How to handle tricky situations with your hubby

How to handle tricky situations with your hubby
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How do you handle tricky situations with your hubby? Three women tell Amanda Lai how they worked things out.

Andrea Gay, 32, was devastated when her son Samuel was diagnosed with cancer at the age of three.

"We also have a younger daughter who was two years old at that time. Having to look after two young children without a helper was already a challenge," says Andrea.

"And by the time Sam was diagnosed with Burkitt's lymphoma (a rare cancer of the lymphatic system), he was already blind. My husband Kenneth and I didn't have time to discuss it properly - Sam had to start chemotherapy immediately. We came to the conclusion that one of us had to stop working as Sam needed round-the-clock care."

Andrea decided that she would be the one to quit her job.

Their solution: Keep talking and don't let your emotions cloud your judgment.

"My husband was very understanding, even though it meant that he had to shoulder the finances all by himself," says Andrea.

"We have a mortgage and a car, so it was tough. We had to learn to come to terms with the illness and support each other. It's very easy to play the blame game, so we had to make a conscious eff ort never to stop talking to each other or get emotional. Th at's how couples should communicate."

Yeo Huiyun, 36, and her husband bought an HDB flat when they got married in 2008 as she didn't want to live with her in-laws.

She got along well enough with her mother-in-law but had somehow always felt that her mother-in-law never thought she was good enough for her son.

A few years ago, while Huiyun's son was still a baby, her father-in-law passed away.

"My husband suggested that his mum move in with us so that she could help look after our son and so that she wouldn't be so lonely," says Huiyun.

"I wasn't happy as I didn't want her to spoil my kid, or be critical about how things are run in my house."

Their solution: Come to a compromise.

"I gave in to my husband and let my mother-in-law live with us.

Although I was unhappy, we came to a mutual agreement: He asked his mother not to contradict my instructions on how to care for our son and on general household matters.

It's not perfect, but at least there's some compromise."

Rachel Ong, 31, wanted to do an MBA to further her career. She applied to a few business schools in the United States and broke the news to her husband only when she got accepted into one.

Their solution: Work out a detailed plan together.

"He was upset that I dropped this bombshell on him suddenly, but he eventually came around," says Rachel.

"Our biggest concern was the financial aspect, so we worked out a detailed budget together, as we had to make sure we had enough to pay for the car and our house while I was in school.

I took extra coursework each semester so that I could graduate within a year and a half, instead of in two years."

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