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Overcoming Addictions

“Dear Kloudiia,

The reason I am writing you is because I am newly married (almost 6 months).  We have been together for five years and I have had a drinking problem and video game addiction that I am currently working to fix.

My wife has never really sat me down and told me about these problems and so I never knew they existed until they blew up and now we are living separately and she tells me she doesn’t know if she feels the same anymore and it may be too late for me to fix things.

I love her with all my heart but she tells me that she has never felt like my main priority.  I am trying everything I can to fix things but right now she says she still loves me and always will but doesn’t think we should be together right now.

The only thing that scares me is that she may have given up on our relationship or is putting up some kind of wall.  I would do anything in my power to fix this relationship but I feel like she is so distant and hurt I may not get that chance.

I would do anything to salvage my relationship and am taking my road to sobriety day by day but it is a very hard thing to do right now.

She has been my shining light for the last five years and right now I am just scared.” - P

Dear P

I’m really sorry to hear that things are not going well for you and your wife in your new marriage.

Well, I really wouldn’t know the real reason behind your wife’s current behaviour, and why she would only tell you now how much your drinking and gaming addiction has been such a problem to her for all these years. One reason that I could possibly think of is, she may be hoping that marriage will change you. But when she realises that it doesn’t, and you’re still addicted, that’s when she feels it’s time for her to do something about it. But like I said, this is just a wild guess, so I could be wrong.

I know how hard it must be for you to work on this issue without your wife by your side, but I suppose this could be the real test for you and your marriage. If you could show her, through real action and results, how much she means to you and at what extent you’re willing to get out of your comfort zone and overcome your fears and addiction just to have her back, probably she will believe your sincerity through your sheer perseverance.  Keep her updated on your progress, but don’t put the pressure on her to come back home. She will when she’s ready.

In the meantime while you’re working on this, I would strongly suggest the both of you to seek professional counselling. There, she may feel safe to tell you what her real thoughts are, and why didn’t she sit you down early on in your relationship and address these issues.

However, if for whatever reasons she may refuse to attend the counselling with you, it would be of great help if you were to go for it yourself. The counsellor will help in sorting out some emotional issues that may crop up during this time as you’re working on getting rid of your addiction.

Last but not least, regardless of the outcome, please hang on there and resolve your drinking and gaming addiction. You are doing something marvellous for yourself. When you’ve succeeded, this could just be the best gift you could offer to yourself and your loved ones.

All the best P.

Love, Kloudiia

 

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Singing The Same Tune of Love, Or Not?

“Hi Kloudiia,

I have a question about relationships. I guess this would go in your love coaching blog?

I’m in love with my friend and colleague. We are both musicians who work together a lot. We’ve known each other for a year. As I grew to know him I fell for him: similar personality, he is flirty, cheeky, we have a passion for music, a sensitive loving person, I have fun around him.

I told him a few months ago about how I feel. Since then he started having lustful thoughts about me even though he said that he doesn’t feel the same way, i.e. ‘in love’. The sexual tension grew and recently we slept together. We both know it was a mistake. He said he tried to ‘feel’ something for me by doing that but it didn’t work.

He thinks I’m a beautiful person inside, hot, pretty, that I am a good friend and understand him better than most, but he doesn’t feel the same way. He says there are things he doesn’t like about me: e.g. I go to church and he doesn’t want to be with a girl who goes to church even though he is a Christian too; also that he thinks we are too similar in personality and it would prove to be an issue; my age is another thing – he’s 6 years younger; also I’m Asian and he’s Caucasian – he generally doesn’t get attracted to Asian girls. He loves me as a friend though. Our friendship means a lot to me.

Do you think there is potential for him to grow to love me the same way I do? I don’t understand how we can be both physically attracted, emotionally compatible … and yet he doesn’t feel the same way? He is 6 years younger than me (he’s 30) and he sees it as an issue. I don’t see why. And he’s never had a girlfriend because he has been inexperienced and hasn’t found the right one. Does this hold any clues for you?

