Chinese Parents Against Divorced Western Man | Speaking of China

5 Responses

  1. melanie gao
    melanie gao June 26, 2010 at 12:21 am | | Reply

    I know a Western guy in China who found himself in exactly this situation. It was very stressful for him and for his Chinese girlfriend and in the end this was one of the reasons they ended their relationship.

    I think it’s hard enough for Chinese parents to accept the idea of having a foreigner in the family but if the foreigner is divorced and has kids from the previous marriage it’s that much trickier. I wonder if it would help to talk about the reasons the first marriage ended, if everyone is comfortable with that? Quite often people can understand a divorce and support the couple’s decision if they know what some of the contributing factors were. But I’m not sure if everyone would be comfortable with that level of sharing…

  2. 路易
    路易 June 27, 2010 at 1:23 am | | Reply

    Hey Joanna! Hit me up if you come to the Canadian pavilion, you won’t have to wait in line.

  3. Jessica
    Jessica June 27, 2010 at 9:58 am | | Reply

    I wouldn’t really count on the parents coming around unless they absolutely have to, no matter what the guy does to win them over. To some extent I think the girl should be prepared to call her parents bluff and be with the guy she loves. Chinese parents can be very, for lack of a better term, manipulative when it comes to their childrens’ love lives but it is my experience that they very rarely follow up on their threats to disown their children once it becomes clear they can’t prevent the relationship (usually what makes that clear is marriage and the births of grandchildren! haha).

    That doesn’t mean the guy can’t make overtures and try to make peace with them, but both should be prepared that it might not work. I know parents that have effectively prevented relationships for much less serious reasons (my nephew’s girlfriend’s parents forbid her from marrying him because they don’t think his background is good enough for their daughter … and we’re not talking about a country boy trying to marry a Beijing university graduate, both of these kids are from small towns in Yunnan and my nephew is a high school teacher!), and especially if the parents think they can get what they want in the end, they’ll hold as long as they possibly can. In their minds this is a Serious Problem. The guy could be an absolute saint but this problem would still exist. It probably doesn’t help that I’m sure friends and family are bombarding them with horror stories about a friend of a friends daughter who has evil stepchildren, or horrible ex wives in the picture, or evil divorced wife beaters or whatever. They probably feel quite embarrased by the gossip the relationship is causing and feel like they need to draw a line and make it clear they’re not encouraging this.

    I think that the guy should be prepared for the parents not to accept the relationship until they’re married. It may be possible to win the parents over, but if not, is the girl willing to call the bluff and marry him anyhow? Because that might just be what it takes.

  4. Friend
    Friend June 30, 2010 at 10:27 am | | Reply

    Although the final decision is always between the actual couple, it is very hard in the long run if the parents are not on board in some way, if they are close. Sorry to sound like a buzz kill. I also think having a grandchild will help a lot, one type of blood link.

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