Why You Should Allow Your Man To Play Mahjong

Benefits of playing mahjong

If it’s Friday night and you’re home alone (or perhaps, with the kids) and your boyfriend or hubby is out playing mahjong with his pals, I feel you. We had dinner together and before he left, he asked me (for what was perhaps the millionth time) whether I was REALLY ok with him going for a mahjong session with his pals. They jio-ed him yesterday. But yes, I’m fine with it. Go… with all my blessings. As he’d said, 6 years ago, I might not have been so happy about being “abandoned” on a Friday evening for a stupid mentally-stimulating game of mahjong. And I do know of wives who are quite pissed at their husbands for loving mahjong so much.

However, woman to woman, here’s why you should allow your man to go for that occasional mahjong session:

#1: It Makes Him Happy

Just as you’d want your own “me” time for a spa, facial, bubble bath, whatever, he needs his own “me” time as well. And besides, everyone’s out on Friday evening. So why add to the crowd? Unless you really need him to be around such as if you have a new piece of DIY furniture to assemble, or if a child is ill at home, let the man go have some good, clean fun. Yes, he might lose some money at mahjong (it’s both about strategy and luck) but most things in Singapore cost money anyway. If it makes him happy, why not? (*Only for the occasional game. If your man has a serious gambling habit, then call the National Council for Problem Gambling at 6354 8154, ok?)

#2: He’ll Tell His Mahjong Kakis What He Won’t Tell You

At some point during an all-nighter game of mahjong, he is bound to share some ‘secrets’ with his pals, maybe due to fatigue or they’ve run out of topics for small talk after so many hours. Perhaps he made a HUGE loss in the stock market or some lady at his office has been hitting on him. He won’t necessarily tell you these things, but he might tell his mahjong kakis and if they aren’t tight-lipped, their wives and girlfriends/boyfriends will know too. If you’re friends with them, you’ll probably find out what he’s hiding from you.

#3: There ARE Benefits From Playing Mahjong

Firstly, a lot of focus is required – if you’re not careful, you could end up losing a lot of money. Conversely, if you’re good at the game, you’ll win a lot of money too. Also, it keeps your mind really active – figuring out who’s waiting for which tile, which combinations of your existing tiles can help you win, and which tile to discard to foil someone else’s attempt at winning the game. I think mahjong also trains players to ‘read’ the body language of others – who’s getting frustrated, who’s trying to suppress excitement at having a really good set of tiles, who’s faking confidence despite getting really ‘lousy’ tiles? If your man is the kind who doesn’t notice a thing when you come home really excited after getting a new hairdo / hair color / you’ve shaved your head bald (I’m kidding), then he obviously needs some training.

#4: He’s Finally Out Of The Way

Perhaps there are things you find difficult to do when he’s around. Say, you want everyone out of the house so you can clean the house. Then, great. Send him off to the babysitters *ahem* I mean the mahjong kakis. Or maybe you want to go paint the town red with your girlfriends, then great, have fun separately for one evening. Or perhaps, you just want some peace and quiet so you can finally catch up with some reading, without anyone wanting to share with you about how his day went, grumbling about how the stock exchange was shut much of yesterday or which CEO has to apologize for whatever lapse, then mahjong actually sounds like a good idea. Go! 😀


So, as you can see, you can take the sting out of what used to really piss you off. All it takes is a little reframing. For instance, “flooding” can be thought of as “ponding” (which is kind of cute; like maybe we can rear some koi in the “ponds”). Our government is really good at reframing; perhaps you can list many more examples. 😉 And then you’ll happily send him off for mahjong too.

Now… a good book awaits. 🙂