How Joe Ma and Karen Cheung Keep Their Marriage Fresh

Although married for 20 long years, the fire never burned out for Joe Ma (馬德鐘) and his wife Karen Cheung (張筱蘭). One an accomplished actor and another a university researcher, the couple still find time in their busy lives to go on romantic dinners and date nights. Love is always in the air for Joe and Karen!

“When two people are together, it is fate. But when it comes to communication, it requires a different knowledge,” said Karen. “What is the secret to our marriage? We keep our relationship fresh and unpredictable.”

Falling in Love

Like in many TVB dramas, it was not love at first sight for Joe and Karen. In fact, they hated each other.

“Joe and I were high school classmates. We’ve already known each other since Form 1. We really didn’t like each other at the time. He liked to bully his female classmates, and I always yelled at him because of it. When we were in Form 3, he decided to go to cadet school to be a cop, and we lost contact. Soon after our graduations, we met each other on the street, and we started dating after that. We married in 1993.”

Karen was always asked why she fell in love with Joe, who has held a tough, masculine image since youth. Karen smiled and explained that underneath his macho shell lies a heart of softness. Karen smiled, “Don’t be deceived by his big frame. He is actually very sensitive and romantic.”

“But I did ask him once. Why did he like me? He said it was because I was independent and not clingy. He used to be a G4 officer, so he had an inconsistent work schedule. When it comes to big holiday celebrations, I would not expect him to join. Then again, we were not very rich back then, and when we did go out, it is usually to the movies, to dinner, or to a stroll on the beach.”

Keeping Married Life Fresh

What is Karen’s most touching moment that she had with Joe? “Initially, I would have said my most [touching] moment was when I gave birth to our son, but my best moment was on the night of my 40th birthday. We had a romantic dinner, but when we got home, the lights were all turned off and the floor was decorated with heart-shaped candles. My first emotion was fear. Where did everyone in the house go, and why were candles on the floor? Then, my family and friends emerged from inside the house and surprised me. My son then presented me with a cake. The surprise was arranged by Joe. I couldn’t stop crying that night.”

Joe added, “When two people are together, it is important to be frank and candid. Sometimes, we should spend some time to please each other.”

“The key to a long-lasting marriage is to keeping things fresh,” shared Karen. “I do not believe that romantic love will turn to [companionship] love through the years. I don’t preach it. Knowing how to communicate and forgive is important, but the key ingredient is to maintain the youthful love you had for each other. Of course, fighting is unavoidable and disagreements will always be there, but we all must learn how to accommodate and love the flaws we each have. For Joe and I, married life is dating life. We keep our life fresh and new.”

On June 28, Joe and Karen will hold their “China Wedding Anniversary Banquet” at Sheung Wan’s Western Market.  The couple decided to hold a second wedding to celebrate their love. The money collected at their charity banquet will all be donated to Alzheimer’s research.

Source: 3 Weekly #715 via

This article is written by Addy for

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  1. “How Joe Ma and Karen Cheung Keep Their Marriage Fresh”

    By being strangers and not be affectionate in pictures although have pretend PDA sessions through text rather than in person? I just don’t feel passion and love between them. Like a gulf between them.

    1. Funn,
      I feel the opposite way. Joe and Karen look rather loving and glowing in their pictures. Although I do sense that Karen’s recent publicity and media interviews have been very high, to the point that she may be staking her claim on Joe in a very public manner and telling other women to back away from her husband.

      1. I’ve seen 2 strangers at a party looking much cozier with one another than these 2. Maybe they’re not naturally affectionate to one another but my feeling is I don’t see passion, nor do I see loving. In words yes but not in body language.

      2. joe has a few proven history of straying with other women, that makes sense for karen to stake her claim

      3. Funn,
        Joe’s wife, Karen, dresses to gain notice. She looks very good and youthful, although I suspect some cosmetic enhancements.

        Maybe their poses are a bit premeditated, in which their second wedding celebration is intent on telling the world that they are very happily married, after a slew of Joe’s cheating news in recent years.

        But I do see passion in their photos. I do think they found a spark in their relationship again; happy for them.

  2. For married readers, do share tips on how you keep your marriage fresh! I especially would like to hear from the married men!

    1. Mrs. Jayne,
      Maybe you can share and give some advice on keeping a marriage fresh.
      We here all would love to hear it from you. I believe you have more marriage experience than us.
      For my marriage, the things that keep our marriage together were: “Communication, Understanding, Trust, and Patience”

      1. Leilafan,
        I’m not really qualified to give out good marriage advice at the moment, which is why I asked readers to share instead.

        ““Communication, Understanding, Trust, and Patience”
        Agree with the above, but being on the same channel is very hard.

        Thanks for your story, which points to an involved family, including your in-laws, in making sure things work out for the family.

      2. Mrs. Jayne, I think you just being modest, you seem like a great family person from all the comments I read from you in this site. You seem very fair, and understanding, speaking both side of all issues. Again, thank you for making this great site for all of us.

        I totally understand what you means, being in the same channel and agreement with your partner is hard. That is why I said in order for things to work, two parties have to put their whole heart into solving it.

        If me and my husband have disagreement. We will talk about it, this at least let the other party aware of the issue that can make them uncomfortable. My husband like to sit in the dinner table and talks, we never carried it to our bed time. Me myself have a choice. I can 1) totally ignore him and not listen to him talk, or 2) sit down and listen to what he have to say. Ofcourse, there are no laws that said you must sit down and communicate with your spouse. But we both choose to sit down and talk out problems, this key “communication” is very important to hold a relationship together. Sometimes people ego are so big that they find it hard to talk to their spouse.

        Actually, I feel happy that my husband want to talk out our issues (whether big or small issues). This certainly show that he still value our marriage, and still want to work it out. A man no have to sit down to talk to their wife, he can just shut the door and go out to avoid the problem.
        Luckily we both learn in school, that never run away from a problem pile, LOL! Because that will just stack up the piles bigger and bigger, and not solve anything!

        I noticed one of the reason that start a marriage neglect is lack of communication to each others. And life nowadays it even harder to find time to actually talks to your spouse especially when both working and tired after come home.

      3. LeilaFan,
        Our issue is not really the communication, as we are quite clear on who we are. Our problem is how to work through existing issues by breaking through our regular habits. We seem to be caught up in a regular cycle once we become stressed by everyday life and unable to break away from our comfortable molds. So conflicts are handled in the same manner without much advancement.

      4. Jayne, Oh I see, the example I share from me and my husband was not direct to you. I was just giving example so the future marriage couples can see how important it is for two people to communicate and work things out.
        I apologize if what I write sound like it was for you, but it wasn’t. I don’t dare to butt in other people family, because I am not them, I am not qualify to discuss.
        I wish you and your husband work out your problems. I still praise you and think you are a great family woman, all your reply is very mature and experience.

        Sorry for poor English. When I was in school, I major in Math, so my English suck! Thanks for the site Jayne.

      5. @Jayne: “Our problem is how to work through existing issues by breaking through our regular habits. We seem to be caught up in a regular cycle once we become stressed by everyday life and unable to break away from our comfortable molds.”

        “caught up in a regular cycle” “break away”

        Your comment so remind me of this old but excellent book that I read eons ago – The Celestine Prophecy- 9 insights of life written as a novel. One sight is our “control dramas” that we have collected consciously or unconsciously through our habits and how to break our controlling habits that take energy from other people. A very interesting novel at the same time very insightful – highly recommended.

