Singapore Expats Forum

Constructive opinions needed: Mixed Marriages

A moderated forum for serious discussions only.
dmk03
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat, 19 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Constructive opinions needed: Mixed Marriages

Postby dmk03 » Sat, 19 Sep 2009 8:52 pm

Dear expats living in Singapore, :)

I'm a Singaporean and am holding a professional job. I am in need of views from the expats based in Singapore on the current issues that I'm facing:

1. Stigmas of expat-local datings?
2. Stereotypical thoughts expats have on locals (Singaporeans)?
3. Differences in religion faith - a major barrier to mixed marriages?

I hope the expat communities living in Singapore are able to help me scaffold these issues as mentioned above as truthfully and genuinely as they can.

Thank you in advance.

Warm regards,
dmk03
Teamwork ignites a dynamic relationship...

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 35184
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 19 Sep 2009 10:39 pm

There are only stigmas if you think they are. Do you really care what other's opinions are? If you do, then don't marry outside your race. Marry somebody that is politically correct in the eyes of your family and friends and forget about marrying for love. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and love is between two people. Why should you care what others think? I don't and I'm sure Saint doesn't and I know ksl doesn't either. We are all married to other outside our races. I've been married 26 years next week to her. Be your own person. You will be better for it.

sms

dmk03
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat, 19 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby dmk03 » Sun, 20 Sep 2009 12:49 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:There are only stigmas if you think they are. Do you really care what other's opinions are? If you do, then don't marry outside your race. Marry somebody that is politically correct in the eyes of your family and friends and forget about marrying for love. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and love is between two people. Why should you care what others think? I don't and I'm sure Saint doesn't and I know ksl doesn't either. We are all married to other outside our races. I've been married 26 years next week to her. Be your own person. You will be better for it.

sms


:wink: thank you,sms!

I'm truly happy for you and your wife. Happy 26th anniversary in advance! :)

Honestly, I wasn't bothered about what others would think of me and my partner. I never thought that race and religion would part us since we were fine from the beginning. It was until he brought up the religion issue.

Well, I'm honest with him on the actions he may have to take on if he plans to have me as his life partner. As a matter of fact, I even openly discussed with him that I'm willing to allow ample time for him to explore my religion and if it's comfortable for him then do proceed with it as any faith of any religion in this world shouldn't be forced.

However, I was appalled by his reply: "You shouldn't be dating expats, you should be dating of your own religion." He put it across diplomatically yet his point was as sharp as a razor.

My family members were pro of being equal to all races. Since I was brought up in such environment, never had I put race and religion as a major issue in relationship thus far.

Thereby, it made me wonder was it because I'm local that was why he responded as such. I was quite surprised then. However, I remained positive by doing up readings on inter-racial marriages and stayed strong willed to hear opinions and views from other expats on my experiences.

I hope to hear more thoughts from others too.

Thank you again, sms :)

Regards,
dmk03
Teamwork ignites a dynamic relationship...

User avatar
taxico
Director
Director
Posts: 3190
Joined: Sat, 10 May 2008
Location: Existential dilemma!

Re: Constructive opinions needed: Mixed Marriages

Postby taxico » Sun, 20 Sep 2009 12:23 pm

dmk03 wrote:I'm a Singaporean and am holding a professional job. I am in need of views from the expats based in Singapore on the current issues that I'm facing:

1. Stigmas of expat-local datings?
2. Stereotypical thoughts expats have on locals (Singaporeans)?
3. Differences in religion faith - a major barrier to mixed marriages?


here are my experiences.

1. stigma-wise; some people can take it, some people can't. so how much can you take? it is only as much a problem as you allow it to be.

you can be sure that you'll always hear derogatory remarks when a white man goes out with an asian woman, and not just in singapore.

while this may be true to some extent in the region, probably less so in singapore due to the number of well-educated women: the usual SPG comments, or that they're desperate... (to get outta asia?)

my singaporean male friends can be rude about it when they've had too much to drink/a bad day (or a combination of both); more so when the girl is a hot asian (not necessarily a singaporean!).

i feel this usually stems from the fact that most white males have had more experience in picking up women, and that most singapore males tend to not pick up hot asian women as much.

insecurity? probably. jealousy? definitely. the same applies, but perhaps in a more awe-struck form when they see a white woman go out with an asian man. (rare in singapore)

2. my wife (now naturalized): thinks many singaporeans are rude, obnoxious and selfish at the core, but are usually not as bad when you get to know them.

and don't expect to compete successfully with the locals over food and shopping (esp when it's free/cheap). you'll rarely win the fight without experience and battle scars!

while most are accepting, there is an inner xenophobia/insecurity in all singaporean whether they admit it or not.

