At The Well

Why do Gen Zs seem to “ghost” older colleagues?

At the Workplace

Why are Gen Zs unresponsive when older, more senior colleagues send messages to them on messaging platforms? Aren’t Gen Zs digital natives? Why are they “ghosting” us? The older colleagues see it as somewhat rude and unprofessional. Please help us understand them!

How to face death

Family

I’m in my 80s. As seniors, we keep active, but there are moments when we reflect on our mortality. How should we face death which could come at any moment? What is heaven like?

CNY gathering at stake with family tensions

Family

CNY is when families gather, (re)unite and celebrate kinship bonds, like how my family used to over our reunion dinner. However, there’s been a growing rift between my dad and sister, and they’re hardly on speaking terms these days. My parents, both non-believers in their 70s, live with her and her family so it’s three generations under one roof. They disagree on nearly everything since their values and priorities differ. I’ve been praying that CNY might be a good time and place to reconcile but am not sure how to go about this.

Caught in between quarrelsome parents

Family

As far as I can remember, my parents had a difficult marriage. They never divorced but stayed together for the sake of their children. They would quarrel very often and complain about each other to my siblings and me. They would not speak to each other for many days and would ask us to pass messages on their behalf. As children, we did as we were told. However, the pattern continues today even when I am married and have moved out. My father calls me to vent his frustration with my mother and asks me to speak to her on his behalf. I have told him several times that this is a matter between him and my mother and not to get the children involved. However, I can see that he is very troubled and has no one else to vent his frustration to. By continuing to listen to him and trying to mediate with my mother, am I really helping the situation or encouraging a wrong pattern of behaviour? My parents are not Christian.

My husband does not want to explore IVF

Dating & Marriage

My husband and I have been trying to conceive but have not been successful. We have discussed assistive treatments and did two rounds of IUI to no avail. IVF seems to be the natural next step, which is aligned with my beliefs, desires and hopes, but my husband is not comfortable with the idea. As a woman, I feel that that denies me the opportunity to be a mother and the biological clock is ticking; as a wife, I’m called to submit. What should I do?

Strained relationship with our daughter

Family

Our relationship with our daughter has been hostile for a decade now. Though the three of us are living together, my daughter has been avoiding contact and communication with my wife. Because of the strained relationship, my wife has ever considered evicting her. She believed getting her out of her sight altogether was the only way to deal with the stress of maintaining a fractured relationship. Adding to the problem is that my wife suffers from chronic migraines and IBS. My daughter has been out of a job since the end of last year. It has been a nightmare for me to be caught in between. My wife and I are believers. My daughter is atheist.

Cell group members not building relationships with one another

Friendships

My cell group functions only when we meet and during church services. Outside of these times, most of the group members don’t seem to have friendships with one another. A few of us, including the cell leader and myself, are trying hard to keep the group going, but the other members are busy doing their own thing and not really involved. How can we improve this situation as it has been going on for some time? How do we keep on going, without feeling burnt out?

My friends keep hurting me

Friendships

I have two best friends since secondary school. But both have hurt me deeply through their actions and words. They can’t seem to be there for me when I need them, and they only speak about their problems and do not care about my problems. Each time my friends hurt me, I will distance myself from them but they will apologise and I will return to them. I feel tired emotionally. Should I still be friends with my secondary school mates despite them hurting me? But I know that they will never badmouth me as they love me.

Should I tell my sister I think her son might have special needs?

Family

I think my nephew may have special needs as he exhibits behaviours that are unusual. But I am not an expert on such matters so I can’t be certain. My sister and brother-in-law are stressed out trying to ensure their child is obedient and behaves appropriately. Should I mention my suspicions to them so that they can consider getting him assessed since early intervention is important? I just don’t know whether they will take to it kindly.

The guilt from having aborted my child stays with me

Family

A few years ago, I discovered that I was pregnant with my second child. In the fourth month of pregnancy, the scans revealed that there were developmental issues with my baby. An amniocentesis confirmed the likelihood of genetic conditions that would lead to physical and learning disabilities. My husband and I were devastated and did not know what to do. We sought counselling and even went for healing prayers. Our family members advised us to terminate the pregnancy as the long-term care needs of the child would be tremendous. On the other hand, my Christian friends encouraged us to keep the baby and to trust God for the future. In the end, I chose to terminate the pregnancy as I was already caring for my first child and did not have the capacity or resources to care for a disabled child. I know the Bible is against abortion. Even though what happened is in the past, I still struggle with a sense of guilt. Would God have wanted me to keep my child? Or would he understand that I did not have the ability to care for a disabled child? How do I come to terms with the decision I made?

