Is Relocating to Asia BAD for Marriages?



POSTED BY woods99 (10 yrs ago)

I would guess that most expats who relocate to Hong Kong enjoy a significant increase in income, usually the workplace is pretty competitive and hours are long, so it is natural to kick up the heels a bit when the opportunity arises.

There are temptations in all big cities, in a place like Hong Kong there are just more of them more often, and they are more affordable in relative terms.

As for the "expat wives" - how do you know they are wives? They might well be career women in their own right.


namaste (10 yrs ago)
I think it really depends on the couple and the circumstances. That question is really loaded!

Pupalicious (10 yrs ago)
I think it's normal to act differently to how you would if you were in your own country. Lets not forget how british tourists act in places like ibiza (that's in spain). And in Hong Kong, I see some really pig ugly guys with absolutely stunning girls, so clearly whatever their behaviour is, it must be working. These men would never get girls like that in their own country. And there's a lot of older men with younger girls in Hong Kong too, and that's very unlikely in their own country, so can you blame them for acting differently when they come here.

I'm an expat, and I have not and don't intend to cheat on my other half. To the bst of my knowledge, he's never cheated on me. Maybe it depends on the strength of character of the individual. If you're being "attacked" as Luke says, by women from all angles, maybe their character is tested.

There are a lot of people from a poorer socio-ecconomic background in Hong Kong, so there's a greater urgency to be with a rich man, I think. A lot of my friends say they want to marry a rich guy, and a lot of expats in Hong Kong (myself not included) are quite rich, so I can understand the draw. I think coming from a middle-class background, and a city where there are no gucci shops and the like, money doesn't have the same draw for me, as much as a decent personality and good sense of humour.

Each to their own.

woods99 (10 yrs ago)

"Is relocating to Asia BAD for marriages?"

When a couple marry, they do so in a specific environment, usually one that is familiar to both of them, one in which they normally have significant family support, and friendships and other relationships to rely on.

When a couple relocates to Asia, it is likely, although not certain, that one of the partners will be keener to go than the other (without getting into gender politics), especially if they have children. The working spouse will probably have more to gain from better job prospects etc.....the non-working spouse will probably have a smaller home to live in, and will have significantly fewer old friends etc than before, and will have the challenges of helping children settle into a new school and friends environment.

Plus there will be no family support around.

It is unlikely that relocating to Asia would be GOOD for marriages, IMHO.

evildeeds (10 yrs ago)
If there is anything missing in your marriage before you come here then yeah, HK will break it. If there aren't then it wont, plain and simple.

It's not actually HK as much, pretty much anywhere that's new is the same, unless you are fugly in which case there may be opportunities for you that have never appeared before. Personally no different here for me than any western, asian or south american country.

Has HK got me yet? Of course not. After 5 years I'm still pulling the covers over myself beside my wife. That's what a strong marriage does. Weaker marriages blame the environment but the cracks were already there before arrival here.

mark_larsen2 (10 yrs ago)
Following IbuBapak request for cities other than HK, I have to tell you I am in Shanghai and the dating scene is so easy is ridiculous! I have being literally living around the globe, spending years in Los Angeles, Madrid, London, Tokyo, Frankfurt, you name it! But never ever seen easier catch than women in Shanghai.

The difference between Shanghai and HK is that mainland women are focused on marriage, so when they are over 25 they will go anywhere and try anything to get the wedding ring. You can see them gathering in embassy events, all for the taken. No matter your age, or whether you are handsome or not, all that it takes is to look like a responsible person and you will get the prettiest girl.

And the female expats, seeing men running away from them and going to the much easier locals, have to change minds and play by the same rules. In Shanghai, score with a local is basically as easy as scoring with an expat.

Before I came to China I was engaged, and a few months later I gave it up. There is no way I will ever marry, at least as long as I live in here. This is truly heaven for men.

namaste (10 yrs ago)
I have also been around the globe and was an international model from the time that I was 17 years old. It's the same in all cosmopolitan cities! If you are married and want to maintain your marriage, wouldn't it be wise not to put yourself in those situations that would lead to increased temptation? I commented earlier on the dynamics of the question. I really think it depends on character, principles, religion, cultural orientation, marrital contentment, communication, personal goals and marital stability. I know many, many couples here who are content. Granted, they tend to be reading their children bedtime stories rather than going to bars after work. It's a matter of priority, isn't it? Like, mark said, he was engaged and gave it up b/c this is heaven for him. And that's his priority, no problem. If you are worried that you can't be faithful, will put yourself in tempting situations and will live life in the fast lane, maybe HK isn't for you. But those are choices that you can make when you are here, aren't they?

evildeeds (10 yrs ago)
IbuBaPak, well actually my wife is a HK local so a bit different to those in the tennis club set. So she doesn't quite follow your expat wife assertion. Home to her is an ideal, kids a life. So a very different scenario all round.

namaste you got it right on there. Settled and reading kids bedtime stories. None of us bother with the HK island scene because there's nothing we both haven't seen in previous lives. And you know. Life is good!

stillstinkerbelle (10 yrs ago)
I am now an expat wife

I have been a single expat woman as well.

As a single expat woman, I found the quantity and quality of expat and local men to be more than ample for my needs. Indeed a bit more quantity than needed -- I have high standards, and am a slow-moving serial monogramist, so not everyone suited me.

As a married expat I have no problem avoiding temptation. The men are still there. It's a matter of mind over matter. If you mind your marriage, nobody else matters.

cd (10 yrs ago)
I have been here 11 years, have never found it difficult on my marriage. I totally trust my husband. In many ways its better here, our quality of life is better here, spare time is not spent doing DIY and gardening, cleaning etc. But is spent as a a family, plus with a helper its much easier to go out and spend time together as a couple or on nights out with friends. And from what I've seen all my friends and acquaintences are in the same boat..... Maybe its because we don't live on HK island, and very rarely go to Wan chai or LKF. Life out 'in the sticks' is much more normal.

axptguy38 (10 yrs ago)
"Life out 'in the sticks' is much more normal."

We do live on the island (south side though) but I would agree. We have pretty much the same home life as in the US apart from having a helper. Dinner at home with the kids, some nice TV show after they fall asleep, talk about the day, logging back in at work for a few more hours.

It depends of course on the kind of person you are. We are both total homebodies. We'll go out and eat together once or twice a week but we wouldn't dream of going out to bars after work every night like some people. Not saying that's not fun, but to each his own.

Being faithful is not only about resisting temptation, but also about avoiding it. If you want to stay faithful, maybe going out with the mates 3-4 nights a week isn't the smartest thing to do. Sacrifice? Well perhaps for some, but you chose to be married. If you didn't want to stay with that person, why did you get married?

My conclusion: It's not HK, it's the person(s) involved. Sure, there is more temptation in HK than in say, Minneapolis, but if I wanted to be unfaithful I could find plenty of temptation anywhere I've lived. HK is a convenient excuse.

evildeeds (10 yrs ago)
axptguy - that is very well written and agreed on all counts there!

axptguy38 (10 yrs ago)
"Well I guess it's true that if you treat Hong Kong to be as unexciting as wherever you're from, e.g. not go out, not take in the local offerings, and just stay home and watch tele, then you'll probably not have many opportunities for temptation."

Why do you think I "treat Hong Kong as unexciting as wherever..."? ;) I find HK plenty exciting, and you don't know where I'm from anyway. Not all approaches to life involve the same lifestyle choices. This doesn't make them less "exciting".

As I said, you'd have the same issues is New York, London, Paris... Maybe not to the same degree but they are there. I'm just saying that HK is a difference in magnitude, not type. Actually I think we sort of agree on that.

