Hi, i have read through a lot of the posts here but would appreciate some advice. I live in England with my Taiwanese gf, we have been together 3 years, and are happy. Her family are , i shall say politely, fairly hard work. They have many problems with us being together, ranging from i don’t speak Mandarin, to us living in the UK. Both are true. I went out to meet them this year ( she only told them about me a year ish ago ) , they were perfectly civil, took me out for a meal on my first night in Taipei. Then it did not look like i was going to see them again ( i was a bit pissed as their big issue at that time was they had never met me ) ( their issues change all the time ), anyway i said to my gf let me and your dad just meet up and try and sort it out ( he seems reasonable whereas her ice queen… sorry mother (( ice queen was too polite )) does not ). He agreed we met up, i said what is the real problem as it always changes when i provide a solution ( i wanted him to just say ‘you are white’ ). He said the problem is she lives in england. She did anyway before she met me. He wants us to move back there, i point out i have a good job here, house etc. I would not be able to do much in Taiwan. He offered to set us up in a business etc.
My fear is , they will get us there and just put more pressure on us to split up, i am not worried about that happening , but don’t want to waste my time moving there if there is no chance of them being satisfied with that. Is the fact their daughter lives abroad really a massive issue in their culture ? Do they ever really accept foreigners ? Or will i just be put up with ? I am well traveled have lived and worked in 5 countries, but the Taiwanese just … confuse the hell out of me. There are really hung up on my not speaking Mandarin. Which i understand. But when i started learning it they said they did not want to meet me anyway aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh so i stopped. As i had no need to learn it other than to talk to them. They told her i had failed some damn test ??? WTF. I am sorry this is garbled, but the whole situation is stupid imo. I just don’t understand her family at all. Any insight would be appreciated. steve
It’s a cultural/religious/racial/distance thing all rolled up into one. As you have noticed trying to jump hurdles won’t help, new ones will be raised; those are just random reasons of the type some Taiwanese seem to be especially fond of raising when they have an objection to a situation.
The situation wouldn’t likely improve until you got married, when it becomes a fait accompli. It often does afterward, but a lot depends on how independent/traditional the taiwanese spouse is in their thinking, in other words how capable they are of disregarding their family’s wishes, and how controlling the family is.
I’d put it as ‘they want what they want’. They want their daughter to be back in Taiwan so they can see her regularly, nothing personal against you I’m sure. You can’t win in this situation. They don’t look at things from different perspectives. Learning Chinese would help a little as would spending more time in Taiwan if that was possible. Taiwanese families are pretty close compared to most Western families, really different cultures.
Stay as far away from them as possible and keep your good job and house in England. Moving near you in-laws is just a recipe for trouble and them in your shit constantly. They will always have problems, you can’t solve their problems and they are always going to be a problem. If you do move back here near your in-laws, expect your gf/wife to change.
Yours in bitterness living near his in-laws,
Divea , i have done what i would do if my gf was from was from the same cultural background, that is not working.
My gf is not at all traditional, she spent 3 years in the states doing a degree before coming to the UK. She loves the freedom she has here. I think she would like to have a better relationship with her family, which she won’t have living here. I fully expect her to crack one day and we will have to go there. I don’t want to be the cause of her and her parents falling out. Her father says her mother is very traditional, i have no way to gauge that myself, but she seems damn hard work to me.
Jaboney how did you find it moving there ? Do you ever regret it ?
Okami, your words are my fears in every way.
What do you guys do for work there , i would need a completely new job as i could not do my job there because of the language barrier, i would need to be completely fluent.
I may be harsh as Maoman said, but you will get ragged on by your in-laws. Your gf will change and you’ll be stuck either running your own business or teaching English with the great unwashed masses and be functionally mute, dumb and illiterate when dealing with larger society and you get pollution as a bonus. Trust me when I say that if I could do it again, I wouldn’t be in Changhua anywhere near my in-laws and neither would by brother-in-laws unless they have to. Da-ge has to since he’s the oldest and cash strapped, and er-ge comes about once a month now that he has his son back.
I really think you need to have this talk with her instead of us. Maoman has a very liberated wife whereas mine is more traditional. I also believe she has a far better relationship with her parents, well at least dad as mom is a piece of work. Tempo Gain is spot on and says it nicer and better than I ever could.
[quote=“riggers”]Divea , I have done what I would do if my gf was from was from the same cultural background, that is not working.
My gf is not at all traditional, she spent 3 years in the states doing a degree before coming to the UK. She loves the freedom she has here. I think she would like to have a better relationship with her family, which she won’t have living here. I fully expect her to crack one day and we will have to go there. I don’t want to be the cause of her and her parents falling out. Her father says her mother is very traditional, I have no way to gauge that myself, but she seems damn hard work to me.