3. this is really something they have to work it out with their partner. i'm not religious; while we've known each other for almost 14 years now, i'm only just about to give in to my wife's protestant leanings. only time can tell!

but either (?) way, something's got to give... but if they can't compromise over this, how will they deal with the later (bigger) problems in their relationship/marriage?

having said all that... not all white men will find modern asian women (korean, singapore, HK, etc) easy to handle. not all can cope with the asian baggage that come along with either.

there are of course, some success stories. but in this day and age, i'm not sure for how long though...

dmk03
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat, 19 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Re: Constructive opinions needed: Mixed Marriages

Postby dmk03 » Sun, 20 Sep 2009 1:37 pm

First of all, thank you Taxico for your valuable sharing. I appreciate it a lot. :D Below, I tagged some comments and query on the 'asian baggage' issue. I hope to hear your view on this soon. :)
taxico wrote:
dmk03 wrote:and don't expect to compete successfully with the locals over food and shopping (esp when it's free/cheap). you'll rarely win the fight without experience and battle scars!

This is so true. You're really witty! :lol:

but either (?) way, something's got to give... but if they can't compromise over this, how will they deal with the later (bigger) problems in their relationship/marriage?

I totally agree with you, relationship/marriage is a bless when two souls are able to tango the same direction come what may.. :)

having said all that... not all white men will find modern asian women (korean, singapore, HK, etc) easy to handle. not all can cope with the asian baggage that come along with either.

This rings my curiousity..asian baggage - could you help me elaborate on this so I can further apprehend this concern that many expats may face?

there are of course, some success stories. but in this day and age, i'm not sure for how long though... this worries me but it's the hard truth and it applies to everyone irregardless of race, religion and nationalities. Ultimately, it boils down to individual's beliefs and values :)
Teamwork ignites a dynamic relationship...

User avatar
taxico
Director
Director
Posts: 3190
Joined: Sat, 10 May 2008
Location: Existential dilemma!

Re: Constructive opinions needed: Mixed Marriages

Postby taxico » Sun, 20 Sep 2009 2:21 pm

i don't know what your exact issues are, and if you were more specific perhaps others can chime in and let their thoughts be known.

dmk03 wrote:This rings my curiousity..asian baggage - could you help me elaborate on this so I can further apprehend this concern that many expats may face?


asian values... confucian society... the factors, expectation and role of a child within an asian family/family nucleus... the "norms" of an asian person (gender irrespective) differs to one who has been brought up in a caucasian family.

can a non-asian partner respect these norms well into old-age? in the states, the child traditionally moves out of the home at 18 or when they go to college. in UK, kids don't usually take care of their parents even when they're old and ill.

most don't even visit except on special occasions/during the holidays once or twice a year. are asian values novel ideas that will wear off when the going gets tough?

(i will be using asian females from here on) what about the expectation that a asian woman has? how will she feel about the norms of her partner to not pitch in when her parents need it?

a singapoean chinese man and a white british man; both marry ethnic korean women. compared to the latter couple, the former enjoys shared factors and understandings between the two different cultures.

certain things can be explained and accepted (visiting during choosok/chinese new year), but other entrenched values ("allowance" and helping out when parents are sick) are harder to swallow by those who simply cannot understand why the way certain things are in asia.

and finally, my general rant about most well educated asian women. i won't go into details; expecting to take all the time and giving very little back WITHOUT recognizing it as such. how would this make her partner feel in the long run?

User avatar
taxico
Director
Director
Posts: 3190
Joined: Sat, 10 May 2008
Location: Existential dilemma!

Postby taxico » Sun, 20 Sep 2009 2:32 pm

disclaimer, don't bite me for the stereotype:

this is not to say that people are inflexible and unable to accept or understand their partners' cultures/values. that is entirely possible. all i'm saying is, it is difficult for most to truly do so.

perhaps due to my experience, i feel that most white men in asia enjoy the "i love you long time" relationship more than the commitment that is expected by an asian woman.

and i have no idea if you're male or female, red purple or blue.

dmk03
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat, 19 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Re: Constructive opinions needed: Mixed Marriages

Postby dmk03 » Sun, 20 Sep 2009 4:35 pm

Hi Taxico, :)

taxico wrote:i don't know what your exact issues are, and if you were more specific perhaps others can chime in and let their thoughts be known.


