13 June 2012, by Darren Lim
This has to be the first time (at least after a long while) that I’ve been away from home for so long and so far (I’m now in the United States) and to say that I miss my wife and kids is an understatement! How I YEARN to see them! Well, thanks to technology, with Skype and Wifi and my laptop, I am able to not only talk to them but also see them in action as well and that really helps me keep my sanity intact!
I remember it wasn’t that long ago, about 12 years back when I was courting Evelyn that I had to travel frequently to places all over the world and during those times when I was away, I would frequently worry about whether “my girl” was going to be whisked away onto the gallant horse of another prince charming, that I even once spent over a thousand dollars on phone calls back, just to “maintain connection”!
After twelve years of being together, Evelyn and I have definitely built a certain level of trust between us that doesn’t warrant the hefty phone calls, but I still get quite a lot of people asking me questions like,” Won’t she get worried about you traveling overseas alone? Or in the company of beautiful actresses (for work, don’t get the wrong idea!)?” Well-meaning friends would even tell me, “You must not confuse your real wife with your reel wives!”
Yes, it’s not easy being in the company of temptation all the time especially in my kind of job, where beautiful people abound, but for me it’s even harder to lose my family, I think. I cherish them too much to risk losing them for a moment’s folly but because I also know it’s too easy to be a fool that I become very mindful from the start of “What to do” and “What Not to do” in order to stay away from being one!
What to do
Many may beg to differ on this, but I always feel that accountability counts when it comes to building trust. I know many would say, “I don’t need to tell my spouse or family members of my whereabouts because I know I will not do anything wrong and the fact is, as my spouse, he or she has to trust me in the first place!”
Recently, Evelyn and I were invited to Touch Community Services’ event, Family Festival to share, and she said that she found it easy to trust me because I was open with her about everything.
Even when it’s lunch break and I happen to have only a female colleague that day for filming (so it’s purely professional and totally gentlemanly to invite the lady for a meal together right?), I’d call to let her know I’m doing that, so there can be no misunderstanding later on! I’d even ask her to let me know if at any point anything I do makes her feel queasy or uncomfortable so I can stop that.
Evelyn says it’s because I am always accountable that makes it easy for her to trust me, but for me I feel it’s because she gives me so much trust and freedom that I want to make sure I’m more accountable so that I won’t let her down! So I’m glad we’ve found this arrangement that has kept both of us (and our kids) happy!
What not to do
At the same event, the counsellors and speakers at the Family Festival were sharing about how, for many of the couples who had walked through their office, having extra-marital affairs was never their intention. Still, things started taking on a life of their own after the first step of being “too close” to a friend of the opposite gender happened.
Yes, nobody sets out to ruin their own family and one of the things not to do would definitely be not even to allow another person to get close enough in the first place. When my female friends share their feelings/problems with me, I tend not to appear too interested to help them solve their problems, especially those of the romantic kind. Not that I do not care about them; I rather think where such matters are concerned, there may be somebody else more equipped for the job. If this friend also knows Evelyn, then I may even ask if Evelyn can be privy to the information she has shared and Evelyn can help out (on my behalf).
Let’s face it, I’m a human with feelings too (maybe too much that’s why I’m into drama!) and it’s all too easy to fall into temptation of thinking I can hold back when it comes to the crunch, but with all that feelings involved by then, can I and will I? I’d rather not try to find out.