I will explain. As if it were not difficult enough living in another country trying to adapt to the languages, the food, the climate and the people in general; the society here puts a lot of pressure on a man to achieve a certain amount of success to be of value. Not unlike other countries, the man is motivated to try to be as successful as he can and to provide for his family the best he can. However, in China it is taken to a whole other level.
Right out of the gate of high school, young men are pushed to achieve the highest score possible to go to a well-known school. Not due to their own wants to attend these schools but due to the pressure of the parents. If your child goes to a good school, or even abroad.. that gives them bragging rights. They can tell all their friends how well their child is doing. After entering the University of their parents choice.. they are then told what majors they should take that would not only give the family “face” but also make a lot of money.
Directly out of University… if you are not continuing your education abroad. You will then be brought back home to learn the family business and begin looking for your wife. It is pressured that a single woman who is not married by age 28 to 30.. is well past her time and will not find an acceptable” husband. The man is then pressured to do well enough at age 23 to purchase a house, (between 100,000 to millions of RMBs); purchase a car (50,000) and make enough money that his wife will be comfortable. The wife he must find must fit the requirements of coming from a good family and having a good background, and be reasonably attractive. After marriage before age 30, they are required to have a baby within the first year so their parents can have a grandchild, preferably a boy.
Then they spend the rest of their life, trying to make enough money to take care of their parents when they grow old and prepare for their child’s future. All the while, he needs to keep up the pretense that he is a well-to-do businessman and everything is right in the world, so other people will not gossip or say things to make him look bad.
This is a lot of stress on any person, But it has become a very difficult point for my husband. One big reason is that he has went the non-traditional route. China is like this one big world of same-ness. Everyone has to look the same, eat the same, dress the same, act the same… and fit into the same little box to be accepted. If you do not … they make your life very, very difficult.
Case in point, my husband is married to me; it is hard to deal with the comments of others with all the jokes and laughing. But on top of that ,I am older than him, which in China is really not acceptable. The man should never be younger than the woman. However, the man can go as young as he wants. Then there is the fact that I have adult children. Although, they are in another country and living their own successful lives the point is I have them. Also we are coming to a two-year point in our marriage… and there is no baby.
My husband comes from a poor family so there is not help with buying these expensive ass houses.. and it will be a little while before we can get the car. (you have to pay cash for most things here still).
So although we are very happy in our relationship and love each other very much; the issues that we have come from the outside.
Now.. in most cases as Americans we think , just ignore them, forget having face, and forget what people about you. If we were in America that would be easy to do. But here in China it is like they are all brainwashed to believe things that are so out of date and unbelievable you just cannot ignore it. Well, I can a little because some of it I cannot understand.. but my husband hears it all the time. The jabs about having me as his wife, the comments about why we do not have a baby yet, the pressure from his family to take care of them. I can see the weight that is on his shoulders every time he comes home from work. It makes him irritable and depressed.
He tells me that he feel like he is in the middle… I am on one side and his family and all of China is on the other.
I cannot even start to understand the feelings that go thru his head, or all the expectations that he has to face. We are pioneers here, and I want to tell you it is not easy dealing with all the drama. I kept telling myself that all the gossip, jabs, laughing, pointing, face and pressures will stop soon, because it is putting a lot of stress on our marriage.
Now I know why most Blasian Couples move to America… because it is not that they cannot make a relationship work.. it is the society pressure that hurts them.
One student told me one day…. a foreigner and a Chinese man marriage never works. I said why? He said the cultural differences are too great. I told him.. no it has nothing to do with cultural differences… it has to do with the other people in China. They cause the marriages to have problems.
I am here to tell you.. I am not going down like that. I told my husband.. buck up… we are not going to let them take us down. We are going to stand strong and united; fighting all the way. I try to give him the support he needs to overcome all these adversity he is going through.
The only problem is … who is going to support me?
- Is Marriage “Just a Piece of Paper” Today? (psychologytoday.com)
- What To Do To Save Marriage – How To Save My Marriage When It Seems Hopeless (livecrunch.com)
- Causes of Divorce in Marriage (socyberty.com)
- Alone with Just Each Other (psychologytoday.com)
- The Self-Created Pressure To Live Up To Your Parents’ Happy Marriage [I Thee Dread] (jezebel.com)
- Dealing with Stress in Today’s Crazy World (psychologytoday.com)