Singaporebrides | Relationships

January 2020

8 Ways To Keep The Spark Alive After The Wedding

Sometimes, it takes more than just love to keep a marriage afloat. Read up on these eight things you can do to help keep the spark alive in your marriage for the rest of your life.

As much as fairytales and K-dramas would like us to believe that all you need in a relationship is love for your other half, it takes more than an emotion to keep the spark alive in reality. While love is an important ingredient, other values such as trust, understanding and perseverance to stay committed and work things out are equally important in any relationship, especially in a marriage.

As the popular adage goes, “A wedding lasts for a day, but a marriage lasts for a lifetime”, couples should put in as much as, or even more effort into their marriage than they did for their wedding. “As the reality of married life sinks in, many couples find themselves thrust into new experiences that they may not have necessarily thought of, prior to saying ‘I do’,” Mr Albert Lim, a Families for Life Council member, said.

To help couples overcome the hurdle of coping with the new demands of married life and keep their love alive, Mr Albert Lim and Mr Gary Koh, a family counsellor and licensed solemniser, share with us why commitment is fundamental for a strong and lasting marriage, and eight ways couples can keep the spark alive after the wedding.

Love is Important, But Commitment is Fundamental For a Long-Lasting Relationship

Hui Min and Tiong Li’s Modern and Intimate Wedding at Si Chuan Dou Hua by Alone Together

While love is a crucial value in marriage, Mr Albert Lim believes that there are other values that are equally important to achieve a strong and happy marital life. “Trust, understanding and the perseverance to remain committed to your spouse are some of the values that are just as important as love,” Mr Albert Lim stresses. “And among these values, commitment is what keeps a marriage going. Married couples need to be committed to make their marriages last; they have to agree to working things out when they face challenges and have the same vision to build long-lasting relationships in their families.”

Mr Gary Koh echoes the same sentiments. “I believe that marriage requires us to be committed especially in sickness, for poorer, in bad and sad days,” he says. “Marital commitment is important as it is a journey that requires constant love and nurturing. Couples should delete the word ‘divorce’ from their vocabulary to show that they have decided to commit to work hard on the relationship when things get tough, instead of escaping.”

8 Ways to Keep The Love Alive in a Marriage

As the excitement and dust settles after the wedding, and the familiar routine of married life settles in as you cope with your new roles, you may find it hard to remember why you married your spouse and the love you have for him. To help you rekindle the flame and keep the spark alive in your marriage, we’ve put together eight ways couples can keep the love going strong after the wedding for a long-lasting marriage.

1. Sign Up For Pre-Marital Counselling Workshops

Cherie and Sham’s Modern Foliage Themed Wedding with Gold Accents at Marina Bay Sands by Andri Tei Photography

Pre-marital counselling workshops are helpful for both soon-to-be-wed couples and those who are newlyweds, as they address many issues we think we know but in actuality, never quite address when we are dating. “It helps set the foundation for their future life as a couple,” Mr Gary Koh says.

“Pre-marital counselling workshops, such as the Ministry of Social and Family Programme (MSF)’s two hour talk on the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Programme (PREP), teach soon-to-be-wed couples and newlyweds how to communicate better, manage expectations and build stronger relationships. When couples learn about the conflicts that will arise, they are more prepared to resolve them, knowing that it is part and parcel of the marriage journey.” Couples can also view a list of pre-marital workshops offered by various organisations here.

2. Have The Right Expectations About Marriage

Emily and Jun He’s Wild and Breathtaking Pre-Wedding Adventure in the Faroe Islands by Synchronal Photography

It is important to go into a marriage with the right set of expectations to avoid any disappointment, conflict or misunderstanding. “While it is not wrong to want to make your spouse happy in a marriage, I feel that the main aim of marriage is to make each other a better person so you can work towards your life goals together,” Mr Albert Lim says. “Happiness is a by-product. Men shouldn’t marry women with the hope that they will never change, and women should not marry men with the hope that they will.”

3. For Better or For Worse

Rachel Wong and Anders Alpin’s Free-Spirited Pre-Wedding Shoot by Bridelope Productions

With all the excitement about spending the rest of your life with the person you love and planning the wedding of the century going on, it is easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamour of being a bride and a newlywed. What couples don’t realise is, that unlike their wedding, their marriage is not one big party.

Like their wedding, they are bound to experience some hiccups here and there as they settle down into the familiar routine of married life and cope with their new roles. However, unlike those that you encountered during your wedding day, there are no quick fixes for the hiccups you might face in your marriage. It is important for couples to realise that as they settle into their new roles, they are bound to experience conflict, and there will be good and bad times. For their marriage and family unit to become stronger, couples have to accept this reality and commit to riding out the waves by finding a solution to their conflicts.

