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Relationship Update

Popularity 10Viewed 12490 times 2014-1-24 12:14 |Personal category:Cultural Differences|System category:Life

A few of you have wished me luck, and one asked for an update on our relationship, so here it is:

Things are going well, overall, though we have had a couple of big fights. Sometimes, we get chatting or emailing, and there is a misunderstanding. Then, we get upset and end up fighting for a couple of days. 

Once a month, about "that time" she is easily filled with despair. If we fight about something, then she starts to look for the root cause and questions whether I love her. Makes everything just sound terrible. Then, we make up and go back to normal. Sometimes, we wonder is it because we are not together? We are missing all this non-verbal communication that we would have otherwise? I think so. But we also wonder during these dark fighting times if it means we are incompatible.

Today, we talked about whether to get a pre-nuptial agreement. I have just come out of a bitter divorce, and I think I've gotten rather the worse end of it. So I would like to get this, on the off-chance that our marriage goes sour. I cannot afford another divorce like that. But her? She thinks that it would be like planning for our divorce, before we are even married. Says it would be a poisoned seed. I told her no, it is more like wearing a seatbelt in the car, just in case. It doesn't mean I think I'm a bad driver. Only that I admit there is some possibility I will need it. She said it is not the same thing. She said if I want to get it, she will accept, but it will plant that poisoned seed, which she cannot forget. I said that she would HAVE to put it behind us, just as we've put our previous marriages behind us. She says I should take the risk, to prove that I want to marry her. Wow. I don't know what to do about that. Stand my ground and plant the poisoned seed, or show my faith by not getting the prenup. 

We talked about bringing her money here. She is looking into how to invest it, in China. "Why China, if you are moving here?" I asked. She said because she doesn't know anyone here or how to do it. I said I think there's a way to bring it here as part of immigration, without too much penalty. So I'm looking into that now.

It's a good thing I trust her, because otherwise, it looks very bad. Doesn't want a prenup, doesn't want to bring her money here with her, but manage it remotely, by computer, and fighting every month. I'm sure I will get some comments that say I should dump her, because she is just after a passport. But I really don't think so. She is very successful in China, and she'll be giving up her career and Chinese citizenship to bring her son to come live here, taking a big risk on me too!

The above are the low points. The high points are actually most of the time. We text chat nearly every day. Talk on the phone at least once a week. Video chat once or twice a week. Send letters. This will be my third trip to China, and she has been to the US to see me once, with her son.

The directors in our company are making plans to find a position for her in the US. She's not sure if she wants it; it might be a good chance to find something better. Also, they have been laying people off lately, and we're worried about what will happen if we're both laid off at the same time. It would be a crushing blow. More likely is that they would lay ME off. I'm a white male, who speaks one language only, and is an engineer. She is a Chinese female with an engineering background and management experience who speaks English and three Chinese languages. Even if she were only of average talent, (she's not) she would be valuable, for the Equal Opportunity Employment Act. They like to have minorities and women in power positions. I only worry that she will work and work and work, and neglect us, her family.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Comment Comment (9 comments)

Reply Report snowipine 2014-1-25 10:00
Good luck to you!
Reply Report voice_cd 2014-1-26 09:14
Your article has been recommended to the homepage. Thanks for sharing here !
Reply Report Kevinfly 2014-1-26 20:34
I think a prenuptial agreement is necessary, it does not  mean that you do not love her, as you said, it just like an seatbelt, I believe it is good for both of you two.
Reply Report sharonfr 2014-1-27 10:45
From your narration of her, she is indeed very successful and valuable. To be together, either of you two should take certain sacrifice. Perparing a prenuptial agreement is not a sign for any bad to happen, just a cautious and reasonable practice. There's no destinated for never apart. The most important thing is to cherish and manage the marriage together. She is so wise that she would soon know that. Bless you two.
Reply Report wingless 2014-1-27 11:05
Good luck to you.
Reply Report peki 2014-1-28 09:05
From my experience in China (3 years) I found out that Chinese girls are planing ahead so much. She may have a master plan and you could be just little piece of it. I hope she will not dump you after she gets green card. Cause many of them are looking for better education abroad for their children and you may not be the part of the plan after she gets green card. I hope I'm wrong but you should be very careful. They are very good actresses similar to Thai girls. And by the way, chinese culture is that man must do everything and women just take care of the kids. So bear in mind that you will probably working alone (even thou she says now she will work as well). Wish you good luck man. Hope it work out.
Reply Report Judy_Zhu 2014-1-29 17:07
I think the root of your conflict is the cultural difference between these two nations. You just need time to get over it. Good luck and happy Chinese New Year!
Reply Report laoren1234 2014-3-7 18:12
One comment and one suggestion:
Comment: Marriage needs a lot of work and constantly. This cultural difference is just one minor part of the equation. There are lots of successful cross border as well as inter racial marriages. Focus on what makes a marriage work. If you love each other enough you will find a way to solve whatever problem that you are faced with. I'm 65 and "happily" married or the last 20 years. Btw, this is my third. What works for me this time is this: every time I get furious with my wife, I count to 10 (or 20, or 50 ...) and then ask myself, "is this worth getting a divorce over?"
Suggestion (on the prenuptial): if you don't have a sizable asset, I would just forget about the prenup. But if you do, I would seek some legal advice on how to do this amicably. Maybe setting up a trust with different "executor(s) (?)" as time goes on?
Reply Report Smaug 2014-3-18 18:45
Thanks laoren. I will try to remember this rule when I get angry. It sometimes will take me much longer than 50 seconds though. ;) For the prenup, I don't have much at all. She is a good saver, and has a lot more than me. So I decided to just let it go and take the risk. Financially, she has more to lose than me, and money is much more important to her than me. So if she is willing to risk this, AND moving here to be with me, then I need to trust her and also take the risk.

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