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View Full Version : Was It Wrong To Say No To China?



Elaine Margarett
01-28-2010, 04:28 PM
Need some perspective here... My husband's job (which he loves) wants us to go China for a construction project (windmills). It would last six to nine months. The company actually doing the building is Indian; my hubby's role would be as a highly paid consultant. I forget the name of the province but it's somewhere on the North Korean/ Russian border. <shudder>

I have never, ever, said "no" to my hubby, nor has he to me, despite my various ventures like Search and Rescue which had me gone for days at a time when our children were quite small and he had to step in and be Mom and Dad. We're each other's best friend and biggest supporter, but...CHINA!?!

I worry about lack of medical facilities, the politics of the region and the fact that the Chinese Govt has such a dismal human rights record. I don't know what influence the govt. has over the project i.e. materials that may or may not be up to world code, safety of the workers, etc. Even though this won't necessily be John's responsibility, I know my husband and he'd be devestated it someone was harmed or killed on a project he was involved with. He wants to go; says it would be neat to see China. I said, "seeing China" is something we could do as a vaction; we don't have to live there. And China is such HUGE country I liken it to someone visiting New York and saying, while I'm here lets check out the Grand Canyon.

Let me also add that traveling, anywhere, takes me out of my comfort zone. I haven't even visited my brother's house on Martha's Vineyard becasue I didn't want to make the six hour trip. ( I know, pretty lame.)

But in the last two years I've followed my hubby to Michigan twice (loved it) and to Mississippi and Tennesee where we've lived for six mos. at a time. I asked John not to take the China job and he turned it down, but the boss keeps upping the ante because they really, really want him to take the job--it's a big deal for their company. If we don't go to China we'll probably be going to Oregon this March which sounds so much better. lol

So...was it wrong. Am I a bad wife who's overly anxious or did we dodge a bullit?

Elaine,
hoping she isn't a bad wife

Alpha Echo
01-28-2010, 04:34 PM
No, I don't think so! I'm guessing it wasn't like you automatically just said to your hubby "No way in hell," and it doesn't seem to me as though he'd be the kind of husband to make that huge decision without you.

Moving to China, even on a temporary basis, is a HUGE DEAL! You have every right to voice your opinion. You don't need to automatically tell your husband yes or no. It seems to me that you two have more of a partnership than anything else, and it sounds like you guys made the decision together.

Is your husband upset with the decision, or would he rather go to China? If he wants to go, then maybe you guys have more talking to do. I don't know. I just know that if this happened in my relationship...well...there's no way either of us would want to go. I can see how it would be tempting, especially with the boss upping the ante. But just because you've never told your husband "no" in the past doesn't mean you can't ever say that you disagree with something.

Fran
01-28-2010, 04:44 PM
Would your husband go alone? Would you be all right with that?

I completely understand your concerns, but what if you husband resents missing the opportunity? Not that he'd necessarily resent YOU, but it could end up coming out that way. If he really wants to go, it might be a case of compromise and letting him go by himself. :Hug2:

Ol' Fashioned Girl
01-28-2010, 04:46 PM
If you told him how you really feel, no, you weren't / aren't wrong.

Elaine Margarett
01-28-2010, 04:47 PM
No, I don't think so! I'm guessing it wasn't like you automatically just said to your hubby "No way in hell," and it doesn't seem to me as though he'd be the kind of husband to make that huge decision without you...

.

Um, well, I did say in my mind, "No way in Hell!" *then* came up with the justifications. <g> My initial reaction I must admit was, "Oh my God, that's too far away and no amout of xanax is going to get me there," lol.

But then I had anxiety attacks on a beautiful remote Carribean Island. I mean, how many people need xanax to make it though a relaxing vacation?

And Oregon...I thought THAT was a long way away from Maryland until China was on the menu.

Hubby was dissapointed, but had no problem telling the boss no. It was just that we were at a family function this past weekend and Hubby's brother whom I really, really, like was dissapointed in me on John's behalf and it made me feel guilty. :-(

Elaine Margarett
01-28-2010, 04:52 PM
Would your husband go alone? Would you be all right with that?

I completely understand your concerns, but what if you husband resents missing the opportunity? Not that he'd necessarily resent YOU, but it could end up coming out that way. If he really wants to go, it might be a case of compromise and letting him go by himself. :Hug2:

Thanks. Orginally he was going to go alone and when he turned the job down the first time the boss said, "Well of course we'll pay for your wife to go with you, if you want."

Yeah, like that's going to sway me to the dark side, lol.

As far as resenting me, no. I definately hit the husband jackpot. And to think *he thinks* he's the lucky one!

