Singaporebrides | Relationships

June 2020

3 Graduated Brides Share Their Most Important Lessons From Marriage

Getting married is one thing, but staying married and journeying on through the years with your significant other is another. We hear from our fellow SingaporeBrides colleagues on their experiences, stories, and marriage lessons.

Let’s be real. Being married takes a lot more effort than simply planning a wedding and getting a house. It takes intentionality, sacrifice, and a whole lot of love. It is an entire journey that you choose to go on with your significant other for life. Most of us are thrown into all the joys, tears, and challenges that marriage comes with with no prior experience. And so, the best way to prepare ourselves for this journey ahead is to hear it from the brides who have walked the aisle before us. While they are also on their own personal journeys (as we all are, and will never stop being on), hearing marriage advice from others who are one step ahead can inspire us for our own journeys in the world of the married.

Today, we interview three of our fellow colleagues from the SingaporeBrides team and get them to share their experiences, stories, and advice on their years of marriage.

Image of Joanne and Kenneth by Adiwarnairawan from Gusdephotography

Joanne, Marketing Manager
Years Married: Three years, but currently living apart

Has anything changed in your relationship since you’d gotten married?

Hmm, in all honesty, I don’t think so. If anything, I would say that we have gotten even closer and stronger. I turn to him every time I need advice – even for little problems like whether or not to keep a dress or to buy a new pair of shoes! The worst I have done to him is probably to pester him to decide which shopping platform I should buy exercise equipment from. The best thing about all of this is that he entertains me and my little “problems”. He is literally the first person I run to for everything.

What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before getting married?

Well, we have been together for six years before tying the knot so we already know each other pretty well and we were aware of what we were getting ourselves into. The only “unknown” would probably be about living together, when all the little habits will begin to creep in and irritate each other. I’ve asked my friends before getting married if living together was the same as going on a holiday trip. They all said that it’s different, which was exciting and scary all at the same time!

Another big change for me would be having to address each other’s parents as our own. It’s definitely one thing to call your in-laws “father” and “mother”, and another thing to really recognise that they are now your other set of parents.

How do you keep the marriage going during this COVID-19 period since you’re living apart?

Communication is key to keeping a relationship alive. During this COVID-19 period, my husband and I are actually not living together – we are living in our own family homes. Throughout the day, we would chat or call each other over the phone, or have a video call before we head to bed every night.

When we first started dating, he had suggested some habits for us to cultivate. These included greeting each other every morning and evening (we have to be each other’s first and last person to chat with every day), and updating each other if we are heading out somewhere. To him, these are small ways that he felt could keep our relationship strong.

At first, I was not used to doing all these because it seemed like I had to report to him about everything I was doing. However, over the years, I began to appreciate and understand where he was coming from. At the beginning, I was usually the one who forgets to text, but it is second nature now. I guess this is why I feel a strong sense of security with him. This was his way of being curious about what I’m doing throughout the day and being close to me. I felt and still feel loved and protected.

If I had to give one piece of advice to brides-to-be, I’d say to not be afraid to journey through the little things in life together although it may seem boring and irrelevant. It’s really the little things that matter in the long run and the mundane stuff is really what helps you get to know each other in ways that no one else will.

Audrie and Eugene’s Dreamy Pre-Wedding Shoot by Smittenpixels Photography

Audrie, Features Editor
Years Married: Five years

What was the transition like as you went from dating to married and now, to being a mother?

For me, there was no real transition because I was still living at my parents’ place for a bit after our wedding since my BTO was not ready back then. So, we weren’t doing anything different from what we were already doing. We stayed for one month at my parents’ place and then the next month would be at my in-laws’ place so that we could spend an equal amount of time with both of our families.

The transition to being a mother was tougher and much more noticeable, in my opinion. Motherhood is truly the hardest thing in the world; not only do you have to figure out how to care for a fragile human being, you also have to deal with a sudden lost of self-identity while you dedicate almost every waking hour to caring for and worrying about your baby. It definitely changes the marriage dynamics because now you and your husband are thrown into a whole new world while slowly shedding the old world you were so used to living in.

What’s one thing you’ve learnt from marriage so far?

Marriage takes a lot of work, effort, and communication no matter what stage of marriage you are at.

How do you keep supporting each other through these various transitions?

All we need to do is to continue doing what we had already been doing.

But from being married to having a child, there were definitely some rough times at the beginning. I think the key is to constantly offer help to each other, and to sometimes leave the baby in the care of someone else while you spend some couple time together. Once you have a baby, it is easy to lose yourself taking care of your child.

Personal photo of Janis and Tony

Janis, Business Manager
Years Married: 20

What’s the most important thing about love or relationships you’ve learnt from your 20 years of marriage?

It’s all about give-and-take in any relationship, although I think I do take more than I give. Both my husband and I have tempers but I’m the more quick-tempered one, so he typically gives in to me first since I get over things very quickly. I forget first then forgive (not forgive and forget)!

I also think that being able to maintain a good relationship with my husband’s family was very important, especially since I’m staying with his family. My in-laws are easy to get along with so I have few things to ever complain about except when the issue is really serious. I make it a point to not sandwich him between me and his parents and make life difficult for him. Life is already so stressful as it is.

Is there any one thing that you feel is necessary for every marriage to work?

Trust. No one likes to be checked on by their partner all the time, so I think at the beginning of your relationship, providing your partner with your whereabouts will help to build that trust over time. For my husband and I, we tend to keep each other informed when we head out with our own friends. Just a simple message like, “I have just reached X place” works.

Initially, we also tried to get to know each other’s friends. Often, we would hang out together with his or my friends and with time, it became natural to be involved in each other’s friendship circles.

How do you keep loving and supporting each other through these 20 years?

He makes me laugh every day and I’m quite easily entertained, so his efforts definitely do not go to waste. He also appreciates that I often offer to pick him up from work if I was using the car that day, or to send him to his weekly soccer sessions. Sometimes, if my schedule allows for it, I’ll also wait for him to finish the game so we can go home together. We are always there to support each other when needed.

Whether you’re already in your early years of marriage or if you’re heading into marriage anytime soon, the world of marriage will definitely always present new challenges and transitions for all of us. Marriage forces us to keep growing in our communication, in our sacrificing for each other, and in our love. It is by no means an easy feat, but it is worth it.

As we read in our wedding vows, “for better and for worse”, marriage indeed can last forever. Learn from the wisdom of everyone who has gone before and keep loving.

Credits: Feature image from Audrie and Eugene’s Dreamy Pre-Wedding Shoot by Smittenpixels Photography

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3 Graduated Brides Share Their Most Important Lessons From Marriage