5 Habits My Chinese Husband Has Learned From Me | Speaking of China

34 Responses

  1. Sharon Greene
    Sharon Greene January 12, 2015 at 7:56 am | | Reply

    You taught your husband well. Starbucks coffee, electric heated beds, chocolate, spontaneous dance moves, and frequent I love yous – everything you need for a romantic marriage.

  2. Constance - Foreign Sanctuary
    Constance - Foreign Sanctuary January 12, 2015 at 8:07 am | | Reply

    Actually, I introduced my husband to drinking soda. I used to drink a lot of soda when we first met (at least a can, sometimes two a day) and he started to enjoy it sometimes with me. But that was a long time ago. Now, we only enjoy a soda about once a month or every couple of months.

    1. Constance - Foreign Sanctuary
      Constance - Foreign Sanctuary January 12, 2015 at 9:13 am | | Reply

      Oh, and I forgot to add that my husband was the one who introduced me to the wonderful world of coffee/cappuccino by purchasing a coffee maker.

  3. Lichuan
    Lichuan January 12, 2015 at 8:51 am | | Reply

    Hi Jocelyn. You’re a nice daughter-in-law and a great wife. I’m so envious of your husband.

  4. robert
    robert January 12, 2015 at 10:19 am | | Reply

    haha, 3 and 4 are spot on.

    I think the biggest change was as what we use our apartment. Rather than a place for storage, cooking, sleeping and watching TV, it became a place of living and feeling at home (the whole German “gemuetlichkeit” concept). To me, the money I spend for feeling good at home is totally worth it, and I think now my girlfriend sees it the same. Feeling at home is more important to me than some money I save by freezing/sweating in my home (that also meant we insulated some of the windows ourselves). Or by sitting with 1 dim light bulb as if I were living in a cave. I know that this is still, for many Chinese, all considered a luxury, but on the other hand we’re both working professionals, so we can just as well spend a little to live comfortably in our own 4 walls 🙂

    Traveling is the other big thing we do now. We started with Shanghai, and it always amazes me how little the residents know of their own city. After that we’ve been to quite a few places in China, Japan, Italy, German, Austria, Korea, France… and we still want to see more of the big awesome world out there!

  5. Leslie
    Leslie January 12, 2015 at 1:51 pm | | Reply

    I love this post! My husband learned to love coffee from me too! 🙂

  6. Eileen黃愛玲
    Eileen黃愛玲 January 12, 2015 at 2:05 pm | | Reply

    Awesome post. 🙂

    I just asked my husband what habits that has been changed since he met me. He said, “I am more calm when dealing with things.” Maybe he meant he approaches stress differently? Oh, and now he eats Jewish food.

    Believe it or not, my husband was the one who introduced me to Starbucks. 🙂

  7. Marta
    Marta January 12, 2015 at 8:28 pm | | Reply

    Completely agree with #1. Saying I love you in English or Spanish is one thing, but saying it in Chinese… we’re still getting there!!

    Well, he is not my husband (yet) but we have lived together for 2 years so there are some things he “learned” from me, like eating breakfast (I force him to eat it, it is the most important meal of the day!) and going to sleep on a decent hour (he used to sleep at 1 or 2 am during weekdays). He also started reading American and European comic books! 😀

  8. Sarah@Diaries of a Yangxifu
    [email protected] of a Yangxifu January 12, 2015 at 9:38 pm | | Reply

    Carrots? CARROTS?! There’s a cultural difference if there ever was one.

    This is a great post, I love that you got him into spontaneous dancing around. So far my Chinese husband has only really watched me, but I’m sure it’s a matter of time before he joins in 😉 Have you seen that movie ‘Easy A’? I had to show him the silly dancing scene from that to explain why that song gets me up every time.

  9. Logan Lo
    Logan Lo January 12, 2015 at 9:49 pm | | Reply

    You know, my wife always drank coffee from time-to-time but it was only when we got married that she got used to have a cup every single morning, since I can function without it.

    On the filp side, there is definitely more chocolate in my life after she entered it than before.

  10. Lina
    Lina January 12, 2015 at 11:57 pm | | Reply

    number one! for sure! I was thinking about ‘eating the chocolate’ but I’m still teaching him how to enjoy a good dessert, although one day I’m afraid I will regret it when he won’t let me eat his dessert anymore. 🙂

  11. Rdm
    Rdm January 13, 2015 at 8:17 am | | Reply

    “So much that I showered him with “I love you” in all the usual ways couples in America do.”

    I wonder what that would be. 😛

    Jocelyn, you should teach John how to do hoopla. Make a deal like if he can maintain the ring on the hip more than 10 seconds, he’ll get what he wants. Otherwise, you’ll get your pants. 😀

  12. Nicki Chen
    Nicki Chen January 13, 2015 at 10:52 am | | Reply

    I think he learned at least as much from you as you learned from him. Such fun for both of you!

  13. Fez
    Fez January 13, 2015 at 12:11 pm | | Reply

    I would believe I love you would be some thing a Chinese guy won’t say much but never had soda, coffee and chocolate? I suppose your guy was just trying to please his woman and in laws. Maybe it went like this: hey honey have you had this before? (Waiving a RC Cola). “No”. “What? You never had soda?” “No”.

  14. chinaelevatorstories
    chinaelevatorstories January 14, 2015 at 11:43 am | | Reply

    My husband recently said that he fell in love with coffee before he met me. So the fact that I brought a coffee machine into our home was highly welcomed. He also knew how to turn a not-so-nice looking apartment into a very comfy home (soon before he met me). There’s really not much in this area he has learned from me. There are some other cultural things he has learned to love – for example Austrian varieties of bread, cheese and salads.

