When you are married to a person from another country sometimes you have to make some choices that you may not always like because of the culture or the traditions that they have.
In China, the Chinese local people usually never leave their hometown and are usually never far from their parents, sometimes even living less than a block from them if not with them. There are some exceptions to the rule when it comes to having to leave to find work in another province or city.. but for the most part they never leave their city or town of birth.
The reason for this varies from the responsibility of having to care for your aging parents to staying close to your friends and connections. As I have mentioned before connections or “relationships” are very important in China for success or just basic living. These relationships take a long time to build, therefore, you usually know people for a life time before they are considered really your “friend.” Trust is not easily obtained in China.
My traditional Chinese husband is not immune to these traditions. In my pursuit to achieve world dominance here in China.. I made some plans to move to the next largest city to pursue a large business opportunity. I being a very career minded person, was only focused on the opportunity and not thinking about anything else.
I guess I assumed that moving was not a big deal. Since, I had moved over 3000 miles to the other side of the world… at the drop of a pin. I was greatly mistaken.
My husband told me he need to have a family talk… (that means him and I talking)… this looked serious.. so .. I sat down to listen to him tell me he did not want to move.
At first I was shocked and surprised. However, when he begin to tell me the reasons .. I came to the realization that ..” hey.. I wasn’t in Kansas anymore…” And I was apart of a partnership… and I had neglected to talk to my partner to see if he was in agreement.
He told me that his parents were not happy about us moving 2 hours away… and that in China.. if you move to another city you are treated like an outcast. It would be difficult for him to make connections and friends for that matter. He said that we would have to start all over in another city.. after He had been in this one all his life.. and I had been here for going on 3 years. He reminded me that I had already started making “relationships” and if I wanted to be successful in China.
This realization kind of hit me hard. I had to make some tough decisions and give up one of my goals. Sometimes when you are married to a man from a different country you have to sacrifice somethings for the sake of your marriage.
As I have said before… Husband and wives will sometime live in separate cities and lead separate lives… I can’t see this as being a happy life. I also have to understand that my husband has a large responsibility to his family and their well-being.
Although I am disappointed about being limited in my ability to grow and spread my wings to another city… I am creative enough to find other ways to grow and prosper in the town I am in.
In light of this situation… It has made me think a lot about my future and if my husband will be able to move to the states with me one day. There are so many things you have to consider when you are married to a person with different cultural differences and traditional beliefs. Everyday… becomes a learning experience and a challenge.
until next time…
- We need to move on from the clichés and misunderstandings about China (leftfootforward.org)
- Typical Tuesday – Zhuhai, China (travelpod.com)
- Yangshuo Park – Yangshuo, China (travelpod.com)
- What the west can learn from China | Zhang Xiaoying (guardian.co.uk)