Sunday, 7 August 2016

Rocky Cross-Border Marriages

In cross-border marriages, the reality soon sets in, and arguments flare up
In the past week Hong Kong has seen two cases of domestic disputes involving a Hong Kong husband and mainland wife, both ending in death.

A 60 year-old man was suspected of strangling his wife, 41, after an argument they had as they were in the midst of divorce proceedings.

Their 18-year-old daughter found her mother alone and unconscious in the Tokwawan flat and called police, but the woman was declared dead in the hospital.

He meanwhile jumped into Victoria Harbour and was picked up by police, with minor injuries.

This incident follows another last Saturday when a 52-year-old woman attacked her 87-year-old husband with a knife, and then jumped from the window of the Tsuen Wan flat to her death.

It is believed they were having marital problems after the mainland wife moved to Hong Kong a few years ago. They were separated but still living together in the flat.

Hong Kong has seen many older men marrying younger mainland women, hoping she will look after him in old age, while she looks to him as a way to get residency in the city.

Perhaps when reality sets in, it's not what both parties had expected and the quarrels begin...

This is only the basic storyline... it's probably even more complicated with money (or the lack thereof) that makes it even more stressful. And Hong Kong is left dealing with the mess afterwards.

When the disputes involve children, particularly young ones, it's even more complicated, especially when the mother takes the children back to the mainland and are near impossible to find again.

It's a sad state of affairs, and social workers here have a hard time trying to build relationships with the mainland authorities in the hopes of tracking down disgruntled spouses and children who miss their other parent.

Perhaps the good thing is that the marriages between locals and mainlanders has dropped in recent years. It peaked in 2006 at 28,145 and was 16,154 last year. The last thing we need is more conflict in the city that leads to heartache and in extreme cases, death.

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