Do Korean and/or Korean American women expect men to initiate all affection

Do Korean and/or Korean American women expect men to initiate all affection

My wife and I have been together for over 18 years and married for 15. She was born in Korea, but moved to the U.S. when she was 2.

My question is it typical for Korean women to expect their husbands to initiate all affection? My father-in-law is more outgoing and affectionate than my mother-in-law. He appears to be the one in his relationship who demonstrates affection (in words and action) while his wife merely receives affection. Is this typical.

Also, in general, in Korean marriages, do spouses compliment each other less and give each other (in private) hugs, cuddle, kiss, etc. less than typical Western married couples? I read a lot of marriage advice books and they generally talk about the importance of “affective affirmation,” including compliments, cuddling and kissing, hand-holding, saying “I love you,” and emotional support. My wife and I have talked about this and she thinks this is more of a Western point of view of marriage. She likes receiving the above from me, but initiating the above is just not comfortable to her. Is this typical for Korean wives?


Hey there,

In Korean culture to my knowledge there isnt as much display of affection due to status differences and relationship expectations (not to mention matrimonial ones.)

Granted every person is different but in this case it sounds like your wife might be displaying affection in other ways.

I recommend the book 5 love languages. It will give insight as to how your wife might actually be sharing affection but we’re not seeing it. It will also give you insight as to how you’re sharing affection but she’s not seeing it.

Its a quick read and well worth it.




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