staying in a happy marriage


New Member
dear all,

i'm new here and stumbled into this forum while looking for a reno contractor... (totally unrelated :rolleyes:)
i hope to share about my personal experience...

my husband and i have been married for 21 years now, we have 2 boys (my elder one is already serving his national service)
like all of you here, we've been through ups and downs, from nasty MIL/SIL, daily household/ children challenges, financial burdens, career problems, daily housechores etc...
the marriage wasn't smooth at first and we didn't really have a honeymoon period cos of the controlling in-laws and we were being looked down in every possible way because of our quiet/non-argumentative nature, but, we came out victorious... :cool:

and after 21 years, nothing has changed really, my nasty MIL/SIL is still nasty and controlling...
well, my last exchange with MIL was 3 years back when she tried to chase me out from her house in the middle of dinner.
you see, i was visiting my in-laws alone with the boys; my protector (aka husband) couldn't make it last minute due to a very late business dinner arrangement

just recently, my youngest brother married his long time gf and sat me down to check up on advice on how to stay in a happy marriage, so here goes...

1) we talk alot, at night...
- after dinner, after the boys turn in, he'll make us hot drinks and we'll sit in the bedroom just to talk
- for starters, try to talk for a simple 5 mins, no gadgets = no distractions
- talk about anything: it can be your job, challenges, health, in-laws, money, tomorrow's breakfast plans, even juicy gossips
- now, our talk lasts anything from 30mins to 2 hours
- sometimes, after he returns home from his business dinner at 12am, he'll wake me up to tell me about his day, and we end up sleeping at 2am :eek:
- the talk is important: from a wife's perspective, it releases my daily household stress, complaints about the boys (while we plan how to tackle them), my job stress, getting his feedback about the dinner i just cooked and how to improve (the tastes)
- he gets to talk about his challenges at work, how he would like to have a run/jog to stay healthy, what to do this weekend and the new eatery he wants to try out

2) we just started our own snuggle time
- we snuggle in bed (naked), just to hold on to each other, sometimes holding hands, sometimes just groping and smelling him
- it's not always sex
- from a woman's perspective, i like being snuggled, i like the closeness we have, just lying down, naked and talking

3) take care of each other's blind spots
- he takes care of finances, savings, family investments (i'm helpless with $)
- i take care of the house, the boys and everything nitty gritty (he's basically quite 'blind' in all details)
- when he wants to whip up something nice for the house, i stay out of the kitchen (vice versa)
- even during marketing, we buy our own vegetables/ingredients for the dishes we want to cook (this gives us very little room for argument)

4) we take care of our health and maintain our physical appearance
- i take care of our nightly face care regime and ensure he has sunblock on in the days, i just do it for him since i'm going to have my toner and moisturizer on anyways, soon it turns into a habit
- we go for jogs/walks together, with or without the boys
- good health = good looks = good feelings = physical attraction for each other

5) save the negativity when he's not ready
- many a times when i do feel like complaining about my day, the boys, my exhaustion, fears and worries, i bring them out not at the start of our conversation, but towards the end
- i try to start off with a neutral topic first, before moving into serious/negative topics
- if he is not feeling good about his day, don't start that topic
- we always start by asking about each other's day, if we had a good sleep the night before, what we had for lunch

why we do what we do:
- marriage is a chicken and egg problem, if you don't build on a constructive marriage, things can only go south
- your spouse knows when you take care of them, with that, trust builds
- children love it when their parents love each other, a loving marriage is a magnet for everyone in the family
- men are visual animals, don't 'let it all go' after marriage
- when we talk, we discover more topics to talk, the more we connect, the deeper it is, if marriage is just keeping a household going, isn't it boring?
- a leopard can never change its spots, why try to change people outside your marriage (referring to in-laws)? changing yourself is always faster
- humans like touch to stay connected, and with snuggle time, we are familiar with each other's bodies, smell and touch

just my 2c worth, thanks for reading :)


Active Member
Thank you for the contribution, a truly needed breathe of positivity in a mostly darkened vibes forum.
It almost sounds like a extract of a counselling textbook. Perfectly articulated .
In many real lives, mutuality has always been the biggest hurdle. :);)


