love is a two-way street

Dear Dayre,

I can't believe I've already been in UK/Europe for a good nine days!!!

Just three more days or two more nights before I return back to Singapore.

It has been an amazing 9 days 😍😍😍

From London to Oxford, Berlin to Prague and back to London now, I wish I had longer here!

But alas my time is up. I need to go home very soon 😢

Sorry you don't get a face but that's just how things go for now 🙊

👳🏻 has been the most wonderful travel companion.

We saw a rainbow together on the Charles Bridge in Prague and it was a beautiful moment. Rainbow on one side of the bridge, sun setting gloriously on the other side.

I was absolutely enraptured and couldn't stop taking photos and exclaiming at how pretty it was. And he looked at me and said, "This is why you travel isn't it, for moments like this"

😊😊😊

I always was told that I was selfish for loving to travel, and selfish for not putting my partner's needs and wants before what I wanted to do for myself.

That I should realise that my travelling was causing unhappiness for my other half and I was neglecting and disregarding my partner.

It always made me feel conflicted inside.

Was it so wrong for me to hope for my partner to be happy for me when I got such opportunities to see the world?

I worked hard to get to this stage where I was able to travel as part of my work, sometimes get sponsored trips or even get paid to travel, and I really really really treasure this privilege.

But whenever I received a new email from a prospective client looking to send me overseas, or got wind of a new travel gig coming up (while I was in the choir), my first feeling would always be one of jubilation, followed by worry at how to break the news, and lastly, guilt for being a bad partner.

I'd think about how to break the news, how to figure out my extension dates with my girlfriends for choir trips so that it wasn't too "unreasonably" long, how to bring my partner along if possible, how to handle any unhappiness from my partner's side, how to justify why I was travelling again, be it for work, or choir gigs or leisure.

But inside, my heart died a little because I was asking myself, shouldn't my partner be the first person I want to share my happy news with?

Shouldn't my partner be happy for me when I get such opportunities that I've worked for, and shouldn't he be a pillar of support for me?

When I broached this question, the incredulity was stark.

"Why should I be happy when you are away from me and I'm left all alone by myself? If I'm happy while you're always travelling, then something is wrong in this relationship."

I would be told that I was selfish and not thinking for the relationship.

And so I numbly silenced the protests inside of me, and let the other voice in my head tell me otherwise.

"He's right. You're the selfish one for travelling, you're the one who's neglecting your partner. How could he be happy when you're not with him? He loves you that's why he wants you with him all the time."

Yes I was the selfish one, then.

I can't recount the number of disagreements and fights that always inevitably happened before I had to travel, during my travel, and after coming back.

Even on trips together, somehow something would happen. I once walked the streets of Osaka, sobbing, and wondering inside, why I was crying and upset when I was so happy to be in my favourite country.

So many incidents, too many to relate.

Funny how I'm getting emotional again upon getting carried away with this chain of thoughts and emotions.

I spent an entire day on my birthday in Hongkong, locked up in my airbnb room, because I was fighting over the phone and crying like a crazy woman.

I was there to attend a start-up conference with Joelle, and we were all done with the conference and were exploring the city.

Four of us (Joelle and two colleagues) and myself went out for the conference pub crawl at Lan Kwai Fong, we had a couple of drinks, chilled, club hopped abit.

Joelle put up a picture of us on IG and location tagged it to LKF.

The next morning? I woke up to a barrage of messages because WHAT THE HECK WAS I DOING IN A PLACE LIKE LKF?

I tried to explain that we went for the conference's pub crawl, had a couple of drinks, that was about it. Walked around the streets, watched people dancing in the alleys. I did text him some pictures during the night, and told him when I was safely home.

Didn't go down well.

Angry accusations about how I lied and cheated, questioning about me drinking (you don't even like to drink, why would you order beer)… How my friends were more important to me, how I was damaging our relationship……..

It was so hurtful and frustrating.

All I did was to be at LKF with my fellow companions, and all I had was perhaps a beer? Somehow it spiralled into a massive fight about how I was causing the loss of trust in a relationship, how I was prioritising friends over my partner, how I was lying and cheating.

I feel so silly now because thinking about all these incidents and reading back on the chat messages made the hurt and unhappiness surface again and I started bawling in bed like a baby.

There were so many times I questioned myself. Was it me? Was it him? It must be me because he is right, I AM selfish. I want to travel, I want to see the world, even if he's not there with me. I was the bad, irresponsible wife. And he was doing his best to put up with my selfishness and irresponsibility.

🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️

It is what it is, I'm not sharing to speak ill of a union that didn't work out. We probably both tried in our ways to make things better, but something gave way eventually.

Anyhow, this was only one little incident in the whole framework of things. My travelling was one problem, but there were also many others.
The travelling wasn't the root of those problems, but resulted in the manifestation and magnification of them.

Well, everything is all in the past now.

The real take away is that for a relationship to truly work, both parties have to be happy in it. Fundamental issues such as core values and differences in life goals were major major problems, and even nine years of trying together couldn't solve those.

Secondly, communication and understanding are so important. We fought badly and that resulted in more friction and conflict.

Lastly, and the point that I've mentioned multiple times previously – Remember to love yourself above all else.

Disclaimer: I don't mean you only love yourself without loving your partner or behaving like a self-entitled child! What I mean is, love yourself, know where to draw the boundaries between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy one.

Love is a two-way street.

But if both parties are struggling so hard to meet in the middle, then your roads were never aligned to begin with.

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