Mr. Kim just got married in Seoul with Mrs. Wang from China. She was a Chinese teacher at a private institute or hagwon in Korea and he was a student.
But marriage life was much harder than they thought.
Mr. Kim was often frustrated with Mrs. Wang’s expectation of him. Wasn’t it her responsibility to always prepare their meals, and take care of food especially during the big holidays? Mrs. Wang on the other hand expects Mr. Kim to help more around the house and support her seeking a career.
They started to wonder how many international couples in Korea get married and then end their marriage.
Last year, how many international couples got married or divorced in Korea?
It is becoming more common for Koreans to get married with foreigners. However, this also means that the number of international couples in Korea getting divorced is also becoming more common.
According to statistics about marriage and divorce released from Seoul, 17,777 couples got divorced in Korea last year and 1,637 couples, 9.2% of this total, are international couples.
From the same statistics, 57,643 couples got married in Korea last year and 4,564 couples, 7.9% of the total, were international couples.
Which city ranks highest in international marriage and divorce?
According to the National Statistical Office, Jeju has the highest proportion of international couples’ marriage as 9.4% of the total number of international marriages happen in Jeju.
On the other hand, Seoul has the highest proportion of international couples’ divorce as 12.9% of divorces between international couples happen in Seoul. Although, this percentage is slowly decreasing.
According to the statistics, international marriages have a higher chance of ending in divorce if the man is Korean.
In 2016, out of all the international couple divorces, 62.2% were couples where the husband was Korean.
Foreign Wives who got divorced with Korean men were 48.2 % Chinese, 28.0% Vietnamese, and 5.3% Filipino. And foreign husbands who got divorced with Korean women were 44.7% Chinese, 24.6% Japanese, and 11.2% American.
An official from the Multicultural Family Support Center said, “Foreign wives, who come to Korea to get married often have a tough time since they are not familiar with the language and culture. And also, the Korean custom to take care of the mother-in-law can cause big problems along with personality difference and financial issues.”
So she said, “Unlike Korean couples, international couples can face many obstacles not only language barrier but also cultural differences. But there are also many couples who try to understand and embrace each other’s differences.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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