Couple Relationship, COVID-19

COVID- 19 Week 10 (5/18 to 5/22) Journal

week 10It’s hard to believe that we are in week 10 of stay-at-home and social distancing order. The important news this week is the business opening up in phase 1. There are a lot of conflicts happening in the news report. One of the gym owners opened up the gym despite getting the fine. Many people go to his gym, and he claims that he has members behind him to support him.

The weather is also becoming nicer. I know it’s hard for people to stay at home now that the weather is more beautiful. I also know that many small businesses need to open their store for survival. I know that many people are already experiencing quarantine fatigue that they need to get out of the houses. Continue reading “COVID- 19 Week 10 (5/18 to 5/22) Journal”

Couple Relationship

Surviving Holiday Stress with In-Laws (II)

woman and man sitting on brown wooden bench
Photo by Vera Arsic on

No matter it’s Chinese, American, or Hispanics, etc.. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the partner by marriage saying: “You made me feel like an outsider;” while the partner who is biologically related to the extended family saying: “I am stuck in the middle between my spouse/partner and my parents.”


So, how do you unstuck from this situation? The key is to make your relationship and your spousal relationship as a priority and see your partner’s feelings is yours no matter you agree with him/her.

(The Part I of Surviving the Holiday In-Law Stress is here.)

Continue reading “Surviving Holiday Stress with In-Laws (II)”

Couple Relationship

Surviving Holiday Stress with In-Laws (I)

candle celebration christmas christmas decoration
Photo by Pixabay on

I grew up in a big Taiwanese family. My dad has four siblings and my mom has five siblings. I often joked with my friends that the craziness of my family drama trains me to be a good couple’s therapist. Taiwanese is the culture with traditions during holidays. Holidays are the time when all the in-law issues played out. I often saw the fights between my parents because of the in-law dramas.

Continue reading “Surviving Holiday Stress with In-Laws (I)”

Couple Relationship

[Couple Relationship] How much do I give to my relationship?

50%How many percentages do you think your responsibilities are in the marriage?

I have heard many people said that marriage is 50-50. That is, I put in the 50%, and you put in 50%, and they combined to be 100%.

Do you agree? Why? Continue reading “[Couple Relationship] How much do I give to my relationship?”

Couple Relationship

How Do You Give Love?

heart shaped pink and purple flower garden
Photo by shahbaz Akram on

According to Dr. Gary Chapman, there are five different love languages, words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of services, and physical touch.

The person whose love language is “words of affirmation” knows how to compliment others with words. He/she uses words to show the love to his/her partner.

When your love language is “quality time,” you enjoy sharing common interests and doing things that connected the two of you.

When your love language is “receiving gifts,” the token that symbolizes the love and special occasion are essential.

The person whose love language is “acts of services” shows love by acting on it. They do everything for their partner, and they do it for the love of their partner.

When your love language is “physical touch,” you use a hug, a kiss, and touch to feel and to show your partner your presence, care, and love.

One of the languages might be the strongest, and there might be a couple of them are equally strong. You can take the test to determine your love language.

So, what happens when the partners have a different love language?

Continue reading “How Do You Give Love?”

Couple Relationship

How Do You Ask for Support

two person holding hands while sitting on grey cushion
Photo by on

The idea of this post started with an innocent conversation with a friend on Facebook. My friend lives in a tiny apartment in a big city. He posted something on Facebook like this: “Why would anyone fry fish at midnight?”

I responded with: “maybe your neighbor is hungry?” 

The messages exchange on his facebook wall went on for 5-6 times when I realized that his original post was not a question but a complaint. 

I burst into a big laugh as I experience this scene in my couples’ counseling session. Continue reading “How Do You Ask for Support”

Couple Relationship

Change is Harder for the Couples — How Do We Change it?


If we enter the intimate relationships to be accepted as who we are as a person, to feel loved, worthy, and valued, and to see our partners as a whole, and the majority of the mistakes in the relationship are made unintentionally, what do we do when we stuck in the relationship?

The answer is: holding space for each other. The fact is that we are all different. No matter how similar you are as a couple, you still have your differences. No matter which family life cycle stages they are in, communication is the key to resolve the disputes.

Knowing that we all walk into the marriage hoping to be accepted and loved the way we are,  knowing that how we respond to our partners is how they assess their value and self-worth in the relationship, and knowing that I don’t do anything intentionally to hurt my partner and my partner is hurt because of the way I think, I experiences, and my values, now what?

How? Here are some takeaway points: Continue reading “Change is Harder for the Couples — How Do We Change it?”

Couple Relationship

Change is Harder for the Couples— Why?


couple change 1

The process of change is uneasy for one person and even more complicated for a couple.

Why is change much more complicated for the couples? Try to think about those reasons that make it hard for everyone one of us to change first. Now, add in two people who go through the same struggle. Finally, add in the following reasons.

Continue reading “Change is Harder for the Couples— Why?”

Cedar Cove, Couple Relationship

Family Life Cycle and Couple Relationship: What Does Cedar Cove Teach Us (Part 4)

family with adolescent
Just a friendly reminder that you might want to read these articles before you started reading this entry.

Family Life Cycle Theory (Reuben Hill, 1949): Stage 4: Families with adolescents
Once the children enter the adolescence stage, the family begins into another phase in the family life cycle. During this stage, depending on the age differences between the children, some of the children might still be at the young child stage while some children enter the adolescent phase. The parents need to adjust to the needs for freedom and independence of the teenagers while having a tighter leash on the younger children.
Also, this is the stage when the majority of the “parents” enters the midlife, which means, the “grandparents” in the family are very likely entering the stage in their lives which require the support from the “parents” in the family. This is where the so-called “sandwich” generation is coming from, the parents in the household are responsible for the younger generation and the older generation. Continue reading “Family Life Cycle and Couple Relationship: What Does Cedar Cove Teach Us (Part 4)”

Couple Relationship

[Couple Communication] “We Don’t Have Time to Talk.”

Problems are not the problem. Coping is the problem. ~ Virginia Satir

It was the spring semester 1996. I took my first class about family therapy theories. Virginia Satir’s theory is one of them. I remembered so impressed with this quote that I wrote it in my diary to remind myself: “Problems are not the problems. How I solve the problem is the problem.

Recently, I have a lot of couples told me the same thing: “We are too busy to talk.” It got me to think about Satir’s words again.

So, what are the reasons that most of the couples don’t have the time to talk?

couple time management

Continue reading “[Couple Communication] “We Don’t Have Time to Talk.””