Is there hope for us? I’m so sad and desperate about this that I’m nearly willing to change the things he doesn’t like about me just to be with him. I know it’s wrong but that’s how heartbroken I am.

Thanks so much Kloudiia!” - L

Dear L

Yes, this will come into my love coaching blog, as you are reading right now!

Well, being out of the picture, I can be both clear and unclear at the same time. It does sound to me that this man is telling himself, and you, all the reasons why he doesn’t love you. It sounds like a check list to me, do you feel the same way too? I’m not sure if this is, in fact, a telling sign, but somehow I get the feeling that the more a person wants to reason his/her way out of a relationship, the more it shows how hard his/her head is working to conquer the heart?

Please don’t allow yourself to raise any more hopes–that you’re already secretly harbouring and breeding in your heart now–by my words. As I’ve said, I could not have been more wrong.

What I do know, and am sure however, is there’s probably still lots of room for both of you to develop in this friendship. He has certain beliefs about his religion. Why would a Christian dislike fellow church-going brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you know the reason? Knowing this may help to shed some light into his background, which all comes into play in shaping him into who he is right now. Or it may not.  (Side note: in my personal opinion, I’d encourage you to continue going to church. Don’t be surprised that God may actually give you an answer when no one else could, including yourself, even though it doesn’t sound like the right reason to attend church! For me, it always warms my heart to know how much God loves me, and His love gives me strength to carry whatever burdens that I have on my shoulder. I believe this is so for you too.)

A man of 30 years old who hasn’t been in any relationship before does seem to know very well what kind of girl he wants to have. In fact, it sounds like he knows it too well. The fact is, a checklist is but, a checklist. A real relationship is a bond between two real people: flesh and blood, tears and laughter, anger and anxiety; and you only know if you care and love for this person after you’ve spent time together.

Well, if it helps at all, maybe you can let him know this:  if he’s waiting for that perfect girl out there, he’s in for a big disappointment. No one is perfect, but we can love each other as perfectly as we strive to be, in the midst of all the imperfections.

As for the issue of compatibility–one of my favourite subjects to speak on–it does make things much easier when two people are similar in terms of their character, personality, values and lifestyle. However, as with all things, nothing is good without its bad. When two people are so similar, they tend to be a mirror of each other. So you’ll see your faults, perhaps magnified (since we tend to love and excuse ourselves more than others), as much as you’ll see your merits in that person. Your strengths could be multiplied, but your weaknesses couldn’t be complemented. So there’s really no hard and fast rule when it comes to this. However, do pay more attention to each other’s values. If they are too diverse and irreconcilable, you may like to consider hard.

Lastly, I’m really glad to read that you still know where the limits are, even though the lines seem to be blurring now. Yes, please do not turn yourself into a person you’re not. If this person cannot love and accept you as who you are, then this relationship isn’t built on what is true. And you know as well as I do that anything that isn’t built on a real foundation (truth, not false pretenses) is just something that’s hanging in the air. One strike and all’s out.

Perhaps a short getaway might help to breathe some fresh air into your mind and heart?

Take this as a journey, and treat it as a learning experience. You know, not all of us have such an opportunity to go through such a stage, so, be gentle with yourself.

God bless you.

Love, Kloudiia

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Too Short To Be True?

“Kloudiia,

We are in a relationship for 4 months and everything was perfect. My boyfriend was behaving weirdly since couple of days and when I asked him he said I’m over reacting and there’s nothing like that. And finally a day came and he said that he don’t feel the same for me like he did before. When I met him and asked him the reason for this, he didn’t say anything and now he has blocked me on Facebook.

Please tell me what can I do? I want him back :( …” - A

Dear A

I’m sorry to hear that your relationship hasn’t lasted as long as you wished for.