    It’s this kind of variety and mutual learning experience that I really like about our relationship.

  15. Ri
    Ri January 14, 2015 at 12:39 pm | | Reply

    Love this list! We definitely learn a lot from each other… My husband has probably learned the benefits of walkingーnot for health or getting places, but more for exploration and finding new restaurants and interesting shops. I can’t take credit for him drinking coffee from nothing, but I have introduced him to one of the best latte shops in Tokyo and introduced him to the barista thereーthey’re now good friends! 🙂

  16. Ryan
    Ryan January 14, 2015 at 12:58 pm | | Reply

    Hmm, let’s see…

    I turned my city-born Cantonese wife onto the joys of the country and mountains of West Virginia and Pennsylvania, complete with all of the copious wild foods that we still have, thanks to the average American’s abject fear of anything that isn’t prepackaged. Knowing that there are tons of wild mushrooms, leeks, fiddleheads and more to get for free made a country girl out of her. And oh, the meals…!

    Mozzarella cheese! She is sooo in love with her beloved “chewy cheese”. Pizza is a huge favorite, so much that she has taught herself all about raised doughs so she can make us homemade pizza, with our fresh wild mushrooms, homemade sauce, and of course, mozzarella.

    She seemed to love snow and ice the first time she saw that, but that’s kind of faded. Not like me…

  17. Kimberly
    Kimberly January 14, 2015 at 8:28 pm | | Reply

    This is a great post! Let me see, K was drinking coffee before he met me, and he likes it while I do not. He loves to bake dinner in the oven (in fact we’ve been doing that a lot since we arrived in Jiangsu and are still sorting ourselves out). We do a lot of exploring together, something that he didn’t think to do before we met. Also he is a fan of the “high five” haha so that’s how we celebrate things like getting the baby down for the night or finding out a restaurant has one of our favorite dishes.

  18. Timo
    Timo January 14, 2015 at 11:15 pm | | Reply

    I am wondering now what my wife might have learned for habits through our relationship. Perhaps drinking coffee sometimes and enjoying some nice bread in Germany..

    Oh well, there is actually one thing she learned and that is to say “Thank you” even within the family. In Finland and in Germany I grew up to thank also my parents whenever they give me for example a glass of water or pass me some food during lunch. In China it is appearently not really like that as my wife was confused at first why I always said thank you to her and also her parents were wondering what is going on with me. But now even my mother-in-law says “thank you” for small things 😮

  19. MM
    MM January 15, 2015 at 4:32 pm | | Reply

    @Timo…..yes you are right my Chinese friend also was puzzled when I’d say thank you to my mother for doing something such as cooking dinner, or making me a cup of tea. When I asked her don’t you thank your parents for doing something for you, she said no; they wouldn’t expect a thanks.

    The other thing I’ve learnt or adapted is drinking beer with Chinese friends

  20. robert
    robert January 15, 2015 at 5:05 pm | | Reply

    @Timo @MM – my experience is similar when it comes to thank yous. Not quite sure where the different attitudes come from. On the one hand there’s the theory that many people were brought up in a harsh time and manners weren’t really a priority to teach the kids. Then there’s the theory about many self centered people who think of politeness and helpfulness as something that “doesn’t get them ahead”. Both of those theories don’t really sit well with me, although they may apply to some people.
    Recently I came across a text that argued that Chinese just have a different attitude towards the words thank you. I.e. you don’t toss it casually around in the West, instead you use it when it’s really a heart felt, sincere thank you. I wonder if anyone who has deeper insight into Chinese culture is able to confirm this?

  21. Laura
    Laura January 17, 2015 at 1:23 pm | | Reply

    I love love this post!
    So true for us. He now..
    Loves chocolate
    Says I love you or uses my own language
    He eats bread, western style bread. This might be cause in Shandong they also eat their own style of bread so is something very familiar to him.
    Buys presents for his nephews that are not very common in his family ( not apples not only a hongbao) but a bike with all the safety accessories that come with it. Kids got used to love that more than the cash.
    Affection, kissing all the time.

    We don´t have a coffee machine at home, though we would love to. Coffee and milk are very pricey in China, thus for us tea and hot water are our best options.

  22. Sveta
    Sveta January 20, 2015 at 12:29 pm | | Reply

    I do wonder what habits if any, my ex boyfriends took away from me? From my Korean ex, I tend to curse in Korean, I love Korean cuisine, and I like the music he introduced me to. Maybe love for Russian food is one thing they took away from me?

  23. Yocelyn
    Yocelyn January 23, 2015 at 1:46 pm | | Reply

    Food always seems to be one of the biggest habit changes in these type of relationships. My boyfriend got me into the habit of drinking tea while I got him into the habit of making all his food spicy. I’ve noticed Chinese households are not big on dancing. Tony is no longer afraid to randomly dance at home anymore. He is really gotten into Latin music lately while I like to C-pop from time to time.

  24. A.madhavan
    A.madhavan January 31, 2015 at 2:18 pm | | Reply

    awwwwwww so sweet!
    My husband is Indian and he also learned the “I love you” thing. In his family showing love is done more through actions, but I need it. Constantly. Because I am like so high maintenance LOL!
    One thing I have got my husband addicted to is guacamole and Mexican food. He just loves it, it’s vegetarian, and it’s as close a thing to Indian food as ever. In fact, I got the whole Indian clan addicted to Chipotle!!! Hahaha

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