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Different Cultures And Marriage

I was watching a “light news” video today on Youtube. “Light news” or “Soft news” is the type of news story that is talked about when nothing really serious or major happens in the world.

This video was an American news video. It was talking about a story that apparently happened in China. I say “apparently” because, as you guys know, I live here and I didn’t hear about it. Anyway, I do believe it happened.

Apparently some woman in China was working in some kind of “divorce office”. I suppose she was one person in charge of allowing people to get divorced (I’m not sure which city) but it doesn’t really matter for this story. Anyway, when a husband and wife walk into the office to get a divorce, this woman is supposed to do the paperwork to make it official.

Well, I guess this Chinese woman didn’t like to see so many divorces, so she would pretend that the printer wasn’t working or she would make up some story that would make the couple “think twice” about getting the divorce. Her purpose of making the excuse was to try to save marriages and only give them to couples who are super serious about getting a divorce, and not just in a silly argument. Because of what this lady was doing, the couple would have to go home while still married because the divorce couldn’t happen that day, and if they still wanted a divorce later, they would have to go back to the office and get one.

According to this woman, many couples never returned. I guess they didn’t REALLY want one. I think many young couples don’t treat marriage seriously like they did in the past, and they get divorced for a silly reason like a dumb argument.

Divorces are getting more common all over the world. Some people think this is a horrible and sad thing for obvious reasons. Some people actually think its a good thing because they believe that people shouldn’t be married if they don’t want to be. They believe that if a couple says they want a divorce, just let them, what’s the big deal? It’s their choice right? They also believe that the reason there are more divorces now than in the past is because people in the past who were in terrible marriages (maybe where the husband was hitting his wife or in a marriage where one of them were cheating) would just stay married, even though the marriage was TERRIBLE. It’s definitely much easier to get a divorce now, and more people are getting them.

For me, I’m personally a little bit more traditional. I do believe that more divorces are a bad thing for society in general. I don’t think marriage should be treated lightly or like a total joke. It’s more than just a piece of paper in my mind. I do believe that couples who are truly in a horrible marriage should be able to get divorced, but I don’t think it should be so easy that all you have to do is get in a little argument and say “I want a divorce”.

If it’s so easy to get divorces, why even have marriage? If it’s JUST a piece of paper, then what is the point of that paper? I think we need to be somewhere in middle.

Anyway, the Americans in the video were saying it was WRONG of the Chinese woman to be doing this. They thought that the government should totally stay out of this business of divorce. I think the Americans who made this video were wrong. They were too simple minded and they treated marriage like it had too little meaning in my opinion.

The American woman in the video has especially ridiculous views on this (in my opinion again). I don’t like her thinking at all. I would love to hear what you guys think on this topic! I know some people can watch Youtube and some can’t because of the country you are in, but anyway, for those who can watch it, here it is.

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section!   I am fine if you disagree with me on this.  It’s just opinions.  I’d love to hear where you are from, why you think what you do, and how old you are and what you do.  (Or anything you’d like to share with us)

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22 Responses to “Different Cultures And Marriage”

  1. uno21 Says:

    nice topic again.
    this kind of your articles give us a lot of chance
    to become familiar with real native english
    and that’s right you are a kind of traditional style
    so i like both of you guys.
    yes..once married ,they should be responsible what they have done. that’s the nature of life!!
    i don’t know somebody dislike this old fashioned ideas
    but i want they have to try to insist to keep their marriage life!
    thanks , expeting your next topic!! /////////// sung

  2. Justyna Says:

    I don’t know what I think about this topic and about marriage because I don’t think about getting marriage yet or even soon ( I’m 22 years old) but my parents had been together about 40 years, and when my dad died, and when I saw my mum being absolutely broke after that ( even if it was very sad for me) but I just thought that it was an incredible beautiful view when my mum tried to jump into the grave and stay in the cemetery a whole night to be a bit longer with dad… because she couldn’t see the rest of her life without him. And still she can’t. And after that she said to me: You know what Justyna? I lost my grandparents, parents, two brothers, sister and two children ( they died after a week) but I was strong. But when dad died, I didn’t want to live anymore, because I didn’t see any purpose of life, because he was the purpose of my life since we met.
    And… I then I saw the beauty of marriage.

