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Will we ever leave Hong Kong?

  1. #41
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Happy Valley


    You didn't read where that quote came from. I was speaking of my friend's husband who left the family so he could play video games. That was idiotic.
    I did read it, and it was idiotic. You are inferring this guy should be lumped together with the game player. Based on available information, this is being hasty., it's not a crime, but his priorities are probably not in the right place. When you get married and become a father--especially when you become a father--your priorities need to change if you still want to remain married and be part of your kids' lives. No one said he was a "bad guy"--there are a lot of "good guys" who just have their priorities mixed up. And there are even "good guys" who just have their priorities mixed up for a time in their lives and then straighten themselves out.
    What we know : He goes out with the boys/boss once in a while (not every day) and gets drunk. He doesnt want to go back to USA but he wants to stay here, make lots of money so he can provide a good life for his family.

    I dont see misplaced priorities; I think you are reading too much into this or perhaps you know more than we do; or perhaps your experiences with others are influencing your judgement. Whatever the case, you're making assumptions not based on available facts.

    Because that person makes his wife and children's happiness priority #1, that's why. Just because this family goes back to the States does not automatically mean they are going to live in a dangerous place or face a no-job situation. There are a lot of factors that come into play. This guy doesn't seem to care about any of that--he just likes this ladder climbing expedition he's on (hence he goes to drink with the boss to **** a** and try to get brownie points--that game).
    Without a job, a good job, a job that provides for wife and kids there wont be *any* happiness.
    You're right; it doesnt mean they are going to be in a dangerous place and he *might* even get a nice job, but for now we know the prospects are not great there, have not been very good for a long while and no relief in sight. Compare that with the reality of his job, a good one that is here and I assume a good life too.
    He provides, spends time, doesnt cheat etc etc etc.

    It makes very little sense giving that up for uncertainty just to satisfy the wife's green grass syndrome.

    They should sit down, chat, discuss, talk, compromise. If those dont work, perhaps even some counselling.
    Ultimatums, threats and splits (as some have advocated and alluded to) are uncalled for at this stage IMO.

  2. #42
    evgreen is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Tai Tam

    agree that ultimatums or separation doesn't sound necessary at this point. but i'm sensitive to the fact that your husband is so closed off to any ideas of future opportunities to move back. situations and job stability can change at the drop of a hat in hong kong. whatever the financial situation, an open mind and open communication are key. if it seems unlikely that this will occur naturally, the mediation of a counselor sounds about right as well (plus a vacation back to the states).

    for me, home shouldn't just be a geographical location. it should be wherever is best for my family. i've moved around a lot in my life and i go wherever my commitments take me and make the best of it.

  3. #43
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by evgreen View Post
    agree that ultimatums or separation doesn't sound necessary at this point.
    Really? After two years of absolutely no change whatsoever on his part? Hmmmmm....

    for me, home shouldn't just be a geographical location. it should be wherever is best for my family. i've moved around a lot in my life and i go wherever my commitments take me and make the best of it.
    Not everyone is like this. Some people can just live anywhere and make that "home" but for others home IS a geographical location that also happens to be the place where the heart/family is. Both are fine ways to live life but no two people are the same.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  4. #44
    NewMommie is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Hong Kong

    It has been really helpful to read all your comments. I think sometimes being in a marriage can be don't want to reveal what is going wrong as your friends then label your marriage as bad, but you also need to talk to people to understand if your situation is normal, or if your thought process is on track. I think being in another country with very different expectations/customs/cultures also makes me question my thinking sometimes when I try to figure out if I am being reasonable or not.

    Everyone had a great point to make, mostly about more communication and compromise, but for whatever reason this has not worked for me. Of course I have tried that over the years, but this isn't a topic that my husband has patience to discuss. Sometimes I think he hopes that avoiding it is the best answer, because then we maintain the status quo, which of course is the path he prefers. HowardCombs' comments were also good to express, almost exactly, my husband's thought process. I cannot say he or my husband are wrong in their thinking - they just prioritize differently, as thanka2 said, from the way I prioritize things. Therefore I cannot make my husband understand, no matter how much talking I do, how important it is for me to go home despite there not being as fantastic of job prospects or absence of gun bans. Just as he cannot make me understand how horrible he considers the US now.

    I think everyone's assumptions about my situation were totally fair, because I did paint pretty much the whole story in my thread. However, a few things to note are that my husband did work as a lawyer before moving to finance, so I know he could get a job back in the US. Would it pay what he makes now or even be a smart career move? No, very unlikely, and again as thanka2 mentioned, some men place a huge priority on climbing the corporate ladder, and so to him, that is extremely important. This is not a housewife vs. breadwinner issue either - I work as well, and I would take a paycut too to return home, but I think it's worth it whereas he does not. It's not even about placing a high value on financial stability, because I do too, it's more that our risk assessment is different. To me, as professionals with excellent resumes, we could find jobs in the US that would let us live very comfortably (and in many ways, more comfortably than here because we could afford so much more space). To him, there will be zero job prospects and we'll be living in poverty. Despite my trying to see his side out of fairness (not that he does me that courtesy), I think he is being ridiculous, but I honestly don't understand what the real reason is behind his not liking the US anymore. Oh also, and it should be obvious given the way I've described him, getting him into counseling would be near-impossible. He definitely doesn't feel he 'needs' counseling.