"Just having the jobs and careers that we do mean we have to go out, whether it is with colleagues, clients and other members of the club."

I disagree. There's a difference between going out with clients and colleagues every now and then, and taking every opportunity. A big difference. Some people like to go out all the time and will do so. That's fine. But if you don't like to go out it is quite possible to move up in your career ladder just as well. My wife is living proof. Works hard, has gone out for work related reasons perhaps twice every quarter for the last 10 years, no problems with upward mobility. If a person works hard and well idiosyncrasies like never wanting to go out are easily forgiven by employers.

"But the point I'm making is that for such people, the temptations are far greater out here in Asia than in, say, Madison or Sheffield."

They are indeed greater. And so to avoid the temptations, one needs to take greater care than in those other places..

"It's easy to say you're not tempted if you live the life of a recluse, but for the majority of us that like to interact with others in our society, the reality is quite different."

Please don't make my lifestyle choices out to be of less worth than yours. For the record I feel that I have plenty of social contact with "others in our society". I just don't get it on the social scene. Different people, different choices.

I said that if you choose to live that way, there are issues that come with the lifestyle. Certainly my lifestyle isn't issue free either. Just different issues. I didn't suggest one choice or another.

evildeeds (10 yrs ago)
You see you're now attacking this from a different angle. The jobs we have, we have to go out.......goes on and on. Yes my own career takes me out a lot BUT it doesn't have to be to LKF or Wan Chai. Actually to most people going out "as part of the job" is an excuse to go out, nothing more, nothing less. So that's not a valid card to play. It's your choice whether you do or you don't.

Temptations here are not much greater, unless of course you really do not know better. Try Eastern Europe, try South America - hell try the US with a British accent! It's on a plate dude, it's even on a plate in Western Europe, Aus, et al if you walk the walk or are in the circles that count.

And if you think you can judge the whole of HK by that little pin prick in the map on HK island then you'll never understand HK at all. You're involved with only a tiny, tiny portion of the population!

axptguy38 (10 yrs ago)
Maybe I'm a cynic, but I would like to add an observation I have made about many married "career people". I had noticed it before I moved to HK but it's much more clear here. There are a lot of men who have a wife first as a trophy, then as a receptacle and caregiver for their kids (whom they then treat as fashion accessories at best). There are a lot of women who have a husband in order to be maintained in a lavish lifestyle. These women also treat the kids as fashion accessories.

In the same way as I wonder why people get married if they're going to go out with the mates all the time, I wonder why people have kids if they only see them for a few hours on Sunday. As I said, I'm cynical.

If this kind of "business arrangement" is a person's approach to marriage, that's fine as long as the parties involved are ok with it. But if that's the approach, the likely consequences of a social environment like Hong Kong's can be dire, as evidenced by many posts in this thread.

Maybe I'm wrong, but that's the way I see many "career weddings" today.

evildeeds (10 yrs ago)
The stereotyping that you have noted in your post is astonishing, although I have to say it's a view I see with many of my expat employees! They soon learn after a while.

While I agree that this area is fertile with opportunities there are those who relish the challenge, take these opportunities and really make their mark. To attribute that to a nightlife where there is temptation is a somewhat tarnished and blinkered view. There are many millionaires / billionaires here, both local and expat who are not on the town everynight.

And you may be right about the success. I have seen numerous times fat, layabout 50 somethings down in Wan Chai and LKF with a young girl hanging of their arm. I certainly wouldn't want to be that! That's not success.....!

axptguy38 (10 yrs ago)
It seems that IbuBapak does not believe that success cannot come without being a player. As mentioned by evildeeds and mangotango, there are plenty of very successful people who lead rather calm social lives. Conversely, there are plenty of people of only mediocre "success" in their careers who go out all the time.

My wife is ambitious+hard working+successful, and as mentioned above dislikes going out for work. Not that she doesn't like her workmates or enjoy a good dinner and some wine. She just prefers to come home and play with her kids.

IbuBapak said: "I think it's true the existence of "career marriages" as you mentioned, though I hardly think it's a Hong Kong phenomenon. There are these types of marriages everywhere, though I admit it's probably a phenomenon of a certain type of people, namely those that are traditionally classified as "upwardly mobile". A "trophy" wife, perhaps, but who doesn't want a smoking hot wife that is easy on the eyes and the envy of everyone? A responsible and providing husband, what ambitious beauty wouldn't choose someone that would give them a financially stable life for herself and their children? You can hate the game, but don't hate the player."

Agreed about the fact that it's not only an HK phenomenon. However I don't think you can use expressions like "who doesn't want?" Not everyone wants the same things.

While my wife may not be a supermodel (sorry dear) we enjoy each other's company immensely and we mesh well in most areas. Good enough for me. As for being your "ambitious beauty", there are a great many women nowadays who would prefer to get ahead professionally on their brains. As I said, not all people are motivated by the same things.

IbuBapak said: "Having said that, perhaps Hong Kong and Asia attract a certain type of expat that may be prone to "playing"? I'm talking about ambitious "go-getters" with a knack for performance and competition."

HK and Asia certainly seem to attract this kind of person. However this does not equate people who go out and party every night and chase every skirt they see. Not that there's anything inherently wrong in that. Just that saying "HK made me do it" is a bad excuse.

IbuBapak, it may come as a surprise to you but not sharing your lifestyle choices does not make one unsuccessful, boring or even badly paid.

Back to the original question: "Is Relocating to Asia BAD for Marriages?"

My answer: That depends. If your marriage is on shaky grounds to start with, yes. If it's rock solid, not so much. And I will say that going out 3-4 nights a week with the mates leads me to think the marriage is a bit shaky.

axptguy38 (10 yrs ago)
mangotango said: "Trophy wife usually refers to a knock-out whose husband is the one who provides for her, what if the roles are reversed and the wife is the one who provides for her husband? Shouldn't he be a stud/hottie? There are increasingly more househusbands around and at times I wonder, you know, what does she see in him?"

I am a stay at home dad and hardly a knockout. I have worked in the past and may again in the future. Perhaps like your friend with her older man, I also prove that relationships don't have to be based on hotness and sex and money. We were together before expat contracts and high salaries. Has the HK expat situation changed our relationship? A little perhaps, but basically we're the same people. We didn't arrive here and suddenly say: "Hang on a minute, everything has changed. Let's go party every night. You go for the hot expat husbands, I'll go for the hot locals." Just because the opportunity is there doesn't force anyone to take it.

Maybe this makes us "boring", but it's the life we want to live.

IbuBapak said: "And the female expats, seeing men running away from them and going to the much easier locals, have to change minds and play by the same rules."

Some female expats and some men. Not all.

MBA (10 yrs ago)
Agree with axpatguy38, some people change...good or bad for them... it is their own choice. But certainly the majority are not in the same.

Ed (10 yrs ago)
Any further comments like 'scoring with locals' - this is misogynist and borderline racist - will result in a ban

axptguy38 (10 yrs ago)
IbuBapak, we disagree about some things, that's all. Perhaps you're wrong, perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps we are both partly wrong. I think we are both biased by our experiences, which seem totally different. However since this is an advice forum, perhaps getting both points of view out in the open is healthy.

"Wow, there seems to be such self-righteousness and "holier-than-thou" attitudes on this board."

I think you're misunderstanding some of the responses. Personally, I don't think my lifestyle choices are "better" than yours. I just think they are different. In any case you were the one calling me a recluse. In the conventional sense, I'm "boring". But it's a lifestyle choice I am quite happy with.

"I think it's naive to accuse those of us in this situation of wanting our marriages to fail, or that they were for "show", etc."

