REALISE that the way the relationship was balanced before the move will be a good indication of the couple's ability to adjust to new roles in Hong Kong, says therapist Melanie Bryan, a clinical psychologist. Did the first one home from work start cooking dinner? Were both equally involved in child-rearing? The more fluid the roles, the easier the adjustment will be. Understand what is being given up. Meera Chandran of the Marriage and Personal Counselling Service said: 'Someone has to say 'I'm willing to take a risk with my career path. I may or may not be able to find a job that I like as much or that is as good for me in my career, but I'm willing to take a risk'. ' Troubleshoot in advance by examining the attitudes and roles each brings to the relationship. 'Most people don't do that,' said Ms Bryan. 'Unless there is this shared commitment to the relationship, it's very easy to become distant because of the demands being made on the working woman. If there is this shared purpose, then putting up with the problems can be easier.' Realise that however willing men might be to cede the role of major breadwinner to their partners, they are still bucking centuries of social convention. 'It tends to threaten everything that a man - or woman - thinks is a man's role,' said Ms Chandran. 'Whether we like it or not, we do have preconceptions about roles.' Male childminders should consciously seek out places to meet other men. 'It's much easier for non-working wives to find other non-working wives to get together with,' said Cathy Tsang-Feign, author of Self-help for Foreigners. 'For men, often they find they have no one to turn to.' Male childminders should try to avoid reacting defensively in social situations when people ask what they do. 'Don't over-explain,' advised Ms Tsang-Feign. 'Just say 'I stay at home with the children'. Or don't say anything at all.' If the man feels comfortable, others will be accepting. Be prepared to accept that the working spouse will put in long hours in Hong Kong. Some male childminders begin to complain that their working wives are never at home, said Ms Tsang-Feign. Their wives retort that they have to work long hours to maintain their standard of living. Husbands should anticipate that their wives will work late. Recognise that the women, as the top-earning spouse, might start calling the shots. 'Very often they're not even aware of how they have taken over this very powerful role,' said Ms Chandran. 'Once they're aware of the situation, you can help them redress it.' Other high-earning women will deliberately defer to their partners in an attempt to balance the power in the relationship, said Ms Bryan. 'Women in high-powered positions have a tendency not to pull rank in their families.' Realise that trailing husbands looking for jobs in Hong Kong face tough cultural hurdles. A loud, macho American who followed his working wife to Hong Kong has been unable to land a job after two years. 'If he had come with a job, the corporate open-arms would have taken him and his cultural idiosyncrasies in,' said Ms Bryan. 'But his cultural differences get in the way in the Asian business environment. Anyone who comes in through a company is initially insulated from all that.' Male childminders can find alternative ways of keeping up in their fields to avoid feeling that their careers have been put on hold. Reading journals, staying in contact with former work-mates or working part-time are all good ways of staying on top with what's going on.