    I agree with evgreen's statement that where we live should be based on what is best for the family. As some have pointed out, that's my issue entirely - I think we, together, in agreement, should make such an assessment, but he seems to think he is best equipped to make that assessment. And he doesn't understand that compromise means some concessions on his part. To him, either we go back to the US or we don't, and in his assessment it's better for the family to stay here. In him mind, we are either here or there, super simple, and he refuses to be there, so end of discussion. It is somehow my job to come up with something that he can agree to, and of course he won't agree to anything that he doesn't like 100%. And I do believe he has convinced himself that his view is what is 'best for the family', even though I also honestly believe that he is justifying what is best for himself as what is best for his family.

    At the end of the day, despite all the back and forth, all I want is for him to CARE ABOUT HOW I FEEL. Because if he truly hated the US that much and never wanted to return, and yet was willing to for me because he loved me, then I wouldn't make him. I would try to work with him on something in between - more visits home, etc. But he doesn't care about my view or try to. That is why I asked about separation/divorce. I have this one life to live, and I feel I deserve some say in how I live it, and being with someone who fundamentally doesn't seem to get that he isn't dictator of our family - my opinions and wants are to be respected as well - that is not an example I want to set for my daughters about marriage or their self worth.

    HowardCombs mentioned my 'green grass syndrome'. I don't take offense to this - I just thought I would point out this is exactly what I mean about priorities. It's not a syndrome, to me, 5-10 years of breathing polluted air is no more of a 'real' danger to my children than the threat of being shot, which is my husband's favorite thing to say will happen to us and our kids back in the US.

    And lastly, I think if I did take off and go back for awhile, that would probably be the end of our relationship. When we were engaged I went back to the US over the holidays for 2 weeks without him. He ended up, in his displeasure with me 'ditching' him, or perhaps in usurping his male authority, going out to get drunk several times, spending an extraordinary amount of money, and in one particularly bad episode, drinking so much he let his friend bring some unstable and very young girl they had met at a bar to our house where the friend used our spare bedroom to cheat on his live-in girlfriend. I found out because the unstable girl ended up being a one-night stand, contrary to what she had hoped, and in an effort to lash out emailed me and told me the story, including how she poked around in my personal things after both my husband and his friend were passed out. I was able to forgive this and it was years ago, but you can see how it makes me dislike him getting drunk and why I feel like if I ever really did leave, he wouldn't come to the conclusion that hey, he loves us and wants to make compromises for us - he would go punish me for it and probably end up drinking and cheating or something similar. HowardCombs is right, he is not a bad person, but drinking makes him do things that I would consider a bad person would do.

    So, thanks for listening, and yes, I will continue to try to talk to him, despite how that has failed so far. Not much more I can do for now.

  5. #45
    louisouis is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Hong Kong

    I really feel for you, it sounds like your husband really place great emphasis on his social life. How is he during the weekends? Does he also hang out with his colleagues? Will it be possible to set some ground rules so that you do not feel like he is out enjoying himself while you tale care of him, the baby and your career? Take care! I am sure there is light at the end of the tunnel
    Posted via Mobile Device

  6. #46
    peachylin is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    I hope you and your husband find time to talk things over and get a clear picture of what your (his?) future plans are. As you posted, it's difficult to make him discuss with you as he seems to have his mind set to staying here, but just keep on trying. Try to talk about it very casually and calmly and then maybe if you tell him how strongly you feel about going back to the States, then he will give in. I hope the best for your family.

    PS. It's not true that in finance drinking with colleagues/bosses is necessary. My hubby is in this sector and he has never gone home smelling alcohol. The sad part though is he is always dead tired :-(

  7. #47
    matemate is offline Registered User
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    Jan 2010
    Hong Kong

    on the topic: why is it only about HK vs US? to me this is very one-dimensional. how about europe, australia, singapore, china, india, etc?

    however 6 pages of discussion and we finally get to the real point: the issue seems not to be the geographic location of your life, but rather what kind of a relationship you have. i would honestly focus on this one rather than wasting my time on thinking where to live. when you think about divorce of separation, how about doing it in hong kong? because even if you divorce, you cannot simply take your kids and move to the US without his consent anyway (Den Haag convention on child abductions).

    another thought: if your husband is such a rational person that considers his career and wealth very well, why not calculate through a real divorce with him? show him the money that he would lose if he really goes into a divorce case, and he might come to his senses quite quickly. you might want to think well of how to put it to him, so that it does give him a chance to make amends, but maybe he currently thinks that you will not divorce anyway and he can get away with his behavior.

    so my suggested path of action:
    1. list down what is important for your live for your family, for your kids, for yourself (not in terms of solutions, but rather parameters how you would analyze about how to live, where to live, how to behave, etc.)
    2. show it to him and tell him that you want him to engage, discuss with you and change your family's life. give him a clear time frame by when you want to see results.
    3. tell him to consequences of non-engagement, e.g. divorce and show him what it means financially, for his career, etc.
    4. then be open to consider all options if he does engage and don't be stubborn about only one solution

    ps: i say all the above as a man that - like howardcoombs - might think more along the lines as your husband does. i also work in finance, love my career in asia, 'has to' go drinking with colleagues occasionally, etc.

    pps: drinking with colleagues is never a must, but one would be ignorant to think that it counts for nothing in terms of your career depending on which area of finance, company culture, etc. question is probably more about intensity and frequency

    Last edited by matemate; 06-26-2011 at 05:24 PM.

  8. #48
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    man, talking money of divorce as an incentive to stay married??? really? i would NOT want to be in that marriage! the only reason for him to choose his family is because it would cost him too much to lose them?

    not a great situation!

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