A relationship takes two to tango; so if one person has left, regardless how much you want to stay in the dance floor, I’m afraid you know as well as I do that this is quite impossible. And it does seem that your partner is quite adamant on leaving, since he has refused to give you other reasons and even blocked you on Facebook.

How much more would you like to invest your love on a person whose heart is, pretty obviously, no longer with you? You probably are already aware too, since you could feel his weird behaviour before he mentioned the break up. I urge you to now be as honest as you could be with yourself, and acknowledge the truth that you, I strongly suspect, already knew deep in your heart.

You can do a million things more to try to win him back, which risk you hurting yourself further and don’t guarantee his return; or you can do just one thing to free yourself of this trap: recognise the truth, accept it, thank it and let go. Well, sounds like more than one thing, but it really means one thing only: love yourself.

Wishing you all the best, A. Believe that you will meet someone who is more suitable for you, and you surely will.

Love, Kloudiia

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Approaching Her

“Dear Kloudiia,

I have this question which has been troubling me for some time. I am not a frequent visitor of malls, restaurants, clubs etc. and my work life prevents me from doing so.

I would like some tips and advice from you with respect to a more formal setting.

How do I meet/approach a woman in a formal setting. For example, in an academic environment such as a conference or meeting, I come across a good-looking female researcher or professor, how do I initiate conversation  with her? Assuming we don’t have any common research interests and our fields of specialization are poles apart, how do I still find the pretext of approaching and talking to her informally, say over a cup of coffee? The person in question may not be a Singaporean but is an ethnic Chinese. And the question is asked in Singaporean context.

Thanks and Regards,

A”

Dear A

Why, am I thrilled to receive such an email!

Well, approaching a woman in a formal setting requires nothing more than that dose of boldness. Yes, don’t allow yourself any time to think of the how, but just do it. Go up to her and say hi. The fact that both of you are in the same working environment already provide an excellent point to start your ball rolling. Even if you’re in different fields of specialisation, I’m sure there’s still much to talk about, like the challenges you faced when conducting a specific research, or the dozens of coffee you had to drink to keep you awake while analysing all the facts and figures, or some out-of-the-blue memorable remarks made by a weird student, or… well, you know better than I in what goes into that long process of getting to where you are now.

Putting the profession aside, I’m sure there’re also many things to explore about each other in terms of your life, like your interests, pets, travel horror and humour stories etc.

When you’ve broken the ice, it’s easier to follow up with a cuppa after the conference.

Most importantly, enjoy yourself. Yes, relax and tell yourself that you’re just making a new friend.

All the best A!

Love, Kloudiia

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10 Month Mark

“Hi Kloudiia,

I am actually from Brunei and I once had a friend buy your book for me before.

My girlfriend of 10 months, F, recently broke up with me, after a long fight where we both said hurtful things to each other. 

Over the course of 10 months, we have always gotten into arguments, where she always claims to be unhappy with certain things I did, where I honestly thought were very trivial. However for the better of our relationship, I promised I would be mindful and not repeat them again. That part of the agreement I kept to.

However, as of yesterday, she is now claiming she is very insecure with me, when I did not know what it was that I did wrong. I tried to talk to her saying that I have been doing the best I can for her, I put her first, along with her family second in everything I do. I made sure that her well being was first on my mind.

Of course, needless to say, after hearing countless times of her saying it was very hard for her to be with me and she is always unhappy, I lost my temper, shouted and said very hurtful things – selfish, childish, unreasonable, etc.

A part of me am really glad its all over, however, the other half said I should never give up, as true love is worth fighting for. It was all the more a slap in the face for me when she said she wanted a last hug from me when she initiated a breakup.

I am now at a crossroads of what I should do. I even approached her sister for help, knowing that I should not. It is only 10 months, but I’ve put in my all for her, I told her my plans for the future, I did everything that a guy should to be responsible and caring to his partner and her family. But it wasn’t enough to move her. I hope you could advise me on how I should take my next step, as, with my previous relationship, I broke up because I didn’t do enough, but with this one, I tried doing all I can and still ended up like this.” - S

Dear S

After hearing you, it sounds like you’re totally clueless, which brings me to ask you this: How well do you know your girlfriend?

