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Help me understand her grief


RobGMun

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Hi, I joined this site a while ago but I think this is my first post. Sorry that my first time is not for a happy occasion. I live in the UK and have been dating my Chinese girlfriend for 9 months now.

Up until the end of April she was extremely stressed because her student visa was running out. But due to her using a 3rd party agency that got raided by the police she hasn’t got her passport anymore. So she is stuck in the UK not knowing if she has a permanent black mark on her record which makes continuing our relationship that much harder. I fully intend to marry her and we are engaged.

I left for a holiday with my parents (which was arranged before we even met and knew about) and when I came back she went quite on me. Would not answer my text or answer my phone calls. Stopped coming onto MSN. She lives with her married sister in a city nearby but I’m not 100% where she lives. So I can’t just go round knocking at her door. Finally we had a quick chat after a week but seemed cagey. And said she had to go to work. So we only spoke for 10mins and we mostly talked about the visa situation

Then after 5 more days of no response I sent a text message saying I was going to stop bothering her as it’s obvious she needed the space, 5 mins later I got a text back saying that her father recently died.

So the penny dropped as to why she has been behaving like this. But I am her fiancé, should I not be the one she turns too in times of hardship? I want to be her rock and love her with all my heart. But would have liked that she thought of me as the one she could have turned too. I never hear from her apart from a text message time to time asking me for more time and she is stressed and sad. But it's been 3 weeks now with hardly no contact and i don't know what she is up to.

I not sure what she thinks I expect from her, but talking to her is not going to happen unless she comes to me.

This is where I need some help guys. Is there something different in the Chinese culture I am missing? I’m I imposing and should back off while she greaves for her father? Is there something I can say or do that might help her in this time? I can’t really relate as I never had a close family die on me yet. Or is this all an elaborate brush off?? (which until she told me about her fathers death was crossing my mind)

Help!! :-?

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should I not be the one she turns too in times of hardship? I want to be her rock and love her with all my heart. But would have liked that she thought of me as the one she could have turned too.

I had a gf like this (not Chinese), and I understand this is disconcerting for you. There could be a number of explanations, the most likely of which is that it's part of her personality. As I don't know either of you, I don't want to read too much into your situation, but it is also possible she's upset you were away in her time of need (when her father passed away) and now she's resentful (even if it's subconscious).

Anyway, if you are engaged, you should be able to discuss this with her. It is often said that lack of communication is a big relationship killer, so if you can't communicate about fundamental things like this, then maybe you need to rethink getting married.

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You've been dating for 9 months, you intend to marry her, but yet

She lives with her married sister in a city nearby but I’m not 100% where she lives.

And then

I got a text back saying that her father recently died.

You were told this via text message?

I'm not saying something fishy is going on, but this seems like a BIG RED FLAG that has nothing to do with her being Chinese.

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No, it's not Chinese culture at work. If anything, Chinese girls are more needy than Western girls and want extra attention. They'll want you to text you every single moment and you'll have no time for yourself at all. So if she's going quiet, something must be up.

Anyway, you shouldn't be marrying anybody after only nine months anyway, let alone someone from a completely different culture, who probably can hardly speak the same language that you do.

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But I am her fiancé, should I not be the one she turns too in times of hardship? I want to be her rock and love her with all my heart. But would have liked that she thought of me as the one she could have turned too. I never hear from her apart from a text message time to time asking me for more time and she is stressed and sad. But it's been 3 weeks now with hardly no contact and i don't know what she is up to.

I not sure what she thinks I expect from her, but talking to her is not going to happen unless she comes to me.

This is where I need some help guys. Is there something different in the Chinese culture I am missing?

What? Repression? Passive Aggressiveness? No, that's not Chinese culture at all...

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But I am her fiancé, should I not be the one she turns too in times of hardship? I want to be her rock and love her with all my heart. But would have liked that she thought of me as the one she could have turned too. I never hear from her apart from a text message time to time asking me for more time and she is stressed and sad. But it's been 3 weeks now with hardly no contact and i don't know what she is up to.

I not sure what she thinks I expect from her, but talking to her is not going to happen unless she comes to me.

This is where I need some help guys. Is there something different in the Chinese culture I am missing?

What? Repression? Passive Aggressiveness? No, that's not Chinese culture at all...

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Hey RobGMun, Read each and every post, then go back and read them again as they are VERY helpful and offer valuable insight.

You issues are psychological, not cultural and you need look at your relationship as a whole before you go and make a lifelong commitment. I am sorry for her loss, but you need to look out for #1 and do what is right for you and not what will get you married to her as soon as possible.

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I have a Chinese gf and I can tell ya it's not something cultural. Possibly personality but you would be the only one who can judge that.

Based on your original post however, I would be very concerned about her situation. First of all, with her visa expiring and more importantly, she doesn't even prossess her passport, wouldn't that make her an illegal in UK? And it's not only a question whether she can stay in UK. I mean without her passport, she might even not able to go back to China (I'm not sure if you can enter China with the identification card only). And from whom did she get her student visa? I don't think visa agencies get raided too often.

Basically, I'm concerned that she has been dealing with really shaddy people here and she is in big trouble... since I'm sure there are a lot in the visa business, in particular targeting Chinese student

Hey she might even be trying to protect you.... but if you are serious about your relationship (and it appears to me you are), you might want to spend all means necessary to find out what's going on with her.

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@ Gato, is this not a bit condescending?:

'Anyway, you shouldn't be marrying anybody after only nine months anyway, let alone someone from a completely different culture, who probably can hardly speak the same language that you do.'