Hubby doesn’t value date nights

Dating & Marriage

The husband doesn’t value date nights and never puts in effort in planning. He remembers his appointments with his colleagues and friends but nothing about us. Whenever I bring this up, he flares up. I’m tired of the marriage. Should we divorce?

My father-in-law is different at church and at home

Family

My family lives with my in-laws. My father-in-law is a well-loved member of a Methodist church and is always in good spirits in public. But at home he has a terrible temper. When he is in a bad mood, he shouts at the family, calls his wife “stupid” and causes the rest of the family to walk on eggshells to avoid being the target of his outbursts. The rest of the family see it as normal and don’t think he can change at this age. Do you have any suggestions as to how I could lead him to change and improve his relationship with his family?

My son has daily meltdowns from sensory issues

Family

My son struggles with some sensory issues, and exhibits inflexibility and perfectionist behaviours. Since starting primary school, the demands of school have escalated such behaviours, leading to daily meltdowns—hours of screaming, self-harm and incessant erasing and rewriting. However, in school, he is a model student! The whole family’s life has been put on hold, and we are centred around keeping him calm and safe. I feel this is not fair for his older siblings whose needs may have been sidelined. I’ve considered taking him out of school, but many say he will outgrow this behaviour. Will he? How can I manage things better?

Should I maintain confidentiality for a relative’s problem when she is 18 years old?

Family

Recently, my wife’s cousin’s 18-year-old daughter got into some trouble relating to fraudulent transactions, sex scams, etc. and called me for legal advice. After giving her some preliminary advice and linking her up with a lawyer friend to represent her in the case, she asked me not to tell anyone, especially her parents, of her situation. While I tried my best to encourage her to be upfront and honest with her parents, she refused. Should I tell her parents what happened or maintain confidentiality and hope that she tells them herself?

I seem to have lost a friend

Friendships

I have always looked up to a sister from a former church. She is an intercessor like me and I learned from her spiritual insights. I am an introvert; she has been my only best friend for the past 40 years. We meet once a year over Christmas. When her husband passed away 10 years ago, my friend slowly changed her behaviour. She became forceful and assertive over time. Last year she abruptly broke off the friendship and we didn’t meet at Christmas. I have been praying for God to restore our friendship but my prayer is still unanswered. I am hurting over the loss of a cherished friendship. My faith in God is badly shaken. Emotionally and spiritually, I feel rejected, lonely and vulnerable. It’s hard to make new friends.

Is using a private investigator the right thing to do?

Dating & Marriage

My brother suspects that his wife is being unfaithful. He is thinking of engaging a private investigator to obtain proof of her infidelity. As a Christian, is this something that he should be doing? Wouldn’t it open the possibility of divorce, which is considered wrong?

Intrusive mother-in-law

Family

I have been living with my in-laws since we got married. My husband is the only son and when we got married he asked I was fine to stay with his parents since he has a duty to care for them. They are elderly and my father-in-law has dementia. Now that we have two young kids, I would like my own home and space. I do not get along with my mother-in-law as she is intrusive and feels that since the home is theirs, she can do what she likes, including coming into our rooms. I have spoken to my husband many times but if we move out, there is no one else to help care for his parents. I am frustrated because I not only have to care for my two kids, I have to care for two elderly people who do not appreciate what I do for them. At the same time, I want to submit to my husband as he is the head of the home.

Worried that my daughter is gay

Family

I suspect my young adult daughter is gay and she has a girlfriend who stays over regularly. She has stopped going to church and feels that Christians are very narrow-minded and judgemental. She is supportive towards the LGBT community and attends events like Pink Dot. I am considering if I should ask her directly about her sexual orientation to remove my doubts. At the same time, I know that the truth may devastate me, and I am not sure if I can handle it. Should I leave the matter and just commit to God, or should I proactively speak to my daughter and share the Christian stance on same-sex relationships?

Remarrying after divorce

Dating & Marriage

My brother has been a divorcé for 7 years after his ex-wife was found to be unfaithful to him. He met someone a year ago in church and they are planning to marry next year. I’m not a believer (my brother and his wife-to-be are) but I am curious: Is it wrong for him to remarry? Does the Bible consider it adultery?

My wife’s OCD is destroying us

Dating & Marriage

My wife exhibits symptoms of OCD. She spends many hours cleaning our home and has a fear of germs. When she goes out, she wears two masks and constantly sanitises her hands. The pandemic made her symptoms worse. Recently, she refused to let me into the home after work unless I changed into a new set of clothes. She refuses to see a psychiatrist. I survive by giving in to her demands for cleanliness but it has come to a point where I feel I cannot go on. I love her but her condition is destroying our relationship and affecting my mental health badly, to the point that I am considering leaving the marriage.