    2. I’m not a married man, but I hope being a married woman is good enough. Hehe. My husband and I have very diverse interests. He’s an action-figure and video-games kind of guy while I’m a romance-and-drama type of girl. We try to do things together by setting aside time and money for the things we do have in common (e.g. food, hehe).

      But during the times when the going gets tough, we just try hard to appreciate the good things about each other and forgive the mistakes. Building or keeping a marriage takes a lot of humility on both ends. When you think you’ve adjusted to each other and been very forbearing already…surprise, there’s more to come. It takes something greater than ourselves to maintain a healthy marriage.

      We currently live with my in-laws. That arrangement causes external pressure quite often. But we make sure that external pressure pulls us together rather than apart.

    3. I hope the best for you, Jayne! I’ve been on your website ever since I was a teenager!

      1. Iris,
        Thanks for your story! I’ve faced stress from living with in-laws too, so I completely understand.

        My husband and I have basically become distracted by everyday stresses, in which we don’t always set aside time for ourselves. Conflicts are not resolved in a satisfying manner. Without going too much into the details, we’re working things out. 🙂

    4. Hi Jayne,
      Here’s how I keep my marriage fresh. I’ll break it down into groups, some points are just weird but that’s how I keep it fresh. lol. 😀

      “Intellectual” stimulation:
      I read everything and anything, from agriculture practices, car features, mixed martial arts weigh in tricks, cooking, interior design, nutrition,latest space findings, medical reviews, etc etc. I make it a point to read stuff everyday, to gain knowledge but also, when hubs watches tv, in between commercial breaks,I spam him with some tidbit that I read.

      It’s a great conversation tool I use, new info everyday, never stuck with boring conversations about our kids, our lives or the weather.

      I never allow the TV to overtake my position. So I talk during the music jingle on the news, or the non interesting bits of the shows, he turns down the volume to listen deeply whenever it’s a topic that interest him. And I start with an enthusiastic spirit
      ” Did you know that penguins are monogamous?”

      “Visual” stimulation:
      I dress up everyday, even at home. I also purposely vary my perfume, changing it everyday, I change my hair style everyday, up, down , all over the place, faux bob, accessories etc. I wear heavy make up somedays of the week with fake eyelashes etc, light make up one or two days, whenever I feel lazy, no makeup at all. Not because I feel insecure about how I look so I doll up, no, but I want my husband to feel like he comes home to a ‘different’ woman everyday. I like variety, so I offer hubs the same ‘variety’. I also make sure he never sees me in ‘house clothes’, you know, with baby vomit all over. Just that respect I try to give him.

      “Emotional” stimulation:

      Most of the time I am the happy, supportive, listening, trusting (insert all positive words) wife. Few days in a month I get really erratic, never rude but not so accommodating, call it drama, call it pms, anything, but I keep him on his toes, with a little bit of a reasonable tantrum or some dark sarcasm. Never all rainbow and candies.

      “Power struggle on purpose”
      My husband is a dominant Alpha type, decisive, strong headed, impatient, hot tempered. So am I. We usually clash if I don’t think he is right. I’ve learn to give way and he finds that refreshing. Give way too much and he forgets I have a personality or individuality, so I bring on the power struggle. Let him meet his nemesis but do not hurt his ego or self esteem. Just some friendly sparring. Just to get the heat on.

      “Gratitufe and humor”
      I always thank him for something, everyday. It reminds me that I am fortunate as is. Some days I like to add in my horrid sense of humor ” Thank you for not smelling like a barn”

      We make it a point not to lie and even if it means telling the truth and getting into a Royal Rumble, we still tell it like it is. When he goes overboard with the honesty and honest critiques about me, I tell him

      “God bless the one who gifts to you your defects”.
      Of course I take the honest critique and work on it for improvement.

      “Tantalize his taste buds”
      I aim for culinary perfection everyday, so he never eats the same cuisine more than twice a week. French, Italian, middle Eastern, Chinese, etc. He never eats frozen food, never needs to make his own food, I basically create a love affair of food to seduce his taste buds and I rotate the cutlery and dinnerware everyday so he thinks he is in a different place everyday.

      That’s how I keep it fresh. Always changing, never remaining static. 🙂

      1. Oh yes one more important things. KIDS.

        One day of the week I force the kids, yea, FORCE the kids to sleep early. So if he comes home late, no kids in sight. This is what I call “DATE NIGHT” just 2 people. NO KIDS ALLOWED.

      2. Siying, I admire you for being a great cook, that your husband can come home to different yummy dishes everyday. Maybe you can share some tips on how to be good cook.
        I am a terrible cook, I cook couple times but it didn’t match up to his expectation of good enough taste, so in our house, he is the cook. I just have to compromise with it, an let him cook for me and our son.
        Also, the kid(s), you lucky your kid are grown. If you have a son who is newborn up to toddler (1-2 age), two people time alone together is pretty much doomed, especially when we have to wake up anytime at night to feed and to hear baby cries.
        I will follow your tips, and force my son go to sleep early when he grown, LOL!

      3. Hi LeilaFan,
        Thanks so much for your kind words. 🙂 actually I do not think I am a good cook, my maternal grandfather was a head chef, my paternal grandmother was an exceptionally talented cook, she could make something without ever tasting it and get it perfect. Both my parents are also talented like this. However, I am not talented.

        I started really cooking only after I got married, though I did take cooking classes early on in school to learn the background and make some school grade stuff. I worked then started my own business, I never cooked. My husband is a fussy eater like my father, and both cook exceptionally well. Again I suppose talent.

        For me, due to lack of talent, I studied a lot about food, ingredients, flavours, techniques, playing around with stove and oven temperatures, textures etc. I started with very basic techniques. Like how to glaze vegetables, learning the differences between broiling, stir fry, etc. I studied it theoretically and then put it into practice.

        Here’s some of the things I found helpful.
        1)it’s easy to follow a recipe but always personalize it. I close my eyes to do a taste test over the stove. In my taste test, I practice mindfulness in that 2 seconds. I look for whether the tastes all blend well, I look for all 5 tastes. Saltiness, sweet, spicy, sour, bitter and most important, the 6th taste. Japanese call it Umami. It’s the X factor of a dish. An invisible taste but its makes a differences. You can google umami. It is MSG in commercial terms, but I don’t use that sort of stuff, it just kills our brain cells and causes tumours in our brain as its a toxin that over excites brain cells. You can naturally get the umami, like mushrooms or cheese. That’s why cheese in tomato sauce pasta always go together, cos cheese evokes the umami in the dish. I always make sure I taste the umami in every dish, it’s the orgasm of the dish. 🙂

        2) Staples, spices and herbs.
        I always envision whatever I’m cooking to taste 3 dimensional or 4 dimensional. It should never be one dimensional such that when you taste it, tastes flat. It should entice you when you look at it and attract you while still eating. I do that by using my staples. Onion. Garlic, pepper, chili. Cilantro, dill Lemongrass. Depending on cuisine. Always stock up your kitchen like its war time. Specially with herbs and spices. Cumin, Curry powder, Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary, Cinnamon, Fennel etc. Just make sure they are there, use it sparingly when starting out and adjust according to your taste. Imagine your favorite restaurant dish, then try to emulate it by adjusting the flavours to almost close.

