Chinese Couple Still ‘Going Dutch’ After 30 Years of Marriage

An elderly Chinese couple sparked a heated online debate last week after it was revealed that despite being married for 30 years, they still split all their finances, house chores, even the food in their refrigerator.

In many parts of the world, going Dutch is considered perfectly normal on dates, but for a couple going on three decades of marriage and having been living together for all that time, it seems a bit strange. Still, for Mr. and Mrs. Chen, an elderly couple in Tianjin, China, splinting everything, from finances to the eggs in their fridge, has been the norm for as long as they can remember. The two have been featured in the news for their unusual “going Dutch” lifestyle before, and went viral once again, earlier this month.

According to Chinese media, this special couple don’t even share a bed, with the husband instead sleeping in a narrow hallway. Everything in their house, down to the plastic wash basins are split between them, as are the chores and the food. For example, if a light bulb goes out, Mrs. Chen has to ask someone to change it, because her husband will not do it unless it’s on one of his designated ceiling lamps.

The refrigerator is split down to the number of eggs, which the two spouses each administering their own shelves.

“We take turns cooking and cannot use each other’s cooking utensils,” the husband said. “Sometimes after I cook, she suspects that I stole her eggs.”

Mrs Chen told reporters that their unique arrangement was a consequence of her husband’s selfish behavior. Ever since they were young, he would always keep all the things he bought for himself, never sharing them with her, so at one point she just decided to give him a taste of his own medicine. They’ve been going Dutch ever since.

Interestingly, the two credited this system for making their life together more peaceful, as they don’t fight over the things they own or chores they have to do. This view was considered very controversial on Chinese social media, with the vast majority of reactions suggesting that a ‘going Dutch’ system isn’t ideal in a marriage.

“I can accept splitting the bill while dating but why do we need to keep going Dutch after getting married? If a couple cannot share everything, that means they are not Mr Right and Ms Right for each other,” one person wrote.


“If he asked to go Dutch after we decided to get married, I would feel that he was unreliable and reconsider whether to spend the rest of my life with this man,” a woman commented.

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