10 months isn’t a long time, certainly not long enough to know a person well, but should be adequate to know what her likes and dislikes are. What is trivial to you may not be to her, or she wouldn’t bother telling you. How did you react each time she expressed her feelings? Did you jump to your own defense immediately, or did you really, truly listen and reflect?

Now, what she doesn’t like may not mean you have to change. It’s about communication. Both parties have to learn to know the true self of each other, and to accept their partner as who he/she is. Merely giving in all the time doesn’t make the relationship healthy and fulfilling, and you know as well as I do that such tolerance doesn’t help in knowing each other better, nor does it make any progress in your relationship.

You mentioned she is always unhappy. Now, that’s quite serious. Did she tell you exactly why she felt insecure, unhappy and difficult to be with you? Unless you’re clear on these, there’s nothing you can do. Did she feel this way because of what you did or didn’t do, or could it be feelings stemming from her own emotional issues in the past which she didn’t recognise?

Again, from what you’ve written, I have the impression that you’re very focused on what you’ve done for her, and what you’ve “sacrificed” for this relationship. Were you doing all these because you wanted to do the right things for the sake of doing the right things, or as a way of making up for what you failed to do in your past relationship, or were you loving her because you loved her?

You also seem to have many equations, like what a guy should do, like you shouldn’t approach her sister etc. Do you live your life in this manner too, with all the rules and shoulds and should-nots? What about your emotions? What does your heart say about all these? I may be wrong, so please pardon me if I am.

Instead of  telling her you’ve done the best, and doing the best for her, why not just listen to her. Just listen, period. Feel her heart. I’m not sure if this will help you to win her back, but truly listening to someone will always help you to know this person better. And trust me, it will help to make the relationship better. It works. Always.

All the best to you S.

Love, Kloudiia.

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Office Romance Confusion

“Dear Kloudiia 

I crush on my colleague, we seldom speak much but he always say hi every time we meet. One day I accidentally heard people talking about him, I became so concerned and keep listening to what they talking about. It looks like he likes a girl but not sure that she likes him back, people guessing that the girl likes another colleague, I keep trying to listen to know who is the girl until they mention my name, at that time I really don’t know what to do, I’m basically a shy girl and I’m quite new there. I’m scared to share with other colleague. Until the people are aware that I know, and they said I look scared when he’s around, they keep guessing that may be I like another colleague instead of him. But then something happen, one day he brought a new born baby and people said it is his baby. I become more confuse and don’t understand, but then I feel people start to see how my reaction when he brought a baby and questioning how come I didn’t look shock. I then decided to ask him to clarify what I heard, it shock me when he said he is married and just have a baby. But then again I heard people questioning the same thing, make me think that he lied about it. I thought may be because he’s afraid I don’t have the same feeling with him, I then confess how I feel to him, he looks very happy, but he still say that he is married. I asked him a few times, and he answered me the same also. One day I know that he lied and is still single. I’m really confuse and can’t understand why he did that, from what I heard from the people he seems to care about me, but when I ask him, he looks very cold. All my friends said that he only make fun of me, but I know he is a good person, he won’t do such thing. Now it’s really bothering me a lot, because they keep talking about this matter make me stress, they dislike me because I don’t want to look at him. I’m afraid it would affect my work also. I’m really confuse and don’t know what to do, should I share with my colleague about this?

Thanks in advance.” - S

Dear S

No wonder you are so confused! I’m not sure why your colleagues chose to gossip about you and that male colleague, however what I’m sure is you are certainly making assumptions about all these bits and pieces of conversation that you’ve heard. And this is where the crux of the issue lies.

