Thursday, February 28, 2013

Having a Chinese Wife: Is It Love or Obligation?

If you're a foreign man who wants a Chinese wife, you have to be ready for the reality that marriage in China is not a decision that involves just the man and the woman and one that is only conditional on love. Marriage in China is a social obligation, the fulfillment of the wishes of one's parents, and strict adherence to Chinese family traditions. As is often said, when a foreign man marries a Chinese woman, he marries her entire family, too. Given that a foreign man loves his China lady, enough to want to make her his wife, would he settle for a marriage that is only founded on the fulfillment of the woman's obligations to her husband, her family, and society?

Of course, there are countless stories of cross-cultural couples (foreign man/Chinese woman) having blissful and love-filled relationships/marriages. But it is also common for a foreign man to meet a China lady who only wants to get married out of a sense of obligation. Aside from this mindset, she would still have all the other traits that the man desires in a wife. For example, a man meets such a woman; they communicate online for many months after meeting through a Chinese dating site or a mutual friend. He grows to like her and respect her. He finally decides to visit her and after spending time with her, he realizes he could love her and may want to marry her some time in the near future, if things continue to go well.

On the other hand, the China lady is delighted by the idea that she has found a suitable husband. He is financially stable; he respects her and truly cares for her; he appreciates her in a way that is new and wonderful to her. Even before he tells her that he wants to go to China to finally meet her, she has already made her decision to change her entire living situation to marry him. When he finally comes to China, she takes care of him the way a Chinese wife is supposed to take care of her husband; she even tells him she's ready to leave everything behind - her family, friends, job - to move closer to him (if he's staying in China for a prolonged period) or to go with him back to his home country. She likes him and is happy with him; she tells him she will be very happy to be his wife.

In this situation, when the woman does not clearly express any feelings of love, it can be assumed that her behaviors are motivated by her deep-rooted sense of obligation. In any case, majority of Chinese people still have the marry-first-and-learn-to-love-each-other-later attitude toward marriage. This is clearly seen by the different motivations of the foreign man and the China lady in the example cited above. There is no doubt, however, that the woman would still be the ideal wife for the man, as far as being devoted, faithful, and caring are concerned. It is more than likely that she would also learn to love him sooner or later.

Knowing this, would it and should it affect how the man feels for her and his intentions to marry her later on? Especially if he's still at that stage where he still wants to wait and see how the relationship would progress, how much the two of them would get along, and how much more his feelings for her would grow, would he or should he let her make all those life-changing decisions so she could be closer to him and allow her to continue treating him as a wife would a husband? Obviously, if the man is not yet ready to give as much as he is receiving, to fully commit to the woman in the same way that she is ready to fully commit to him, and to meet her expectations of marriage, then it would be unfair to her if he allows such behaviors to continue and if he lets her continue believing that her expectations about the relationship are correct.

If the man is ready to marry her, however, maybe because he learns to love her or he knows for a fact that he would grow to love her eventually and he believes she would be the perfect life mate, should it still matter if the woman is only motivated by her obligations and not love?

These are serious considerations any foreign man who is seriously looking for a Chinese wife should take the time to mull over. Such a situation is very likely and one should already know, before starting any relationship with a China lady, how he would handle it if he finds himself in it.

Many intelligent and insightful foreign men have invaluable real-life experiences about Chinese dating and life in China that they share through blogs and forums on only the most reputable Chinese dating sites, such as ChinaLoveMatch. Read them and learn from them.

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