I don't think anyone has made such personal insinuations, or even close. I don't think people go into marriages wanting them to fail. However I do think a lot of people have more than just love in mind when they court and marry.

namaste (10 yrs ago)
IbuBaPak - Namaste here. I started modeling when I was 17, in NYC and traveled extensively until I was nearly 23. I am 38 now and had never modeled in HK. My base was in Barcelona and I had a place in Sitges (Ibiza crowd) for the majority of the time. Regardless of where I went, it was the same set of people around the globe that I would run into. I could run into someone in Athens that I had seen two months prior in Osaka. I never really participated in a dating scene, but strongly participated in the model party life. It was free and fun and I was young! So, I can't give you any kind of accurate comparison of the dating scene in HK compared to other cities. I don't think it would be much different here though than any other cosmopolitan city.

I am here in a married relationship and have been to some of the bars, like Volar and Dragon-I and I have to say that I would much rather stay home than participate in the party life. I suppose that I prefer to be what others might term "boring" but I like my life and I'm not looking for anything more. What brings me to HK is the quality of life our family has here. We love hiking in HK, the ocean, Chinese culture, ease of travel. I don't know, we just really love HK in all that it has too offer (including the scenes in which we don't participate) and don't plan on being anywhere else.

namaste (10 yrs ago)
IbuBaPak - there is a reason that the models flock to one spot and that's the perks that they are offered from the clubs. Why do you think the clubs want the models? To get to your pocketbook. It's about advertising and sales.

Mykaela (10 yrs ago)
I think the playing field here is like in any other cosmopolitan city n Asia....its more level here,having lived in nearly all major cities in Asia.Marriages run into trouble I suppose when either partner has issues.It doesn't help having temptations being flaunted right under one's nose but.And frankly, I don't see a lot of "expat wives" leaving their husband's and settling with locals/other asians..come on,do you see that many "expat" wives arm in arm with a lover/toyboy etc strolling down Wan Chai at 5.00 am..local or otherwise.. ?The proportion of expat husbands having it off with locals or other asians..that surely speaks for itself. The field is levelled by those who can. For the rest..I suppose its breakup and back home on a plane with alimony and the pets I suppose if the settlement has it covered.

Strawberry_Shortcake (10 yrs ago)
nimrod, i made that observation too! when i do see a mix couple (those that actually look like real couples, if you know what i mean) most of the time the guy doesn't look like one of those flashy bankers nor the girl one of those easy ones from LKF.

however, you should not generalise that all locals that go out with expats are after the money. many, but not all.

Pupalicious (10 yrs ago)
It's very interesting to hear about all these rich people and what they get up to with their spare time.

I'm dating a local, well we live together.. and he's not technically a local, more a banana and well anyway, we're dating. He earns local wages if you know what I mean, and I'm an English teacher at the most expensive kindergarten in Hong Kong, but we're not very well off. I work ten hours a day, he doesn't get home till gone 9pm, so we don't have time to go out and find all these 'easy' women and 'easy' men.

It boggles the mind to think of all these married people with all this time to go out and meet people. When I was single, I didn't have as much sucess as it seems all these people do, and it's much easier for women to hook up. Although, admittedly, I wasn't living in Hong Kong when I was single.

What is the point in getting married if you're just going to cheat? Why not just stay single and live permiscuously... or why not just get divorced so you're not doing anything wrong? I don't know what it's like to be married for 20 years, so I have no idea what it would be like to get bored of your partner.. I've been with my darling for five years and I still want him as much as I did when we first got together (or even more so because he was a student, and his diggs were really manky so I didn't like staying at his place much), I can't imagine wanting to go off and have some new bloke pawing at me, who doesn't even know me or know what I *like* or how to do it. It takes time to train a man to do things just the way you like them, why bother with a new bloke who has no idea?

Plus the men I've met in LKF and Wanchai don't exactly have much stimulating conversation. I recall one conversation I had with a guy which followed these lines:

Him: "Hello!"

Me: "Hi."

Him: "Do you want to come back to my place then, I live just up there. It's not far."

Needless to say there wasn't much to persuade me there, so I just walked away.

Well I'm not saying it's all wrong and that, I remember the fun I had when I was younger and hello would be enough, but don't you grow out of that?

The mind boggles, it really does. Maybe it's because I'm just not involved in the expat community or maybe it's because I'm just one of those people who's found True Love.

Pupalicious (10 yrs ago)
Actually, I'd like to appologise for that sickeningly romantic reference to 'True Love'. I was forced to sit through Enchanted last night so I think I still have Disney on the brain.

axptguy38 (10 yrs ago)
"Actually, I'd like to appologise for that sickeningly romantic reference to 'True Love'. I was forced to sit through Enchanted last night so I think I still have Disney on the brain."

That's ok, I forgive you. I'm sure others do too. ;)

I think what you are describing is the "other side" of HK life. I was talking to my neighbors about this thread. They are just as baffled as I am by the high-flying hijinks described. We are all well aware of this stuff, but we just don't have any interest in it.

Also, there's no need to separate into "rich" and "less rich". I think the desire to go out and party all the time, or stay home and watch TV, transcends tax brackets.

notyou (10 yrs ago)
HK is the 6th country I've lived in.I find people generally love to meet other people whom they consider different and thus exotic. I've been with my husband 25 years. He and many of his friends are home ealmost very night and tell us about the sleezy women or men who try to get them to stray. Cheaters exist in every country, can be any age, etc. I don't know of any women who cheat on their husbands. In fact, I've never known any woman who's cheated on her husband--here or elsewhere.

namaste (10 yrs ago)
Perhaps this thread should read, "Is Hong Kong nightlife bad for marriage?"

axptguy38 (10 yrs ago)
"Perhaps this thread should read, "Is Hong Kong nightlife bad for marriage?""

Hehe. Indeed. And my response would just be a variation on what I have already given. It's not unique to Hong Kong.

TingbuDong (10 yrs ago)

concor1 (10 yrs ago)
just to the women: you never know what your husband doing outside. i know a lot of "happy" marriage, wife is happy, think hubby is loyal. but in fact, he is just very discreet. such as have an overseas gf that he visit twice a year, have sex with bar girls once a year, this is traceless.

Carrie1 (10 yrs ago)
Monogamy is one of life's great challenges, wherever you reside. Even if you're happily married it is inevitable that you will encounter men/women that grab your attention. Since moving to Hong Kong I truly believe that my husband has been 100% faithful to me. I think he's one of the few loyal ones. i believe it's extremely hard and takes enormous restraint to remain faithful to one partner. I think people who are inclined to cheat will do it wherever they are. Albeit the availability of a cheap wanchai lay might certainly appeal to a certain kind of guy. Women are just as capable of cheating but tend to be much more discreet about it and are a bit choosier. I guess it comes down to how much you love your partner and how much you want to make your relationship work.

concor1 (10 yrs ago)
i know a lot of expat wives live happily with hubby and hubby's gf.

a lot of them do not divorce when hubby's affair was discloused. as long as the expat life style remain, everything is okay.

whats the difference of these expat wife with a hooker?

Sonnenblume (10 yrs ago)
If China is so full of temtation for western men, maybe only when the western men marry Chinese women will their marriages be more secured and of less possibility to break.

glowingesperasza (10 yrs ago)
Yes. Moving to Asia is bad for least it was for mine. My ex now has a full on sexual addiction. all quite sad really. I have moved on and so have the kids(all teenagers) and we all see it for what it addiction at least in his case.

If he made a little time to spend with his kids instead of always being on dates...sometimes 3 in one word of a lie here. He could salvage his relationship with his children and regain their respect.

