Truth and marriageInternational marriages are disintegrating at an increasingly rapid rate. According to the Supreme Court, international marriages last year decreased by 4,000 compared to the previous year, but divorces rose by 2,000. Divorces to end such marriages have now reached five percent of total cases. A divorce rate that has increased fourfold in just three years is worrisome. It is not easy for two people who speak different languages and have different histories and cultures to create a family. The problem is that as long as unscrupulous brokers arrange hasty international marriages, it will be hard to reduce these divorces.
In one survey, 30 percent of Vietnamese brides who had married Korean men had been given false information regarding their bridegrooms’ character, job and habits.
It’s hard to maintain a marriage when one finds out that the person one is supposed to trust and lean on has concealed vital facts such as a weak financial situations, physical disability, chronic diseases or a responsibility to take care of parents suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Foreign wives who have asked for help have also complained that their husbands try to force a different culture and way of living on them, while their husbands’ family members treat them badly.
Meanwhile, some Korean husbands are being cheated by foreign brides who only get married in an effort to obtain South Korean citizenship.
Since four out of 10 bachelors in agricultural areas have to take foreign brides, international marriages are unavoidable. By providing accurate information about the spouse and the country, marriages can be saved from going down the drain. Officials should conduct interviews to establish the sincerity of a proposed marriage while marriages that are akin to human trafficking must be stopped. It is heartbreaking to see a bride fleeing poverty in her home country, and a countryside bridegroom who desperately needs a wife, ending up with a divorce.