Dear Memory,


Thanks for sharing with me. I have heard from a bunch of epals but your letter has been the most beautiful Chinese letter I have ever read on line. Your Chinese language skills are amazing. Not every Chinese writes good Chinese.


It is obvious that it is time you sorted out your life. Here are some of the thoughts on my mind when I was reading your letter. I hope they are of some help. But of course you could disagree.




The Internet has brought about to human existence changes which no other scientific advance has been able to. Information flows faster and people, rich or poor, have a more equal access to knowledge and ideas. My learning, work and research have been totally transformed by my computer and my access to the web. Learning English has never been easier and more effective.


I hope you do not give up using the Internet for work and for entertainment. However, all of us have duties and responsibilities in the world. Ideally the Internet enriches our life. But it should not take over our real world. I talk for an hour on the web and stick to the limit. At work, I have access to the web but I use it just for work. It is tempting to do something we are not supposed to do on line in office hours, for example chatting with friends on the QQ, but we really should learn to discipline ourselves. As a teacher, mother, wife and daughter-in-law, you do have a lot of chores to do. It is not easy. And Chinese mothers are expected to sacrifice for their child. However, I do believe that you can be a good mum and that the Internet should make your life more colourful as long as you balance the two.




A marriage is built on love and trust as well as on legal obligations. As time goes on, a lot of couples find it is hard to keep up the marriage, for there is no longer passion, and romance is replaced by day-to-day chores. Worse still, when one of them starts to distrust the spouse, the relationship is doomed. I am sorry that your hubby does not have the trust you need. Judging from what you said, his accusations are groundless.


The root cause is probably that you two do not talk heart to heart. If you still hope to maintain the family, please try to talk with each other. If he should refuse to listen, you would have to take action.




I am shocked to learn you live in such a big family. Extended families are rare in China these days, even in the countryside. I know too well about the problems an extended family have to cope with – little space and a lack of privacy.


I used to be in an extended family, with parents, brothers, aunt and uncle and grandparents. And I did not like it. When I started my career and got married, I built my own nuclear family. Now my wife, my daughter and I live in a three-bedroom flat, which has a sitting room, a dining room, a kitchen and a washroom as well. We three like this lifestyle. It is quiet and peaceful. We do have visitors but they come and go. My father is no longer there and my mother lives on her own. She comes over for a short stay but we realise that even though we do not live under the same roof, I still love her and she still loves me. We have our own space and privacy.


If you can afford it, why not move away from your parents-in-law? If you, your hubby and your child lived in a flat, things would be much better.




To be a Chinese woman is not easy. To be a Chinese woman who pleases everyone around her is really a torture. Traditional Chinese values expected a Chinese mother to be like a dog following orders from her hubby and parents-in-law and to sacrifice everything for the child. But we live in the 21st century. A Chinese woman should be independent. Of course, she loves her family and performs her obligations but she should have her own life – her friends, her career and her hobbies.


A husband and a wife should be loyal to each other. However, a good relationship does not mean that the wife should tell everything to her man or vice versa. The couple should have their own worlds apart from the shared home. A good fence makes good neighbours and the same is true of the husband-wife relationship. I do wish your man saw the point and did not expect to be informed of whatever you do. Does he tell you whatever he did? Definitely not.




At the end of the day, we live our own lives. No one else lives it for us. So I hope you are a NEW Chinese woman. I used the term “NEW Chinese woman” in a blog entry titled “Bai Bing and His Mom”. If life is too hard to go on, part from them and live your own life.


I still talk there but recently the connection has been very bad. I will not change my schedule. Talking there matters to me and to my friends. My blog is growing and I am serious about my writing. If you like, check it out. Usually I update it every Monday morning.


Everyone has a story behind him or her. Each person is unique in the world. I am glad that I learned so much about you and from you. And I am sad about your trouble. But I keep my fingers crossed for you every day.


Be on your own and be the master of your own life.


Best wishes,




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