As in many divorces the children always are the biggest losers. Dad is still out their running around with girls almost the same age as his own and he is losing his children in the process.

So if you value a family life steer clear away from Asia. It is a numbers game and as one male friend told me.

Being a man in Asia is like being at the top of a moutain in a snowstorm and each snowflake is a woman coming at you. You have to really know yourself to not get pulled into the game.

axptguy38 (10 yrs ago)
"So if you value a family life steer clear away from Asia. It is a numbers game and as one male friend told me. "

I'm sorry to hear of your experience but we (men) are not all like that. I had no idea I was quite this "attractive" until I read this thread. Honest. And frankly I have no particular desire to go out and see for myself.

Maybe I'm "boring". I like sex as much as the next guy. Never enough... But I can find other things to occupy my mind.

Pumkin (10 yrs ago)
Glowingesperasza is right. Hong Kong is toxic and can destroy families. We lived in HK for 5 years when my husband had an affair. I found out a few days before our 20th wedding anniversary. Friends and family were shocked. He is not the type to do something so hurtful. I didn't see it coming and a year later I am still in disbelief about the whole thing. We are now back together and working hard to rebuild our relationship. It has not been easy. We had to leave HK, forcing our teenage son to change high schools and taking us away from friends and places that we had come to enjoy.

We have lived in many places around the world and I can tell you from experience that HK affords a great deal of temptation for stressed businesmen. There are women out there that will say anything a man wants to hear. Infidelity can be justified if you just look at it the right way. The suffering it causes is immeasurable. I am still trying to recover. My husband has been my best friend since I was 13 years old. I am now almost 45 and grieving.

Ed (10 yrs ago)
Please do not post racist comments on AsiaXPAT - I have removed the comments in the above post.

shirleywbird (10 yrs ago)
to concor1 :

i agree with you 100% .

Can you expand ?

Pumkin (10 yrs ago)
I made a comment that was deemed racist and removed. I appologize. It is not my intention to promote racism, I was simply stating a fact which many people in HK believe to be true (including my therapist). I have been hurt so badly I can't even put it into words. Pain does things to people. I have always tried to be accepting of other cultures but this experience has tainted my view of the world. I always believed that people are inherently good so it has been very difficult to understand how a woman that doesn't even know me could want to hurt me the way she did. Why??? When my husband and I got back together she left HK and went home but has since returned and is dating another man. I can only hope he is single. Sometimes pain brings out the worst in people, again, I appologize.

Ed (10 yrs ago)
Thanks for the explanation on that - completely understand that this was a reaction to a very difficult situation and that's why I deleted rather than put a ban in place. Hope you are able to work things out and overcome.

maxis (10 yrs ago)
Some people don't see their external activities as "cheating", they think of it more as just supplementing their needs, especially if it is one-off activities without any emotional activity, such as going to a massage place, and just be a passive recipient as it were.

These people have no intent whatsoever of leaving their family, love their children and partner, but view their act as something completely detached so therefore they can completely detach and feel no guilt in what they have done (and THEY BELIEVE it was passive, safe, not really a big deal, only a bit of guilt about having lied a bit about where they had been and when etc.

Does this mean Asia is bad for marriages?

Perhaps from the "strayers" point of view:

"no way, it means I don't have to put any pressure on my wife, she aint really an intimate sort of gal no more anyhow, but heck I love her and wouldn't leave her or te kids for no-one! I am happy, less 'stressed" after, still have plenty of time with the family, doesn't cost much for the benefit".

And from his point of view, besides a little guilt sometimes, justifies it, and "boys will be boys" etc.

She doesn't seem to notice, but how would she feel if she found out eh?

Would she take the pragmatic stance he has, and think it is actually great that tis guy she really loves gets what he "needs" without haviog to go though the uncomfortableness and often fruitfulessness about trying to get her operable, and failing, then feeling embarassed and awkwardness, and feeling rejected and non-attractive or insipid?

She is so kind to save him from the embarassment of rejection, or making him feel like a middle-aged balding slightly overweight loser - what a woman!

Isn't she being so caring and understanding? He deserves it, he is kind, caring, generous - why shouldn't he get a bit of generosity back eh? Not hurting anyone, and it isnt like he is having an affair or anything. Give the guy a break! We are only here in HK so he can provide further for the family which has higher stress on him - he needs it!

Perfect match eh? Everyone gets what they want/need/deserve/desire - no one feels left out or hurt,. or humiliated, loss of ego etc

Or would she feel betrayed, cheated upon, hurt beyond repair, a feling of loss

Or would she be angry, and believe that it was not her problem if he didn't "do it" for her anymore, and to her that aspect of life was not really all that important anyhow! And he should just control himself, no excuses! Can't both have and eat your cake - now get out of the house and dont come back!

People I know who got together whilst quite young, and are "best friends" and realy care about each other, are the ones least likely to discuss these issues between them - why? Although they are all well and truly adults, I understand it is sort of like talking about things you'd feel uncomfortable discussing witha sibling of the opposite gender.

My friends have either or both worked upon ith themselves (consious effort) and got smoe guidance/counselling (got to use the right type - one which is relevant to both parties beliefs or it wont work).

Don't give up or give in to the "easy way" discussed above, if you want a truly full and comlpetely satisfying relationship. Sure, you dont share everything, but some things you shouldnt really be doing right? Unless you are like thiose people discussed above, but then they have to live with themselves later on or if they get caught.

flokhk (10 yrs ago)
The only solution? Stay away from places like Drop, Dragon I or whatever because I have not been there. There are so many places where couples can go side than bar hopping. When you reach a certain age you would not want to be seen in places like such acting like a hooker or something of that sort. Let alone those who do these things to prove something to themselves. They are insecure people. And also, if you are both committed in a relationship, you DON"T go with other people for sexual reasons. Married people who sleep with other people are bad news. There is something terribly wrong in their relationships with their husbands/wives so stay away from such people. You do not betray people you love and worse, your kids!

moonbear111 (10 yrs ago)
My answer to the original question, Asia certainly can create a strain on marriage that we haven't found elsewhere. My husband and I have lived and worked all over the world. Both of us have always been hit on, but nothing like here in HK. (We both have quite a sense of humor, so it gives us a good laugh over dinner.)

We have, however, noticed two marked behavioral differences in HK that we have not encountered in other places. I am very curious whether there exists a sociological or cultural explanation for these differences:

1. Although we are both Westerners and we both work with colleages from all over the world, my husband is hit on almost exclusively by Chinese women. However, in 6 years here I have NEVER been hit on by a Chinese man. (This cannot be explained by status differences as we are both quite senior in our companies and we're both approached by colleagues of all levels.)

2. When I tell men who show interest in me "thanks, but I am married," 99 percent are very gracious and back off. However, when my husband tells women here he is married, the vast majority have said something like "so what, I'm not going to tell your wife."

Note that neither one of us goes to bars or out on the town, so to speak. We're quite the homebodies after work, so all this is occuring at the office.

axptguy38 (10 yrs ago)
flashback, that's an excellent post.

To give another example of the family behavior you speak of, I was shocked to hear that a HK woman of my acquaintance has never been hugged by her mother. It really is an alien culture.

demelza belle (10 yrs ago)
I don't believe Asia is any worse for marriages than anywhere else. People cheat on their partners regardless of continent and some are more likely than others. With a bit of groundwork, it can be slightly easier out here to have a stronger marriage given the fact that you have more freedom to enjoy each others company with the assistance of full-time helpers (something not neccessarily on offer in your own country).

