriages can be fraught with unique challenges, such as navigating cultural differences or social norms you’re unaccustomed to. But that doesn’t necessarily doom us to divorce.
If anything, I’ve discovered so many intercultural/international couples, blissfully in love, to know the truth of the matter. That love can happen anywhere in the world, across borders and cultures. And that happiness – and a happily ever after – is always possible, no matter who you marry.