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Friday January 19th 2018

Asian woman married to Caucasian for 15 years feeling the heat of marital strife

Dear Gilbert,

I have made several attempts in the past to search for help that could bring me out of this dilemma. Today,  after another argument with my spouse, I came across your website and   it gave me great  relief to know that maybe  my prayer for help is answered.

I found your email adress and decided to write.

I am 33 years of age and married to a man who  is 10 years older than me for almost 15 years now.

We met when I was 16 years old and got married when I was  22 years old. We have two  beautiful daughters age 11 and 12, He is Caucasian and I’m Asian.

We have been through a lot of fights in our marriage especially in the last 8 years since we moved to live in Singapore. The fights are less violent than what it used to but it is still there and often end up with divorce threats that we both seem not able to do.

I often feel oppressed in the relationship, not really able to express my self clearly, share my opinions or communicate our issues without ending in arguments.  

I often find him in defensive mode everytime¬†I like to clear issues ‚Äď I need to be very carefull selecting my time and words to express it for the fear of his anger that could create discomfort in children as well ) ¬†it is very tiring to do this all the time but I do not know any other way to survive this.

If only there is manual instruction to marriage on our wedding day.

However since he travel most of the times now issues that ought to be settled are  piling up.

¬†In the end, we do not communicate at all just to avoid fights and it‚Äôs a sort of living in denial to me ‚Äď ¬†like something unsettling residing ¬†deep within me which creates anxiety from time to time and it explodes in fights.

We tried to go for  marriage counselling  but this does not offer the help that we searched for  but only costs us  money and the solution offered was taking anti depressant which only make me feel heartless and more depression.

It would be so much better if I was offered group therapy session in order to understand and share my marital  problems  with others.

After 2 years taking medication, I stopped and change to herbal remedy instead. It is more natural and help me to stand back up.

I often look for group support in Singapore to no avail.

There are many issues in my marriage but I will start with one ‚Äď my rights as woman/wife/mother in this relationship e.g.¬† financially:-

I worked with him for the first 11 years building the company that he has now, all the money he make¬†is ¬†held in his hand except for a¬†small ¬†amount which he gives to me¬† for household necessity . Let ‚Äės say, ¬†out of $10, 000 he accumulated,¬†I received¬†only four ¬†dollars each month .

I was very limited in my cash flow , in the mean time he is free to decide all financial decision such us investing in new bussiness, going for trips, etc .. He always have his reason that he does all this  as a head of the house. 

He also mixes  bussines and private money.

After 17 years marriage,  I do not have  any saving in cash and have been honest about money with my husband. Everything is in his name . I know if I ask him something, he would give to me but I will have to the fight  to go through that,  it’s  unbearable and I feel powerless to make important decisions as if  my whole  life is in his hand.

What is my rights ? Is monthly allowance¬† just enough for house hold ny only due ‚Äď is that what woman will get in a marriage ? Or supposingly having a ¬†family account, ¬†where we save and make decision together the right thing to do?

As much as I accept my husband …. We all deserve to be treated equally . I do not know exactly whether I am in a emotionally/financially abusive relationship?

I realized that women in difficult relationship are often given tranqualizer but what we need is just  fair direction and support.

Your reflection on my story would help us tremendously.

Kindest regard,

Mother of two happy kids


Hi Mother of two happy kids

Thanks for your mail and sorry to hear about your marital predicament.

The ability to resolve conflicts is one key area to restore harmony within your current relationship.

Some couples set aside time to discuss family issues at a stipulated time whereas others just talk about it when the need arises.

Nevertheless, if you spent all your time settling differences whenever you talk to your spouse then something is wrong somewhere.

Issues need to be settled and differences resolved but it must not take out all the time that we have with our spouse.

Our spouse will think that we are nagging at them and short fuse will rule the day if this trend happens.

When you sense that temper is rising in a talk to settle matters, try to walk away and return when things are calmer.

You can‚Äôt settle much when both parties are in a defensive mode ‚Äď it¬† will only make matters worse.

Try to also go out on  a date without your kids. Go for a movie or dinner and talk nothing else but positive nice stuff. Make it a day whereby you only want to enjoy the time out with your man.

Regarding financial issue,  you have to clear this  with your spouse. How much is enough for household expenditure and whether you want to save some away for rainy days.

