Lessons from a 10-Year Marriage

Last Chinese New Year was our 10th wedding anniversary.  We don’t really celebrate our anniversary but since it’s the 10th year, I thought we should at least do something special for a change.   I told the Hubby right after the New Year that he better plan something that day, because I’m not letting him off the hook this time around.  Well, we ended up in his hometown, in a private resort, swimming in cold water and singing our hearts out at a videoke machine.  And we did it together with the kids and the in-laws.  Love it!

What a Decade of Marriage Taught Me

The other day, as the Hubby was cleaning out some of our drawer, he found my old dairy.  I think it was written around our first year of marriage.  I quickly grab it away from him in case there’s anything he shouldn’t see and scan it myself.  Reading through it, I can’t help but laughed at the silliest things that we fought about back then and how unnecessary long it took us to make up after a fight.  But a decade had passed and so much had changed since then–most, for the better.  Of course, nothing came easy.  It took a lot of hard work and perseverance to make a marriage work no matter how much in love you both are.  If you ask me what a decade of married taught me, I’ll say:

Some things are not worth fighting over.  Truth be told, the Hubby and I had very little things in common.  When we started living together, we found out just how much different we were and yes, we argued a LOT!  But at time goes by, we learned that not every disagreement has to turn into a drama.  Some can and should be let go and every now and then, one has to give in to the other.  Somehow when one started to let go of the little things, there partner follows.  Then you both realized that it wasn’t so bad to give in from time to time. Continue reading Lessons from a 10-Year Marriage

Poor by Choice?

Missing Each OtherWhenever I sit outside this particular coffee shop near our office, there is this old lady who would always come and beg for spare coins from every costumer sitting at that time. And every time she does it, the baristas or security guards would ask her leave and not to come back. But sure enough, she’ll be there again the next day, begging.

Is this it for her? Don’t they have any other choice? I really want to ask that. Not just to her, but also to that 40-something man who is regularly begging just across the street and all those people who seems strong enough to work but begging daily instead. I don’t want to judge them, but it does make me wonder…

Although I feel their pain, there is one thing that bugs me? It’s not that they are begging for alms…but it’s the fact that they do it every day like it’s their regular job. Why?

I kind of have this belief that no matter how hard life could get, you can always do something about it. As long as you have the willingness and determination, everything is possible, no matter how lowest of low you are in. Often times, when I share this view, people would tell me that I would never understand their situation because I have a lot of options to choose from, given my education and skills. If I was older, unskilled, uneducated and hungry, I would probably sing a different tune, they said.

Maybe…but still, I can’t help but wonder that maybe some people are poor by choice…

Couple Working in the Same Company: Does it work?

IMG_1211I’ve mention before that hubby and I work in the same company, right? That makes us together almost 24 hours a day, everyday. Some of our colleagues think that it’s weird, and tells us that they probably won’t be able to stand it if their spouses were with them all the time. Well, we’ve been like this for 8 years (add 2 more years as friends at work before that), so we really don’t know how it is to work apart. But I do agree that there are couples that can’t work together in the same company. They seem to have too many issues just because they see each other TOO MUCH. Is that possible?

Anyway, I tried looking at how we’ve been for the last 8 years. It wasn’t easy…some (maybe most) of our relationship problems did came from us being in the same work place. But we did manage to survive…and we’re still surviving.

Just to give you an idea, here are a few issues that hubby and me have faced over the years:

Dealing with promotions

Because we work in the same company, it’s hard to avoid competing for the same position and bonus incentives. The incentive part is easy…it doesn’t matter who gets it; both will definitely gain from it. But in the case of promotion, it’s a little harder…It’s always half-and-half. The winner is happy but can’t have to be a little sensitive for the other’s feeling. The loser is sad but have to try to be happy for the other.

Also, one’s promotion often have a direct effect on the others position at work. You see, in our company, couples are not allowed to have a superior-subordinate relationship. So, when a promotion will cause us to have this type of relationship, the promoted is often assign to handle a different team or if it’s totally unavoidable, the would-be subordinate is automatically transferred.

Honestly, the first few promotions were hard to deal with. But eventually, after we’ve experience being in both ends of the spectrum, things became easier.

Keeping it professional

This one is a bit hard to deal with. I will be the first to admit that there are times that I wish hubby would side on me all the time, which ofcourse is not possible. And when he does disagree with me, I try to tell myself this is not personal. He is simple airing his view, which happens to be different from mine. But little devils in my head are saying: Can’t you let the others disagree with me and just shut up?

How to solve this? Well, we learned to agree to disagree. After all, management has the final say. We just have to present our sides the best we could. If we’re lucky, they’ll let us handle our jobs the way we want. No need to argue.

Another thing about work related arguments, never bring it at home. We always settle work-related matter at work and forget about it at home. If we do talk about work at home, it’s mostly about one needing the other’s assistance/expertise.

Seeing and knowing too much about each other’s work environment

Hello! You work together. You know who’s who at work so when Ms Flirt is talking to too close to hubby, chances are you’ll get jealous. We rarely have to deal with this now…but our friends at work love to try us every now and then.

Couple Treatment

This one is a little harder to deal with since we have no control about how our colleagues wish to treat us. But it’s also the most irritating issue to deal with. Some of them think that just because you’re a couple, you know everything that’s going on in each others department and that you can easily get information/things in there. Well, maybe so…but we do have work ethics. Let’s follow the procedure please.

Despite these disadvantages, we do enjoy a lot of perks for working in the same company. Here’s some of them:

  • Working in the same company can be very economical. We save a lot on transportation, sharing lunch and free vacations.
  • You get to date a lot. Lunch, dinner and simple coffee break can be a wonderful time with hubby.
  • You both know how each other’s day went so at the end of the day, you know what the other needs. Plus, you know when not to argue…hehe!
  • You have a lot of things talk about.
  • You share common friends (or a tleast you know each other’s friends) so attending social functions are never awkward.
  • Scheduling family vacation is also lot easier.

So to answer my question, I would say YES it can work. It doesn’t matter whether you choose to let your co-employees, employer, or clients knew about your relationship, or keep it a secret. What’s important is you both maintain your work and your personal relationship apart. At home, you’re a husband/wife first, and maybe colleagues second. But at work, your colleagues always.

Also, I must say based on experience that this is not for everyone. Some, no matter how hard they try, can’t make it work. They were either colleagues or a couple but never both.