Jaboney how did you find it moving there ? Do you ever regret it ?
Okami, your words are my fears in every way.
What do you guys do for work there , I would need a completely new job as i could not do my job there because of the language barrier, I would need to be completely fluent.
If you were my pal, and you were relating this to me over a beer, I’d crack you a couple solid ones square in the jaw. Any man who moves halfway around the world to please the mother of his girlfriend deserves all the misery that must result. That one would even ruminate on the idea blows the mind.
Tell your girl her mother’s attitude and conduct is offensive and unacceptable. Don’t allow yourself to get into a power struggle with her parents. And certainly don’t try to have that struggle on their turf, on their terms.
Okami, we are talking about it a lot. Its just nice to get another perspective from people. I like i said would hate for her to fall out with her family , so would be prepared to give it a go for that reason. But if things would never change anyway, then there is no point. I appreciate your answers thanks
My gf is not at all traditional, she spent 3 years in the states doing a degree before coming to the UK. She loves the freedom she has here. [/quote]
FWIW, those aren’t necessarily markers for the kind of character traits I’m talking about.
I’m not really talking out of personal experience now, my wife’s family while ultra-traditional in a lot of ways really doesn’t fit into the Taiwanese mold in a lot of others. My wife is close to her family but very independent.
I’ve heard a lot of stories though, if it was me I’d be looking to see how she handles the stress of the family pressure, how she deals with her family members, rather than relying on the things you mentioned above. You may not even be thinking that long-term, I don’t know but I kind of guess you must be if you’re considering moving here.
I agree with Ophiman though, that’s a hell of a move to make for the reasons you mention there. No regrets personally but I came here for my own reasons. Taiwan isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, that’s for sure.
Actually, I came here first, met my lady, then left for grad school. Afterward that, personally and professionally, I certainly had better options back home in every respect, but I was committed to this particular relationship and returned for that reason alone. Objectively speaking, I would have been better off elsewhere, but I’m not sure objective measures are best applied to matters of the heart.
Whatever. It sounds like this is about your lady and her parents, and you’d be a sucker to get caught up in that dynamic. The two of you have a good life where you are, live it there, and don’t give her a crutch to help her along to a poor decision just because you want to be a good guy. It’s not your fault their familial relations ain’t already all they want them to be.
[quote]Divea , I have done what I would do if my gf was from was from the same cultural background, that is not working.
If you have done, what needs to be done then, you already know the answer to your dilemma and you are just looking for a confirmation. You very well know in your heart and mind whether or not you feel like moving to Taiwan (whatever the reason may be) and just want someone to echo that emotion. Its best to follow your gut.
There are a few things you should consider:
Unless you are abusing your GF and keeping her from calling her parents or bullying her and preventing her to see them and having control issues etc. You cannot cause a falling out between her parents and her. If their relationship is not strong enough to withstand a ‘foreigner’ boyfriend they have to work it out.
What if you don’t get it? Will she dump you? If yes. Then Part ways right now. If no, then why bother relocating now, maybe later in your lives when your GF feels more strongly about being with her folks or if one of them is ill or if your career gives you that freedom. Keep it open.
-What if you relocate and are bitter or just can’t make ends meet or hate your job? Will your GF accompany you back to the UK?? Or do you come back alone??
How does your Gf feel about this situation. Does she want you to bend over backwards for her folks??? Or can she jsut stand tall in her choice of you whilst gently persuading them to come around. This won’t be easy and will take a year or 2 and will have the added benefit of the parents understanding that they cannot bully their daughter and the foreigner.
Are you willing to understand and empathise (and not call her mother an ice queen)with the intricacies of your GFs relationship with her folks when they are hard on her and you??? Will you be able to hold her hand and suppport her if and when she has a falling out with them??
the most important of all
What if you get the approval?? How long will it take? How much will it cost you in terms of job, relocating, and conforming??? What next?? Pack your bags and back to UK or stay on??
Traditional… well I tell you what that means laddy. It means you shut up and do as your told. Get married, move to Taiwan, then give 40% of your income too your lovely ICE QUEEN MIL ( mother in law ), you will never get it up again as your new MIL will have you by the short and curlies. If you don’t go troppo from that, then living in Taiwan, learning Chinese and trying to earn a living will. Since your GF knows this, she should happily stay in the UK as she will have less freedom with her own mother than she would with the Taliban.
GET MARRIED, but STAY IN THE UK where you are the leader of the household. You will get all the APPROVAL once you are married, and then knock her up quickly. That ICE QUEEN will melt faster than butter on hot stove once that newborn gunners supporter pops out of the oven. Her Momma will fly over, stay with you on your terms, and learn that she cannot put anything over you. Then you can come over for annual visits. Stay awhile and then decide about moving here if you think thats in your destiny.
