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    first time marriage

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    sharps
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    first time marriage

    Post by sharps on 26/09/12, 10:46 pm

    Hey fellas, I dont know if this topic has been covered before so lighten up on me if it has thanks.
    Yes, most of us are the senior partner in our relationships here and most have been married before too. In some cases our Chinese partners have been married before also and have had a taste of the peculiarities of marriage.

    My question is to all those out there who have married the love of their life is, if this is her first marriage at 40 plus years, how did she cope with the sharing and flexibility needed to survive in marriage. I can only imagine that a woman or man marrying in their 40s or 50s or later for the first time, would go through quite a deal of internal trauma dealing with the ideal of independence and Im no longer the sole boss of me. Did your first time marriage Chinese partner cope okay without the previous marriage experience that youve had? Do any cultural quirks come into play helping or not helping here? I hope this is not too convoluted and Ive explained myself well.

    Id be interested in your comments and advice as I and others travel this path. Heaven knows it's hard enough with new country, new language and all else, and then we throw in first time marriage. I'm just trying to make it an easier road for my darling, Hong.
    Mark
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    Chris Seaborn
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    Re: first time marriage

    Post by Chris Seaborn on 27/09/12, 02:04 am

    Really marriage is marriage, it's a commitment from both, I'm an old hand, lol, but finally found someone who was willing to commit the same as me. Strange that it took a lady from China? Not really, and this is post knowledge, my wife had been married before, to a guy who liked his beer and women too much and didn't care for his daughter at all. She divorced him, in a time when wives who did this were rare. Having been married previously makes it hard for a lady to re-marry another Chinese male, they, to a large degree are just not interested. More fool them. It was just plain lucky for me that, when I entered the strange world of internet dating, I received a reply from China! Never had it crossed my mind to seek an overseas partner.

    I knew a little about China but was I due for an education. I love the place, the culture, but totally unable, financially, to live in that country, my wife was looking for the same ideals as me and, I suspect, wanted to escape, and I use that word loosely, to escape her past and start afresh. Big gamble for her too. We married on my first trip. Not recommended, but on meeting her and the family I was so sure this was going to work. It did.

    When she arrived in my country, I had a touch of China around, I had a few of her family photos on the wall,(she didn't know about this, courtesy of the family) a large oil painting of the Li Jiang, a present from older sister, also on the wall. A couple of Chinese lanterns hanging in the garden, their clothes, that I had brought over on my previous visit, were all hanging neatly in their wardrobes, I gave them both a key to the front door on arriving at the airport, also a little laminated map showing where we lived and the address and my telephone number for emergencies in English that they could keep in their bags, even had a few pieces of antique Chinese furniture. This was just to help them to settle in and hope to alleviate any homesickness, of course the internet and webcam helps knock the latter on the head. Showing them our ways, culture, table manners, were all accepted and appreciated. These things did more than just help settle them in but more, it cemented our relationship as a family.

    I'm being a bit long winded, and many will have highly successful relationships without going to the extent that I did, some may even have done more but, it really does take two to tango, if you or her are unable to compromise, or you or her attitude is superior, or that you or her marries for the wrong reasons, or does not have the patience to help her learn, as with any marriage, it will be doomed.

    Cheers,
    Chris.
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    sharps
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    Re: first time marriage

    Post by sharps on 27/09/12, 02:25 am

    Thanks for the insight Chris. You may just be my role model. Some good advice on alleviating homesickness, thank you. As next year approaches I'll be asking for plenty of advice too.
    Mark

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    Re: first time marriage

    Post by Graham on 27/09/12, 02:59 am

    I can't add much really, first met Fay when she was just 27.
    Fay has never been married, and no children.Soon to put that right though cheers
    So a new feeling for her, well yes and no, but we have been living together in China for just on three years prior to our marry.
    I am the senior partner, but not by much Razz

    Gra.

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    luckysteve
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    Re: first time marriage

    Post by luckysteve on 27/09/12, 12:06 pm

    Chris Smile

    You are an inspiration to us all.

    Steve and Li Li Very Happy Smile .

    CPRSCC
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    Re: first time marriage

    Post by CPRSCC on 27/09/12, 12:54 pm

    Mark, I think that Li and I fit into the category that you have in mind. She was in her 40s, single, never married and no long term relationships. I'm 8 years older, previously married and have 3 kids, all grown up now.

    I must admit that, initially I did have some concerns about a woman who had not married by that age. Did she have some kind of problem? Would she cope with the sharing needed in a true partnership relationship? Would she be too set in her ways?

    In the very early stages I was also talking (emailing) to another Chinese woman, who had been married before, and I was trying to make a decision, asking the same questions of each and comparing answers. Sounds cold and heartless but it really is something that has to be done when considering a potential life partner.

    Starting and conducting a relationship remotely is no easy task, as most on here will attest. I asked Li why she hadn't found a husband and she told me that she just hadn't found the right man. Now this was not due to lack of opportunity - her friends were constantly trying to find her a husband and, in that age old Chinese tradition, playing matchmaker. I was actually able to verify this on my first visit to Li - left with her best friend for a little while and with the aid of a translator and phrase book I asked the question and was essentially told that her friends knew that she would make a good wife if she could just find the right bloke.

    I had put up a profile on what was then AsianEuro and initially just trolled through literally thousands of women. A few seemed interesting so I added these to a favourites list and began the process of making first contact. As you might have experienced, that actually got very few responses. I was quite surprised then to actually be contacted by Li, who was on my list but yet to be contacted. My point here is that she found me, initially, not the other way around. My profile was quite long and detailed and, although I'd simplified the English in it a bit, it must have been a huge task for her to spend a couple of evenings translating it word by word(she had some, but very simple, English only). Having done this she made her decision and went after it.

