Call the marriage doctor

Updated: 2011-06-27 07:52

By Cheng Anqi (China Daily)

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One early morning Wang Qingqing found her husband, sleeping with another woman.

"I lived at my mom's house (in the week) and stayed with my husband on the weekend. But I had been suspicious of him for a long time," Wang says.

On discovering her husband's infidelity and instead of creating a scene, Wang quietly closed the door and called lawyer Yan Jun for help.

"Yan told me to stay cool, if I wanted to reconcile with my husband," she says.

She took his advice and waited for the couple to wake up and then calmly confronted them. She then asked the woman to write a breakup letter, in front of her husband.

Yan further suggested Wang return to the marital home with the kids and seek counseling to get their marriage back on track.

Yan's marriage-saving company Nanjing Haojun Information Consultation combines 24-hour counseling and legal advice, and he claims to have dealt with 30 cases of separating couples since the company's website was launched in April, 2011.

Yan says the company has input from 40 experts, including matrimonial lawyers and counselors. It provides advice on how to avoid divorce, a post-divorce parenting guide, and even a happy divorce club.

"We must figure out what the couple wants before the optimal solution is achieved," says Yan, one of the website founders.

He used to be the manager of a private investigation company and has been dealing with marriage problems since 2004.

"What we really want to do is to get relationships back on track."

"We try our best to help couples restore trust and repair their love relationship, if they still have an emotional connection," says the 41-year-old. "But if their marriage is dead, we will start legal proceedings."

Yan says marriage problems are generally due to extramarital affairs, "lightning" marriages and strained relations between the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law.

Yan says his clients are mainly young, well-educated, but quick to file for divorce.

Ministry of Civil Affairs figures suggest that 5,000 couples a day got divorced in China in the first quarter of 2011 and the divorce rate has increased for seven consecutive years.

One recent case that distresses Yan involves a Nanjing couple who married just two months after meeting.

The breaking point came when the 30-year-old husband discovered his pregnant wife was violent and lied non-stop.

His parents persuaded him to divorce her after just six months of marriage.

"He failed because the law stipulates a husband may not apply for a divorce when his wife is pregnant," he says.

The company consultants not only help Chinese couples but also foreigners.

Early in June, Sun Tao, a counselor working for the website, answered a midnight phone call from a Vietnamese woman.

The 26-year-old was living in Ho Chi Minh City and spoke good Chinese. She said she had fallen in love with a married Chinese man a year previous and had attempted to commit suicide four times because he would not leave his wife.

It turned out the man's wife was about to give birth to his second child and needed to return to China. Sun's advice to the woman was to change her environment and let the guy go.

"I explained to her that it could be extremely harmful to his family and that neither side could gain anything by blubbering or extreme behavior," he recalls.

The woman took his advice and got a new job in Malaysia.

"I don't expect to hear clients say things like, 'the guilt is all mine'," Sun says. "I hope our personalized service can shore up sagging marriages and guide desperate couples through difficulties."

China Daily


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