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Living with a Chinese wife

By Sava Hassan (Global Times)

14:28, July 31, 2013

I took a few weeks to contemplate the consequences of publishing the article. Some may think the objective of my article is to degrade or demean Chinese women. Actually, the contrary stands true. I am attempting to be objective in mentioning their qualities along with their idiosyncrasies or flaws.

I shall begin with their merits. Without any doubt, they are abundantly loyal to their families. They exert every possible effort to provide their families with clean, comfortable environments. They accomplish house chores without complaint. I have never been asked to do any housework by my Chinese wife.

When it comes to managing the finances of their homes, Chinese wives are experts. My own wife perceives me as an extravagant individual who spends his funds as if there is no tomorrow. She always calls me langfei (wasteful individual). She gets angry if I take a taxi, throw out leftover food or eat out too often. But by no means am I categorizing Chinese women as being stingy or miserly. Actually, they are generous toward their families and even toward strangers.

I admire their awareness of the differences between the two genders without being superior or inferior to one another. They are not caught in the vicious cycle of attempting to prove that they are equal to men. Men and women are different in their physical attributes as well as their train of thoughts.

Apprehensively, I shall go through a couple of flaws. Some, including my wife, are stubborn. I must admit that I am as stubborn as she is. That led me to master the most useful Chinese characters zhidao and dong, which mean "know" and "understand." Those two terms saved me from wasting my energy on trivial arguments that might have led to mental anguish inflicted upon both of us. For example, I was unable to convince her that foreigners are not as romantic as they appear on movies.

Another shortcoming is their excessive use of the term "It is good for your health." In my point of view, she is assuming that I am too stupid to know what is good for me or for my health and that is demeaning to my intelligence. On several occasions, I tried to convince her that I know what is good for me, in vain.

A foreigner can experience great happiness with his Chinese wife if he masters the two terms zhidao and dong and uses them to avoid trivial arguments.

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