Although the ideal of companionate marriage has gradually been
established in Hong Kong, demographic trends from the 1980s reflect
greater marital and family instability. In the years to come, adult
fulfilment is likely to be found in various ways: through marriage,
divorce, remarriage, or the single state. Each of these has its own
potentials, tensions, and prospects for growth and development.
Each offers different though viable life styles through which
people can develop in adulthood. These trends call for a rethinking
of marriage and of our expectation that marriage and the family
bond will continue to serve as the relational context of adult
This collection on marital work offers the means to rethink
marriage by examining the ways husbands and wives cope with the
demands and dilemmas of their relationship, from diverse parenting,
forgiveness, coping with childhood abuse, infidelity,
disenchantment and distancing, to uncoupling in divorce, and
re-coupling in remarriage. Each chapter addresses aspects of these
issues, with a focus on the recovery, reinvention and
reconstruction of the self to meet the many challenges arising from
the relationship and from life circumstances.
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