Calling Off Forever
China's divorce rates spike for a multitude of reasons
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UPDATED: July 27, 2015
Don’t Disparage Marriage

"Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be" is one of the most beautiful traditional sayings concerning marriage, reflecting an appreciation for lasting and stable marital relationships. However, now it seems that this longstanding tradition is falling apart. Statistics issued by the Ministry of Civil Affairs show that in 2014, 3.64 million Chinese couples got divorce registrations across the country, up 3.9 percent over the previous year and continuing a 12-year upward growth trend.

Divorce is becoming a striking social phenomenon in Chinese society. There are various reasons for this. First of all, people's concept of marriage is changing. In the past, divorce was almost a taboo while today, it is no longer treated so seriously, representing a seismic shift in attitude. As divorce is no longer a sensitive subject, those in unhappy spousal relationships have been emboldened to end their marriages.

China's Marriage Law has been modified a number of times, making divorce a less emotional, procedurally complex and costly process. The more recent amendments increased protection for premarital assets, thus lowering the cost of divorce. Increased respect for privacy has reduced external interference in divorce. Most married couples born in the 1980s are only children of their families, so they are more self-centered than their parents in marital life, and thus shorter on tolerance and perseverance when relationships turn sour. The statistics from the Ministry of Civil Affairs show that while the post-80s make up the largest proportion of newlyweds, they are also the driving force behind the divorce epidemic.

In our changing society, the emergence of all manner of trendy new concepts and fads is fast overshadowing traditional beliefs. Some hold that a lack of a sense of responsibility is leaving couples vulnerable to various temptations. Others blame the fragile state of marital relationships on the extensive use of online social media apps like Momo and WeChat.

From a more positive perspective, a rising divorce rate implies the Chinese are gaining more rights and independence in marriage. People have higher demand as regards quality of life. For some couples, divorce merely ends an unhappy marriage.

However, marriage is one of the best things in life. If two people choose to get married, they should remain true to the relationship, upholding their responsibility and displaying their tolerance and loyalty to each other. Good marriages are also an important factor in maintaining overall social stability.

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