Specifically, issues relating to adaptation to asian cultures and living as a Muslim. (I understand that many have stereotypically view Islam as a very rigid religion but honestly speaking, it's wonderful and flexible) Let me introduce myself; I am a Malay/Muslim lady. I'm not pious, still in the stage of exploring Islam as learning never ends. Probably, my brief profile will draft a clearer view prior to my concerns as posted.

taxico wrote:asian values... confucian society... the factors, expectation and role of a child within an asian family/family nucleus... the "norms" of an asian person (gender irrespective) differs to one who has been brought up in a caucasian family.


I agree to this; based on my experience, Asian values being practiced also differs from family to family. I've been with a Malay/Muslim man for almost 8 years and married for 1 year but our principles and beliefs of Asian values and the execution of our responsibilities as a child for our own family differed in many ways. This is due to the differences in the way that we were brought up by our parents. Furthermore, education also aid in the development of one's thoughts and ability to make rational and wise life decisions. I would say the essential role to a healthy relationship here would be one's character.

taxico wrote:can a non-asian partner respect these norms well into old-age? in the states, the child traditionally moves out of the home at 18 or when they go to college. in UK, kids don't usually take care of their parents even when they're old and ill.


Truthfully, I personally wouldn't see the reason why would I prevent my son of 18 years old to move out if he can afford being independent. Provided, I as a parent have done my job well by educating and guiding him to my best in preparation for him to take care of himself. However, I would be hesitant to allow my 18 years old daughter to move out. According to Islamic teachings, females can live independently when she's married or when she becomes an orphanage. This is logical as woman naturally needs a man to protect and provide her a shelter even though she is financially independent as man and woman need each other physically and emotionally. On the latter, if she's an orphanage and doesn't have any relatives, she has to live independently with strength then. Islam also preaches to parents not to pin hopes to rely on their children especially when they grow up as they have their life to live on. Nevertheless, the moral value of filial piety from all religion comes in here. So, it's up to the children whether they have the humane call to provide for their parents. Most importantly, do it with sincerity as the feeling of satisfaction having to see your loved ones grow old being happy is definitely wonderful and fulfilling. Therefore, it concludes to one's compromisation and mutual understanding of culture differences that will result to a living that a couple wants to own eventually.
P/S: However, I have yet to bear children though. Above are my thoughts if I were to have children in future.

taxico wrote:most don't even visit except on special occasions/during the holidays once or twice a year. are asian values novel ideas that will wear off when the going gets tough?


Honestly, my parents are Muslim too and we ever had an open discussion on this matter before. My parents do not expect their children to support them as they are aware of the future needs and high living expectancy that we will be facing. They would feel glad enough to know that we are doing fine with our new formed nucleus family. This differs from many of my Malay/Muslim friends where their parents expect their children to support them fully for a few years before allowing my friends to settle down with a family. Even so, continue to support them after having their nucleus family. This is the reason why I'm so blessed and feel grateful having born with wonderful parents who even allowed me to be married off upon my graduation (where many Malay/Muslim families not all would do that after splurging so much of their savings on their children's education especially in Singapore where tertiary education here costs a bomb). Sadly, my past partner weren't mature yet to see all these blessings that he had missed. Well, our separation was mutual as things do not work out well as our thoughts vary quite a range.

taxico wrote:(i will be using asian females from here on) what about the expectation that a asian woman has? how will she feel about the norms of her partner to not pitch in when her parents need it? certain things can be explained and accepted (visiting during choosok/chinese new year), but other entrenched values ("allowance" and helping out when parents are sick) are harder to swallow by those who simply cannot understand why the way certain things are in asia.


