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January 19, 2013

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Some who wed on auspicious day find 'forever love' didn't last long

FOREVER ended up being a very short time for three couples who vowed "until death do us part'' on the auspicious marriage day of January 4 but divorced just days later.

They were among some 7,300 couples who drew marriage certificates at civil affairs bureaus across the city that day, which witnessed a marriage boom for its auspicious meaning. The date sounds like "forever love'' in spoken Chinese.

A couple who declined to be identified divorced only four days after January 4.

They called the marriage "a hasty decision" resulting from following the craze that day.

The young couple rejected counseling from staff workers at the Xuhui marriage registration center who tried to dissuade them from divorcing.

But they said they had made up their minds without further explanation.

If a wife or husband remains silent or cries when asking for a divorce, it means it may still be possible to change their minds, according to officials providing free marriage counseling services at the Xuhui center.

But in most cases, the efforts fail.

Seven couples in the city who registered for marriage on December 12, which means "want to love" twice in Chinese, also divorced.

"Nowadays, divorce is such an easy thing compared with years ago when the procedure was complicated with both the spouses' working units probably getting involved," said Leng Li, a marriage counselor.

Lin Kewu, deputy director of Shanghai Civil Affairs' marriage administration office, said the number of flash marriage and flash divorces among young couples is on the rise as their love does not have a strong foundation and they don't take their marriage vows very seriously.

"Many young couples do not know tolerance and their parents intervene, making things worse," he said.

Leng said those born after 1980 were pampered by their parents as China's one-child policy took effect, and they tend to be more self-centered and less tolerant in a marriage than those born earlier.

"When disputes erupt, neither the husband nor the wife is willing to compromise because they grew up in a similar environment" of a one-child family, she said. "So quarrels escalate into divorces, sometimes with parents' intervention."

Divorce in Shanghai surged by 13 percent last year, the largest increase in recent years. A total of 44,364 couples with at least one Shanghainese partner divorced in 2012, up more than 5,100 from 2011.

Couples also sometimes divorce to purchase one more apartment under housing purchase restrictions and they remarry later, Lin said.


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