Tuesday, February 23, 2010

3rd Golden Rule: Part 1 Appreciating our Differences

Ok this is going to be a fairly long post...
so please read in chunks if brain overloads easily.

A relationship = a 3 legged race.

Both partners need to adapt to each other
to be able to MOVE FORWARD.
If each wants to insist one's own way...
STUCK there loh..cannot win the race.

As i said earlier...
the way one handles disagreements, differences...
is the KEY to the success of the relationship.

First things first.

1. RECOGNIZE each other's differences.

Here's a mental exercise for you to do before we move on:
Mark your initials where your different preferences lie.

Example: ( N-nick; S-sila)

Money: Spend S ; N Save
Punctuality: Selamba N ; S On the dot

K? ready? GO!

Clothes: Casual/ Formal
Disagreements: Thrash it out / Keep the peace
Holidays: Seek adventure /Seek rest
Money: Spend /Save
People: Spend time with others /Spend time alone
Planning: Make plans,stick to them /Be spontaneous, go with the flow
Punctuality: Selamba-la /On the dot
Relaxation: Go out /Stay in
Sleeping: Go to bed early /Go to bed late
Sport: Enthusiast /Uninterested
Telephone: Talk at length / Make arrangements only
Tidiness: Not a dust! /Messy
TV: Keep it on /Throw it out
Other issues:


These uniqueness are recipes for making conflicts,
But it also makes excitement and colour!

In the "Lovey Dovey" phase,
couples usually accommodate each other
and overlook these differences.

But after the "feeling" has past and "serious steady"starts...

Couples get irritated at every little thing and,
hence, each tries to change the other.

IF unresolved or CANNOT TAHAN already...
the likely thing to do...

But alas!
It is at this point where both should not give up!
It is only the beginning!

of diversity!

Differences can be complementary and MADE to work to an advantage.
Each has one's own valuable contribution and limits on its own.

I repeat!

there is no right or wrong.
Just different.

Accept each other.
The next phrase that comes with that is usually:
"flaws and all"!


No! See..that's the problem!
One should change that negative perspective to:
"Flairs and all"!

or something.

Concentrate on admiring each other, complementing and looking out for each others strengths;
NOT what irritates or is "defective".
Support and be gracious with each others weaknesses.

I remember reading this" Ask Aunty" section in Readers Digest ( July 2009).
Really interesting. It went like this:

" Dear Aunty, I met this great guy, but there's one problem: I am neat and organized. He leaves the kitchen in a mess. When he changes clothes, he drops them on the floor. We've talked about moving in together, but I don't want us to get on each others nerves. I've tried to broach the subject with him, but he's sensitive to criticism. I don't want to nag, but I also don't want to be his maid. Any suggestions?"

" Dear Neatnik, You're neat; he's a slob. This setup has made for many happy unions. I happen to know of slobs married to neatniks. Why do opposites attract? Emotional magnetism? Revenge of the gods? Who knows! One thing I've discovered over the years: Slobs and neatniks only get more so. So, ask yourself: Is this man WORTH reaching down and picking up for? If he is, stop thinking of yourself as a maid and look at it as a way of LOVING. If he isn't worth it to you... sweep him out and keep scouring the city for MR CLEAN."

Good advice.
But ya know, I would say "happy looking for MR CLEAN".
Even if she finds MR CLEAN, she'll have a lot more things to pick on.
MAYBE even on how she cant' stand that he is SO CLEAN.

And so I quote from a friend of mine:
"Sometimes, it's not the 'list of characteristics for MY future husband/wife' that matters the most. Most importantly is trusting the Lord to lead to the person who can truly love you for the person you are. :)".

And likewise. Trusting the Lord to lead you to the person you can truly love for who he is!

Our counselors suggested this very good idea:
They said write down a list of things that you like about your partner.
AND continue to add to the list as time goes by.
When you feel angry or irritated with your partner,

It is a good way to remind ourselves to be thankful for each other,
and to appreciate each others differences.
It is also a daily affair, not a one-off thing.

I find it really helpful to thank God daily for him.
And to remember the wonderful way He has brought us together.
It helps to keep that fresh perspective going, and not let it get stale.

Humour is what keeps everything in place!

Instead of getting irritated, disappointed and angry at your differences,
why not let laughter in!

It is good to maintain a sense of humour-
even if you don't agree or is not to your preferences.
This humour helps colour your life instead of adding conflict and unnecessary tension.
Enjoy each others differences,
TEASE kindly and gently,
keep laughter and humour alive.