I understand this point of view very much as I've discussed it many a times even with my past Asian partner. Honestly, I would love to have my parents pitch in with me as I've seen them suffered and have sacrificed so much to mould their family and led me to where I am today, living in comfort and attaining my dreams at the cost of their happiness when they were younger. It wasn't their choice but being responsible parents; they want to see their children being successful in their life. Having to see their sincerity building up dreams for their children to live in, being their daughter I don't see any reason why can't I give them the happiness that they've provided me all these while. Furthermore, they're aging and the afterlife abode awaits them in these short years to come. However, my parents have told me that if I were to have a new life partner in future, they do not want to live with me, they just want me to be happy and build a future of my own with a responsible man who can provide me happiness like what they've done for me. I was really touched as they are really understanding on this aspect. They told me that I have to live my life as they've done their best to have me being independent for now. Truthfully, due to this factor, after dating several gentlemen from different races, my thoughts seemed to connect more with some Caucasions instead of the local gentlemen as they seemed to be persistent having their parents to pitch in.

taxico wrote:and finally, my general rant about most well educated asian women. i won't go into details; expecting to take all the time and giving very little back WITHOUT recognizing it as such. how would this make her partner feel in the long run?


Pardon me for this. I don't mean to preach. I'm just quoting from the teachings I've learnt from Islam. Being a wife; be it she is way more successful or more educated from their husband, she has to reserve the rights of her husband. I understand this will rage many women rights organizations, but please pardon me. I see it from a rational point of view on this; when a well educated wife reserves the rights of her husband, he'll value her more and his love for her will surely grow which will result to a more enriching relationship in many years to come.

Oh yah, by the way Taxico, as mentioned above, I'm a Malay/Muslim lady in my mid twenties. I'm really thankful for having responses at your end and resulting to a healthy discussion. I hope others would chip in their thoughts too as this will surely allow me to have a better understanding from the expats' point of view and their expectations.
Teamwork ignites a dynamic relationship...

User avatar
ProvenPracticalFlexible
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu, 13 Apr 2006
Location: East Coast

Re: Constructive opinions needed: Mixed Marriages

Postby ProvenPracticalFlexible » Sun, 20 Sep 2009 5:27 pm

If you are a Malay Muslim married to a Malay Muslim, how come you classify this to be a mixed marriage?

Obviously as you explained in your post, you see things based on your values, and even in your marriage with similar cultural and religious background you have different views. Have partner with other religion and culture, and you can multiple those differences by 10.

dmk03
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat, 19 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Re: Constructive opinions needed: Mixed Marriages

Postby dmk03 » Sun, 20 Sep 2009 7:57 pm

First of all, thank you ProvenPracticalFlexible :)

ProvenPracticalFlexible wrote:If you are a Malay Muslim married to a Malay Muslim, how come you classify this to be a mixed marriage?


That was in the past. Currently, I'm dating a non Malay/Muslim gentleman, an expat. That was why I posted my initial thread seeking for rational advices. :)

ProvenPracticalFlexible wrote:Obviously as you explained in your post, you see things based on your values, and even in your marriage with similar cultural and religious background you have different views. Have partner with other religion and culture, and you can multiple those differences by 10.


Yes, I agree on your part especially the *10 theory. :wink: I'd experienced the different views and practices with man of my own race and religion. This is the reason why it triggers me to ponder was it the race or religion that shape a satisfying relationship?

I've dated with several gentlemen ranging from the Malay/Muslim gentlemen to the Chinese gentlemen and also the Caucasion gentlemen. All in all, so far, there is a connection with this fine White gentleman. His thoughts run along with mine and all seem well.

Till lately, he brought up the religion issue. Therefore, as such, I've decided to partake in this expat forum, yearning for other expats to share their fruits of thoughts too. With such kind help from the forum, I'm sure I'll be able to take along tips and honest sharing that will aid me to understand him more and also help me in widening my horizon to a better perspective of expats' expectation on having Asians as their life partner.

Queries that you may kindly assist me:
1. Will love do wonder in expat-local relationship considering the differences that they have in culture as well as religion?

2. Wouldn't anyone irregardless of race and religion lead the way of life they desire not having bothered by the social strata or expectancy?
Teamwork ignites a dynamic relationship...

User avatar
taxico
Director
Director
Posts: 3190
Joined: Sat, 10 May 2008
Location: Existential dilemma!

Postby taxico » Sun, 20 Sep 2009 8:10 pm

this might make for good reading...

ftopic60292-0-asc-0.html

i'm sure there's more if you poked around...!!!

