REAL Couples – REAL Issues – REAL solutions.
This blog is in a series inspired by real conversations between real couples preparing for marriage. The words they have spoken were inspired by using one of the guided conversations that comes from a self-guided course available at www.OnlineMarriagePreparation.com.
STEP ONE: How do we define our issue?
When are we going to move back to the UK?
STEP TWO: Why is this important to me/us?
I love our life here in Singapore and all the opportunities that we have, however I’m not sure it’s the right place for me to want to start a family. I’d like to be closer to our families when we do decide to have a family. Ultimately, the longer we’re here the longer it will be until we start a family. I’m scared of being pregnant, and for me I’ll need to know that I’m close to family. If you really don’t want to move back I’d consider having a baby here but I know I’d have a lot of reservations about it and the costs that go hand in hand with the baby. I don’t think I want our families to miss out on this experience either.
I am keen to have children, but the maternity insurance in Singapore is so expensive. While I enjoy our lives in Singapore and understand it is better than home, it is a tough decision to decide whether or not we have children away from family, or go back home so we can be closer to family. There is huge commitment in both time and money if we decide to stay. It could also cause an issue in our relationship as there will be more pressure on us as we cannot rely on family for help as they are halfway around the world. I am torn! I can’t predict how we will feel if we are lucky enough to get pregnant in Singapore, and how we will cope.
Open, willing, excited, positive, optimistic, confident, overwhelmed
Sad, open, willing, excited, tense, confused, frustrated, encouraged, overwhelmed
STEP THREE: What will a better future look like for us?
Bride: I know I’ll feel supported because we’ll have made a life changing decision together. I know you will have weighed up the pros and cons and we’ll do what we feel is right. I know which ever decision we make we’ll have to make sacrifices, but I also know that we’ll be entering a new chapter in our lives. We could make a list of pros and cons, talk openly about the issue, look into affordability of life in Singapore verses the UK, look into job opportunities in both places, enter into any discussions with an open mind and listen to each other and how we’re feeling. If we move back I think it would be important for me to know that you would be willing to live an international life again in the future.
Groom: I know we will make the right decision together, for us as a family. We need to make a list of all the pros and cons, and set out a time-line of potential scenarios. We can make a decision together, as I know you are feeling the same as me. We need to have an open mind about what we choose to do, and also be completely honest about your hopes regarding any move we make in our lives. We need to be open and honest with each other always. We can set dates and times when we will sit down and talk about issues in our lives, and come up with solutions; almost like a safe space! And we could regularly write things down, potential issues and ways we could both resolve them, then come together and discuss openly.
STEP FOUR: What are our best ideas?
Idea One: Make a list of pros and cons
Idea Two: Talking openly
STEP FIVE: What will I/we actually do?
Bride: I will write down all pros and cons for both places, look into job opportunities in both places, talk to friends and family and talk to you about your thoughts / feelings. I will discuss with you our 5 year vision and where we see our lives together — professional lives and family life
Groom: I will make a detailed list of pros and cons of staying in Singapore versus going back home. We will create a detailed timeline of when/if things happen in the next couple of years, and imagine those scenarios in both locations. Let’s sit down and talk about the short/medium term, and which location will be best for both of us individually, as a couple, and as a family.
STEP SIX: How will we know that we’re making progress?
When we have made a decision before our wedding day.