Singaporebrides | Relationships

October 2011

Is Life After Marriage Like a Bangkok T-shirt – “Same Same But Different”?

Boy meets girl, boy and girl date, boy proposes (or says “Want to apply for flat?”), boy and girl get married. Now what?

Does life go on as it did during the dating days, or do married couples ‘grow up’ as they start a completely new life together, complete with new obligations and responsibilities? We find out from newlyweds as well as couples who have been married for some time.

On Religion

Religion tends to play a bigger part after marriage for many couples, especially when the question of starting a family pops up.

Executive Alisa Han, 35, shares this of her marriage to Finance Analyst Lua Wei San, 36. “Wei San became really involved after the wedding preparation weekend [at the church] that we had to attend just before our wedding. I’m Catholic and he’s not baptised but he’s willing to let the kids learn and grow in the way of the church, which is great understanding on his part.” The couple dated for six years and has been married for eight years. They have two children, with one more on the way.

On Lifestyle

Impromptu late night suppers and midnight shows – do they disappear from the scene after marriage? Do couples still do everything together, or is it “to each his own”?

Julia and Jack

Credit Analyst Julia Chua, 33, and Senior Manager Jack Chua, 35, have been married seven years. Their lifestyle hasn’t changed much even though they are now parents to two little girls; they still make time for movies and meeting up with friends. They didn’t have the habit of having meals at each others’ homes while dating but became more disciplined in that area after marriage, and make the effort to have at least a meal at either parent’s place once a week. “It’s unlike our dating days where the focus was more on ‘we’ time, and not so much family time.”

Teachers Winston Guo, 32 and Eugenia Lim, 30, have been married for less than two years; the newlyweds welcomed a new member into their family earlier this year. “No matter how different our work schedules are, we will wait for each other and head home together. Our friends joke that we’re like Siamese twins but we are two peas in a pod and that’s what’s making our marriage work.”

On Responsibilities

Tricia and Clement have been together for 11 years and have two young children. They describe that the biggest change in their lives after marriage is the level of responsibility they both now face. “There’s so much more to do towards our relationship and our home. We have to do our own household chores, accept and care for each other’s families and try to maintain a good relationship with them. We just can’t think of ourselves anymore; we have to plan for our future and think of our family all the time.”

Sean and Pei Sin

Financial Planner Sean Tan, 29, and Manager Lim Pei Sin, 30, have been married for less than a month. Pei Sin shares, “Sean always makes the effort to come home earlier from work so that I’m not always home alone. Even though we see each other every day, we still treasure the times we spend together and are always looking forward to seeing each other at home.”

On Finances

“Even after marriage, Jack and I never had a joint account! Our financial contribution towards the household expenses are clearly divided but we are flexible on items not listed under ‘fixed expenses’, and maintain our own personal finances,” Julia shares.

Eugenia and Winston subscribe to the theory of “What’s mine is yours, what’s yours is mine”. “We still have our own accounts. We don’t count who pays for meals, petrol, holidays etc. We treat our money like it belongs to the both of us.”

On Romance

When you’re dating, you can spend an entire day together, and still have things to talk about on the phone at night. But do conversations cease to exist after you say “I do”?

After their five years of dating and seven years of marriage, Freelance Writer Ruth Wong and Banker Andrew Tan’s love deepened as they grew to understand and accept each others’ flaws and weaknesses. But the biggest change occurred with their arrival of their son.

“Our conversations also tend to end up focusing a lot on our son, so we have to put in more effort to focus on each other and chat about our day and our work.” The couple also shares that the term “romance” has been redefined after marriage. In replacement of romantic dinners or last-minute getaways, they show their care and concern for each other in more practical ways, like how Andrew would care for their son so that Ruth can get some quiet time on her own.

We’ve seen that some things remain the same, and some change, and sometimes a change can be for the better, as these couples have shown. We hope that through their experiences, you are able to have a tiny insight to the first few years of your marriage, and how things might change or stay the same.

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Is Life After Marriage Like a Bangkok T-shirt – “Same Same But Different”?