        3) when you cook, clear your mind, even when cutting stuff on the chopping board. Full focus, there’s this thing I read about this Japanese researcher finding out about water molecules changing its shape from snow flake shape when touch with happy emotions to sharp irregular shape when touched with negative emotions, something like that. So I have this belief that every atom I touch when cooking has to be touched with positivity, never tiredness to dread, I believe it shapes the atom and thus you get the phrase ” cooking with love” 🙂

        Most important is like you, ask and you’ll learn. I ask all the time. 🙂 I’ve known people who are to proud to ask, my dad says although I’m a late bloomer, I’ve superceded his expectations because I’m willing to learn, to take risks, to practice, to study, to ask without fear of embarrassment. Now my dad eats my food. He didn’t when I was younger trying out the school grade dishes. 🙂

        Most important is that people’s reception of your food is not always going to go as you like, don’t take it personally, don’t let it traumatize you such that you never try that dish again, no, take it that tomorrow, is a new day. Next time, see how you can tweak it to make it awesome. 🙂

        And don’t do what I did last time. ” If you are so smart, why don’t you cook it yourself” LOL. Always room for improvement, even when it’s perfect. It can always be better.

      4. Also I think there are many certified good cooks on here, with way more experience and talent than me. 🙂

        These are just some things I use personally and I have found it helps me. 🙂

      5. Ooh sorry forgot to say,
        I make the kids really tired with lots of activities so they sleep fast and good lol. I still BF my toddler every 2.5 hours at night, but I want to encourage you that it will get better in time. Hang on in there. 🙂

      6. Siying,
        I found inspiration in your well thought-out response. You sure know how to keep a marriage fresh! I’m sure your husband is also meeting you half-way to keep things exciting as well!

        “Always changing, never remaining static.”

        Your thirst for new knowledge and self-improvement for yourself drives how you treat the relationship as well. 🙂 You are an impressive chef as well!

        While my husband enjoys a good meal, he is a minimalist and not the type to rave about fancy dinners. I am cooking Chinese food almost daily; time to change things up a little.

        Your response taught me that it is the little efforts that amount to big differences over time. Thanks!

      7. Hi Jayne,
        Thanks so much for your very kind words. I’ really appreciate it. 🙂

        Yup hubs tries to compromise and he tries to show some kindness sometimes. Like state how he does not pay any attention to my hair or makeup, but appreciates that I take the effort to do something different everyday such that it forces him to notice. Lol. As he is super unpredictable that is bad in itself, things are always fresh from his side.- Shakes head-

        On very, very, very rare occasions, he would say that I’ve managed to cook something better than his late mum. It’s the moments like this that drives me to keep on improving.

        I’m really not an impressive chef, just a home cook but I thank you sincerely for your kind compliment. I personally love Chinese food best, but hubs loves Thai Tom Yum. Perhaps you might want to try that sometime. Just a suggestion since taste is subjective, you would know your husband best. 🙂

        I strive to learn from you as you are very patient, tactful, objective, insightful and you are open to new ideas. Your husband is very blessed. Wish you and your love ones all the best.

      8. Siying,
        Whether it’s with your husband or kids, I can see that you are a very thoughtful individual with a cheerful attitude who makes the best out of challenging situations.

        “I strive to learn from you as you are very patient, tactful, objective, insightful and you are open to new ideas.”

        We all learn from each other here. I’m blessed that we have such a wonderful group of readers from all over the world to share life experiences with. And while some of the entertainment news on here may be gossipy, reading about artists’ lives has opened up my perspective as well.

      9. Hi Jayne, thanks so much for your sweet reply. I will remember your words and use them as a motivation to improve. 🙂

        You have such a lovely site with wonderful readers, I wish your site ever growing readership and success.

        I absolutely agree that reading about artists’ lives can really open one’s perspectives. Through those articles, I’ve learnt to see that grass may not necessarily be greener on the other side.

        We’ll be setting off for a wedding now, we’re leaving tonight as the wedding’s tomorrow. I’ll see you lovely folks when we get home. 🙂

        Wish you and everyone a lovely weekend.

    5. Actually I think there is no definite recipe to keep your marriage fresh. With stress, kids(if have one), works, you are easily distracted and don’t have time to focus on your other half. Some people might think the marriage is going down hill if it is not “hong hong lie lie” sparks every where etc. At the end marriage life is more like companionship, feel comfortable with each other. When my kids are younger it is more difficult because I tend to forget my other half. But now kids are bigger we are more relax and enjoying each other company. There is up and down, you will fall out of love during marriage and it’s depend on us to fall in love again…I guess just go with the flow.

      Well things would be different if you bring in In laws (especially live with one). Nervous breakdown..

    6. I’m married man, just celebrated 17 years
      some points IMHO:-
      # Create a Prime Points,when thing s does not work well,always return to the a prime points( the day got married, the vow made)
      # Always says Thanks, Sorry, Bye Dear,
      # The 3rd year or 1st baby born, couples does not hold hands as before..not a good sign.
      # Always remember important date such as 1st date, 1st kiss, propose marrige wedding, birthday..etc
      #continue be creative ways to show your love

    7. Never start taking each other for granted and cherish each day the best you can.

  3. Karen and Joe are a very compatible couple. They both are tall and good looking, and they were high school classmates.

  4. Karen Cheung has nice cleavage,… hehehe, that is how she keeps the marriage ‘fresh’

    Simple solution for sexy ladies. Works most times. LOL

  5. There are old photos of them when they were young in the source link.

  6. wait, it wasn’t love at first sight? I remember reading an interview before, Joe Ma said it was and he thought he saw an angel?

    1. Maybe to Joe Ma is love at first sight but not to Karen. The above interview is Karen’s answer and not Joe.

  7. I don’t know exactly what will keep a marriage fresh, since my husband and I are both young married couples ourselves. Well, not that young anymore, we be hitting 30 soon, LOL!
    I know my husband in college, we both dated throughout our whole college years and through his master degree, and then we got married.

    In our marriage, the key things that keep our marriage together were: “Communication, Understanding, Trust, and Patience”
    Also, since we both come from the similiar background, and have the similiar viewpoints in life. These definately help us alot from unecessary arguements.
    Money were never an arguments for us, since we both same age college students. We know that after we graduated, we have to work our butt of to start a family. We both can accept that reality, so no complaints.

    We in the USA, so we both likes the independent culture, and equality between men and women. Since we both have jobs, we like things 50 and 50.
    Right now our main worried is finish paying our mortgage. Since we both working, our monthly house mortgage are I paid one month, and he paid one month. This help relieve stress for the men since he don’t have to feel pressure that he have all the family burden on his shoulders.
    To those that still in college, at least try to get a master. This will definately help you get a job, so try to finished school. Thank God to college, this help me and family life more confort, not rich, but middle class.

    And keeping marriage fresh, this is a must after you have children. Before I have my son, we often have times to go out, do our things as a couples. After birth, no more. Less alone time together, even less spending for us. My husband since the birth of our son, he has not buy anything for himself, extra money after mortgage, insurance and bills are save up for our son. The most stressful thing in USA is Bills, Bills, and Bills!!! Argg! Bills!! LOL!

    I’m poor, but I feel that God always bless me. I am lucky to have a husband come home to me every night for dinner, and loving mother in law where she take care of my sons when we working. On weekend, both our in laws get together for BBQ, cook, eat, talking, laugh. I feel bless, and contented. Simple life is good, less headaches, less stress, less worries.

