It’s no secret that Pedro and Chantel from 90 Day Fiancé have had a rocky relationship — from navigating a long-distance relationship between the United States and the Dominican Republic, to their decision to lie to their families about the details of their K-1 fiancé visa (via TLC UK), to an actual fist fight between Pedro’s family and Chantel’s family (via The Chicago Tribune). If you’ve been watching their relationship from the very beginning, then you’ll know it hasn’t been easy for them. And it’s been even harder to watch it all play out. 

But at the heart of all of their issues, it seems there’s one big hurdle that continues to come into play: their cultural barriers (via YouTube). Behind every potentially relationship-ending issue they’ve faced, their inability to truly understand each other’s respective cultures seems to have made it nearly impossible for the couple to properly heal from their many issues.

Sparks flew when Pedro and Chantel first met

Their language barrier didn’t start off as very much of a problem for the couple. In fact, it’s part of what brought the two together in the first place. Per TLC, Chantel met Pedro through a mutual friend, so she could improve her Spanish language skills. After they met, sparks flew and a romance began. Their cultural and language differences were actually an initial draw for the pair, and the couple grew together through the learning of each other’s differences — which eventually turned into Chantel visiting Pedro in the Dominican Republic. Chantel explained that music was one of the ways they could easily communicate and bridge any language barriers gaps: “He would send me, while we were dating, all sorts of little Latin music, Latin love songs. It was so cute” (via YouTube).

Chantel and Pedro differed culturally on money

Chantel and Pedro began to clash as a result of significant culture differences from the very beginning of their relationship. In the couple’s casting tape, Chantel explains, “The Dominican Republic is so much different than any place I’ve ever been in the United States” (via TLC). But the couple pushed through and eventually married, with Pedro coming to live in the United States with Chantel after their wedding.while the two progressed throughout married life, Chantel began to become unhappy with the frequency at which Pedro would send money back to his family. She believed they couldn’t afford to be supporting his family financially while they had their own financial struggles as newlyweds (via YouTube). But Pedro would explain to Chantel that it’s Dominican custom to send money and gifts back to your family. “I understand that it’s his culture,” Chantel explained. “But I don’t understand why he feels the need to bring gifts on top of paying their rent.”

Once Chantel’s family heard of this, they became concerned as well. Indeed, they began to believe, and attempted to convince Chantel, that Pedro and his family were involving Chantel in a marriage scam in order to take money from Chantel and her family (via YouTube). While this conspiracy theory has yet to be confirmed, Chantel’s family shows no sign of backing down from the belief that Pedro is a scammer, who is trying to “harvest the American dollar” (via Newsweek).

Pedro and Chantel disagreed over chicken feet

The cultural conflicts continued when the roles were reversed, Pedro inviting Chantel and her family to the DR to meet his family. Upon arriving to Pedro’s family’s home for dinner, they quickly learned that they were being served chicken feet and chicken necks, per In Touch Weekly. They waited to see if anyone in Pedro’s family would take part in this meal, which they did not. Chantel’s family was instantly insulted. “When I saw the chicken feet, I felt that it might have been a set up,” explains Chantel’s mother (via TLC). “In the religion of Voodoo, they use a lot of chicken feet. So naturally, I don’t want to be taken advantage of.” In response, Pedro’s mother explained, “Here in the Dominican Republic, we don’t have a problem eating chicken feet, neck, gizzard.”

These language and cultural differences make us wonder — does Chantel and Pedro’s relationship stand a fighting chance? We’ll simply have to wait and see how the newlyweds fair, enjoying a bucket of popcorn as we do so. According to ET, as of September 2020, the couple is still together. Plus, you can keep up to date with Chantel, Pedro, and their family drama on TLC’s spinoff series, The Family Chantel.

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