Mangotango had it absolutely spot-on when she mentioned the ability to travel on business trips with your partner and spend some quality time together. To be able to drop everything and head out to new bars/restaurants, glam up for the evening can all inject new excitement into the marriage. Sure, the odd 'hit on' is natural, but even that can add for a laugh together and renewed eye-openers when it comes to looking at your partner. Hell, it would be awful if nobody else found him vaguely attractive! Don't always see HK as a negative, every marriage needs keeping on it's toes by both parties and complacency never helped any relationship.

tigerbay (10 yrs ago)
I will only speak from personal experience.

I am a greying, balding, spectacle wearing, short fat, middle aged man. Additionally I am not one of the beautiful or wealthy people. Yet I have had opportuinities here that I would not have had back home, for whatever reason, and I don't just mean with prostitutes and bar girls.

IMHO the biggest thing that stops many men from straying is opportunity. Many of us have moments of weakness, we do not all fall, but more opportunity increases the risk significantly.

The part of Asia I live in now has been the worst, for temptation/opportunity than any other, place that I have lived and worked. Certainly worse than Europe, North America and Africa.

merm (10 yrs ago)
perfection wrote: As a western woman, I definitely would not date an expat here who has dated the local women.... too many STD's of too many varieties... plus, well, these men think they are kings, but all they are getting most of the time is flesh... nothing more, nothing less. Heaven? Boring...."

Shockingly ignorant and racist not to mention untrue. Statistically STDs are very low in HK and China.

the goddess kali (10 yrs ago)
wow, around nine years ago, when asiaxpat first came online, this topic was debated... and now it still rages on.

i thinkt he original poster should have titled this thread as ; I cheat on my wife and here are my excuses.

tigerbay (10 yrs ago)
Wing-on wrote

"Good post fat balding man ha ha. Do you think that guys like you have never had to fend off advances and are thrown in the deep end with Shanghai women? "

And there has been a lot of talk of gold diggers.

Not just the Gold diggers. Not just Shanghainese. Not just bar girls and hookers. Respectable lonely business women, over the age of 30 and not married are my biggest temptation.

master_hk (9 yrs ago)
Everybody needs money for living. If you are telling me that you are not a gold diggers then I would say that the people are fake and full of BS in Hong Kong. Hong Kong people are more tradition, I wondered those term or sexual games mostly from western people who moved into Hong Kong and thought HK is like that. How many people in Wan Chai are from Hong Kong actually ? I hate the terms of people who make Hong Kong like craps seriously, it is all of your problems who brought into the marriage or Hong Kong what I really think. It seems like many western women cheated on tehir husbands the most what I have seen at the bars or to have affairs with other guys but they would not tell their husbands. In return, their husbands cheated on them, why not ? fair enough. If you are doing this then you have to suppose and accept your husbands who can do this as well. Fair enough. Of course, if a man does not afford the family and treat the wife like a rubbish or only care about the drinks - that's another story. Yes, I agreed that many western men only care about drinks but trust me, not all. some are very good for the families what I have seen when they are married with local ladies. They have beautiful and intelligent kids. Western women are with less cultural and they do not know what the hell they want. They only care about guys' fxxk. Sorry, I have never seen any western women who are faithful in Hong Kong. We called them free o charge for any guys. They get jealous in local girls. Local girls are looking good and with good figures. I ahve never seen any western women who are looking good after 30. NONE. They think they know the world when they travel into Hong Kong, it seems like they bring their own world into Hong Kong with their bottom. I have to say that some western guys who tend to be working and doing well in Hong Kong. In fact, they are crap. The wrost men in Hong Kong who I would not choose.

buzz74 (9 yrs ago)

Asia is not bad for marriages, but bad for people who is in denail that he/she is capable to do such a thing no matter how stable your marriage is. wealthy or potatoe xpat you are.

I myself believe that I am certainly not a saint and temtation for me is just a snap to success, this believe help me to avoid this a lot to offer in stanning Asia, don't get me wrong it's not because I am aboring person who stayed home, I do love night life, the music, the drinks, the people and the flirting system but everything has a limitation and it's up to me to choose to step forward or stay behind the line.

The point is, who is blame the Asia or yourself for what happen to your happy marriage before you relocate to Asia.

avidxplorer (9 yrs ago)
I'm only skimming some of the threads here, but I have to say that those expats who are having the time of their life in Hong Kong in finding reasons to excuse their decadent lifestyle (in the face of pre-existing relationships, wedding vows etc.) are probably doing so because they treat Hong Kong as merely a transitory stop. It's almost like the mentality of "what goes on the road stays on the road, "then several years later they then go back to their home country and pretend everything is alright in their world again.

If these people took living in Hong Kong as seriously as they did living in their hometown, then they would probably be a lot more civilized and a lot less worried about the temptations this city offers.

Just because Hong Kong is a amoral playground doesn't mean *you* have to treat it in the same way. Show some responsibility for your own actions, and don't blame it on your society and circumstance. If you really cared about meaningful relationships, then walk the talk and look for meaningful relationships (hint: probably hard to find in dragon-i).

I've been living in Asia and mostly in Hong Kong for 7 years, including brief stops in Singapore and Beijing, and the attitude I see in most Western expat men treating Asia as a license to wine and whore amazes me. Best way to avoid the darker side of temptation is to simply not partake it, period.

mumof2boys (9 yrs ago)
Neither I or my husband have had infidelity or even temptations in HK. I am an ex model and do get a little attention but we both employ a don't look twice attitude and I have watched him employ this faithfulness living in South America, where the women are REALLY beautiful, China, USA and here.

He left his job that required him to work up in shenzhen after he was there for 10 days and kept getting pulled at by the local prostitutes when walking down the street. they disgusted him.

Just wanted to let you all know there are many more couples like us here in Hong Kong who are still in love, fulfilled at home and don't have any issues with this in HK.

I haven't met the wild expats you guys seem to be or are talking about but maybe it's to do with where I spend most of my time. We live in the New Territories.

If a man or woman puts his/her career over his/her marraige they are in danger of this temptation no matter what country they live in it makes no difference.

adele78 (9 yrs ago)
You'll find gold diggers and easy women on every inhabited continent just as you'll find men who don't know how to keep their d*ck in their own pants. Equally, you will find couples in committed and loving relationships who understand that there are temptations everywhere.

You can go out and read the menu....but always eat at home.

jennylasmana (9 yrs ago)
I'm Indonesian and my ex-bf is French. He's an expat based in Jakarta. We were dating for about 2.5yrs. He went to Shanghai for 10days business trip September last year and met a Taiwanese woman at the bar and slept with her. I found out, so we broke up. Four months later we met accidentally in Paris; both of us were still single and I was still in love with him, so we decided to give our relationship a second chance, and guess what happened? One day, he texted me and said that he will hv a massage and asked me not to come&stay over at his place because he will go to sleep after massage. I didn’t check my sms and came to his place. I caught him in act while he was doing a plus-plus massage (masturbating massage) with a massage lady. I left him for good after that.

He looks like a very conservative French man and come from a good catholic family. BUT the truth is when Caucasian men come to live in developing Asian country as an expat, they are treated like a king. Asian women will look at them like a dollar bill and expect to have better living. So they are very aggressive towards western men. Everything is so cheap in Asia compare to western country; the cost of prostitute is only 10% compare to western country. Therefore there is more temptation in Asia for western men. If you have a relationship with western men, it is better for you to live in western country than in Asia.