This reminds me of a funny story:

He always laughs and teases me.
Like how I'm so blur and clumsy sometimes ( well, to him is like all the time la).
Like how he has such a kiddo face ( of course, he tries to act matu-red).
Like how we do puzzles so differently. (He, determined to finish ASAP; me do and doodle).

To the extend that he LOVES to reenact the scenes over and over again. LOL.

He especially likes to reenact the "can-i-ask-for-daughter's-hand-in-marriage" scene.

So, he was over at my place to ask for my hand in marriage.
I could feel the "tension" between father and bf.
My dad, PURPOSELY trying to make it hard for him asked:" So why you like my daughter?"
SUDDENLY, at that moment...a bee came and stung me.

I don't remember acting like a crazy woman screaming and waving my arms and giving that kesian face after that. ( but he always reenacts that. TERRIBLE.) :P
After that, no more "ice" cause father and bf was busy trying to take out the sting from my arm TOGETHER.
And he didn't have to answer that question.
Immediately got a "yes".
I like to call the bee..divine intervention. HAHA.
and I like to call myself...sacrifical lamb. HAHA.

Anyway, humour keeps us both alive and it helps us to see beyond our differences.
and to think of it as "life is more colourful with you in it!"

Prepare for change.

We cannot change our own or our partner's personalities ( introvert, extrovert;logical, intuitive;structured, flexible).


We can change our own( not our partner's) HABITS/ BEHAVIOUR ( short tempered, inconsiderate, quick to speak without thinking) .

An important principle for a happy relationship:
"We can change ourselves; We cannot change each other. Only God can."

It is NO GOOD saying "that's just the way I am".

If we love someone,
expect ourselves to change.
Not expect and demand the other to change for you.
Once again...it requires MUTUAL effort.
If it's one sided- :( one has to suffer more loh.

But of course life is not so simple.
We have our pride and ego.
We make mistakes.
That's why it is so IMPORTANT that we constantly go to the Lord.
To ask Him to keep our hearts humble to change, our ears open to listen, as well as patience, grace and mercy for the other person.

PRIDE. PRIDE. PRIDE- is the fall of many relationships.
It's sad but true.
Something so small can avalanche into something really big- something that cannot be resolved.
( more of this in forgiveness & restoration chapter)

Remember, loving is no selfish affair.
It is about taking mutual effort to look out for each other.
Loving is costly.

But both must be willing to embrace the INCONVENIENCE of change.
Being in a relationship is not about maintaining your own life the same as before...
being in a relationship requires both to move forward in life together,
to find NEW and ENTICING horizons together.

And I end with a really touching story:

I stand by the bed where a young woman lies, her lips, after the operation, is twisted in palsy and clownish. She asks her young husband standing by her bed :" Will my mouth always be like this?" The answer- yes. She nods and is silent. But the young man smiles. " I like it," he says, " It's kind of cute." He bends down to kiss her crooked mouth, twisting his own lips to accommodate hers, to show her that the kiss still works.

So sweet kan.

I am a bit self-conscious sometimes cause my face can get a bit dotty.
But he always says:" You look cute when you are dotty." Heh.
And I smile because I am reminded that,
loving someone is loving the person for who he/she is...just as they are, and it transcends beyond the surface, beyond time, beyond distances, beyond circumstances...
"flairs and all". :)

...a relationship won't work if you try to make someone fit into your way of thinking. Making it work is not about TOLERATING your partner's differences but TREASURING them.

Coming up :Part 2- When differences collide-Resolving THE conflict.

Sneak peak of more to come!:
Resolving conflict- focusing on the issue!
Centering our lives- What's in the middle?
Love in action- does actions really speak louder than words?
Forgiveness & Restoration- there is hope!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Shocking movie!

You guys soooooo gotta see this! I'm serious... you'll regret if you don't.

Shocking movie! And it has someone we know inside!!!

Don't worry...it's U rated.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2nd Golden Rule: Part 2

Golden Rule No.2 - Keep on talking and listening to each other.

So we talked about talking.
Listening you say?

But what about the deep stuff you say?

Tak kan every time talk about how one
FEELS and THINKS about
the weather,
the movie,
the birds,
the opera lady
etc etc etc...kan?

is an essential part of coping with the different experiences
together as a couple.

Voicing out our feelings, however painful,
is needed.

But you must also ALLOW and REMEMBER
that each other RESPONDS differently to situations.