It’s unfair that my brother is doing well when he does not know God

Family

Why does it seem that things are going so well for my brother even though he doesn’t have God in his life? He has a stable job, enjoys his time going out with friends and has found a life partner (albeit a non- Christian), while I spend most of my free time on church activities and have yet to find a life partner. It seems unfair to me.

Must old friendships end when new friends appear?

Friendships

I have a close friend from secondary school whom I used to hang out with a lot. Recently, she seems uninterested in spending time with me and has started spending more time with her colleagues. She told me that I need to look for new friends. I feel hurt because I thought we were friends and we had supported each other through several difficult times in our friendship. I do have other friends, but I don’t understand why some friendships have to end just because new friends appear.

Dealing with my mother’s bipolar disorder

Family

I’ve had to deal with my mother’s mood swings for the past 16 years since she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and prior to that, with her depressive episodes since my father passed away in my teens. Often, to preserve my own sanity and protect my children from the toxicity and negativity, I’ve chosen to keep a distance as each visit leaves me emotionally drained. I continue to care for her and maintain constant contact via text. But I am often made to feel guilty by well-meaning friends who feel I should spend more time with her. Where do I draw the line between honouring my mother, and caring for myself and my family?

My husband’s gaming addiction is affecting our family

Dating & Marriage

For more than 20 years of marriage, my husband has struggled with addictions of different kinds. Currently (and for the most prolonged period), he is addicted to a mobile game that results in him having a device in front of him, at work, during meals or family game time. Even though he claims that the game is just “running in the background”, I feel it makes him less “present” and is affecting his ability to keep up with conversations in the household. It makes the children and me feel less valued. How can I help him to break this addiction without being a nag?

I can’t seem to end my affair

Dating & Marriage

I have surprised myself by having a relationship with someone outside my marriage. I have tried to stop it but somehow it keeps continuing and sometimes I even feel that I have stopped loving my spouse. But my children are very dear to me, and I don’t know how they can manage all of these.

A more hands-on husband in the home please

Dating & Marriage

I wish my husband was more hands- on in the home. We both work outside the home, but meal planning and household chores always fall on me. I’m not sure how it came to be like this, but I suppose I had always taken on this responsibility before the kids arrived. I have voiced my frustration, but his efforts are never consistent or sustained. What should I do?

How can I honour my mother who is trying to end my relationship with my fiancé?

Dating & Marriage

My partner and I are in our mid-20s. We have been together for five years and are certain of our commitment to marry. My mom has made the wedding planning process a nightmare and eventually got us to cancel the wedding. Our relationship took a huge hit but we are working on it. My mom has overstepped her boundaries and undermined our decisions multiple times, even going to extreme ways like physically hurting herself. How do I draw the boundaries with my non-Christian mom and go ahead with our decision to get married?

Should I blow the whistle on a colleague who trusts me?

At the Workplace

My colleague was unhappy that I reported an error which occurred to my bosses. As per protocol, this involved listing the names of all of the personnel involved in the incident. He later confessed to me over text that he had not been reporting such incidents to my bosses due to fear of negative repercussions. I feel that this is not the right thing to do. Should I blow the whistle on this colleague to my supervisor?

Gentle parenting and corporal punishment

Family

I’m a mother of a 2-year-old and have been reading about parenting and discipline as my child goes through the “terrible twos”. There has been growing popularity in positive or gentle discipline, where parents are advised not to carry out corporal (or physical) punishment. Some even advise not to say “no” to bad behaviour (such as hitting) but instead, ignore the bad behaviour or re-direct a child’s attention. Some also advise against telling our child to share their toys, fearing that it will result in a person who is unable to say “no” to others. What are your views on gentle parenting and corporal punishment? Can you advise on tried and tested ways to discipline a child in the way he should go?

Thinking of divorcing my abusive husband

Dating & Marriage

My husband’s retrenchment six years ago and joblessness for the past three years have worsened his anger management issues. We attended marriage counselling for four years but the verbal abuse continued and there were two instances of physical abuse. Our young children are exposed to his violent nature and I can’t protect them. Is there room for divorce? Or will I be judged by God? I am trapped trying to protect his “gentle and kind” image in church, but the mental anxiety of living with him, inability to protect my children and the financial burden of being the sole breadwinner is taking its toll on me.

