Many people ask me what is it like to be married to a Korean? First off let me give you a little background about myself. I am 28 years old woman and I am from South Carolina in the United States. I came to Korea to teach English and to travel because I love experiencing new cultures and seeing amazing landscapes. Never in a million years did I ever think I would marry a Korean. So, how did it come about and what are some of the major differences and similarities?
First thing, if you want to meet a Korean man and are a foreigner woman, clubs and bars will not work to meet the right kind of man, but I think this is something that is internationally known. I met my husband through language exchange online, but language meet-ups also are a great place. Any place but a bar, or club is a better.
- Language There will be a language barrier, unless you take many Korean classes to become proficient in Korean you most likely will meet your Korean husband, especially if you have not been in Korea long enough to learn Korean, and will be speaking English. Also, your Korean husband might not be proficient in English, or you both might mix the languages and speak in a mix of Korean and English, but you need to have patience with each other because the language barrier will come up sooner or later.
- Culture-Korea is very conservative. It translated to your personal life in how they meet friends or dates. It is normally at work or you are introduced through friends of friends, but as a foreigner you most likely will meet people out of the normal of how Koreans do. Most Koreans will never strike up a conversation with a stranger whether they think they are cute or attractive. Dress is also very important in Korea. Day to day women are expected to dress trendy, have their hair and makeup and nails done. Also, when meeting your prospective husbands parents always speak clearly and dress conservative, but age appropriate. Try and learn some Korean if you haven’t already and bow your head in respect.
- Household-Korean men will expect you to take care of the children if you have children and run the house. The cleanliness will be your job. The man will usually step up the plate and bring the money to the house and some Korean men will give all the money to the wife to decide how it is spent. This will vary from marriage to marriage, but overall the man will make the money and the wife will help keep the home together and children dressed, fed, and placed in appropriate school activities. Expect your Mother in Law to have a strong opinion about your house, your children, and even your husband and how you should manage the house, from cooking to the children. Most Mother in Laws will also spoil the grandchildren to death in Korea.
The biggest and most powerful is that the men expect to have a wife! I think this is in any culture. A Korean man will expect a faithful wife, a wife that loves his children, and helps provide for the family whether this is by taking care of the house and children, or by his wife making a way for herself in her chosen career path, but when she comes home she wants to be with her husband. This is something both American and Korean men want. A Korean man wants a wife that will put an emphasis on family. Both his family and the new family he has with you. He will expect you like any other man to not just focus on yourself, but both his family, and your new family with him. He will also immerse himself into your family like most American men would. A Korean man like an American man will also want a wife that will at least help take care of the home and at least spilt the chores and responsibilities with him of the home. Regardless of what the similarities and differences are, if both people can come to an understanding on each others cultures and languages a beautiful relationship can blossom.