Girls cry
( and guys panic and do the wrong things when they do! )
HAHA. Don't scared. Later I teach you secret.
100% works.

Guys prefer to be alone for a while,
drink a beer,
play with their gadgets,
then get over with it ASAP.

So, yes, allow her to cry; allow him to be with his beer.

But remember
to come back together
to share with one another.
(Don't leave each other out!)

Working through your griefs together ,

is just as important as working through your joys together!


it is about opening up our inner selves to each other.
it is about communicating issues that matter to us, to our hearts.
it is about self-discovery to yourself and to your honey bunny.
it is about encouraging each other.
it is about the realization and thankfulness,
of how God has made each of us,
and of how all the more we appreciate and cherish each other.

but is is also about making yourself vulnerable to each other.
Ouuuuuu...risky risky you say.
but if you fail to communicate on this level...
you will slowly drift apart.

to each other is just as important
( or even more important) than talking.

The gift of being a good listener
( sometimes it requires much practice),
is it the MOST healing gift.
Indeed, it is a POWERFUL way
of showing we care and value each other.
BUT BUT BUT it is also costly and it takes effort.

HAHA i know both genders have issues of such.

Girls like to talk and ramble about it.
Guys try to fix it.

Girls complain why guys always like to fix their problems.
Guys complain why girls always have to complain so much.

( Everyone who agrees with me say "AMEN!")

But a little give and take goes a long way.

I remember it was quite challenging in this area for US as well.
I would ramble about how stress or how sucky work was.
And he would always try to fix it.
I would always get pissed and not talk to him for the whole night.
Make him soooo stress.

I guess we just weren't very good at
talking and listening to each other YET.

But after those incidents,
we always meet up to "talk" about it.

But the good thing was:
WE never ( and always try not to ya)
accused and blamed each other
but always apologized first
no matter who was "wrong".

WE always looked at
HOW to solve the situation
instead of
pointing fingers and
going against each other and
expecting the other to change.

So, it really helped.

WE talked about what happened,
our conversation concluded something like this:

Me:" I'm sorry that talked and complain too much."

He:" I'm sorry that I wasn't very helpful in consoling you too."

Me:" It's ok. But maybe next time right you can tell me when I talk too much? Please say "brain overload". Then I'll know when to shut up. :P "

He:"Ok I will. And I will try to listen more. Ask me to shut up if I start fixing your problems ya."

Me:":) Maybe, when I'm telling you my troubles, you could just hug me and say " Awww... you poor thing...It's going to be ok ya".

And since then it has been thumbs up!
Challenging but two thumbs up!


Girls, do understand that:
guys don't attach themselves to the situation.
So they tend to fix the "situation" and get over with it.
So they don't see why we girls get so upset about it
when they are not talking about us but the situation.

Guys, please understand that:
girls, being emotional beings,
we attach ourselves to the situation.
So when you guys try to fix the situation...
we girls personally feel "attacked" and "discouraged".

But don't lose hope.

The reason for this personal example-
To help you understand that it really takes
TWO to tango.


Choose the right time to say/ talk

...practice RESTRAIN!
( It is part of the cost of loving each other)

Always give the guys "BITE-SIZE", not the WHOLE "pizza"

...else they will have brain overload ya,
too many emotions to handle,
brain overload,
brain overload.

Accept the fact that guys don't talk as much as you.

But when they share with you...
NEVER criticize or make him feel unimportant.

Practice listening just as much as you want him to listen to you!

Go to God first.
Your bf is not God so he probably
won't understand you as well as GOD


DON'T assume that guys
can read your body language, or your mind.

They REALLY can't,
no matter how they TRY
and no matter HOW OBVIOUS you show it.

So, be gracious to them and
make it easier for them to say sorry...

and TELL them how you feel
what you need them to do,
or how you want them to respond to you.

:" I felt a bit hurt when you said that."

... NOT how they have hurt you:
" You are the one that spoiled my day."

It makes a lot of difference,
HOW you tell them.

***( More of these in the next chapter)


Look beyond what she says

...look to how she FEELS.

Don't give "suggestions" unless asked...

practice RESTRAIN!
( It is also a part of the cost of loving each other)

Be encouraging and empathize with her

( Even if you don't understand what the heck is happening)

*HINT to guys*

When your gf talks about her troubles/ is sad/ cries,
and say

I'm telling you, it works wonders.(Tested, certified GOLD by others)
Your gf will soooo love you after that. HAHA.

