Intercultural relationships in China


We invite you to share some fun anecdotes and information regarding intercultural marriages and relationships in China. This will provide some insight to current and future expats regarding relationship norms in mixed relationships and marriages in China.

What are some of the best things about being in an intercultural relationship/marriage?

What are some challenges that you have faced or are currently facing? How do you address them?

Are intercultural relationships/marriages common and accepted in China?

What are the benefits to being in an intercultural relationship/marriage?

Do you have any fun or interesting anecdotes to share regarding dating norms and rules for intercultural relationships/marriages?

Thank you for sharing your experience,


I've been with my wife since 2004. She is Chinese and I am a American.

There are cultural differences, but over time there is merging of lifestyle. My wife accepts an occasional hamburger, and I will eat snails and shellfish. Though turkey frightens the living heck out of her. She saw a turkey wing and about had a heart attack. It was twice the size of the plate she was using to eat with.

It took me a while to get used to red envelopes for everyone.  But that is just the cultural issues of acceptance.

I still take morning showers, and she takes evening showers. I will use what ever shampoo she has left over, and she spends a great deal of time finding the exact perfect shampoo for her needs. I think we have a small inventory of around fifty different types and brands of shampoos.

I now wear inside clothes and slippers in the house. She irons the clothes and gets them ready for me when I arrive home. I come home, shower (if it is summer) and put on fresh house clothes. Outside clothes are worn outside.

Having lived in China for 22 years I am now going through my second divorce. The first wife was well connected in high up places and I have not seen my first son since he was 2 1/2 years old. He is 19 this year. She was so well connected she was able to get the courts to do anything she wanted to. The second wife has stolen 12Million RMB from my company. I am afraid she and her family are going to be facing up to 20 years of prison. My company should be able to recoup a lot of this stolen cash.
The problem is I do not read or write Chinese. The other problem is I am not a liar or a cheat and therfore seeing people as a reflection of myself, trust other people.
I have no experience of being married to foreigners so I can only say that they would appear to be no different from other women around the world.
However, when you live in a world with an alien language, plenty of people are going to be all to keen to take advantage of you.
There are many many expats all suffering from similar situations. So what do you do?
Firstly do not, ever rush into getting hooked up with a woman here. Give it up to two years. If the woman is not prepared to hang around for this time then you are probably a lucky guy.
Get to know them and their friends and families. If they are keeping secrets from you, be very cautious.
If they tell you lies you will eventually find out. So give it time.
It seems to me the best marriages usually are when the both of you go back overseas to your home country. I have many friends who have returned overseas living in really happy relationships.
I know I was requested to write about happy experiences....
If you have children with them and they go to school here the mothers become very competitive with other mothers and will treat your children like tools. They will abuse them and hit them. Very hard to break this "cultural" aspect of Chinese women.


  I wish you a very best of luck sir. I hope I won't get through what you have been through, it must be tough.

  I'm too married to a Chinese wife, and  your advise regarding intercultural marriage is very true. I think language and dialog is very important, luckily my mandarin is quite ok, to be able to communicate with my wife with no issue.

   My lunch break is over, maybe I'll share more when I have some free time.

That must be awful.  Hope you’ll get to see your son someday soon.

I wish you all the best.

New topic