    What I now know is this. Most Chinese women are much more romantic than they appear. They have a strong vision of what makes a successful marriage and know, quite clearly, the part that they have to play to make it work. Part of this is culture, part individual and part every girl's dream for happily ever afters.

    In Li's case her commitment to our marriage is one hundred per cent. Not 99% or even 99.9%. It's 100% all the way, all the time. Has been since day one and remains so 5 years later. I had to work back tonight. She cooked dinner, walked to the shops and got on a bus to bring it to me. When I arrive home from work she comes to the door and literally bounces. In her mind there is no "mine", only "ours". It's very easy to return love when it's given so unreservedly.

    So, did she have any difficulty adapting to a joint life, after so long by herself? No, not at all. She came into what was then my house and after a short period of familiarisation, took over, doing what she thought, and still thinks, is her part. She shares her experiences, good and bad, her thoughts and her dreams, none of which have any outcome other than our continued happiness.

    Are other Chinese women the same as Li? Yes, I believe that many are. Even though divorce is now common in China and there are many stories told of the materialistic nature of Chinese women seeking a husband, I don't believe that this is as prevalent in women who are in their 40s or 50s. They grew up in a different time and were instilled with a slightly different set of values than younger Chinese (the real Me generation) have. Yes, some have divorced, but generally only after extreme provocation and yet they still hold to their ideals and dreams. I know a number of Li's friends who have terrible marriages, womanising, drinking or gambling husbands, yet they remain just as committed to these men, long after a Western woman would have packed her bags and left. Maybe it's fear of the insecurity that a single, aging woman faces in China but in a number of these cases there is more than enough money for these women to be quite comfortable if they ever divorced. The loss of face and status that a divorced woman faces in China today are nowhere near as bad as they were in the past. So, I do believe that culture does play an important part.

    Can I offer any advice to help you at the stage you're at now? I don't know about advice, perhaps just experience. Forget about how your previous marriage/relationships might have been. Open up, be honest and give her respect, consideration and love. It really is easy to change some of the habits of a lifetime when faced with a woman who is so different and, I promise you, you will be rewarded.

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    Re: first time marriage

    Post by Graham on 27/09/12, 01:11 pm

    I have only read half, and I am very excited for you.

    I just got to the part about bringing you meal, an happy to see you at teh door,

    So I thought a quick "that's great".

    Now I can read the rest.

    Gra.
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    Re: first time marriage

    Post by Robert on 27/09/12, 01:20 pm

    Marrying a woman who was previously be single you have been married before doesn't really create many problems myself my wife was previously married just for three years but she was a widow for 10 years and already set in her ways.

    Two people never have the same idea how marriage should be some see it through rose tinted glasses when some times in reality he can be the most unpleasant situation for two people.

    The first rule for any previous married person is never say my ex-wife show me how to do that or my ex-wife did it this way you be asking for trouble if she does ask just say your mother showed you.

    Always remember your wife it is a person first not for your beck and call always let her have her independence don't dictate how marriage life should be to her , any major decision to make always share with your wife which can be frustrating because of the language barrier and cultural differences because she in your country is down to you to make her understand don't say it not my fault she didn't understand.

    Let your wife eat Chinese food and over a period of time introduced her to Western food and cooking, just be patient when she cooking Western food it will not be perfect first time it will come natural to her like cooking Chinese food in time for her.

    Just take it easy let her settle down in her new surrounding allow her to change arrangements of the furniture in your home and let her make it a home from your previous bachelor days .

    In the first few weeks it natural for her to be on your computer telling all her family and friends about her new life this will eventually subside.

    She really keen to start work first you must maker her understand that her English as to be pretty good to have a reasonable job, also probably the first port of call will be College so she can improve her English be careful about letting watch Chinese television or working in a Chinese environment this will not improve her English, when you introduced her to your family and friends she may be very quiet and reserved because she's frightened they may laugh at her poor English reassurance they are not laughing her.

    Really just let marriage life develop their be funny time together because of the misunderstanding don't worry just enjoy it.








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    sharps
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    Re: first time marriage

    Post by sharps on 27/09/12, 09:22 pm

    Perfect, Chris and Robert, you have confirmed many of my feelings and the actions I was going to take anyway.
    Our 19 year age gap was previously a worry for me but Hong has convinced me there is no case to answer on that one.

    I agree Chris our paths have been a little similar. I appreciate your love story and agree wholeheartedly with
    ''Most Chinese women are much more romantic than they appear. They have a strong vision of what makes a successful marriage and know, quite clearly, the part that they have to play to make it work. Part of this is culture, part individual and part every girl's dream for happily ever afters.''

    Hong had a fiance for 4 years who died of cancer and hadn't looked for a partner for the 6 years since that time. She agrees that she came from quite a protective family with strong traditions. She also has this strong vision of what she thinks will make a successful marriage and can't wait to apply it. At present we QQ every day and everything she says supports what you have said about absolute commitment to the cause.

    Robert, yes, Hong is very very keen to learn English and find a job and support our family of two. We have discussed the prospect of living in a complete Chinese environment (close to where I live now) and the advantages and disadvatages this would have on her getting ahead with her English and so on. We have been quite open about this. Thanks for your advice, Robert
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    Chris Seaborn
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    Re: first time marriage

    Post by Chris Seaborn on 27/09/12, 09:45 pm

    Sharps, you have the right attitude. Listen to the stories and do your own thing.

    Chris, It's uncanny, Li and Ying are so similar. Reading your story I felt as if I had 'fell through the looking glass'.

    Cheers,
    Chris.
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    Post by wanneroo on 28/09/12, 01:36 am

    Robert well said, all points are spot on in your post

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