Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Chinese Women With Imported Values Causing Upward Divorce Trend

The upward trend of divorce in China has been repeatedly linked to the increased westernization of the society, particularly the importation of foreign values and their adoption by Chinese women. It may seem that this trend and its apparent cause point to the deterioration of Chinese society’s traditional marriage and family values; but upon closer inspection, certain imported attitudes adopted by many women of China actually promote a stronger foundation for marriage and family.

Traditional Chinese marriages have always lacked the elements of western-style romance, love, and passion; they have always been founded on a couple’s commitment to their specific obligations to each other, their families, and society. No doubt, countless marriages such as these have nurtured a different kind of love borne of mutual respect and loyalty to one’s vows; but Chinese husbands’ acts of infidelity have also always been a common denominator among other, countless marriages.

Infidelity is the most common reason that wives divorce their husbands; this chronic behavior that has become characteristic of Chinese men, of course, breeds unhappiness and discontent in marriage. Obviously, a marriage that lacks faithfulness from one party is also one that lacks love and respect.

While many marriages have survived the husbands’ acts of adultery because the traditional unromantic marriage values – or the strong sense of obligation of a Chinese wife to remain devoted to her husband despite the unfaithfulness – have kept the wives from ending them, it has never been due to a lack of these same values, or a poor sense of wifely obligation and devotion, that caused the end of any Chinese marriage.

When it comes to imported and romanticized marriage values (of course, given that these are shared by both the husband and wife), a stronger foundation for marriage can be built; with this kind of love, mutual trust, loyalty, and respect often follow. At the same time, the fading of such love can also lead a man to stray and or the woman to become dissatisfied and then eventually end her marriage.

Different marriage paths can ultimately lead to divorce: unfaithfulness, lack of love, or the fading of love. But when one digs deeper, it is actually the increased awareness of and freedom to acknowledge one’s deeper emotional needs that often prod a woman in the direction of divorce; more specifically, it is when these needs are left unsatisfied that women may start to feel the marriage has reached its end.

No doubt, this awareness and acknowledgement of their desire for love largely came with the increased westernization of Chinese society. Unlike in other westernized cultures, however, where divorces are commonly caused by the most trivial circumstances, because the couple married for the wrong reasons, or simply because the marriage was not founded on any values at all, divorces in China actually signify a real desire for love and happiness with another and not a lack of a sense of obligation and commitment.

In a sense, imported values that Chinese women have chosen to adopt have inadvertently led to countless divorces; but the adoption of these values does not necessarily mean that marriage and family do not mean as much to these women anymore. In fact, it means that marriage and family mean a lot to them that they are unwilling to build them a foundation of compromised principles.

Perhaps it is for this very reason, the unwillingness to compromise their new and “romantic” marriage values, that so many women of China are preferring western partners over Chinese husbands. Western men share the same values; Chinese men still resist them.

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