Just a sharing..

wayven (9 yrs ago)
Okay now this is an interesting topic and if you don't mind i'd like to put my two cents in. Men are dogs and even the scruffiest, sick, twisted one can get an asian girl (particularly of the chinese variety). These women are desperate for western men and their "western wallets." LOL! So the married guy or the single guy comes over here and gets lured by hundreds of asian women and he thinks to himself, "this is the life" He thinks he's in some sort of heaven. But what he doesn't know is that these girls want money & marriage and will try every trick in the book to get it. Yet all they have to offer is their "sex tools", no real conversation, no real understanding, no "real" nothing. So my advice to expat wives or girlfriends, if your man wants to kick it with a midget, stuffing seaweed down her throat, then take his a** to the cleaners. Make sure the bugger ends up with nothing. He'll soon learn that this heaven he's been in, was an illusion.

dperras11 (9 yrs ago)
What the f#@!, the temptation is too big? If you don't do it you live a life of recluse? How far do you have to go to justify your actions. I care little whether people cheat. Cause it's an international human characteritic among certain types of people. To say say that it's being done because of the sheer temptation is placed in front of you makes it sound like you almost have no control. Temptation or not, we all make choices in life. And everyone who cheats has made the choice to not keep their word regarding their marriage. On both sides of the fence.

What are we? Little kids with no self-dicipline? Someone hands you a lolly-pop and you just have to have it? We've learned to say no to other temptations in life, how is this any different?

The real issue is the relationship itself. Unless your swingers, you have made a commitement to someone. Now if you were actually serious, then you would be living by that agreement. If somethng in that agreement isn't working then you either work it out or end the relationship. Everyone cheats for different reasons. But to say that that there is some uncontrollable force that is out of our control is bullsh#*. I've cheated before, and when I have it was because I was in a relationship that wasn't satisfying to me. I wasn't married and by cheating I realized that the relationship wasn't working. So i ended it!!!

I've lived in Asia for 5 years. In 3 different countries. All the temptations have been there and continue to be there. It's what you do with the so called temptation. I can appreciate a beautiful woman. But it's something entirely to play along with the flirting energy that usually leads to temptation and infidelity.

Check yourself or your relationship regarding cheating, don't pass it off to Temptation.

FKKC (9 yrs ago)
That's very decent of you to speak out Mr. H........your kind are really very RARE nowadays....your wife is one of the lucky ones and I feel happy for her.

wayven must have been very deeply burnt to rant like that ( by an asia woman - particularly of the chinese variety). How precisely written - her experience only - no doubt about it.

There are and always will be easy women of all nationalities out there preying on the weak character in men so it's really up to them to ponder and evaluate their marriage/relationship before taking the fatal plunge and ruin the trust in their partnership.

surfjourno (9 yrs ago)
wow - some interesting, if not a little spiritually stunted, comments on here. I haven't read the entire thread though.

But to the thread starter, IbuBaPak - I guess you have heard the terms 'zero to hero', yellow fever etc...? I gather you or your mates have come from a rather vanilla background and your eyes were opened in HK to some degree. Also, your maturity probably has some way to go, but do not take it as an insult. But if you are having sex behind your partner's back - and worse still with a friend's wife or partner - it demonstrates more about your (or those whom you know) failings and inadequacies rather than what life is like in HK and the level of temptation that goes with it.

There is temptation, if you have to use that term, the world over. Even in surburbia in some western country no doubt boredom and monotony can lead to wandering thoughts and eyes.

But, the point is, when you mature a bit you realize life is not about who is having sex with who, how many different partners you have had in a year etc, but rather that it is about substance and quality. The heart, love and respect of one good woman or man is worth 1,000,000 skanky, dubious encounters with cheaters.

Many guys in your situation who suddenly think they have found a sexual nirvana in HK I bet wake up one morning, feeling hollow, hung-over and drained...probably with HPV, and probably alone...and wonder if it is REALLY worth all the bullshit and shallowness that is a requirement of such behaviour.

By that time, their soul is so tainted that the only women who gravitate toward them are the desperate, soulless cheating types who no guy would take on seriously anyway. Your history, experience, morals and ethics are all plainly out in the open for all to see when someone simply looks in your eyes.

Cheaters and morally-bankrupt people attract cheaters and morally-bankrupt partners. And people with self-respect and values also attract their own kind. It's a natural law.

You will grow tired of dubious sexual escapades, believe me.

A solid marriage will stand the test of time, and 'temptation' is not something that comes with geoographical location at all. Asia is no more good or bad for a marriage than is Canada, Dubai, London, Sydney, Timbuktoo etc.

The question should be, is a weak strength of character and an ethically dubious personality bad for marriages?

FKKC (9 yrs ago)
A solid marriage will stand the test of time, and 'temptation' is not something that comes with geoographical location at all. Asia is no more good or bad for a marriage than is Canada, Dubai, London, Sydney, Timbuktoo etc.

So true and so well spoken!

hualaan (9 yrs ago)
I just found this thread; the timing is interesting, because my wife was just talking about this very issue.

I'm not actually an ex-pat; I live in Canada, but my wife is from Thailand. She frequents a Thai-language web board that is mostly populated by Thai women in Thailand and abroad, married to Thai or western men. A recent topic of discussion was mixed families (Thai wife, western husband), having lived happily for years in the west, moving back to Thailand, where the husband was suddenly attacked on all sides by women wanting to take him from his wife.

In the past, my wife tells me, a Thai woman walking with a western man would be looked down upon, assumed to be a prostitute or something similar. Now, apparently, to have a western man at your side is a status symbol.

The "temptations" that western men are subject to are not just prostitutes or "poor, illiterate village girls", either. They are as likely to be intelligent, well-educated, from good families and with well-paying jobs. A friend of my wife and her husband were just in Thailand for a month and even her husband, in his mid-fifties and nothing special, was the subject of aggressive flirting by a close friend of his wife (his wife and her friend are both in their mid-forties)!

I don't know all the reasons for this phenomenon. Besides "status", and a desire to travel and live abroad, we've heard that mixed-race babies are all the rage. I guess mixed-race tv stars are wooing the women on the Thai soap operas, so now Thai women want to bear their own little brood of future movie stars, models, etc.

Why married men are seen as fair game by these Thai women is another question. My wife believes some of these younger women see themselves as better, more attractive, maybe more fun, than the wives of these men. Of course, the wives have are now older, have born and are raising children.

I have suggested we move there in the future (for various reasons, that not being one of them), but she is afraid I won't be able to resist the temptation. Most Thai women in relationships outside Thailand feel the same way, regardless of how certain their husbands are that nothing will happen. She says there's a Thai expression: even the hardest rock erodes with time (or something like that). The problem, I guess, is not the temptation, but the constant, unrelenting temptation.

Anyways, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

easygoing (9 yrs ago)
I think we shouldnt pinpoint HK is a bad place for married expats. In asia cities you think ex-marital affair is just too easy, what about South America ? Do you know how many western tourists over there ?

Take a look at Europe. Back there, how many european families are broken apart by immigrants from poorer countries like eastern europe ? Do you know the statistics of affairs in western countries ? Are relationship so perfect in their own home country ? Give me a break. They just keep things more discreet because of the social pressure from their own hometown. They just dont do things so openly. Out here, they justify themelves with 1000 reasons - but actually its simply because they are not easily caught by neightbours, relatives, friends !! And not to mention some expat men even turn affairs into a "score board" among themselves. "Men, if you dont try once you are stupid !" Thats the peer pressure.

If a couple fail in their marriage, external factors is not the ONLY reason. ANything can happen anywhere with anyone.

Lets be fair, its not local girls trying to steal expat husbands, its poor people trying to get better-off with a fast path. Its low confident men use their status to get superior feeling. Its affluent men/women who seeks for what pleases them regardless of conseguences. Its people believe they can justify themselves and let themselves go wild.

