A couple in their seventies ended a 60-year marriage at Sanshui Court in Foshan at the weekend after the husband claimed their children weren’t his and the wife claimed that he had been keeping a mistress in her sixties. The court later found out that they weren’t actually married at all, Foshan Daily reports.
Mr Zhang, 77, married Mrs Liu, 79 in 1953 and they had two children. However, when the children turned out to look nothing like him, he expressed suspicion that they weren’t his.
He was later told by relatives that his wife had had a long-term affair with a person from her village and that that person was the children’s father.
In court, Zhang cited the fact that they no longer had feelings for each other and were often fighting when filing for divorce. However, Liu would not agree with the divorce. She claimed that Zhang had been keeping a mistress, known in Chinese as a xiaosan, who is in her 60s.
The court later discovered that when the couple got married they did not go through the proper procedures, so were not actually husband and wife. For this reason, Zhang got his wish and they were allowed to part.
In Behind The Red Door: Sex in China, Richard Burger explains the difference between an ernai and a xiaosan, two different types of mistress. Whereas ernai and the men who keep them have no pretensions towards having feelings for each other, a xiaosan (literally “little three”) intends to get between the “big two” in a marriage and eventually have the husband all to herself.