China’s ‘Me Generation’ Sends Divorce Rate Soaring

NPR reports that the divorce rate in China has doubled in the past ten years, and one in five Chinese marriages don’t last:

“We’d known each other three weeks when we went to get a wedding certificate,” says the woman, who will only give her name as Cheng. “We were married for six months. We got married in a hurry, and we got divorced in a hurry. It was like a war broke out; we argued, divorce was mentioned, so we got divorced.”

Sitting at an outdoor coffee shop, Cheng is eye-catching in brown shorts and knee-high black stiletto boots. She says she has thought a lot since her divorce. She partly blames it on belonging to the generation of spoiled singletons, known in China as the post-1980s generation.

“Marriage requires forgiveness, understanding, tolerance and compromise. Yet we post-’80s generation neglect this entirely. No one will compromise. We just argue. Of all my friends who are married, 100 percent are unhappy,” she says.

Li Xuefeng, a 31-year-old divorced man, has set up Happy Divorce Village, an online club for those whose marriages have failed. He says marriages often fall apart over little things, like who should do the cooking or laundry.

When asked whether the single-child generation is too selfish for marriage, her answer is telling.

“Next time I’ll look for a husband with siblings,” Cheng says.

Read more about the Me Generation and divorce in China via CDT.


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