Sunday, April 23, 2006

My biggest fear...

Yesterday, I had dinner at a restaurant with a friend. As usual, I indulged in one of my favourite past time - people watching. I noticed a family; husband, wife and their 10-year-old son, who were also waiting for their dinner. The son was using a pair of chopsticks as drumsticks, pretending to be a rock drummer. His father was looking at him at his antics and absent-mindedly stroked his son's hair. His mother was staring into space, looking as if she wished she was somewhere else. I sense that the woman was not happy. The man looked as if he didn't know what to say to his wife, so he played with their son's hair instead. This pair of husband and wife did not talk to each other throughout the dinner. They spoke to their son but not to each other.

Jomel blogged about seeing a young couple who are deeply in love. New love is so amazing. One can almost see sparks whenever young lovers touch. One could sense the LUUUURVE felt by young lovers. I've seen a set of young lovers who very creatively held each other hands throughout their date whilst they shared an ice-cream sundae. They never broke contact with each other the whole time, swapping hands but held hands throughout. If they kept at it any longer, they would have welded to each other! They also never once took their eyes off each other and they never stopped talking and laughing. Surely the couple I saw yesterday were very much in love once upon a time. They must still love each other or they won't be together, would they? Or are they staying with each other for their son's sake? There must have been a time when they couldn't wait to see each other after work or spend lots of time together in the weekend. Surely they planned their time together, eg, set up dates with each other so they can catch up on each other. Surely they used to call each other several times a day just to listen to each other's voice. What has happened from the time they were young and in love till now? Did they get so caught up with work, running the household, paying bills and other humdrum daily routine that they've forgotten how to spend time with each other? The couple I saw yesterday didn't talk to each other and never once smiled at each other.

I have observed other families who behaved similarly when they're together. The first time I noticed a family behaving this way was when I bumped into a former schoolmate. This schoolmate got married soon after leaving school. He and his wife were very much in love and couldn't wait to get married so they could be together forever. I bumped into them about 10 years after they got married and they had a 10-year-old daughter. They behaved exactly like the family I described earlier. Seeing the family yesterday was like deja vu!

I know couples tend to take each other for granted after a while, when routine sets in. Not communicating with each other? Nothing to say to each other? Existing together because of the children? OMG!!!


Anonymous a&a'smom said...

Yes that's indeed so sad. So easy to get caught up with our daily routines & we tend to forget how to have fun with our spouses once in a while like a romantic getaway without kids. Of course as the years goes by the marriage matures & we don't xpect to be lovey dovey like during the courting days. Eventhough it's been 13 yrs (arranged marriage) but DH is still my best friend, exercise partner & my wonderful lover. I hope & pray this continues with God's blessings.

1:20 pm  
Blogger Inner-Me said...

this post of yours, sounds so familiar isn't it... reminds me of sis. it's scary and sad to know that ppl stay together just coz of kids. out of 100%, only 1% would stay as loving after marriage. some ppl say after marriage, not so much of love but more on responsibility. But if no love, how to hang on. everyday see each other like seeing your enemy...

a&a's mom, you are very blessed with your treasures...

10:35 am  
Blogger Min said...

a&a'smom, you and your DH are very blessed indeed. I'm sure it's through lots of "hard work".

inner-me, your sis and bro-in-law may not necessarily be together just because of their children. They may have been so caught up with the daily routine and not been spending enough time communicating with each other.

1:14 am  
Anonymous myrina said...

Dear Min;
Guess what is like you read my mind n heart. Your biggest fear had been my current nightmare and became a tragedy last week. It really broke my heart n tear me a part to see how a relationship for about 10 years full with strong love, respect, sincerity and honesty just disapper just because of the crueality, politics n power in *business* world. A *young* businessman has to sacrifice his famili n dignity to get a place in the man business world... how lame is that :(*sigh* Fortunately my action did woke him up and hope that he will stay in the path that is fair to him , me and the kids. What is all the power, money n etc but in the end u lost your loves ones. Like wiseman say in life we have to balance everything.. too much love will kill you and too much money can give u better life but cant promise you a love life that you need. I agree with you communication, respect, sincere n honesty is the best practise in relationship. Thanks min for this toughful blog :)

5:47 pm  
Blogger Min said...

Myrina, I hope things work out between you and your husband. You are so right about having balance in our life. No point in acquiring money and power and not have loved ones to share with, is there?

12:36 am  
Blogger me said...

don't be so negative. maybe what you saw was just quality time with the kid, so that's why the attention was on the kid. maybe they have spoken a dozen times on the phone that day and that's why there's not much to say left when they finally meet at the end of the day.

of course, the initial courting period is very exciting; holding hands and can't keeps eyes off each other. but it doesn't last. remember all that guessing about what each other thinks, that compromising and adjusting part?....all that fighting and arguing until we are at that very comfortable stage? who wants that to last forever?

now, maybe there is no thumping heartbeat..but nothing beats leaning against him at the end of a day and taking in his scent. all the stress of the day just melts away.

5:02 pm  
Blogger Min said...

