My Chinese spouse and I have been married for almost fifteen years now; long enough to discover each other’s like and dislikes, abilities and failings and, of course, the elements of cross-societal miscommunication which bring about the most misunderstandings in our domestic agreements and day to day living.
Naturally, because of the length of our union, I sometimes get asked questions by buddies and acquaintances about how mixed-race marriages like ours survive when others between two individuals of identical race seem to be forever falling apart.
Seriously, I do not have a straightforward answer; nonetheless, some thoughts which swiftly come to mind include:
At the end of the day, Chinese wives are females (yes…, yes, I am aware that’s totally obvious) who need to be seen like…, well, girls. Yet, probably in mix cultural partnerships both parties try that a bit harder, go that extra mile for one another as, deep down, both are aware that, no matter how well they get on, there will always be communication holes and cultural misunderstandings-yet some of which can be settled with a hug and smile!
One more valid factor that appears to arise frequently (as I have learned this from many colleagues who’ve also wedded Chinese ladies) is the reality that many Chinese wives feel less constrained by a marriage to a foreigner-both when it comes to what they are able to do both socially and inside their new, extended family members, and also from a professional career perspective. Foreigners are, perhaps, normally more open-minded with regards to women’s legal rights and professions, and can normally aid enhance the very best in their spouses.
From a different viewpoint, a counter idea to this is that many foreigners seriously admire the tenaciousness, power and resolve of Chinese women in relation to concerns of family, or their business expertise; the old adage of Chinese ladies being like among those conventional sweets that had a “gentle outside and a rough centre” still has a charm for many men from overseas looking for a Chinese wife from dating site.
Then, we can also think about the issue of, hay can I think of it as, “honour” where, possibly the Chinese girl wants to prove to her close friends that she can create a marriage to a foreigner work (you never know, she might have married him against the plans of her loved ones); similarly, from the point of view of the foreign guy, if he has been through all the difficulties to move to a foreign nation and locate and marry a lady from a different society, he too likes to show his family and friends which he can make the partnership work for the long run.
Naturally, it “takes two to tango” as another old saying goes and there needs to be “give and take”, consideration and understanding from each party if you’re in for the lengthy haul…