How well do you know this male colleague? Until now, it doesn’t look like you’re even sure of his marital status, and he seems to be playing a mystery game with you. Perhaps he has helped you in your work, and you consider him as a good man. However, when it comes to a pure colleague versus a romantic relationship, there’s still a thick line drawn in between, Could you have blurred this line?

If someone really likes you and cares for you, they will not play such games with you.

I would suggest that you stop listening to all these gossips with no basis of truth, nor sincerity as far as I can tell. If you really need to hear it from the horse’s mouth in order to clear up all these doubts and confusion, and move on, then speak directly to this male colleague, and ask that he be honest with you, as you are with him.

Gossip has always been dangerous, and when you are piecing those bits together, it’s still an incomplete picture, and more often than not, holds little truth. Taking these bits of gossip seriously and turning them into facts only feeds your sense of illusion and enlarges your fantasy.

Hope this helps, and wishing that you will let go of this confusing episode and move on in your life.

Love, Kloudiia.

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A Mentally Stressed Relationship

“Kloudiia

I am deeply confused. I have been with the man on and off for a year and he has PDSD. His mind is here and there so I decided to leave. I allowed sometime to pass and started seeing my good friend of three years who does honestly love me. I just cannot get over my ex and he too cannot get over me. I’m undecided what to do now and confused..HELP!” - D

Dear D

Do you mean PTSD instead? Or do you mean Prolonged Duress Stress Disorder? I googled and saw this acronym, not very sure which one you’re referring to.

Nevertheless, it sounds like a practical issue that you and this man are facing. If he’s suffering from a mental disorder, he should be under treatment. Is he?

Is his mental condition the reason that made you leave in the first place? So, is this issue resolved, or is it on the way to resolving?

I think unless you get through this, otherwise you’ll be in this loop even if you got back with him, do you agree?

I’m sure you and your ex share many sweet memories. Maybe you’d like to join him in his treatment sessions and bring up whatever concerns that you and him had faced when you were together?

Have you thought of joining any support group where they have partners who have similar mental conditions? How do they cope?

Well, if you and your ex love each other, then these issues may be worked out because they’re all practical ones. At the same time, these issues will certainly affect your relationship if not handled well, and if you’re not prepared–mentally, emotionally and physically–to ride it through with him.

As for your good friend, regardless of your ex, how do you feel towards him? What traits or qualities drew you close to him? Or was it purely a love on the rebound situation?

I hope these questions help you to know what you really want for yourself and your relationship, and how to handle those challenges.

I wish you well….

Love, Kloudiia

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The Legally-Married Single Man

“Hi Kloudiia,

I know this guy online for months before I develop feelings for him. He is a nice guy and I know that he is single and we msn and chat almost every day on the phone. Things progress and we got into a relationship and his work is quite busy but still fork out time to meet 1-2 times a week.

We were together for 1 month plus & all the while I know that he do not play Facebook. So my friend logged in from her profile and went to see my guy’s profile and saw that he actually ROM already with another girl. It was devastating for me and when I confronted him, he said he did not lie anything. He said he ROM and not even customary wedding yet. He proceed to tell me that he and the wife got together a few months and ROM less than 1 yr together, he regret not thinking carefully before settling down. He dunno what to do now and only take a step each day as he do not know how to end things with the wife. I feel bad becoming a 3rd party unknowingly and he said that I do not need to feel bad as we are willingly in love. I wanted to leave him yet my feelings for him get deeper over the months, but he still won’t let go I’m not sure what should I do?” -  L

Dear L

Your heart must be tearing apart now, torn between reason and emotion. Your mind tells you that you shouldn’t continue this relationship anymore, which is why you emailed me for advice. Yet your heart is probably hoping that maybe, just maybe, there might be an iota of hope.

Well, there is hope. But, not until he settles everything with his wife. Like it or not, customary wedding or not, they are legally wed. A wedding is an event. A marriage is the act of entering into the legal constitution, and that, was what he did when he ROM with his wife.

