Keeping a mistress is just like playing golf!

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The increasing popularity of “ernai,” or mistresses among wealthy men is emerging as a problem in Chinese society, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

Amid the rapid development of the country’s economy, large numbers of those fortunate enough to enjoy the prosperity are having affairs with mistresses, making it the symbol of the rich. “Keeping a mistress is just like playing golf,” a man told the New York Times concerning the issue, adding “both are expensive hobbies.” Those seeking such liaisons offer lavishing apartments or cars as well as monthly allowances.

However, the public is angered by the trend. Chinese prosecutors believe about 90 percent of governmental executives accused of corruption have mistresses, sometimes more than 10.

In December a government employee allegedly murdered his mistresses and abandoned the body in a river when she asked for $3 million in return for putting an end to the relationship.

Zheng Beichin, a lawyer who had defended a mistress, told the New York Times “the nation’s elite, including judges and government officials, have little desire to tinker with the status quo.” Meanwhile, a similar phenomenon exists in Korea covertly under the name of “sponsor contract,” where rich men give money and a home to women in return for relationships.

Whilst, this sounds so innocent on the outside, it is rather malicious and immoral. Marriage, is supposed to be, between a husband and his wife, which does not include a Mistress. This is know in the free-world as adultery, and grounds for divorce in many countries. Yet, in Asia it is rather the norm. Does this mean that Asian Women or incapable of maintaining the loyalty and fidelity of their husbands, or is this simply, an indication that the husbands are free to roam the streets and pick up whatever is walking around the sidewalks? Perhaps I should say whatever is hanging out in the Hotel Bars or is provided by some Escort agencies.

Perhaps this is an action for alienation of affection which, does not require proof of extramarital sex. An alienation claim is difficult to establish because it comprises several elements and there are several defenses. To succeed on an alienation claim, the plaintiff has to show that the marriage entailed love between the spouses in some degree;  the spousal love was alienated and destroyed; and defendant‘s malicious conduct contributed to or caused the loss of affection.

It is not necessary to show that the defendant set out to destroy the marital relationship, but only that he or she intentionally engaged in acts which would foreseeably impact on the marriage. Thus, defendant has a defense against an alienation claim where it can be shown that defendant did not know that the object of his or her affections was in fact married. It is not a defense that the non-innocent spouse consented to defendant’s conduct. But it might be a defense that the defendant was not the active and aggressive seducer. If defendant’s conduct was somehow inadvertent, the plaintiff would be unable to show intentional or malicious action. But prior marital problems do not establish a defense unless such unhappiness had reached a level of negating love between the spouses. And this is a mouthful to digest.