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Monday, 10 March 2014

Shout (The story of Mr Lim)

Mr Lim loves Mrs Lim, but Mrs Lim is giving Mr Lim hell over the household money. What can Mr Lim do?

Based on a True Story

Mr Lim works hard, trying to support his small household of three. He tries to make enough to pay the bills, to cover the groceries, and pay for whatever else is needed.

But what Mrs Lim thinks, is that her husband isn't home as often as she wants him to be, he doesn't care enough about her, and doesn't give her enough money. The more she thinks about it, the more unhappy she gets. The only way she can feel happy is by spending money.

The simple joys of life, you say? Mrs Lim has never heard of them. If it isn't expensive, it isn't good. So she shouts at her husband...

"Your face is so shitty! You think you are a good man, I think you are shit."

Mr Lim winces but keeps quiet.

"I need to spend money, where is my credit card? I don't want to have to beg you for money every time I want to spend. You are useless, you have no heart, I am suffering when I can't spend."

Mr Lim understood that his wife wants a card, ostensibly to pay for physio treatment. But in moments of feverish thinking and "happiness through spending" rants, these cards may be indiscriminately swapped for irrational reasons. He knew that he would need to pay for the bills, including the credit card bills.

"I want to go on holiday! I don't care with who, I just want to. You must buy me a ticket, since you f@cking don't want to go on holiday, you don't need to but I need a holiday!"

In actual fact, Mr Lim was worn out, pressures mounting at work. His wife used to work for him, but she wanted a housewife lifestyle post-marriage. Not just a housewife, but a modern housewife she would be! She wanted to live in the lap of luxury of Easy Going Street. She wanted a big house and a car of her own. Most of all, she wanted her husband to wait on her, to help out in the household chores.

They had a full time maid, but that lady was quickly chased away. Then they hired part-time maids, but eventually those were cut down, coming only twice a week. Mrs Lim wanted her husband to be a husband like the television dramas, with free time and the money to take them for holidays around the world.

Wives Don't Always Understand

She did not know why her husband had to work so hard, why he joined various marketing organizations to gain more business, why he had to study part time in search of a better life for them both. Instead, she only understood that he had failed her, and shouted at him more and more frequently, in the belief that he was holding back his money from her. But the shouting became abusive, hateful, spiteful.

"You are useless! You make me feel like there's nothing to look forward to, you don't care, you are not at all like my mother and father!"

Mr Lim wondered whether his wife knew what it meant to be married, to submit to the leadership of a husband, to be together through thick and thin. "For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, in riches as in poverty..." Perhaps his bride had imagined that life would be better, that they would always have more and more money and time to spend.

What I Think: A Life Together

Living together means making sacrifices. It's not easy when one party is the sole contributor to the relationship. It takes understanding and co-operation. I sincerely hope that Mr. Lim's story ends as a happy one.

To his wife, I would say: "Mrs Lim, you need to cool down. If you really need all that money, you know that your husband can't magically come up with cash at the next fart. Money doesn't grow on trees, but you can plant the efforts today to sow the benefits tomorrow."

To Mr Lim, I would say: "Mr Lim, you've tried your best. If things don't work out, you need to have that talk with your wife. That talk about finances, and how much you are earning. And what she can do to contribute. Because spending is too easy, your wife will not care about how hard you work. Get her involved and maybe she will appreciate it."