Objectively speaking, I would like to question this man’s integrity and honesty. Why would he still insist that he didn’t lie to you by claiming he was single, when in fact, he was already legally married to another woman? Plus, if it is in his opinion that ROM doesn’t mean a single thing, then this also goes to show his level of maturity. Are you sure this is the kind of man you can give your whole heart and soul to?

You’re right when you said that you have unknowingly become the third party, although we both know you did it without any knowledge. But now that you know the truth, then you cannot deny any responsibility if you choose to continue this relationship with him. I’m sorry to point this out, but he is–in the eyes of the law–having an extra-marital affair. His wife has the legal rights to go after him because of this, and you cannot avoid not being dragged into this tassel. I’m not saying this will certainly happen, but just to let you know that in the event it does, you cannot run away from it if you’re still part of this whole equation.

I’m sure he has many other qualities that make your heart flutter and melt. It’s just that at this point in time, he’s not available, in any and every sense of the word.

It takes courage to make any decision for you at this point. To continue, you need courage. To end, you also need courage. I pray that you’ll find this strength in your heart to do what is right and appropriate for you.

All the best L.

Love, Kloudiia

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Build A Love Habit

Dear friends and readers of LuvLifeCoach.com, Happy New Year! May 2011 bring you lots of reasons to cheer, love and be loved.

On this first day of a brand new year, why not start to do something new that will bring more cheers to your relationship?

I suggest you can kick start a brand new love habit.

Do you say ‘I love you’ to your partner daily? If not, maybe today is the day that you can begin. Many people have the wrong impression that when these three words are said too much, it loses it’s appeal. Well, let me tell you–it doesn’t. In fact, a daily dose of ‘I love you’ enforces that loving and romantic feeling, and it brings a couple closer. If our bodies need fresh food daily to let our organs run smoothly and function, guess what our emotions need?

If you have been doing that already,well, create another act of showing your devotion to your partner. What is it your partner would love to see or hear, or both, from you? If you don’t know, the best way is to ask. I’m sure they’ll be able to give you some options as a great starter kit.

An act of love doesn’t come naturally for most people. When you start doing it, it’ll feel very, very awkward. But it’s okay! You’re taking out the first step, and that’s what really matters, isn’t it? If you are the recipient, then help your partner out by letting them know how it feels that they did that for you. Being told that you’re making your partner feel loved is the best form of encouragement.

As you do it day by day, it will eventually become a ritual, and hence it forms a habit. When it becomes a habit, it becomes one of the materials that form the pillar of strength for your marriage.

So what can this be? It can be spoken, or physical, or both. Whatever it is, it has to be acted upon. An action, something that can be heard or felt by your partner. A thought doesn’t count.

And guess what? You can also create a code, an alternative action that shows that you still care for your partner even when you’re upset with him/her. Yes, this is for emergency use. When you are having an argument, it can be very tough to still say I love you, or to give your partner a kiss. So, during this time, what else can you do to show that you still love and care? Maybe making a cup of coffee, playing a certain piece of music or song, or getting flowers? Anything, it’s up to you and your partner’s preference. But it has to be mutually understood, so that when you see that behaviour being displayed, you know that yes, you are both in argument, but you’re still lovingly tied together in union.

Start creating a beautiful relationship with your loved one today. Not tomorrow, but today. Have lots of fun doing it, for both of you.

Remember, it has to be an action. An act, said or done, or both.

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Money and Relationships

Money is a very sensitive issue, do you agree?

Court cases of family members tearing their kinship apart because of the dollars and cents make one cringe. We wonder if they have lost their senses. However, much as we sigh, they are as real as they can be.

How then can we prevent issues involving money from hurting our relationships with our romantic partners, family members and friends?

Here are some tips that anyone can use to prevent conflicts from arising between you and your loved one. For easy illustration, I’ll use partner to refer to you and that significant other, who could be your spouse, romantic partner, a close friend, business partner or a family member.

