Intercultural relationships in Bulgaria

Hello,

We invite you to share some fun anecdotes and information regarding intercultural marriages and relationships in Bulgaria. This will provide some insight to current and future expats regarding relationship norms in mixed relationships and marriages in Bulgaria.

What are some of the best things about being in an intercultural relationship/marriage?

What are some challenges that you have faced or are currently facing? How do you address them?

Are intercultural relationships/marriages common and accepted in Bulgaria?

What are the benefits to being in an intercultural relationship/marriage?

Do you have any fun or interesting anecdotes to share regarding dating norms and rules for intercultural relationships/marriages?

Thank you for sharing your experience,

Priscilla

Best thing to do for an interesting relationship!
If you are open to learning and teaching, it's brilliant!
Enjoy the fact that someone can love you for who you really are even if verbal communication is restricted, you learn more about body language.
Cultural similarities bring us together as much as the differences.
Embrace life and love wherever you find it, we get 1very short life. Enjoy it in love!

Hi everyone,  I am getting married to a beautiful Bulgarian lady on 20 March 2018 and am happy to share my experiences of the bureaucracy involved with getting married and moving to Bulgaria.  So the thing we discovered last week was that my partner/wife to be, needs to renew her passport.  Well the Bulgarian passport office do not recognize the married name on the UK marriage certificate, mainly because there isn't one.  In the UK the wife can take the husbands name or the couple can go double barrel, or whatever.  No need for documentation of any kind.  So my wife will have to stay with her maiden name on the new passport or change her name by deed poll. 
It does not stop there however,  for the Bulgarian passport office to accept her new name the deed poll has to be signed by a Notary Public and have an apostle attached, then it has to go to the FCO in London to be legalized and then maybe to be translated into Bulgarian.

Can you believe all this for a new passport.  Well I changed my British passport in the UK and it was so simple.  All I had to do was ask the registrar to sign a form to say we were being married and we would be using both our surnames, double barrel.  Passport office sent my new passport with new name in just a few days.   I dread to think what other problems await us in Bulgaria.

I am guessing if you had the wedding in Bulgaria, the problem would be just the opposite... as in, it would be super easy for your wife to change your name, but you would have to get the marriage licence apostilled and translated to get your passport changed. It makes sense, as it is a legal document, that it would have to be legalized for each country to be used.

For me:

What are some of the best things about being in an intercultural relationship/marriage?

Probably that our kids our growing up bilingual. It is so cool to watch them switch between languages. Also, when my husband doesn't get my jokes I can just blame it on him not understanding American context (even though the real problem is I'm not funny)

What are some challenges that you have faced or are currently facing? How do you address them?

I've faced some bitterness about our relationship. My husband's brother really doesn't like Americans, so he constantly points out how crappy the US is when I'm around. It isn't as bad as some other nationalities, but some Bulgarians really dislike the US. I've also gotten some snarky comments about stealing one of the good Bulgarian men away from Bulgarian women. But as far as I'm concerned, that's their problem for not snapping him up quicker.


Are intercultural relationships/marriages common and accepted in Bulgaria?
Depends on the cultures. Some Bulgarians are against inter-racial relationships and some are against all inter-national relationships. Most Bulgarians are okay with white-european or American relationships. Some are okay with any sort of relationship. It really depends on where you go and who you ask.

What are the benefits to being in an intercultural relationship/marriage?
Our kids have dual citizenship, which will be nice when they are going to university or striking out on their own- having a EU and USA citizenship should help them out. I'll also have dual citizenship in another year, which will be nice.

My husband has different perspectives than me, which can be challenging and can help me grow.

My mother-in-law is absolutely amazing and introduces me to a lot of Bulgarian customs and traditions.

Do you have any fun or interesting anecdotes to share regarding dating norms and rules for intercultural relationships/marriages?
ZOMG- Bulgarian weddings are fun! We did a traditional village wedding- where my husband's family slaughtered two lambs and a pig and we ate and ate and ate. It was so much fun and overwhelming. Then we did the legal wedding in Varna- which ended up with another long party even though we had just planned the ceremony. (His parents threw the reception for us as a surprise).
Oh, and when applying for residence, I had to describe our relationship to the police. The officer told me what to write- that I cook and clean and keep my husband happy. That was hilarious, as we split domestic chores. But apparently to be a good Bulgarian wife I should be doing all that on my own.

All in all, it almost doesn't feel like an intercultural relationship because my husband is not traditional Bulgarian and I am not traditional American.

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