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My Chinese Boyfriends Arranged Marriage


WongHua

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Hi :)

I think it goes here, i'd like to ask, are arranged marriages still common in china?

I was quite surprised recently (as in this week) when my boyfriend's mom flew in from China with a "propper chinese" wife for him : because he's 25 and "should" be married by now, and if he didnt he would 'no longer be her son' (and the arranged wife is flying in from chine next week or so).

And even more surprised when he told me he didn't want to, that he'd rather marry me, but he HAD to because he couldnt go against his mom.. and he couldnt tell his mom he'd marry me because i'm not Chinese... Actually, tell his mom in general he's dating me. So i guess we'll be breaking up anytime soon...

I cant help but wonder if it's normal in china, or if it differs from regions? He and his family is from Guangdong, 恩平 to be more exact.

I'd really appreciate some insight ^ ^ i am at a loss!

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I'm pretty sure there have been a few topics of the sort, but i'd really love some insight and help!

My boyfriend is from 恩平, 廣東.

He moved to Mexico about 5 years ago, and because his parents sent him here.

We've been dating for a few months and i was just so surprised at how he was, his friends are from 廣東 as well but lived out of their country for way longer, and they are very promiscuous and party a lot.. So at first i wouldn't trust him that much because i thought he might be the same, but not at all.

He's very toughtful, sweet and romantic, loyal and respectful.

We've had our bumps because of cultural differences, and especially language wise because he speaks very little Spanish, and i know some Cantonese but not enough, but we always found a solution.

Now we're faced with a cultural problem that neither of us know how to solve!

His mom just flew in from China, and told him "You're 25, why arent you married?" and he didnt know how to answer, of course he didnt tell her he's dating me because (from what his friends have told me) it would cause more problems and his mom would kill him for dating a girl that is not chinese...

So for this past week we've been seeing eachother very little and behind his mom's back, and now she's told him she found a girl for him and she's flying her in in a week or so to get them married!

And he doesnt want to at all, but he wont tell her he's dating me either, and he doesnt want to break up with me so he doesnt know what to do, neither of us do.

Is there anything i can do at all?

Is there anything he can do or say to keep him from being married off to a girl he doesnt even know?

I just really am at a loss, and i dont want to lose him! I love him so much, and he loves me, but i know the cultural differences, and he would never put me before his mom obviously so we'd probably first break up before he confronted his mom on this issue..

We're both so frustrated and desperate, and we dont want to break up...

I even thought of maybe talking to his mom, but maybe it wouldnt be such a good idea?

Sorry for making this too long, and thank you i'll really appreciate any input!!

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I don't know how common it is to fly a girl from China and put someone in that situation, but it is certainly not unheard of for Chinese parents to put pressure on their children to marry, and to marry someone Chinese. Preferably from the same province.

Family is very important to Chinese, as is respecting your parents. An unmarried son, especially one dating a foreign girl can be seen as a shame for the parents. In some circles, this is seen as immoral behaviour, and the parents are also under all kinds of pressure from the rest of the family and others. It doesn't have to be this way, especially in this day and age, but it's not unheard of. This forum is full of threads like that. I know many Chinese who married people from other countries, so this is more relaxed for people from the current generation, but it's definitely not unheard of.

If it has really come to having him make a choice between you and his family, then it's probably too late already.

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I'd say that's pretty extreme - assistance and encouragement in finding someone is probably more common than just outright selection and 25 for a man isn't that old. Sounds like you've found a bunch of people scoring quite highly on the feudal family scale.

You could try and persuade the boyfriend to stand up to his parents; or seek the mother out yourself and force his hand, but in a partner vs Chinese parents battle, the Chinese parents generally win. Wouldn't blame you if you cut your losses on this one.

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First of all, I’m a Chinese girl.

I think it goes here, i'd like to ask, are arranged marriages still common in china?

I have to say that arranged marriages are still not an eye-opener in China.

I was quite surprised recently (as in this week) when my boyfriend's mom flew in from China with a "propper chinese" wife for him : because he's 25 and "should" be married by now, and if he didnt he would 'no longer be her son' (and the arranged wife is flying in from chine next week or so).

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. :lol: These words are exactly like those from a typical traditional Chinese mother’s mouth. No doubt, she’s threatening her son. Hehe.

I cant help but wonder if it's normal in china, or if it differs from regions? He and his family is from Guangdong, 恩平 to be more exact.

I won’t feel surprised if it happens in 恩平. This kind of things even happens in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province. It just depends on how open parents’ mind can be.

And even more surprised when he told me he didn't want to, that he'd rather marry me, but he HAD to because he couldnt go against his mom.. and he couldnt tell his mom he'd marry me because i'm not Chinese...

Do you believe that a boy like this can go through rains and storms to the end of your life?

Actually, tell his mom in general he's dating me. So i guess we'll be breaking up anytime soon...

Take it easy, perhaps your Mr. Right is waiting for you in the near future.:wink:

Cheers!