    1. Leila:
      You seem to be a very lucky and happy woman with a good husband, children and in-laws. You may have a simple life, but your family relationship is super strong.

    2. We around the same age, Leilafan.

      But it is great to know you have a strong kinship with your family.

      1. Crystal:
        I also thought Leila was much older in age. At least she pretended that she’s older.

      2. Hehe, to be exact, I am just 29 year olds. I do feel old though, after married and pop out a kid, trust me, you feel Old, LOL!

        My family are political refugee to USA, and my husband side they are immigrant to the U.S, So we start from scratch in this foreign land. So money is not a topic for us to argue, since both our family knows we are not big or rich people, we just normal citizens 老百姓 in this country.

        Definately for us, we will never have those drama or lawsuits like in TVB series where rich in-laws are pulling each others hair out over on who get more money, LOL!
        I do not have brand name handbags or drive Mercedes Benz, but good side is our in-laws get along, they can talks and go vacation together without fighting, Lol.

        I always value the important of education, many children these days don’t take education as serious as our parent’s time.
        I have a college degree in Math major. Everyone know with that degree you can never be rich, your job are like teaching at high school school or community college, or work in math accounting related jobs. So my biggest asset are my husband and son.

        These days we living in a world of technology developed, materialistic developed too. Many distracted things in life nowadays, many people forget the important of “family”.

      3. I am a tad younger, but I married and bore offspring young. Lol. Do I feel old? Yes but only because I see my kids growing up before my very eyes.

        It is great you get along with your in-laws. Should give me a few pointers. I think I need some. At least this way, my husband will have one less thing to stress over.

      4. I am so glad to know today that I am not the only married girl in her twenties frequenting this site. Hehehe. I have come to realize in marriage that my in-laws’ values will always be very different from my birth family’s even though both families spring from similar cultures. I try my best to adjust to their expectations while they learn that my skills and values are in different areas than those of their own children. For example, they prefer women to be able to do business while my parents preferred women to be good with homemaking. It’s just a different values system.

        In the end, it’s important for your husband to understand that neither mom nor wife is absolute. They just value different things and need to adjust to each other. In a Chinese family, it’s more true than ever that when you marry a man, you marry his whole family too! =D

      5. Iris,

        We are quite the opposite. My husband’s family are all entrepreneurs therefore everything that comes out is business here, business there. Unfortunately for them, I did not choose that route for my life. They tried to sweet talk me into joining their business. Now its just ice daggers being thrown at me as they believe being the eldest daughter in law, I should be giving my husband a helping hand…. but I just do not feel the same. Given, they are not bad people. I know that but if only they would take a step back and not keep expecting me to make a step forward.

      6. Oh Crystal, I know exactly how you feel! My only-male-heir-in-his-family husband hails from an established business family, and I chose to be a teacher. The first months of marriage (what the heck, even the engagement) was filled with direct and indirect requests to “be a good daughter-in-law” and join the business. But I’m horrible with business! After much prayer and discussion, we settled with the current routine of my getting to teach for most of the week while I go to their office once a week to handle paperwork and decisions they prefer to keep “family only.”. My relationship with my in-laws have improved dramatically since then. I think the system proves to them that I’m willing to help, although only till the limit of my abilities and other career demands. I’m not saying this will work for everyone…but I hope the story encourages you that there can be potential resolution and compromise!

      7. Thank you, Iris. I do believe things will be better in the future. Although I would love follow your example, I am just too busy with the patients at my clinic and by the time I am home, I switch to being a full time mother and housewife.

        I have been thinking about giving up my career for my husband’s sake..but I keep pushing it. One year.. two years… this is my fifth year. Maybe, just maybe 2014 will be the year. Lol.

        But thank you for understanding.

      8. Seem like most Chinese here and Chinese in general are business owners and entrepreneurs.
        I think I must be the only Chinese family who have no relations with business stuff, LOL!
        My husband’s family are civil engineers and construction workers, none of his immediate family are business doers.
        Same to my family, we don’t really know about business stuff.

        I totally feel Crystal, and Iris since I am also a daughter in-laws. It’s tough, and stressful so

      9. Crystal and Iris,

        I’m surprised to read that you in-laws pressured you into join their business. I never know it was important for business family to have their daughter in-law join the business. I thought they will just expect the daughter in-law to take good care of their son and grandchildren.

        Very surprising. What more, both of you have jobs that most people considered respectable. Why won’t a family want that in their daughter in-law?

      10. It depends on the family too. One of my former friends married in to a rich family and is a stay at home mom but her mother in law always complains about why she is not working.

      11. Kidd,

        I cannot speak for all the other in-laws out there, but for mine, since theyre entrepreneuer-based coupled with a hefty established business ancestral past… everything they did in the past and generations before were in unison. Which means anyone who enters the family, especially the daughter in laws, we are almost expected to join their united base. Like I said, they are not bad people, just very conflicting ideals and values. I guess I am at a worse position compared to my brother in law’s wife since my husband is the eldest son. So I guess I rub them the wrong way when I chose OT and not business.

        But though they dont prefer my career path, I am grateful that they love and pamper my kids, their grandchildren. That is something I like about them. Theyre fair, maybe not to me, but to my kids and that is all that matters.

      12. My husband is the eldest son of a business tycoon with two wives. He is the son of the first wife. Yeah, it’s complicated so I play my cards right – got married, stopped working, gave them two grandchildren (a girl and a boy).

      13. Kidd,
        One reason my in-laws want me in the family business is what Crystal mentioned. Another reason is that they don’t trust any employees to manage the business for them. Therefore, as the business expands, their only source of managers are family members…be it by birth or by marriage =D

      14. So very true. It’s like in any cases of stealing or taking money from them, they rather have family members committing it than outsiders…which never makes sense to me since when a person is greedy… it can be anyone, family or an outsider.

      15. Understandable since everyone wants to keep it in the family. And they trust you enough to include you, that is good news. But if you really feel you are not up for it and you don’t want to, gently say and make sure your husband supports your decision. if he is on your side, everything will be ok.

      16. To you young mothers (see this time I’m not naming names) who married and had kids early: did your get to do the things you wanted to do when you were young/went to school for before married life and staying home with kids became your new occupation?

      17. @dd

        I’ve managed to do almost everything I wanted to before marriage. Went to school, see the world, work under someone, work for myself, learn as much as I can, experience as many cultures, do charity, party like forever, love hard, fight hard, find my religion, solidify my beliefs.

        Yea, for now, I think I only want to go to sea and save some marine life like stop shark finning and maybe start a protest to free animals in captivity. Maybe as I age, there’ll be more I want to do.

      18. Funn,
        My husband is extremely supportive of what I do and he isn’t the type of person to step into my career world, telling me what I should be doing or what I shouldn’t be doing. For that, I am feel blessed.

        I do count myself as someone who has the privilege to do as I please both before and after marriage. Before marriage, my decisions were solely based on myself and my maternal mother and blood siblings. However, after marriage, I had to take my husband’s family into consideration as well. Most days, it is okay as after I married, I knew I was not just someone’s daughter and sister, I am someone’s wife and daughter-in-law as well.

        But like I said, most days it is okay. Just days when ice daggers get darted at me, that’s when I feel like I need to figure out if my priorities are twisted.

      19. Hi Crystal,
        I’m sorry to hear that you occasionally get ice daggers and sometimes unfair treatment. I know that you love your job and you love your family, it must be so difficult. However, I hope you stay true to your beliefs, nobody knows you better than yourself. Also, every day when you work, you are helping someone, making their lives better. That is such a noble thing to do!

