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Old 01-19-2016, 04:15 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,381 times
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What are the practical implications for a Chinese girl marrying a foreigner without their parents' consent?

Apart from the horrific words "they disown her" and "she will lose all their support", what practical consequences will she meet? For example, OK they disown her, and won't let her come visit them. Is it a disaster? She will be inviting her parents to visit her new family on holidays. If they don't come, this is sad, but what can she do?


Can you convincingly explain why Chinese girls are so obedient to their parents to the extent that they reject their lover and marry another guy only because their parents object?


I just can't see anything (apart from the horrific *words*), which would make the girl's life worse, if she follows her own feelings, rather than the parental advice.


Please, argue with me and convince me (and other people interested) that it is really bad for a Chinese girl to refuse following her parents' advice.
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Old 01-19-2016, 11:12 AM
 
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In Chinese culture, children have the responsibility to make their parents happy. Also marriage is not just between to persons, but between two families.
The law also requires adult children to financially support their elderly parents if it is necessary.

That being said, most parents will eventually accept the reality if their children insist on something.
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:23 PM
 
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I live in Asia. I am lucky enough I don't live in a city with strict traditions on dating and marriage.


I dislike parents who are very controlling.


In the West, parents do not care or control their children as much as in Asia.
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digitalage3 View Post
I live in Asia. I am lucky enough I don't live in a city with strict traditions on dating and marriage.


I dislike parents who are very controlling.


In the West, parents do not care or control their children as much as in Asia.
They are not just more controlling, but also more supporting.
In China, parents always pay full college tuition (if they can), and usually help with the down payment for their children's apartment. They are also babysitters of their grandchildren, and so on.
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:50 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, California
1,953 posts, read 5,201,777 times
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when a woman marries, she belongs to the foreign man's family like a piece of property

I know families that never accepted the marriage, and it could be 40 years later and they are not even part of the family

they carry grudges for a very long time

you will never be a welcome guest for the disrespect and disobeying the parents
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Old 01-22-2016, 05:17 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
5,553 posts, read 2,890,019 times
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It varies from family to family. Some aren't controlling while others can be overcontrolling.
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Old 01-22-2016, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Jersey
2,296 posts, read 3,395,026 times
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Win the family over.
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
9,779 posts, read 13,347,718 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerJAX View Post
Win the family over.
^ That's what I did.

When the OP refers to a Chinese woman, I assume that he means an actual Chinese woman and not Chinese-American/Canadian/Australian/etc. Women of Chinese ancestry who grow up in these places are much more likely to walk away from filial piety (and may indeed reject it consciously) than women who are actually from China and have no cultural counterpoint to put it against.

My wife's family initially forbade her from having anything to do with me - they couldn't do much about this since they are in Hunan and she's in Guangzhou, but, there were a few months of pretty nasty threats to cut her out of the family, haul her back against her will, etc. She held out, and there was a stalemate of a few months that basically boiled down to:

Them: "We will cut you out of the family forever."
Her: "Fine."
Them: "We will never help you if you need help."
Her: "Whatever. We don't need your help."
Them: "Seriously, we will never contact you again."
Her: "Don't."
Them: "We mean it."
Her: "Fine."
Them: "... well fine then."
Her: "Good."
Them: "..."
Her: "."



Then: "Okay, your grandmas talked about it and agreed that it's okay if you want to be with this infernal foreigner, just... come back and visit."

And, again, now we are married, and she is expecting. I've met her family and they all like me, although they think I am weird because I like to drink cold beverages, don't want to leave all the windows open when it's -2C outside and walk around in six layers of clothing inside, etc

How did I win them over? They met me. Her nieces loved me. I was still polite to her parents even after her dad walked out onto the balcony and smoked with his back to me - "Why should we bother going out for Chinese food? Does he even know anything about Chinese food or culture?" Most Chinese people have zero exposure to foreigners, and especially for people in their late 40's and up, grew up on a steady anti-Western diet. Even with younger, more worldly Chinese people, there's an attitude that their culture is just... insurmountable for anyone who doesn't have Chinese blood. It's ignorance in its most literal form. After they've gotten to know you as an individual instead of just "that foreigner who wants to marry my daughter/sister/my countrywoman," things get a lot better.

