Marriage Advice

Should Divorce be Permitted if Only One person Wants it?

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This isn’t a trick question. On the surface it may sound like a sensible thing, but as someone who is married to a Filipina, to a woman I married in less than eight weeks, who makes videos to help make marriage great again, I really don’t like that sentiment. I picked this comment out from a feminist writer in China, from an article that has several things that stood out to me, and I wanted to comment on a few of those. I will link the article at the top of the description box. Will this upload end up in the Controversial Collection Playlist? You can decide.

I will touch on the “cooling off period” law and why a Chinese legal expert thinks it is a good idea. There are many things here you can comment on and I hope you will.

Please subscribe to Love Beyond The Sea where I do my best to describe what love is and show you, in my own life. I think we need more of that in this ever-confused world we live in. I don’t want you to be confused. China has a newly introduced law that is essentially a 30-day cooling off period when it comes to divorce and I want to share that with you today. This is a Fil-West higher education channel-no tuition necessary, although a subscription and liking the videos and leaving comments will suffice.

BEIJING — For Qi Jia, an office worker and blogger in China, the decision to divorce her husband was not one she took lightly. *that’s appropriate*

"He became so sloppy and had an addiction to gaming," Qi, 39, who lives in the eastern city of Changzhou, said. "I took care of our child by myself." *she didn’t mention infidelity*

The couple lived apart, due to work, for 13 years and had little communication, she wrote in a personal testimony posted on the Chinese social media site, Douban. *is it possible living apart for 13 years may have contributed to the stagnation of their marriage?*

But a recently introduced law, which gives couples a 30-day "cooling off" period to reconsider their decision to untie the knot, finally compelled her to act. Just three days before the law took effect at the start of this year, Qi divorced her husband.

Like many other countries, China's divorce rate has steadily increased in recent years.

The new law is meant to urge couples to reconsider hasty divorces, but the legislation has instead only generated frustration among women who fear that seeking a divorce has now become more difficult.

*I like the desire to reconsider hasty divorce, good idea. Unless they were stoned when they got married, a man and a woman made the mutual decision to presumably stay married for the rest of their lives. But now in China, women would rather just get it over with rather than work through issues with the person they chose to marry, the person that assumes will get their best effort to make things work. Clearly the fact they had little communication hurt big time but that is something they can start to improve. Did either one of them communicate that?*

Such was the rush to beat the new restriction that more than 1 million couples requested a divorce in the last three months of 2020, before the cool off-period came into effect — a 13 percent increase on the same period in 2019 — according to data from the Civil Affairs Bureau.

The feminist writer Xiao Meili called the law a "step backwards" for women and said it limited their rights to freely seek separation from a spouse. *A step backwards for women, but what do you call that for the men that they commit themselves to in marriage? Do they not matter anymore? Her husband wasn’t abusing her, wasn’t unfaithful. Who does she think she deserves? Did she not make a good decision in the first place? I didn’t see her husband’s take on their marriage in the article; his evaluation of his wife.

None of that is anyone’s business anyway. They need to sit down, preferable led by the man she is to submit to, and he needs to take inventory then take control of the situation so the two of them can stay together. The part of the article that made my eyes bleed and my head hurt was this-*

"Marriage needs agreement from both people," Xiao told NBC News. "Divorce should be permitted if one person wants it."

Often that person is a woman. *She said marriage needs agreement from both people. Maybe it’s me but I don’t understand how she can transition from needing agreement from both to marry, but divorce should be permitted if one person wants it. Huh? Why shouldn’t the decision be mutual? Why not instead work hard at your problems together and stay together till death like you presumably said at the wedding ceremony?*

Around 74 percent of first hearings in divorce cases in 2016 and 2017 were filed by women, according to a report by China's Supreme People's Court.

*Well, that’s disturbing, likely is similar here in America. Women, your man is not perfect, he is never going to be perfect. He may never obtain to the level of fantasy you see for him. He is what he is. In most cases I think he cares for you, which is why he married you even though he is aware divorce is rampant, he just doesn’t expect it to happen with the two of you. As a man he is quite different than you and that is good, that’s the way it is supposed to be. He can’t be everything you want him to be; but he can be what you need him to be. Don’t criticize him, don’t belittle him, don’t talk back to him. Respect his God-given position of being the head of the marriage; it is not an easy one. You may need to have more serious discussion and marriage check-ups but divorce is going to hurt both of you. Women need men, men need women.

Other barriers to divorce include a gender income gap, rules on property division that tend to favor men and traditional perceptions of gender roles.

In February, a Beijing court created national shockwaves when it ruled that a woman should receive financial compensation — around $7,000 — for housework carried out during the course of her five-year marriage. The case stirred up a huge public debate about the status of women in society.

Better access to education and jobs in recent decades has improved the financial independence and social status of women in China, who as a result seemingly have less tolerance for unhappy marriages.

However, social pressure is still present — family and friends often discourage women from divorcing and Chinese courts tend to rule against divorce in the first instance, in order to maintain social stability. Divorce still leaves a trace of social stigma for many women. *Wow that surprised me! Family and friends discouraging divorce and the Chinese courts tending to rule against divorce in order to maintain social stability. Reminds me of the world I grew up in a long time ago.*

Sometimes, even evidence of suffering and domestic abuse does not guarantee a divorce will be granted.

In one prominent 2019 case, a woman named only as Ms. Liu, from China's central Henan province, was shown on security camera video being violently assaulted by her husband. Yet the court did not rule in her favor when she filed for divorce in 2020. Liu posted the video online, sparking a debate on social media that pressured the court to grant her divorce.

China's Civil Affairs Bureau has made clear the new cool-off period would not apply to divorce lawsuits that involve domestic violence. But divorce through the courts is nonetheless often prolonged and unfruitful for many women.

Ma Danyang, a divorce lawyer based in Beijing, said the new cool-off period had only increased the anxiety among her clients.

"Couples finally come to an agreement but then they start to worry the spouse might change their mind during the 30-days," Ma said.

"It's quite unfair to women. ... Each day in this waiting period feels like years to them." *But what about the husband? Having someone leave you when you want them to stay; is that fair to the man? There is a lot about marriage that isn’t fair my friend. It’s not about what is fair but about what is best and necessary for the health and sustaining of the marriage. No one wants to start over do they?

But for professor He Xin, an expert in China's legal system at Hong Kong University, the introduction of the divorce cool-off period is reasonable, as divorce is such a big decision. "Many countries already have similar laws," he added.

In China, the rising divorce rate is compounded by declining marriage and birth rates, prompting a demographic crisis as the country's population ages — a big challenge for the government in Beijing, which has ramped up efforts to advocate traditional family values in recent years. *Well as you may know China has been in the news a lot lately and much of it negative here in America, but China ramping up efforts to advocate traditional family values? That’s music to my ears. If you don’t believe me, check out the link to this article.

The one-child policy, which was in place for decades, was abandoned in 2015, but this change alone has not been able to stem the crisis in the world's most populous country.

Some think the new divorce rules could discourage couples from tying the knot in the first place.

"Young women now have more awareness of gender equality," Xiao said. Adding, "many single women can still have a decent life by themselves." *Love is my business and business is good. You won’t hear me talk about discouraging men and women from marrying each other. I’d like to see it happen as soon as possible. The only gender studies you’ll likely hear is that men and women need each other, they are different for complimentary, not competitive reasons and that marriage is hard but worthwhile work.

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