Intercultural relationships in Colombia

Hello,

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

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 Colombia?

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

I am married to a black Colombiana, we have been happily married for the last six years. Why did I specify Black?, because here in Colombia, like it or not, there is racism, but more amongst themselves, than towards Foreigners. Black Colombians, whether they are male or female, are automatically assumed to have moved to their current location from the North Coast, but in my wife's case, that is not true, she was born and bred in Medellin.

We walk down the street, or through Shopping Malls, and get strange looks, I am used to this now, but my Wife still takes it to heart, and gives them the look of the Devil. It is assumed that a black woman will end up with a black man, and certainly not a white man, albeit there are more cases about, even since I moved here. Make a comment within earshot of my Wife, and expect to get a mouthful in return, and at a volume that everyone will hear. I found this a bit difficult to accept to start with, especially if it wasn't a derogatory comment to my wife, had it been, I would have been the first to defend her, but most are aimed at me, and she is fiercely protective, now I just let her get on with it, the only time I intervene, is if I think she is likely to go after the person, and she would.

When we first moved out into the country, the locals would stop my Wife, and ask how her 'Boss' was, because they thought she was my live in housekeeper, they are all now fully aware, and many are now friends, but some still don't believe we are married.

My wife is Protestant, which is obviously not the norm here, but she is not religious, so there is no friction, her family on the other hand, purport to be Church Goers, but are total hypocrites, they spend their time bad mouthing others, then go to Church, say their Hail Mary's, and trot off to the Pub, to be honest, I tried at first, but I really haven't got any time for them.

My Mother-in-law. is difficult to get on with, it doesn't help that she is five years younger than me, she blows hot and cold, one minute, I am flavour of the month, the next, she is spitting fire. As I keep telling her, I will respect her position in the family, but she also has to respect the fact that I am older than her, and I wont be ordered around by her.

My Father-in-law (they are separated) on the other hand, is like a brother, he is a year older than me, and about six hours away by bus, but will drop what he is doing, if I need help with anything, again people look at us strangely, because he is where my Wife gets her colour from, and to see a white and black man as close as we are, is seemed strange.

To sum up, my personal relationship with my Wife, is far better than those with my previous marriages back in the UK, I was worried at first because of the age difference, but you soon realise, that genuine people in Colombia, are not bothered by age, they want security, a faithful and loyal partner, if you can offer that, you will have a partner for life.

Maybe in Medellín and for paisas it is different - in Cali you see everywhere, a mixture of people on the streets and in relationships, where the skin colors are different and sometimes quite markedly so.  In my wife's extended family the skin tones range from white to black and everything in between.

Cali probably has a higher percentage of black and dark skinned people than Medellín.  It's nearer to the coast where more blacks live and nearer to Buenaventura right on the coast, where white skin can be rare to see in most of the city.

Yes there is still racism in Colombia, both against blacks and indigenous peoples - but it's not generally overt or hateful like it is in some other countries.  In Cali, at least, I think they've largely given it up, with so many shades of skin color being present it's just a waste of time to try to decide who you should look down upon and who not...

PhilCo58 :

I am married to a black Colombiana, we have been happily married for the last six years. Why did I specify Black?, because here in Colombia, like it or not, there is racism, but more amongst themselves, than towards Foreigners. Black Colombians, whether they are male or female, are automatically assumed to have moved to their current location from the North Coast, but in my wife's case, that is not true, she was born and bred in Medellin.

We walk down the street, or through Shopping Malls, and get strange looks, I am used to this now, but my Wife still takes it to heart, and gives them the look of the Devil. It is assumed that a black woman will end up with a black man, and certainly not a white man, albeit there are more cases about, even since I moved here. Make a comment within earshot of my Wife, and expect to get a mouthful in return, and at a volume that everyone will hear. I found this a bit difficult to accept to start with, especially if it wasn't a derogatory comment to my wife, had it been, I would have been the first to defend her, but most are aimed at me, and she is fiercely protective, now I just let her get on with it, the only time I intervene, is if I think she is likely to go after the person, and she would.

When we first moved out into the country, the locals would stop my Wife, and ask how her 'Boss' was, because they thought she was my live in housekeeper, they are all now fully aware, and many are now friends, but some still don't believe we are married.

My wife is Protestant, which is obviously not the norm here, but she is not religious, so there is no friction, her family on the other hand, purport to be Church Goers, but are total hypocrites, they spend their time bad mouthing others, then go to Church, say their Hail Mary's, and trot off to the Pub, to be honest, I tried at first, but I really haven't got any time for them.

My Mother-in-law. is difficult to get on with, it doesn't help that she is five years younger than me, she blows hot and cold, one minute, I am flavour of the month, the next, she is spitting fire. As I keep telling her, I will respect her position in the family, but she also has to respect the fact that I am older than her, and I wont be ordered around by her.

