When Faye Wong and Li Yapeng announced their divorce, after everyone felt the shock, people slowly started guessing the reasons for it, speaking as if they new all the facts. Most people pointed the finger at Li Yapeng, and not only did most of them assume that Li Yapeng had filed for divorce, but they also thought that if he hadn’t cheated, hadn’t a mistress, hadn’t money problems, and wasn’t a scumbag, then after giving so much to him, how could a devoted mother and wife fading out of the entertainment industry agree to divorce him? Even when the news “Faye Wong to leave her household” was published and advertised widely, some people insulted Li Yapeng on Weibo. If he had done nothing wrong, how could Faye Wong have been compelled to leave her family? Finally, after causing her so much distress, he posted another message that said that divorce was his idea, there was no mistress involved, no problems with her mother-in-law, no financial problems and that she wasn’t going to leave her household. After holding back for several days, Li Yapeng finally spluttered: “I will always love the mother of my child.” ”
After the news got out, nobody could understand. “You two haven’t said why this has come about, so why must you divorce? When you talk about your divorce it seems like you’re faking heartache. What are you thinking?” I think this is very interesting, it makes me recall something that happened a long time ago. At that time I was still at my original home in the north-east. I had friends from all over the world, one of which was called Sam who I was best buddies with. Once when we were eating, he said to me, “Our friend Micky got a Chinese girlfriend, and she has a husband who is an archaeologist. Her husband spends more than 10 months of the year away from her, and they have a daughter.” Sam could understand Micky’s situation, after all, he was also a single man far away from home. However, he couldn’t understand that girl. Since she was having an affair with another man, and reportedly having almost no of sex life with her husband, why would she maintain her marriage? Thereupon I gave Sam an explanation, maybe it’s because of the child. He couldn’t comprehend this at all, what about her happiness? I explained that in China, female divorcees with children can’t easily remarry, but he still couldn’t comprehend, and so challenged me with the following question: But does she feel happy with this situation? Finally, I also pushed a question forward, bluntly saying that this is what Chinese people are like, we are different from you Americans, this is how we live our lives. This further increased his lack of understanding. However, he didn’t ask any further.
Two days ago I saw an interview with Chen Danqing, he said that Chinese people’s greatest belief is to keep on living. Today, after recalling this, I want to say that if life is a belief of the Chinese, then the attitude of many Chinese to marriage is to put up with it. When a couple divorces, they will invariably be asked, “Why?” The underlying meaning of this is, “Why can’t you continue to get along?” Who was the first not to be able to get along?” In the hearts of many Chinese, no matter how unhappy a marriage is, they should try their utmost to continue to get along. Only if there is a truly extraordinary reason not to continue, such as an affair, involvement with prostitutes, domestic violence, gambling, drug taking, financial problems etcetera, will it be accepted as a reason why you should divorce. A point that needs a special mention is that reasons such as conflicting personalities, an unhappy marriage, feeling so low that you want to die, an unharmonious sex life, even having no sex life at all, are not counted by many Chinese as reasons for being unable to get along. Also, in the eyes of the people, for the aforementioned to be counted as bona fide grounds for divorce, the circumstances must be seen as serious. If you are able to continue to get along then you had better to continue to get along. If bouts of domestic violence aren’t very violent and are endured, if gambling doesn’t ruin a household then it’s best to put up with it. Niubo often has young ladies that ask, my husband is having an affair, my husband hits me, my boyfriend gambles…… but I still want to continue, what can I do? These young ladies maintain the status quo, and every now and then one asks the same question. They live their lives putting up with such things, not knowing what to do and continuously ask for advice. You can’t say anything, and you don’t need to say anything, because you’ll never be able to help a person who wants to put up with this kind of thing.