New Member
Thank you for the contribution, a truly needed breathe of positivity in a mostly darkened vibes forum.
It almost sounds like a extract of a counselling textbook. Perfectly articulated .
In many real lives, mutuality has always been the biggest hurdle. :);)

thanks, it'll be great to hear from other happily married couples on suggestions such as above for my own benefit and notes too.
mutuality is indeed a key factor in every marriage.

like many real life couples here, we didn't start off mutually agreeing on one single direction.
simple things like tastes in food took us many years to develop.

he actually likes deep fried food and everything meat o_O, while i eat mainly vegetables & fish and everything steamed/grilled :oops:
i did not change his natural liking towards meat overnight, but i gradually add in the greens into his diet.
adjusting his habit into accepting more greens took us years.
after witnessing his own skin getting better, better bowels (it used to be very foul smelling), his own fatty liver condition improving (doctor say one :cool:), i won the battle.
most days he follows my diet, yet, there are days we'll hang out together for a good steak and fries.

my point is:
couples take time (probably years) to learn to dove tail their way of life
we need to learn to find a balance between our differences
both need to learn to sacrifice their basic beliefs/likings/natural tendencies to be able to meet mid-point
influence through actions rather than nag your way through, no one likes it (husband and wife alike)

that's mutuality to me.
once this hurdle is crossed, the marriage is strong and smooth-sailing (most days :D)


Great insights, thanks for sharing

Here are some of our inputs too.

1. To be more chin chye and less calculative
(You will want to be a easier person to live with, peace and harmony in the household)

2. His family is also your family
Treat his parents as your own, don’t gossip or bad mouth for unrelated or trival stuff.

3. Set aside couple time
Set aside once or twice a week for pak tor time

4. Me Time
Respect each other privacy or if there is a need for him for gaming, activities , let him be.

5. spice thing up in the bed
Occasionally, surprise with a lingerie , some racy pics to spice things up.

6. Do something sweet
Cook a meal , buy some small stuff / snacks , sometime is the small things that count.

7. Sense of humour
What’s life without humour? Instead of finding things to squabble, laugh out loud instead.

8. Common interest
Trekking , swimming , cycling …
Try something different

Lastly proper communication , even if you are angry, don’t say words in anger , if not in the right mood to talk, don’t talk … find the right moment , right mood , right time.
Stay calm and happy always.


New Member
Very interesting. Thank you TS for the start of this thread. Perhaps also can give some 'tips' to other couples out there as well. Of course different couple will have own opinion/thoughts/way in staying in a happy marriage. Some of my sharing as well:

1) Give and Take - Don't be too calculative. What we give, doesn't mean have to take back. Example we care for our love one. Don't expect him/her to care for you back as well. Let him/her do it willingly instead.

2) Couple Time - You have kids, you have own family. But set aside some couple times (not only in bedroom), and go for couple couple dating like what you did during dating. Go for a movies together, go to the beach, or anything that you both like/did during dating.

3) Communication - Talk even the slightest things that happen the day. Be it just a meal you had, or things that happened in the office/home etc. Communication is very important in a success relationship.

4) Accommodation - Try to accommodate to one another. Example hobbies. Some couple may have different hobbies. Try to accommodate and join him/her in the hobbies, and perhaps he/she can join you in your hobbies as well. For example my hubby like to watch soccer, but I'm not even keen. However I join him, and accompany him in watching soccer. He too in return join me for baking (as I likes baking a lot).

5) Spice up in the bedroom - No matter how busy, tired, stress. We still need to enjoy that intimacy with our other half. Spice up in the bedroom by probably giving him a sensual massage after his hard day at work. Or to dress up sexily (like lingerie?) sometimes to spice up the intimacy as well.

6) Holding hands - I notice a lot of couples, especially when both are in a long term marriage, don't tends to hold hands anymore. I always envy those old couple when going out, still holding hands together. So well, try holding on to his/her hands when both are out. Even when at home can also hold hands together.

7) Little Surprise - There's no need to give present only during his/her birthday or anniversary or on special occasion. In fact, sometimes it's good to do some surprise for him/her. Be it a sudden perk on his/her cheek when he/she is not aware. Or a small little notes/card to him/her.

Last but not least, I believe many have own tips as well. Maybe can state in so that other couples can have some suggestion/tips to maintain a happy relationship/marriage?


New Member
so glad to hear from both of u!
it'll be great if more couples can contribute and help to spread the much needed positivity :D