Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Mollyhk

Expat divorce rates in Hong Kong

Recommended Posts

 

I have noticed that so many of the expat families who come to Hong Kong end up in divorce eventually.... 

If you have a good family life and solid marriage you can make something positive of Hong Kong from a family perspective. Families are not in the minority, certainly not where I live, the place is thick with families. If your marriage is on shaky grounds you probably wont want to come to Hong Kong.

There are forces here that will be the tipping point if your marriage is not solid.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Mollyhk said:

 

I have noticed that so many of the expat families who come to Hong Kong end up in divorce eventually.... 

If you have a good family life and solid marriage you can make something positive of Hong Kong from a family perspective. Families are not in the minority, certainly not where I live, the place is thick with families. If your marriage is on shaky grounds you probably wont want to come to Hong Kong.

There are forces here that will be the tipping point if your marriage is not solid.

 

What do you mean by forces that would make a shaky marriage collapse? Apart from the obvious stereotype - married man - affairs with local women - frustrated housewife at home.

What else (from examples around, experiences, thoughts) are the dangers? My wife and I actually thought about Hong Kong as adventure to revitalize our marriage and improve connection. Bad idea?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my opinion that's the worst idea I have ever heard... I don't think the stress of relocating to a high stress city and learning to deal with the pollution, and general intensity of civilisation will help your relationship. If anything it will ruin it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't mean to answer for @Mollyhk and I am sure she will will jump in with some examples of her own, but hopefully I can help provide some insight as well.

Affairs with local women are one danger, and for sure there are numerous stories of such. However I am not entirely convinced that that happens at such a much higher rate here than anywhere else. What I think is common is for people to underestimate how much a major move like this puts every aspect of your life under the microscope, and so what are small fissures suddenly can be magnified into large cracks.

Working hours are long. There are weeks when I feel badly that my poor husband never seemingly sees me out of my pajamas, with him leaving so early and coming in so late. I don't know what industry you are in, but depending on how much your work involves dealing with local staff or navigating local bureaucracy, everyday working life can be enormously stressful, it's a never-ending exercise in cross-cultural communication (to put it gently.) You may at times feel exhausted, drained, and like you have nothing left in you to give to your family, especially If your job involves travel. Your wife may feel she is left being the enforcer, the person who makes sure all the teeth are brushed, the homework is done, the toys tidied, the tempers tames and the attitudes adjusted, whereas Daddy gets to just be the fun time guy who dispenses hugs and souvenirs and does the fun stuff because hey, we hardly ever get to see Daddy, we don't want to spend what time we do have on all that negative stuff. It's not inevitable, but I've seen it happen.

If your wife is a professional person in her own right, the adjustment to becoming a non-earner can be hugely painful. I personally found it extremely difficult to suddenly be a woman who had to go to her man to get money. (So much so that when it became clear that we were likely going to be here beyond a basic 2 year stint, I did what a needed to do to get myself a decent job, as there was no way I could tolerate it any longer.) I have met some truly amazing women here who are really using this opportunity of being a trailing spouse to reinvent themselves and do some incredible things, so it's totally possible to come here and to thrive - but it doesn't happen by coincidence, and it can be a real struggle at first.

If she is a homemaker already, she may find it difficult here because she can't really, truly make home - you will probably be in furnished accommodation, with furniture and furnishings that may not be entirely what you would choose; but unless you are planning to be here for the long haul, it isn't likely that you'll want to invest in kitting out a place entirely either. So her opportunities to make the house really reflect her own tastes are somewhat limited. Again - not inevitable, and we all manage to make our places as warm as welcoming as possible with what we have to work with. But if her home is a point of pride with your wife, she might struggle at first (it can take a while to figure out where to even find quality home furnishings here amongst all the cheap crap.)

The bottom line is, the simplest things are often so much harder here. I often use the example of the time I got it into my head that I wanted to make a seafood risotto. In the end, I had to go to 5 different shops to get the ingredients - one for the good seafood, one for the arborio rice, one for the vegetables and two different ones trying to find saffron (and by the way, I am out of saffron and the place I bought it before doesn't have it any more, which also happens here all the freaking time, so if anyone knows where I can find some saffron, please tell me.) Whereas 'back home' I'd have just gone to one supermarket and been home in an hour, here I had to go halfway across town and ended up making it the next day because it was so late by the time I got home we just ordered a pizza. So this is how the small things become big things, you know?

I don't want to sound too discouraging. This can indeed be a fantastic adventure and could very well be a very exciting chapter in your life and in your marriage. However like all the best adventures, it is not without risk. Like climbing Everest or trekking to the South Pole or whatever, you know? If you have the right attitude and you accept that it isn't always going to be easy, then it can also be exhilarating and rewarding. But, you do have to be prepared.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yea , thats a really bad idea. if your marriage needs a jolt then i dont think a country full of women that throw themselves a white guys, no matter how old, fat, ugly, bald, poor or if they are taken with gf, wife or kids is going to help you. seriously man, its a very bad plan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coming to Asia, not just Hong Kong but anywhere in SE Asia as well, in a marriage that needs to be "revitalized" is about as likely to work as having another baby to save the marriage. At best it provides a year of distraction because it takes your mind off things while everyone is so busy adapting.

There are statistics that speak to the likely hood of a breakup in this environment. I think it can be very toxic, not just the air. AQ is going to be the lessor of the problems.

I got a divorce and left for an OS job with my then teenage daughter, 13 years ago. That was the start of expat life. She hated living overseas and opted to go to boarding school over living with her father back home.

Perhaps the issue is not potential pollution in Hong Kong but things better dealt with there in your own country.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many foreign guys start shagging their Chinese assistant very soon after getting here. French couples are notorious for this - in the summer French women often go home with their kids and leave husband here. He invites his secretary to come and live with him for the summer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know of a family that came too Hong Kong also to 'revitalise' the marriage. Within 6 months the wife was hanging out, flirting and kissing with men 10 years younger than her. Not sure if she bonked anyone though. After two years, she no longer engages in this type of the behaviour and the marriage is still together (for the kids)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...