User avatar
ProvenPracticalFlexible
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu, 13 Apr 2006
Location: East Coast

Re: Constructive opinions needed: Mixed Marriages

Postby ProvenPracticalFlexible » Sun, 20 Sep 2009 9:22 pm

I don't think love does any wonders, you need to work your differences and accept them. It gets difficult if one side expects or insists other one to change. Especially when it comes to religion.

I know a two examples of Singaporean Malay Muslim ladies dating European guys via my wife, and both had some difficulties with the religion issue. Usually the issue comes with parents insisting their daughters marrying a Muslim.

One of them runaway and moved to Europe to live with the guy. Parents didn't take it well, I understood that she only speaks to her brothers and hadn't seen the family for a few years. That was 3 years ago when we were still living in Europe, so don't know what happened to her since.

The other case was already planning marriage when it came as a shock to the guy that he should convert. They're still trying to work it out.

dmk03
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat, 19 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Intense sharing

Postby dmk03 » Mon, 21 Sep 2009 9:59 am

taxico wrote:this might make for good reading...

ftopic60292-0-asc-0.html

i'm sure there's more if you poked around...!!!


Thank you Taxico! :D

The threads are rather enlightening (lol at times) and some are real good ones; providing a wide spectrum of quality comments. It is surely helpful to understand from the other stand at a different angle.

I'll explore this forum site more also.

I appreciate your reccomendation :)
Teamwork ignites a dynamic relationship...

dmk03
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat, 19 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Re: Constructive opinions needed: Mixed Marriages

Postby dmk03 » Mon, 21 Sep 2009 10:19 am

ProvenPracticalFlexible wrote:I don't think love does any wonders, you need to work your differences and accept them. It gets difficult if one side expects or insists other one to change. Especially when it comes to religion.


I totally agree with you! :) And, it would only be a relief if both parties are willing to embark on this challenging evolution. In which, I honestly feel that many guys would find it a turn off. Pardon me if it sounded like a sweeping statement.

ProvenPracticalFlexible wrote:I know a two examples of Singaporean Malay Muslim ladies dating European guys via my wife, and both had some difficulties with the religion issue. Usually the issue comes with parents insisting their daughters marrying a Muslim.

One of them runaway and moved to Europe to live with the guy. Parents didn't take it well, I understood that she only speaks to her brothers and hadn't seen the family for a few years. That was 3 years ago when we were still living in Europe, so don't know what happened to her since.


This sharing is definitely very useful. Thank you! :D I reckoned if the guys were willing to work it out with their ladies (plus having flexible parents), I believe their effort will be paid off. On the other hand, if it might turned ugly and ended eventually, I strongly believe that it should be done with respect and dignity; at least the memories built will be etched as good memories and the parting would be seen as a very courageous one as you wouldn't want to impose on your partner and see him/her unhappy in years to come. Love is painful; when you love someone, surely you'll want him/her to be happy with life. Love is sacrifice. (still learning from it.. :cry: )

ProvenPracticalFlexible wrote:The other case was already planning marriage when it came as a shock to the guy that he should convert. They're still trying to work it out.


I really wish them well. My prayers are with them. I'm pretty confident that if they work this out hand in hand and both remain positive, good outcome will set in. I believe such challenges will able to strengthen the love they have for each other. Nothing in this world comes easy; fruitful and desired achievements will only come to a realization when sincere and determined effort has been invested by 2 good teamplayers especially in a relationship.

Thank you again, ProvenPracticalFlexible :D
Teamwork ignites a dynamic relationship...

User avatar
taxico
Director
Director
Posts: 3190
Joined: Sat, 10 May 2008
Location: Existential dilemma!

Re: Constructive opinions needed: Mixed Marriages

Postby taxico » Mon, 21 Sep 2009 10:33 am

dmk03 wrote:I reckoned if the guys were willing to work it out with their ladies (plus having flexible parents), I believe their effort will be paid off.

...Love is sacrifice.


the flexibility does not just lie in the parents but also within a couple.

like gymnasts who get more bendy over time with training, so does the leeway between a couple in a relationship.

but certain things are less flexible than others. hence i advocate time for both to find out what they are.

if neither you nor your gentleman are in any real rush to get married right now, why bother with the whole religion shebang?

conversely, a gymnast becomes less bendy over time without practice. the same also applies to in a relationship.

all give and no take makes jack a disgruntled man.

you should never be too quick to sacrifice everything you've got... not yet, anyway. you'll want some wiggle room down the road.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Strictly Speaking”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests