Wives, mistresses fight back
Updated: 2011-10-21 08:30
By Yu Ran (China Daily)
A little guidance
"I think it's quite ridiculous to have either a mistress association or an anti-mistress association, as we're both victims fooled by the men who treated us as toys," said Yang, the 30-year-old in the 10-year affair.
She suggested that the women from both associations join forces to blame the men who destroyed their families and their unmarried lovers.
Zhang Zhenyu, a psychology professor at East China Normal University, takes a more moderate view.
"Those two groups, especially the anti-mistress associations, have both positive and negative effects - by helping the heartbroken women share their feelings with others, but by leading to certain ultra emotions toward society as well." He said their negative emotions could affect the next generation and lead other women to be afraid of marriage altogether.
Zhang said both factions need more professional assistance to ratchet down the negative impacts, overreactions and aggressive behavior. He said a neutral person - a lawyer or psychologist - who can make suggestions regularly and moderate emotional excesses is essential for those groups.
One man's view
Most of the women's associations were started by women, but one based in Changsha, Hunan province, was founded by a man with a unique perspective. He is a marriage and family therapist who used to be a private detective. He asked to be called only by his surname, Zhou.
"I was paid to find the mistress for the wives who found out that their husbands had cheated them. Now I am also qualified to offer professional advice to them," said Zhou, who was certified as a therapist two years ago.
Having found at least 50 mistresses for his clients, he said, he witnessed too many heartbroken wives screaming, crying and shouting ugly words at the mistresses. Zhou warned the mistresses to stay away, he said.
"The majority of wives who insisted on meeting the mistresses still wanted to keep their husbands away from their lovers and continue to run the families together," even when they couldn't persuade their husbands, he said.
Zhou also had a few conversations with the husbands, at their wives' request, and said he understood the feelings of powerlessness on both sides.
"I cannot say who was the only cause of the family betrayal. Wives, husbands and mistresses all made mistakes when they dealt with their relationships," Zhou said.
He said he discovered that most of the wives who hired him knew they had contributed to the affair because they had ignored their husbands' feelings for too long. "Most of the men who were exhausted by complaints from their wives every day sought to be taken care of by a third person."
Zhang, the psychologist, said that even before marriage, couples must recognize that "taking care of each other is the basic responsibility. If they want their marriage to be happy forever, they have to stick together emotionally and consider each other's feelings all the time."