Relationships

Dating a non-Christian

I’ve dated a few Christians in the past, but things did not work out due to various reasons such as not being financially stable and having cultural differences. Recently, I started dating a Thai lady. She is not of the same faith. I understand that as a Christian, we should not be unequally yoked. If both parties are serious and committed to work things out, should I continue dating her? I know there will be many obstacles ahead, such as my parents, who I think will object to a daughter-in-law of a different faith and nationality.

My daughter wants to give up on a prestigious university degree

My 21-year-old daughter is currently studying in a university overseas. She managed to enter a prestigious course that is difficult to get into and we were all very happy when she got selected. She is now in her third year of the course with one more year to go before she graduates. During her holidays, she came back home and shared that she did not want to continue her studies. She said she realised that she had no interest in this course and cannot see herself going further. We were shocked. We tried to reason with her and persuade her to finish what she began, pointing out that she would end up with no degree and would have to start from scratch again. She refuses to listen and feels that we are pressuring her because we have paid so much for her overseas education and do not want our money wasted, rather than caring for what she feels. We are also worried that she will regret her decision later. After all, she wanted to do this course. What should we do?

Should I stay and care for my ex-husband, who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s?

After a 22-year long marriage, I finally filed for divorce. I struggled with this decision for almost a decade. He was emotionally distant and generally a traditional, chauvinistic family man. We function like housemates who happen to share two children. A few months after the uncontested divorce was finalised by the courts, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. He is only 49 years old. I am at a loss for what to do—if I leave him, the caregiving burden will likely fall on the children, who will resent their mother for divorcing their father. If I stay, I will be resentful every day. What can I do now? The children are still unaware of the divorce and their father’s illness.

Are you being gaslighted?

The client reported that she was being gaslighted! She had been trying to clarify her husband’s relationship with another woman. Instead of a straight denial or admission, he turned on her and told her she was “overthinking”. He then went on to run her down by accusing her of having “a suspicious mind”, being “small minded” and “overly conservative”. The torrent of insults and attacks left her feeling hurt and regretting having raised the subject at all. Her initial doubt of her husband’s fidelity turned to doubts about herself.

I keep paying for meals out with my friend

My new friend and I are from vastly different cultures, but we see eye to eye on most things. We are both students and when we go out, we are supposed to take turns to pay for meals. But I’ve noticed that I am always the one paying. Should I say something? It’s not that I don’t want to be generous. I just don’t want to be taken advantage of. Furthermore, he comes from a much wealthier family than I do.

Can’t click with my cell group mates who are older

I’ve been attending cell group for a few years but the level of interaction is at acquaintance level and we usually just talk about the Bible. I’m the youngest in the cell group and the rest are clearly in a different phase of life. The topics the elderly talk about always centre around bodily pains and the married ones talk about their kids. I’m the only single and while I empathise with them, I feel like we do not have the same interests. It’s very difficult to click with them in a more intimate manner. I’ve tried visiting another cell group with people closer to my age, but it felt awkward. How do I build intimate relationship with cell group mates?

Utara: Finding our true north

Years ago, when Singaporean families went on holiday, it often took the form of a road trip to Cameron Highlands or to Kuala Lumpur. The road then was an undivided two-way road that snaked up north and was periodically signposted with signs that read “Utara” (or North in English). Regardless of the occasional detours, twists and turns, if you followed the Utara signs and stayed on the road, you would eventually reach Kuala Lumpur.

Letting go and moving on with time

I recently learnt of a rather clever and useful cosmetic item called a concealer. It is used to hide skin discolouration, blemishes or creases. I saw a demonstration of its effectiveness by someone near and dear to me and was amazed by how it appeared to erase flaws. I should add here, before my enthusiasm gets the better of me, that the concealer, rather than eliminating blemishes, helped cover them up for a time.

My wife has a hoarding habit

My wife has a habit of shopping and accumulating things. Our home has become so cluttered that when guests come, they have nowhere to sit because there are things everywhere and I must physically shift items to make space. I am too embarrassed to invite family or friends over. I have spoken to her many times to change her habit of online shopping and buying things even though the items she buys are educational such as books or good toys for my young children. We are financially very comfortable so there is nothing to curb her shopping habit. We have given some items away but she then acquires other things and we are back to square one. Is a hoarding habit something serious or is it just a personality thing? I do not want to pick a fight with her because she is overall a good mother and wife and God-fearing.

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