Alpha Echo
01-28-2010, 04:53 PM
Hubby was dissapointed, but had no problem telling the boss no. It was just that we were at a family function this past weekend and Hubby's brother whom I really, really like was dissapointed in me on John's behalf and it made me feel guilty. :-(

Well do not let your BIL make you feel guilty. I hate it when family or friends try to interfere. This is between you and husband, period.

Fran
01-28-2010, 05:00 PM
Hubby was dissapointed, but had no problem telling the boss no. It was just that we were at a family function this past weekend and Hubby's brother whom I really, really, like was dissapointed in me on John's behalf and it made me feel guilty. :-(

I've got to agree with Alpha. That's not your brother-in-law's place. I don't expect he's been privy to the no doubt long, involved discussions you and your husband have had about this, therefore he doesn't know how the decision was reached and the reasons behind it. You've nothing to feel guilty about. Your husband's fine with it and it's only him who matters.

Elaine Margarett
01-28-2010, 05:08 PM
Well do not let your BIL make you feel guilty. I hate it when family or friends try to interfere. This is between you and husband, period.

Thanks again...makes me feel better... :-D

My hubby who is by far the most sane and together person, nonetheless suffers from clinical depression and seasonal affected disorder. I was watching a documntary on the world's most polluted city and , yep, it was in China. Horrible! Middle of the day and you couldn't even see the sun! I know my hubby would absolutely HATE it. I just imagine him being stuck there and it would be awful.

Either that or we'd be somewhere really, really, remote where it takes days to reach the nearest airport or some semblence of civilization. I don't even know if that's a fair assumption but if he were to take on the project we'd be committed no matter what.

Seriously, I'm trying. I love my little house in Maryland, would love to stay here for the rest of my life (it truly was a goal of mine!) but I swear, I'd follow that man anywhere... I just don't want it to be China.

WendyNYC
01-28-2010, 05:11 PM
You're not a bad wife if you are telling him how you really feel. It's not like the situation would be any better if he dragged you to China and you hated it. And it sounds like you've moved around for the sake of his career a fair amount already.

That said, doing the ex-pat thing can be pretty sweet. I'd go, but I have noooooo problem traveling.

Alpha Echo
01-28-2010, 05:13 PM
Thanks again...makes me feel better... :-D

My hubby who is by far the most sane and together person, nonetheless suffers from clinical depression and seasonal affected disorder. I was watching a documntary on the world's most polluted city and , yep, it was in China. Horrible! Middle of the day and you couldn't even see the sun! I know my hubby would absolutely HATE it. I just imagine him being stuck there and it would be awful.

Either that or we'd be somewhere really, really, remote where it takes days to reach the nearest airport or some semblence of civilization. I don't even know if that's a fair assumption but if he were to take on the project we'd be committed no matter what.

Seriously, I'm trying. I love my little house in Maryland, would love to stay here for the rest of my life (it truly was a goal of mine!) but I swear, I'd follow that man anywhere... I just don't want it to be China.

I think you're making the right decision - and not a selfish one. Sure, it's a great opportunity, but it doesn't sound like it would healthy for your husband in the long run, or you with your dislike of travel.

I know how you feel - I'm finally with a man I'd follow anywhere (and it looks like when we retire in 30ish years, we're going to end up in Mexico so he can fish all day in the Gulf Stream). But this isn't something your husband is being forced to do. If for some reason, he had no choice, I know you'd be there along beside him - even in China. Instead, it's a decision you ultimately came to together. Don't feel guilty. You'll be fine. :)

Elaine Margarett
01-28-2010, 05:17 PM
You're not a bad wife if you are telling him how you really feel. It's not like the situation would be any better if he dragged you to China and you hated it. And it sounds like you've moved around for the sake of his career a fair amount already.

That said, doing the ex-pat thing can be pretty sweet. I'd go, but I have noooooo problem traveling.

Yeah, once upon I time I'd do that too. Romania or Turkey is a possibilty and I'd go. There IS enough xanax for that.

Thing is, there are projects right in our back yard...New Jersey and DE are getting ready to put windmills off the coast and it looks like hubby's company is involved in that too.

Why can't they send us to New Jesery??

regdog
01-28-2010, 05:20 PM
I think you have very valid concerns about moving to China. Safety, medicine, pollution, human rights and the very food you eat over there are all highly questionable.

If I were offered the job I would have said no.

I'm not married but if I were and my husband was offered the job I would say no.

Tell your BIL to mind his own business.

aadams73
01-28-2010, 06:27 PM
<shudder> He wants to go; says it would be neat to see China.