In short, dont pretend that expats are angels and asians are devils that tempt you to sin and break perfect marriage.

And if you think you have a pure marriage, then I would say, anywhere can be BAD for the marriage, not just Asia. Its the relationship between you and your partner that counts.

byechicago (9 yrs ago)
The marriages who have children: in the end the children are the ones who lose the most. They not only lose their sense of stability, they lose both their parents. What I mean by this is that both parents act abnormally and the children are sometimes used as tools to one up each other. People tend to focus on what happens to them and how bad they feel and fail to focus on their children. Before any marriage goes the divorce route (if there aren't any types of abuse and neglect going on)...the parents should sit down and talk to child counselors and see how this affects their children. I'm not saying stay in the marriage for the sake of the children...but know what it does to them.

It's funny, people say they love freedom, but at the end of the day, what we all really want is someone we can talk and relate to, someone who appreciates us for who and what we are. In those cases where a partner or partners have strayed: it seems they look and personify this other person as someone who can fulfill their wants and is only later that they realize that this person comes with his/her own set of baggage. It is said that people who divorce end up marrying the same type of person they married and end up divorced again. Makes me wonder why people don't try fixing what is wrong with themselves first rather than looking for a quick fix.

One other thing...therapy can do wonders on resolving what you think is wrong in life but it is up to you what you do with that knowledge...and it is up to you to know how your actions affect others. Some people can be in therapy for years...then it becomes this monster that helps you justify your actions...remember you are accountable for your actions.

Beefeater1980 (9 yrs ago)
Please forgive the thread necromancy, but I wanted to add my HK$0.02 to this interesting discussion.

The OP reminds me of a good Lebanese friend of mine, who vowed never to marry because he could not bring himself to trust any woman due to his own success rate over the years with friends' wives and mothers. He put this down to loose female morals. I put it down to his being fairly presentable, well-off, charming, from a prominent political family, and (possibly as a result of these factors), lacking in self-control. I do not know the OP, but having seen some of his posts around I conclude that he is reasonably young, quite wealthy, successful with the more glittery type of woman, presumably OK-looking, and quite uninhibited about sharing all this with us :D.

I feel, therefore, that the OP isn't necessarily a very good test case for the question of whether Asia is good or bad for marriages, because he - and by extension probably many of his circle of friends - are likely to have the means and the desire to live a fairly similar lifestyle in London, New York or wherever. To get to the heart of the question, Asia is a special case because it extends to all but the most wretched specimens the same kind of options for dating and sex. Not surprisingly, this tends to go to peoples' heads.

So, to give an answer to the OP via a roundabout route: on average it is bad for marriages in the same way as making a lot more money than you're used to is on average bad for morals. Faced with an unaccustomed rush of blood to the ego, on average, people will stray.

That said, it doesn't *have* to be the case that you cheat. Since getting married I haven't, and I'd be a bit surprised if my wife had. I don't think either of us is unusually strong-willed - well, maybe her, but I'm certainly not - it's just that the idea of nooky isn't all that appealing and I at least have a sense of having done that when I was running around China and HK in my early 20s.

I also think that certain factors make expat marriages in Asia more or less likely to succeed. If:

* the couple have already had their wild days, indulged what a previous poster called their 'darker side' in the past, and have reached the point of feeling bored rather than enthused about the prospect of stage of casual sex with pretty members of their gender of choice;

* the couple know how to spot potential situations developing and avoid them - for example, staying with the group for post-dinner drinks but not the post-drinks clubbing, not going out alone for a drink with a colleague you quite fancy;

* (in cross-cultural marriages) if the expat speaks the local language and gets on with the local's family, and vice-versa;

* the couple have good self-discipline in other areas of their life, and passed the 4-year old's marshmallows test (i.e. can delay gratification);

* neither of the couple is either a heavy drinker or completely unused to alcohol and therefore going to get all giggly after half a bottle of Qingdao;

* each of the couple belives that marriage is important and cheating wrong;

* (important in any relationship, this) the couple feel equal and manage to maintain that equality after coming out to Asia - I suspect this may be where the 'expat wife' issue that's been discussed arises; and/or

* the couple both put a bit of effort into remaining well-rounded people and not dull to each other, rather than just falling into the role of husband/wife,

then I'd say the marriage has a decent chance of beating the odds and surviving Asia without collapse.

tigerbay (9 yrs ago)
Hi Liorsade

I have PMd you.

pourquoipas (9 yrs ago)
I grew up in Hong Kong but had been abroad for my college years and I have been traveling a lot as well. The very sight of a young local woman who barely had any clothes on hand-in-hand with a foreigner that looks just as bad as her english, disgusts me. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not ruling out the possibility of true love here, but trust me, I can tell.) I guess the mentality of local women is that it's "cool" to be seen out and about with a foreigner. I don't think all the girls are going after the money but who can deny that the expats in general (even the bad ones) do look better than the local men? On the other hand, the expats get here, have people at work and local women treat them like god not to mention that they basically can get or do whatever they want, who can say no to that? I've heard too many divorce cases among expats that happened within MONTHS of them being here in Hong Kong and where they'd all been married for more than 5 years.

Sad, but tis the reality.

tigerbay (9 yrs ago)
Lets be fair here. The kinda girl who walks round the streets half naked, is not typical of most local girls. She may not even be a HK girl, and may have come to HK with a mission. But she is not typical of local girls.

kaileyb (9 yrs ago)
A good friend of mine said this the other day, "The men and women who cheat when they get to Asia have always had it in them (to cheat) it's just they were never presented with the opportunity/situation/circumstances back home." I thought that was quite true.

tigerbay (9 yrs ago)

That is so true.

Sapphire (9 yrs ago)
pourquoipas ~

<<I've heard too many divorce cases among expats that happened within MONTHS of them being here in Hong Kong and where they'd all been married for more than 5 years.

Sad, but tis the reality.>>

On the contrary ... I myself have lived in HK for many years and have been married for well over 20. Likewise, many (actually ALL!) of the expats that I work with and socailise with have all lived here for many years and have been happily married for 10, 20, even 30+ years!

The way I see it is, that if there are cracks in your marriage to begin with, it doesn't matter where in the world you are, they will show up eventually one way or another.

pourquoipas (9 yrs ago)

I hate to break this to you but being born and brought up here, I can tell almost immediately where those girls are from. Especially when they ARE living up to the judgments that we give them. Of course I'm not saying that all girls are like that but some of them are just soo predictable.


I didn't mean to be pessimistic and again I wasn't trying to generalize, but I can't help it but feel this way if that's all I hear and see. My friends and I enjoy hitting up LKF on the weekends just to have a good time but the scene is almost pathetic. And to be frank here, 9 out of 10 times it's always the foreigners that go up to local women and within an hour we see them getting on a cab together outside the club while we're leaving.

I'm not trying to say anything here but just stating my observations. Anyway, I'm more than happy to hear that someone could prove me wrong and that there are successful marriages out there...

Ed (9 yrs ago)
You might want to note that prostitution is not based on nationality or race - it generally correlates with poverty and lack of opportunity.... I don't think any woman, given the choice, would prefer not to get in the back of the cab with an over the hill man...

Walk a mile in someone's shoes before you judge them (or better still wander through the slums or spend a day hunched over in the hot sun planting rice in China, Philippines, Indonesia, etc...)

catherine_chan (9 yrs ago)
From what i see, no personal offence, people like Ibubapak, just looking for excuse for cheating and to release one's guilt, as well trying to get others to agree with them...

tigerbay (9 yrs ago)

I still do not believe that these girls are representative of the vast majority of local women. Most of whom do not frequent bars.

axptguy38 (9 yrs ago)
"You might want to note that prostitution is not based on nationality or race - it generally correlates with poverty and lack of opportunity.... I don't think any woman, given the choice, would prefer not to get in the back of the cab with an over the hill man...

