China wife files for divorce after floundering 10-year marriage wrecked by husband's addiction to fishing

A woman in eastern China is divorcing her husband of 10 years because of his addiction to fishing which has ruined their marriage and upset their family.
PHOTO: South China Morning Post

A woman from eastern China has ended her decade-long marriage to a fishing-mad husband whose angling addiction not only made him neglect his wife and family but led to him almost miss their divorce hearing.

Throughout their 10 years together, the man, surnamed Sun, has spent all his spare time fishing while his wife, surnamed Zhang, took care of all the housework and childcare, according to a divorce case filed with the Juye County People’s Court in Shandong province on Monday.

An upset and disappointed Zhang decided to file for a divorce, but her errant husband’s fascination for fishing even managed to impinge on the legal proceedings.

Sun was so engrossed in angling with his friends he forgot the time of the hearing and only turned up after the judge called to remind him, the court said in an article published on its official WeChat account.

“I get up before 6am every morning to prepare breakfast. I send the two kids to school before I go to work. Every day it’s me who washes the dishes, cleans our home, picks the children from school, and helps them with their homework… I am exhausted,” said Zhang.

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“But my husband gets up after I prepare breakfast, and after work, he just lies on the sofa and plays with his mobile phone. After dinner, he goes straight out to fish, often spending the whole night fishing,” she said.

Sun agreed to dissolve their marriage because he said he was “fed up with Zhang’s complaining”, the court heard.

Zhang said attempts by the couple to resolve their differences outside court were fruitless, insisting on a formal split after her repeated demands for him to spend more time with the family were ignored.

The judge, Fu Honglian, granted the application after attempts at mediation failed.

“Fishing is not a bad thing, but there’s a line for everything. Once you’re married, you have to take on the responsibility of being a husband or wife, and a parent. Don’t put fishing before family,” Fu was quoted as saying.

Female workers in China on average spend 154 minutes a day on doing housework and caring for their family members, roughly double that of men, according to a 2020 nationwide survey by the All-China Women’s Federation and the National Bureau of Statistics.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.