AJH and KHS couple: romance level zero...he says it's like living in a temple. A couple that grew stronger on trust than on flutter of the heart.
Naturally, Ahn JaeHyun's name comes up.
Ahn JH and Koo HS are a couple.
We once had a chance to peek into their sweet newlywed life together through tvN's program.
A dominant wife, a romantic husband. Their biting yet sweet relationship aroused dreams of marriage for the singles and shared understanding beyond romance ideals to those who are already married.
2 years have passed since the program. Are they still sweet to each other? Who is Koo Hyesun the person in that relationship? Of course, part of GHS's identity is the marriage to AJH. However, she is also a woman constantly building herself as an artist with her endless creative works in art, music, writing, directing and more. She is a wife and much much more. Coincidentally, she is about to publish a novel and so I met her at a cafe in Seoul Mapo-gu Hapjung dong. I asked her about AJH, marriage and love.
Q I hear you are releasing a novel.
A scenario that I wrote before getting married is coming out as a book. Title of the book is "A tear is heart shaped." It is a story that I wrote about 7 years ago, a romantic comedy scenario. It comes out on 24th.
Q A tear is heart-shaped. What kind of story is it? Story of marriage in it?
Original title was "Soju's Sangshik". Heroine's name is Soju. Male lead character is Sangshik. Their names are opposite. Heroine is Soju who loves soju. The man is an ordinary man with extreme common sense. Sangshik meets Soju at a friend's engagement party and falls in love at first sight. It is a story of their relationship. I wrote it 7 years ago, so, it has no story of marriage. However, you may find a lot about Goo Hye Sun in her mid-20's. You can basically think of Soju as Goo Hyesun when she was in her mid-20's.
Q What was GHS like in mid-20?
In my early 20's, I dated with all of me. Love made me obsessive and all consuming. Breaking from such a relationship left me crushed and empty. After a relationship that nearly destroyed me, i realized that I needed to change. In my mid 20's, I no longer wanted to be all-in, but wanted to be tough. I tried hard not to be possessive. Of course, I worried about him since I loved him, but I allowed a lot of space and freedom. I believed that I must think of him as an individual and not my possesion. Ironically, the more I let him go, the more he became attached to me (smile).
Q Is your husband the first reader of your book? What did he think of it?
Several people already read it while it was still a scenario. Once it became a novel, my husband read it for the first time. People mentioned that characters conversations are peculiar. Because I talked so much about Soju with my husband that he did not have much of a reaction.
Q Is your husband more like SangShik?
No. Sangshik is an ordinary man, My husband is no ordinary. He is also special.
Q In what way is he special?
Ajh is like a white poster paper. He is amazingly talented in accepting people as they are. When I first met him, he was in a state of exhaustion from someon trying to restrict and change him. I told him that I am not yours and you are not mine.He said that made him feel relieved. I have a tendency to want to protect what is mine. My old boyfriends could not understand that part of me and even became angry with me. Ajh-ssi accepted me fully as I am. He accepted this peculiar me.
Q When people think about AJH and GHS, they think about the Newlywed Diary. Are you both stil like that?
No, we are not newlyweds. (smile) We are there and not there. When we are together, it feels like we are not there. But, when we are not together, we think about each other. That is our relationship. We are objects (?).
Q What about fluttering hearts?
Fluttering heart is important to AJH-ssi, but I do not like it. When you feel fluttering heart, life becomes exhausting. What was important to me while dating and when we married was sense of comfort. We are friends. We shared everything about our past relationships and married when we felt free and comfortable inside. Recently, AJH-ssi would say he wants to feel that flutter of heart. Then, I would say it is just the weather. It is because it is spring. Then we talk about if we are trying to polish the marriage too. Rather than fluttering of heart, we have trust in each other.
In my 20's, I also played the push and pull in a relationship. By 30's, around the time I met AJH-ssi, I was tired of the unnecessary yet existing jealousy and push and pull that go on in a relationship. AJH-ssi's real self is kind, considerate and friendly. At first, I did not care for that aspect of AJH. Because he is so kind to opposite sex, I mistook him as a playboy. One day, he sensed that I did not care for that part of him, and he completely changed. All of a sudden, he hardly interacted with other women at work. I liked AJH because he did not cause or start unnecessary misunderstandings. I felt comfortable with him.
Q How do you think trust develops?
I feel that it comes from keeping promises well. When the other person speaks of what s/he does not like, I feel that it is important to listen well and try to change and adapt. I happen to be a person who has a list of likes and dislikes. In the beginning, AJH-ssi saw that part of me and thought negatively of me. However, only after the two people hear each other out about what is emotionally uncomfortable for the other person and help and protect each other, can trust also develop. I think it is also important to know the boundary of relationships. When I meet a new person, AJHssi will also become aware of the person. When he also meets a new face, he lets me know. We talk to each other about who is prety and who is cool. At times, AJH-ssi would talk about someone who is his style, but I would merely advise him to watch his behaviors and to watch his emotions. I feel that the time spent on the relationship is important. The time spent with a new person cannot be replaced. Newness also becomes familiar and comfortable. We talk about not becoming deluded and deceived by newness and freshness.
Q What is marriage to GHS?
It is about living together. Life style dose have to match somewhat. We must be able to accept each other's egoism. Timing is also important. I do believe that there is time for marriage. (smile)
Q Do you think you changed due to marriage?
