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Chains in China are rapidly breaking with the old ‘ball & chain’

Written by Daniel Otero

Divorces skyrocket in China


By: Daniel Otero



It seems like the “Baby Booming” generation is the last generation in China to stick it out in marriage and stay together ‘till death due they part’.


According to my spouse, this is the sad truth that is now affecting Chinese society.


This country is experiencing what Western cultures dealt with back in the 1960s, when divorces became the common norm.


But nothing about divorce is ‘common’, many people get hurt: the couple, their children and the extended family.  It’s just a painful process.


Because if you speak to some divorce lawyers in mainland China, the amounts of separations have literally ‘gone through the roof’.


According to one divorce lawyer, the cases have become extreme in number.  And while the criminal courts are nearly empty of jurisdiction, separation cases are really taking off!


Principally most people separate because of irreconcilable differences.  People are just not willing to stick it out anymore; especially the last two generations.  Whether they are from the ‘Y’ to millennial groups.


The majority of separations stem from the above, which are the basics and not hammering problems out by talking.


I call this immaturity and needing to understand why people get together.  If it was for sex, eventually the heat of passion will begin cooling down between the first-six months to two years.  That’s why people need to get creative in their love lives, talk things over and stay in shape.  In some cases, men break-up with their wives because they got fat after having their first baby. This problem is minimal among women towards men.  Others separate because of mommy and daddy issues; they first moved out of the house to get away from their parents and realized that marriage wasn’t what they thought it would be.


Relationships and staying together take a lot of hard work.  A renovation of vows every five years at least.  And it’s not all about romance and love at first sight.  It’s learning to deal with life, and after all, it should be together ‘whether in sickness or in health, for richer or poorer’.  But I guess the latter doesn’t come into the equation for some young couples.

Then, let’s get into the nasty-down and dirty fighting.  Which is the ‘meat & potatoes’ of these cases that take place and most are gossiped about and exchanged from lawyer to lawyer…


The second reason people divorce is for financial (whether because of poverty or money in division of properties), gambling, alcoholism and abuse on either side.


The last reason why couples divorce, believe or not, is infidelity.  A woman can still forgive a man’s indiscretion, while most men cannot.  Leading to permanent separation 60 percent of the time.


Out of 10 couples walking down the aisle, only five remain together.  The rest divorce after only five years of marriage.


In few exceptions of these divorces, neither wants the child.  If such is the issue, that child will either end up in an orphanage, adopted or like in the majority of these situations–with their grandparents.  For me, the abandonment of children is the cruelest.


What can be done to work it out and stay together?


I know the ladies are going to hate me for saying this; however, I do believe that a couple shouldn’t marry virgin.  It causes many unrealistic expectations; especially in this male-chauvinist society.  I comprehend that the ladies have this notion (call it a dream) of being wooed under the stars, with a candlelight dinner and to go at it slowly. Sorry people, it doesn’t work this way 90 percent of the time; unless either person has prior sexual experience.  And sometimes, not even that helps…  It’s best to hone one’s skills first and gather some technique in a formal relationship when having sex or making love.  For this I can suggest, “The Joy of Sex” by Alex Comfort; one of the best and most radical books on the topic of intimacy written in the 1970s and still widely used today.


Before marriage, a couple should live together for six months.  The experts recommend for a courtship to go on for at least two years.  The longer, the better… It’s a way to accept and learn about responsibility in a relationship.


When problems arise, please, please, please, don’t go telling your friends or family about it.  Unless they are objective enough to take neither side.  Nowadays, there are couple’s therapy/marriage counseling to deal with these problems.  Usually an expert can put you on the right path.  Problems with your marriage and can’t afford a counselor; there are books and articles on the internet to help with a crisis in a positive way.


One thing that some people wrongly do in relationships is to talk about their sex lives to their best friends and give ‘blow by blow’ accounts.  This is a no, no!  It’s nobody’s business but your own and if you have to share it, you share it as a couple or if you have problems, with a sex therapist.


When it’s about the children or having babies.  Mommies and daddies need to learn how to deal with their respective roles. When they are parents, then they are parents; when they are lovers, then they are lovers.  There’s a need to separate the two at least once-a-month or give yourselves, as a couple, an opportunity for ‘date-night’.  A little romance never hurt anybody after dealing all day with the kids.


Marriage is a serious business; therefore, face it with maturity or might as well be alone until you’re good and ready!

About the author

Daniel Otero

A New Yorker who has been living in China for the past 10 years. He's a freelance writer/journalist and ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher.

A former member of the military with extensive travel to 50 countries and has lived in six.

Lover of life, good food, travel, writing and dealing with social issues.