If you haven’t heard, divorce is “soaring” in China and Covid is the reported culprit. Most news stories are sourcing a Bloomberg Busnessweek article* from March 31st which reported a record spike in divorces in China since the relaxing of Covid-19 restrictions.
What’s missing from most of the subsequent reports?
The Chinese divorce rate has increased every year since 2003 when they made the process easier. The rate has nearly doubled since 2008.**
Like the annual New Years divorce surge in the US, China has a wave of divorces after their Lunar New Year Celebration at the end of January. This year Covid-19 shut down all of the agencies so people couldn’t file divorces until now. *
Financial independence of women in China and changing mores are fueling divorce filings. In his speech, the President of the Supreme People's Court of China, Zhou Qiang, said that the “seven-year itch” has become a “three-year itch” in China.***
So there is a spike in divorces in China (and elsewhere), but is it the predictive warning the Bloomberg article asserts?
What we do know
There’s a lot of unhappy wives out there. Sexist rhetoric on my part? No. Continuing with China, Mr. Qiang also said that women generate approximately 74% of the divorces.*** In the U.S. the figure has hovered around 67% for years. In the UK, a recent study revealed that the main reason women didn’t divorce was because they couldn’t afford to separate.**** There’s a lot of unhappy wives out there.
We also know the primary reason for divorce isn’t infidelity. Nor is it physical or emotional abuse which are still the minority of cases. “Needs not being met” took the top spot years ago.
An example is a NYC lawyer’s report of getting a call in the middle of the night from a wife who realized she had nothing in common with her husband (other than the kids) and wasn’t about to spend the rest of the her life with him.*****
Is this the typical sentiment? Not necessarily. More often it’s a long series of communicative miscues—creating unforgiven hurts—which become gaping wounds. She simply wants to end the emotional pain.
Tools for change
First we have to accept the fact that men are uncaring bums. That’s the current mindset. As westernization spreads around the globe, so does this mantra. The problem is this view isn’t biblical.
Jesus said, “Haven’t you read the Scriptures? They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female” Matt. 19:4. Males and females are different. God’s intent was the strengths of each would complement the weaknesses of the other. However:
The differences aggravate us
We don’t understand the differences.
We don’t believe those differences are God ordained.
As always, I’m not referring to abuse, adultery, addictions, or neglect. None of these are biblical and can require tough decisions in order to maintain safety and sanity. But for the bulk of the unhappieds out there, here are two fantastic tools that discuss the differences between male and female.
The Feldhahns have created these invaluable looks into the differences that drive us crazy and how to deal with them effectively.
Crushing the Covid craziness with Christ
After talking about God creating us male and female, Jesus said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate” Matt. 19:5-6.
Jesus also said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” Mark 8:34.
Jesus’ doesn’t’ desire that we go through life miserable. He also doesn’t desire for us to go through life driven by our own wants. That’s why He gives wisdom to people like the Feldhahns so they can help couples overcome the hurdles and hurts.
If working and living together 24/7 is taxing your relationship with your spouse, I encourage you to grab these books and pray for God to use them to keep your kids from ever needing this website.
Head in Hands by Alex Proimos
Forgiveness by Tiffany Scantlebury