        If you have to give something up, do it because you truly want to, not because you have to. Unless of course it’s detrimental to your health, only then is the compulsion justified. Lol.

      20. Siying,

        As always, thank you for your words of wisdom. I believe I have my decision deep down in my heart and it is the genuine kind. All I need is the right time, and I believe I will be set.

      21. @dd : I may have married young, did not build up a career, and became a SAHM, but I did everything I wanted to do with my hubby and family 🙂

      22. Hi Crystal 🙂
        Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m happy to know that you have the answer in your heart, that’s wonderful news. You are right, there’s a time for everything and the right time will come. I wish you and your family the best of everything.

    3. Hi LeilaFan, 🙂

      We are the same age! 🙂 I’m happy to hear that you love your family very much and you are very blessed. Wish you and your family all the best.

  8. Wow, 20 years later and still looking like that? Great looking pair indeed and I remember the son is pretty cute too.

  9. Sweet and loving couple..can’t believe it

  10. the secret is for karen to always forgive joe everytime he got caught with scandalous pictures philandering with another woman and made magazine covers

    1. I admire her for being able to forgive Joe again and again. Not many women can do it.

      1. Yes, it is hard for men and women to forgive when one of them cheats, but it is possible and everyone makes mistakes. It shows that his wife loves and treasures him very much and it seems that he is learning to do the same in return which I don’t find a bad thing at all.

  11. Didn’t Joe cheated on her at some point??

    but his wife forgave him??

    1. Yeah! If I’m not mistaken, Joe got caught in the act with a gal in the gal by the papa!

  12. I’m not sure whether to congrat them or otherwise or even admire Karen for being such a forgiving wife.
    Maybe because I’m not married and do not have kids yet. I just can’t accept cheating in a relationship especially marriage!
    But it do pays out as it shows that Joe did really regret for his foolish acts, which I hope he really does! And I do wish all the best for Karen!
    Most woman choosed to stay behind an awful marriage for the children’s sake! I salute Karen for being such a wonderful mother. And she is gorgeous and looks great at her age!
    And WOW!! I’m surprised to know that WOW most of the commenters here are happily married with kids for YEARSSS!!
    U gals sound super YOUNG!!!!

  13. Can someone help me? I m just married. Less than a month. Love him. He treats me well. But his lifestyle is totally different from mine. His friends are of different styles too. I tried to fit in his lifestyle but I really feel exhausted. I regret marry so fast. Know him less than 2 yrs. I am an early sleeper but he is late nighter. His friends are late nighters too and theIir hobbies I dont fit in. I really feel I am forcing myself. But I cannot tell him as he will be sad. How?? Our families lin high hopes on us. He adores me. But he doesnt know I m tired to force myself to suit his. I dont want to tell him as he will force himself to change. I dont want him to force myself. Should I just remain silent and hold on to it? Cry is what I can do now.

    1. either you accommodate him or demands he accommodate you or leave him so to save yourself tears. I have read lesser reasons to divorce someone but nothing as petty. Didn’t you know know that differences before you married? Or you thought you could accommodate one another? If you thought that way then, why not make some effort and do what you thought? Ever talked to him? No? You said he loves you, he adores you, he wants you, he married you, he made an honest woman out of you but here you go crying about differences in LIFESTYLE so you feel you don’t want to force yourself. Well wake up girl. Marriage is about compromise. If you can’t and you haven’t given him a chance to perhaps compromise with you before handing down the “death sentence” of divorce, you don’t deserve him. So better you leave him to another who will adore him as much he adores her and you find someone who suits your lifestyle, whatever that may be.

      Seriously, if this is real, how I want to smack some sense into you. Self confessed that the guy treats you well, family treats you well and yet here you are, complain about something so petty. Why not let him have his own social life and social circle and you your own and I am sure at some point there is some time and space for the two of you together.

      Perhaps you don’t love him enough. If so release him but I bet if you see him doting on a new girl you will regret it.

      In the end stop complaining, stop fretting and just make some effort and find a way if you feel he is worth it.

    2. Sorry to hear that Theresa but I am curious about how long you dated or knew him before you married him??? One of my 3rd brother’s friends married a girl that he knew for only 6 months and my brother and sister in law kept on asking him if he was sure. I thought they were really happy and all. But my sister in law said that he jumped in too quickly and that girl was really demanding. Marriage is a sacrifice in many ways because you must accommodate and complement each other or else you will have problems. All marriages and relationships have problems, but can you compromise and solve them??? Communication is also important and you should tell him how you feel so see how you can resolve these problems. The longer you wait, the more the problems will build up and you will explode and more problems will occur. I don’t think you should remain silent because you are just running from your problems and not solving and facing them. Also, you can know someone your whole life and not know them well so I guess the amount of time that you date or know each other does not always justify how well you know a person. But good luck to you and try to work it out… Best Wishes!!

      1. I also want to add that one of my friends said the same thing when she first got married after dating for 3 years. However, she is now really happy and her husband is one of the best guys out there. Your husband seems that way too so I suggest that you learn to accommodate and value him before it is too late.

    3. Hi Theresa,
      I’m sorry to hear you are upset. Since you have known your husband for 2 years, I would say its substantial enough time to be able to tell him how you feel right now. Lifestyle differences can be worked out via communication as Funn suggested.

      Since he loves and adores you, you can safely expect some improvements should you bring up the issue.

      As for having different hobbies, it’s normal that couples have different hobbies, you don’t have to force yourself to like the same things, that’s what friends are for. Leave your husband with his friends unless they are doing immoral or criminal activities. You don’t have to feel like its your duty to fit in.

      I don’t fit in to my husband’s friends or family either. They all speak a foreign language and I’m the only Asian. Our cultures, our styles, our hobbies, everything, different as north and south. I still try to carry out whatever conversation I can to the best of my ability and then I’m just comfortable hanging out by myself even when in a group with my husband there. I’m not miserable when I’m with them because I actually enjoy being there even though I’m an alien, but I don’t try to ft in, I just be.

      Embrace your individuality. If you like to wake early, continue and make good use of your mornings, your husband will be sleeping so you can do your own things. Take it as valuable personal time to nourish yourself, be it mentally, spiritually, emotionally. You can also do nice things for him while he is asleep. It usually makes me feel better when I do nice thing for others. 🙂

      Wish you all the best, remember he loves you and treats you well, put that in perspective before making any major decisions.

      1. Siying,
        Thanks for sharing your thoughts. By the way, may I ask if your husband is Asian or is he a foreigner?? Just curious and it is great that you marry someone that you love instead of restrict yourself when it comes to race/nationality like some people do. I love reading your comments!

      2. Hi HeTieShou,
        Thanks so much for your kind words, I truly appreciate. I also enjoy reading your comments a lot,I also admire that you are very filial. 🙂

        My husband is a foreigner, he is not Asian. He is a French Arab, he has learnt some Mandrin for self improvement and he enjoys HK /Asian films, but he really hates those with a lot of blood scenes. Lol. Like a sword slashes and blood spews everywhere like its free flow night in a club.

        A lot of people think that I’m either very brave or very stupid to love my husband, not only because of our age difference but also major differences, in race, upbringing, religion etc.

        But he gets me, gets my humour(or the lack of), he avoids stepping on joss paper during Hungry Ghost festival and gives hong bao during cny. Lol. Where’s there not to love?