Let me also add that traveling, anywhere, takes me out of my comfort zone. I haven't even visited my brother's house on Martha's Vineyard becasue I didn't want to make the six hour trip. ( I know, pretty lame.)

So...was it wrong. Am I a bad wife who's overly anxious or did we dodge a bullit?

Elaine,
hoping she isn't a bad wife

Are you a bad wife? No. If traveling makes you uncomfortable and being someplace like China makes you uneasy, then you were right to say no.

But on the other hand...

Your husband wants to go. That would be enough for me to say, "Right, I'll go pack," because it can be ok to take a bit of personal discomfort for those we care about. And it's temporary.

Please bear in mind that my opinion is tainted by the fact that I love to travel, and even though China is not on my list, I'd still be all over this just for the adventure.

</shudder>

Lavern08
01-28-2010, 07:26 PM
...As far as resenting me, no. I definately hit the husband jackpot.

Indeed! ;)





Well do not let your BIL make you feel guilty. I hate it when family or friends try to interfere. This is between you and husband, period.

I totally agree! :)

DeleyanLee
01-28-2010, 07:53 PM
In a previous job, I worked as a "relocation coordinator" for overseas moves, usually done by companies. There's a few other things to consider:

It's only a 6 month job. That means you still need to maintain your present home, secure it, keep paying various bills, etc. Can you afford to do that? Do you have someone who is willing to watch your property for you while you're gone? Do you have pets that will either need to go (and possibly be quarantined for months) or have someone look after them?

Then there's how much you can actually take with you to China. While I didn't deal with relocating there, I dealt with several Middle Eastern countries. In general, companies paide for one 10' trailer for your entire family's needs. Whenever relocating to a different country, there's usually a whole long list of things you can and cannot bring in and will be confiscated by the goverment. (Disney movies were high on the list for most ME countries, for instance--however you could buy them black market once you were in the country.) My experience is over 10 years old, so I've no doubt the lists have gotten longer.

I moved many families in and out of restrictive countries during my tenure at the job and the general agreement for those with young children was that, while it was interesting to experience, they really didn't like the cultural attitude that the children absorbed while there.

So, no, I don't think you're a "bad wife". Yes, it's a marvelous money/job opportunity and if he wishes to go--and I'd see about maybe taking a vacation out to visit him if he did-- but there's far more important things in life than money.

Elaine Margarett
01-28-2010, 08:16 PM
...It's only a 6 month job. That means you still need to maintain your present home, secure it, keep paying various bills, etc. Can you afford to do that? Do you have someone who is willing to watch your property for you while you're gone? Do you have pets that will either need to go (and possibly be quarantined for months) or have someone look after them?

.

We're fortunate that we have no expenses when we travel for my husband's projects (100 percent reimburssed) so maintaining our house/expenses at home isn't a problem. We have adult age children, 21 and 23 who are still at home and they take care of the animals, house, etc.

It's just ironic that the one thing that pushes my anxiety button is the one thing I'm now doing, constantly. LOL

Hubby actually took a job for me that was *no* travelling. It was wonderful; he was home every evening by 5:00. I was in heaven...except he hated it. Was bored out of his mind. And after so many years of sacrifice on his part for the children and me I couldn't see him stay at a job he hated just to accomidate me!

So, the compromise was when he travels, I go with him. It's wonderful to have that alone time together although I miss my home, pets and children terribly. I know it's good to push myself beyond my narrow, self-imposed boundries. I don't even take xanax anymore (for the most part) when we fly.

But I just couldn't sign on for the China project.

James81
01-28-2010, 08:35 PM
Hmmm, it's interesting to me that you've made all these decisions about China without ever having been there. Consider the idea that your preconceived notions about China are rooted in heresay, and that the experience might just be something that is earth-shattering and awesome.

Elaine Margarett
01-28-2010, 08:48 PM
Hmmm, it's interesting to me that you've made all these decisions about China without ever having been there. Consider the idea that your preconceived notions about China are rooted in heresay, and that the experience might just be something that is earth-shattering and awesome.

Heresay? You do know what that means, don't you?

So they don't have dismal human rights? They don't have poor or non-existant quality control for things like, oh, baby forumla, drywall, lead paint in children's toys, pet food, toxic air and water pollution?

They don't put people in prison for state crimes like criticizing the government and stage covert attacks on Google to find out who and where these enemies of the state are? How about those farmers they displaced so they could created those wonderful Olympic venues? Was that propaganda?

My goodness. And here I thought CNN, BBC, The Washington Post etc., were reporting news!

:-)

James81
01-28-2010, 10:07 PM
Heresay? You do know what that means, don't you?

