Is The Family Pressure in China Too Much? | Speaking of China

13 Responses

  1. Susan Cao
    Susan Cao February 21, 2017 at 7:05 am | | Reply

    My husband didn’t go back to China to visit his parents for 17 years because he didn’t want to tell them he got divorced! It wasn’t until we were about to get married that he made a trip back to Shanghai because he didn’t want to face them and their opinion on divorce.

  2. Katy
    Katy February 21, 2017 at 8:32 am | | Reply

    Wow! That is way more intense than Taiwan. Here, whenever I have suggested to a Taiwanese friend to avoid family because they are being treated poorly, I am told that they can’t. If a parent or family member is giving them a hard time, they just let it go in one ear and out the other or comply completely with what they are told to do. But it is far more common for people to just not discuss when bad things happen so that everyone saves face. I never realized just how different these cultures were in that aspect!

  3. Julie Collins-Ni
    Julie Collins-Ni February 21, 2017 at 11:39 am | | Reply

    We live in the United States, but we are still subject to this pressure. We are in the restaurant business, as are many relatives. It is a lot of pressure when comparison and judgement are overwhelming. Add in the American wife factor and we are cooked duck (Chinese New Year pun intended). BMW? If we don’t have ours, everyone in the family will assume that we went bankrupt. It is painfully often that my husband will get off the phone, devastated by the intense criticism he just endured. We have said many times that if our restaurants fall, we will never live in our city again. I am certain the pressure is too much, if only because the value of success and happiness is purely material in our family. We are happy and want our family to be happy and embrace us unconditionally.

  4. Nicki Chen
    Nicki Chen February 22, 2017 at 2:00 pm | | Reply

    What a sad story! I suppose everyone everywhere wants to be seen as successful by their family, but it seems as though the expectations in China are particularly narrow with little room for individual differences. If the young man had come to the family gathering would people have tried to be supportive? Would they try to avoid hurting his feelings? With the stories I’ve heard about expectations for marriage and having children, it sounds like being supportive and sympathetic are not big priorities.

  5. Henry Yeh
    Henry Yeh April 4, 2017 at 7:37 am | | Reply

    It is bad enough that most Chinese “couples” would marry in less than 6 months after being set up by family relatives.

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