“The ability to grow stronger as a couple as they face adversities will strengthen their marriage,” Mr Gary Koh quips. “Everyone goes through challenges in a marriage, and they all have to learn how to resolve them. That is what will strengthen the relationship between the couple.”

4. Prioritise Your Spouse

Joymarie and Mackenzie’s Fun, Tropical Bali Wedding by Apel Photography

For a marriage to work out, couples have to prioritise each other above all else despite the numerous distractions they face every day. Take time out each day to check in with your spouse and give them your full attention. “My wife and I have a daily habit of spending six minutes talking to each other,” Mr Albert Lim shares. “First, we thank each other for what we have done for one another and the family. Next, we seek forgiveness for the things we have done which have caused irritation to the other party. Lastly, we affirm each other so that both of us can start the day on a positive note.”

Couples should also practice active listening when they give their spouse their full attention. Your mind and heart should be present as you listen to your spouse so you can relate to her stories.

5. You Don’t Always Have to be Right

Jolyn and Michael’s Scenic Destination Wedding at Stoneridge Estate in New Zealand by Jen from Alpine Image

Staying in a relationship is more important than being right. Couples should remain open to their spouse and know that they are not always right all the time. Communicate regularly to address each other’s feelings and always practice active listening so you can understand where your spouse’s concerns or complaints are coming from and their point of view.

6. Show Your Appreciation to Your Spouse

Tania and Ayron’s Dreamy Pre-Wedding Photoshoot in Picturesque Bali by Trevo Pictures

It is important for couples to continue showing appreciation and love to their spouse after the wedding so that they feel appreciated and loved even after the big day is over. Learn your spouse’s love language and show your love and appreciation by practicing their love language.

You can also get them a gift to express your love and appreciation for the things that they have done for you and your family. It can be a small token like a cup of coffee from his favourite coffee joint or a piece of jewellery that she has been eyeing.

Don’t forget about the daily gestures of appreciation. While grand gestures and romantic gifts are nice, it all boils down to the little daily gestures of appreciation that will make your spouse feel loved and strengthen your marriage.

7. Don’t Forget About Date Nights

Elaine and Gabriel’s Gorgeous Pre-Wedding Adventure in Sumba by Darren and Jade Photography

One of the best ways to keep the sparks alive in a marriage is to go out for dates. Even if you are bogged down by commitments or simply don’t feel like doing so, you should schedule time for regular dates to keep the romance alive. “Couples should continue wooing each other even after their wedding,” Mr Albert Lim advises. “Simple gestures like going on a date and spending couple time together go a long way in keeping the romance alive in a relationship.”

Spend time together as a couple by doing an activity that you both enjoy, whether it is going to theme park for some exhilarating, fun time or working up a storm in an exercise class, or simply having a meal together. Doing so will help you reconnect as a couple and remind you why you fell in love with your spouse.

8. Fantasise About The Future

Amelia and William’s Dreamy Destination Pre-Wedding Adventure in Indonesia by Fire, Wood & Earth

Remember all the nights you two spent fantasising about your future together when you just started dating? Well, you should continue doing so even after you’re married! Just like how it didn’t matter if you actually fulfilled your fantasies back then, it doesn’t matter if the future you fantasise today will actually materialise.

The whole point of this exercise if to reconnect with your spouse and talk about what both of you envision for you and your family in the future, thinking about all the endless possibilities that could happen. This activity should be a fun and bonding experience that you and your spouse can enjoy and laugh about in time to come.

Golden Jubilee Wedding Celebrations 2020

In celebration and honour of long-lasting marriages, the Registry of Marriages (ROM) and Registry of Muslim Marriages (ROMM) will be jointly organising the third edition of the Golden Jubilee Wedding Celebrations on 11 April 2020, where couples who have been married for 50 years or more come together to renew their commitment to each other.

To be eligible for the Golden Jubilee Wedding Celebrations, the couple must be married for 50 years or more in 2020, must not have previously attended past editions of the Golden Jubilee Wedding Celebrations, and at least one party must be a Singapore Citizen. Couples who meet the criteria can sign up for the Celebration, or if you know any couple who meet the criteria and would like to nominate them, you can do so here. Registration will close on 31 January 2020.

Feature image: Valerie and Leon’s Sun-Kissed Bali Wedding Photoshoot by Knotties Frame // All other images courtesy of the Registry of Marriages.

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8 Ways To Keep The Spark Alive After The Wedding