All’s not fair in love and war. Sometimes, there is he who lies in wait, plotting to steal significant others when service members are off fighting. His name, of course, is Jody, and he exists everywhere.

In China, there are, in fact, consequences for such inhumanities. One Chinese man was recently sentenced to 10 months in prison for ruining the marriage of a People’s Liberation Army soldier after he dated — and moved in with — the soldier’s wife.

“China’s Criminal Law stipulates that anyone cohabiting or marrying another person knowing that he or she is the spouse of a PLA soldier will face imprisonment of up to three years,” according to a report by the South China Morning Post.

The man, identified as “Ma,” reportedly began an affair with a former coworker, named Yuan, who was also, unbeknownst to him, an Army wife. When Yuan told Ma of her marital status and the punishment associated with an extramarital affair, he broke it off.

But Ma just couldn’t stay away, and he and Yuan moved in together a month later. Yuan then filed for divorce from her husband, who was away serving with the PLA.

Yuan’s husband, however, became aware of the affair through home security footage and subsequently turned the pair in to the authorities.

While destroying a military marriage could have resulted in a three-year sentence, Ma was reportedly given a shorter stint in jail because he was honest in court about his situation.

“The punishment is so harsh because the state is obliged not only to give special protection to the marriage of a soldier but also to respect and protect the honour of serving members of the military,” the Post added.

Observation Post is the Military Times one-stop shop for all things off-duty. Stories may reflect author observations.

Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.

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