Walk a mile in someone's shoes before you judge them (or better still wander through the slums or spend a day hunched over in the hot sun planting rice in China, Philippines, Indonesia, etc...)"

Wise words. If you had grown up in a slum or working in fields all day long (forget 9 to 5) I think that the well off but perhaps not totally attractive guy would not seem like such a bad option.

"A good friend of mine said this the other day, "The men and women who cheat when they get to Asia have always had it in them (to cheat) it's just they were never presented with the opportunity/situation/circumstances back home." I thought that was quite true."

Very true. The opportunity to cheat exists anywhere in the world. It may be "easier" in HK, but if a guy or girl has it in him/her to cheat, it will happen regardless of location.

I will also chime in that I am happily married and the concept of going to LKF or wherever just to pick up a hot local girl is a bit alien. I guess my life is boring. I go out with my wife, mostly, and not every often.

I will admit that I find many "oriental" women very attractive. I find that HK has more attractive women than almost any other place I have lived. And so I look, but I don't touch. Because I know that the grass always seems greener.

cara (9 yrs ago)
it is OK to look at the menu.... just not to sample the fare.

Justin Credible (Part Deux) (9 yrs ago)
Marriage, anywhere, is all trial and error.

Anyone blaming the place for their husband or wife straying, is unwilling to admit they married an idiot. If not an apparent idiot at first glance, its entirely possible that that idiot was in the closet.

Just saying...

I know men in HK who's wifes have run off with someone else and left them with 3 its not just a "poor women" thing. Women who get left in the dirt, were either married to idiots, or were treating good men like idiots...its the same on both sides of the fence.

Marriage can be brutal...just make sure you have a job to back you up...never depend on men or trustfunds...never know when either might run out! :oP

sicn (9 yrs ago)
Short time is right about the atmosphere in HK, pretty much carnal place. And the mainland is just catching up.

I totally agree with Justin Credible. But the problem is people won't realize until they see the bottom.

expathub (9 yrs ago)
perhaps one day people like ibpapak will realise there is more to be gained from a meaningful, loving and trusting marriage than from free, easy sex. He (among others here) seem like little kids in a sweet shop. Grow up! Do you have any depth to your character, or are you content with shallow, meaningless encounters? The novelty will one day wear off, and you will yearn for more, much more. I've been in Asai for a long time, and my marriage is just fine. People are right: those with a wandering eye will do so whereever they are. Look at the divorce/adultery rates in the US/UK for instance. So i don't think it's any different here, in many respects. It's just an easy excuse for the weak-minded among us.

magnolia_khan (9 yrs ago)
u see that ibpapak dude has disappeared..shame perhaps?

iyah80 (9 yrs ago)
i think relocating elsewhere, not only just in Hongkong, makes it bad for a marriage. first thing, couples are designed to be together. and if your job causes distance between you and your spouse, expect the worst. there is really room for adultery, for both parties. the reality is, each person especially married couples, have needs...SEXUAL NEEDs. and the absence of the other makes each person prone to commit mistakes, regardless of the continent. Most men i end up with here in HK are married guys! i ask them where the wife is, mostly are back in their countries in america or UK. but i dont blame these men...or women...who had sex outside marriage. it's just human nature. it's just so complicated. its becoming a way of life. and as i see it, work has become a top priority esp we have financial crisis. uhhhhhhhh. help! i need a single man.

FKKC (9 yrs ago)
iyah80 - you are contradicting yourself in every way.

axptguy38 (9 yrs ago)
"each person especially married couples, have needs...SEXUAL NEEDs. and the absence of the other makes each person prone to commit mistakes, regardless of the continent"

If only prostitution were risk free and accepted, the sexual need would be solved... ;)

Then again, I don't think that is the big problem. There's more than sex to adultery. There's yearning for something different or better, need to be loved, need to be adored, companionship...

kaileyb (9 yrs ago)
iyah80 - you have some serious issues. You've said you're nearly always someone's mistress, but it's not your fault?! You're blaming circumstances and "people's needs" for your own lack of good judgement. Everyone makes choices and when you encounter a married man, you have the choice of walking away. That's why you're not with a single man, because you choose not to be. I'd say you should see a good therapist to find out why you choose men that you can't have and let's face it, aren't exactly the pick of the bunch.

Plus you've missed the point, the thread is about whether or not relocating to Asia for married couples is bad, not when one spouse has relocated, leaving the other in the home country.

glowingesperasza (9 yrs ago)
I have to agree with shortime...sad really but very true. It is not like this, to this degree back home. And it is amazing how many people both men and women play the game because well everyone else in hk seems to be doing it therefore it makes it ok right? Ah no!!! and that becomes apparent when we travel back to our home country and everyone looks at us like we have three heads when we tell them what goes on here. Both Me and my kids have watched their father (my ex)go through a transformation every summer when we are back in Canada because his line of thinking here does not fit in with the line of thinking with his mates back home. This place is a toxic waste site for realtionships...sad but true:(

Devon (9 yrs ago)
Justin Credible hit the nail on the head in his second sentence. So true! The marriage can't have been to great to start with so blaming Asia is a complete cop-out!

searching3773 (9 yrs ago)
I'm cross posting this, also in the "So if Asia is bad...".

Another key thing to remember is that Hong Kong is only one generation away from a polygamous culture and there are prominent figures here who still practice it - hello Stanley Ho - so it is still culturally familiar and covertly treated as acceptable. I remember the parent of one of my students talking about her fathers other wives.

Page 5 and 6 make for good reading

tutorjoanna (9 yrs ago)
I have not read all the posts but some of the comments really bug me as a local woman who happens to prefer caucasian guys.

"As a western woman, I definitely would not date an expat here who has dated the local women.... too many STD's of too many varieties... plus, well, these men think they are kings, but all they are getting most of the time is flesh... nothing more, nothing less. Heaven? Boring...."

Or other comments like "locals are easy."

Geez, there are so much racist insults aimed at local women in this thread! We are not all "just flesh" and no brains and for STDs, maybe one should check the official stats to see which countries have more as I have no idea about such stats. However, claiming that a man who has been with a local will be avoided for fear of STDs is just outrageously insulting and racist. And as for local women are easy, what are the grounds for that? If expats are the ones being discussed as being unfaithful in their marriages, aren't they the easy ones too? What yardstick and what sample are you using to come up with such judgemental comments?

magnolia_khan (8 yrs ago)
hong kong is a small place

everybody looks at each other

ppl are little more than self-conscious sometimes

hence aggravates the obsession of social/financial status..

mabelhongkong (8 yrs ago)
I somehow agree with tutorjoanna on the racist thread argument too ... to be honest, this kind of 'relationship' is always mutual. as old cantonese saying says, "you cannot make a bull nod if it doesn't want to ..."

maybe we want fun, but it doesn't necessarily mean that we just jump to bed with expats or foreigners. and after all, it's mutual

ejecthunter (8 yrs ago)
Damn, we should organize a swingers party since its already so crazy@

Dr Strangelove (8 yrs ago)
Swinger's Parties? There are a lot of those going on in HK. The number of swinging couples in HK is proportionately very high in terms of the population. Swinging couples never complain about infidelity - in fact it is encouraged. It seems to keep some relationships together in HK! Why would a hubbie or wife stray in such an arrangement?

Ed (6 yrs ago)
Will Your Partner Cheat?

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