If you have not considered the issues in this book, you probably shouldn't be getting married. Also, it was sexist and some of the "examples" were just people being assholes, regardless of culture (e.g., the guy who kicks his children, and they beg their mother to stop interfering because it "just makes it worse"? Wtf?)
It did make me feel somewhat better because we've thought about all of these issues and don't have problems with most of them.
Gifted to me by friends when I got engaged, pretty straight forward about the pitfalls, etc. of marrying someone from another country. Written by someone who has experienced it and interviewed countless others who have, there were no huge revelations or secrets here, but it was good to consider some things that it brought up and I find myself going back to it every once in a while to see what it has to say about difficult situations or decisions.
Romano's ultimate thesis is on the rich gains provided by intercultural marriage, self-expansion and relationship skills exponentially grown by vastly unique challenges and strains placed on intercultural couples. Intercultural couples have their work cut out for them, but the hefty labor can yield big long-term dividends. Romano's expertise is solidified by both her own intercultural marriage and her professional work as a counselor. Over time, as more couples have married internationally, rising demand for information on international love led to this third edition updated to reflect globalization's myriad ways to find love outside one's own country: foreign exchange programs, undergraduate and graduate programs, work travel, military service, foreign diplomacy, and a social media platform without ever getting a passport stamp. Intercultural marriages were viewed as unhealthy in their early study, and with the tide of popular culture, that sentiment has changed. However, those who become part of an intercultural marriage have lots to navigate. There is no guarantee as to which intercultural marriages will work or not; however, Romano provides an excellent vantage point of all the dynamics that sometimes seem normal and invisible until illuminated by another person's different handling of the same thing. Some dynamics are common terrain single culture couples know they need to manage: extended family, finances, and to raise children. Other dynamics are poised to be more invisible until they are not: time, food, male-female roles, illness, social class. Romano shares the experiences of real couples who illustrate the take and give of these issues. Most of the book is devoted to sharing how these issues can become points of contention. At the end, Romano shares a collective pool of what these couples felt were key factors in building a successful intercultural partnership: ability to communicate, sensitivity, common goals, flexibility, and love were some of the important traits needed. Romano also provides an appendix of legal considerations as well as a robust bibliography for further reading (though readers should be forewarned that most of the further reading is more scholarly in nature - that is, written by experts written for other experts in the social sciences fields).
A solidly helpful book with central points illustrated with case studies of several couples with partners from several different countries. It offers common sense advice on basic things to be considered, and the real couples and their stories make it easier to see how it might apply.
I read this in estonian and the translation wasn't very good, which was distracting. While the book did reaffirm some of my thoughts and feelings, I didn't really learn anything new and some of the things seemed pretty self-explanatory and not just for multicultural couples but couples in general.
Need to buy. So many insightful questions. Made me ponder about what conversations to have, untold expectations that I didn't even know we're expectations. I love this book, and it belongs on my bookshelf!!!
Found it interesting and somewhat helpful in a limited way. The book is too short to cover the topic properly. There was too much information crammed into a limited space - it would have been even more helpful to provide more examples for certain areas and thus make the book longer.
An attempt was made to include relevant issues to each stage - before marriage, during marriage and even dealing with the death or divorce of the partner. Obviously the book was geared mostly towards those couples who are considering an intercultural marriage.
I did find it interesting that on the list of potential trouble spots food and drink came just after values, which was number 1 on the list.
Worth a read if you are seriously dating someone from another culture.
There really is very little in terms of a self-help book on this subject, so there is really little choice but this one book. Overall - it's interesting, but not very practical or helpful in terms of advice. The author primarily takes us through anecdotal "notes" based on a number of couples she's claimed to work with.
But the anecdotes are just that - you don't really get to know who the couples are, what they are about, what their circumstances were, whether they divorced or stayed together happily. Though the book is in its third edition, it doesn't seem as if the anecdotes have really been updated, and the sources cited to remain quite dated.
I think what was the most useful thing about the book was getting an idea of "oh, my situation isn't THAT bad," and also the summary of issues towards the end. It's worth a look if you find yourself contemplating cultural barriers in a relationship, but don't expect any "Answers."