Author: allgemein

Marry a foreigner [Copy link] 中文

Rank: 4

Post time 2004-5-19 01:10:05 |Display all floors

She's made her bed, and she's gotta lie on it...

This piece reminds me of a Chinese lady I befriended while I was studying in the states. In her case, she chose to marry an American missionary person who went to China to spread the word of God - they met in Beijing. He married her there and eventually had to return to the states at one time but couldn't bring her back there (this was all in the late 80s). She waited for him patiently, suffered through the mocking of her family, relatives and friends that her new American hubby had left her, but not knowing that he's working hard on the other end to get all paperworks done to get her out of China to join him in the US of A.

She eventually joined her husband in the early 90s, but her English hadn't improved when she got there - she stayed at home most of the time, and couldn't go out without her husband chaperoning her as no one could understand her heavily accented and limited English language skills. I do not know how they made things work with their compromised communication - she is not fluent in the language and they communicate in very simple English, sometimes to the point of expressing in sign language.

I met her husband at the international house at a university in the US, and he was really happy to see another 'Chinese face' in a majority-white-populated State university. Yes, he was then a matured student, and I remembered him asking whether I could speak Mandarin as he'd like to introduce me to his wife. I hesitated, but he seemed so eager and suggested me to tag along with him to the University cafe. So, we met up at the university cafe a couple of blocks away from the university's international house. There she was, eating alone, heavily pregnant... I remembered seeing her face, litted up like a christmas tree when she saw a 'familiar' Chinese face - obviously overjoyed to have someone from home... but I'm not from China.... However, I can still speak some Mandarin!!

Both husband and wife were excited, and I was like a Christmas present to them... as for myself, I felt a little awkward with the situation, especially when her husband seemed to be communicating via myself to her... and I didn't feel quite right in doing so... it's like 'getting in between someone else's marriage'. I was like a little miracle worker in their marriage... hanging out with them often, translating the English Chinese (even my Mandarin improved!! haha!).

However,.the American humour shared and so forth is all lost on her at most times... and sometimes I felt that she laughed for laughing's sake... and I saw the sadness in her eyes - she didn't get it!  I even remembered the times when I was chuckling away with her husband about a joke or two, or we laughed till our sides ache from the sitcoms that we watched on the idiot box... I saw her from the corner of my eyes -  totally lost... and blinking away - looking at both her husband and myself and the tv, not knowing what's going on. By the time I explained the joke to her, I've lost it's sense of humour in the translation... and his wife seemed to take every word literally instead of understanding 'a play of language' involved. Those were the moments that I could see the undercurrents there... the frustration emanating from both of them, the longing for connection... but I'm sure they could make it up by passion that needs no words...?

I continued to hang out with them for few more weeks, but eventually ebbed away, and before I knew it... I didn't visit the couple anymore, especially after the children were born. I felt it was for the best, and I didn't feel right about her husband wanting to talk to me more than talking to his wife? Likewise, she prefers to talk to me rather than talking to her husband!! So, this clearly shows how much people long to communicate...

Anyway, that's besides the point... the German-Chinese couple you were referring to seemed to be in the same boat with the American-Chinese couple I befriended. I'm sure over time, in months and years to come, both women will be able to embrace the 'foreign' language that their husbands are born and bred with.  

At least for my case, and I can only speak for myself... I will not be able to withstand such a 'union' if I can't communicate verbally with someone I love. Some things are just lost in translation, don't you agree?

Like the saying goes, if you live in Rome, act like a Roman... but this saying doesn't mean that we should lose our culture and tradition and pretend to be someone else that we're not... , but we learn to adopt and assimilate ourselves to the new (or foreign culture) for the sake of survival and to avoid misunderstandings for social acceptance - but this still takes time! In the case of a cross-cultural marriage, there has to be a compromise... I believe there's more than love to a marriage, we need to be able to let each other know what are our daily needs in life... we can't live on air and love alone, it doesn't pay our bills and make the world go round... agree? Yes or No?

Anyway, it's already difficult enough to make a marriage work even in a same-race-marriage where couples can communicate freely with each other. Imagine all the gender issues involved, the misunderstandings... the need to trash out with each other about individualistic habits and idiosyncracies? I'm not a sceptic on love, I believe in love, and would like to believe that Love amends and connects all, but in reality, my mind refutes this, and the wheels of my mind clicks.... 'will the bubble burst one day?' Food for thoughts, aye?

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Rank: 4

Post time 2004-5-19 20:02:07 |Display all floors

not all people feel the need to talk

I know of a Flemish-Chinese couple here in Belgium who can't talk to each other either but are content.

