updated 14 Feb 2012, 07:07
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Mon, Feb 13, 2012
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Career couples go the distance
by Josephine Price

LOVE may be a many splendoured thing, but keeping it alive can be a challenge.

Last year's report on marriages and divorces from the Department of Statistics showed that 24,363 couples were wed in 2010 - 6.6 per cent below the 2009 figure.

Divorce rates went up across, with the sharpest increase seen among 30- to 34- year-old males and 20- to 24-year-old females.

Ms Ho Shee Wai, director and registered psychologist of The Counselling Place, said that the main issues that threaten couples today are infidelity, financial woes, trouble with in-laws, parenting conflicts and, yes, busy lifestyles.

As Valentine's Day approaches, my paper turns to couples who live and work together, to get tips on how they make their marriages work.

Such couples face unique problems, the biggest being that they can find it tough to isolate work-related problems from their personal lives, and personal problems from their work lives.

This, said counsellors, means that "career couples" need to face their problems head-on, or risk damaging their relationship, as well as their careers.

However, the keys to a successful relationship, whether or not one is part of a career couple, are pretty much standard.

"Problems can be avoided if couples tend to their relationships as they would tend to a plant," said Ms Ho.

"The plant needs to be watered and tended to daily. Often, needs in relationships are neglected and the relationship suffers."

Madam Tan Soh Hiang, a senior counselling manager at Focus on the Family, said: "Stay in touch with yourself and with each other through constant communication, (and through) spending time and growing together.

"Listen to each other and strive to meet each other's psychological and emotional needs."

Read on for tips from career couples committed to happy, long-lasting relationships.

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