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Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. These words are exactly like those from a typical traditional Chinese mother’s mouth. No doubt, she’s threatening her son. Hehe.

studentyoung, this is not a funny matter if something like this can and does happen. It's actually depressing that something like this can and does happen and it's forcing this couple to break up. If you have to laugh at someone's situation then please do it offline.

Wonghua, this situation kind of happened to my previous (now defunct) relationship with a Chinese guy. He told me he was under a lot of pressure to marry Chinese and in fact he said friends and family back home were trying to connect him with local Chinese girls from his home area.

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I was quite surprised recently (as in this week) when my boyfriend's mom flew in from China with a "propper chinese" wife for him

It sounds like your boyfriend's family might be quite wealthy if they can fly someone to Mexico just like that....

Anyway, if your boyfriend has a job and sufficiently economically independent, then you still have a chance. He may very well choose you over his family. This happens all the time among Chinese as well. If he depends on money from his family, then it's a toss-up.

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studentyoung, this is not a funny matter if something like this can and does happen. It's actually depressing that something like this can and does happen and it's forcing this couple to break up. If you have to laugh at someone's situation then please do it offline.

No, I don’t laugh at WongHua’s situation, but at the words below, which are very likely his mother’s idea.

because he's 25 and "should" be married by now, and if he didnt he would 'no longer be her son'
.

It’s really not the first time I saw such kind of things. If I were WongHua’s mother, I would be glad to see them (though I wouldn’t ask my girl to do so) break up as soon as possible, so that my beloved girl could get the least hurt and look for another more suitable one more quickly. A man, without an independent mind, without the ability to handle the relationship between his mom and wife, in my opinion, can’t bring any happiness to his spouse, because it’s very possible his families will make thing hard for his spouse or fiancé. Luckily, WongHua and her boyfriend haven’t got married yet, or the whole thing would be more complicated than now. :wink:

Cheers!

Edited by studentyoung
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Frankly, I do find it a bit young. All the Chinese men I have talked to regarding marriage, usually put the age closer to 30, but in this case I assume the son (son = mom's future welfare) + living in a foreign country (Mexico?!? No way!) = you come back and marry one of "us" here. I'm "cool" with the in-laws, but they are never leaving Guangdong, even to live in the USA. They would prefer to live alone in their old days than away from here. The mother here is certainly more concerned about her future, not her sons.

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It's definitely still a common practice here in the greater Shantou area (east coast of Guangdong), although I also must say it's changing ... slowly.

I had the same experience with my previous girlfriend. I also had quite a few former students of mine (female) crying at my front door, seeking help and advice, because they had to break up with their current boyfriends ... as mama had found a nice gentleman for them to marry ...

One girl chose to stick with her current boyfriend ... and was indeed evicted from the family. A very tough decision to make. :-?

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Strictly speaking, according Chinese Marriage Law, arranged marriages that happen without the consent of both people involved are illegal in China. Of course the law and reality aren't always in accord with each other.

You can find a copy of the law on this webpage: http://www.legalinfo.gov.cn/zt/2004-08/10/content_126824.htm. The relevant part is Section 1, Article 3.

第三条 禁止包办、买卖婚姻和其他干涉婚姻自由的行为。禁止借婚姻索取财物。

and also Article 5

第五条 结婚必须男女双方完全自愿,不许任何一方对他方加以强迫或任何第三者加以干涉。
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Thank you everyone for your answers!!!

First of all, about the laws :o i cant believe it's actually illegal and it happens anyway!

Do you think it would be a good idea to show him the article? well i wont lose anything trying i guess! thank you for the information Imron! it's great help ^ ^

Wow, it's really quite surprising to find out its common (and the hard way!)

And then there is little to be done..

Really i can only try and convince him not to get married, and i dont think i can win that one, not with his mother threatening to evict his from the family.

And yeah Gato, i think his family might be somewhat wealthy because i remember him telling me how his family house in En Ping is very big, and how it had a large pool, and just little details like that, also i think he is, he owns a Restaurant near my hometown and he seems to be doing very well, unless his parents helped him out economically or with the restaurant or so.

Wow Studentyoung, it seems you know your traditional mothers well d: hehe yeah she is very much threatening him! and not just him his friends as well! we have a mutual friend who told me that my boyfriend's mom asked our friend if my bf was dating a foreigner, and he said no and she said he better be telling the truth and that she would slap him if she found out otherwise!

And you're probably right, it's somewhat hard if he cant balance his family and his love life, and his family will always make it hard, i dont think they'll ever accept his son having anything to do with a foreigner u_u and just keep making it difficult. But i dont know, i wouldnt want to give up so easy on him, and how could i just stand by and watch someone i love marry someone forcefully!

You could try and persuade the boyfriend to stand up to his parents; or seek the mother out yourself and force his hand, but in a partner vs Chinese parents battle, the Chinese parents generally win. Wouldn't blame you if you cut your losses on this one.

I thought about maybe talking to his mom, and the fact that i know some cantonese might help? but, as he's said if she ever found out about us it would cause too many problems, maybe it wouldnt be such a good idea? plus i wouldnt like to do something behind his back.. i guess i can only but try and talk to him more about the issue, or just give up.. see how this unfolds..

