Dissatisfaction plagues many marriages

By Li Jing (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-03-02 06:57

A recent survey of women in 20 large and medium-sized cities across the country revealed that about half of the respondents were happy with their marriages and relationships, while nearly 30 percent said they were bored and 3.4 percent said they were in agony.

Three percent said they were worried about their relationships and 12 percent said they did not know how to describe their mixed feelings.

The Huakun Women Survey Center, an affiliate of the All-China Women's Federation, conducted the survey of 2,000 women aged between 20 and 60 at the end of last year. Altogether, 1,955 valid questionnaires were collected.

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The average age of the surveyed women was 35, and 70 percent were married. About 57 percent of the respondents had monthly incomes ranging from 1,000 yuan to 3,000 yuan.

Women in Shanghai seemed to have the most fulfilling love lives, with more than 70 percent saying they felt happy. They were followed by women in Beijing, Qingdao, Ningbo and Tianjin in terms of fulfilment.

The survey also revealed that marriages tended to get less happy the longer they lasted.

For example, women who had been married for less than eight years said they were much happier than those who had been married for longer periods of time, said Zhang Qi, the center's deputy director and the person in charge of the survey.

Women rated responsibility to family, consideration and good taste as the most important qualities in a spouse, while a high income, promising career and nice appearance ranked fifth, eighth and 11th, respectively, Zhang said.

The responses to the questions focussing on issues of mental health were also revealing. Seventy-two percent of the respondents said they felt anxiety occasionally, and 16 percent said they frequently worried.

The respondents aged between 30 and 50 years old were the most worried, with 20 percent saying they were regularly plagued with nervousness. Women in the 51-60-year-old category were the least bothered by anxiety, the survey showed.

Changsha, Chongqing and Nanning had the highest ratios of worried women, while Kunming and Dalian had the lowest ratios.

Pressure from work, problems with their children's education and tough personal relationships were the main causes of nervousness, according to the results of the survey.

(China Daily 03/02/2007 page4)

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