Western Wives, Chinese Husbands — Guest Interview Piece at Middle Kingdom Life

Western wife and Chinese husband on wedding day, walking under a trellis
Check out “Western wives, Chinese husbands” at Middle Kingdom Life, a collaborative piece by me, Susan Chi, Melanie Gao and Jessica Larson-Wang

Read this collaborative piece on interracial dating and marriages of Western women and Chinese men I did with Susan Chi, Melanie Gao, and Jessica Larson-Wang — for Middle Kingdom Life. It’s called “Western Wives, Chinese Husbands.”

We answer these questions:

  • Are Chinese men generally attracted to Western women? Are they representative of Chinese men in general?
  • Is there anything culturally unique about the psychology of Chinese men, as a group, that Western women should be aware of?
  • How are dating etiquette and customs different in China in regard to men than in the States?
  • What is the best way to find English-speaking Chinese men?
  • What are Chinese men looking for in a wife?
  • What are the advantages of having a Chinese husband in China?
  • What are some common problems Western women face with a Chinese husband?

A big thanks to Susan, Melanie and Jessica (who put up with my copious e-mails and crazy requests for things like photos)! Your voices truly made this a valuable piece.

So, take a look at the article — and share it with your friends, too. Enjoy!

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7 thoughts on “Western Wives, Chinese Husbands — Guest Interview Piece at Middle Kingdom Life

    • March 7, 2010 at 11:20 pm

      Dear PH, thanks for the comment, and glad you like the dress! 😉

  • March 8, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Thanks Jocelyn for sharing this article. It seems as though Western women and Chinese men can have very happy romantic relationships/marriages with understanding each others cultural differences and personal preferences.

    One section of the article mentioned, “you may also notice that, because of their cultural backgrounds, many Chinese men unknowingly have different expectations compared to their western counterparts. Their expectations of you in the relationship, themselves, and of their place in the world may not match with typical Western assumptions.”

    Can anyone shed some light on some of expectations Chinese men may have that Western women might not be aware of?

  • March 9, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Lauren, I contributed to the article, and can say that there’ve been several examples, especially early in my marriage, where expectations were different which I attributed to our different cultures. Or at least that was how I perceived it. One example is that where I’d grown up learning to suck-it-up, take a pill, and not bother anyone with my minor illnesses, my Chinese husband had grown up with very different expectations for when he became ill.

    Off the top of my head, here’s a short list (which I’m sure can be added to) of some of the areas where different expectations might typically occur:
    *attention provided during minor illnesses
    *effort in meal planning and preparation, even if it’s just lunch
    *attention to a childs’ education outside of the school
    *expectations about the role of in-laws and what your own role is with them.
    *expectations of themselves (and you) regarding career choices and overall goals

    I could go on and on, and maybe Jocelyns’ future posts will address some of these! I suppose expectations are an area that every couple, cross-cultural or not, has to figure out. I actually think, however, that by being a cross-cultural couple, my husband and I had the advantage of stepping back from our differences in a non-emotional and less reactionary way because we were never quite sure if our conflicts were arising from “culture differences”, and we wanted to find out through a non-judgemental conversation! Does that make sense? I hope this helps.

    • March 9, 2010 at 3:17 pm

      Susan, thanks so much for helping me out! 😉

      Lauren, Susan is absolutely right about those expectations. I guess one small example would be when my husband criticized my cooking. He had the expectation that you criticize home cooking, openly, to make it better — I had the expectation that, especially early on in a relationship, you keep your opinions to yourself and be grateful that someone made lunch/dinner for you!

      Another expectation I’ve come up against: having children is not optional.

      I’m glad Susan could step back in a non-emotional way from differences, as sometimes my husband and I could not. But, Susan’s advice is worth keeping in mind — that often, the things you have a conflict over come about because you were taught differently or learned differently b/c you come from different cultures.

    • October 26, 2012 at 7:22 am

      @oegukeen, thanks for the comment! I fixed the link (for some ridiculous reason, that site changed their permalink…never a good idea). Anyhow, it should work now, try it.


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