They are both rural working-class people with poor social and verbal skills, somewhat overweight and so-and-so looks (neither ugly or handsome).   They married in their late thirties, a few weeks after meeting each other.  The meeting was arranged in China by Chinese-Belgian neighbours of the man who had never left Europe before.  Neither had ever had a boy- or girlfriend at the time.

They are together for almost ten years now.  He still only speaks a few words of Chinese and she only a few of Flemish.  When they feel the need to chat he talks to his family and she to the Chinese-Belgian neighbours.  

It's probably the best either could reasonably hope for once they passed thirty (she certainly) and they both seem to be happy enough.

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Rank: 1

Post time 2004-6-10 07:20:16 |Display all floors

feel happy with my swiss bf

totally agree with u

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Post time 2004-6-10 07:31:47 |Display all floors

sad story not so sad when u..

yes, i could feel how difficult the couple u gave their story here.  i wanna say not all like that, only because of mother language problems, i and my swiss bf could communicate so good and understand so well with each other, even English is never my or his mother language. we found that English is such a great language, that's quite simple and easy to learn and use it.  even though, i'm now still learning Deutsch diligently, because i want to have my own friend there, i also want to talk with their parents as well as friends, their English will never be so good as my bf, everybody knows German is such a difficult language  but for me i know any languages is only a habit, if u love the man, then u should also love his family, friends and of course his mother language, i'm sure i will speak German one year later or sooner, because i love to learn it

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Rank: 4

Post time 2004-6-10 13:06:25 |Display all floors

To: Sweetestpeas - Re: you made your bed

Serendipitously cruising through the forum, akin to Chicken Little, I’m randomly struck by falling pieces of heaven in the form of sweetestpeas thoughts. I cannot explain, I cannot understand, how an unknown to me can so congruently and eloquently express my very same thoughts.

Sweetaspeas, I applaud your style and content with one very tiny exception: the moment you say “I’m not a skeptic”, you are.

The strength, survival, and salvation of humanity lies in its emotions; release your heart to embrace your mind and allow the mind to execute reality, for a strong mind can not ever overcome a strong emotion.

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Post time 2004-6-12 00:02:31 |Display all floors

What a...


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Rank: 4

Post time 2004-6-16 12:58:49 |Display all floors

I could use some help in this area

I have been set up with a really nice girl from Beijing. She is 33 with a 5 year old son and I am 38. The person setting us up is from China, but has lived here in America for a long time. She travels a good bit back and forth. She knows the girl and her family well. She comes from a good family and has a nice background. She tells me that I need a good wife that will treat me as I should be treated and be loyal and the the girl needs a good man that will do the same for her and give her a loving envoirment for her son. I long for a companion that will grow with me, someone that I can trust and care for. I am told that this is her.
Recently, I traveled to China and we met. She is beyond beautiful. She is conservative and traditional. I had limited time to spend with her so we tried to make the most of it. We met for drinks one night, but we were both kinda nervous and shy so there was not alot of communication. We spent the entire next day together. We were with a large group of people, but we were alone a good bit. My Chinese is not very good nor is her english. I felt that we were able to get our points across pretty well. She is supposed to be working on her english and I will study Chinese. This is all very scary and exciteing at the same time.
I do not want to marry a Chinese woman because I am unattractive or unable to meet a girl here in America. All of the women that I have met here are spoiled, untrustworthy and generally treat me like shit. I am looking for comfort and stability. Someone that will be as good to me as I am to them. I hope that this is her. I don't think that she will just marry me for a passport as I was told that she really wanted to get to know me better before she will make a total commitment. If all goes well, I will fly to meet her parents in November and if she will have me, she will come here in December. Six months is not alot of time.
I have read a good bit about eastern culture, but I don't think that anything can really prepare me for this. I do have some concerns and it would be nice if some people here could help me with them.
1) When she comes, what is the best way to introduce her to American food?
2) Do most Chinese women like alot of attention? Pampering and such? Displays of affection?
3) What can I do to make our home as comfortable as can be for her?
4) will I be able to tell if she is truly happy here with me or just acting as so not to hurt my feelings?
5) what will our intimate life be like? I know that American women and Chinese women must differ in this area. I was told that traditional chinese women of her age do not enjoy sex that often. Is this true?
6) Is there anything I should expect that it seems I am not be prepared for?

I guess that I just want some honest people here to give me some good advice to make this work. My main goal would be to make my new wife happy and comfortable.

any advice is appreciated, Jonny

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