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 – 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’s a sort of living in denial to me – 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 – 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 ‘s 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 – 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.
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’t settle much when both parties are in a defensive mode – 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 – after trying all ways to save the marriage.
Take care and stay positive.