Chinese New Year has just been gone and it didn’t only bring holiday stress about the traveling, the money you have to give (the notorious ‘hongbao’) or the food that needs to be prepared. But, for many Chinese, it also brought the stress of having to have a boyfriend or girlfriend and if they have that, to get married and even then, to have a baby as soon as possible.
I am so happy to be a Western woman. Yes, my parents also wanted me to settle down with a man and have my 2.5 children in a house with a white fence, but if I said “no” they wouldn’t keep on pushing. They would know that it would not help anyway.
I got married to my Chinese husband quite quickly, but that was because we felt we were meant for each other as we share the same interests and view of life. I was also already 35 years old (and yes, my first marriage, so I think my parents partied many days when they heard I finally got married). For me, it was not important. I got a few relationships before and just living together was enough.
My Chinese husband got married when he was 28 years old and they had a baby soon after that all because of the pressure his parents were putting on him. No need to tell you that they also got divorced quite quickly after that. He told me that he didn’t love her, but he needed to do it as his parents were just putting too much pressure on him. If I would hear that, I would leave him too. Marriage supposed to be special and you should do it because you love and respect each other and want to show that to all the people you care.
It seems not here in China, because unfortunately, my husband’s parents hadn’t learned from the mistake they did with him. They were doing the same to his younger sister.
Already for a couple of years, her parents were anxious as she was getting closer and closer to 30 years old and still didn’t have anyone serious. They were organizing blind dates and were pushing her into a man’s arms. Last year, the year she turned 30, she finally met someone and she got married after only 2 months. Probably because of the pressure. My husband didn’t like it as he wants to prevent her from having the same troubles as he had. All we can hope for is that they truly love each other.
At the wedding, we were telling them that we can all travel to Europe together this year, but all of a sudden the mother was listening to that and she said that the daughter won’t be able to travel when she is pregnant. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She finally got her parents’ wish: got married before she was considered ‘too old’ and now she has to produce a baby as soon as possible! In what a society are Chinese living? I pity them more and more. They don’t seem to have any freedom. Parents are behaving like monsters to their children. Is this the parental love that most Chinese are so proud to say that it is a cornerstone of their culture? Parental love should be unconditional, which means: you love your children no matter what they are doing.