So they don't have dismal human rights? They don't have poor or non-existant quality control for things like, oh, baby forumla, drywall, lead paint in children's toys, pet food, toxic air and water pollution?

They don't put people in prison for state crimes like criticizing the government and stage covert attacks on Google to find out who and where these enemies of the state are? How about those farmers they displaced so they could created those wonderful Olympic venues? Was that propaganda?

My goodness. And here I thought CNN, BBC, The Washington Post etc., were reporting news!

:-)

You DO realize that all of that stuff happens right here in America too, right? The difference? We are so inundated by our homeland news, that we realize that the frequency of those things happening are the exception rather than the rule. But they happen.

However, we are not getting daily, day-to-day news about other countries. And you won't get that unless you actually live there. So, what we DO get are things that are so noteworthy and newsworthy that they make headlines. And that's the ONLY real newsworthy stuff we get from other countries. But, because we only hear about those types of things, we assume that it's not an exception...we assume that that those things happen all the time and are so ingrained into their culture that it's absolutely dismal.

I'm just saying, it's really hard to form an unbiased opinion on a place until you live there. Going by what you hear on the news is...well...I dunno. lol

My take is that there is some other underlying issue with going there and that you seem to be reaching for any excuse not to go. Hence why you said upthread that your initial reaction was "hell no" and then you started looking for reasons to support that reaction instead of looking at it more objectively.

I'm not trying to convince you to go to China btw. I'm offering another viewpoint. Another way of looking at things. Another side of the coin. In other words, I'm trying to get you to think about it some more because this is something that it sounds like your husband really wants to do. To me, that would be worth looking at both the pros and the cons side by side instead of searching for just cons to convince him why you don't want to go.

The reality is, that unless someone here has actually lived in China (I haven't), we have no way of ever knowing what life there ona day-to-day basis is really like.

PoppysInARow
01-29-2010, 12:38 AM
You DO realize that all of that stuff happens right here in America too, right? The difference? We are so inundated by our homeland news, that we realize that the frequency of those things happening are the exception rather than the rule. But they happen.

However, we are not getting daily, day-to-day news about other countries. And you won't get that unless you actually live there. So, what we DO get are things that are so noteworthy and newsworthy that they make headlines. And that's the ONLY real newsworthy stuff we get from other countries. But, because we only hear about those types of things, we assume that it's not an exception...we assume that that those things happen all the time and are so ingrained into their culture that it's absolutely dismal.

I'm just saying, it's really hard to form an unbiased opinion on a place until you live there. Going by what you hear on the news is...well...I dunno. lol

My take is that there is some other underlying issue with going there and that you seem to be reaching for any excuse not to go. Hence why you said upthread that your initial reaction was "hell no" and then you started looking for reasons to support that reaction instead of looking at it more objectively.

I'm not trying to convince you to go to China btw. I'm offering another viewpoint. Another way of looking at things. Another side of the coin. In other words, I'm trying to get you to think about it some more because this is something that it sounds like your husband really wants to do. To me, that would be worth looking at both the pros and the cons side by side instead of searching for just cons to convince him why you don't want to go.

The reality is, that unless someone here has actually lived in China (I haven't), we have no way of ever knowing what life there ona day-to-day basis is really like.

Yes, but you have to admit that China IS different from America, and sometimes those things are hard to deal with. Sometimes it's not the bad things that happen in the country, but the vast difference in culture and lifestyle. For example, you cannot expect to get by on english there, it is much more overcrowded than the states, and just the very fact that an american living in China would be considered an outsider, especially if you can't speak Mandarin fluently.

China may be a great country, but that social isolation for 6-9 months an be unbearable. The culture shock alone may make you want to pack your bags and head for home.

Some peope get their fill of adventure going to a different part of the country. I don't think I would be able to live in China either, just based on how vastly different it is from what I'm used to.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
01-29-2010, 01:48 AM
<g>....It was just that we were at a family function this past weekend and Hubby's brother whom I really, really, like was dissapointed in me on John's behalf and it made me feel guilty. :-(

I had a boss a long, long time ago tell me she was 'disappointed' in something I'd done or some decision I'd made. I told her that the only person with any right to be disappointed with or in me in any way whatsoever was my mother and she'd been dead for some time. It was a good thing she couldn't read m'mind at that moment or she'd have likely been much more than 'disappointed'.
</g>

CACTUSWENDY
01-29-2010, 02:22 AM
I started to post here a couple of days ago....but thought maybe I shouldn't.

Being an old lady that was married to a military man for his 26 years in the service the only thing I can add is that if he really would like to go to China, then let him. Six to nine months is not really that long and you could stay stateside while he is there. Folks do this all the time. You have a baby and that will keep you busy.