My mother’s family tries to control my father and me

Family

My mother’s family is very controlling. When she died, they even exerted influence and control over my father’s finances. After many years of therapy and counselling, I managed to cut ties completely with my mother’s family for the sake of my sanity as they were making unreasonable demands. How do I reconcile my forgiveness and not feel guilty about not maintaining any contact with my mum’s family?

Estranged daughter refuses my efforts to reach out

Family

I have an estranged daughter based in Australia. No matter how I try to reach her, she refuses to reply in spite of my apologies for having said hurtful words to her while growing up. How should I untie the knot?

Choosing a church with my fiancé

Dating & Marriage

My fiancé and I grew up in different Methodist churches and both of us serve actively in our churches. We are struggling to decide which church to attend after marriage. Both of us have our own community and ministry so it is really difficult for us to decide which church to attend. Can you advise us on how to decide and what factors we should consider?

My parents treat the helper badly

Family

My elderly parents have unreasonably high expectations of domestic helpers. When everyday things are not done their way, they get upset and raise their voices. This causes a lot of tension at home. Many helpers have come and gone, and I am afraid we will soon be barred by the Ministry of Manpower from hiring any more. How do I persuade my parents that they need a mindset change about helpers and to treat them kindly?

My friend is always late and on the phone when she’s with me

Friendships

I have been friends with G for over ten years and our families are close. Lately, I am realising that G has not matured much despite us being in our early 30s. She is perpetually late (15 – 40 minutes), always on her phone, and defensive if you point this out. When we meet, she tends to unload her worries without asking how I am doing. She complains constantly about her job and love life even though I can see that sometimes it is her own fault. While there has been no major falling-out between us, I realise more and more she is someone I do not want to be friends with, as I have become busier with my own life. Is it wrong to want to cut her out of my life?

Oppressed and bullied at work

At the Workplace

It’s been three months since I took over a managerial role. I am not supported or welcomed by my staff of four, my boss and assistant boss. I feel very oppressed and bullied at work. I feel like I need to outsmart them and break up their clan.

My wife and mother don’t get along

Dating & Marriage

I have been married for less than two years. My wife and my mother don’t get along. My mother thinks that my wife does not like her and is now threatening to cut off all ties with me so that I will not be stuck in the middle. My wife does not want to be too close to my mother. How do we strike a balance between leaving our parents after marriage and honouring them at the same time? I am really stuck and praying that God will bring peace to my family.

Moving on from parents’ divorce

Family

My parents divorced some years ago. I was already an adult when it happened. But till today, I struggle with feelings of betrayal, anger, disillusionment and sadness. I live my life in a constant attempt to escape from these feelings. My attempts at gaining closure by talking to my mother were met with, “You were grown up, don’t be so sensitive! / You shouldn’t be affected”, or it would end up in a huge argument. Henceforth, I kept everything to myself. When I think of old times, the tears still start to flow, like it happened yesterday. My mother has remarried, but I still pine daily for my parents and family to be reunited. I don’t want to live like this anymore. How do I move on?

Friendship with a female colleague

At the Workplace

I am a married man. I have a female colleague whom I work with on occasions for certain projects, and we get along very well. She is supportive of the work I do, and my feeling is reciprocal. Is it okay for me to have a casual or close friendship with my female colleague? Would eating a meal alone with her regularly, say once or twice a week, be perceived as suspicious? Is avoiding being friendly with her the safest way of steering clear from an undesirable relationship?

LGBTQ at my son’s school

Family

My 16-year-old son tells me that his school (an all-boys school) has a handful of students who have openly declared they are gay, bisexual or gender fluid. How should I handle this as a Christian parent, while showing that it is important to love all our neighbours?

Struggling to trust God in providing a life partner

Dating & Marriage

I’ve had a few failed relationships and I seem to be unable to meet the right one. Friends or peers around me are all happily married with kids, and I feel like I am the odd one out. When I attend weddings, I genuinely share the joy of the couple, but I try not to be reminded of my singleness. Sometimes I struggle because I have been trying to be faithful to serve God and trust that he will give me the best, but my Mum (who is not a believer) especially wonders why my powerful God is unable to provide. How can I cope with my struggle to trust that God is good and believe that he wants the best for me, despite not seeing signs of the right one on the horizon?

Is it weird I don’t have a BFF?

Friendships

I have a couple of good friends, some that I can share things with. However, I do not have a best friend. Also, though I have many friends from different social circles whom I meet with occasionally, I don’t have one particular close-knit group that I often hang out with. I have been wondering for years: Is it normal not to have a best friend at all, or a close-knit social circle? Is there anything wrong with me or my personality?

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