On relationships: Hong Kong is a marriage graveyard (Part 7)

As a dispute resolution lawyer, I handle divorces time and time again.  When people’s emotions get mixed up in them, children sometimes become victims of custody battles.  These battles are difficult not just for lawyers but the couple themselves.  These have become a common place in Hong Kong and reflect the current trend in society.

Divorces are rising in Hong Kong

According to public records, the number of divorces went from 6,295 in 1991 to 20,075 in 2015.  The rise of divorces in this city are more than threefold and the numbers keep on rising.  In the past, family was important and despite difficulties, people did everything to keep their families together.  Nowadays, people can fall in and out of love, just like that.

Hong Kong a marriage graveyard

With the number of divorces rising every year, Hong Kong may begin to appear as a marriage graveyard.  Many married couples face difficulty maintaining their marriage in a transient place like Hong Kong.  Hong Kong is a fast pace, highly stressful, power hungry place, driven by greed and lust.  And the weak may be unable to succumb to temptations.

High power high stress game

Working in Hong Kong can be tough.  We’re expected to dedicate all of our time to our jobs.  Sometimes we only advance by fighting many others over a single position.  Stress, if not properly handled, might lead to wrong avenues for relief, such as alcohol, drugs, and sex.  Working hard then playing too hard might lead to certain undesirable consequences.

Power comes temptation

A man who is absorbed in his “success” is probably more likely to have an affair.  Studies have suggested that men’s income has some correlation to their chances of an affair.  This may not apply to women, but successful women might lead to men’s insecurity.  Not all men are unfaithful, but when given the opportunity, not all can succumb to temptation.

Breakdown of communication

Spending more time in office than at home no doubt can put a lot of pressure on a marriage.  When someone is working 16 hours a day, he’s tired and might not be as patient as he should be.  This leads to less time to communicate, often leading to argument, resentment, and barriers.  When couples don’t communicate, marriages can break down.

Many HongKongers have successful careers but when it comes to their personal lives, it may be another matter.  As divorce rates multiply threefold, this may show that we may have prospered materially, but at the expense of our core family values.  As more social problems plague our society, perhaps it is time to self-reflect and prioritize what’s most important to us in our lives.


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