There needs to be some form of trust in how the family uses money and I do agree with you that for major big ticket item you ought to be consulted.

On another note, I am also glad that you have seek support from a marriage counsellor abeit unsuccessfully.

It shows that both of you want to resolve marital issues and keep on doing that.

Go to another marriage counsellor if the first one fails to assist you to your liking.

Studies have shown that normally people have to see a few before they settle for the right counsellor as not every counsellor is suitable for us.

There is the all-important click that you need to have with your counsellor before entrusting him with your marriage.

We have professional counsellors available for a small fee to assist you if you need our assistance.

We are not here to make money but to assist couples caught in a difficult time.

Divorce ought to be your last option ‚Äď after trying all ways to save the marriage.

Take care and stay positive.


Gilbert Goh

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Reader Feedback

6 Responses to “Asian woman married to Caucasian for 15 years feeling the heat of marital strife”

  1. theonion says:


    Would suggest you utilise the professional counsellors offered here thru the website or you could go to the different organisations both secular eg

    Marriage Counselling at Family Service Centres

    Many married couples grow apart when saddled with the stresses of everyday life, differing expectations and conflicts that keep mounting.

    Do not wait till it is too late to go for help. Relationships do not fall apart overnight. The longer the problem stays, the more the relationship becomes strained.

    If you find yourself in a marriage that is falling apart, and are unable to work out your issues alone, consider seeking professional help by seeing a Marriage Counsellor. You have nothing to lose.

    A marriage counsellor can help you and your spouse:

    understand what could have gone wrong in your marriage
    improve your marriage by working through the issue with you
    discover the internal resources and strengths you both have to make it work
    communicate and re-connect with your spouse
    regain trust and commitment that both of you started out with

    You can seek counselling at a Family Service Centre or any other counselling centre.

    For More Info

    Family Service Centres (FSCs)
    FSCs are a key community-based focal point and social service provider for families in Singapore. They are staffed with professional social workers who provide premarital counselling services. Please call ComCare Call at 1800-222-0000 for the Family Service Centre nearest to you.

    or Touch Community Services and etc

    If for religious,

    you could try either Methodist or Anglican or Yue Fei or etc organisations who would have marriage counsellors or different support groups.

    Hope this helps

  2. charmer says:

    Firstly you must understand his needs ( both physical and emotional) and that staying in a home with constant fights and arguments is not a healthy situation. While it may be a ‘house’ it is not a good ‘home’ for the children. Obvioulsy the both of you have tolerated the situation for a very long time.

    There has been advice to go for counselling and I hope the both of you do this soon. It is good to try and restore the state of the family. He may resist and you may need a third party like a close relative or friend to intercede and convince him to go.

    There is no reason you should worry about the state of finances. The womens charter act looks after the needs of the wife and children in the event of a seperation. However there is the likelihood that he will leave the country and refuse to return leaving you with little to sustain.

    I sincerely hope the both of you seek counselling asap and can do more things together as a couple when you first fell in love and enjoyed one another.

    God bless and plese take care

  3. To_divorced says:

    Is clear that he no longer lOve his wife, as there
    Has no mention of any kind of good feelings, etc
    This time to move on with the children, go find a
    Job and later buy a hdb with custody of the children
    Do you really think there is a relove in 10 years time
    When you are 43 . A man at a older age can have a
    younger woman. Surely you know he has gf or mistress
    outside Your life now.
    My sister married a white American and divorced after
    11 years. She has custody of their child. The child is
    Now a man and is
    30 years old now married and with a baby.
    My sister made it on her own in USA after divorce.
    My sister is hardly educated, to say the least.
    In Singapore or anywhere else, the mother normally
    Have custody of children. Is time you know
    Understand caucasian culture
    What kind of a husband gives $4 of $10,000 for
    Family living expenses? It is ridiculous! Surely
    You need at least $2,000 a mth? Are you saying
    He earns $5,000,000 a mth (500 x 4 ) , proportionately
    500 x 10,000 equals 5 million.
    So somebody is way out of line.
    So wake up or wake up when you are 43 years
    When support of children may not be available
    As children become adults.
    If you want to hand on to your marriage, go
    Get a job and at the same time file for child
    Support even if you are still married
    $4 of $10,000 a mth indeed,

  4. Sal says:

    Married expectation …..Are you married for love? money? beauty? position? character?

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