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Chiu points out that many unresolved marital problems will recur even if a couple divorces and one or both former partners marry again. “It’s human nature to think they have done nothing wrong and the blame should be on their other half. When it comes to the second marriage, problems can resurface,” she says.

Based on this understanding, CMAC relaunched a self-financed marital counselling service branch in 2006 and stepped up efforts to promote family life education in schools.

Celebrating their 28th anniversary of marriage this year, Mr and Mrs Ho believe it is easier said than done to maintain a harmonious and stable relationship. Though the Ho’s have not encountered any major crisis in their marriage, they have been taking part in relationship maintenance courses for a decade. “When I suggested taking a marriage course, I did not intend to solve conflicts. I just want to create topics between us,” Mrs Ho says.

Savio Ho Kam-ming and Waidy So Wai-ching maintain a good relationship after 28 years of marriage. They attend marriage courses regularly to foster communication.
Savio Ho Kam-ming and Waidy So Wai-ching attend marriage courses and maintain a good relationship after 28 years of marriage. (Courtesy photos)

The first marriage course they enrolled in was Hong Kong Marriage Encounter in 2004, a camp for couples to open up to each other and share their feelings frankly. “These courses make me more empathetic. When I care for my wife, I put myself into her shoes,” Mr Ho says, smiling. He adds the most amazing moment was when they renewed their wedding vows in one of the training sessions.

While most couples believe only that marriage counselling is for managing crises and conflicts, Mr and Mrs Ho believe constant effort must be put into maintaining the relationship, not just the marital status. “Once you get married with her, it is a lifetime promise,” Mr Ho says, as Mrs Ho nods and smiles.

Edited by Cindy Ng