  3. yc Says:

    Hi there.
    It is really controversial topic.
    This chainese woman clurk just ‘hide’ the problem. Yes, she saves marriages, but she does not resolve the problems of relations within the marriage.
    I believe that marriage itself it is a some sort of formality, tradition if you will. Therefor, what is the point to save marriege if relation going wrong.

    About youtube report. Actualy it was a tall order for me to get what they were talking about. Chaina-brothers, I guess a lot of your students would be interested to learn some lessons about some english accents.

    Sorry for my broken english.


  4. meme Says:


    will nice topic today, as I see The happy marriage happen when 2 couple are complete each other Like they think in the same way,Bears each other and respect their act and ideas. If they are in the same line they’ll live happily ever after, IF NOT SO they have to give a shot and try to understand each other and again if not the divorce is the best cuz u cant live with someone is totally different from u and u cant communicate with’m in many ways :)
    WHY cuz I know people get married and both of them are totally different like one of them come from different planet and they live with each other like a [stranger] NO contact no normally argument like any who are married :)

    for GOD SAKE ! is that marriage absolutely NOT
    BUT in religion getting divorce is Aversion and not the solution U have to abt it many times In order to preserve children if they have.

    IN my opinion being single is the best way tell u find ur soul-mate and u think u are comfortable with him\her
    and he\she is the ONE that u gonna live with for the rest of ur life. 4 me I’m single and 30 tell now I didnt Find MY ONE :) :) ;)


    If I have misspelling PLZ 4give me ;)

  5. Hamed Says:

    Hey lovely Brothers!
    first off, I’d like to thank all your efforts for making kickass podcasts in both sites (I mean china232 and learnenglish232), they are definitely what the doctor ordered! I know your are burning the midnight oil preparing daily lessons and it is as clear as day for me that hard work always pays off!
    anyway, about the topic I have to say that in my way of thinking, marriage is a crucial milestone in everybody’s life so it is extremely important. it has remarkable impacts on one’s personal and social life. it is interconnected with all aspects of one’s life. all I want to say is that getting divorce is not like changing a shirt when you don’t like it anymore! decision for settling down should not be taken easy. everyone needs to think about their priorities in life and choose their partner wisely. I strongly believe that many individuals choose their spouse based on their feelings and emotional outbursts rather than logical reasons. Don’t take this the wrong way, I am not trying to deny importance of emotions and feelings! If there is no feeling between a couple, the writing will be on the wall for their marriage. I just say that a combination of feeling and logic will work wonders in this crucial process. while one does that, the marital relationship would be very strong and doesn’t break down that easily.
    above and beyond this, it has happened to many of us that when we are furious, we make some weird and senseless decisions which we regret later. they say ” haste makes waste”! I personally believe that while we are angry, we can’t make proper decisions, so we need to give ourselves enough time to calm down and think over before making important decisions such as getting divorce.
    it is undeniable that sometimes two persons are poles apart and they really cannot abide each other at all.they have tried so many ways but those have not worked out for them, so unfortunately getting divorce would be the LAST resort. breaking down the relationship is sometimes first option for some people which is totally wrong. you cannot find a couple who see eye to eye in all stuff! there are always differences and disagreements because of different culture and lifestyles. even in a single family with a unique culture, each member has a different point of view so it is virtually impossible to find someone who concurs with you in all aspects. saving a marital relationship is the art of managing differences and disagreements and trying to use them in personal evolution which is definitely one of the most important reasons of marriage.
    all in all, I think individuals need to be more vigilant and more prudent while choosing their partner in order to have a successful long-term relationship. they say” keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards”.

