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Chinese-American Marriage Crisis


MeiguorenHubby

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My wife is from Chengdu in China and we've been together for 11 years, married for the past 8 years. We've had ups and downs, but we've stuck together and I've never really regretted getting together. She's made my life sweeter and I think I've been the same for her.

We have communication problems, however. Her English is far better than my Chinese. I run my own business while she went the corporate route. She has discovered that she can't have children. It's probably for the best, however, because her temper tantrums and occasional steely-cold attitudes can really get me down and might easily be devastating for a child.

I've been somewhat if a good luck charm for her in her career and her stability in hers has been stabilizing for mine. We compliment each other in a lot of ways. My creativity and faith has inspired her and her determined approach I suppose inspires me also to be determined. I think we've always been attracted to each other, but I have a tendency to gain weight and now am 100 lbs more than when we first met. This bothers her a bit, and me, even more. I think I can lose it again, though, so I'm not so worried about that.

Her family is somewhat a warrior type mentality family...very tough. Normally, though they have encouraged her and us since she left the country with me some 9+ years ago.

her sister is a central figure and has been supportive but we are unable to communicate, though her daughter speaks good enough English, but still communicating time-wise is a challenge in itself.

My wife has left our home a little over 5 months ago and I am trying to understand what she expects and wants, but she does not speak to me any longer.

I don't know what to do. Our main problems stem from 1) my weight, 2) my temper, 3) her coldness, 4) her hypochondria due to a childhood serious illness, 5) my working for myself to a smaller extent is also maybe not as good in her mind as being a corporate guy, 6) her inability to have children, 7) the fact that I have had a severe sleep disorder keeping me from doing everything together with her as I would have otherwise, such as visit China with her at Spring Festival time--even though this is simply near impossible for me as a rule.

I'm wondering if anyone could offer any constructive ideas on how I could improve the situation. I feel that I am far more sensitive and caring than she is, and she us far mire tough-minded/determined than not only most women, but most people in general. She is the Guang Gong of Chinese women and yet she does cry, just not in front of me...that would be embarrassing for her...though to me it would be a sign of progress emotionally for her and a beginning of some healing to the wounds in our marriage and communication breakdowns.

Anyone been here to some extent?

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My first piece of advice is to not take too much advice from strangers on the internet. Your first line of support should come from family and friends. However, it can occasionally be useful to consider outside perspectives. That said, I don't think your marital problems stem all that much from the fact that you're American and your wife is Chinese. The most pressing issue seems to be your ongoing health problems. You need to first take of yourself before you can take care of others.

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I have to agree 100% with feihong.

Get yourself healthy, get strong mentally, and be prepared for what ever happens.

You must have been aware of all these problems before you married.

Maybe something else has changed?

The fact that she won't talk doesn't help. You are going to find it hard to get to the bottom of everything if you can't talk to her.

Maybe once you have sorted yourself out you could find some way of presenting your side of things, write a letter maybe, although there is no guarentte it will get read.

Maybe ask her sister to arrange a safe meeting to have one last chance at working things out. If she refuses to even give you a chance you may have to face the fact that it has come to an end.

But remember this is only my opinion and advice (from a stranger on the internet).

Best wishes

Shelley

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I'm already trying to focus on getting myself strong, but I appreciate hearing thSt, even from strangers on the internet, for the simple reason that I haven't had the support if family on this issue, or the right/good/any friends for that matter for most of my life. It just feels good to hear someone else say it--my sleep situation underscores my health and the strength of my life--so right Shelly. You, too, feihong.

For this alone I feel grateful to have found this forum...

I'm considering how to contact her sister through her sisters' daughter. Just a convoluted approach to be left with is my main trepidation there.

Yes, I agree the culture divide doesn't quite cover it, I think that issue is more in her unique perspective/mind than really a part of the culture side, though I do think my cultural ignorance has been used against me by her grandmother at key moments in the past...the same grandmother I insisted we send money to cover a new hearing aid when their own immediate family members wouldn't, but could easily afford to.

I feel this is a supportive place. Thanks again for the sleep disorder support...this is so huge to me in itself...

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I am glad to have been of some, if only small help.

I am afraid that you probably won't get much support from her family members no matter how much you send them - blood is thicker than water - they will stick together and probably feel that no man is good enough for their daughter/granddaughter etc.

I am sorry you feel you have no one to turn to for support, so you will have to be strong yourself and it sounds like maybe you have been for most of your life.

I am curious as to what sort of sleep disorder you have, if you feel this is too personal I will understand. i only ask because you mentioned that you had put on some weight and sometimes sleep can be disturbed because of this extra weight so losing it may solve 2 problems.

Maybe joinng a gym can help, exercise can help sleep and losing weight, it has also been shown to help with depression (not that you are but it can help improve your mental strength), you may also meet new people and make some new friends. if this is too much for you try tai chi to start with then move up to something more energetic.

Take care of yourself,

Shelley

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I agree with all the above, especially going through her sister to arrange a last(?) meeting, and dealing with your health issues.

Besides agreeing with the above, two thoughts.

Anyone been here to some extent?

Yes.... as has anyone that has been married, or any long-term relationship. It always has ups and downs, good parts and bad. Sometimes, though, for whatever reason, one partner decides there is too much more down than up, more bad than good.

she does cry, just not in front of me

I have to say, of all that you wrote, this is the part that concerned me the most in your relationship.

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