It seems there is little i can do :(

i just cant believe how loving someone who isnt your same race can be immoral..

Anyway, thank you all so much for your responses!

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I tend to agree with studentyoung (not the hahaha though). If your boyfriend is just his mother's son and cannot, or has no intention to, reject the marriage arrangement and/or defend his girlfriend, then I think 1) there is simply not enough love, 2) the guy has no backbone and is not reliable, 3) the guy is most probably not independent and relying on his family for money. If you love him despite everything, it is fine and you might want to fight his mom. Otherwise it might be wise to reconsider if the guy is worth it.

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i just cant believe how loving someone who isnt your same race can be immoral..

Talk to your boyfriend about it, but you have to let him work it out.

It's not a matter of morality. Most of the time, as I said, it's a matter of economics. It's true that traditional parents want to control their children's marriage decisions. But economically and socially self-sufficient children often do decide to go their own way. Your boyfriend has lived in a different country from his parents for 5 years already. If he still can't make his own decisions, then it must be because of economics.

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Skylee stole my thoughts!

Ignore the legal thing - he's not being forced to marry, he's being forced to chose to marry or to not marry. That's lousy, but it's not illegal (and even if it was, it's not going to get you anywhere.)

And if he won't stand up to his mother now, he isn't going to stand up to her when she's absolutely furious about everything you tell her.

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i just cant believe how loving someone who isnt your same race can be immoral..

You’re not a Chinese, so you don’t know. If you were, you would see that even a Chinese girl and a Chinese boy fall in love, they might still break up, because of unreasonable superstitious excuses like years of birth生肖 or time of birth生辰八字 between the young lovers can’t match with each other. These excuses simply are made by their parents who have prejudice on either side. You see, it's really NOT the matter of morality.

Oh, loving someone who isn’t your same race is not immoral, but loving someone who can’t be economically and mentally independent can be very risky! 8)

It seems there is little i can do :(

Just do what you want to save the relationship, either to talk to his mother or something else, otherwise you might feel regret in the rest of your life. But also don’t forget that if it’s time for you to let go, just let go. There are still so many other guys in the world, right? Anyway, cheer up! :wink:

Cheers!

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There is always hope. China has another century old tradition which is still alive and kicking today... the concubine.

Otherwise I am with Skylee too. If I met THE GIRL then I would stand up for her no matter what. Either he has no spine or it's just a playtime thing.

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Firstly, stop thinking that there is some secret mystery way that makes Chinese people different from any other people on the planet.

The Chinese don't really do "forced marriages" like they do in India, but they are very keen to see their kids get married. Therefore when the son or daughter reaches 25 some parents will seek out potential partners for them. This even happens in center of the most modern city in China - Shanghai.

You should get your b/f to tell his parents that he is dating you and see what they say - you have nothing to lose right. You never know, they might be really happy that he has found a girl - but if you don't try then you'll never know.

This stuff about Chinese dating foreigners brining disgrace on their family is absolute bollocks. Generally Chinese parents are only interested in their son/daughter finding a good partner to marry that's all.

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Firstly, stop thinking that there is some secret mystery way that makes Chinese people different from any other people on the planet.

The Chinese don't really do "forced marriages" like they do in India, but they are very keen to see their kids get married. Therefore when the son or daughter reaches 25 some parents will seek out potential partners for them. This even happens in center of the most modern city in China - Shanghai.

You should get your b/f to tell his parents that he is dating you and see what they say - you have nothing to lose right. You never know, they might be really happy that he has found a girl - but if you don't try then you'll never know.

This stuff about Chinese dating foreigners brining disgrace on their family is absolute bollocks. Generally Chinese parents are only interested in their son/daughter finding a good partner to marry that's all.

The only utter scrotum-content getting banded about here is the encapsulated above text. Many Chinese families, particularly those with a more traditional view, idealize their offspring being married to a local reasonably well-off Chinese partner. It's not so different in other countries to be honest, except that with family commitment and ties being what they are in China, the offspring usually dare not disobey. Mother/father don't like your non-Chinese choice? Well, tough. Either go against them and look pretty bad to all family members and relatives, or go with them and either get rid of the partner and go it alone, or go with the parents' choice.

I think it's fair to say that a significant majority of Chinese parents would have an issue with their Chinese son or daughter marrying a non-local Chinese, never mind a fully blown foreigner. The best most foreign partners are likely to receive are smiles and a welcoming front, with the hope that all works out. Given statistics, it fails quite a lot, but then again, so do Chinese to Chinese marriages, as with X to X country marriages.

To the original poster - it sounds like you may be in last-chance saloon. Have the 'serious' talk with your boyfriend, and if required get the whole family together to talk about it, and make the effort. If your boyfriend is all for calling it off and giving up, then it's already lost. However, if he seems sorry to have to obey his parents, then certainly get them together, the four of you at the very least, and talk it out. Best of luck.

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