      3. There are some valuable points above, Theresa, so you should really take them into consideration.

        I’m going to keep mines short. If your husband is willing to change for you, that should tell you it is definitely okay for you to speak to him about what is troubling you, making you uncomfortable and etc. There is nothing wrong with you speaking to your husband about these things. There is something wrong when you don’t and keep everything inside. Communication is key here. Take it one step at a time.

        Lastly, be well.

      4. Hi SiYing!
        Thanks for your kind and sweet words as well. I am so happy that this site actually has some really nice people like you. I try to be the best daughter that I can and treat everyone well regardless of who it is. That’s what my parents taught me.

        Thanks for sharing the info about your husband. You are definitely NOT stupid at all for loving him. I consider you very open minded, brave and that you follow your heart and wished that many others are like you. I used to know some people that would only marry within their race but also dialect group. I was so shocked but then my oldest brother told me that it was normal, especially for those really traditional folks. My parents are traditional too but they are open minded when it comes to marriage and all. They said that as long as they are good people, are compatible with you and love you then that is good already. Why force yourself to marry within your race/nationality even if they are not good people or you don’t love them?? I used to argue with one of my former friends about that since said her parents want her to marry within her dialect group only. She claimed it was because they did not want to lose their culture/race. I told her to not think of it like that but instead to think that you gain another culture/race, not lose anything. But she was stubborn that she still refused to marry anyone that was non Chinese or in her dialect group.

        I really admire you for following your heart and feelings. As long as you are happy then it does not matter what others think. Your parents seem open as well and that is a good thing. My great aunt married a French man and my dad said that he was one of the best people that he has ever known. If you love anyone, race, religion, nationality should not matter at all. Great that you are happy and I am happy for you too.. I hope one day that I can find a great guy like your husband too.

      5. HeTieShou,

        “I used to know some people that would only marry within their race but also dialect group.”

        What’s wrong with those people? It is their right to marry whom they want to marry even if they limit it to their own race/ dialect group. What I mean is their right, not their parents’ right. So if your former friend (not you friend anymore?) does not want to marry outside her race/ dialect group because of her own opinion, then it is her right to do so. If she is told by her parents to marry within her race/ dialect group, then she has to think twice before it is too late. It’s her own happiness, not her parents (sorry, but I’m not the traditional type, so no offense to all parents out there).

        Your former friend’s parents really need to think outside of the box to be honest. Do they know how many abandoned babies in the second world and the third world countries? Before they worry about losing the culture/ race/ dialect group, they have to know that there are many babies that are of similar race die every single day because they are abandoned by their parents. Ask you former friend’s parents to do the math. Let’s say their daughter marries someone that is of similar race and has 10 babies. Therefore, you former friend’s parents successfully preserve 10 babies that are of similar race, but they lose 1000 babies that are of similar race because of other parents’ irresponsibility. How to preserve the culture/ race/ dialect group if like that? Go to google and search ‘baby sewage pipe china’. I would like to say that I don’t think it was an accident.

        If your former friend wants to preserve the culture/ race/ dialect group herself, then maybe she could go for surrogacy via home artificial insemination? Find a man that is of similar race and borrow his sperm. Like this she could preserve the culture/ race/ dialect group but at the same time could marry someone outside her race. Or maybe she could adopt babies that are of similar race?

        By the way, all these are my own opinions. I know different people have different opinions. I know there are people that want their own babies and don’t care about other people’s babies since it is other people’s responsibility. But hey, there is nothing wrong in knowing some facts, right?

      6. Correction:

        Just reread my comment above, and some of the words I wrongly typed ‘you’ instead of ‘your’.

      7. Hi HeTieShou,
        Thanks for your sweet and encouraging reply. I’m really happy to have met so many wonderful folks like you on here too. This is an amazing place with so many diverse opinions yet a single love for Asian entertainments and people from all over the world, all walks of life held together by this same love.

        I’ve had 2 girl friends like the one you mentioned, they could only marry within their race and it had to be a certain ‘elite’ group in the race, with same family standings etc. One was arranged marriage and the other was not but thankfully both marriages worked out great in the end. I guess not everyone is that lucky. I hope your former friend will be able to find what she is looking for since she seems determined.

        Sometimes same race, same nationality, same culture etc doesn’t guarantee that the person will be good as a spouse. My parents were initially very worried about my husband but they eventually grew to love him as their own. I would agree that they are open minded as they did not disown me. I have a cousin who was disowned because of her gender orientation. It’s very sad.

        I’m sure you will find a great and wonderful guy who will love and cherish such a sweet soul as yourself, a down to earth, filial, responsible daughter and sister. I’m also sure that he will definitely be better than my husband as well. I wish you true love and happiness always. 🙂

        But one thing, I hope your future husband does not ever come home one day with an almost fully grown lamb as a pet. Mine did and I swear that was the biggest smelliest pet I’ve ever had. Lol.

      8. Didn’t means to butt in, but Siying, I totally feel you .
        My husband and I have a small white poodle dog as a pet. We both love the dog very much since we have it for long time. But eversince the birth of my son last year, it is impossible to take care of the small dog and the infant.

      9. Hi LeilaFan,
        No worries you are not butting in, its open and I’m so happy that you have joined us. 🙂

        Oh dear, a new baby and a dog really is such tough work. Hope as your little baby grows older, it will be easier for you. I’m so happy to know that you have kept the dog, it’s a good decision. I’ve heard stories of people giving their dog away when a new baby comes along. That is quite shocking for me as we have a dog and he’s family to us. My parents take care of him now as I’ve moved away. 🙁

      10. I also don’t think it matter wo which race you married, as long as two people love each others, and want to start a family together, then who cares about the race.. or gender.
        Married to foreigner is not bad, I personally know people that do and they very happy. Western husband they treats woman equally, and also cherish their wife.

        My husband is Chinese and is very picky man. Everything around the house chores have to be “his way or no way”, I believe this was shape up because he is the older brother and he help raise his younger siblings.

        My husband sometimes very much like a woman, he likes to do house chores like wash dishes and cleaning the house.
        When we first got married, I try cooking and wash dishes. But then he comment on my cooking is not good compared to his, so he cook in the house. Then I wash dishes, then he said it not clean enough, so he do all the wash dishes in our house. He very picky.

        At first I feel very bad, because it seem like my cooking is not yummy, or my washing dishes skill must be terrible. Then I talk to my mother in-law, and she explained to me that he since young age watch her cook and learn to cook, and do dishes to help raise his younger siblings. From that, I understand that he enjoy doing those things for his family, and that just how he is. So I just let him do everything his way.

        Siying, thank you for all your post help giving tips into keep a marriage fresh, I definately need that, I know my husband for over 10 years alread, time to fresh it up, LOL!
        May I ask, how many children to you have Siying? Maybe you can give some tips on raise many children. I only have one son , and it a handful already.

      11. My second job was an underwater dish specialist (OK, kitchenhand, I washed dishes and cut stuff and cleaned everything) and believe me, washing dishes is a goddamn art.

      12. Hi LeilaFan,
        Looking on the positive side, I think it’s actually great that your husband does the dishes and prepares the food, this way you can dedicate more of your time and attention to taking care of your little one and it will be less tiring for you. Young babies are super tiring to care of.

