Unreasonable (or reasonable??) Financial Expectations


Do you likewise veto what she buys?


The simple fact is that the only thing which would have saved the OP from the sad situation he’s in now is a signed, legally enforceable marriage contract, most likely because his wife wouldn’t have signed it in the first place.


I don’t think marriage itself actually changes anything in a relationship. But unfortunately, people expect it to, or think it will.

Think about it… in a relationship, you can always break up. You always have that door and you can walk through it. Then you get married and suddenly the escape door becomes Divorce, which just sounds so much worse than breaking up (and is).

People always say you should be “sure” before you get married. But what does that mean, really? I’m not 100% sure about anything in my life. 100% doesn’t exist. I think you’re lying to yourself if you think you’re “sure” about how you’ll feel in five, ten, or twenty years. I have no idea about that stuff. Things change. All I can say is how I feel right now.

And if you have reasons to get married to someone right now and you feel strongly about them, then hey, go get married. But don’t expect it to change the relationship, or for it to last forever just because of how you feel today. I think that’s where people screw up: they put marriage on a pedestal.

So to sum it up I would say marriage is just as great or just as shitty as any other long term relationship. If you stayed with someone for twenty or forty years but didn’t get married, you’d probably have all the same issues as if you had gotten married. Marriage isn’t really the issue, it’s having to deal with one other person for that long.

Then the question becomes: why do human beings seem to partner up with one person for life more often than not? And the answer there is really pretty simple: because all the crap that goes along with tolerating one other imperfect human for decades on end is, for many many people, just slightly better than the alternative.

It’s not some Hollywood bullshit with fireworks and romance, it’s just a damn photo finish versus being alone.


It’s a constant compromise.
And you know Larry David’s definition of a compromise, it’s a deal where nobody gets what they want.

Crap, two people are lucky if they can agree on what kind of friggin pizza to get, never mind make every single major life decision together.


Most of the things that are annoying about marriage are also the things that are annoying about growing up: sharing, cleaning up after yourself, caring for others, delaying gratification…There are also a lot of benefits to it.


Happily married, zero complaints.

  1. My worthless self abhors your honorable flattery.
  2. I didn’t say people shouldn’t know what they’re getting themselves into. I said the law automatically fills in some of the blanks.


Would you mind explaining when and how this change occurred (in Taiwan)?


lying is never a good idea in a marriage.


Nope. Read my comment earlier. Others too.

Wouldn’t rush into it though.


Yeah, you are right. I shouldn’t have proposed those examples. All I was trying to say is that it’s okay to offer some nominal excuse and then try to save also. I do think in marriage one is obligated to be honest and not to intentionally keep secrets, but at the same time each person is still an individual and is entitled to have separate parts of their life. In this case, if sounds like both are putting money in a common pot and then each is entitled to save some part for individual/family future needs. At the same time the two don’t seem to have found a way to discuss this.


Your ideas are definitely valid and common in Taiwan and offered useful perspective for the OP.
If following the Maxim when in Rome then it’s definitely the option to go for.
The OP has to make his choice only he knows if all this is worth it or not.

Personally, I don’t think one should be press ganged into marriage. In the West this is really less prevalent these days.


Yeah, I think I read that in Taiwan 90+% of babies are born to married parents. Pregnancy often = marriage. I had a friend who wanted to marry a boyfriend and the parents objected, but once pregnant it became obligatory. For OP, there really is a different logic to saving/investing/spending in Taiwan. It would be useful to pick the brains of coworkers and friends (how do you do bank accounts? how do you save money? do you give hongbao to parents every year?).

Today in the NY Times it says that half of Americans (I don’t know OP’s nationality) have essentially no savings and nothing in the market. For OP, I do think it would be good to start some vanilla savings if he doesn’t have them already. Taiwanese have a reputation as good savers, and it’s maybe a place we could learn something also.



Why don’t you both put your earnings in a joint account and then withdraw from it as and when needed? It would solve your problem I think.


Just be honest and stand your ground.
Bottom line is that what you earn is yours. Its not hers or anyone elses.
"Honey, I’m setting aside X amount $ each month for myself."
That is it, all one has to do. Communicate and be honest.


No such thing here (correct me if I’m wrong!)


you are correct. Joint accounts are not possible here.


Could you imagine the carnage with all these mistresses and cheating spouses and temptations to run off with the money if they had joint accounts


Well, I’d do damage control if I were you.

True short story:

"Her: Look, I like this hotel, I’d like you to take me here.
Me: (raising my eyebrow) … Sure, you’re paying right?


Eventually I took her to a cheap motel. Paying 3000 TWD for sex wasn’t a good deal. Paying 1000 TWD was.

Girls here will test you, quite a lot. They look innocent and sweet. This doesn’t mean that they actually are. Don’t make the confusion of associating looks and style with personality. I’ve met a lot of quite innocent looking girls here that had bitchy behavior and I’ve met many girls that looked like they don’t belong in Taiwan that surprised me in a positive way.

As far as your situation is concerned - I’d get out as soon as possible. It won’t get better.


I miss the good old days when you could just take a girl to the MTV for NT$80 a pop. At my favorite one, there was a small window on the door of each room, but also a hook over the window you could hang your jacket on. That was the “do not disturb” sign that let the staff know not to come barging in during the “matinee.” :wink: