Monday, October 20, 2014

Spouse or Kids: Who is more important?

The topic of spouse vs kids is a long-standing one that has permeated us as human beings ever since we have the notion of love.

So, who is more important? Who should we love more? Our spouse whom we have fallen in love with, and started the family with? Or the children whom we have given birth to, and have both the desire and responsibility to care for them and nurture them? 

This has been quite the discussion between me and Yn. She was very sure that the spouse (which is me), is more important than the kids, and also, is the most important person in her life. However, in my mind, I could not confidently reciprocate the same sentiments towards her when she first told me this.

I have never thought of this question before. I have never thought that this was important to think about too. We have always cautioned each other that it was easy to neglect the spouse once the couple has kids, so both of us need to be conscious about putting in effort for the relationship. I fully agreed to this. But when it comes to the question of, who is more important, I got dumbfounded. Without any metrics to help me decide, my answer to her was, both are equally important. 

To me, this question is similar to the Chinese saying of: “手心是肉,手背也是肉”。(Direct translation: the palm of hand is flesh, the back of hand is also flesh). I started to ask myself, could one really be more important than the other? Is there a morally right answer to this question that the society conforms to? With the power in my hands, (together with the greatness of the internet), I searched for answers across international borders and cultures, or whatever was on page 1 and 2 of google search.

There seemed to be voices from both sides. But the more professional ones sided with a focus on marriage. The main reason is because without a strong marriage, the nurturance of the kids will definitely be affected somewhat. The effects of a happy marriage trickled down to nurturing the kids. I fully agreed on this point.

On the other hand, there are also people who said that their kids are the most important, and they love them more than their spouses. Their reasoning is that they gave birth to the kids, and they love the kids from day 1 of the kids' lives. And the kids will always be their kids, while spouses may one day choose to leave, almost the same way of saying you can't change your parents. This point is a bit strange to me, as I have never really consider leaving yn, nor her leaving me. But of course, there are various reasons that people have to justify their viewpoints.

In the end, it doesn't seemed that there is that one right answer to this question. Different people have different attitudes, different priorities. They come from different upbringing, are in different situations, and therefore have 1,001 answers to this question.

Through the reading of some of these answers, I have gained some insights to what my answer is.


The love for a spouse is fundamentally different from the love for children. The love for a spouse is more intimate; she/he is a partner in hand, a confidant, someone who supports you and whom you support. On the other hand, the love for children is more nurturing; the wanting to have them grow up healthy and happy (and stereo typically for chinese asian families, getting A+ in academics). So, it's a different kind of love for both. Just like the love for parents. Spouse, parents, and children; all of them are people who you love, albeit the form of love is different for each. When faced with a question of who do I love more, this I admit, I have no answer for it. As the form of love is different, it's like comparing between apple, orange, and pear, and asking, which is the better fruit. I would have much lesser trouble deciding whether I love apple 1 or apple 2. As far as I'm concerned, I love all of them, and I want to give as much of my love to them all. 

However, interestingly, on further self-questioning, who would I rather be with if I'm on a deserted island/deathbed/holiday/sad/happy, the answer is always her. Or, which form of love I can't do without, it's still her. Perhaps this makes my talkings above seemed obsolete, but I guessed it's just the truth. The forms of love may be different for each type of relationship, there's remains a preference or ranking for which love would you love more. I find it hard to say that I love her more than my parents and my future, possibly because it feels like I'm betraying the love that i have for them. It just doesn't feel nice to say it out. Could this be due to my culture? my perception of societal norms? Whichever it is, a preference is still a preference - I love her the most.


This was the question posted to me by her, which got me thinking about the whole topic in the first place. Isn't importance and love the same? Hmm... I would say largely. But i do not have the same confidence to say it's totally the same for all people. 

After reading through other people's responses towards this topic, I realized I have got myself confused with the definition of importance, and needs. I have previously felt that children are as important as my spouse because nurturing children is a lot of efforts, and they have a lot of needs when they are growing up, from being a baby, to going to pre-school, and finally leaving the 'nest'. And as compared to a normal adult, the children have far more needs than the adult, and these needs often require urgent attention. My spouse would still survive on her own if I don't fulfill her needs, but my children won't (basically it's because the children's needs are more fundamental/physiological, but the spouse's needs are more emotional - can refer to Maslow's hierarchy of needs). And this makes me feel that children are as important as my spouse. 

Some mother's reply on this enlightened my perception. The needs of a child may be quantitatively more, and more often than not, requires immediate attention, but that doesn't put the needs of a child above your spouse. Yes, you might need to attend to the child first (because the child is crying for milk), but the needs of a spouse would need to be fulfilled afterwards also. My previous perception of my children having more needs than my spouse placed my children on the same pedestal of importance together with my spouse. Upon reading the online reply, I realized that I shouldn't confuse needs and importance together. They are related, but are not completely the same entity.

So that kinda makes children less important... but what makes the spouse more important? For me, she is going to be the one who is standing by me in life. And this position can't be filled by my parents, my children, or my friends. It just has to be her. 

But I have to say, it's complicated to think about these issues without meticulously jotting down my thought process. And no matter how one truly feels, it still feels awkward and carry a sense of guilt (perhaps personally) to compare and contrast the people that I love, or going to love. it's something that I would rather not crack my mind and heart to think about, and just love them the way my heart desires. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

17 Signs You’re A Scorpio (Even If You Weren’t Born One) | Thought Catalog

17 Signs You’re A Scorpio (Even If You Weren’t Born One) | Thought Catalog

(1) You typically hate asking for help because you see it as a sign of weakness. You like to be the boss of your own life and live by the motto, "if you want it done right, you have to do it yourself."

(2) Hell hath no fury like a Scorpio scorned. You are the master of revenge. Now, to you revenge isn't always a heinous act, most times it's just proving to a person that you were better off without them.

(3) You are brutally honest. It annoys you when people ask you for your honest opinion, and then they get offended when you actually give them your honest opinion.
(4) When you love, you love fiercely. For you, falling in love means having to let your impenetrable guard down, and that’s one of Scorpios’ biggest fears. You choose very carefully who you allow into your heart, so when you do fall in love, it’s a pretty big deal, and you’ll love and cherish your partner with everything you have. Lucky guy/girl!
(5) You make people work hard for your trust because you are weary of trusting ANYONE. The only person you fully trust is yourself, and you trust your own instincts more than anything.
(6) You can appear to be calm one second, but when someone pushes your buttons, you’ll explode like a volcano. When you get angry, you let out feelings you’ve kept inside for quite some time – it can get ugly.
(7) The worst things someone can do when you are angry is repeatedly ask questions, pester you, or pry in your business. Actually, these things still annoy you even when you aren’t angry. Your business is your business, and when you want to share something, you will on your own terms.
(8) You are the perfect combination of introverted and extroverted. At times, you may seem quiet, internally aware, and intense. You find it exhausting to be “on” all the time. However, when you’re in the mood, you can be the absolute life of the party! It all depends on how you’re feeling in the moment, because Scorpios are very “feeling” individuals.
(9) You are protective and loyal to a fault. You couldn’t care less what others think or say about you, but when someone messes with your friends or family, all hell will break loose.
(10) You HATE small talk. You’d rather not talk at all. You like to get straight to the point and prefer deep and meaningful discussions to idle gossip.
(11) You are a freak in the sheets. You simply ooze sexuality and sex appeal with everything you do! Scorpio is, after all, the most passionate and sexual sign of the Zodiac. However, this doesn’t mean you’ll just give it up to anyone. Oh no. You are a prize to be won.
(12) You can be very jealous and possessive in relationships, but you hide it so well. Again, this has to do with your protective and loyal nature. The only reason you get jealous is because you care so much and love so hard. You don’t like to share what you consider to be rightfully yours.
(13) You are extremely perceptive and can pick up on peoples’ emotions very easily – often times even without verbal communication. You feel what other people are feeling, which isn’t always a good thing.
(14) You have a built-in lie detector. Nothing grinds your gears quite like being lied to, but you sometimes find it entertaining when someone tries to pull a fast one on you, because you always, ALWAYS find out the truth.
(15) You are passionate, driven, and dedicated. You dream big and you will do whatever it takes to reach your goals. Giving up is never an option!
(16) You have the tendency to take everything to the extreme – the good and the bad. It can be very hard for you compromise. You don’t like to half-ass anything and there is no “in-between.”
(17) You understand and accept the darker side of life, and you have an innate desire to find the answers to life’s deepest and darkest mysteries.

Monday, February 10, 2014

A rather comical song that I favourited years ago~

The differences between the gender~

Friday, January 24, 2014

A day to mark our 2 whole years together

and she sent me an email this morning with a link to marriage tips to remind us, now and in future, to keep us reminded, that love comes naturally only when you make an effort to open that path


Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about going through divorce that gives you perspective of things you wish you would have done different… After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had…
1) Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.
2) PROTECT YOUR OWN HEART. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.
3) FALL IN LOVE OVER and OVER and OVER again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.
4) ALWAYS SEE THE BEST in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love.
5) IT’S NOT YOUR JOB TO CHANGE OR FIX HER… your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.
6) TAKE FULL ACCOUNTABILITY for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.
7) NEVER BLAME your wife If you get frustrated or angry, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them… when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.
8) Allow your woman to JUST BE. When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s ok. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you… DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion.
9) BE SILLY… don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.
10) FILL HER SOUL EVERYDAY… learn her love languages and the specific ways that she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Ask her to create a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make it a priority everyday to make her feel loved.
11) BE PRESENT. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.
12) BE WILLING TO TAKE HER SEXUALLY, to carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.
13) DON’T BE AN IDIOT…. And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid.
14) GIVE HER SPACE… The woman is so good at giving and giving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find what feeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing…. (okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point. Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered.)
15) BE VULNERABLE… you don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fear and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes.
16) BE FULLY TRANSPARENT. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, and part of that courage is allowing her to love your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK… If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.
17) NEVER STOP GROWING TOGETHER… The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is for a relationship that isn’t focused on growing. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.
18) DON’T WORRY ABOUT MONEY. Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.
19) FORGIVE IMMEDIATELY and focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. Forgiveness is freedom. Cut the anchor loose and always choose love.
20) ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices is governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. Love will always endure.
In the end MARRIAGE isn’t about Happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. Through that work, the happiness will come.
These are lessons I learned the hard way. These are lessons I learned too late.
But these are lessons I am learning and committed in carrying forward. Truth is, I LOVED being married, and in time, I will get married again, and when I do, I will build it with a foundation that will endure any storm and any amount of time.
MEN- THIS IS YOUR CHARGE : Commit to being an EPIC LOVER. There is no greater challenge, and no greater prize. Your woman deserves that from you.
Be the type of husband your wife can’t help but brag about.

There’s a blog post that’s recently gone viral, written by a divorced man featuring some really sound advice about marriage (click here to read it).  I really have to applaud this guy.  It takes guts to stand up and be transparent about your failures.  It’s equally as commendable to stand up and say how you’d do things differently.
One thing that his post is lacking, however, is the female perspective.  After reading his post, I wanted to take some time and write down some things that I’ve learned in the last ten years.  You see – I’m now in my third marriage.  When people learn this fact about me, their reaction is usually pretty awkward.  It’s almost as if they’re waiting for me to be embarrassed by my admission. While going through two divorces was some of the most painful times of my life, I’d only feel ashamed if I’d gone through it without being able to say I’ve learned a thing or two.  My husband and I had both been through divorce before we married each other, and with that brings a unique perspective into many do’s and don’ts of how to treat your spouse. Don’t get me wrong – our marriage isn’t perfect, but our failures in past relationships have shaped decisions we make about the way we treat each other, and to be honest, I’m glad I went through it.  We’ve learned better, so now we do better.
And with that, I’d like to offer up my version of his wise marriage tips – from a woman who has triumphed the murky waters of divorce (and if you’re interested, my husband also wrote one from his perspective).
  1. Respect your husband.  - Notice how it doesn’t say “Respect your husband if he has earned it”. A man’s greatest need in this world is to be respected, and the person he desires that respect from the most is his wife.  The trap that we’ve all been ensnared by is that they only deserve our respect when they earn it. Yes, we want our husbands to make decisions that will ultimately garner our respect, but the truth is that your husband is a human being. A human being who makes mistakes. This is the man that YOU have chosen to walk alongside you for the rest of your life, and to lead your family and he needs to be respected for that quality alone. Take it from me – when respect is given even when he doesn’t deserve it, it will motivate him to earn it. That doesn’t mean you pretend that his choices are good ones when they aren’t. Things like that still need to be communicated, but you can flesh out your differences WITH RESPECT. It makes all the difference in the world to him.
  2. Guard your heart.  - The grass is not greener on the other side. Do not believe the lie that with a slimmer figure, a higher salary, a faster car, or a bigger house, you will be a happier woman. The world is full of things and people that will serve as reminders that you don’t have the best of the best, but it’s simply not true. Live the life you’ve been blessed with, and BE THANKFUL. I get that we all have struggles, and there are even times when I would love 1,000 more square feet of house to live in, but square feet is not fulfilling – relationships are. Guard your heart from things and people that will try to convince you that your life or your husband is not good enough.  There will always be bigger, faster, stronger, or shinier – but you’ll never be satisfied with more until you’re fulfilled with what you have now.
  3. God, husband, kids…in that order.  - I know this isn’t a popular philosophy, especially among mothers, but hear me out. It’s no secret that my faith is of utmost importance, so God comes first in my life no matter what. But regardless of your belief system, your husband should come before your kids. Now unless you’re married to someone who is abusive  (in which case, I urge you to seek help beyond what my blog can give you), no man in his right mind would ask you to put your kids aside to serve his every need while neglecting them. That’s not what this means. When you board an airplane, the flight attendants are required to go over emergency preparedness prior to takeoff. When explaining the part about how to operate the oxygen mask, passengers are instructed to first put the mask on themselves before putting it on their small child. Is that because they think you are more important than your kids? Absolutely not. But you cannot effectively help your child if you can’t breathe yourself. The same holds true with marriage and parenting. You cannot effectively parent your children if your marriage is falling apart. Take it from me – I tried. There will also come a time when your kids will leave the house to pursue their dreams as adults. If you have not cultivated a lasting relationship with your spouse, you will have both empty nests and empty hearts.
  4. Forgive.  - No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. If you make forgiveness a habit – for everything from major mistakes to little annoyances (every day, I have to forgive my husband for leaving the wet towel on the bathroom counter ;)) – you will keep resentment from growing.
  5. Over-communicate.  - I used to have a bad habit of not speaking my feelings. I played the standard “You should know why I’m mad” game, and that’s just downright unfair. Men are not wired like women, and they DON’T always know that they’ve been insensitive. I’m still growing in this area, and there are often times when my husband has to pry something out of me, but I’m trying to remember that I need to just communicate how I feel.
  6. Schedule a regular date night.  - This one isn’t new, but it’s very important. Never stop dating your spouse.  Even if you can’t afford dinner and a movie (which we seldom can), spending some regular one-on-one time with your spouse is essential. Don’t talk about bills, or schedules, or the kids. Frankie and I often daydream about our future, or plan our dream vacation. We connect emotionally and often learn something new about each other – even after four years.
  7. Never say the “D Word”.  - If you’re gonna say it, you better mean it. Plain and simple, threatening divorce is not fighting fair. I did this a lot in my previous marriages. I’m not proud of it, but I learned better. I was hurting deeply, and I wanted to hurt back, but it never helped me feel better.
  8. Learn his love language.  - Everyone has a love language. The way you perceive love is often different from the way your spouse perceives love. Does he like words of affirmation, or does he respond better when you give him gifts? Whatever his love language is – learn it and USE IT.  Edited to add: If you are unfamiliar with the principles behind love languages, you can learn more about it here.
  9. Never talk negatively about him.  - I learned this lesson the hard way too. If you’re going through a difficult time in your marriage and you need advice, see a counselor. Family counseling is a great tool, but try to remember that your family members and friends are not the most objective people to give advice. The argument they are hearing is one-sided and they often build up negative feelings toward your spouse, which usually doesn’t subside once you and your husband have gotten past it. Protect his image with those that you’re close with and seek help from those that can actually be objective.  News flash, ladies – your mother cannot be objective!
  10. Choose to love.  - There are times in a marriage that you may wake up and not feel in love anymore. Choose to love anyway. There are times when you may not be attracted to your husband anymore. Choose to love anyway. Marriage is a commitment. In sickness and health, in good times and in bad. Those vows are sacred. They don’t say “if you have bad times”. They say “in good times AND in bad”, implying that there WILL be bad times. It’s inevitable. So choose to love anyway. He’s worth it.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A nice song to share

Just a nice and soothing song...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A quote i saw.