Cross-cultural relationships, including de facto and same-sex unions, are part of the current international landscape. We have heard stories of individuals getting married to obtain residency status and those who divorce due to difficulties triggered by cultural differences. There are incidents of foreign partners being insulted or treated unjustly because their loved ones belong to another culture or adhere to a different faith. Regardless of the challenges faced by cross-cultural couples, the majority have a successful relationship. They and their children make a significant difference to our society. The experiences of individuals in a cross-cultural union differ according to gender; ethnicity; educational attainment; socio-economic status; and the socio-cultural and economic situation in their country of origin and place of residence. However, in the midst of these variations, there is a common feature: the reality of being with someone who was born and raised in a different culture, speaks a different language or has a different accent, often looks different, always prefers a different food and sometimes even smells different.
This book points out issues relevant in cross-cultural union, such as children and interactions with in-laws and extended family, money, religion, friends and social network, sex, entertainment, housework and gender roles, citizenship, laws and administrative regulations, life's misfortunes (e.g. death, domestic violence, infidelity and divorce), etc. It makes suggestions, based on real-life experiences of cross-cultural couples and their families, on how to make a cross-cultural liaison a success and beneficial. Above all, it contributes to the debate about ethno-cultural, gender, social, political and economic relations.