The Chinese people’s ideas about marriage and its conditions are diverse and contradictory. Especially in the cities, tradition is not only upheld, but some young people also advocate Western ideas about marriage, others for the healthy, and still others for the selfish. The complicated social life is also reflected in marriages and families.
Peculiarities of Chinese marriage
In the past, marriage was almost the only choice for both men and women. Now there are several options. Under the precondition of monogamy, more and more late marriages, divorces and families without children occur. There are now other ways of life such as living together without a marriage license, homosexuality, singles, marriage on trial, single mothers or fathers, as well as “Baoernai” and “Yangxiaomi”, both feudal remnants of bigamy.
If you previously wanted to form an “economic community” or a “cooperative for reproduction” through marriage, now you want to satisfy your feelings and fulfill your sexual and psychological desires. Of course, there are also people who consider wealth as their first motive when looking for a marriage partner.
As for the ethical basis of marriage, the family used to be considered. Now more attention is paid to personal happiness. Marriage with Chinese mail order bride is believed to be an individual matter that has nothing to do with social stability. Therefore one no longer wants to enter into or maintain a marriage without love. Some young people recognize coexistence without marriage.
In recent years, the marriage rate in China has decreased. In 1998, 8.918 million couples tied the knot, in 1999 around 8,888 and in 2000 around 8.48 million couples.
One now doubts the usual thesis: “The families represent social cells. The social stability therefore depends on the stability of the families.” Divorce no longer leads to social stigmatization; The divorce rate is constantly increasing in China. In 1998, 1.191 million couples divorced, which accounted for 13.36% of new couples, around 1.203 (13.54%) in 1999 and around 1.21 million couples (14.27%) in 2000.
With regard to marital morality, the three female duties of obedience (to the father before marriage, to the man in marriage and to the son after the death of the man) and the four feminine virtues (modesty, appropriate language, correct behavior and diligence). Now women are no longer the appendages and tools of men and are increasingly independent. They want the quality of the marriage and the affection of the spouse. Maintaining a marriage without love is no longer considered moral and is tolerant of and even sympathetic to an extramarital affair out of love. Traditional chastity, although to some extent criticized and rejected, also has a great influence on men and then has an impact on women.
One now pays great attention to building a partnership marriage and learns the art of communication between spouses and no longer bases the hope of consolidating and maintaining the marriage on the marriage certificate or the children. You can also know how to tell if a Chinese Women likes you by following.
Marriage in the transition period
In China, marriage is changing from the traditional to the modern type. There are different ideas about marriage during this transition period.
In traditional marriage, material existence is the most important thing due to financial difficulties and backward culture, with the man as the breadwinner in the center. The main characteristic in this marriage is that the man is the master of the house and the woman plays second fiddle.
This marriage still exists in the backward villages and some families in the city. Most women are content to be both a virtuous wife and a good mother. They have run out of romance or are suppressing it.