14 January 2021, by Patrina Tan

A Glimpse Into Marriage

Happy New Year everyone!

John and I will be celebrating our 3rd year wedding anniversary this month and it has been the best 3 years of my life.

We got married after dating for 10 years and thought that all the stay-over-during-weekends would have prepped us for cohabitating… So wrong.

While the joy of having our own home exceeds us, we had problems adjusting to each other’s lifestyle under the same roof. Eg, John needs everything in the house at the place where it should be. The screwdriver should be in the toolbox, pots and pans must be in the drawer and the car key needs to be on his desk panel when we return. While on the other hand, I feel that they should be where it is most convenient to get them. It irks both of us on how we feel about these objects’ ideal storage.

For me, my pet-peeve is cleanliness. I get really sticky when I see John not cleaning up after himself immediately. Deep down, I know he will go back to it once he’s done with his meal. But why did I expect an immediate response? No idea. Hahahaha!

That is just a glimpse of our differences. But don’t get me wrong, I still love living with John. The thought of seeing and sleeping with him every day still excites me. Over time, we learnt to compromise and live with each other’s expectations. The fact that we see each other every day, there’s bound to be friction. It’s how we can solve these issues as a couple in the most endearing way. Pick your battles. No one likes to be nagged at every day or be reminded of how staying together could be a bad idea. I constantly remind myself to let the small things slip and I’m sure he does too. You have at least 50 more years together, so don’t fire all your ammo at once. LOL.

Occasionally we still quarrel but we learnt that choice of words is very important. Don’t say things that you don’t mean or that are extremely hurtful.

I still remember the course we went to after we got engaged. It’s a 3D2N course called “Engaged Encounter” which is similar to a marriage preparation course. We went with zero clues on what’s going to happen. Couples are encouraged to keep the program content away from those who have not attended before. Not going into details but in general, they make us talk about things that should be discussed before going into a marriage or topics that might arise from marriage.

John and I learnt a great deal from there and here are some takeaways that we got from the course:
  1. Hold hands when you’re arguing (We try, we really do)
  2. Talk about sex. Eg, Masturbation habits, pornographic usage, and how often you plan to have sex
  3. Pen down your debt. Talk about how you plan to manage your finances in a marriage.

Some couples didn’t make it through the first night because the argument got heated and they just left. I do highly recommend for couples to attend a marriage preparation course if you are getting married in the next 3 to 5 years. Marriage is a choice and if you and your partner aren’t 100% sure that you are ready for it, do seek guidance from these courses.

One topic that John and I are very transparent about, is money. We split the household expenses and we are not calculative. The only time he has an issue is when I shop too much. Hahaha! But he will always say “It’s your money, buy whatever you want. Just make sure you are saving money too.”

We will take turns to pay for lunch/dinner but he picks up the bill more than me because he feels that he earns more. I don’t take advantage of that but it feels good knowing he’s willing to. I’ve heard many stories about how the husband is “supposed” to pay for everything. Why though? I just don’t think it’s fair.

You don’t want anyone to feel imbalanced, especially with money. It’s a sensitive topic but it is good to be able to discuss it with no judgment and know if any of you has any secret debts before it rolls to something bigger. Many years ago, before John and I got married, he got stuck in a debt which he didn’t know how to settle. It took him months before telling me and I had an idea that helped him restructure his debt. Since then, he has never been late in credit card payments (he Giro-ed all his bills). As for me, I got into debt in the 2nd year of our marriage. I understood why he was ashamed to tell me because I felt the same! It was when I realised that I am incurring too much interest, I reached out for help. He cleared my debt using his savings and I paid him back in instalments. I felt so bad for taking his money but it will be worse to sink deeper and not be able to contribute equally. From then on, I learnt to manage my finances better and once in a while, John will check on me to ensure that I am saving well. Our end goal is to retire comfortably at 55 and with all our investment plans in place, we should be able to.

We always knew that marriage requires effort. It took us 3 years to finally get used to living together harmoniously. Circuit Breaker has definitely brought us closer. During the time when we work-from-home together, I sat (at the side) in his meetings and had a peek of his day-to-day. I realised John plays an important role in the company and am surprised how he juggled his time between the office and me. Now that I knew how hectic his day could get, I’ve learnt to give him more space, and in return, he showers me with more attention by checking in on me more often and suggesting more date nights than before. It’s a win-win! 🙂

I would like to end off with something that is fairly cliche but really rings through to me. Love is not a feeling, but a commitment you make every single day. You have chosen to spend your life with this special person against all odds. Let trust, communication, and support lead that commitment. Wishing all couples a blissful marriage!


1 Comment


January 15th, 2021 at 6:58 pm    

Hi I can’t begin to say how much you are a role model to me. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, and your love with Johnathan (I hope I spell it correctly lol) makes me smile. Here’s wishing you both many great and fulfilling years ahead!

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