Singapore’s “Straits Times” article on February 23, original title: Love is on the rocks in China — marriage counseling boom.
In a small office in Shanghai, marriage counselor Zhu Shenyong used several mobile phones to broadcast live at the same time, with the desire of providing advice to emotionally disturbed audiences. Hung on the wall behind him is a sentence: “Let there be no difficult marriages in this world of ours”. However, the secular reality of contemporary China is that divorce rates haves soared, and Mr. Zhu’s services are in short supply. He said: “There are only a few people considering divorce, but many want to hear my opinion”. Now, he has as many as 500 viewers every time he broadcasts. He said his mission is to “prevent avoidable divorces”.
The pressure of elders to marry as soon as possible, the skyrocketing housing prices, and the lack of support for professional women’s childbirth… all these are pushing marriages to a final break, especially among the younger generation who value personal freedom more.
The purpose of mediation is to prevent impulsive divorce, but if one party refuses to divorce, it may be delayed for a long time. Wang Youbai, a divorce lawyer in Guangzhou, said: “This is extremely unfair to victims of domestic violence”.
Many provinces in China provide mediation services for marriages that are on the verge of breaking up. But for Mr. Hua, a 36-year-old civil servant, mediation came too late. He said: “For those who really want to get a divorce, (mediation) is just a formality”.
31-year-old Xiaowei married after experiencing a whirlwind romantic relationship. She believes that divorce is not a terrible thing, but a road to liberation. “The concept of our elders is: divorce means that no one wants you… but our generation thinks it is just a personal choice.”