Chinese woman don’t mind men doing the leading laddy. So it’s time you elected yourself head of your relationship. Equality in a relationship if for the PC Pussies. That’s why their wives lead them around on a short leash, tell them who they can be friends with, where they can go, what time they have to be home from the pub laddy. And my let them catch you eyeing another tart… oh my… Do a serach on psycho Hsiao Jies on this forum
England is safe, good job, house, life. The only thing we get in Taiwan you don’t get in the UK is every live Premier League games. Go Gunners, down with Manure United.
Your problem is extremely common actually. And it happens to Taiwanese too. The only thing to do is to marry your GF and eventually her clan will accept you. Dont worry bout her clan, keep them far away. Get cozy with ur baby and make a life for yourselves. Her family will come around eventually. When they realize they cant get rid of you, they will accept you.
Sat TV has a lot of good points. Be a Man! TAke charge of your woman and her folks will respect you when you earn it.
When they realize you are not going away and their daughter is in love with you, they will back down eventually.
My ex gf’s mommie is Taiwanese and her dad is originally from Mainland China. And her dad was 16 years older when he was chasing her mom. Her family gave them hell, but they eloped and later, alls fine. Everyone is one family.
Fight for her, her daddy will respect a man that will fight for his daughter. And the mother in law will come around once she realizes the daughter has flown the coup (as they all will one day).
They probably have been fearing just such a thing that the daughter will study abroad and want to remain there. So it will take some time to adjust and accept.
Many Taiwanese, like other humanoids are initially skeptical and unaccepting of a new situation,but often come around to embrace it.
My 0.2c would be to look to your relationship first. How strong is it? I’m sure these kinds of issues force you to confront this probably a little earlier than planned; but you’re thinking marriage and while all these things like where you live and her relatives are very important, the strength of your relationship will see you through, or not. If not, then it really wasn’t meant to be. Funnily you’ll likely confront tougher things once married. Marriage in my mind is friendship and commitment to each other first.
As a disclaimer, my FIL, MIL liked me as I was short, swarthy and spoke Mandarin. I also had good relationships with my SILs (hint, hint).
In-Laws? You are not even married. When you become married they will still not really be “In-Laws” they will be Out-Laws!
You are being asked to literally kowtow and conform.
Now, this isn’t an offense on their part per se but a cultural norm.
Shit… I know I make Taiwanese and Filipino parents look downright negligent at times!!! I am not heavy handed but I do put any good Jewish mother including the Rabbi’s wife to shame with my guilt and whining when need be.
I’ve told my children they never ever ever have to move away most especially when they are married! (2Down 2to Go)
But the thing is you have to be true to yourself. You have to be true to who you really are and your identity. You and your girlfriend need to have a clear understanding and realize that there will be no compromise without suffering.
Is this suffering worth it???
Only you can decide.
In my limited experience with not one but two sets of traditional Asian Out Laws the answer is not a chance in hell… they will make your life miserable and undermine your relationship unless your girl is strong enough to make her and your collective own space…
Please do not underestimate the anguish and guilt they can put on her… It can and will not only destroy her but your relationship… and most probably in the long run even you…
There has to be some way to crack MIL’s armour. Does she like luxury brands? Sometimes a bribe in the form of a Gucci or Vuitton bag does the trick. If she isn’t materialistic, is she religious? Could you make some grand gesture along the lines of going to temples with her and worshiping? Does she respect knowledge and skill? Find a way to display yours. The trick is to figure out what makes her tick, and then work on speaking her language to her. Ask your lady how to win mom’s affection. She’ll know.
One thing nobody has told you yet, that I’m sort of reading between the lines here, is that it seems that mom wears the pants in the family. That’s pretty common here. Taiwanese ladies are often diminutive in stature but veritable lionesses in personality and emotional force. I suspect that Mom calls the shots in the family. Otherwise, Dad, who sounds like a nice bloke, would tell her to fuck off.
If mom is just a racist, you may or may not get some relief once you’re married. A lot of Taiwanese families refer to the foreigner in the family as “the foreigner.” Sometimes it’s “the fucking foreigner.” I’ve seen the gamut among my friends’ situations, from total rejection to total acceptance as an equal. The situation often gets better over time, but sometimes it also gets worse.
Me, I’m lucky. My wife’s family members are supportive but have never given advice. They have always called me by my name without mentioning anything about my nationality, don’t care one lick either way that I’m from the USA.
Good luck working this out. In-law troubles can lead to great strife, even divorce if the relationship isn’t strong enough and your lady is subject to manipulation. I truly hope you’re able to find a solution.