To be fair none of know anything about their relationship, her level of English, his level of Chinese etc. Even if i agree with you I dont think its appropriate to say it here. The bloke is look just looking for some guidance on how to handle a difficult situation.

For what it's worth, I don't think it being a brush off is completely out of the question. Why cant you discuss this face-to-face? If she's not prepared to meet you at all, then something must be up

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Not really, just a cold splash of common sense. These relationship threads comes up so regularly here it makes one cynical. Too often do you see people let perceived culture differences cloud their judgments. The best advice is not to treat her any differently than you would an English girl you might be dating. If the Chinese girl here were English, you might have much more doubts about the relationship.

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I don't see how the agency that she used to get her visa is related to her losing her passport. Did she leave it with them, and now they have gone bankrupt? If so, she should go the the Chinese Embassy, say she has lost her passport and get a new one. The visa should be able to be sorted out too.

Also, normally a Chinese would return to China (at least temporarily) if their father died. Something odd here.

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Try to arrange a meeting with her:

- if she agrees to meet: a great prospect for getting to know more about the situation.

- if she doesn't want to meet: nothing you can do about it but give her the space (or even the freedom) she needs.

Do the best you can but don't overlook to let go if this is what is required.

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I agree that the most fishy thing here is that you re engaged to her but you don't even know where she lives. If you are as engaged as you think you are, she should at least have introduced you to her sister (and to her parents, but if they are in China that would be difficult). If she doesn't talk to you, and won't explain how she feels and what she expects from you, then this is going to be a very difficult relationship. Communication is always of major importance, but even more so when you're from different cultures, and misunderstandings will arise.

Try to be objective about your situation, try to talk to her and explain what you think and what you expect, and don't marry her unless you are sure that neither of you will ever leave the other hanging like this again.

Edited by Lu
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To be honest, I am as intrigued about the passport situation as the rest (and perhaps a tad more) Did her passport get seized AFTER her visa expired or before? But that aside, I'll just comment to the rest that there are hell a lot of shady business going on with immigration lawyers targeting foreigners (especially from China and South East Asia). I know because a few of my friends got into trouble with the law there. Some firms actually "lose" your passport to make sure you pay up the fees.

I remain unconvinced that the police have any right to seize such a document (but I may be wrong). I'll probably look into it to sate my curiosity.

But as to her distancing herself and all that... well, perhaps she just needs a bit of time. But no, I don't think it's a cultural thing. I would say from my personal experience, it's more of a female thing.

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Ok guys, my fault a bit as left a few holes in my original post as i wanted more help to do with her grief and reaching out to her rather then the visa situation. But to answer some questions

1) She left the passport with the angency, The police then raided the office and took ALL documents, which inlucded her passport. I have been speaking to the Chinese Embassey in London and they can confirm to me that they are speaking to the police. They also confirm that the police does have the passport and will release it to the Home Office when they have completed there investigation on the agency. All this happened 3 weeks before her student visa expired.

She has seen a lawyer and he recommended to stay in the UK until her passport is returned

2) I have met her sister and her brother-in-law. I've actually been round there house. And she even given me the address once but i didn't write it down. So i can't remember which house it is. I maybe able to retrace my steps and find the right street etc. But i think it's going to look odd (and a bit crazy) just showing up uninvited to there house. So this part is actually my fault completely.

3) Im not going to marry her after 'only' 9 months. We've only just got engaged. We don't plan to marry for a while yet. We actually planned to live together for a little while before marrying. I was going to move out around July and get my own place and she was going to move in with me. And see how it goes.

4) Her english is pretty good, we can communicate well and understand everything she tries to say to me, just that she's the quite type, and so am i!!

Edited by RobGMun
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I maybe able to retrace my steps and find the right street etc. But i think it's going to look odd (and a bit crazy) just showing up uninvited to there house.

Not if you are her fiance.

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Does she know what engaged means in western culture? in Britain you wear a ring for example and may discuss a date but sometimes couples dont discuss the date and the ring sort of symbolises the forthcoming wedding at some point in the future and that is enough. Sounds like you may have different perceptions of what it means to be engagedif it was not explicitly discussed apart from the ring.

From a female perspective, her behaviour is odd. Most females need a shoulder to cry on. We dont just bottle up our feelings if a relative has just died.

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I feel the need for cynical speculation here!

From a female perspective, her behaviour is odd. Most females need a shoulder to cry on. We dont just bottle up our feelings if a relative has just died.

She said her father died but that doesn't mean to say that he did. It could have been her way of making an excuse for going silent on the OP.

My guess is something has happened which she believes he would not like and she's too ashamed/embarrassed/"kind" to tell him. Maybe she's:

1. found someone else

2. got caught up in some illegal activity

3. being detained by the authorities on some immigration issue

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She said her father died but that doesn't mean to say that he did. It could have been her way of making an excuse for going silent on the OP.

IMO normally chinese prople tend not to make up lies that their parents / children die.

but who knows.

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I agree there. A bit drastic unless she plans to cut off all contact. Besides, saying your father has passed away when he hasn't is VERY unfilial. Also, if they were to eventually make up/marry/whatever, it's a bit difficult to explain the "father-in-law who came back from the dead."

But I do think it's a good sign that she responded to the sort-of ultimatum.

As for Chinese girls/females needing a shoulder to cry on/being more needy in general, I think that's an unfair generalization. But I would accept anyone would be in need of comfort after her father having passed away.

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