Assassins for love

By Huang Lanlan Source:Global Times Published: 2015-10-11 18:08:01

They seek and destroy mistresses to save marriages

Many people believe mistresses are key factors in unhappy marriages. Photo: IC

Last Saturday a forum, organized by the China Marital Family Work Association, attracted dozens of marriage and family counselors in Shanghai. The forum's theme was "how to get rid of a mistress."

For these counselors the third party, the mistress, is one of the key factors in unhappy marriages. Forum co-organizer Shu Xin, the director of the Shanghai Weiqing Marriage Company which conducts marriage counseling, told the Global Times that 80 percent of this company's clients seeking for help on marriages, male and female, had problems involving third parties.

"In the past when they encountered a third-party problem most Chinese couples would get divorced without hesitation, but now the situation has changed," Shu said. "More and more wives are choosing to fight their husbands' mistresses and defend their marriages. They don't want to retreat."

Distressed wives

The Weiqing Company was established in 2001 and now has 59 branches across the country, specializing in dealing with the extra-marital affairs for its costumers, most of whom are distressed wives who have only just discovered their husbands' infidelity.

In the company there is a special team of nearly 300 consultants - "the mistress assassins." Their work involves finding the mistresses and persuading them to leave. In 2014, these "assassins" successfully handled some 8,552 cases, saving 5,316 marriages. "Nearly 200 people come to us every day, asking for mistresses or lovers to be removed," Shu said.

A current case involves a housewife in Henan Province. In September, the woman contacted Shu and said her husband had become involved with another woman and worse still, the other woman was now pregnant. The wife asked Shu to get rid of the mistress and get the husband to return home. Shu accepted the case for a minimum fee of 200,000 yuan ($31,520) - to be paid in full if the company succeeded.

The wife agreed and paid Shu a deposit of 20,000 yuan. "Our 'assassins' are going to Henan Province to talk to the husband and his mistress," Shu told the Global Times.

Although the 200,000-yuan fee is very substantial for most people in China, for this company this is the minimum fee. Shu explained that 50-75 percent of the money is usually spent on finding and befriending the mistress. "These mistresses love luxury goods, and to win their trust our employees often have to give them expensive gifts - like 50,000-yuan bracelets."

But that's just the start. Most of these mistresses are attractive young women living in rented apartments in exclusive residential areas so the "assassins" will rent an apartment nearby and live there for months on end. Last year in Beijing Shu said the company was involved in a case where the mistress lived in an exclusive residential compound in downtown Chaoyang district. To get close to her the "assassin" had to spend about 100,000 yuan renting an apartment in the same compound for five months.

Making friends

After moving in the "assassin" watched out for when the mistress went walking or jogging around the compound and started walking or jogging, eventually befriending the young woman by posing as a neighbor. "We never tell them who we are. Usually we pretend we are neighbors and make friends with them," Shu said.

It's not easy for an "assassin" to win a mistress's trust. Sometimes the Weiqing Company employees pose as housekeepers or babysitters to get close to their targets. In another case in June, after a wealthy Shanghai man's mistress gave birth to a child, his wife came to Shu for help. One of the company's "assassins" then got a job as a nanny for the new-born baby in the mistress's apartment, looking after the baby and chatting with the young woman.

The man only visited his mistress occasionally and the "assassin" began using this as a theme in her conversations with the woman. She began complaining about the man to the woman, telling her that the baby would suffer because his father didn't care for him. "After the baby grows up, he will blame you for giving him a broken family." "Your parents must be very sad knowing that you have become someone's mistress."

The constant dispiriting conversations soon affected the 26-year-old woman and she decided to break up with the man. With the help of the "assassin" the young woman had her baby adopted by a local couple who had been unable to conceive. "The man paid her 300,000 yuan compensation," Shu said. "But that's a small amount compared to most of the cases we handle."

He said the costliest case he had dealt with involved a woman who drove her husband's mistress away by sending her abroad. "She gave the mistress 8 million yuan and asked her not to come back ever."

Weiqing Company director Shu Xin lectures would-be mistress "assassins". Photo: Courtesy of Weiqing Marriage Company

Wealthy and wicked

There's a Chinese saying that "men become bad when they become wealthy." Almost all of the errant husbands that Weiqing Company has dealt with have been wealthy and middle-aged.

Shu reckoned that 60 percent of the mistresses he has encountered care much more for money than for true love. "There's even a 20 percent who are 'professional mistresses' who see two or three men at the same time to get more money," Shu said. He said many professional mistresses had attended underground sex skills classes to help them capture hearts. "These classes have been reported in Guangdong, Liaoning and Henan provinces."

But most of the time, the mistress or the third parry is not the only one to blame for problems in a marriage. Ming Li, veteran marriage consultant and a Weiqing Company "assassin" said that few women apart from professional mistresses would actually seduce men.

"Many are really jerked around by men and become their 'girlfriends' but remain ignorant that the guys are married," said the 46-year-old. "But the public thinks every 'other woman' is bad and unforgiveable, ignoring the fact that the unfaithful and irresponsible man is more to blame."

She talked about when she accompanied a young woman to have an abortion at a city hospital some years ago. It was a long procedure and Ming waited for hours. The girl's boyfriend, who was a married college lecturer, didn't show up. When Ming called him to tell him the girl was having an abortion he was delighted. "For him a child was nothing but a potential burden."

The "assassination" business is thriving in China. As well as the Weiqing Company there are another four or five companies claiming to be able to get rid of mistresses or unwanted lovers.

The Global Times talked to a Beijing company, Qixingqingdun. Its business manager, Du Wei, said that before a detailed consultation customers had to pay a 900-yuan deposit. Although the rule was no deposit no consultation, Du said his company charged a lot less than similar companies for their services to save marriages - just 8,700 yuan.

A legal limbo

The Weiqing Company is considering expanding its team of "assassins." "We expect to have 1,000 'assassins' across the country," Shu told the Global Times, adding that the company was recruiting and training "assassins" in Shanghai. "We prefer married women aged over 35 who have majored in psychology, sociology or law," he said. "A good 'assassin' should also be amiable, talkative and persuasive, and she must know China's marriage laws well."

But this new and unregulated business is also in a legal limbo. Although both Shu and Du emphasized that company employees would not begin their work without authorization from their clients, it is hard to know the details of their work and whether this is always legal.

"These mistress 'assassins' are like private detectives - they are neither prohibited nor protected by law," said legal expert Zheng Ziyin. "When they are uncovering personal information or posing as housekeepers or nannies to get close to someone, they may have crossed the line of legality."

Last month, the Weiqing Company helped a wife in Anhui Province get rid of her husband's mistress. After talking with the company's employees, the "assassins," the husband signed an agreement with the mistress, promising her 2 million yuan and she pledged, in return, never to see the man again.

But whether this is legally binding it is hard to tell. "Just seeing someone is a basic human right that cannot be restricted by an agreement," Zheng told the Global Times. "In other words, even though the woman secretly meets the man some day in the future, the man's wife would be unable to do anything about this."

Posted in: Metro Shanghai, City Panorama

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