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Second-hand husbands

By eddieturkson ( Updated: 2014-10-27 17:45

Not a new topic though, but with a twist and turn. I have done no standardized empirical research and so the assumptions here are solely based on my skewed observation and opinionated thoughts on the middle class in China.

The twist here was to enquire from my Chinese friends (males) what their opinions were on the success rate of a divorced woman with a child in China at having a second chance in a love nest.

I asked this question because, I have observed from my six-year stay in China that divorced men easily find partners, normally unmarried ladies and get on with their lives. Divorced women with kids on the other hand find it very difficult to find another partner. I’m not saying there is none, but so far I haven’t come across any and that tickles my mind.

I asked a couple of male friends if they would marry a divorced woman with child if they (men) weren’t married or divorced and the negative response rate was very high with some answering absolutely no. I probed further asking all sort of manner of questions and the response was all ‘out of favour’ for second hand wives as some referred to divorced women.

The turn then was to find out if they would marry a divorced woman without a child and the answers were this time encouraging. Most of the men I threw this question at said that wouldn’t be much of a problem so far as the woman had no child. From what I deduced from that answer I think they (men) saw the child as a burden or simply they did not see why they should take care of another man’s child, and that to me was heartbreaking.

What I have realized is some men think they can ‘change clothes’ anytime they feel like doing so and in order to do that they use financial constraints as excuse. This is not to say that the women are innocent either.

My take on this is, responsible mothers should also encourage their soon to be married daughters to refrain from marrying second hand husbands. If unmarried ladies refuse to marry divorced men, I think the tables will turn and men will fight to keep their marriages and family intact. But this is China where women are in abundance and men are hard to come by.

I’m trying to make a case for Chinese women here. To the men, the availability of unmarried and over population of women does not mean you can ‘change clothes’ whenever you feel like it. Marriage, in an African proverb, is a long distance journey that is tiresome, sometimes boring, often with a lot of challenges that are hard to surpass unless through teamwork.

Marriages from my queries break up at very flimsy and unthinkable excuses. Two years ago, a court in Wuhan refused to process divorce cases for couples because they had no tangible reasons to call it quit. Most of the cases were petty issues and nonsensical arguments that could be easily resolved by the couples themselves.

All they needed was time to reflect over issues and let flaring tempers subside, but instead they jump at the courts seeking divorce. The Attorney famed for refusing to process the divorce cases threw hundreds of cases out, but did not condone on cases involving abusive marriages which was understandable.

I’m discussing this topic here because; a year ago I was touched by the story of a colleague lady who had escaped from an abusive marriage. She complained bitterly. According to her, she was lucky and unlucky at the same time. She was lucky because she had a son from the marriage, and unlucky because she has not set eyes on her son since the breakup. Why, because the mother of the man refuses to allow her to visit her son. All she had were photos of the boy as a baby. She had no money to go to court and she even thought going to court was a laborious process. This was a broken lady, abused and rejected, lacked self confidence and from my suspicion, still feared the man.

I encouraged her to go on dates and find another man. I told her there is more to life and advised her not to give up, but she was more pessimistic than I thought. “Hmmm Eddie, I don’t think I can stand the thought and humiliation of being rejected a second time” she said, adding, “I cannot lie about my status of being a divorced woman and it will be disastrous if I lie about it to the next man and he finds out, so I’d rather remain single and hope someday true love comes along”. I was infuriated. The hopes and dreams of a beautiful young lady shattered beyond repair. I told her all wasn’t lost and she could still give love a try, but those words I suppose fell on deaf ears.

This whole quagmire, to me is ‘love brewed in a Chinese pot’. When the lid is lifted and the aroma escapes the pot, it evaporates and that’s it.

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