  6. parviz Says:

    Hi Andy,
    Good topic
    To marry or not to marry is a serious issue in my opinion. It is thought of as being a holy tradition that sometimes some bad things may happen to it.
    There are many factors attributed to a successful marriage such as satisfaction of the couple from their marriage, cultural differences, and paradigms.
    Most people have initially a successful marriage, but unfortunately, they can’t keep it going. Most couples get very soon comfort with the routines, and before long, start to take each other for granted. It is like that they are not attracted to each other, or they can’t meet each others’ need (you know what I mean!).

    In the case of cultural differences, I should say it is not as important as it used to be. in the past people would live in an extended family, where someone other than the couple would drive a wedge between the couple. The number of extended family has decreased very much in the past 50 years, giving its place to nuclear and single parent families. still, I have seen how other people interference destroyed the life of a couple, just because there were different traditions or opinions toward something as unimportant as going on a trip.
    The last but not the least is the paradigm, the habits we acquire from our parents that live in us with out we knowing about them. Paradigms make us to look in every change as a game that we should win in. Knowing nothing about this habits, people get married, and pretty soon their warm relationship would turn into a bloody battle that might be settled down only by divorce.
    I could continue adding to the list, but sum it up in a sentence that divorce is a good destination of bad marriage undertaking.
    I hope your relationship don’t get hurt.

  7. mojtaba Says:

    Hi guys …
    I’m a 20 years old boy and a religious one.
    Marriage is one of the biggest part during life for all the people around the world .
    you know … if you get married and the marriage will give you responsibility , and one of the finest and most trainer and teacher for human is responsibility and it will help you to grow up.
    of course getting married is a hard process but a hard one that’ll give you convenient , respect , confidence and lot’s of good sense .
    If you get married , you know that there is another one except you who is careful , worried about you and wanna laugh with you if you are laughing and crying with you if you are crying without no reason besause you are two soul in one body , and there is someone who loves you .
    As our religious has tought us , we must open our eyes more than ever before getting married , because we are selecting a person who we’re going to live rest of our life and a person who is our children’s father or mother in the future .
    Our religious has tought us that one of the definitions for marriage is that : it’s like the relationship between a Castle and a Diamond , the Husband is the Castle and the Wife is the Diamond inside the Castle .
    The Castle will protect the diamond and it’s like a shield for the family and make safe family (wife and children)and the diamond will keep warm inside the castle, it works like a fire but not for burning , it’s for light and warm . The diamond is the most valuable thing for the castle and the castl is the only thing that diamont can lean it .
    A castle without diamond inside is something cold , dark and without soul AND the diamond without a castle is worthless and unsafe .
    Infact it’s one the definition for marriage with the right person .

    at the end I wanna say sorry for my poor English .

    best wishes

  8. Robert Says:

    Hi guys,

    it is a very related topic for me, I’m going to get married! :)
    This little idea (out of paper/printer is out of usage) can save/repair more lives, because after this report, lots would have been divorced thoughtless. After leaving the office, they thought about the divorce really and more seriously, and concluded to continue their life together.
    I can imagine that this american woman broke with her boyfriend not so long time ago.
    If you marry a woman, you will be a gift for her, and she will be a gift for you as well, so both of you need to be perfect for the other one! Because: who would wanna get a bad gift? To think this way, a lot of divorces can be avoided.

    Big thanks for the blog and the videos!! A lot of podcasts from you are uploaded to my tablet ;)

    Robert, a china232 fan from Hungary

  9. Lene Says:

    I think that this Chinese woman is so cute, how nice of her to save the couples. I assume she is very sensitive to people’s lifes. She cares about saving love. I would do the same thing she did. The main things that she gave these couples the time to think about each other. Sometimes one day is enough to change your opinion. That types of things sometimes happened to me, in the evening I thought I don’t want to do this or that any more and in the morning after sweet sleep I feel another feeling No it’s not too bad, it seems even better than yesterday. I can’t understand the people who think that this women doesn’t want to do her job, she wants more time to relax, she doesn’t want to do paper work… It sounds weird for me. Personally I support her:)

  10. Ricky Says:

    he everyone. Iam not oficial married with my wife. we have a son already but the relationship between us is not easy sometimes, maybe its depend of different cultures or maybe we have different caracters anyway I am happy that I have this girl in my life.