How I wish the couple was spending quality time with the kid. This family was sitting on my left on the other side of the restaurant. Mom would have been facing the same direction as me when she's eating. Instead, she was staring into space facing my direction, towards the entrance. Her attention was not on the husband or son at all. Dad looked like he was absent-mindedly twirling his son's hair. Maybe this couple had a fight earlier when deciding where to eat. Mom isn't pleased with the choice or something.

Very true that relationships mature and what was young love will grow to be more mellow. I've seen my aunt and uncle who used to take time off after dinner to sit and chat with each other. They would be in their garden on a swing, just chatting. Even at a young age, I knew that that was something special.

11:53 pm  
Blogger me said...

sigh! it's true but sad. sometimes along the way, people change and they find that they have nothing left in common. then macam mana? after 20 or 30 years, do you give it all up when you realise that this man is not the same man that you used to love.

i also hear of people splitting up after many years of marriage because one party wants to look for the 'thump thump' kind of love...they always say "i love her, but i am not in love with her". how then?

relationship is never easy. always thought marriage means happily ever after. but too many factors nowadays.

your aunty and uncle very lucky but i am sure they had their ups and downs in the marriage too. the successful ones are those that continue to hang in there loh.

3:52 pm  
Blogger Min said...

>>relationship is never easy. always thought marriage means happily ever after.<<

lenglui, you've put in a nutshell what some couple realise too late. Most people will put a lot of effort into planning their wedding, thinking that's the destination. Fortunately (not unfortunately), it's the beginning of a journey called marriage. How the journey will eventually be depends very much on the couple themselves, hai mai? It is very easy to get so involved with the children's activities that parents often forget to spend time with themselves and with each other. A few years down the road, the couple look at each other and think "Who's this stranger who's in the same house as me?"

10:53 pm  
Anonymous a&a'smom said...

Min, it is important for both the spouses to CONSTANTLY put an efford in the marriage. No point just 1 party showing interest while they other just don't bother. This will definately cause 1 party being unfairly treated. It is definately not easy to make ur spouse understand that marriage takes constant work. There always shd be give & take (I don't mean I party always giving & the other party always taking, LOL!)

1:38 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't be so negative lah...there are a lot of loving couples around still. I am married for close to 20 years. And when we and our kids sit together, be it a restaurants or in our car, we cannot stop talking and laughing. We do fight, but we do not let the fight last more than 1 day. The rule is never go to bed hating your spouse. Talk it through, resolve difference otherwise do not sleep. Always work.

2:27 pm  
Blogger Min said...

Anonymous, I'm not being negative actually. Just being realistic I guess. A lot of couples get married thinking it'll be hunky dory all the way without putting in any effort. I've seen couples who have made their relationship work. These couples do not take each other for granted and take time off from their busy schedule for time with each other. That's what makes a difference.

5:54 pm  
Blogger kpohsuami said...

MARRIAGE and with kids involved..that's about it,to stay together for the sake of the kids,no more romance no more excitment just SILENCE and consider that as a blessing...PEACE

5:41 am  
Blogger Min said...

kpohsuami, a big hug to you! No, marriage doesn't have to be as you describe. If so, why bother? Might as well stay single and be able to do what you want to do ALL the time! No one to nag, no one to disagree, but also no one to love, no one to care if you're dead or alive, no one to share happy moments with, no one to give a cuddle to say "It's alright. I understand", no one to share a good laugh with.

3:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ppl can be blinded by love and immature b4 tying the knot. Its sad when the ugly truth only rears its head later after marriage & with kids in tow. Do you think 'LOVE' can overrule disintegrity or disrespect? Easier said than done! I m one of those odd families u mentioned. Its useless to communicate with yr spouse if he is illogical & unreasonable.

Everyday, I have to remind myself to be tolerant and acknowledge the fact that its my karma. I try my best to be a good mother eventho' our relationship as husband/wife is strained. And for the sake of my kids, divorce is out of the question. Any better advice anyone?

4:45 pm  
Anonymous Tellme said...

Ppl can be blinded by love and immature b4 tying the knot. Its sad when the ugly truth only rears its head later after marriage & with kids in tow. Do you think 'LOVE' can overrule disintegrity or disrespect? Easier said than done! I m one of those odd families u mentioned. Its useless to communicate with yr spouse if he is illogical & unreasonable.

Everyday, I have to remind myself to be tolerant and acknowledge the fact that its my karma. I try my best to be a good mother eventho' our relationship as husband/wife is strained. And for the sake of my kids, divorce is out of the question. Any better advice anyone?

4:47 pm  
Blogger Min said...

*HUGS* tellme. You sound like you're going through a lot for the sake of your children. Staying married even though your marriage is not working out. Why is divorce not an option? Is it better for your children to see how unhappy their mother is? Is their father a good role model for them?

I grew up with a mother who was not happy. She didn't think she could talk to my father. My father was oblivious to it all because no one ever pointed out that my mother was unhappy. My mother felt she needed to stay in the marriage for the children's sake. The tension at home was terrible! I do wonder sometimes what would have happened if they had done something. Whether it was to see a marriage counsellor, get a divorce or whatever.

10:36 pm  

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