Love is costly BUT the joy that you reap is PRICELESS.

All these are related to RESOLVING CONFLICT,
But I'll go into that whole chapter another time ya.
It's my favourite chapter tho,
I think that it is one of the most important things to learn in a relationship.

There will always be
issues /
in a relationship.

No such thing as a "perfect" relationship.

But the WAY YOU HANDLE them
the key to a successful relationship.


Brain overload

Brain overload


Tuesday, February 16, 2010


It is THE END of my Ang Pow collecting career. :(

Next year when I give kiddos Angpow...I'm going to put stickers along with the money.
Then all the kiddos will remember this very nice, favourite aunty who gives extra stuff inside. :P
Bribe kiddos. HAHA.

If I can't get Angpows...at least I can give em with extra "loooooveeeeee". HeHe. :P

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Ok, so this one's my "favourite".

Look as his cute face trying to carry me.

(Pls click pic to ENLARGE his cute face!)

He said my dress too slippery woh. :P

He managed to carry me in the end after a few tries.

Good on ya! Yay!

The photographer taught him some techniques to-ensure-slippery-dress-not-slippery.

This was a candid-not-the-actual shot but

I'm glad the photographer caught this one on camera.

:P I love it! AND I can tease him KAW KAW! HaHa! :P

Monday, February 8, 2010

2nd Golden Rule: Part 1

2nd Golden Rule: COMMUNICATION- Keep on talking and listening to each other

Unless we plan time for each other to communicate, we usually meet at our worst moment:

Sleepy in the morning.

Rushing off to work.

Tired after work.

Just before bed.

Yea, yea so we made time for each other
(golden rule no 1)
...enough kan?
Spending "time" with each other is not enough...
The "time" must also be used to COMMUNICATE with each other.
Communicating is not just an exchange of information..

...but making ourselves known to each other of our thoughts and feelings.

Relationships grow when we MAKE THE EFFORT, even if it means to devise a strategy and plan to deal with the situation.

If the effort is mutual then it will draw and deepen the relationship.

If it's one way...sorry la...a bit susah and more heartbreaking- and that may turn into bitterness.

Sometimes, to increase the topics of conversation, one could increase joint activities or interests.
Once again, it does not "just happen".

It requires a conscious decision to show interest in what the other enjoys.

This lady felt lonely cause her husband is always away birding.

Instead of pitying herself, she decided to learn about the different birds and how to do birding so she could join her husband on his birding trips sometimes.

It was great and she found that she loved it! She genuinely took the effort to be interested in what her husband enjoyed.
Her husband on the other hand appreciated and enjoyed her presence much!

Em hum! It should be two ways ya! Vice versa for the guys!

This husband, feeling so loved, also started to want to take the effort to be interested in what his wife enjoys.
Now, this guy was a bird watcher, not a opera and ballet watcher.
But his wife loved to go watch em.

Nonetheless, he took the effort to go with his wife ( even though he usually sleeps through most of it HAHA).

In return, she appreciated his presence and effort too!
Their relationship flourished.
And they had lots to talk about!
( like she comments on how beautiful the birds God created are;
or like he comments on how fat opera lady was...HAHA just kidding)

2 different people;
2 different worlds,
but mutual effort and deliberate appreciation
= both happy and satisfied.

Look out for each others needs, and you'll see that love reciprocates love-
not demand your needs to be met.

Sure beats saying :" Birding! Birding! Birding! You love the birds more than me! Never home! spend time with the birds more than me! Why don't you marry the birds! "


He:" What's so great about opera? I can sing better than them in the bathroom. What a waste of time. Please, don't go to these kind of crap shows again! Wasting money!"

BUT so very common and instinctive for us all to do that when our needs are not met! Effortless to say those things!
Nobody said it's going to be easy, but it's worth all the effort!

Anyway, you could also rekindle things by doing what you two first did when you 1st met.
OR find a new activity that attracts you both.

WE take walks together.
WE got involve in what we both were passionate about.
WE did special projects together like making a RC car together.
We did TRY to do a puzzle. But tak jadi la. HAHA. His idea of doing puzzles are cannot stop must finish marathon. Mine was, slowly la, little bit every week ma finish la. In the end, he finished it with his mom. What a memory. Now I always get teased for never finishing puzzle.


So...try it! TAKE THE EFFORT! It's good for the heart, soul and mind.

Coming up:
PART 2- Going beyond the surface!