1. Beliefs and Values
Understanding your partner’s belief and value toward money, especially on the area of expenditure will give you clarity over the reasons behind their action and decision on money-related matters.

For example, while you may have no qualm about taking cabs, your partner may feel that he/she would rather use that money to have a better meal or to get that pair of shoe.

What’s your stand toward cash vs credit spending? What is the minimum security level for both of you?

2. Skills
Who is the better person to manage the finances? Recognising your strengths and weaknesses go a long way to set the boundary and assign responsibility. Many people are unwilling to let go of the control over their finances for fear that their partners will do a worse job than them. However, chances are if your partner has a better sense over numbers, then you could save your time and frustration by delegating this task to them.

After identify the better person to manage finance, develop the skills necessary for good money management. If none of you posess such skills, either take up a course, read a book or hire a professional (see Tip 4 below).

3. Communication
There’s a Chinese saying that goes “talking about money hurts relations”. In a way, it is true. However, when the circumstance requires you to talk about money and you choose to avoid it, the repercussions could be graver than if you were to just openly tell your partner how you feel towards his/her spending/saving habit and behaviour.

For dating couples who are planning to get married, it is imperative that you have to talk about money. Go through your beliefs, values and concepts toward money you have. It’ll be good to explain to your partner why you see money in that manner so that both of you understand the reasons that contribute to your existing behaviour and mindset.

Knowing the way makes it much easier to come up with a how that both of you are satisfied and happy with.

4. Engage a professional
What happens if none of you are adept at doing budgets and planning finances? Fret not for there are many professional financial planners (real qualified ones, not insurance agents!) who are glad to offer their services for a fee.

If you’re worried that they may not have a vested interest in your personal affairs, you don’t have to. These professionals have their reputation to take care of, so it would be in their best interest to help you have a sound and healthy financial status. You are their best walking advertisement. Alternatively, you can peg their fees at a percentage of how much they have helped you to save/earn over a designated period. That is to say, make it a performance-based compensation plan.

Another merit of hiring a professional is you lower the chances of quarelling as both of you hear the views coming from an independent third party.

5. Take an interest
Do not be surprised to know that there are people in this world who is not interested to look at figures. It gives them a headache to look at the balance sheets and they would rather choose not to know about them.

But you know as well as I do how dangerous that can be. Ignorance of your financial situation is definitely not bliss. Therefore, do whatever it takes to make yourself take an interest in taking control. You don’t have to do the nitty gritty stuff (See Tip 4) but you have to be in the know as you are ultimately the one making the decisions.

If you don’t control your money, then others will. And these are the people who will help you to spend your moola, not grow it.

6. Learning to say no
Do you know of some people who doesn’t know how to say no to people who wants to borrow money from them? Even when their own kitty is on the borderline of reaching the dangerous “cash tight” zone, they still can’t bring themselves to say no?

I’m not encouraging people to reject friends who are in need of financial help, but you have to remember that it has to be within your means. The best way to know is ask yourself this question: “If you’re not getting back this sum of money, how will it affect your financial situation?”

If your answer to that question is it’ll not affect in a very long time to come, then why not help your friend tide through that crisis? But if you answer is it’ll probably bring you trouble if the money doesn’t come in within the short term, then you need to reconsider the urge to say yes. Help your partner see this concept. If the person is you, then tell your partner about it and ask him/her to remind you when such things happen again.

It takes courage to be able to speak your mind about money to someone close to you. This is more so due to the upbringing and culture in Asia where we are generally afraid to speak out for fear of rocking the boat.

There is a consequence to every action or inaction. The next time you see the need to communicate over money and you are fretting over whether you should or not, then ask yourself if you’re willing and prepared to face the consequence of keeping mum. Chances are, you may be able to find that hot button and find a good enough reason to either do it or not do it, and still be at peace and happy with whatever that comes with your decision.

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