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Relationships

Lessons I Learnt in 14 Years of Marriage

It was 14 years ago, exactly on this date that I said my vows at my dream wedding. I had 200 guests seated at the garden of the Palace of the Golden Horses, all dressed in shades of purple or white. It was the perfect day. There was a cool breeze that day, and everything went smoothly, despite a little accident that broke a portion of the trishaw I was transporting from Malacca for the ceremony that day.

14 years flew by, it wasn’t short, but it didn’t feel so long either. I do not remember the personalised vows I said that day but thank God for videos…all the memories were recorded beautifully. I was an idealistic 27 year old bride. I believed in true love and I found it. But I didn’t know how much work it takes to stay in love.

I’ve learnt many lessons over these 14 years. It took me some time to learn them, so if I could speak to my 27 year old self, I’d say…

The romance may disappear but true love is deeper than just feelings

The commitment we made to one another that day was the seal that brought us together. The heart palpitations faded after a while, but it didn’t mean I was less in love with the man I married so many years ago. The love I feel now is much deeper because of my understanding of who he is, and how much he tries to make things work for the family.

Change yourself first

We had a difficult first year of marriage trying to understand each other. In between tears and feelings of insecurity, I had to come to terms with my own weaknesses. If you accept responsibility for your own actions, your marriage will thank you for it.

If you want the fun and adventure to carry on, you need to make time for it

Life goes on after a while. The bills need to get paid, children come along, and soon, the only excitement you get is to choose which movie to watch on Netflix that night. We really had to make time for date nights where we spent time talking or exploring some new activity. This is even more important after the children are born.

Make time to listen

Even though we work in the same office, there were days when we just breezed through life without saying anything significant to one another. I had to learn to listen with undivided attention so that I could understand his needs. Frequent conversations was the key that made us feel connected.

Always forgive

We might have differing opinions, but we always attempt to resolve issues before sleeping. We need to remember that we are on the same side, not against one another. If there is a problem, it’s our problem, not the other person’s problem. Through the years, we had to learn what it means to speak kindly in the midst of a disagreement.
Ultimately, the very cord that holds us together is our love for Jesus Christ. It’s our belief system that kept us unified all these years. 14 years and counting.

If you would like to follow my marriage and parenting journey, please head on to Comma: Rethink Life.

A 10th Year Wedding Anniversary and Renewal of Vows: Shaun & Jochebed Isaacs


Shaun and Jochebed Isaacs celebrated their 10th year of marriage with an intimate renewal of vows. Together with their daughter Eden, and pastors Mervin and Leanne Jayaseela, they exchanged vows and gestures of honour on a gorgeous day at Putrajaya. They also shared their reflections on marriage and how meaningful this day was for them in a short video. Scroll down to watch!

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What happens after marriage?

Ever felt like life before the wedding is just PACKED with relationship advice and then it gets real quiet after? Think about it. Before the wedding you get all kinds of advice from your peers and other married couples, family members who generously share their thoughts on your partner or dating life, and of course – whatever social media directly or indirectly says about what a wedding and a “perfect marriage” should look like. Then the both of you say your vows, post up honeymoon photos, and come home to your new shared home. Before you know it, everyone has gone back to their routines and you both start to wonder where the support is when you need it most.

Talking to someone else about your marriage can be tricky. You always want to protect your partner’s feelings and reputation. People also tend to assume that whatever happens between a husband and wife “is to be managed privately” because “we are adults and can manage on our own.”

But nobody immediately turns into a mature adult on their 18th or 21st birthday, and nobody turns into a marriage expert or “perfect spouse” on the wedding day (or ever).

Yes, marriage is a journey between two committed persons, but as long as you’re Person, you will always need a good support circle no matter what season of life you’re in. Never be ashamed or afraid to reach out to someone whom you can trust, together. Whether it’s a peer, another senior married couple, your parents, a trusted mentor, or even a professional counsellor. In fact, don’t even wait for a tough day before you both share your lives with others. Include your community even on smooth-sailing days and they will know you’ve trusted them to keep the conversation going. It doesn’t have to stop at the wedding.

// Sarah has been married for over two years and both she and her husband enjoy spending time outdoors together.//

Follow our marriage and parenting site, Comma – Rethink Life for nuggets of wisdom on how to navigate these 2 areas of life.

Building a strong marriage

If you missed it, you can view some of the recent interviews uploaded on our marriage and parenting content page, Comma – Rethink Life on the topic of building a strong marriage. If you have been facing a rocky path after being married for 1 year, 5 years, or even 10 years or more, remember that you are not alone. There are many people who focus on the wedding, but forget about the marriage and working on it. There’s a lot of effort that goes into a marriage, and the journey is a marathon, not a sprint.

Here are 2 videos that you should definitely watch on this topic!

Please connect with us if you are struggling and we will able to direct you to a marriage expert who can help strengthen your marriage.

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Rekindling Romance in Marriage

As a wedding and portrait photographer, I have seen the extreme highs that couples go through as they set their sights on the one they love, and say their vows to always be there through good and hard times. Personally, as I also speak to couples in my daily life, I realize that it is easy to let the flames die out all too soon. Often times, arguments happen over seemingly small, trivial issues. But it points to deeper, unresolved issues, usually parent and family issues from the past.

This is my 13th year of marriage. I have to admit, while my love for Alex has grown deeper through the years, I have also gotten pretty complacent in our marriage. I don’t make much effort to surprise him (ever), think of doing things that truly please his heart or even attempt to wear beautiful lingerie to sleep (I had to put aside my pineapple pyjama pants because of this).

We’ve gotten way too comfortable towards each other.

That is why I appreciate the little things about him. How he does make the effort to do things like taking care of the kids while I go succulent shopping, plan mini stay-cations in the city or just prepare maggi mee by candle light in our bedroom after a long day of shoot.

I love him for all these little things and more. God is reminding me that while it is nice to be the recipient of all these little acts of love, I need to invest in his emotional tank too. I must go beyond my own comfort zone, laziness and make an effort to bring romance into the marriage over and over again.

I hope you do too. Happy Valentine’s Day.

(oh, and if you need some date night ideas with your spouse, head on over to Comma – Rethink Life and check out this post.)