20 May 2012, by Darren Lim

Happily Ever After

Happily Ever After

Just last week, Evelyn and I were invited to our friends’ wedding banquet. Looking at the newly weds bask in the well-wishes of the invited guests, we were reminded of how, not too many years ago, we were walking down the aisle ourselves and beaming from ear-to-ear.

Because our wedding was captured on film and made into an hour-long programme, a lot of people who watched the programme actually came up to us on the streets, to tell us how they felt our wedding was like a fairy tale romance come true, where the prince and the princess lived happily ever after… …

It’s been eight years since that “fateful” day and yes, it has been no turning back, but happily ever after? Hmmm…mm, I remember how in the first few weeks after the honeymoon, we quarrelled about whether the toilet seat should stay up or down, or how I couldn’t stand her habits like squeezing her toothpaste from the centre of the tube or how she complained about me leaving my socks and other personal effects lying around etc. It may not sound serious but if statistics are anything to go by, most divorces happen within the first 1 to 2 years after the wedding! And it’s these little things that can drive the wedge deeper between any couple with other existing conflicts, and trust me there WILL be conflicts!

We were lucky that we took a premarital couselling course which helped us anticipate and even prevent too many conflicts from happening in the first two years. I think the most important thing that helped us veer away from the tricky path of disagreement and divorce, is what we took away from the course; the truth was really that as couples we can agree to disagree and continue living harmoniously!

Even now after eight years of marriage, there are still issues that we will have tiffs over (yes, it’s true!) but it really helps that both parties put in the effort to acknowledge the other’s right to have a different take on things and respect that desire to have an opinion heard! Remember that’s why we are given two ears and one mouth in the first place!

Our friends will often tease us about how we sound very courteous to each other when we talk over the phone, almost as if we were platonic friends! Well, my answer has always been, it’s better that I not take the ‘chumminess’ or ‘closeness’ for granted because if this is the relaxed attitude that we take towards each other even for the small little things, then it may very soon become a habit that will spread into other aspects of our lives! It’s not to say that we need to always be on guard about what we say and how we say it, but more like having the basic courtesy to show the other party that we are putting in effort to show that we are not taking each other or our relationship for granted!

For example: Two things that Eve does that tell me she doesn’t take me for granted (that I really appreciate):

  • she will pick up things that I do that are out of the norm, like when I pick her up (yes guys she doesn’t expect me to pick her up routinely!) from work or from her appointments and thank me for them.
  • whenever I cook, she will load up on the praise even if I didn’t think I deserved that praise.

Two things that I do to tell Eve that I don’t take her for granted (that she really appreciates):

  • whenever I have to keep late nights, whether it’s for work or for friends, I’d call home to let her know why I’ve been held up (this is extremely useful, I’ve found, to keep the trust between couples but more of that in my next blog!).
  • she may be “just at home with the kids”; but whenever I get onto the phone to get her help with something, I’d always ask her first if she is free and can afford the time to help me! (She says it makes her feel that I value her role in the family, spending  time with the kids and running the household — this one I know I scored big time man!).

For different folks, there may be different strokes to communicate that respect and that you are “not taking each other for granted”, but like what I said to Evelyn last year when we celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary at the Universal Studios and took her on the “Galactica” ride, “there will be ups and downs in our marriage life, sometimes we get things perfect, sometimes we don’t, but let’s hold on to each other and work out all challenges and see each other until the end!”

Posted on : May 20, 2012

Filed under : Uncategorized

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