In unhappy marriages, getting along is the course of action. After you’ve divorced, it will be hard to avoid the interrogation of others about such a large tragedy in life. However, if a couple are unable to give a “justified reason”, the situation becomes one which is hard to give a clear explanation for. Thereupon onlookers without any better option will, as if at a “grounds for divorce” dinner, throw dishes over one by one, gesturing towards you, seeing which ones stick firmly to your forehead. At last the woman is pushed to her wits end, finally hitting the table and saying that all those reasons are nonsense, it’s just that this old woman doesn’t like putting up with crap. This stuns the onlookers, who think that this is simply something rarely seen (I really think that in a country where such sights are a rarity, normal people are also a rarity!), saying you’re able to get along, why don’t you continue to do so? You want to divorce for this? You can’t do that, are you sure you can’t get along because of this? Stop this charade and tell the truth! Everyone starts to rack their brains to see if they’ve misunderstood, not willing to believe, there are clearly people in this world that can put up with marriage to the end, why is she on the contrary unwilling to? Those that choose to continue to get along have all kinds of reasons, those that don’t usually only have one kind – they haven’t yet given up on their own life, they think their own life still has hope, and they don’t need to entrust the care of their children no matter whether whether they expect to live another 30 years or another 3. They have decided to earnestly continue their lives, live to the end, if they get a tumour they’ll get rid of it, if they make a mistake they’ll resolve it and move on. If you’re able to find a new partner then this is a new beginning for two people. If you can’t then should live as best as you can, never waning. In addition taking Faye Wong’s situation into account, the leeway she got from choosing freedom is so much greater than that of many other ordinary women. When one is met with these circumstances, why on earth must one have to put up with it just like everyone else? So when one doesn’t want to just get along, is this not also normal?
As for why both still feel love, actually the majority of married couples always feel love from the beginning. However, even if both of them are kind hearted good people, this isn’t tantamount to them being able to get along, as during a difficult part of their relationship their vicious sides might be awoken by the other, finally resulting in mutual loathing. If a married couple don’t annoy each other to the point where the idea of love is lost and hatred is out of control, of course their hearts can retain some love. The so called good break-up is simply when it occurs before hatred get to its peak. A song of Zhang Yusheng put it well: She wants to go, let her go, if she stays the loathing will remain. Faye Wong wanted freedom, in the end Li Yapeng gave her freedom. As the saying goes, letting go is also a kind of love. However, although this saying is easy to chant, if you really want to be able to do it, then actually it’s no longer quite so easy. When there is no longer any love between a couple, and it feels like life can’t go on, this doesn’t mean having a partner in itself isn’t without its merits. You can always feel love for another person. Women should be resolute and not get stuck in a rut, men should have compassion and understanding. These qualities are worth the love and respect of everyone, so why can’t a person still have love? If a mutual relationship has experienced a lot, then between two masters, even if there is no love left, both can still appreciate each other, not to mention their child.
Divorce is a choice, it isn’t a failure in life, it’s not the end of the world and it doesn’t need to result in war. Divorcees aren’t dead dogs, they can simply start over and find another way to get along. They still have hope in their lives, and don’t plan to put up with something they know is broken. Looking at this couples divorce, I like their decision more than I did before. I don’t have anything specifically positive to say about it, it’s just that I feel that everyone should relax a bit more in life, don’t treat marriage as a from of purgatory, as if your life is imprisoned. Then perhaps people can genuinely feel that they’ve started to live as they should.
Speaking of which, this reminds me of when a Tang Dynasty annulment contract that was excavated from a cave in Dunhuang. Conveniently pasting it again below, it’s elegance and grace, in modern society where everyone looks either depressed or sinister, hasn’t been seen in a long time. Perhaps you think it’s only Faye Wong and Li Yapeng that are an excessively avant-garde and modernist couple, who when they split up say, “I’m fine, you take care of yourself.” However, perhaps this just the generous nature of our ancestors:
“The whole reason for a couple marrying, is that a strong bond was formed over the their previous 3 incarnations, and only in the current incarnation was this bond strong enough for them to become a married couple. If the bond becomes unharmonious, enemies are made, a mutual struggle is born. Since two hearts are no longer the same, it’s difficult to see eye to eye. Make haste and go to see your family, and each live your life as before. After the woman has departed, desire her to dress herself up again and make herself radiant, and find a good home. Dissolve the problems of the past, and no longer bear a grudge to each other. On separation all relax, each bearing happiness”.
The hero and heroine of the story each looks to their own future, continuing to move forward, taking to the road as a singleton. “On separation all relax, each bearing happiness”. This phrase is a fitting comment to the conclusion of this marriage.
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