  11. Masha Says:

    Well, it’s very difficult question…everyone decides for himself divorce or not, but I think if this woman was able to help someone it’s great, because a lot of young couples don’t think too much before getting divorce. But this women don’t decide the problem it’s just like a band-aid solution it’s problem of goverment and people at all. For example in my country (Uzbekistan) it’s very difficult to get divorce especially if you have a children and may be sometimes it’s better to do this faster.
    I guess it depends on situation.

  12. mahdie Says:

    hi guys
    I think you’re totally right.I’m 25 years old and married for 2 years. It is the most beautiful part of my life to be with the guy who I love.although sometimes he makes me angry and it’s hard to accept him.couples should be more patient as you said.divorce is not the answer for every silly argument.in every situation you should try to understand each other and be responsible for the commitment that you made.

  13. Abdul Khalil Says:

    The lady in the divorce department in China does an amazing job. She realizes that couples get mad at every tits and tats and run for divorce. Once, they are separated then, they realize who he or she was in their lives. When someone marries, in fact he/she is completing part of his or her life with that person. So, when they get divorced, it is like hell-they will be lonely and will think of the broken relation everyday. I am totally agreed with both you and the lady. Wish you all the best.



  14. Hamid Reza Says:

    I totally agree with you Andrew. That hot chick is absolutely ridiculous and simple minded. I totally believe that marriage is a holy and sacred bonding between man and women. If they just wanna get divorced because of such stupid dispute being common among couples, I think we should stop them. The point is you can not absolutely find a partner who 100% fulfills your requirement. Having different idea is something usual in relationship among partners, but I definitely believe that this makes life more interesting and entertaining. On the other hand, this dispute adds color to couple’s life. Just for the god’s sake, imagine for a sec having a partner agreeing with you all the time. How boring life is gonna be!!!!! But also we should keep in mind, even when an argue goes up, never ever never ever cross the line and do do respect your partner and never use such dirt words that make you say “excuse me” later. If you are in a real dispute and you see that you can not control the condition just “leave the place”.

  15. behnaz Says:

    hi andy..
    it was a good topic.
    as you said its not just a piece of writing..its ur life..its ur time which pass with one u love.. i had some proposal but it was really hard to decide..cause i am not a simple minded person..i think i have to evaluate the situation,his family culture his behavior and believes..so when u decide u have to be sure cause u cant go back you have one choice and you have to decide if he makes u happy or not and write a lot of reason that u thing its a great choice..so if u two face some little problems that is usual in all marriages u can read that paper and make ur self calm.. its ur main choice in life..indeed u can love one boy in ur whole life and u have one choice..every thing will be OK if u thought enough about ur partner,u can easily solve problems and u don’t need to get divorce.. i am 20 year old girl from iran..

  16. Stella Says:

    Hi you ,
    For me, marriage is serious thing, I think in my country most of the people are traditional on this thing( even though more and more people are getting not so traditional), it’s like a strong family culture that deeply rooted in this country’s thousands years of history.
    first, I regard marriage as a kind of an oath, and I believe everyone should think twice before they get into a marriage. As long as you are in a marriage, it means you have prepared to work on it, means you know there can be hardship in a marriage, but you both like to do something for it.
    I say this doesn’t mean I don’t agree for divorce for some horrible marriage,I just want to say on the one hand, in most of the cases, a horrible marriage comes from that the couple didn’t think clear before they are being a family, on the other hand, if you don’t like your wife(or husband) for some reasons, you can’t ganrantee your next would be the perfect one.we learn how to understand each other in a marriage, and a good marriage makes both a better person.
    Another, usually when two people get married, they would have children, it is bad for a child growing up in a single family.
    So, in a word, I agree to treat marriage serious, think twice before you get into it.it means responsibility.
    by the way, I am 23 year old from China ( where you can’t see youtube,hah^.^ )

  17. ELHM Says:

    Hi there, I am from Iran, I am single and 25.
    you know, I’ve read your story and I like the work the the chines woman do, maybe I if I were her, I would do the same thing.
    I also like some parts of your note, as an instance where you said” I think many young couples don’t treat marriage seriously like they did in the past” and “I don’t think marriage should be treated lightly or like a total joke. It’s more than just a piece of paper in my mind.”

    anyway, I guess this a global problem. even here in Iran which have almost traditional people, younger couple sometimes decided to get divorced only because of some stupid reasons.

