Happily ever after until the divorce

Updated: 2013-09-16 08:05

By Cui Jia, He Na and Wu Wencong in Beijing (China Daily)

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'Perfect' couples

Zhao Junyan, a psychological counselor at the counseling center at Capital Normal University, admitted that she didn't know the details behind the divorce, but felt that certain factors could have been absent from the relationship - including caring for and being supportive of each other, and the sense of belonging to a family.

"People who question the viability of marriage when they see celebrities break up usually lack faith in themselves. In many people's minds, celebrities are their idols; they are perfect and so are their lives. The fans have high expectations and assume the celebrities are perfect in every respect, including their marriages," said Wang Jun, manager of Beijing Weiqing Marriage Consultant Co. "But celebrities are just people who have achieved a lot in a certain field. People are equal in marriage and even celebrities have to deal with the same problems other people have. It's inevitable."

Shu said he was recently consulted by a couple facing a tough decision. The couple, both well-known professors at a prestigious university in Shanghai, told him it had taken them years to make the decision to divorce because they didn't want to damage their social standing or their children's welfare. They felt their freedom to choose to end their marriage had been hijacked by social convention.

Wong and Li confirmed their split on separate micro blogs once the divorce became official. The posts generated heated public discussion. Some posters and bloggers said they would now devote more time to their own families to avoid the same fate. Others felt that divorce can be a civilized act and is sometimes the best option.

Wong wrote: "Our fate as husband and wife in this life is over. I'm well. Please take care of yourself". Opinion is divided over whether the post was a message to her fans or if she was addressing Li directly, but it attracted more than 100,000 replies in the hour after it appeared. As of 3 pm Sunday, the post had been forwarded more than 760,000 times and the divorce was front-page news across China on Saturday.

Experts said a prime factor in the high divorce rate among Chinese couples is a lack of communication or simply invalid communication, when couples feel they can't get the type of love they need from each other.

Wang Jun said a marriage is just like the human body - to keep it running normally, it needs to see the doctor every so often. Couples should talk to each other if small conflicts occur, and also seek help from relatives, friends and marriage counselors to prevent minor problems from getting out of hand and leading to an irreversible breakdown in communications.

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