My Father-in-law (they are separated) on the other hand, is like a brother, he is a year older than me, and about six hours away by bus, but will drop what he is doing, if I need help with anything, again people look at us strangely, because he is where my Wife gets her colour from, and to see a white and black man as close as we are, is seemed strange.

To sum up, my personal relationship with my Wife, is far better than those with my previous marriages back in the UK, I was worried at first because of the age difference, but you soon realise, that genuine people in Colombia, are not bothered by age, they want security, a faithful and loyal partner, if you can offer that, you will have a partner for life.

You guys are very cute. I hope you guys will have nice relations always.

Thanks medot, I appreciate that.  :)

Great story and interesting.....Ive seen a few beautiful black girls or milk chocalate gals in Medellin this trip thru.....Your wife appears to be one of them........where in the country did you move to? If I focus on Antioquia, I think I would go for San Rafael, below Guatepe.......Shangri La valley..........

I am outside Copacabana, the reason for us picking here, was primarily the climate, my Wife suffers if it is anything but warm, and here it is T shirt weather year round, rain or shine. There are downsides to picking in the Valley, the main one being the abundance of Fincas de Recreo, week-ends can be absolute hell as the renters have no respect for locals, some Municipalities have control over volume of music and behaviour, unfortunately Copacabana isn't one of them. I know we have slid off topic here, but one word of warning on your Shangri La, I agree it is a beautiful area, but we were warned against it, because in the rural area, Foreigners are targeted for robbery and burglary, or at least they were when we were house hunting.

I have been married to my Colombian wife for 38 years now. I have always felt, that I, as a German, was always in high regards withe any Colombian and that still has not changed.
After we met, we went together to Germany, where we married, and there it was, where we felt racism. It was probably good for me to see and feel this in Berlin, where I believed racism would be less present in Germany, but it made us move back to Colombia after 4 years living there.
When we moved to Australia in 1990, we had both the same experience of being a migrant, and 27 years later, back here in Colombia, it is great. I am fully accepted, always have been, in the familia, even admired because of my adaptability.
In Medellin, or Envigado where I live, we foreigners are very much excepted and respected, as far as my experience goes.
I have always loved Colombia and first of all it's people, being fluent in Spanish helps heaps!!
What a great country we are living in, not only compared to 30/40 years ago.

Hahaha........a master storyteller spinning his web........Its inspiring how you ditched those scammin fem fraudsters.....I cant help but wonder how they talked their way out of that one.........

I am new here and would like to meet some other expats I have just moved into my apartment in Sabaneta.

I have seen so many black Colombian ladies that I think are absolutely gorgeous. But I have never had a chance to meet and socialize with one. I sure would like to. I live in Medellin too. Think maybe your wife could help me find a connection?

Art

wanderingsalsero :

I have seen so many black Colombian ladies that I think are absolutely gorgeous. But I have never had a chance to meet and socialize with one. I sure would like to. I live in Medellin too. Think maybe your wife could help me find a connection?

Art

My wife says that she has been out of the dating scene too long, most of her friends are white and either married or partnered, but I wouldn't look for a woman based on colour, it is the inner woman that is important...I was just lucky, there are also many stories where it all went wrong, just trust your gut instinct. Good Luck!

My hubby and I have been married for 12 years, we met online in a Spanish chat room on Yahoo. I am from the US and he is from Venezuela but his parents are Colombian. We are playing around with the idea of moving to Cartagena so our younger children can learn Spanish and so he can be near his mom, who has moved back to Colombia from Venezuela, and has been having issues with her health. We both love it there and since we lived many years in South Florida USA, are used to the intense heat.

PhilCo58, We currently live in rural WI so I feel you when you talk about how people look at you, my husband works for a large company with hundreds of employees, but is the only "Latino" there. We are both over 6' tall so we stand out no matter where we are. LOL He eats up the attention where as I find myself getting mad for him if comments are made. As I am sure you know, racism is alive and well in the US. That's actually one of the things I loved about Cartagena, you are welcomed like family and I never am made to feel out of place, except with my mother in law, as I am a "lazy american". ;) I do not cook up to her standards nor discipline our children the way she thinks I should. Marrying someone from a different culture can be quite the learning experience. It took a lot of getting used to, and compromise from both of us to make it work.

I could ramble on and on, but I will stop there, if anyone has any questions feel free to ask.

ColMart79, just to clarify a point I made, when I am alone, I am ignored in passing, it is when I am with my Wife I get the attention, because in this area, it is not normal to see a white, hand in hand with a black, never mind married to one, although that is changing slowly. When we first moved out into a rural area, my Wife would be stopped and asked how her Boss was, they thought she was the live in housekeeper, which was insulting, but that's the culture!

New topic