The things that I tell most of the guys I know who decide they want to go down this path:

Remember always that she is, indeed, pitting herself against her family to be with you. Because of issues of filial piety, this is a huge step - it's hard to imagine as a Westerner, because we actually kind of get off on bucking norms and going our own way. Not so, here; because of that, it's difficult to think of an analogy. You have to understand the culture really well to get the enormity of it.

After she forsakes her family to be with you, it's on the family to decide whether or not they will ultimately accept it. This can be complicated. If they do, that's great; if not, then understand that she will likely lose all if not most of her family contacts - which is a pretty big thing in China. A lot of families save up money for their kids to help out with buying a house or a car or a business, often having saved since before they were born - they may decide to hold that money back, and she may find herself in a situation where she has no safety net or support, other than you. When this happens, she will scrutinize you quite a bit, and your previously-wonderful relationship can turn into a nonstop festival of criticism and fatalism on her part.

One thing to keep in mind, too, is that if you do break up, and her family never accepted her decision, they may still never re-accept her, meaning she will well-and-truly be on her own. Even if they were ultimately OK with it, if it is well-known that she a) disobeyed her family, and b) was with a foreigner, it will be extremely hard for her to ever remarry into a "good" family again. I know multiple Chinese women who at some point, dated a foreigner - a good example is a young woman who dated an English guy. He swore his undying love to her, she disobeyed her parents to be with him, she put all their escapades up all over social media, and at the end of it all, he went back to the UK and didn't take her with him. The fallout from this was huge - she repaired things with her parents but found herself more or less undateable to Chinese guys her age, and is now basically a fixture of the expat community, bouncing from six month relationship to six month relationship with guys from Europe. Because of my position in the expat community, I know offhand whose experiences echo this.

So, before she does all this, you need to have a conversation with yourself to make sure that you really, really do want to be with her forever. You can always pack up and head back home, and still land a decent girl, whether or not you ever married the Chinese gal. She will be stuck here, and stuck with all the fallout and stigmas of a conservative society who doesn't trust foreigners, trying to navigate her life - possibly totally alone. If you can't commit to it, then don't.
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Old 01-25-2016, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Taipei
6,771 posts, read 5,114,752 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 415_s2k View Post
Even with younger, more worldly Chinese people, there's an attitude that their culture is just... insurmountable for anyone who doesn't have Chinese blood.
Tell me about it. I really don't get this superior complex. It's so cringe-worthy.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:18 PM
 
4,665 posts, read 2,635,451 times
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While my personal experience is very different from 415_s2k experience, what he says is common. Luckily my in-laws are not as traditional, especially my mother-in-law. My first time I went to China and met them I did everything wrong, seriously everything. I don't think any other Chinese family would have accepted me, the following story will help explain why they were so accepting.

I can tell you another story, between my in-laws and my mother-in-laws parents. Her parents disowned her daughter for marrying my father-in-law and they never talked the rest of their lives. They didn't attend their funerals, nothing. All contact ended. My wife's dad came from a wealthy family, even though their wealth was stolen by the government. He was forced to move to central China from his home near Shanghai. He lost all contact with his family during this time, years later after he married he did find his mom, but his father and brothers were dead. Anyway, so he had no family to get approval from. But he was branded as a wealthy class person, remember this is the 70's and it was considered shameful to marry him. My wife's moms parents even had an article written in the local newspaper saying what disgrace she brought to their family and how she was no longer a member of their family. They even removed her from their family registry book. I've heard of similar scenarios happen even in the modern day.

I'm just happy our family relationships here in the US are not near as complicated as many Chinese families are.
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