Category Archives: Basic & General

Differences between public relationship and secret affair

And why do people keep going back for it.

The obvious difference there is that one is public and usually widely accepted, be it by parents, family, friends, colleagues, general public and also the law, whereas the latter is secretive and usually not known by anyone else, and if known, is usually frown upon.

Public Relationship/Marriage Secret Affair
Public & common Secret
Widely approved Frown upon
Bound by law & religions No
Right thing to do (ethically) Morally/ethically wrong but biologically?
No longer fun after the first few months usually Usually more exciting and fun
Need to work harder to keep it going Effort yes but make it even more exciting?
Involve more responsibility Involve less responsibility from both
Might be wrong biologically but it’s to keep society going?Not necessarily polyamory

The question here is, why do people keep going back for it? I have come across a number of times when people seek help for related issues. Like a recent client Mr Chin, who is married for more than 20 years with 3 almost grown up children, but recently was “dumped” by a girl 18 years his junior and had been together for the past 10 years. Yet according to Mr Chin, they have broken up a few times during the past 2-3 years, as the girl finally thought that she wanted a normal relationship and marriage and a family, then few months later, came back to him, saying that the “normal” relationship didn’t work. Mr Chin was very confused, because the girl knew from the very beginning that he wouldn’t be able to give her anything normal, their affair would always be secretive, why did she come back to him? Each break up took him at least few weeks of sleepless night, and as he was recovering, she’s back asking to be back together. Why?

I told him the answer is pretty simple, she will find no “normal” relationship that’s as rewarding as the one you have given her, and as long as she keeps comparing you with her “new” guy, she would come back to you. Secretive relationship is always more fun and exciting, involving much less responsibility, on top of that, he’s much older and mature, and much more financially stable than most likely any other guy she’s now seeing, it’s not difficult to guess why she comes back to a wiser and more mature and pampering man, right?

Normal, public relationships are mostly boring after the initial few months, we all know it. We have to work (quite hard) on it to keep it exciting and fun. Or we accept that this the normal routine, and we treasure the companionship and family love we have, as we grow old together. But for people who have been through long term secret affair, and are used to the excitement (like the celebrity always dodging the paparazzi, which actually makes the secret affair more exciting, more rewarding and even stronger), and then at some point hope that they can find a normal, public relationship like that, it’s just hard… People need to recognise that, and actively learn to be in normal relationship, and work for normal relationships to work… Or else, it’s hard for it to go beyond the first few months.

Whichever position you are in, speak to a professional someone (relationship/marriage counsellor/therapist, psychotherapist), it’d help! Mr Chin, if the situation permits, would tell you that he’s so glad to have spoken to me and how working together with me helps make sense a lot of things, and saving his marriage and general wellbeing.












Love is indefinite!

Recently a friend has had a second child born. Now he has a 2 year old son and a week old daughter. A lovely family. But he told me he is worried, because he had so much love for his son before, now a daughter, which he wants to love even more if he could. But he is worried that he can’t split his love and give them both enough love. He wondered how he could give both of them more and equal love.

I asked him to imagine holding his son first, and “can you feel how much love you have for him?”

“Yes of course! I do this (hold him) every day.”

Now imagine letting go of his son, and carrying the newborn, “can you feel how much love you have for her?”

The answer is for sure.

Next I asked him, “now imagine you are carrying and cuddling both of them. Do you feel the love you have for each of them reduce sharply? Or do you feel way more love than before?”

“More! It’s more than double!”

Exactly. We often imagine that we can only have this much love, we quantify love, and think that there is a definite amount of love we can give and receive. So if you have 1 child, you gave him/her 100%, two children? About 50% each. Four children? Approximately 25% each ……

But no, love is indefinite. As long as you want to do so, there is indefinite love we can give and receive. So please don’t worry about “splitting your love” among your wife/husband, parents, children, siblings etc. There is always more!

BUT. Definitely there is one thing that isn’t indefinite, which is your time. You do need to manage your time well when you have more children and commitments. But with love and motivation, you will manage that fine.

Online Group Therapy

Are you interested to join some online group psychotherapy sessions, with your closed friends, family or some others?

Recently I received some enquiries on group therapy. One of them is a few friends who think they have been so stressed and wish to learn some stress management and coping with difficulties in life together. Another enquiry is someone who wishes he could manage anger and emotions better, and asked if I run “anger management” online group therapy. Off and on I get those, but it’s not frequent. But with the pandemic situation, perhaps there is such need now?

So yes I’d like to start doing this. I’d like you to register your interest in the google form:

I might offer the first few sessions for free since I’m also having to try out how effective this can be online, with you providing constructive feedback to me in the end so that I can improve the sessions helping others.

Some benefits of group therapy:

  • Group experience is usually great
  • Group therapy is usually more affordable! (at least I do plan to charge less)
  • You feel less lonely in the journey
  • Gaining perspective listening to others
  • Learning from diverse experience
  • It might develop into some supportive relationships (compared to 1:1 therapy which you don’t get to meet others)
  • Staying motivated and propelling yourself forward with the group
  • Brushing up your social skills!
  • Sharing can be healing

To learn more or share your ideas, please click on the google form:

Alternatively, you can write to me too at


Screenshot of BobNewhart video

这是一个非常简短的咨询治疗视频,由美国喜剧脱口秀演员 Bob Newhart 扮演的治疗师。它是一个英语视频,带中文字幕。看一看!







Mental Health Check-Up

We are advised to go for health check-up every year (for those above 50 years old) and every 2 to 3 years (for those younger and are rather healthy). But it seems that mental health or our psychological wellbeing are never part of it.

During the last two years, I started to see some younger people who are generally not doing too badly coming to see me. Why?

“I just want to know if I’m okay.” (usually facing some major events in life)

“I don’t want things to get worse or out of control.” (usually feeling a little “not right” but still manageable)

“I don’t see why not [doing this]. It’s good to speak to professionals to learn about ourselves anyway” (same with the above)

“If there’s a problem, I want to solve it. If it isn’t, it’s good to know, and I get to understand myself and improve my resilience or coping skills anyway” (same with the above)

When I first came back to join the local mental health field, I used to think that the Malaysians would only see a mental health professional as a last resort, if they had any other choices, they wouldn’t come to us. So usually when they finally show up and ask for help, their problems are in almost their worst form, with comorbidity and complications (Do you know that when you ignore/suppress your emotion and the information it’s trying to tell you, it can show up as some physical symptoms?). It is often hard and taking a lot of time to help them get better. But…

Things start to change! (just a little, but it’s worth writing!)

These people make me happy, as their therapist, as a practitioner in the field, as a person in the community. People start to see the importance of looking after their own emotional and psychological wellbeing, when it feels a bit not right or when they are a bit unsure, before things get worse and too complicated. People start to see the need to get a “psychological check-up”, our health is no longer just about the physical health! Not just that, it’s also about improving our self-awareness, general wellbeing, coping abilities and resilience! People are now more open to learn about psychology, and improve their general sense of psychology wellbeing.

What do you think? Will you do so?