China Elevator Stories

How I became a “nun” in China

I ended up in a sexless marriage with a cheating husband.


Ruth Silbermayr
Ruth Silbermayr


Because cheating is very common with Chinese men, it is not uncommon for a woman to find herself in a marriage with a cheating husband, just like I did.

When I read one of the messages on my husband’s phone one morning while he was still asleep in the other bedroom – I knew he had been cheating on me.

“I’d like to hug you and kiss you”, was one message I found repeatedly sent to one of my students, whom he had met for the first time when I had invited students home one day to teach them how to bake Christmas cookies a year earlier.

I asked him if he had had sex with that student after discovering his messages to her and he blatantly lied to me and told me: “No, I would never do that”.

After meeting the student in 2016, he immediately hired her to help out in his pizza shop. They spent a lot of time together.

He was into younger women, and naïve ones at that. Their age range was between 18 to 20 years old, and a few of them were students I had taught.

He had been flirting with women in that age range even before we got married, only I did not recognize it as problematic behavior until later, when I realized he had been having affairs all along.

After he ended his relationship with this woman, he started an affair with another student whom he also hired for his pizza shop. He’d take her around in our car and he’d sometimes invite her to eat with me and our son.

Out of the blue, I found myself having to deal with a woman who was jealous of me, a jealousy that was so severe it would not have been warranted were they not having an affair. She wasn’t very pretty, and neither did she seem very smart.

The affair stopped once she graduated and left the city.

In addition to his affairs, my ex also went to massage parlors in the evenings instead of spending time with me and my son.

I know in hindsight now that he wasn’t getting normal massages, but the kind of massage where a man exchanges money for sexual service.

When I asked him why we weren’t having sex anymore after 2 years of being together, he told me he had become impotent.

Have you ever been cheated on?

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