[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?”


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?”


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”


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, Depression/Anxiety, Training Notes

Divorce, Co-Parenting, and Mental Health

divorce and mental health

I am currently at the National Council on Family Relationship 2017 conference (11/16). Today, I attended a session about changes in the family system.

The changes in the family system are either adding the members or losing the members. The focus of the session I attended was divorce. For any children who are minor, it means that you either lose a father or mother in your residence. After the divorce, if the parents are remarried, a child gains a stepparent in the family system.

There were four papers presented, discussing the factors influencing co-parenting decisions, the impact on the children’s development, and the mental health issues due to the divorce.

The ideas of “gatekeeping,” “gender role,” “divorce” and “mental health” comes to my mind. Here are some takeaway points. For your information, you might want to read the entry about “Divorce & Co-Parenting” before continue to read this entry,

Continue reading “Divorce, Co-Parenting, and Mental Health”

Cedar Cove, Couple

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 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.””