AJH-ssi has become comfortable. But I have become anxious( up and down). Typically, I am calm, not so swayed by emotions. But at times, I find myself asking why am I so upset? Why am I so intolerant? AJH-ssi and I are different when it comes to moments when we feel pushed aside and/or when we feel free. AJH-ssi felt more pushed aside and I rarely felt that way. But, when he changed, I began to feel more pushed aside. For example, my husband likes to watch videos and TV with me. He wants to do things together. But, I prefer to do things by myself. I would tell him to use his own time. So, he started to go out with his friends and just spend his time more freely. Then, I started to feel bored. So, we came down with a rule. We don't have to call each other when we are working, but let's stay in touch at least once a day. We will set aside the time. Such things.
Q What do you think is most important in marriage?
The strength to accepting each other's privacy. You cannot hide anything in marriage. Everything that is you is exposed. Instead of as a man or a woman, it is important to accept each other as human beings and family member. We are animal after all. It is important.
To me, what is ideal in marriage is that we are able to ask for toilet paper from the bathroom. We have to be comfortable. While living with pets, we are not going to throw them away because we don't like their smell. It is because we choose to live together. In some way, our romantic life is at the complete bottom. (smile) But, we have a joke based on trust. I would ask AJH-ssi with whom he would like to marry, he would say why marry again? let us just live as is.
QHow do you divide up housework these days?
I pretty much do the housework for now. If you look at our schedule, AJH-ssi is busy and I am not. IN the beginning, I did housework excessively, but, these days, I do as much I can do. I used to collect all garbage and even take it outside by myself. These days, I would collect the garbage and just leave it at the entrance and AJH-ssi takes them outside. I think we developed our own rules. We don't want to be stressed out by housework, so we don't tell each other what to do.
QWhat is it like being a couple who are actors?
Our work is all about the labor of emotions. We have to develop our characters and perfect them. They are related to our pride and confidence. When AJH-ssi is about to enter work, I do not ever vent about my needs and complaints to him. I don't want to ruin the process of his work at perfecting his role. I think about how he won't love me anymore if I ruin or cause a scratch while he is trying to perfect himself. It is the same with me. I do not touch this aspect which I consider absolute.
Q If you hold back on your emotions, doesn't that cause problem in the relationship?
Maybe because we have been together 3-4 years now. But feeling pushed aside is minimal. Maybe once or twice a year, we may talk about when we felt hurt by each other. There really isn't that many things that we consider are problems. Of course, we fought a lot more at the beginning of the marriage. But, that helped a lot. while fighting, we learned a lot about each other and we learned that we are two different people. But, fighting really waste a lot of energy and we both do not like the after effects of fighting either. We also realized that long conversations do not necessarily resolve feelings. I feel that we are capable of forgetting. If I felt hurt by AJH-ssi, my tendency is to turn the focus away from AJH-ssi. I do my work. I say to myself that I need to feed the pets and move away. AJH-ssi also automatically pretends to go to the bathroom or that he needs to go out to exercise. When we move past that point of hurt, we forget what it was.
Q But couples have expectations. How can hurt feelings be minimal?
It can work if I focus on my life. When I get busy, hurt feelings also go away. I think of it as my problem and not his problem. AJH-ssi does talk about feeling like living inside a temple.
(laughter) My husband and I promised each other not to ruin or destroy each other's lives. Even if this moment ends suddenly, we can say, thanks for living with me until now. We must acknowledge each other and we also have to give up certain things. AJH-ssi wants to constantly work on himself and I support and cheer for him.I don't ever want him to give up on himself because of me. We both gave up something once we decided to marry. Marriage is in a way a state of lost profit. Because I married, a limitation occurred in my acting career. Same is true for AJH-ssi. We have both lost. But we also became a team. As one team, there are pros. Because my husband is working, I can rest. If I work, my husband can have his free time. I support and hope this team will roll on well and the only thing I have to do is focus on my life.
QHow does GHS see love?
In the past, I thought love is about understanding everything. I thought love is like mother's love--all understanding and all consideration. Now, I do not believe in love. For me, I just believe in myself. I don't know love. Because I believe in myself, I think it will be OK. I don't trust happiness either. The moment I feel happy, misfortune also come at the same time. I try not to be enslaved by emotions. If I get a feeling, I try simultaneously to get the opposite feeling as well. I consciously try to maintain middle ground/ equilibrium. I tend to focus on actions instead of feelings. I used to be tardy and late to appointments. So, I remind myself that I tend to be late. So I tell myself to move one hour early and arrive at the appointment early.
Q YOu are continuously working. Where do you get the inspiration?
I get it by loving. While I raise my pets. In my twenty's relationship was everything. Now, I reminisce those days since they are all in the past. UNlike 20's, I have new type of emotions. I make quicker judgments about myself and I have developed a certain pattern of lifestyle. Since controlling the daily life pattern is possible, I focus on the inner self. These days I am analyzing into my past anger as well as any complex, sense of inferiority, etc. It really helps me to be more understanding of others.
Q How do you want to remain as a couple?
We talk about not wanting to be a show-window couple. Of course, the public is important. But, our feeling is that marriage more of two people's problem. We promised each other not to live an artificial or pretend life just for the public. Marriage is not a business and ours is not. Actually, when we decided to do the Newlywed Diary, I did think that some people may think of our relationship more as business. I did have a problem analyzing that. But, now, I know that I cannot have a baby or carry out a perfect marriage for the sake of the public.