In fact, it might be best all the way around for him to go alone in case the living conditions are not very good. A single man can put up with a lot where if he has his family there too might be tuff.

In the end....you have to do what is best for you and your family. I do wish you the best.

backslashbaby
01-29-2010, 02:41 AM
Have you considered having him go and you take extended visits there throughout the 6-9 months? Personally, I think that's the best solution so that he can get the opportunity but you don't have to suffer.

I also like a relationship where people can do their own thing for a few months, so that's me. When my dad and I lived in Hungary, mom lived in the US and Dad would come in every 6 weeks. That was for nearly 3 years. But that's them. You are you, but consider it. What's a few months over the years, and the stories he'll tell later!

I love to travel, but sometimes the food gets to me after a while, truly. Or the lack of gyms, things like that. I have physical issues, but everyone has things that make up their comfort zone and that's valid. China is very different!

ad_lucem
01-29-2010, 03:02 AM
It would be wonderful to travel the world, but I wouldn't want to go to China, either. Not for any extended period of time. Mainly, because of the politics in the region (not the people themselves).

So, I don't blame you. FWIW, I think it is completely fair to say "no" on this one. Oregon sounds nice, though. Congrats on having such interesting prospects to consider :)

Silver King
01-29-2010, 06:49 AM
This thread reminds me of what some people in other countries must think of the U.S. based solely upon propaganda and hearsay and half-truths as well as total falsehoods. They must be scared shitless of this country if all they rely on for information is secondhand stories and what they read and hear about in the news media.

I've been to China a number of times, for extended periods, to some of the most populated areas all the way to a few of the more remote regions. And in all of my travels there, I have never met a more accommodating, thoughtful and kind population anywhere, and that includes right here in the good old U S of A.

My wife, like the OP, had serious reservations about my travels abroad. But it came down to this: I was going anyway, whether she liked it or not. And I would have deferred to her opinion had she offered a better means to support our family. But she did not, so I kept on traveling...

Mac H.
01-29-2010, 10:09 AM
If you have anxiety issues about going to new places, then just from a practical viewpoint it might be good reason not to go.

However, my experience of one of the less touristy industrial regions of China was great. Everyone was super-friendly. I'm really glad I went.

However, if you aren't working there and you don't speak the language you might get lonely - I'm not sure what kind of expat community would be there to back you up .. especially if other people's families aren't going.

The good news, however, is that if your hubby ends up going by himself you've done the best thing for him. By saying 'no' initially you've given him a lot of negotiating power to make sure his employers make it worth while to your family if he does choose to go in the end.

Good luck !

Mac

Elaine Margarett
01-29-2010, 05:52 PM
Oregon is off. Now it looks like Manitoba. Of course last month was Minn. or Wisconsin.

Oh well, I'll know when get there. <g>

ad_lucem
01-29-2010, 07:21 PM
This thread reminds me of what some people in other countries must think of the U.S. based solely upon propaganda and hearsay and half-truths as well as total falsehoods. They must be scared shitless of this country if all they rely on for information is secondhand stories and what they read and hear about in the news media.

I've been to China a number of times, for extended periods, to some of the most populated areas all the way to a few of the more remote regions. And in all of my travels there, I have never met a more accommodating, thoughtful and kind population anywhere, and that includes right here in the good old U S of A.

My wife, like the OP, had serious reservations about my travels abroad. But it came down to this: I was going anyway, whether she liked it or not. And I would have deferred to her opinion had she offered a better means to support our family. But she did not, so I kept on traveling...

I'm sure the people, on their own, are fine. My main worry would be the political climate and/or laws--if going anywhere for a long time (i.e. months). Not saying I would break any, but it is easy enough to get involved in car accidents and other civil matters through no fault of your own out of sheer dumb luck. I don't think it is xenophobic to consider the practical side of extended travel.

As for what people outside the US might think of the US, I would hope they would take the same into consideration before coming here for a lengthy stay. There are always benefits to being a citizen or resident of an area rather than an expat or foreigner (especially one who doesn't know the language/customs like the back of their hand).

Each to their own. I see no reason why her husband couldn't go TDY. Lots of people do it. My own dad lived for months at a time in Japan, Belgium, Australia and England then returned to the States.

Elaine Margarett
01-29-2010, 09:32 PM
I'm sure the people, on their own, are fine. My main worry would be the political climate and/or laws--if going anywhere for a long time (i.e. months). Not saying I would break any, but it is easy enough to get involved in car accidents and other civil matters through no fault of your own out of sheer dumb luck. I don't think it is xenophobic to consider the practical side of extended travel.

.

Thank you. I think it bares repeating. :-)