    However I wish you and all of the young person in the world a successful marriage.

  18. Laura Says:

    Hey Andy,

    i think it’s kind of funny what the chinese clerk did and it’s interesting that a lot of couples obviously didn’t return. Either they changed their minds or they simply went to another office but i totally agree with u. I’m also more traditional and for me it’s not a positive process that there are more divorces nowadays. If u decide to marry then u have to be aware of that u have to go through good and bad times. I think it’s a general problem today that everything is more easy to get and people think that they can find someone better. I’m 31 years old, from Germany and single. My parents are divorced and despite that bad experience i can imagine to marry one day…

  19. Viktor Says:

    Hi Andy,

    I think many of marriage have a bad reason. Peoples want to somebody in his/her life who is give safety against aloneness and satisfy the sexual desire. I suppose peoples have to more consciousness in relationships and the real purpose of marriage have to be a real unity of two person whom realy see each other. The good marriage is a share between two beings and the bad marriage is selfishness and possession and also fear.
    However I hadn’t been married but my parents were divorced 8 years ago. I’m 33 from Hungary.

  20. Gloria Says:

    I have been thinking about this personally. i remember my parents escaped a divorce by my father lying his ID card had been lost. it is true some women stayed in a terrible marriage for the reason of their children or economic dependence. But nowadays, women are more economically independent and they are more aware that a divorce does not necessarily mean a disaster for their children.
    And many young people jump into marriage recklessly without being sure that’s the right person for him/her. I think that’s the cause of a surging divorce rate. When they find they can’t work out at all, they then jump into a divorce.
    I guess we need a “marraige woman” more than a “divorce woman” to let them think twice before they get married.

  21. mike Says:

    Obviously, it depends its result, if the couple back to normal, she should be encouraged otherwise, she should be blamed. It’s hit or miss.
    BTW, it’s hard to say a divorce is right or not, sometimes it’s complicated. Divorce becomes so mediocre that marriage that only last few days may not be a big deal. But it’s ridiculous that some celebrity begin to think about the divorce on their wedding party or even before the wedding. They may know the relationships probably is not going to work out, but under the peer pressure, or may be they are only excited about how luxurious the ceremony would be, or they may want to be caught up at the moment. We don’t know.
    Anyway, it’s not easy to see through each other through out a few romantic date for someone, and almost everyone are instinctually pretending to be sweet to their partner before getting married, but the reality is that people may change , and most of us take love for granted after the marriage. That is the problem.
    Conclusion: Getting married is not difficult, to maintain a marriage need some sacrifice s or self-improvement because nobody is perfect.

  22. maciek Says:

    What comes to my mind is that there should be someone that prevents people to get married, sort of make them give it a second thought. No wonder that so many couples decide to get divorce if they were allowed to get married so easily in the first place. The more so we should allow them to get divorced. There is nothing worse than being forced to live with someone you do not want to live with. When it comes to preventing people from getting divorce I think it is pointless. If silly argument gets couple to decide on it, it means that this relationship is not worthwhile. Unfortunately in my country divorces are not very common but it seems to change a bit. Most couple tend to live together even though they have nothing in common – often just because of lack of financial independence. Therefore most people are convicted to themselves. Once they have assets to live on their own they will have no hesitation to leave their spouses. Needless to say that for me there is no point in preventing people from getting divorce. It is better to teach the youngest ones how to make repsonsible decisons, decisions you would not regret.

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