Couple: Zhengyi Tan, Stay-At-Home-Mom & Wenyao Huang, Civil Servant; both 32
Married: 5 years
Met: 20 years ago
Dated: 8 years (since JC)
Children: 2 boys, Eli, 27 months and Luke, 7 months

Zhengyi (ZY): Wenyao and I met in primary school. I was infatuated with him back then, and feelings were mutual and the real deal only started in Junior College! I’ve been in love with the same guy for 20 years… Gosh!


Wenyao (WY): I was just told about this new girl in my school, and being the ‘kaypoh’ kid I decided to hunt her down and make friends. So I found her and made a short introduction, but she didn’t leave a big impression.


ZY: He came up to me during recess one day with a big friendly “Hello!” I remembered I didn’t have a chance to react before he ran off. Coincidentally, we were in the same class the next year and he sat in front of me. Wenyao stood out because he came across as a really kind and sincere chap.


WY: I found her to be cute and quiet - just the type of girl I like! I wasn’t sure myself when I started liking her, just that I would feel excited seeing her, and I’d take sneak peeks at her during class.


ZY: For me, it started when I played a silly game with myself: I told myself, “If I can get to the end of the pavement in three steps, he likes me.” It was only then I realized how odd it was that thought crossed my mind. After two weeks of pondering, I started to panic at the idea of really liking him. It was agonising! So imagine my surprise when we were in the same secondary school and class! My heart was always fluttering when I was with him. Even till today, I still get butterflies in my stomach when I see him. When my good friends found who I liked, their jaws dropped - because Wenyao was such a geek back then! I didn’t think he was interested at all… until it occurred to me that he has been taking the same bus as me every day, even when he didn’t need to, just to be around me.



WY: Despite that, I had no idea how to work on a relationship! To be honest Zhengyi was the one leading the relationship, by planning things to do and creating routines like phone calls every night. I’m never one to talk much on the phone, so it was quite difficult for me holding a conversation for hours at end… Hahaha…


ZY: On the day we collected our ‘O’ Level results, I was crushed and was crying my heart out when Wenyao came up to me and asked how I did. Instead of consoling me, he responded with “OH!!! We’re the same!” I ended up laughing. I was at a loss as to which Junior College to go, and he encouraged me to join him in the same JC.


WY: I felt we could support each other if we were both in the same school. We were not together during that time, but we still had feelings for each other. In JC we grew and understood each other better and eventually got together.


ZY: It’s strange, but he was - at the back of my mind - always ‘The One’ and I’ve never thought about dating anyone else. We were committed to making it work no matter what. Even today, divorce is not something we will talk about, or even imply. We talk out our unhappiness and problems and find a way to work through them.



WY: Our relationship wasn’t smooth sailing, and we had several break-ups in the early stages. Each time that happened, we grew and learnt to love the other person more, and eventually she became a soul mate that I knew no one could replace.

ZY: I feel completely at ease with myself around him. I can be childish and do silly dances and he’ll find it funny! I enjoy the humour we share in our marriage, like when I find it funny that he thinks he’s funny (but he’s not), or when we can laugh off our arguments.


WY: I am enjoying the journey of family building and parenthood with her.


ZY: I guess I never expected our relationship to start off the way it did. The other big surprise was after marriage… when I found that he leaves his clothes on the floor! (But now he puts them in the laundry basket?.)


WY: I was surprised that she is a messier person than me… although she begs to differ…



ZY: We have two children. But some years back, I was suspected to have endometriosis and the gynaecologist mentioned this condition would make it near impossible to have kids. I wasn’t keen on surgery, so I went to a Chinese doctor instead. I just made a career switch when I found out that I was expecting I wasn’t sure if I could manage my new work responsibilities and the pregnancy. Wenyao calmed me and assured me that we can do this together. He’s the inspiration for me wanting kids. I went into motherhood knowing that he’s the only reason I want children.

We are considering a third kid because we are having so much fun raising our two boys! Motherhood has changed me to be a more patient and giving person. I have learnt to adapt in our relationship because both of us are completely opposite. But I’m thankful for our differences. It makes me see things in different perspective, which is very helpful in raising our boys.


WY: It is challenging managing parenthood and work. I don’t want to be a father who can give his children everything except time. I think there are challenges for a one-breadwinner household, although we are currently financially comfortable, Zhengyi hopes to find work so that we can give our children the best that we can afford, plus saving up for any contingencies.


ZY: I believe our commitment to make things work, and the ability to give and take will make this partnership work. When I need my time-out to clear my head, he understands.


WY: I think communication and understanding are important in any relationships. It is also necessary to clarify and set the right expectations, such as level of lifestyle to maintain, and commit to solving problems together.



ZY: Yes, so I’ll tell my kids that Love and Marriage are two different things: Love is love; Marriage is the manifestation of love in terms of commitment. So if you have both, marriage will work.


WY: Ditto to that!

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