        As your mother in law as instilled in him values such as responsibility in the house, please don’t feel bad that its your fault. It’s not, it’s just that he was brought up this way. Which is actually how I raise my kids as well. I say you are a wonderful wife and mother, if your hubby likes things his way, it’s good that you let him.

        I have fours kids. My first is a girl, when she was 4 months old I was pregnant with twins. When they were born she was barely a year old. That was the toughest time since it was like having triplets.

        With my first I was extremely paranoid, very fussy about everything, when the twins came, it was very exhausting on all levels, as we did not choose any bottle or formula feeding, I would burst into tears from sheer lack of sleep. Tip 1: Use bottle feeding in line with bf so that someone else can feed and mum can rest.

        Then my youngest came along and I’ve since changed my motto to this :

        Tip 2:
        ” Just make sure all the kids are alive, with none of them bleeding and all their body parts are intact.” Lol.

        I don’t think I’m an ideal candidate to ask about raising kids as I just try to keep them from setting the house on fire. Lol.

        I am strict from day 1 with a lot of instructions and expectations set out clearly, but I do not punish, when they are misbehaving, I get them to go to a Chill out spot and do breathing exercises and recite short prayers. My dad thinks for the boys, I should discipline them the traditional way. Like pull some Bruce Lee stunts on them. I haven’t tried that and don’t intend to. 🙂

        Your toddler’s age is challenging, I would be firm and serious in a low voice to get a certain naughty behavior to stop. Toddlers are smarter than we think, they will test and provoke you endlessly, that’s how they learn,

        tip 3: I would suggest being consistent. No means no and don’t give in even after they try for the 39th time. They will give up. Eventually.

        I admit that I find boys much harder to raise than girls. I keep mine busy from a young age. They love to play with things that are not theirs. It drives me nuts.

        Tip 4: You may want to teach your son to first start by keeping his own toys, put things back in original places, and Clean up his own mess. (This will almost guarantee you a rather neat house without you doing anything)

        My husband got me a day time helper to just come 8 hours each day and help with house stuff when the kids were younger. Now I do everything with the kids ourselves but she pops by once a week just to help out. Tip 5: I teach them everything I know that is not dangerous and I let them do it with me watching them.

        One thing about boys, people say boys shouldn’t cry and should be brave. I found out that boys are just as sensitive, vulnerable and afraid as girls are and they should be allowed to cry and express themselves and not repress their feelings inside.

        Tip 6: We should not shame, brush off or underestimate boys’ fears by saying “stop crying, nothing to be afraid, you are a boy ” actually that is not good for them.

        They will grow up hiding their emotions thinking its shameful to feel afraid or cry and some will not be able to handle their emotions when they are older. It could lead to repercussions.

        Instead, we should validate their feelings by acknowledging them and then allow them to express themselves safely and openly to us without fear or ridicule. 🙂

        Those are just some of my own opinions. As you can see my kids are piling on top of each other like flesh eating hyenas, so if have to pull a Bruce Lee stunt on them, I’d let you know how that goes. Lol.

    4. You are lucky to have a guy and his family treat you well and believe me, that does not happen often. IN many cases, they guy may treat you well but not his family. I feel these issues are not that big of a deal compared to many other bigger issues so you can solve them if you love him and care about him enough.

    5. Theresa, I think is fine that your husband have different hobbies than you.
      My husband like to watch those actions Hollywood movies with car chasing bombing, gun shooting and stuff, LOL!!! I don’t like those, I rather listen to political news.
      My husband is a light sleeper, and when I sleep, I sleep like there no tomorrow, but that have change since we now have an infant that often wake up at night.

      May I ask, what you meants by he is late nighter? I give example OK, Is he having his friends over at night and throw a party, and that affect your sleep? Or he is he often go out at night with his buddies, and leave you at home to sleep? If so, then that need to change. Because man or woman, after married, things like that should be cut back, because it not just about “you, and only you” anymore, you have to consider our spouse feelings too.

      But if he doesn’t do that, then I think it fine, if he is a late sleeper, let him go to another room do his stuff, while you in your bedroom sleep. He can have friends too, just like you can have friends. Just don’t let friends affect your marriage life daily living.

      Is hard to give advice, since what you write is pretty general. I feel that you guys are young marriage couples, it takes time, work it out, try to understand each others, you be fine.

    6. Anyone can renew marriage vows as often as they want. That’s all the OUTSIDE stuff. It really means nothing. I also see this as a subtle but public announcement to “back off” as well. Who knows what ‘negotiations’ went on privately between the couple.
      Renewing vows and (tacky imo) photography aside …. what is really more important is the respect, consideration and commitment to the other party from within (INSIDE) oneself when temptation beckons.

      I didn’t read through every comment on this and that (getting really off tangent but very interesting) … but here’re some thoughts on your situation:

      1) As Funn mentioned, you both knew what you were getting into with opposing lifestyles and personalities. What made you think anything (including his preference for friends) would change? People don’t change … it’s naive and somewhat arrogant to make someone change for you (girls get all touched and all when the guy gives up something but down the road sometimes there’s a lot of resentment once that ‘bloom of romance’ wears away)
      2) Go with the flow. You obviously were attracted to him for whatever reasons. Opposites do attract, he has qualities you don’t have, and you have those that attract him. See them as strengths rather than differences.
      3) Communicate. Discuss all your concerns with him
      4) Set aside one day, a couple of days (whatever you agree upon) to do stuff together that you BOTH enjoy. Quality couple time.You go do your own thing, and him his durin those other days. One day you will be grateful he’s not in your face all the time, and you will probably actually treasure each other better when you get that time together, bec it’s refreshing when you are togehter. Rather than him resenting he’s trapped in some boring situation and activity with you.

      I disagree with too much accomodation however. It leads to burn out resentment if it’s one-sided. P a lot How many long suffering accomodating Asian wives do you know? That’s so 50s-70s housewives who give up a lot of themselves and eventually don’t even have a personality/self identity anymore

      Ask yourself what is important to you + both of you. What common visions you guys see down the road.

      A guy who dotes on you, more than you do him … I have seen too many instances of that changing as well (when kids come along), when those lifestyle differences really become a huge issue and the romance rosy-ness starts fading over the years …. when there is financial/power imbalance (ie one party really soars in their career).

      A guy who doesn’t party enough and then resents you later when he really feels trapped (kids, earning money for the family, premature quiet family life type existence) too often will have mid-life crisis as well. That’s when those types go out with their balding heads to buy the BMW Zs and Maseratis, to drive with the top down.

      IF you cannot imagine a lifelong existence doing all that … then yes, get out now. Spare yourself and him the agony when it’s still amicable, and before kids come into the picture.

  14. I come to this site daily but don’t post a lot. I’ve been married twice. First time I was a teenager and was a very book smart and had no street smarts at all and met the cool bad boy. Had a son and tried to mold him but of course that didn’t work. He became very abusive-verbally and physically. After 2 years, I had to leave – he was controlling, stalker, lazy, had no job, gambler, and drinker but my inlaws really love me, they were hoping I would be the girl to change him.
    After I left I dated several guys. I learned more about myself after dating these guys and meeting their families. Some would have been the mother in law from hell and other guys would be the cheaters. I grew stronger and more independent each time I broke up with them.
    My current husband, we’ve been married for 10 years but knew each other for 14. He is the quiet type, won’t talk unless it’s on a subject he likes such as cars, houses and clothes (he’s a meterosexual – loves brand names and always dress really nice). He knows how to fix cars, a very good handyman around the house, and loves our kids and my first son. We are the type to keep our problems just between us instead of letting the whole world know. Men are full of pride and to let everyone know that you were pissed off cause he didn’t fix the sink, etc will make him look lazy/stupid to his friends and family but it also show people that his wife is a ‘b….’. You have to learn to show ppl that the things he does is because he loves you and not because he is ‘p….-whipped’. Guys do want to be able to stay manly in front of ppl and to also ‘show off their wife’. If something bothers me, I find a way to nicely explain it instead of just blowing up right away since he might not know that bothered me in the first place and he doesn’t have control over what his family/friends do. We also understand each others family’s personalities. His father is like my mom – they are ‘always right’. When I talk about one of his family member I make sure it doesn’t make him go on the defensive but compare them to one of my family members and joke about it. But we are lucky too that our inlaws and siblings all get along.
    If people are scare to tell their spouse the smallest things that are bothering them, how can they talk about the bigger issues. Your spouse is supposed to be there for the long haul, each person should have a separate set of friends and interests, learn about their interests to discuss but don’t have to enjoy. I love watching horrors and him action, we rotate movie schedules. But you got to listen to his complaints too, don’t defend and make excuses. If something is bothering him, are you willing to change it or do less of it. If you said you will change then you have to change, if not let him know, saying I’ve always done that, I can’t change it easily.
    Tell him jokes you heard or read and don’t nag all the time, if he is the type to leave his socks on the floor and toilet seat up then pick up his socks and put the seat down before you uses it, it’s not the end of the world if he does that – I rather those faults then him cheating, drinking, gambling, or hitting me.
    If something really bothers you, shed some tears but not the outright snotty nasty kind to know it does hurt you but to show him you are trying to be strong but it’s gotten to the point that you can’t take it anymore. My husband knew why I left my exs and I made sure he knew that I was not the type to give people numerous chances and be walked all over.
    Be exciting and unpredictable. If he likes to do something, buy tickets to the game or tell him, hey next weekend I want to spend time with my sisters/friends, why don’t you plan some fishing trip with the guys, etc.
    Save some money on the side for emergencies if you can. Instead of putting $100 into your kids savings, put $200, can leave the extra $100 for your kids or use if for car emergencies or bills. My husband works hard to earn his money to pay for the mortgage and bills so if I want to buy that nice purse, I actually worked overtime or get a temp second job to buy the brand name clothes and purses that I liked, that way he can’t get mad if I spend money or feel more pressure to support the family.
    I think it is real important to not marry too quickly. You need to understand each others faults and personality. If they love gaming/fishing now, they will still love it after having kids. Don’t compare your spouse with someone else spouse – remember we would hate it when our parents compared us to someone else’s wonderful smart child. Don’t control your husband’s schedule but be aware of patterns and changes. Don’t make him check in all the time like he’s a criminal. If you suspect him cheating, think before you confront if you have enough proof, are you going to give him a second chance, are you going to leave or going to believe everything he tells you.
    If you don’t want to live together before marriage, at least go to his place and you can tell if he is the messy or neat type. Can you live with that. When everyone starts dating you try to show your best side, it will take some time to be ‘comfortable’ and then your real flaws/faults will show. Can you accept his? Don’t marry because people say you two match and don’t want to disappoint your parents, etc. And don’t marry because all your friends are married.
    Do not turn into a lazy slob, you can dress in pjs once in a while but not everyday. Don’t need to put on makeup daily but keep a nice complexion and hair. I’m almost 40, average height and built but everyday I still get complements from strangers. I help out at my aunt’s restaurant on weekends and ppl always ask if I was still in high school or college. Boys in their 20s still hit on me. People think my oldest son is my brother. My friends at work all thought I was in my 20s and were surprised to find out I was twice their age. Of course I let my husband know that ppl think his wife is still young and attractive. I still get carded when I go to the casinos or order drinks.
    Communication, remembering why you love them in the first place, knowing all couples do fight, only a person can change themselves, and what would you do if something bad happened to your spouse are things ppl should remember in a relationship whether dating or married.

    1. thuy,
      Thanks for sharing your story of finding love again. It’s a bittersweet story, but certainly made you wiser in understanding what are the priorities in a marriage. You sound like you have a good marriage with mutual respect and deep understanding of each other, in which your perspective and life experiences have greatly added to it.

      I’m glad you shared your experiences, which will inspire readers who may be having relationship difficulties.

  15. After reading all these comments, all I can say is “WOW”. It is incredible that this website can bring together a myriad of people from all around the world; in similar and different walks of life, TOGETHER.

    It’s nice to see everyone sharing parts of their lives with each other; and pointers on how to improve etc 🙂

    For me, I was born in HK; raised in Australia, graduated early and since then have been quite career-oriented. I suppose I live a fast life; enjoy fine wine & dining; novelties; driving fast cars.

    I enjoy surgery, cutting, sectioning and suturing.

    As for relationships, I’ve met a lot of guys, none of which have been right for me yet…. Though in all honesty after reading all the effort you gals seem to put into your families (fabulous btw); it somewhat scares me lol – i don’t think i would be very good ‘wife’ material!!! 😛

    1. Dr. M,
      How do I convince these jackturd doctors that I have the dengue virus in my blood? If I go back for a second blood test do you think they can identify it through platelet count or should I bite the bullet and go see a private doctor?

      1. Hi dd, why do you believe you have contracted the dengue fever? Where have you been location-wise recently/now?
        Symptom-wise, what makes you feel you have dengue as opposed to any other virus?
        The reason I ask is that the dengue diagnosis is mainly based on your recent history, your clinical symptoms and often, exclusion of other possible viruses.

        In the early stages of this virus, it is almost impossible to say for certain via a ‘simple’ blood test (like a FBC); especially if most acute diseases or infections would cause a similar reduction in WBC count.
        If you REALLY wanted to know what ‘virus’ you have, you can always ask for a microbiological lab test! That would tell you pretty certainly for sure 🙂

        In regards to platelet count – no definitive ID thru this.

        Because dengue can be uncomplicated in many cases; it usually resolves after 1-2 weeks of symptoms – and most patients don’t follow up on it.
        It’s only in small number of cases where this RNA virus becomes severe especially vulnerable candidates; showing certain classic symptoms (e.g. pleural effusions, bad stomach/gut pains, bleeding from mucosa etc on top of severe viral signs) – in these cases, the patients are hospitalized. Usually IV fluids and monitoring.

        Btw – did your dr at least do a tourniquet test to rule out dengue? (I.e. place a BP cuff on you and count spots if any that appear?)

        I do hope you get better soon dd – any virus is horrible to get through!

      2. I’m pretty certain the lab didn’t check for dengue, only my vitals like blood cell count, glucose, BP, etc.

        I should be safe from hemorrhaging dengue, I’d know if I have that.

        Right now I’m just getting rest and hydrating myself thoroughly. Dengue is bullsh*t and mosquitoes can go fk themselves. Doc prescribed some Merislon (medication from Menieres-induced vertigo ) and I’m just taking them to get my head straight.

      3. It’s unfortunate with viruses that all we can do is ensure hydration/balance of electrolytes and rest.

        Taking Serc as well… poor thing… so balance/dizzy as well as everything else…

        Keep monitoring your vitals. If you’ve been vomiting etc, you might want to get some gastrolyte into your system soon; help balance your electrolytes out etc.

        Take care!

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